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.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Confusion Abounds

I am somewhat confused over the government's and HMRC's attitude to the minimum wage and "internships".

The Guardian reported yesterday that the government is sending unemployed young people on unpaid "work experience":

"Britain's jobless young people are being sent to work for supermarkets and budget stores for up to two months for no pay and no guarantee of a job, the Guardian can reveal.

Under the government's work experience programme young jobseekers are exempted from national minimum wage laws for up to eight weeks and are being offered placements in Tesco, Poundland, Argos, Sainsbury's and a multitude of other big-name businesses.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) says that if jobseekers "express an interest" in an offer of work experience they must continue to work without pay, after a one-week cooling-off period or face having their benefits docked."

However, the Guardian also reported (in a separate and unconnected article) that HMRC is cracking down on unpaid internships in the fashion industry:

"Revenue and Customs is planning to raid fashion companies employing unpaid interns in breach of minimum wage laws, the Guardian has learned.

Internal documents from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs show it believes interns across the employment spectrum to be at "high risk" of abuse under national minimum wage laws, and that HMRC has convened a 12-person taskforce to make unannounced inspections of businesses where interns are being used as workers rather than just shadowing staff.

The special "dynamic response" unit will have powers to question managers and sift through accounts until it is satisfied that no abuse is taking place.

It is the first time intern abuse has been targeted by the HMRC, which is responsible for the enforcement of the minimum wage."

Why is the fashion industry being targeted, yet "Poundland" etc being encouraged to take on people at zero wages for short term work experience?

Is this a case of the right hand in government not knowing/caring what the left hand is doing?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. No. I think you'll find that the current government LLP™ knows exactly what it's doing.

    It knows that HMRC cannot prosecute or interfere in any way with the DWP for a function that it has been asked to carry out on behalf the UK government because it would have the effect of a constitutional crisis.

  2. No, I think it's just that the interests of the Cassandras and Petrocs - that is to say, the sons & daughters of the sort of people who would have the contacts to wangle an internship in the fad biz in the first place - must always be protected from ruthless exploitation; whereas the Kyles and Kayleighs - the 'unemployable' offspring of the 'feral scum' - can be treated like shit by companies which donate to the Party and no-one should care.

  3. @18 November 2011 18:35

    Careful... we don't want big business to get upset now do we? They might go cwying to the confwederwation of bwitish industwy that those nasty pwoletwewiatsh are upsetting their domomashun.

  4. YOU voted for this insanity18 November 2011 at 21:20

    Just waiting for some idiot on this site to suggest that "surely HMRC aren't providing a 'customer service' by not making their solicitors force a case through the judicial process?"

    On the one hand we have HMRC, a crown body.

    On the other hand we have the DWP, also a crown body also demanding payments.

    It is very unlikely that either department will go to court to win an argument (that in effect will not actually go anywhere to support the union)

  5. Sorry the bit in brackets was meant to go in to something else I was writing. The joy of having too many tabs open.

  6. Hi Ken, seen this yet?

    Sir Bob Kerslake has been named as the new head of the civil service

  7. It's two job Bob!

  8. Fight the Conservative Party LLP before it's too late19 November 2011 at 11:50

    Mr Cameron, who has previously accused some civil servants of being “enemies of enterprise”, said Sir Bob would help deliver “substantial financial savings without compromising on standards”.

    That's fine then, perhaps this new bloke can hand over even more jobs to the private sector which offer no savings at all in fact are a drain on the pulbic purse

    This is because on accounts/balance sheets created by public departments will show that "spending has gone down within the department".

    Well of course it has! because current government LLP™ has handed over a public sector job to a crony corporation of theirs and that because of corporate confidentiality in the private sector - that corporation (let's call them CrapAtos) will never have to disclose to the public (taxpayers) exactly how much their 'enterprise' is costing them.

  9. If you are wondering why the suffix LLP keeps appearing on posts on this site with reference to the current government, this is because in fact LLP's are a complete con-trick with which the current government shares a lot of characteristics with.

    UK LLP's can be:

    * Created by a group of individuals who have a vested interest in a real product or opportunity.

    * Create a no-blame culture as there is no corporation to be blamed (yet corporations can ironically become a member of an LLP) so the buck can keep being passed.

    * When the going gets tough and someone tries to hold the LLP to account, all members can simply resign from the LLP leaving no trace of it's liabilities behind but the members get to keep their individual assets because they were never actually 'invested' in the first place.

    Perhaps unions who wish to go on strike without all the TULR interference should become LLP's - so when the government threatens sequestration of their assets - they can simply place a subsequent number after their name like several failed LLP's do so, then the government would be forced to change the law so that these bodies are actually accountable.

  10. @ 12:15

    Will never happen. You are an enemy of enterprise :)

  11. @19 November 2011 15:01

    Damn I forgot about that!

  12. This "no pay" thing is despicable< but I'm also shocked the HmRC are setting up a "12 strong team to interview managers" in the stores, about exploitation, etc. Shouldn't they start in HMRC ?!!