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Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.
Friday, 7 December 2007
You know how that saying sorry can be a very painful and troubling process for some people?
Well, that's not the case for the good old boys from the HMRC.
As soon as it was reported that they lost the data records for 25 million people, and put those people's personal security at risk for the next 20 years, HMRC were on the case immediately with an apology letter.
Over 7 million were sent.
Apart from the fact that their apology letter was a breach of security, and some of those letters have got lost.
However, let us not dwell on uncomfortable realities such as those.
The important point was that a letter was sent, and everybody knows that HMRC is really sorry.
Oh, one small point...
How much did it cost to send over 7 million letters?
From the perspective of HMRC, absolutely nothing at all.
How is that?
Well, HMRC of course use our money (taxes to be precise) to pay for their costs; it's a win win situation, if you are HMRC.
The cost to the tax payers of them paying for this letter?
Oh, a mere £3M.
Money well spent!
The funny thing is that HMRC have been very reluctant to tell the taxpayers how much they were charged for sending a letter of apology.
Why would that be then?
Are HMRC ashamed of themselves?
Or is it that they don't believe that the taxpayer has the right to know what HMRC is doing with taxpayers' money?
By the way, one other small point, at a "hotseat" briefing just after Chancellor Darling admitted to the loss of data, acting chairman David Hartnett answered questions from staff through the HMRC intranet.
He was asked how much the costs of the apology letters were going to be.
He answered £2M.
Yet the reality is £3M.
How embarrassing for him, a member of HMRC who can't do their sums.
However, as I said at the outset, the cost to HMRC of saying sorry is nothing; they don't give a stuff, so why should they be bothered to get their sums right?
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