Friday 24 May 2024

Bug Off! - The Unresolved Bedbug Infestation at HMRC



It's a story that has been crawling around for almost two years now. A tale of an infestation that has not only plagued the premises of the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) office in Brooke Lawrance House, Ipswich, but also the peace of mind of its employees. 

The culprit? 

Bedbugs.

The Persistent Pests

Despite numerous attempts to eradicate the issue, including chemical treatments, steam cleans, and even the employment of sniffer dogs, the bedbug problem remains unresolved. The situation is so dire that the building, which houses more than 500 staff members, has been on the market for £15 million.

The Impact on Employees

The impact of this issue extends far beyond the physical discomfort of the employees. It has instilled a sense of fear and anxiety among the staff. Some employees have chosen to work from home, worried about the possibility of carrying these pests back to their homes. This concern is particularly heightened for those caring for elderly relatives or children.

 HMRC's Response: A Mere Lip Service?

While HMRC maintains that the health and safety of its employees is its "top priority", the reality seems to paint a different picture. Despite the ongoing issue, HMRC claims that no bedbug sightings have been reported since the start of the year. However, the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) contradicts this claim, stating that the presence of bedbugs was identified as recently as January.

The Need for Accountability

The situation calls for more than just repeated assurances of employee safety. It demands accountability and effective action. The HMRC needs to acknowledge the severity of the issue and take immediate, effective measures to ensure the well-being of its employees.

In conclusion, the unresolved bedbug issue at the HMRC office is a glaring example of negligence and lack of effective action. It's high time that HMRC steps up its efforts and prioritizes the health and safety of its employees over mere lip service. After all, a healthy work environment is not just about physical spaces, but also about ensuring peace of mind for its occupants.

Just out of idle curiosity, does anyone know how the hell the bugs got there in the first place?


Tax does have to be taxing.

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Wednesday 22 May 2024

HMRC's Costly Oversight: Work-from-Home Staff Lose £1 Million in Equipment


 

Introduction:

In a shocking revelation, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has suffered a significant financial blow due to the carelessness of its work-from-home staff. Over the past three years, thousands of mobile phones, laptops, and other electronic devices have gone missing, resulting in an estimated loss of £1 million. Let's delve into the details and dissect the implications of this costly oversight.

The Numbers Don't Lie:

Last year alone, HMRC staff lost around 10 mobile phones and two laptops every week. Over the three-year period, a staggering 1,670 mobile phones and 334 laptops vanished into thin air. Additionally, 10 USB computer memory devices disappeared, further contributing to the mounting losses.

Stolen Goods:

Not only were items lost, but theft also played a role. During the same timeframe, 95 phones were reported stolen, along with 562 laptops and one memory device. If we assume an average replacement cost of £500 per device, the total bill for lost phones and laptops reaches £1 million. And that's not all—the stolen electronic equipment adds another £330,000 to the tally. Considering that many phones and laptops cost well above these estimates, the actual financial impact could be even higher.

HMRC's Troubling Track Record:

These revelations come amidst a series of negative stories about HMRC's operations. Delays in handling telephone enquiries, payroll blunders leading to overpayments, and a drop in overall performance have plagued the tax office. MPs have criticized HMRC's work-from-home policies, which they believe have contributed to the decline in efficiency since the pandemic began.

Security Implications:

Beyond the financial losses, there are serious security implications. Lost or stolen equipment can compromise sensitive data. HMRC claims that all devices are locked with a codeword and can be remotely wiped of data. However, cyber security experts emphasise the importance of robust encryption and passcodes to prevent data breaches.

Conclusion:

HMRC must address this issue urgently. Whether it's improving security protocols, implementing stricter accountability measures, or reevaluating work-from-home policies, the tax office cannot afford to lose more ground. The cost of negligence is steep, and taxpayers deserve better.


Tax does have to be taxing.

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Thursday 16 May 2024

HMRC Spaffing Our Money Up The Wall Unchecked - DEI Must DIE!


 

As per Guido:

"HMRC admits it does “not ask that colleagues centrally report time spent engaging with Staff Diversity Networks”, so staff time spent on them remains untracked."

Tax does have to be taxing.

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HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Wednesday 15 May 2024

HMRC - 800 Years of Failure


In the annals of bureaucratic inefficiency, the HMRC (His Majesty's Revenue and Customs) has etched its name in bold, underlined letters. The recent report revealing the HMRC's shortcomings is not just disappointing, it's downright infuriating.

