Andrew Tyrie, Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, issued a warning last week that will ring true to many who visit this site; namely that HMRC is close to failing.
He is quoted by the Press Association as saying that HMRC "in some areas is close to being a failing institution", and noting that there is "absolutely no point" making cuts if it led to increased costs for business.
He quoted written evidence from the Chartered Institute of Taxation:
"Ten years ago the Inland Revenue had the reputation of being one of the best-run departments in Whitehall. Today HMRC's reputation is in tatters as one disaster follows another."
Mr Tyrie warned:
"HMRC will become dysfunctional unless action is taken to bring to an end the string of disasters that have befallen it."
Regarding the ongoing restructuring within HMRC, he said:
"Can that reorganisation now be completed while cutting so many more staff?
I hope it will but you have to say it could be a triumph of hope over experience if you look at other Whitehall departments and their reorganisations."
It sounds as though the politicians have all but given up on HMRC. This of course is not encouraging for either the staff (who are also taxpayers) and taxpayers who are not staff.
As I have noted before, the internal chaos within HMRC is a product of:
- Political interference
- An excessively complex and unwieldy tax system, created by politicians
- A botched merger, imposed on it by Brown
- Inept and incompetent senior management, appointed by politicians
It is the politicians that have created this mess, and it is up to the politicians to resolve it (instead of acting as Pontius Pilate and trying to wash their hands of it).
Tax does have to be taxing.
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