HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
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.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Computer Says No - Yet Again!

Computer Says No - Yet Again!
There has been another IT foul up at HMRC.

This one has left up to 100,000 low-income families waiting for £250 child trust fund payments that they are entitled to. These payments top up the £250 voucher available to all parents.

Kitty Ussher, the economic secretary to the Treasury, told a select committee on Thursday that a "programming error" had delayed the payments.

She is quoted in the FT:

"It is a technical thing due to the way the various computers at HMRC  . . .  talk to each other around people who are eligible for benefit payments."

She added that a separate problem "that we have not quite got to the bottom of" had also affected payments.

It would seem that, amongst other things, the merger of Customs and the Revenue has caused issues wrt the IT systems of the pre merged organisations not being able to communicate effectively with one another.

These communications problems are further compounded by the fact that Brown has habitually, for the last decade, made the tax system ever more complex. We should not of course forget the fact that politicians are incapable of effectively implementing/managing IT systems.

Unsurprisingly the delayed payments are, in many cases, linked that failed "flag ship" of Brown's: Tax Credits.

Why not abandon the sinking ship of tax credits, and increase the personal allowances by a significant amount instead?

A solution that is cheap, simple, effective, and easy to understand/implement.

Unfortunately Brown does not do "simple".

Tax does have to be taxing.

The New Statesman, Britain's leading political magazine is delighted to announce that HMRC Is Shite has been nominated for a New Media Award in the category of Campaign For Change. The campaign for change award will go to the individual or organisation that has most effectively influenced opinions and behaviour through the use of new media technology. The winner of this award will champion a cause and provide information and tools to instigate change.

The full press release can be downloaded here.

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