HMRC staff continue strikes over job cuts

Strikers in Bootle, 4 June - PCS/Andrew Price

About 135,000 workers from HMRC and the Department for Work and Pensions are striking this week in protest over cuts to jobs and pensions.

Jobcentre and benefit-office staff from the Department for Work and Pensions will join tax workers from HM Revenue and Customs in a series of regional walkouts during the week (see schedule below).

The strikes are part of a three-month campaign of industrial action by 250,000 public-sector workers who are protesting against cuts to pay, pensions, jobs and working conditions, said the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS), which represents about 55,000 HMRC workers. The industrial action began with a national walkout on Budget Day on 20 March.

HMRC has cut about 37,000 jobs since 2005, according to the PCS, and plans to cut about a further 10,000 jobs by 2015 to reduce costs. These job cuts have left the government department...

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Comments

powers that be at HMRC    3 thanks

david5541 | | Permalink

its quite clear the powers that be in white hall(including the (former) director of the failed border angency  have no desire to listen to hard working staff at the coal face-maybe managers and consultants should be asked to spend at least one day a week at the coal face in call centres however capable or incable of handling calls they are.......

frustratedwithhmrc's picture

I genuinely sympathise with HMRC staff    10 thanks

frustratedwithhmrc | | Permalink

With the destruction of the local tax office network, allowing long serving staff to take voluntary redundancy / early retirement, HMRC are now staffed with a largely untrained staff, attempting to apply 21st century approaches to a 20th century tax code and despite all of the telephone scripts, pacesetter methodology and lean process management no one in charge at the executive level appreciates that they are trying to hammer square pegs into round holes.

Without a 21st century tax code (simplified with all combinations understood), the call centre / process model approach taken by HMRC cannot work.

Anyone with half a brain can see this, unfortunately Linda Margaret Homer (Simpson) is a serial failure, lurching from one senior civil service position to another with neither success nor impediment, this is exactly the sort of person that you don't want running HMRC at this time.

Give me a Ouija board and the ghost of Sir John Harvey Jones in favour of the serial failure of Lin Homer and her cronies...

mr. mischief's picture

Torn two ways    14 thanks

mr. mischief | | Permalink

The strike appears to be for two unrelated issues:

1.  The incomptent way HMRC has been run for at least 10 years, and I'm sure we all agree on this forum that not a day goes by without further evidence of this.  Rather than listen to commonsense, management seem hell bent on more of the same.

2.  The cloud cuckoo land approach 90% of UK public sector workers have towards their pensions.  Whilst they were just about affordable in 1970, now that average lifespans are 15 years longer it is obvious to anyone with at least one head that they are not anymore.  I have no time whatsoever for anyone who carries on with this attitude.  If I was Osborne I'd call their bluff and scrap salary-related schemes altogether.

So I wholeheartedly agree with reason 1, and despise with every bone in my body reason 2 for the strike.

Torn.

 

Sack them all

Mouse007 | | Permalink

Don't need any of them

What's a pension???    3 thanks

HeavyMetalMike | | Permalink

They should count themselves lucky............

 

On a serious note, if HMRC had more money to employ staff then the exta tax would pay for itself.

They should employ more accountants who know far more than the existing staff.

mr. mischief's picture

What?    2 thanks

mr. mischief | | Permalink

If HMRC ever receives an application form from me, you have my permission - no strings attached - to tie me to a post and shoot me.

I was just saying that HMRC    2 thanks

HeavyMetalMike | | Permalink

I was just saying that HMRC could collect more tax if they our way of thinking.

I'm not harping on to the days of a District Inspector but there isn;t a system where someone looks at both the company and it's directors to check that whats;s been claimed has been declared and it all ties up etc.

Locutus's picture

Bugs list    3 thanks

Locutus | | Permalink

I've often thought, why can't HMRC compile a "bugs list" in much the same way as software developers do when they release software.

Users (particularly accountants) could report "bugs" in the HMRC system (i.e. nonsense regulations and bureaucracy that serves no one, inefficiencies in the system, etc.).  HMRC ought to them publish the top 20 bugs and report on the progress of fixing them.

Major things cannot be done by HMRC internally (i.e. merging income tax with NI) as they would require approval from Parliament, but there are many, many things that could.

That way, you could improve the system dramatically and easily get rid of a third of the HMRC staff.

