Press Release: Tax campaigner recognised in honours list

Published on 13 June 2015

The LITRG is delighted by the news today that the Group’s Technical Director, Robin Williamson, has been awarded an MBE in recognition of his work for low income taxpayers.

LITRG, an initiative of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT), brings together former and current tax professionals and other experts to try to get the tax, tax credit and associated welfare systems working better for those on low incomes. The Group was founded in 1998 and Robin Williamson became its first Technical Director in 2003.

Anthony Thomas, Chairman of LITRG, said:

“Congratulations to Robin. This well-deserved honour recognises his work as a champion of taxpayers on low incomes over the last 12 years.

“Government policy and administration too often does not take account of the needs of low income taxpayers, many of whom are in groups such as the elderly and disabled who are particularly vulnerable. As the senior staff member within LITRG Robin leads the technical team and coordinates our work at all levels to get the system working better for those at the bottom end.”

Chris Jones, President of the CIOT, commented:

“This award is testament to Robin’s commitment and hard work, and to the achievements of LITRG as a whole. In recent years LITRG has been in the lead of standing up for ‘digitally excluded’ taxpayers disadvantaged by HMRC’s ‘digital by default’ strategy. LITRG has shone a light on how the activities of some agencies and umbrella companies have hit low paid agency workers. LITRG have made the case for reforms which have benefited disabled people and carers. In all these areas Robin has played a central part in speaking up and winning improvements for vulnerable taxpayers.

“The success of the Group is due in no small measure to Robin’s consistent willingness to engage and educate at all levels – whether delivering a lecture or appearing on radio or television programmes commenting on issues from tax credits to tax avoidance.”

Reacting to the award, Robin Williamson said:

“This is an immense honour and one I could only have received through the consistent support of a remarkable group of people – my LITRG colleagues past and present, and our hugely knowledgeable and committed volunteers. This award recognises the exceptional work done by the whole of the LITRG team.”

Robin Williamson trained as a solicitor and formerly worked as the Senior Technical Editor with tax publishers CCH. He writes and lectures extensively on personal tax matters. He has been the Technical Director of the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group since 2003. More information on the LITRG can be found, here.

A Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) is awarded for a significant achievement or outstanding service to the community. An MBE is also awarded for local ‘hands-on’ service which stands out as an example to other people. Further information on the UK honours system can be found, here.

This is not the first time that the work of individuals from the LITRG and CIOT has been recognised. Among others: In 2003, John Andrews, founding Chairman of LITRG and a former CIOT President, was awarded an OBE. In 2008 former CIOT President John Whiting, also a LITRG member, was awarded an OBE for public service. Paddy Millard, a LITRG member who set up the charity Tax Help for Older People in 2001, was awarded an MBE in 2009.

(13-06-2015)

Contact: Robin Williamson (please use form at http://www.litrg.org.uk/contact-us) or follow us on Twitter: @LITRGNews