Directorates published Business Plans in the month of May and we have been receiving feedback from members. Notable was the announcements of significant recruitment across the department notably in PT and E&C. All of course in regional centres (proposed of course but …). Most feedback was about how this recruitment works with the reductions of past years and those still to come and of course the huge number of issues in the plans that relate to future technology solving all problems and seemingly ignoring the extreme complexity of the issues involved.
We in the RCTU, being an organisation with excellent connectivity, have been digesting Transformation Plans (from where all Business Plans originate) and have noted how wonderful it all looks on paper. £1.3 BILLION investment for the transformation and an additional £800 MILLION for E&C. Realising some £700 MILLION of “efficiencies” over the same period noting also the wonderful section “still to be found” ,that is ubiquitous in such papers, was still blank. We still wonder about the values and ongoing additional costs, real savings, actual compliance yield increases and so on and so on.
What this needs is a critical look and challenge beyond the phraseology being used and the intricate PowerPoint diagrams to the complexity and detail. Not only that the assumptions that are being made belie the challenge of ensuring continued enforcement of the tax base in the period let alone beyond. There appears to be no effective challenge to these major points that drive the move to regional centres and the statements that are used to support this direction of travel. There are an enormous number of points that require proper and careful consideration and consultation and negotiation with a true staff representational body. Only the RCTU have the expertise and knowledge to undertake this task before it is too late. Failure is not an option – something that senior leaders seem to have forgotten or ignored?
The RCTU is deeply concerned that we are now getting into the “perfect storm” territory with real challenges to enforcement and customer delivery being coupled with any failure in the connected sections of the transformation meaning the viability of HMRC is challenged like it never has been before – that should not be happening and we have warned about this for years and let us be clear – the “poor bloody infantry” will not be the ones paying for failure.
There are positive and beneficial points to the transformation plan but there are assumptions and frankly extremely questionable statements to support the strategic direction that must be challenged. “Safe to challenge” as per the Civil Service leadership statement? Continued statements such as “multi skilled workforce” raises questions such as “jack of all trades and master of none” with the frightening concern of building in reputational damage into the system let alone the issue of grading – it is all we have with basically no pay rise and pay cuts for the last 10 years. We consider the plans littered with assumptions on a subject too big to fail – questions by experts are required to be answered.
The RCTU is urging members to VOTE.
Please make sure you are registered. Exercise your democratic right.
From a pure Trade Union point of view – there are a multitude of employment rights that have come from the EU and the European Court of Justice. ECJ rulings have enhanced worker’s protection in the UK.
We have noted, again, the less than 10% turnout of members in PCS national elections. What more is there to say? Same as it ever was.