Also on the point of final salary pension schemes - close it to new joiners. Anyone that wants to work for HMRC in the future should get money purchase schemes, like everyone else.

frustratedwithhmrc's picture

Hmmm...    3 thanks

frustratedwithhmrc | | Permalink

0103953 wrote:
I've often thought, why can't HMRC compile a "bugs list" in much the same way as software developers do when they release software.

As someone who has previously advised BP on the complete replacement of their in-house legacy systems with SAP (a monumental task taking 5-years), there comes a point where the overlapping and often disconnected processes and procedures themselves become the problem and you're better off building a completely new system to replace it while keeping the old one ticking until you're ready to switch it off.

The UK tax code has collected at least a centuries worth of unnecessary rules and regulations (especially during the bloat years of the Brown chancellorship). Time to build a new streamlined and simplified tax code on a revenue neutral basis, with full digital automation at its heart to get HMRC out of the paper pushing / complaint handling trade and back into the "boots on the ground" enforcement of evaders.

The difficulty here is that if you simplified PAYE into a single tax rate combining Employers & Employees NI into income tax you'd end up with transparency in rates, but a lot higher than people believe they are:

  • Basic: Employer’s NI 13.8 % + Income Tax 20 % + Employee’s NI 12% = 40.2%
  • Higher: Employer’s NI 13.8 % + Income Tax 40 % + Employee’s NI 2% = 49%
  • Additional: Employer’s NI 13.8 % + Income Tax 45 % + Employee’s NI 2% = 53.4%

I would also add provisions into the rules of conduct for HM Treasury preventing future bloat of the tax code without a 2/3rds commons majority. This would restrain future Brownian Chancellors from death by regulations and bloat.  

Locutus's picture

Agree with Frustrated

Locutus | | Permalink

frustratedwithhmrc wrote:

0103953 wrote:
I've often thought, why can't HMRC compile a "bugs list" in much the same way as software developers do when they release software.

As someone who has previously advised BP on the complete replacement of their in-house legacy systems with SAP (a monumental task taking 5-years), there comes a point where the overlapping and often disconnected processes and procedures themselves become the problem and you're better off building a completely new system to replace it while keeping the old one ticking until you're ready to switch it off.

The UK tax code has collected at least a centuries worth of unnecessary rules and regulations (especially during the bloat years of the Brown chancellorship). Time to build a new streamlined and simplified tax code on a revenue neutral basis, with full digital automation at its heart to get HMRC out of the paper pushing / complaint handling trade and back into the "boots on the ground" enforcement of evaders.

The difficulty here is that if you simplified PAYE into a single tax rate combining Employers & Employees NI into income tax you'd end up with transparency in rates, but a lot higher than people believe they are:

  • Basic: Employer’s NI 13.8 % + Income Tax 20 % + Employee’s NI 12% = 40.2%
  • Higher: Employer’s NI 13.8 % + Income Tax 40 % + Employee’s NI 2% = 49%
  • Additional: Employer’s NI 13.8 % + Income Tax 45 % + Employee’s NI 2% = 53.4%

I would also add provisions into the rules of conduct for HM Treasury preventing future bloat of the tax code without a 2/3rds commons majority. This would restrain future Brownian Chancellors from death by regulations and bloat.  

I entirely agree with you Frustrated. A complete re-write would be preferable.

Unfortunately, I don't think we have any mainstream political parties that are prepared to do what is needed.  I think few of them really understand or care how silly and complex the existing system is.  Even fewer would care about it, unless there are obvious votes to be won.

carnmores's picture

why would you add    1 thanks

carnmores | | Permalink

NI ers 

southsands@south-sands.co.uk's picture

Join the real world    3 thanks

southsands@sout... | | Permalink

Why can't they join the real world,people are suffering and struggling to make ends meet.I am a qualified accountant who has decided to wind down after many years studying and working, as much as 90 hours per week, and now finding,after what David,Nick and George are doing to the country,that my secondary self employment of a guest house is losing money and now I need full employment again to get us out of the tax credit trap.My few clients are also struggling with debts etc yet these people ignore it,even though they see the figures on tax returns,and live in a world of their own thinking that dwindling tax revenues will continue to keep their living standards at the same level as before the recession.Keep on dreaming!!!!!!!!!!

frustratedwithhmrc's picture

Hmmm...    4 thanks

frustratedwithhmrc | | Permalink

carnmores wrote:
Why would you add NI ers

Because as has been shown and taught in economics since its introduction, the person whose pockets end up being lighter because of Employers NI is not the employer, who just hands over the cheque for Employers NI to HMRC, but the employee whose salary is lower because of the tax.

