So says Lin Homer, at every possible opportunity, especially in the face of staff and the union pointing out that it’s an ineffective and highly discriminatory system. But while the cynics may have argued that the reason it was “here to stay” was because Homer was blindly parroting Tory ideology while abetting their attacks on civil servants, we know now that they were wrong.
It’s also here to stay because she gets a hefty bonus out of the whole rotten charade.
Homer received a salary of £185,000 for heading up HMRC. I won’t use the word ‘earn’ because, frankly, it’s the wrong word. The people earning her salary are those of us at the coal face, slogging away to collect tax, administer tax credits, answer calls and letters, and generally keep the department running day to day. Like all of her peers in the employing class, her income is entirely dredged from the labour of others.
The vast majority of those others, that is, us, will earn less than the bonus she has awarded herself. £20,000 for “very good performance,” as she told the Commons Public Accounts Committee. This alongside similarly fat wedges handed out to Jim Harra, Ruth Owen, Nick Lodge and Jennie Granger one rung below her.
So, one has to wonder, who are the ‘must improves’ among ExCom? Indeed, what does it take to get a must improve when, for completely devastating morale, for shedding staff to the point where we’re simply failing to answer calls and desperately scrambling to find people to help meet the tax credits deadline and for lying about the amount of extra revenue that the department brought in last year, this shower were given an exceed?
This is life at the top of the ladder. Unaccountable, unsackable, and rewarded for failure with bonuses that many of us can’t even get as a salary, while those of us who do the work face job cuts, overwork, stress, and being forever undervalued by our employer.
Little wonder that the vast majority of workers are behind PCS’s campaign for a properly resourced HMRC where staff are treated with dignity. More wonder that they haven’t resorted to pitchforks, flaming torches and guillotines yet.