Saturday, August 17, 2013

It's only money...

If at work I have out of pocket expenses, I claim these back from my employer, however what I consider an out of pocket expense does not seem to be the same thing as what a government employee (at the higher levels) considers due to them from their position...
Britain's most senior civil servants are having part of their tax bills paid using public money in an arrangement that leaves them tens of thousands of pounds better off every year.
Whitehall departments are picking up the tax bills for perks such as official cars, first-class rail travel and rent-free accommodation.
The arrangements, which were described by tax advisers as “highly unusual”, were made between government departments and the taxman as part of a deal agreed more than a decade ago. The effect of the deal is to increase the value of officials’ pay packages by up to £30,000 a year at the expense of taxpayers. Those who benefited from the scheme include Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary; Sir David Nicholson, the head of NHS England; and Phillippa Williamson, the former head of the Serious Fraud Office. Richard Bacon, a Conservative member of the public accounts committee, said he was “concerned” that officials are being given tax-free benefits while members of the public have to pay the taxman for theirs.
Ok, rail travel, you get a second class ticket, you want first class, the cost of upgrading comes from your pocket, not mine.
Rent free accommodation?  No how, no way, you get the equivalent of a decent hotel if you're away from home on business, you want better, you pay for an upgrade yourself. You do not live rent free at my expense.
You want a car? You pay for it as I did with a company car through taxation, you don't drive around free at my expense.
The problem is that senior civil servants believe they have an entitlement to the things that the head of a private corporate head has, whilst forgetting that the corporate head derives his perks from the companies profits. I have yet to discover a government dept that makes money, rather than one who constantly bleats for more money from my pockets.
There really ought to be a crackdown on 'perks' at the higher levels, they get paid enough as it is and often move onto nice little well paid sinecures when they do eventually move on.
Problem there is that those chosen to do such a cull are part of the system itself so it all becomes self defeating.
Perhaps we should simply sack the lot of them and begin from scratch.

5 annotations:

Anonymous said...

Richard Bacon is my MP, and is often "concerned" at such matters, sitting as he does on the Public Accounts committee, sadly that's about as far as anything goes in relation to doing anything, being "concerned".

Bill said...

Perhaps we should simply sack the lot of them and begin from scratch.

No perhaps about it...

MTG said...

I sometimes wonder what happened to student outrage. However we, the 'other folk' seem content to do very little.

Such chronic apathy provides a fertile bed on which corruption may brazenly flourish and swallow up all available resources.

DerekP said...

Being in top civil service positions they are responsible for the proper use of public money.

If they have been dipping their hands into public funds or using resources without it being an absolute necessity of their job, so they have in effect benefitted, then the tax liabilty is all theirs, not ours, and it would appear possible their behaviour is criminal use of their office.

Any collusion between top civil servants, with the Inland Revenue for instance, cannot justify or excuse this practice, it simply makes it organised, deliberate and widespread.

I can only think they must have some leverage, some information on truly horrific behaviour by our political 'elite'.

Anonymous said...

The only government dept to make a profit is The Land Registry!