The technical term for this in economics is "tax incidence" and it is a reason that HM Treasury and chancellors over the years love Employers NI because it is described as if the employer pays it, but the economic reality is different.

It is just another tax on wages as far as employers are concerned and the fact that it doesn't appear on an employee's wage slip is irrelevant.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_incidence

dreamcatcher's picture

I could not agree more    7 thanks

dreamcatcher | | Permalink

<a href="mailto:southsands@south-sands.co.uk" rel="nofollow">southsands@south-sands.co.uk</a> wrote:

Why can't they join the real world.

I could not agree more.  They claim to be striking for reasons regarding changes to their pay and conditions.  So let me get this right they are unhappy about

1. their over inflated salaries being froze,

2. changes to their gold plated pensions meaning they will have to work longer, and  

3. the prospect of having to do a proper days work

Guess what I don't feel sorry for them in any way shape or form.  Most of them would not last 1 month working in the private sector. 

It's about time someone stood up to the unions again. The country is bankrupt and cuts need to be made to balance the books.  Where's Margaret Thatcher when you need her!

southsands@south-sands.co.uk's picture

Long reigning thatcherite    3 thanks

southsands@sout... | | Permalink

dreamcatcher wrote:

<a href="mailto:southsands@south-sands.co.uk" rel="nofollow">southsands@south-sands.co.uk</a> wrote:

Why can't they join the real world.

I could not agree more.  They claim to be striking for reasons regarding changes to their pay and conditions.  So let me get this right they are unhappy about

1. their over inflated salaries being froze,

2. changes to their gold plated pensions meaning they will have to work longer, and  

3. the prospect of having to do a proper days work

Guess what I don't feel sorry for them in any way shape or form.  Most of them would not last 1 month working in the private sector. 

It's about time someone stood up to the unions again. The country is bankrupt and cuts need to be made to balance the books.  Where's Margaret Thatcher when you need her!

God bless her soul and let her rest in peace.I am proud to call myself a THATCHERITE.

Need to tackle strong unions    4 thanks

Ken Howard | | Permalink

dreamcatcher wrote:
It's about time someone stood up to the unions again.

Nail on the head.  Wherever you see waste and inefficiency, you see strong trade unions.  They crippled the coal, steel, shipping, car making industries, so the only place they have left is the public sector.  We definitely need someone strong enough to tackle them head on instead of all this pretend-privatisation that successive governments have used to try to reduce the unionised workforce.

I will only have sympathy with HMRC staff when they start to do their jobs properly.  I don't accept all this "management blame" excuses.  It's not "management" that is to blame when a HMRC employee can't be bothered to read a letter properly, it's not "management" when a call centre operative tells you they're going to do something and then it's done wrong or not at all.  It's not "management" when a jobsworth who thinks they know it all repeatedly refuses something that is plainly in black and white in statute and/or an HMRC manual citing that their "helpsheets" are the definitive rule (so many times this happens, it's unbelievable).  These are examples of people who are not doing their jobs properly.  It's just become trendy for people to excuse their own incompetence or laziness by blaming "management" or "institutionalised ........".  I've worked in firms where management has been poor, but us mere workers still did our jobs properly.

 

frustratedwithhmrc's picture

I agree with Ken...    1 thanks

frustratedwithhmrc | | Permalink

Ken Howard wrote:
It's not "management" when a jobsworth who thinks they know it all repeatedly refuses something that is plainly in black and white in statute and/or an HMRC manual citing that their "helpsheets" are the definitive rule (so many times this happens, it's unbelievable).

Yes. I have to agree with Ken here.

The overwhelming majority of HMRC staff has no detailed knowledge of tax, especially outside the enclosed walled garden confines of HMRC, so end up acting as little more than script readers quoting HMRC Guidance manuals back to you when that guidance is often poorly worded, doesn't apply or is simply biased in favour of squeezing more tax out of Mr & Mrs Taxpayer, such as a lot of the IR35 and employment status guidance.

