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.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Mapeley In The News

Loyal readers will recall that Mapeley, an offshore property company that owns and manages around 60% of HMRC's "estate", occasionally features on this site.

Yesterday the Liverpool Echo reported that a set of offices in Liverpool, once occupied by HMRC and currently owned by Mapeley, will now be turned into flats.

Oddly enough, the article seems to imply (from my reading of it anyway) that people have only recently realised that Mapeley is offshore.

Here is the article in full, please feel free to comment:
"LIVERPOOL’S former tax office building is set to be taken over by a social landlord.

City planners are due to decide on a bid that will see it turned into more than 200 one, two and three-bedroom flats.

It is anticipated there will be considerable demand for one-bed flats in future – either run by social landlords or private firms – because many people in the city are now expected to pay ‘bedroom tax’ on homes with spare rooms.

The ECHO has learned that the former Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is now owned by a company ultimately based in Guernsey, the Mapeley Group.

It was rented back by HMRC until the tax office moved out.

The company,  which used to be owned in part by international financier George Soros,  has recently come in for criticism from MPs over alleged “tax avoidance” because of its off-shore status.

It is one of the two companies that has submitted the planning application to refurbish the five-storey building.

The planning application, brought by Mapeley STEPS (Strategic Transfer of Estate to the Private Sector) and Glenbrook QD Ltd, states: “The development will be funded and delivered by Glenbrook and run and managed on a day to day basis by a third party registered social landlord.”

As well as the 86 one-bedroom, 124 two-bedroom and 20 three-bedroom flats – which will be “high quality accommodation that meets lifetime homes standards” – there will be a community centre, children’s playground and picnic area.

While more than 400 nearby residents were consulted as part of the bid, only one has objected over fears of traffic clogging up the narrow road to the building at Mariners Wharf.

Mystery currently surrounds which housing association will lease the development, as many of the city’s social landlords confirmed they were not involved in the scheme.

Mapeley did not confirm who the social landlord provider was and Glenbrook QD could not be reached by the ECHO for comment.

A spokesman for Mapeley STEPS Contractor Ltd, which collected the rents from HMRC, is “one of several within the Mapeley Group which is based in Guernsey”.

A stake in Mapeley was owned by Mr Soros, the man who came to widespread notoriety when he put a £10bn speculative bet against the pound in 1992, devaluing the currency and sparking what became known as ‘Black Wednesday’.

Martin Ralph, of the Merseyside Trade Unionist and Socialist Council (TUSC), which campaigns against tax avoidance, said the news that HMRC had been paying its rent to offshore companies while it was still in the building was shocking, adding: “This all shows how money flows.

"Benefits get cut because the government says it can’t afford to pay them but the money it does still pay will end up flowing into tax havens.”"

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. This needs to be considered carefully. Although hopefully not by dear old Amos, sorry Amyas!

    HMC&E & IR "sells" the buildings at prices many professionals agree was way under market price. Mapeley then plead poverty and are "granted" funds to support purchase of said buildings.

    Mapeley rent back the buildings to vendors at vastly inflated amounts (commercially confidential) and charge service/management fees to look after buildings not fit for human occupation and with slowly evaporating "services".

    Oh yes, and then there was the possible conflict of interest between av ery high ranking manager from the public sector in post at HMC&E, his wife and an offshore company which turns out to be ...?

    This was all clearly reported and investigated by Private Eye at the time, and generally reported by main stream media.

    Quite how anyone should be surprised by HMRC paying huge amounts of customers taxe revenues to tax free destinations via offshore linked companies is beyond me.

    Of course HMRC will state that where a company pays its taxes (or not) is up to them - BS!
    Ever heard of ethics especially when dealing with the tax proceeds of honest law-abiding UK taxpayers?
    Fecking Hypocrites, but thats what happens when the fox looks after the coop, and they don't even bother to try and hide it anymore.
    Now that should concern the sheeple!

  2. An interesting rumour that did the rounds is that the contract includes a sort of forced by-back option which Mapeley can invoke should they feel the need.

    Of course this would be nothing more than the bitter musings of ex.staff, but for a little niggling feeling that there is a lot more mileage in this scandal than the Eye uncovered.

  3. About time the FDA & CPS took a leaf from the USA ICE Union, see link:-

    the background to this is from the following link:-

    it begs the question WTF is going on in the UK?

  4. All you need to know about Mapeley is that their property portfolio is highly leveraged and that one by one bits of its empire are going into administration

    For those who enjoy a good laugh it is well worth reading Jim Cousins grilling of HMRC's Messrs Tullet,Burt and King before the Treasury Select Committee in 2008. This was the exchange about the risk of a Mapeley default to the HMRC estate

    25 JUNE 2008

    Q80 Jim Cousins: What do you now know about what would happen if Mapeley did go into default, did go into receivership, did go bust, because that is clearly an issue which you have considered? What would happen?

    Mr King: What would happen is the same as was the position at the start of the contract, in that were Mapeley to go into receivership obviously our interest is in protecting our offices and our staff, so we have rights of occupation, we have rights to -

    Q81 Jim Cousins: What rights of occupation do you have? What is the term of them?

    Mr King: I am not sure. I will have to come back to you on that.[15]

  5. Rights of occupation is one thing, but would HMRC be forced into paying an already (in theory) contracted compensatory amount in order to ensure continued occupation?

    Sell at reduced and then subsidised figure, pay extortionate fees for little service and then buy back at what amount.

    Begs the question where does the real ownership of the buildings lay and was it all smoke and mirrors again?

    As George W Bush said “There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.”


  6. So the PAC didn't get fooled again and has finally stated the obvious about the "infiltration" of global accountancy/financial private sector players embedding into the public sector.
    Wonder what on earth prompted that?

  7. 07:41

    Is this what you were referring to?

    If so, well done to Margaret & Co!

  8. Well that has well and truly blown the lid off this cesspit and it probably won't fit back on again as its in tatters now after this.
    Time for a no-holds barred look into HMRC, there would appear to be a lot waiting to be uncovered in there.
    Where though lies the true problem, is it chickenshit management in HMRC or higher up the greasy pole? Likely a combination of both with HMRC managers facilitating what goes on!
    And people still wonder why the staff feel so disengaged or stressed - wake up out there.