Ritchie should be blaming Gordon Brown here

Time and again I have said you cannot run a tax system on the cheap and that such a system does need plenty of highly trained people who have a very accurate sense of what might, can and does go wrong.

HMRC is being denied those resources. Don’t blame them for the current mistake.

The blame lies fairly and squarely at George Osborne’s door.

Because, you know, it was Gordon Brown who merged IR and HMC and planned the head count reduction at the same time…..

11 comments on “Ritchie should be blaming Gordon Brown here

  1. Join two departments together and don’t need quite the same jobs as the two departments. Add in the efficiency measures Gordon pushed for in the silly service and yes, you’d expect to have less total staff in the combined department than the two together.
    Though the paid shill of the union concerned doesn’t like it…

  2. Revenue was completely different in culture to Customs–who were a quasi-military gang. A friend of mine went to the funeral of some customs guy (he dropped down dead while boarding the boat of someone they were harassing). There were more flags and uniforms than a Nuremberg rally. Border “control” had sod all to do with taxes and VAT is a different system entirely to paye/self emp etc. Tax Inspectors would have needed extensive extra training to add it to their “expertise–ha ha ha”. They got virtually none and the whole thing is a complete Bottler-style mess.

  3. That tax systems are expensive doesn’t sound like an argument for having (complex and extensive) tax systems

  4. As usual, The Big Dick has everything wrong.

    It was indeed Gordon Brown who, as usual used his main de merde on the DSS, Inland Revenue and HM Customs.

    The new HMRC deals with 198 things, some of which aren’t taxes at all. To shoehorn all these things into one unit is fundamentally wrong.

    Lack of highly trained staff is just a ludicrous excuse, unless The Dick means that we should have hired 100,000 of them and bought them 100,000 ledgers.

    As usual, the problem lies with a computer system which, as usual has been hopelessly planned and commissioned and is trying to cope with inadequate availability of information.

    Lefties love to make things complicated because it creates bigger empires and employs more people, but huge, cumbersome, complicated systems never work efficiently.

    So, not Osborne’s fault and nothing to do with lack of highly trained staff. Bit of a waste of electrons.

  5. Isn’t this just the continuing fallout from a disasterous HMRC IT project?

    When I see what government IT projects cost, and what they deliver, I tend towards the view that too much money and resources are the problem, not too little.

  6. As a former customs officer, I enjoyed Mr Ecks’ comment. I have a lovely memory of a friend of mine who having just been promoted to the Investigation Division turned up next day at the pub complete with the shades and Sweeney type gear. But some did take themselves rather seriously. There was a great esprit de corps, though. For a time I worked in a division liaising with the Inland Revenue, and the difference in approach was unbridgeable. Not knocking them – at least as they were – but they were very different.

  7. In my experience: Whether liked or not, HMIT had a reputation for professionalism, that the other side never quite shared in the same way…

  8. Years ago I used to be a civil servant. We all had basic training but a few sections were specialist work and even within the section dealing with normal work there were specialists who were allocated all of certain work types. That was just within one benefit.
    Most employers it seems do not require all staff to be expert in all aspects of the business. Allocating particular types of work seems to be common. Contact your local jobcentre and they can deal with certain things. If you need a different benefit you may need to contact somewhere else – all DWP but not the same staff.

  9. I was in HMIT and there’s no doubt there was a differnet culture over at C&E.

    A quote attributed to some bigwig that circulated when the two organisations joined had him saying that if he wanted something done he’d go to someone from C&E but if he needed a clue solved from The Times crossword puzzle then legacy HMIT was the place to go.

    I recall looking up from The Times chess column when I heard that and thinking how unfair the quote was.

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