I used to live in fear of being contacted by the district Inspector in the good old days of the Inland Revenue, because you knew damn well that you'd tried to push something too far and he was about to explain in clear and uncertain terms that you were taking the piss and if we weren't desirous of an investigation we should get it revised and thank him for the chance to do so.

A lot of backstreet garages and other "on the black" businesses were only caught because when HM Inspectors weren't undertaking investigations they were prowling the backstreets looking for evaders.

Fat chance of that happening nowadays.

On pensions......    6 thanks

AndyC555 | | Permalink

I worked for HMRC for 10 years and have worked outside for 16 years.

I earn  more now than I did with HMRC, I contribute far more to my pension than I did when working for HMRC.  Even so, as things stand my HMRC pension is worth nearly twice what my private pension is worth.  Having worked on both sides of the fence, I can honestly say public sector workers have no idea at all how lucky they are on pensions.

it's not politics, it's not union bashing it's a simple fact that we are all living longer.  A model based on an average 7-10 years of retirement simply doesn't work when that has now grown to 17-20 years.

Everyone else is having to accept that you need to put more aside, maybe retire later, maybe accept a smaller pension.  Why can't public sector workers accept the same?

 

 

 

 

Go back to the days of Concards....    1 thanks

Donald6000 | | Permalink

I worked in a PAYE office in Surrey. We had a District Inspector. 24 of us were on the PAYE section and between all of us we must have had 24*3000 taxpayers. We dealt with all of them by a system of concards (Control cards) and files and answered many thousands of pieces of correspondence a year and did all the yearly tax returns.

My small unit was more efficient in the 1980's than the whole of HMRC put together would be today. As someone who is a twice commended ex Revenue officer I find that the state of HMRC is utterly appalling; I doubt whether it would be capable of collecting a common cold, ;let alone fighting monies going to the Cayman Islands.

 

Politeness restrains me from saying any more..

 

 

 

Strike    1 thanks

Carl B | | Permalink

They're sacking the people with their fingers in the dam! Pretty soon the civil sevice geeks running the show will be wondering why their feet are getting wet.

Every year, a new layer of complexity to our burgeoning tax code and every year fewer people that know what they're doing are left to administer it.

Madness...

mydoghasfleas's picture

This is why I am so grateful to Accounting Web

mydoghasfleas | | Permalink

Without this news, I doubt I would have noticed.

That said, I have sympathy with the staff as their upper management are without a clue led by Linn Homer (Simpson) but little sympathy for the public servant attitude that staff numbers equal better service and the remaining staff are hard pressed. 

I note there are other Homer watchers who have spotted the meteoric pace at which she has moved from one job to another seemingly just escaping the maladministration tsunami that strikes just after she leaves. 

Spot on, Mr Mischief

wyoming | | Permalink

Yes, I have some sympathy with "coal face" HMRC staff over the incompetent way their organisation has been run for the last decade or so.

However, on the pensions issue, HMRC staff (like so many other public servants) need to wake up and smell the coffee. My firm had a final salary scheme once upon a time, but it was wound up in 1992 as the long-term costs of keeping the scheme going were already recognised as being hopelessly open-ended. Nobody in their right mind would buy into a business with that sort of "black hole" in its accounts but all of us, as taxpayers, are still being expected to prop up such schemes in the public sector more than two decades later.

If my firm still had its final salary scheme, I would be looking at a company pension about double what I will actually get - except the firm would never have survived long enough to actually pay me under the old scheme. Why do public sector workers think they should be immune from such factors? 

It also irritates me when the public sector unions quote very low sounding amounts for the average pensions being paid out. This is meaningless and is basically down to the fact that most people receiving public sector pensions only work in that sector for part of their working lives. To have any meaning, the figures they quote should be adjusted to show the amount that would have been paid out based on a full career in the public sector.

Agree with Donald    1 thanks

JMAskham | | Permalink

As a former tax inspector I now operate on the other side of the table and I have first hand experience of how the 'coalface' is struggling to cope.  I do believe that quite a large number of the staff left are not fit for purpose and are now overwhelmed by the workload they have. Don't get me wrong there are a lot of HMRC staff who genuinely want to help and will go out of their way to get issues sorted but they only seem to come out of the woodwork when issues have gone wrong.  When I was volunteered for early severance so had the bulk of the quality staff left and have since moved on to do other things.  Indeed Compliance staff were initially excluded from applying for exit routes and it was the 'powers that be' who weren't reaching their targets who agreed to let Compliance staff go.   I wonder if they are regretting this decision now.....

