White will take up the new position next week. She will be responsible for the Treasury’s finance ministry functions, with overall responsibility for managing the UK’s public finances and implementing continuing fiscal consolidation.
Speaking at a Treasury select committee hearing last week, White said that public sector pay, including police and local authority pay, will be one of the “big issues” for the government to consider in 2015-16.
White is leading a review of financial management across central government, in partnership with Richard Douglas, head of the government finance profession.
Her appointment comes as Tom Scholar, former second permanent secretary, leaves the Treasury to become the Prime Minister's adviser for Europe and global issues and head of the Cabinet Office’s European and Global Issues Secretariat.
White first joined the Treasury in 1990, and left in 1995 work in the British Embassy in Washington before joining the Number 10 Policy Unit. She also worked in the international development, justice and work and pensions departments, before returning to the Treasury in 2011 to lead the White Review of the Treasury's response to the financial crisis.