Government needs to invest in HMRC, ARC tells Treasury Sub-Committee

25 October 2012
(For immediate release)

While improvements are being made to the administration and effectiveness of HMRC more investment is still needed, said the Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC).

ARC President Gareth Hills, and former ARC President Graham Black, told the House of Commons Treasury Sub-Committee yesterday that morale and engagement are improving but staff retention is a concern, against a background of uncertainty and media attacks on public servants.

Hills and Black said that while they welcome the reinvestment of £917 million into HMRC, it is within the context of a £3 billion cut and that areas of the 'tax gap' - the difference between the amount of tax the government should collect and the amount of tax the Government actually collects - are still not being dealt with.

Hills said: "Tax planners continually devise more convoluted schemes, and those evading tax are becoming more determined to do so and cover their tracks.

"That's why ARC continues to argue that the Government needs to invest in HMRC, to ensure it has the necessary skilled, trained, developed cadre of senior professionals - properly equipped, and properly rewarded - to counter avoidance and evasion now and in the future."

Notes for editors

1. The Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC) is a union representing senior staff in HM Revenue and Customs, including tax inspectors, accountants, lawyers, managers and other leading professionals. ARC represents members in HMRC at grade 7 and above, and also trainees in grade 7 entry schemes. It is also a section of the FDA.

2. The FDA is the trade union and professional body representing 19,000 of the UK's senior civil and public servants. Our members include policy advisors, senior managers, tax inspectors, economists, statisticians, accountants, special advisers, government lawyers, diplomats, crown prosecutors and NHS managers.

3. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union".

4. ARC's evidence to the House of Commons Treasury Sub-Committee can be viewed at 5. For further information contact:

  • Gareth Hills, ARC President, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07870 592356.
  • Kay Hender, FDA Communications Officer, tel: 020 7401 5589 or 07980 700747.