back to article HMRC blows £1.4m on two-word slogan

Her Maj's Revenue and Customs apparently blew nearly £1.4m in 2006 while brainstorming its way to a new slogan which simply reads "HMRC Ambition". According to the Evening Standard, three rebranding meetings were required to come up with the inspirational rebrand, during which HMRC's top brains rejected a "pink and fluffy" …

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  1. Mark

    "HMRC spokesman offered"

    Hmm, how does making the brand name "HMRC Ambition" help improve the quality of the leadership?

    The statement the spokesman offered isn't wrong, it's just that it has no bearing on what the spokesman was supposed to be talking about.

  2. 4a$$Monkey
    Thumb Down

    How?

    How can you spend £1.4m on three meetings?

    I can only assume the cost included changes to stationary etc???

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And still more...

    ...of MY hard-earned money pissed away on absolute crap. It makes you want to crawl into a corner and cry, then emigrate.

    Oh, I forgot.

    I am.

  4. Cris Page
    Stop

    Rebate please!

    FFS! This is the problem with the ego trippy ideals that exist in the UK today. Its a revenue agency - its function is laid out in law, its NOT a business, it doesnt need this corporate B/S. It has a statute function, it is NOT in a competitive market - if the Gov't want to improve the "image" of HMRC, how about cutting out waste like this so they can lower our taxes - or put the funds saved to better use?

    This is as pathetic as calling the public it deals with "customers" - we are not... Customers have a choice - we dont get to choose if we want to deal with this entity. Of course this ego stroking was funded out of taxes extorted from the British public.

    This is another waste, and those responsible should be sacked, and barred from further work in the public sector.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @4a$$Monkey

    HA!

    you wish,

    no seriously, i can belive it, i work in a position where i can see first hand what goes on, (hence the annonimity)

    3 meetings, as its labled as "brainstorming" your looking at 100+ people to each one, (i've seen it happen its a massive jolly) then you have conferance facilitys, catering travel expenses and factor in the time cost for everone there,

    4k ish for each person sounds about right

  6. Phantom Wibbler

    Leadership

    If you improve the quality and leadership in the department it benefits everyone

    Can't argue with that. However, pissing 1.4 million down the drains like this shows how absolutley bereft of leadership they are.

    Can we have a recolution please?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Get yer rounding right...

    At 1 decimal place, your headline should be £1.3m.

    However, this is yet another example of our money being pissed away by the government. I work in public sector as a consultant and the wastes of money are extraordinary.

    Oh well...

  8. Alistair

    Two-word slogan

    I have a choice two-word slogan that I'd like to tell HMR&C, but I'm too scared.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ambition?

    One has to wonder what the ambition of HMRC actually is. Answers on a sixteen-page postcard, please, remembering only to fill in sections 3, 7 and 12 if you're claiming benefits, registered blind or have answered 'yes' to any questions in section 1 but not answered 'no' to all questions which appear in section 43 but not in section 8, or you have a lisp.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think you're all missing the point.

    The brand refers to what HMRC are going to brand on your butts so that they know you belong to their herd. Are should that be flock, do they brand sheep?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Slogan

    Should have been 'HMRC, where did I put those disks", lots more words for 1.4 million

  12. Andrew Davenport
    Unhappy

    Have they lost it?!

    Once again we see government bodies wasting our hard earned cash for which we already pay too much tax, it seems the harder you work and the more you succeed the more screwed you get for it and then something like this pops up!

    Well how about investing money so you dont lose my $*$*$*$ tax returns in the first place, i have been hit with 4 penalties so far even though i can prove it was delivered, bastards!

    I think also the blame should be split to the people who get off on charging public sector this kind of money, hey look, its a public sector job, lets quadruple our prices!

    Its about time the government were forced to undergo an audit and release statutory annual accounts like the rest of us, oh but no, because johnny taxpayer would realise where all the bloody money is going!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For £1.4M you'd also expect a Vision and a Mission Statement!

    How about:

    Mission Statement: "To tax the inhabitants of the United Kingdom"

    Vision: "To be the best UK organisation at taxing"

    Not hard, was it!

    (Please ask HMRC to send the fee direct to my Nigerian bank account...)

  14. Alex
    Thumb Up

    how about

    The Ministry of Savings

    or

    The Ministry of Security

    or

    The Ministry of Hope

    where do I claim my 1.4m and is it tax deductible?