Absolutely spot on!    2 thanks

Eric Robinson | | Permalink

Absolutely spot on!

The rot set in when annual reports supported by ongoing work measurement were abolished. Ability to do a good job in the next grade was replaced by the knack of completing an application form and including all the buzz words and phrases that the department wanted top hear in it. More than capable people have been overlooked in favour of those who could not make a profit in a charity shop. Most who had the opportunity to leave taking their years of experience with them voted with their feet. I did, and I do not regret it for one single second. I am however very sad for those who were less fortunate then me and had to stay. Those who know no different are bound by process and what the flow chart says. Original innovative and practical thought are discouraged. 

glynisbm's picture

as you say... a tax on jobs.

glynisbm | | Permalink

as you say... a tax on jobs. If it was abolished, employers would be more likely to take on more workers. The primary (employees) NI goes to the NHS; the secondary (employers) NI goes God knows where...on MP expenses probably!

because NI ers

melissa_willard | | Permalink

could've been used to pay employees instead

Strike! I agree with Mr Mischief

jiatbanus | | Permalink

I wonder if the few who might turn up will get a big fat bonus - even if they do no more than their normal 6 hours day. And will they draw lots for being the "lucky" ones to go to "work"? 

They just don't know what the real world is like.

jiatbanus | | Permalink

A nephew has recently retired ("young chap". I still work!) from HMRC. He says that HMRC staff are very much like their computer systems. They are expensive and only work half of the time.

AND IT GOES ON....& ON...

david5541 | | Permalink

"With the destruction of the local tax office network, allowing long serving staff to take voluntary redundancy / early retirement, HMRC are now staffed with a largely untrained staff, attempting to apply 21st century approaches to a 20th century tax code and despite all of the telephone scripts, pacesetter methodology and lean process management no one in charge at the executive level appreciates that they are trying to hammer square pegs into round holes.

Without a 21st century tax code (simplified with all combinations understood), the call centre / process model approach taken by HMRC cannot work.

Anyone with half a brain can see this, unfortunately Linda Margaret Homer (Simpson) is a serial failure, lurching from one senior civil service position to another with neither success nor impediment, this is exactly the sort of person that you don't want running HMRC at this time."

Give me a Ouija board and the ghost of Sir John Harvey Jones in favour of the serial failure of Lin Homer and her cronies..-WHO FAILED THE PUBLICE WHEN RUNNING THE rebranded BORDER AGENCY WHICH TERESA MAY HAS CLOSED AND SPLIT AGAIN! BETWEEN IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT AND CUSTOMS CONTROLS...

i am one of thatchers children, I lost all my pension & class 1 NIC-rights ages ago when I went freelance

-there is certainly an unreality to the terms in the public sector pension schemes BUT theres an EVEN BIGGGER UNREALITY-in the MEGABUCKS which no doubt are being paid to contractor -management consultants-at HMRC- and MANY LOCAL AUTHORITY "chief executives" with non-job names being paid more than David cameron the PRIME MINISTER.....

 



What was that Donald?    1 thanks

jiatbanus | | Permalink

But what did you really DO, Donald? The people who have oodles of money going to the Caymans are doing it because of TAX on the PROFITS or INCOME as a result of their ENTERPRISE, knowing full well that most of these taxes are going to Government waste and overpaid Civil Servants,. It's not new tax codes or systems that will eventually sort it but a Tax Payers strike.

Cutting taxes by cutting tax collectors

swatt66 | | Permalink

Although it is not the most democratic way to cut taxes it is a nice easy way to do it:

For every £10,000 of tax collector's salary there is .... let's say £20,000 in lost taxes.

Conclusion: tax cuts are less expensive to the government when done this way.

What did I really do.    2 thanks

Donald6000 | | Permalink

I collected taxes and assessed taxes which were due and that was what my job entailed. In addition to the usual duties I was a district repayment claims specialist and did a lot of the investigative and "odd" casework that no-one else wished to do.

I don't think my employment within the service was in any way a waste of money. In addition when I was at the top of the salary scale in 1987, we were only paid £8,036.

