With more and more local people receiving unexpected tax demands as the UK Government seeks to claw-in every penny, Labour MP Katy Clark has hit out at the time it takes to get through to tax offices on the telephone.
Many people are finding mistakes in the amounts demanded by tax officials, but when they call the phone-lines of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) the call can go unanswered for more than five minutes. Figures released by the UK Treasury show the time taken by HMRC staff to answer calls has almost trebled over the last two years, with the average wait now exceeding five minutes. The new figures also reveal that 1-in-4 callers hang-up before getting through to discuss their concern.
Katy Clark told the3towns, “The figures released by the Government indicate that the length of time individuals trying to contact HMRC are having to wait before their call is answered is unacceptably high. At a time when the Government is cutting the budget of HMRC by around 16.5 per cent, and staff numbers by up to 10,000, it appears this is having a visible impact on the service provided to taxpayers.”
The MP for North Ayrshire & Arran concluded, “HMRC play a vital role in collecting tax and advising those experiencing difficulties with their tax affairs. It is essential that it is properly resourced.
“The UK Government should see the impact their cuts are having and bring a halt to them immediately.”