Salary gap presents risk to Government efforts to close tax gap, says ARC

20 October 2014
(For immediate release)

The Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC) has called on the Chancellor, in his Autumn Statement, to address the significant and growing pay disparity between senior managers and professionals working in HMRC and their private sector counterparts.

ARC's proposal is included in its Autumn Statement submission to HM Treasury and can be read here.

Between 2010/2011 and 2013/14 HMRC has collected £74.2bn of additional tax through compliance work led by ARC members.

This is despite the fact that 2012 Government figures showed that on average private sector tax experts earn up to 65% more than their HMRC counterparts and the gap continues to widen.

A survey of ARC members from earlier this year also showed that almost two thirds (65%) were inclined to look outside of the civil service for a new role and a worrying 88% said that pay was the major issue affecting their morale and motivation.

ARC President Tony Wallace said:

"Every professional who leaves HMRC increases the capability of the private sector creating a double whammy.

"The situation is likely to get worse as the private sector seeks experienced tax staff to help them adapt to new requirements aimed at securing the UK's Corporation Tax base.

"The country simply cannot afford to see such experts leave and transfer their skills to the private sector.

"The gap in salary levels now presents a real and growing risk and if the Chancellor is serious in his efforts to tackle avoidance then he has to address that risk as a matter of real urgency.

"ARC urges the Chancellor to address this issue before more HMRC staff are lost to the private sector."

Notes for editors

  1. The Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC) represents senior staff in HM Revenue and Customs, including tax inspectors, accountants, lawyers, managers and other leading professionals. ARC represents around 2400 members in HMRC at grade 7 and above and trainees in grade 7 entry schemes. ARC is also a section of the FDA.
  2. The FDA is the trade union and professional body representing 18,000 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 can be described as "the senior public servants' union" and should be referred to simply as "The FDA".
  4. For further information contact:
  • Tony Wallace, ARC President, tel: 020 7401 5555.
  • Katie Lazell, Communications Officer, tel: 020 7401 5588 or 07939 257985.