Unsurprisingly, yesterday's article about HMRC's very expensive superhub in Cardiff has raised a few eyebrows and issues.
My thanks to a loyal reader for posting the following comment that highlights a few dots that need to be joined:
"Whoa there pilgrim, just a cotton picking minute, let's take a closer look at this afore ye spend all that "customer's" money!?Oh, and don't forget (as per WalesOnline):
Who owns the Llanishen site? Thought Mapely did as per Wales On Line 13 Nov 2015 - The freehold interest in the current HMRC office site at Llanishen is owned by Mapeley Estates, following a private finance initiative agreement ...????
Surely that was why HMRC was paying for rent etc. on the site?
Then there is the matter of £20m (currently) for fitting out, so the lease is bare building? This is (currently) £5000/head just to fit out! WTF they having 22" plasma screens, gold plated loo's, FFS?! Piss off to IKEA, just a mile or 2 down the road and save yourself a few million!
Transport/parking infrastructure - all of a sudden 4.000 extra staff plus security, cleaners, deliveries etc. land upon the centre of Cardiff via train, bus, car, pedal, foot. Bloody trains have to queue now outside the station and Cardiff traffic is a nightmare for public and private transport.
Who is actually paying for this "range of benefits to people in Cardiff" ? Oh, that's all right then, it is only the end user that has to worry then, come back in 5 years time and see how much the real cost has reached!
Given the appalling track record of previous estate deals in this part of the public sector this needs a wee dig by an investigative journo' to establish VFM and whether basic business checks have been applied to such an amount of "customer expenditure".
Oh, yes, as these Muppets no longer FTF with their "customer" base, why the need for an expensive central location - vanity? Is there a common purpose associated with the development that remains hidden?
Answers on the back of a postage stamp please."
"The freehold interest in the current HMRC office site at Llanishen is owned by Mapeley Estates, following a private finance initiative agreement with the UK government.2020 being the year that HMRC moves to its superhub.
But that deal will expire around 2020. The land would then revert into UK government ownership."
There's irony for you!
Tax does have to be taxing.
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