As we enter the SOBER* decade, HMRC will not be immune from the cuts announced by George Osborne.
According to Accountancy Age HMRC's budget of £3.5BN in 2010/2011 will fall to £3.2BN by 2014/15, with a loss of around 13,000 jobs. Some of the media claim this is a 15% cut, but my calculator comes up with less than 10%.
Please could someone enlighten me as to where the 15% comes from?
To further confuse matters, some sections of the media talk of 25% efficiency savings (on top of the 15%) to be achieved by improving IT contracts etc.
Does anyone actually have a clue as to what the fark is going on?
Anyhoo, 10%, 15% or 25%, unsurprisingly the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) is none too happy, and have warned that there will be strikes.
Suffice to say, the quality of "customer" (ie taxpayer) service is bound to decline further.
However, the good news for HMRC staff is that Lesley Strathie is "batting on their side". The Guardian has leaked a letter that she has sent to staff:
"I know how tough this autumn has been for all of us; not least because of the enormous scrutiny we've been under recently in relation to PAYE.
We now have a lot more clarity about what the future holds for us and I want to put on record how much I, and all my ExCom colleagues, appreciate your dedication and hard work."
Tax does have to be taxing.
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