Conservative MP Ian Liddell-Grainger has questioned whether HMRC is currently fit for purpose and called on staff to refuse £13m in bonuses awarded during 2010.
Liddell-Grainger, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary taxation group, recently uncovered what he called a “national insurance time bomb” in unmatched P14s going back to 2004-05 relating to more than £1.2bn of contributions.
In a follow-up interview with TAXtv, the MP was particularly scathing about HMRC staff bonuses that would exceed £13m for 2010. These sums were awarded against a backdrop of staff cuts, falling morale and media frenzy over the processing backlog that built up during the transfer of records to the new National Insurance and PAYE Service (NPS).
According to Liddell-Grainger, the general consensus among MPs is that civil servants shouldn’t get bonuses. Bonuses should be a thank you for hitting targets and “in civil service there are basically no targets”, he said.
“The £13m could be better spent” and Revenue staff should be “big enough to say none of them should take it”. They shouldn’t receive bonuses until they had “proved themselves fit for purpose”, he added.
The interview will feature in the March episode of TAXtv. For more information on how to subscribe, visit the [email protected].