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Bonus time

Mar 7, 2008, 05:10 AM
Authors : Richard
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Post date : Mar 7, 2008, 05:10 AM
News this morning that in its report, Administration and expenditure of the Chancellor's departments, the House of Commons' Treasury Select Committee appeared to be distinctly unimpressed by the bonuses paid to HMRC staff.
‘Completely unjustified’ was the phrase used as the Committee learned that the bonuses went up by an average of 60%.
These were in respect of a year of rising complaints (will they ever fall?) about tax credits and missed VAT processing targets, and it will be interesting to see what the bonus levels will be for the current year.
Coincidentally, the Committee also noted that staff costs were rising (by 1.1%) while staff numbers were falling (by 4.8%) and there was also concern that the number of ‘other staff’ (contractors and consultants) had actually risen by 9% and that spending on this category had risen by 25%.
In reply, the Financial Secretary defended HMRC staff, stating that the department had ‘some absolutely superb staff working for it. Quite clearly there are areas where their performance needs to improve, but
… they have some staff who are very deserving indeed of the bonuses that they have been paid’.
The Committee seemed unconvinced and asked the Government to explain why, in a year of poor performance and ongoing headcount reductions, senior Civil Service grade staff have received on average a 60% increase in their bonus payments.
While the bonuses - averaging around £7,727 - are small in comparison to the amounts that we hear of in the City, and that they are based on a previous year, this news is unlikely to go down well with the taxpaying public in the light of data losses and online filing system failures.

For more on this story, visit Taxation's Stop the Staff Cuts site.
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