Can you hear the sound of fist typing yet?

HM Revenue & Customs is to close all 170 of its offices across the country in favour of 13 new regional tax centres as part of a major restructuring designed to shave hundreds of millions of pounds from its budget.

The Daily Telegraph understands the radical plan, which will leave towns and cities across the country without a tax office and is likely to lead to thousands of its 56,000 staff being made redundant in the long term, will be announced to staff as early as Thursday.

The receipt of cash payment from the taxmans’ union would not alter anyone’s opinion on this matter. To argue otherwise would be, as I have proven candidly, neoliberal sophistry.

16 thoughts on “Can you hear the sound of fist typing yet?”

  1. First of all it is a non-event. They have already shut the vast majority of the local offices under the rule of the Bottler. The 170 that remain were the largest offices mostly in bigger towns/cities and I don’t think any of them provided a walk-in counter service anymore. In the old days you could phone or go into the local office and talk to the people who did your tax code–unless you worked for a large multi-sited concern in which case the tax office would be where the companies head office was.

    Now all you get is phone calls with 6 week trained operators who are on timed scripts to get rid of you. The 13 offices routine will be inefficient and useless at dealing with your concerns –mostly because all the way from 11 Downton St (sic– and they are) they couldn’t give a shit about your problems. Just pay the money is their attitude.

    Also it isn’t even an original plan. Back in the 70s there were to be 5 offices only (Centre 1 in Scotland is the surviving relic of that plan). Known –with the soaring imagination bureaucracy is famous for –as Centre1,2,3,4 and 5. The plan was an unmitigated disaster. Nowadays, computers make it easier than back in the 70s but it will still be a colossal and expensive mess.

    Anything that hurts the state is to be welcomed. Watching them shoot themselves in the foot is always a pleasure.

  2. Mr Ecks I agree with you apart from the fact that the way HMRC work means that computers complicate matters rather than make things easier
    Based on my experience the “saving” will most probably cover one years Tax Credit fraud

  3. “Nowadays, computers make it easier than back in the 70s …”

    Yes, because everyone knows the government has the best comput…

    Sorry, can’t hold it in any longer!


  4. Off topic…

    I see Murphy ends a discussion about companies by declaring that “dividends are NEVER voted by members”

    And yet the model Articles on Companies House state at paragraph 30 that dividends can be declared by an ordinary resolution, which is of course passed by the members.

    The man’s ignorance is NEVER ending.

  5. I can hear the sound of ham-fisted typing. He is so ignorant on all matters it beggars belief he’s held in such regard by so many. One wonders what he as like as a child…?

  6. Ms Hillier said she was worried that too many experienced tax officers will choose to leave the department rather than move to one of 13 major tax offices.

    Indeed. What’s an experienced 55 year old tax inspector in Devon to do – commute daily to Bristol, or take early retirement (before they muck around with his pension any more)?

    Then again, maybe that’s the idea. Mr Ecks’ computers have made tax collection much simpler, so there’s no longer any need for experienced tax collectors.

  7. There’s something I don’t understand. If you’ve computers, you don’t (well, shouldn’t) need big centralised offices of people passing bits of paper to each other. That’s why you’ve got computer’s for, isn’t it?
    So computerisation should let you bring the front end, deals with the public, locally to where the public are. You shouldn’t even need your specialists concentrated in limited locations. They’re accessible from anywhere.
    Yet pretty well all large organisations do exactly the opposite.

  8. Andrew M: “Then again, maybe that’s the idea. Mr Ecks’ computers have made tax collection much simpler, so there’s no longer any need for experienced tax collectors.”

    Tax collection is likely less easy than it used to be with lots of non-English-speaking groups to look blank-faced at the collectors who call.

    They have also lost their local Inspection power. Every area used to have fairly well trained and experienced Inspector-snoops who knew the area and the businesses and the local faces/characters. They would do stuff like wandering around to see if houses had “vacancies” notices in the window and could then check if it was set up as a guest house etc. Nosy mealy-mouthed interfering scum. Thanks to Bottler and his BluLabour offspring all of that snooping is ancient history now. I understand that teams of snoopers are supposed to descend on areas from time to time but they simply have no background and don’t have a fucking clue.

    BiS: You miss the point . The real aim of this caper is that the boss class of HMRC remain cosily nested up the fetid arsehole of BluLabour (tho’if it were ZaNu it would make no difference). Yes lets please our masters by getting rid of all the little people etc. BUT if we leave too little then we, the Boss Class will be out on our arses next and that can’t be right can it? We’ll keep 13 offices –in big cities with nice comfy hotels and good connections so we can still ponce about to meetings on expenses. Most of our time tho’ we can stay in the Smoke–nice and handy for home at the end of the day.

  9. Having had a conflict with hmrc since 2001, where you can see that the tax tribunal do everything they can to accommodate them, notwithstanding the 100s of thousands i’ve paid in that time without so much as a thank you, anything that puts those fucks in unemployment is welcome in my book.

  10. Simplify the tax code and make half of them redundant then stop the gubbmint from pissing our taxes away by halving gubbmint and we could halve again.

  11. Oh, I’d say you’re entirely right, Mr Ecks. But it’s not just HMRC

    I started out in life in stockbroking. The front end was portfolio management & dealing. The back end was twice the number of people pushing paper about. Portfolio management was looking up prices & dividends in the Official List, going through press cutting for company info, hand cranking valuation calculations out of a mechanical calculator & then Dictaphoning letters & getting it all typed up on manual typewriters. Dealing was wearing shoeleather out walking from pitch to pitch on the Floor.
    Now I can’t work out exactly what a stockbroker does. But i do know that the service now costs proportionally much more than it did then. And my “stockbroker” is an asshole investment service salesman without a clue.

  12. Is it known how much tax takes out the economy? Not just wages being taxed to pay some council jobsworth to update her status on Facebook all day but in HMRC costs, accountant cost both in company and 3rd party?? Must be a huge proportion of GDP.

  13. Wonder if he mentioned his links to unions. Once questioned him about declaring interest and conflict of interest in general, had some waffle about him being above that blah blah blah and that he wasn’t influenced by who payed his bills etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *