Tuesday 20 December 2011

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs for You Little People, and Dirty Deals for the Big Boys

I was just heading to bed when I noticed this story in the Telegraph.

It appears that, at this time when the country is desperate for cash, when everything is being cut, people are losing jobs and sick and old people are being denied services they paid for and expected, the Revenue (Her Majesty's), which we thought to be rather inefficient and disorganised, disenchanting and disillusioned, in fact a bit lame, is actually crashingly dishonest. It has been doing deals with large companies, which have seen them excused from paying billions in tax.

Last year, millions of us were sent notices demanding tax which, entirely by the fault of the Revenue, had not been collected in previous years; some others were lucky enough to receive rebates, because the HMRC had been taking money from them when it shouldn't have been. 

I had personally phoned and phoned to get something done about my tax, and every time I spoke to a different person in a call centre promised that action would be taken. It never was, of course. In the end I gave up because there are only so many years in my life and I'm not going to spend them in fruitless, expensive, frustrating calls to HMRC.

So now Margaret Hodge, no less, has said that there is £25 billion of tax outstanding from the biggest companies. £25 billion!!! That's almost the Scottish Government's budget. 

Hodge is concerned, rightly, that big companies are treated more favourably than ordinary tax payers. In Britain? The bastion of fairness, of justice and equality?  No, surely not?

Well yes, and what is even more disgusting is that HMCR won't tell the Commons Accounts Committee before which they were summoned, who owes what. Companies involved include Vodafone and ...wait for it, Goldman Sachs. Surely the byword for all that is evil in business. 

So this government committee had to depend on the testimony of a whistle blower for the estimate. 

I won't précis the whole story, this post is linked to the article in the Telegraph.  But I will say that there's a pattern emerging here. In the last few years we have been told (and seen for ourselves) that the Home Office in London is completely out of control and "not fit for purpose". Actually it's not fit for anything. Remember this "great department of state" while responsible for immigration, was actually employing illegal immigrants... Yep!

The Ministry of Defence's attitude to purchasing equipment reminds me of my attitude to buying crisps.  It spends billions like I would spend 50p on a packet of of pickled onion only to discover that they were bouffing and dump them. An organisation that was buying light bulbs at £22, when any fool can get the same ones for 65p in the 99p shop, is hardly one that you would want to trust with the life of your brother or son out there at the sharp end.

The Revenue (which is due to be taking over the payment of some benefits from 2013) seems to have joined the band of London government departments which couldn't run a booze up in a distillery.

Serious suggestion to Osborne. Get it sorted tout de suite matey. Tell these cheats and thieves that we want our money and we want it now before you are downgraded to "junk", which is what you are.

No wonder they didn't want the EU rules and regulations in the affairs of London. It is as bent and corrupt as anywhere in the world. 

Something rotten in the state of England, I fear.

(* Click on cartoon to enlarge.)

(I'll apologise in advance for any mistakes. This was a rushed job! I'll correct it tomorrow.)


  1. It seems that HMRC are a law unto themselves but to be fair Private Eye flagged this up long before the Telegraph..so credit where its due!

  2. I have said for a while now that the government misspending was a hoax generated by senior civil service to hide the fact that they have been ripping off the taxpayers for generations. It is not the MPs who decide which commercial interest gets what from the treasury but, rather the civil servants; the mandarins of the civil service to be more exact. While they allowed the MPs to rip off the taxpayers for millions the civil servants have been ripping us off for billions and there is nothing we can do about it as the people we put in to look after our interests are too busy [even now] with their snouts embedded deeply in the trough. I have been trying for years to get a list of previous Mandarins' who, upon retirement from the Civil Service, have taken up 'advisory' posts with the same companies that they had allowed to escape their fair tax dues when they, the Mandarins, were in charge of those budgets; no such luck.
    There is only ONE way in which we can stop this blatant rip off, and that is through independence.

  3. Indeed it did Munguin and my apologies to Mr Hislop and his team. Margaret Hodge mentioned them this morning in her radio interview.

  4. Gedguy:

    It's the civil service, or as you say the management of the civil service, that really runs the country. The ministers may steer the direction of travel, but most are too inexperienced, and some too thick, to REALLY know what they are doing, and usually are moved on before they really have a handle on the job. I guess there's a bit of "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours about the fiddling.

    I just hope that independence would mean that the crookedness would be left behind, but it occurs to me that there are plenty of crooked Scots!

  5. The ONLY reason Cumerbunged stood up to the F.EU was the imminent attack on the 'CITY', now how exactly was it any of the governments business, or the EU's I thought the 'City' was an independent state like the Vatican and DC...the rot goes so deeply into the upper classes/uber rich through the portals of the 'City' that it makes a mockery of our so called 'parliament...it is the 'Crown' that is the 'City' and they will never relinquish their 'perks', it is the proverbial 'tail that wags the dog'...for the general public to think Camermong is 'fighting for them' is laughable. The public acclaim would soon turn to bile if they 'knew' what the 'City' really is and does, for it is the 'City' that is truly in charge of overburdening us all with financial woes, from taxes to bailouts those F..ers are untouchable!

  6. It's not an independent state, nominedeus. It is a sui generis city, unique of its kind. It certainly has its own flag, which is the English flag with a sword of some sort in the top left quarter.

    Although it has certain privileges that other places don't (all cities have privileges granted by the crown), it doesn't have independence. It's taxes are paid to the UK/English government, and it is subject to UK law, with some exceptions for ceremonial purposes.

    It has the type of local government that was usual in the 17th century. It seems to me that there is much that is different from the rest of England, but it also seems that this is a matter of the city (which has always been important to England's finance) being allowed to keep things the ways they always were...tradition...while the rest of England changed around it.

    It has its own police force, and Fire Service, again the Lord Mayor and the aldermen holding on to privilege that other cities have forgone.

    The impression of a "border" has been given by the ring of steel which was set up to counteract the Irish terrorist threat and remains in place because of al-Qaeda threats.

  7. It seems though, that they are untouchable, but not in law. It''s just that no one wants to upset them. The Tories because they are their mates; Labour because they wanted to out-Tory the Tories when it came to creeping to big business.

    Camermutt has said that all companies will be made to pay up, trust him... Yeah, I'd trust Kim Ill-Un before I'd trust him.

  8. I did read somewhere that the City only takes council tax from 9 buildings as the rest are offshore in la la land.

    Diane Abbott: The Games that lost touch with reality

    As a Hackney resident and a Hackney MP, I take a close personal interest in the 2012 Olympics. In fact, if you sit in the living room of one of my best friends in the borough, you can see the Olympic Park soaring skyward. Yet, for all the positive impact the Games have had on our lives, they might as well be happening on another planet. There have been so many disappointments. And, as they draw nearer, so many things about them seem disturbing, if not bizarre.

  9. I sit corrected tris thank you!

  10. You are very welcome Nom... I hope you're sitting comfortably... :) (I got it all from Wiki... I'm not THAT clever... nearly, but not quite!!

  11. Oooohhhh yes thanks it is a very comfortable executive padded leather semi reclining, 360 degree revolving chair...so deffo tolerably comfy...you may know now why I just 'couldn't' force myself to 'stand corrected'

  12. If you can afford all that, chances are you owe Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs some money.... Beware!