Pity the poor taxman – his working life isn't full of happy returns

It seems an unlikely thing to say: but spare a thought for the taxman. Not only has the profession been despised since the time of Jesus, but Government research has now found that the practitioners are also the most miserable servants of the state.

Nine out of 10 of Britain's taxmen and women disagree with the statement that Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs is a good place to work – the lowest score of any government department.

Even more worryingly, more than 7,000 said that they had been bullied or harassed during the previous 12 months. One-quarter of the workforce wants to leave within a year.

Only 12 per cent said that they thought HMRC was well-managed, while 91 per cent of staff thought that recent changes in the department had not been for the better.

Details of the collapsing morale are contained in an analysis of more than 51,000 confidential staff questionnaires, which were filled in over the autumn, and come at the end of a turbulent time for HMRC.

Senior management came under widespread criticism in September when they admitted that nearly six million people had been charged the wrong amount of tax.

Nearly 1.5 million were told they owed an average of £1,428, amounting to about £2bn, while a further 4.3 million people were told they would get a rebate, because they have been charged too much.

At the same time, around 20,000 HMRC jobs have been cut as part of recent Government efficiency drives and 200 offices have been closed.

All this has clearly taken its toll on staff. Overall "engagement" (the term used to describe morale) was just 34 per cent – 23 per cent lower than average across the civil service, and 3 per cent less than last year.

Only 14 per cent of staff felt that HMRC inspired them to do the best in their jobs, while 12 per cent thought the department was managed well. Interestingly, most staff were positive about the work they did – if not the people they were working for: 72 per cent said they were interested in their work and half said it gave them a sense of personal accomplishment.

Unions said the results should be a wake up call for ministers – given the importance of the organisation in tackling the deficit.

The results of the civil service people survey, covering nearly 325,000 staff, were published earlier this month with a response rate of 62 per cent.

It was the second time such a survey had been carried out and revealed a much higher level of morale.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
tech

Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff
tv

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Arts and Entertainment
tv

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
Life and Style
i100

Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Network Infrastructure Technical Lead - up to £45k DOE - Surrey

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Year 2 Teacher

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Ye...

Technical Architect - Surrey - £35k-£45k DOE - Permanent

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Year 3 Teachers needed for supply roles

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Ye...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week