And because they also, by and large, worked locally they had the knowledge to react locally.
Because just as centrally organised, target driven, big business does not understand entrepreneurial spirit – which is the preserve of the more effective small enterprise that as a result makes better returns on almost all measures that can be used (and even higher returns on those that can’t be measured) than big business so did local tax offices actually perform better than centrally controlled big ones.
But those who HMRC have engaged from big business have not understood that. Or the importance of relationships. Or the importance of location. Or the importance of local knowledge. And those are very good reasons why we have a tax gap.
Bring back the local and the discretion that went with it was the message I heard, loud and clear. Anyone listening at HMRC?
It is of course slightly worrying to find myself agreeing with one R. Murphy. But he is, in this case, correct.
And as he\’s just shown, so was Hayek. Knowledge is local, you cannot plan things rigidly from the centre because of that locality of knowledge.
So while Ritchie is indeed correct here his correctness here rather destroys just about everything else he says about how the State should be doing everything for us.
Pity that really.