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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.
Thursday, 14 February 2008
The Gravy Plane
In the grey depressing days of early February, how the cockles of my heart were truly warmed to learn that HMRC staff have had almost 1,400 overseas trips at taxpayers' expense over the course of five months.
HM Revenue & Customs staff have visited over 60 countries, including Jamaica, Japan and Malaysia.
The trips, between November 2006 and March 2007, cost us the taxpayers nearly £2M.
HMRC staff made 335 trips to Belgium, 403 trips to France, 90 to the Netherlands, 61 to Ireland, and 31 to Spain.
Other countries on the world tour list included; Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Venezuela, New Zealand and the south Pacific island nation of Vanuatu.
"We make essential trips abroad to enable us to carry out our roles investigating and combating global issues such as drug trade, fraud, organised crime and counterfeit goods.
We also play a leading role in promoting best practice within the international tax community."
Best practice should include not wasting taxpayers' money on jolly foreign junkets!
I would also venture to suggest that HMRC time and effort would be better spent in the UK, sorting out the shambles that is our tax and benefit system.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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