  15. 3x2

    Two Words

    Missing Disks

    When will the bong smoke finally clear from the UK?

    China is busy building a sound industrial base and the west is still holding endless meetings to decide what colour to paint the wheel.

    It will end in tears

  16. AListair

    it could be worse

    I mean "HMRC Ambitions" is really a 5 word slogan, thats only £280,000 per word.

  17. Tony Barnes

    How much?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

    Where do you sign up to run these flamboyant affairs?

    What a complete and utter piss joke - I could have "brainstormed" them that idea in the matter of 5 minutes, whilst taking a dump. In fact, I could probably of come up with a better one - re-brand altogether to HMBOFT - Her Majesty's Bunch Of Fucking Thieves.

    That much money is admittedly bugger all per person in the country - but if you don't watch your pennies, the pounds will never follow.

    Bunch of idiots.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Two Slogan Suggestions

    "Bend over (smiling is optional)"

    "All your Cash belong to us"

    Mine the one with all the undeclared receipts poking out of the pockets

  19. Guy Herbert

    Par for the course

    @ Mark

    Which is precisely the function of spokesmen for all government agencies: change the subject, while implying that this is the same as answering the question. It's a skill.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    brainstorming??

    Surely in these PC times the "brainstorming" sessions would have really been "thought showers"

    Mine's the one with the fivers sewn into the lining

  21. frank denton

    @ Chris W

    Chris,

    Sheep could only be branded after they have been fleeced.

    Oh...., right,..... suddenly I feel cold.

  22. Alan Potter
    Unhappy

    I really tried hard to come up with a witty reposte...

    ...to all the anti-HMRC comments made here, but I failed miserably. Even if you allow for the Daily Mail/Evening Standard hyperbole, there is still a shitload of money wasted somewhere, and I don't understand why. Well, no, I do understand why; but... no, words fail me.

    I've worked for a major bank that spent 3 hours in a conference with 25 people attending, trying to decide whether a minor software release should be called "Release 1.4" or "Release 2" or "Post release 1.3" or "Pre-release 2". I also have a friend who works for a major Transport for London group in London (As a consultant, I never mention client names), who says that even for a minor software change they have to fill in a form of some kind which indicates the likely impact that change will make. The questions include ones on disability and racial issues. "So - I'm extending this field to have 2 decimal places. How will that affect the Nigerians?" - Sorry, poor analogy there, probably...

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Dutch slogan

    I've always thought the Dutch inland revenue slogan was quite good: "Leuker kunnen we het je niet maken wel makkelijker! "

    Which translates (very roughly) as: "We can't make it any nicer, but we can make it easier!"

  24. Mark Rendle
    Flame

    Drop in the ocean

    Maybe they figure since they're gambling £100 billion of our money on bailing out Northern Wreck we won't bat an eyelid at spending £1.4 million to only get 50 pages into a dictionary.

  25. tardigrade
    Flame

    Jethrow fetch me moy shotgun!

    As my late Grandfather used to say, "What a shower of Shit."

    £1.4m for the word Ambition!

    Ambition for what?

    Ambition to cock drop every man, woman and child in the country?

    I tell you what I'll sell them the whole phrase, "Their is nowhere to hide." for only £500k. It's specific, accurate and encompasses the entire mentality of HMRC. It also represents a huge saving for the taxpayer.

    Oh and I love that phrase, "The Tax Payer."

    It desensitises it. Like it means only a select part of the population and therefore not necessarily you.

    Hrummpfff!!!

  26. DAN*tastik
    Paris Hilton

    Holidays for their temps?

    Maybe they are have decided that their most junior temps deserve a holiday and they are sending them, together with bundles of unencrypted data CD's, on a world tour and they are rebranding themselves accordingly?

    Paris Rocks

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    @ tardigrade

    he he - cock drop

  28. Steve Sutton
    Coat

    de dum de dum

    Right, let's put an end to all this slogan nonsense now, with a public campaign.

    The Register

    "IT workers against terrible slogans"

    (unfortunate acronym for the slogan though - iTwats)

    Coat? Never even took it off!

  29. Hugh_Pym
    Jobs Halo

    Jobs

    my wife just left her job at the HMRC because of the re organisations required to get rid of the x,000 employees required by the government. The constant cost cutting, staff cutting and being told her jobs is moving to a different city every other week and general lack of any visible management eventually became too much of a joke.

