Thursday, December 22, 2011

Two HMRC related analogies that made me smile

  1. If HMRC ran a café it would drag passers-by in from the street, force them to cook their own lunch, then fine them for overcooking the eggs. Two weeks later, it would dispatch a leaflet explaining that cooking eggs is easy! But doubling the fine.

  2. If you're a wily corporation, you can play this malign incompetence to your advantage. If you are well-meaning but don't have a degree in fiscal management, never mind funds for an accountant, then you must make endless angst-ridden calls to Patricia in the HMRC office in Pyongyang. I don't know if you've ever tried phoning Patricia, but when she does pick up, she's rarely pleased to hear from you. Having read the new report from the Public Accounts Committee about HMRC's "systemic failures", however, I'm going to ask Patricia out to lunch, order the lobster, then whisper over the petits fours: how about we call it quits? Or perhaps she might view me more favourably if instead of owing a three-figure sum, I owed eight figures.
The above both formed part of Richard Godwin's Comment piece in The London Evening Standard on 21 December 2011.
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