We wish our members and all HMRC staff a Happy New Year. It was pleasing to see the new honours list included hard working staff from HMRC (congratulations to Raj, Kevin, Roger, Jane, Satpal and Gerard) but we have taken our time and researched the opinion in HMRC and beyond regarding the award of a DCB (it was quoted in one section that this was a military only award?) to the chief executive.
We finally found (and we looked extensively!) one positive response on a web blog external to HMRC (there was no internal comments allowed on the intranet and we are unable for obvious reasons to report the internal verbal responses) – to quote “has delivered more at a lower cost. HMRC figures back that up. So she, siglehanded (sic), has saved us tax payers shed loads of money. So come on, let's give her the big hand she deserves.”
The author obviously knows more than we, the hard working staff of HMRC, do. Some of the other responses we will not repeat due to UK libel law suffice to say they were not of a complimentary nature. How sad it is that we are unable to share this honour as a collective whole. How very very sad but how very very illuminating.
Now to the real business –
National Audit Office Report
To quote: “HMRC has met its targets to raise more tax revenue in the short term. It now needs to consider whether its overall strategy is designed to achieve the best long-term outcomes.”
“but does not consider its internal estimate of how much of this is the result of tax fraud robust enough for publication.
A significant element of the yield calculation relies on estimates of current and future benefits and is not the amount of cash generated each year from HMRC’s enforcement and compliance activities.”
Not one of the extracted quotes will be of any surprise to HMRC staff.
We have been warning senior leaders for years that their strategy was not robust enough and certain issues were being stored up for the future that will bring harm to HMRC and that that harm was not applicable to the work of compliance staff . That combined with the overly bureaucratic tools inhibiting productivity were not the fault of front line staff who warned of the increase in complex error, fraud and evasion. These continue to rise and attempts to address them show that only with “boots on the ground” coupled with intelligent use of intelligence ( you know it makes sense ) will the UK taxpayer and UK plc have a robust tax agency working for them.
When you then take into account the looming disaster of office closures and the increasingly spurious statements being made to justify this course of action – we have a major issue of contention.
Read the report and offer your views to us. Unlike the non thread of the announcement to the dame hood on the HMRC intranet – we will publish your responses. Please contact us.
Oh – just wait for the NEXT GENERATION MEASURES or how to make things look rosy forever – coming to a workstation near you soon. You have been warned. And the pay rise is when? The truth must be known and we will deliver that.