    On another note. Three meetings, 1.3 million, over £400,000 a meeting, where did they hold them? On Concorde! or were there 1600 people each on a £250 a day in a travelodge!

    I choose Jobs because it is all about jobs.

  30. Simon Elliott
    Happy

    What about

    The Ministry of Pound

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    More slogans

    HMRC - We fucked up and you found out.

    HRC - Keeping track of everything better now.

    M

    HMRC - Must try harder.

    HMRC - Hopeless Maniacs' Resource Centre

    HMRC - Hidden Money, Random Charges.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Does the Buck really stop there??

    £1.4M seems like a good deal as surely it includes the rebranding of the website, the new signs outside the buildings and behind reception in all the offices, the change to the letterhead, the publicity campaign ( should that be spelt camPAIN??) and all those other unmentionable places this will have to be printed.

    It does, surely it does, tell me it does, please don't tell me it doesn't & that it only the tip of the iceberg

  33. Chris Rowson
    Coat

    You Can Do It When You HMRC It!

    They could have used the 'Advertising slogan generator'. http://www.thesurrealist.co.uk/slogan.cgi?word=HMRC

    Some of my preferred choices...

    * Stop! This HMRC is not Ready Yet!

    * Hands That Do Dishes Can Be Soft As Your HMRC.

    * You Can Do It When You HMRC It!

    Scary eh? Soon we'll all be replaced by computers! Mooowahahahahaha....

  34. dervheid
    Coat

    Taxing our Patience!

    Wish I hadn't said that now, as that'll probably be next. Or is that what they're already doing with this latest farce?

    Mine is the one with the reinforced pockets

  35. fred

    Wie bitte

    "If you improve the quality and leadership in the department it benefits everyone from people who claim tax credits to the Government."

    How do it do this?

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Re: Get yer rounding right...

    Come on now... you are in consulting. AND in the public sector no less. So you should know that if faced with a figure of £1.34 million, a consultant will NEVER round down, regardless of what math rules say. (S)He rounds up and pockets the difference.

    What kind of public sector consultant do you call yourself! Read David Craig's books to get a hint on what a public sector consultant SHOULD be like. :-)

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Resentment

    I just paid over £8k to HMRC for 6 months' tax and I resent this. How dare they take money from me on the pretext that it's for things that the country needs then piss it up the wall like this?!

    They go on trying to convince us that "tax avoidance" (the legal use of the Government's tax rules to minimise the tax I pay) is in some way wrong then go and do this. Why TF should I be honest and pay my taxes if this is what happens to the money?

  38. Christoph Silver badge

    Hardly news

    Parkinson pointed out years ago that a committee will spend little time on the important things that they don't understand, and hours on utter trivialities that are simple enough for them to cope with.

  39. Adam Foxton
    Alert

    @Tony Barnes

    You'd have to rename it to "Gordon Brown's" rather than "Her Majesty's"; Brown's screwed us for far longer than Her Majesty has been Queen for.

    I really wish she'd intervene sometimes and give Brown and the useless twats who work for him the slap round the chops he deserves...

    Warning logo cos my blood pressure's getting too high, and bank balance too low.

  40. Tom
    Alert

    Cardiff has done this as well

    It seems that Cardiff has spent £45K on some crappy logo, which is some circles with Cardiff and Caerdydd written on it.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/south_east/7250149.stm

    Theres tidy -isn't it!

  41. Anthony Zacharzewski

    Tax is fun!

    Whatever you think about this branding exercise, and frankly I couldn't care less, I'm tired of hearing that tax is theft. Even if you're the sort of libertarian nut who believes the poor should be allowed to die in gutters because it will do them good in the long run, you've still enjoyed years of state-funded healthcare, roads, defence, education, transport, environmental protection that enabled you to earn that money in the first place. So get over it.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @Alan Potter

    I've worked for a an IT Supplier who has the HMRC contract

    I too have spent 3 hours in a conference with 25 people attending, trying to decide whether a minor software release should be called "Release 1.4" or "Release 2" or "Post release 1.3" or "Pre-release 2".

    only it was a one-off .... it happened on every project!!

    spooky huh!

  43. Mark

    @Andrew Davenport

    There's actually a good reason for regressive taxes: the rich get more from the infrastructure.

    Think about it, without police, laws, courts and jails, you can only keep what you can defend. If you've a lot of money, you have a lot more to defend and it's a juicier target, meaning you need better protection than someone with a little.