800 Years of Waiting: A Disgrace

Taxpayers have been left on hold for seven million hours in 2023-24 – the equivalent of 798 years. This is more than double the 3.2 million hours – or 365 years – they spent waiting for HMRC to pick up the phone in 2019-20.

This isn't just a statistic, it's a slap in the face of every hardworking individual who has ever had the misfortune of dealing with the HMRC. It's a testament to the HMRC's blatant disregard for the value of our time and the importance of our queries.

Value for Money? More Like a Black Hole

The HMRC's primary role is to manage public funds. But the report suggests that it's failing to deliver value for money. It's as if our hard-earned money disappears into a black hole, never to be seen again. This isn't just inefficient, it's unacceptable.

A Call to Arms

This isn't a time for gentle words and diplomatic language. It's a time for action. The HMRC needs to pull up its socks and address these issues head-on. We demand better customer service, shorter wait times, and a system that respects our contributions.

Conclusion

We, the taxpayers, are not cash cows to be milked dry. We deserve respect, efficiency, and transparency. The HMRC has failed us, and it's high time they faced the music.


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Tuesday 14 May 2024

Taxpayers' Money Spaffed Up The Wall on DEI - DEI Must DIE!


 

Further to my article yesterday about the cost of DEI in HMRC, the loyal reader who shared the FOI has provided the following update:

"there are network chairs for 

-Carers 

-Disability 

-Religion or Belief 

-LGBT+ 

-Race 

-Social Mobility 

Gender Each network has one chair (20%), 2 deputy chairs (20% each) and one regional lead for each of the 14 regions who each get 20%. 

So 17 people for each network each on 20%.

There are also people called menopause warriors, but it's not clear if they get official time. Same with Autism buddies."

That's up to £16K per person.

Our money being spaffed up the wall on this bollocks!

DEI must DIE!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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Monday 13 May 2024

Diversity Bollocks To Be Scrapped - DEI Must DIE!


 

Responding to reports that diversity roles in the civil service are set to be scrapped, Joanna Marchong, investigations campaigns manager of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

“Taxpayers will be thrilled that ministers are injecting some much needed common sense into Whitehall.

Creating whole teams devoted to EDI initiatives has been a disaster for the public sector, which has spent vast amounts of money and time on needless navel-gazing, as public services deteriorate.

Politicians should now crackdown on these redundant roles at all levels of government, not just in the civil service.”


By happenstance a loyal reader has sent me the response from HMRC to an FOI on the subject of Diversity Network Chairs. 

Each network chair is allowed to spend 20% of their full time employment in the role. Grades ranging from Higher Officer to Grade 6 are currently involved with these roles. Their full time pay ranges from £35K to £81K, as such the Chairs are costing up to £16K per person, based on 20%.

Taxpayers' money spaffed up against the wall!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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A Solar Protect policy will enable your accountant (your tax return agent) to:
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  • Attend any meeting with HMRC
  • Appeal to the First-tier Tribunal or Upper Tribunal
  • Having the security of knowing that fees will be met in full will enable your Accountant (your tax return agent) to defend your position robustly

Please click here for details.

HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Friday 10 May 2024

Useless Gobshites!


 

As per Guido:

"Later this month will see HMRC organising a “cross Civil Service discussion” to lament about the fourth anniversary of George Floyd’s death. 

Topics up for discussion at the session will include where Treasury pen-pushers were when they first heard the life-altering news."



Tax does have to be taxing.

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Having a Solar Protect Tax Investigation Insurance policy at your disposal means that should you be one of the many 1000's of businesses or individuals that are selected by HMRC each year to look into your tax affairs your own accountant (your tax return agent) can get on and defend you robustly.

You have the peace of mind knowing that your accountant's (your tax return agent) fees will be paid by the insurance without any Excess for you to find.

Tax Investigation Insurance is an insurance policy that will fully reimburse your accountant's (your tax return agent) fees up to £100,000 if you are subject to enquiry by or dispute with HMRC.

A Solar Protect policy will enable your accountant (your tax return agent) to:

  • Deal with any correspondence from HMRC
  • Attend any meeting with HMRC
  • Appeal to the First-tier Tribunal or Upper Tribunal
  • Having the security of knowing that fees will be met in full will enable your Accountant (your tax return agent) to defend your position robustly

Please click here for details.

HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"