What did you do, apart from, coming on here and asking what I did? Have a nice one Cap'n.

 

It seems to me...    1 thanks

andrew.hyde | | Permalink

..that some of the comments above are based more on prejudice than objective judgement.  If you care to read the Hutton Report on public service pensions (rather than the Daily Mail) you will find recommendations that are demonstrated to produce affordable, sustainable and fair pensions for public servants.  Those recommendations are being introduced, though obviously not overnight. The report also denied some of the myths around public service pensions - for example the average is £7,800 pa, and over half of pensions paid are less than £5,600 pa.

Any government seeking to go significantly beyond the Hutton recommendations might well be accused of acting from political rather than purely financial motives.

 

"affordable, sustainable and fair pensions for public servants"    1 thanks

AndyC555 | | Permalink

Andrew

 

You accuse others of a 'Daily Mail' approach then quote figures you must know to be mis-leading.  The average pension figure includes pension going to people such as myself, who only worked for HMRC for 10 years.  It includes pensions paid to people who may have worked part-time in the public sector for part of their working life.  As a bare statistic it is meaningless.

And what is 'fair'?  All un-funded public sector pensions are subsidised by the taxpayer.  Pension contributions from current employees simply don't match pension payments to retired employees (except currently and briefly in the Ponziesque NHS scheme).  This will get worse in the comng decades.  Where does the rest of the money come from?  Other taxpayers.  That might be 'fair' in the "every one deserves to have a good pension" sense but it isn't fair if you're the one paying the extra tax so someone else can retire in more comfortable circumstances.

And besides.  What are all the strikes about?  Because unions won't even accept the limited Hutton proposals which aren't even being implemented in full NOW as they need to be but are being 'phased in' with protection for existing rights.

Simple test.

Any public sector workers out there prepared to accept the pension provision of a private sector worker on a comparable salary?

With all due respect and

Eric Robinson | | Permalink

With all due respect and without wishing to cause any offence whatsoever, why only 10 years in HMRC?

Frankly I think I am worth every penny for the 35 year stint that I did and the not inconsiderable recoveries I was responsible for as an accounts investigator.

Ex HMRC

jiatbanus | | Permalink

Of course - every ex Civil Servant believes they are worth every penny of what the taxpayer is screwed for them. And every one of them knows that they could never personally fund such pensions. 

"The not inconsiderable recoveries" were what? It was TAXES on someones profitable efforts!

Eric - you are talking about collecting TAX. Other people's money. And for that you think that the people who you "recover" from should pay you a better pension than they could possibly pay themselves.

Get real.

 

 

What did I do.    1 thanks

jiatbanus | | Permalink

Having spent 16 years in the RAF, I returned to college (part time) and eventally became a group MD. After 11 years I decided to go it alone and developed my own small group of businesses. In every one of my years I contributed to your "unearned" income. In the depression of 1988 through 1993, when HMRC were responsible for winding up 65% of all companies in trouble, I cashed my pension to bail out my own companies! Never a sick day nor a stress day.

There's your answer and, as my nephew, a tax inspector who retired on a healthy pension, enjoys his lifestyle at the taxpayers' expense, I visualise working a further few years past my current 75 - Cap'n! Sorry. Must rush. I've been working since 7 am and I've lots to do.

 

 

Eric Robinson | | Permalink

 

All very interesting but I did ask the question of Andy C  - and in a polite and respectful manner.

I am sorry if I have diverted you from other endeavours.

This concludes my contribution to the thread.

 

Regards

 

Eric

 

southsands@south-sands.co.uk's picture

Wholeheartedly agree    1 thanks

southsands@sout... | | Permalink

jiatbanus wrote:

Having spent 16 years in the RAF, I returned to college (part time) and eventally became a group MD. After 11 years I decided to go it alone and developed my own small group of businesses. In every one of my years I contributed to your "unearned" income. In the depression of 1988 through 1993, when HMRC were responsible for winding up 65% of all companies in trouble, I cashed my pension to bail out my own companies! Never a sick day nor a stress day.

There's your answer and, as my nephew, a tax inspector who retired on a healthy pension, enjoys his lifestyle at the taxpayers' expense, I visualise working a further few years past my current 75 - Cap'n! Sorry. Must rush. I've been working since 7 am and I've lots to do.

