and another thing

May 13, 2016

A correspondent reminds me that, not only is HMRC  haemorrhaging newly-trained (and expensively-trained) younger staff, it is also stiffing its older and more experienced staff too.

Here’s how it works.

HMRC declares that they will be setting up a new Regional Centre in Shinytown.  There will be three thousand staff, lots of exciting career development opportunities, a bright and glorious future…

….except you work in Grotsville.  It’s sixty-five miles away, but you could theoretically drive there in less than an hour, if everyone else didn’t have the same idea at the same time.  And you had a car.  What you actually have to do is walk twenty minutes to the station, take a two hour train ride and then a twenty minute bus ride plus a five minute walk.  And then the same in reverse.  Every day.

Well you could move house, yes, but HMRC won’t pay for it, and anyway the kids have exams.  So you could maybe work in Shinytown and live in Grotsville for a couple of years while the kids finish their exams and *then* move?  You can eat the five hours a day travel time, for a while, if you have to.  What you can’t eat is the six grand a year train and bus fares you’ll have to pay, not when your salary has stayed the same and your take home pay has actually gone down for the last couple of years.  I mean, you’re well paid compared to some people, but not as well paid as all that.  (Remember when MPs’ salaries used to be tied to yours?  You have to laugh, or you’d cry.)

But the last straw – and I mean the last straw, the one that actually broke you – is this.  You’re not being offered a job in Shinytown at all.  No, HMRC is recruiting – something like 9000 shiny new staff to sit in its shiny new offices, with no background or history in how taxes work or the department’s history and ethics and all that canteen culture stuff.  No.  Shinytown will be opening next year whatever.  Grotsville won’t shut till 2020.  Until then, you’re stuck.  Oh, yes, didn’t we say, you can apply for a job in Shinytown and, if you get it, travel at your own expense to the land of career development opportunity.  Or you can stay in Grotsville till it rots, till the last moment when the doors are about to be shut, at which point you’ll be “redeployed” to Shinytown.  If there are any vacancies…

Remember that Dilbert cartoon about how it turns out employees *aren’t* our most valuable asset after all? I couldn’t afford the fee to reproduce it, but here’s the link to look at it for yourself http://dilbert.com/strip/1993-03-03

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