Yesterday afternoon, nearly 70 38 Degrees members turned up at Parliament for a roundtable debate on HMRC’s proposals to open up our tax data to researchers and, well, the highest bidder.
We filled up Committee Room 14 (after thoroughly blocking up a Parliamentary corridor) – and were joined by loads of MPs (spot the suit) and lots of other MPs’ researchers.
The panel (r-l) consisted of senior Conservative MP David Davis, renowned Cambridge University security engineering professor Ross Anderson, Maddy Carroll (Campaigns Director at 38 Degrees – she chaired) and the Director of the Open Rights Group Jim Killock.
The room was quite busy!
The discussion ranged quite widely, and the panellists took questions from 38 Degrees members as well as from MPs and their researchers in the room. Lots of MPs mentioned that it’s down to so many 38 Degrees members emailing them an invite that they turned up.
And we ended with at least one firm conclusion.
The full audio of the event will be available soon, and right now HMRC are considering when they might be able to meet 38 Degrees and Open Rights Group. Every MP in the room yesterday will have left certain of the public mood, and every researcher will have headed back to their office and reported that not only do 38 Degrees members care – they seem to bringing their MPs on side. Now to persuade HMRC!