 

Could not have said any better jiatbanus.I also have worked long hard hours all my working life,8 years of which I studied as well as a large workload, and spent 3 and a half years,9,000 plus hours,as a self employed accountant struggling to make ends meet; and now at the age of 61 I find that I cannot afford to retire on my small £2,500 per year private pension so will have to continue working well beyond 65, not being able to take long luxurious holidays like HMRC staff will be able to take,to still get a basic standard of living.What a pity we all can't live in HMRC/Whitehall state of UTOPIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

carnmores's picture

we are the authors of our own misfortune

carnmores | | Permalink

mea culpa me too!

HMRC pensions    1 thanks

AndyC555 | | Permalink

Eric Robinson wrote:

With all due respect and without wishing to cause any offence whatsoever, why only 10 years in HMRC?

Frankly I think I am worth every penny for the 35 year stint that I did and the not inconsiderable recoveries I was responsible for as an accounts investigator.

 

Not al all offended by your question.  Because after 10 years I left to work elsewhere, as people often do.  Point is, can the country afford what people are 'worth'.  You measure your worth by the recoveries you made.  What 'worth' would you put on a nurse who saved someone's life?  What pension would they be 'worth'?  Unfortunately what we're talking about is not what people are worth but what the country can afford.  I'm not sure how much pension you are on but a calculation of my HMRC accrued pension shows it would (if I wanted the same from a private pension) require a current pension pot valued at c£140k. That's more than 50% of all I earned whilst at HMRC.

I'm not going to turn it down and don't blame others who want to keep theirs but, seriously, you have to recognise how very lucky you are as a public sector worker getting a pension which most in the private sector have no hope of equalling, no matter how much they are 'worth'.

 

Eric.

jiatbanus | | Permalink

Yes Eric.

"All very interesting" is probably as close as a civil servant is is likely to get to reality.

So - back to work, eh Cap'n.

 

 

Eric Robinson | | Permalink

 

 

Thanks for the response.

My financial worth was a simple calculation of the ratio between what I cost and what unpaid taxes were recovered. Had HMRC applied the experience and expertise that it has lost to enhancing detection of evasion and the recovery of evaded duties associated with it then we would probably be able to afford, as a nation, much more than we can at present; perhaps more and better paid nurses??

I can accept informed and balanced opinions such as yours - but other certain posts are ill informed and demonstrate prejudice which really is not that helpful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to Hutton

andrew.hyde | | Permalink

My reason for mentioning the Hutton report is that you're never going to get universal consensus on this.  I think we've demonstrated that. 

When you're in that position the response of government should be to ask for a fully informed and balanced review.  That is what they have done here.  I don't like the result, and neither do you.  Maybe the government doesn't either. Tough on all of us.

But the report has done its job, and it's incumbent on everyone (including the government, public sector workers, other interested parties) to get on with implementing it and just move on, and we can go back to moaning about bankers' bonuses,  large business tax avoidance, the latest outrage from the EU, etc. etc...

 

Worthy Erik    2 thanks

jiatbanus | | Permalink

Erik. Seriously busy as I'm just producing accounts for filing in Singapore.

All I ask, relative to your comments, is that you consider these - Enterprise - and profits - and jobs. Companies and individuals do not generate taxes - they generate income and profits. 

Your "financial worth" was nothing to do with generating income and, as in previous entries, the debate is as to why you should better benefit than those who actually generated the means to be taxed. Your income was only payable because part of the earnings of enterprising persons was taken away. Necessary perhaps, but I struggle to know why you should get excessive benefits. Likely you got bonuses on the taxes you collected and never gave it thought that both the taxes and the bonuses were created  by the efforts of others. There were more hospitals and nurses jobs created during the Industrial Revolution than during the eras of intrusive government.

As one tax inspector said to me (which highlighted the ingrained attitudes) "All company directors are leeches". Hmmmm.

How many jobs did you ever create? That is one statistic that I feel was a measure of my worth. - Cap'n

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southsands@south-sands.co.uk's picture

Yet again another well organised reply from jiatbanus

southsands@sout... | | Permalink

I am in full agreement yet again with what you say.I see many hardworking people and company directors, being an accountant. and they are the people whose effort will turn around the country.As for tax inspectors,the treasury's financial police,all they are bothered about is destroying that enterprise.