Tuesday 29 May 2018 / 10:01 PM HMRC / Peter Dowd

1 in 10 people calling HMRC over the past year have been left waiting longer than 10 minutes to speak to staff

  • Statistics from HMRC’s monthly performance reports have shown falling standards over the last year (Feb 2017-Feb 2018) as the Government’s cuts to HMRC resources and staff continue.
  • Since 2010 the Government has cut HMRC staffing and resource levels by 17%.
  • The number of complaints HMRC receives has increased on average by 623 a month.
  • Customer satisfaction on HMRC’s online digital services has fallen below HMRC’s 80% target, averaging at 78% for the year.
  • The time it takes for HMRC to answer customer phone calls has increased on average by a minute since February 2017.
  • 14% of customers waited on average more than ten minutes to speak to HMRC staff.
  • The percentage of phone calls HMRC staff have answered has fallen by 4.5% from 94% in February 2017 to 89.5% in February 2018.

Peter Dowd MP, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, commenting on HMRC’s falling performance targets, said:

“If people call up to pay their taxes they should be able to get through, and given that the deficit still hasn’t been eliminated you would think this would be a top priority for the Chancellor. Instead it appears that taxpayers are being made to pay the price of Tory mismanagement and underfunding of HMRC.

“HMRC’s falling performance is further evidence of this Conservative Government’s disastrous and misguided programme of cuts. It’s clear the chronic under-staffing and under-resourcing of HMRC over the last eight years is having real consequences on the effectiveness of our tax system and people’s ability to access the financial help and tax expertise they need.

“Labour is committed to a fully funded and resourced HMRC. The next Labour Government will reverse the Conservatives’ cuts, restore HMRC staffing and create a specialised tax enforcement unit to scrutinise the tax affairs of High Net Worth individuals.”