The group claims to have 324 members and have named themselves ‘Dissent’. It is thought that the group of tax office rebels began to form after it became public knowledge that Permanent Secretary for Tax, Dave Hartnett, had signed a deal that let investment bank Goldman Sachs off with £10m pound in tax. The dissent says that the group is prominent in offices throughout the UK and that they are ‘tired of the corruption, ineptitude and mismanagement from within the department in recent years’. News of a rebel group will be a second blow to the Revenue following a report published on the 5th of December 2011 by chartered accountants UHY Hacker Young that says ‘continuing low levels of staff morale at HMRC is affecting the level of service tax payers receive’.
The report claims that a new HMRC staff survey reveals that ‘just 13% of HMRC employees felt that when changes are made at HMRC they are usually for the better and only 17% of HMRC staff had confidence in the decisions made by senior managers’.
Other figures in the report conclude that:
Tax Partner at UHY Hacker Young’s London office, Roy Maugham, said:
“The sense of disillusionment present in HMRC is clear to see; the worry is that it seems to be affecting customer service.
“It is of great concern that when there is a problem with staff performance, which may impact the service HMRC provides, roughly two out of three employees feel that HMRC is not going to tackle that problem effectively.”
Dissent is in contact with the Daily Mail and has spoken of the rebel groups objectives:
“We wish to speak out against the bad practice and double standards that operate in Revenue and Customs. We wish for a fair tax system that does not reward the wealthy elite and big business.”
When asked if they were aware of Dissent a spokesperson for HMRC said that:
“HMRC is proud to be an open organisation which welcomes and encourages the views of all our staff.”
HMRC stated that criticising letters were ‘unnecessary and irrelevant’ and that ‘well defined procedures’ were already in place if staff wished to ‘report and genuine grievances’.
Kevin Kinsella Jnr, of KinsellaTax, said:
“There have been murmurs of discontent for some considerable time amongst HMRC staff. The problem is how one steadies the ship as the problems grow amongst staff. For all the different schemes put forward by HMRC to attract self disclosures, none have proven to be successful.
“The LDF scheme was estimated to attract 3bn pounds but only 144 million has been recovered, not the success that HMRC trumpeted from day one. Staff continues to be criticised and morale dips lower. Something must be done to lift the depression amongst HMRC staff.”
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