    And that protection goes with a lot more clout with the police: will they listen to someone who has a large posh house and knows the Judge personally, or some dole scrounger?

    As for education, although the rich will use private, they either own or invest in businesses. And an educated worker is more productive, meaning higher profits or lower costs. So the owner gets a little from EACH educated employee, whereas the educated employee only gets from their education.

    Similarly with ambulance, hospitals and other services.

    What's wrong is that the more you earn, the more worthwhile it is to dodge taxes by employing an accountant. The poor don't pay much, the rich can afford to avoid it and the middle class get enough money to tax but not enough to make it worth dodging. And, because the rich avoid taxes, the tax rate or rate of regressive increase is increased to cover it.

    IMO, remove almost all of the tax law, all the breaks and fiddles. It means the poor and middle class lose out on the breaks, but they can't open loopholes that the rich can dodge. so, because they can't dodge it, the rich pay taxes and so the rates can be reduced, helping all payers.

    If you live here, you pay here. No Maldives residence or if you do, you're paying UK tax AND Maldives rates. Some will find out that having an income of £1.4M rather than £1.8M but saving £200k on your accountant and having no worries about being bagged by the revenue is not as bad as they thought. Others will leave, but since we weren't getting much out of them except demands on the UK resources, we haven't missed much.

  44. Dave Bennett
    Thumb Down

    @Anthony

    Anthony,

    You would have a good point, if you weren't an idiot.

    Do you understand the concept of state funding? Nobody is arguing that money is spent - that is obvious enough. We are pointing out that perhaps it shouldn't be spent in such quantities on such total and utter pointless lumps of skank-ridden shit.

    D

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    HMRC Ambition!! Lets celebrate it!!!

    I think that it is frankly discusting for so many commentators to imply that £1.4 million was a waste of money to spend on a new slogan and rebranding. HMRC revenue and customs works hard to guide customers and stakeholders through a maze of tax and regulations. A decent image, brand and slogan is crutial to maintaining loyalty to the UK tax system and ensuring that staff are connected to the values and asperations that we all share. This will have imeasurable benefits in ensuring staff retention, especially as there will be a below average wage increase for all the loyal civil servants who have toiled in the HMRC underground salt mines for so long.

    Given that the UK has some of the highest level of both direct and indirect taxation in the developed world £1.4 million on a new slogan is quite frankly a drop in the ocean for an organisation of its size. In fact, the revenue could spend 10 times this amount and still be able to cover the cost by improving tax collection or even through much needed increased taxation!

    In addition please don't forget the jobs that an excercise of this magnitude provides for the hard working media executives who toil on late night fact finding missions and brainstorming sessions to come up with slogans such as this. The contribution made to the 'knowledage economy' that is held in such high regard by so many other jealous countries cannot be underestimated.

    Lastly lets not forget the contribution made to the equally hard working PR event management and catering industry. All of these key workers worked hard to ensure that as these key decisions regarding branding were being made everyone had enough to eat and drink!

    As chairman of a media consultancy in London providing just these types of services to a number of government agencies I can ensure readers that it is jolly hard work and money well spent.

  46. Mathew White
    Paris Hilton

    Monkey Dust

    Doesn't it remind you of the marketing genius from the BBC cartoon Monkey Dust?

  47. Paul Donnelly
    Paris Hilton

    @Anonymous Coward celebrating HMRC Ambition...

    So what you're saying is that you're the Chairman of a media consultancy in London that has lucrative government contracts.....

    Paraphrased......"Its not a waste of money, I'm getting a good chunk of it"

    Your entire industry is based on leeching money from other companies, while delivering non-physical assets. Where is the physical value of a slogan, a brand, or a logo? In being recognised and therefore drawing people to a brand. UK Government does not need a recognised brand... it is a monopoly, and there is no alternative government to choose. Thus it is a waste of my money lining your fat cat pockets. No doubt you're quite chummy with some of those new Labour ministers eh?

    Paris because even she wouldnt come and call a bunch of us discusting for commenting on wasting public money (it's disgusting btw) and then admit she was getting paid from it.

    Mine's the coat thats mostly not there as it got taxed by the government.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    slogans

    didn't lennon and mccartney already come up with the best slogan for HMRC in their song 'taxman'?

    "you're working for no-one but me"

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    @HMRC Ambition!! Lets celebrate it!!!

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!! I laughed so hard that I actually fell off of my chair, such fantastic British sarcasm in a way that most people would never get.

    Or are you just an arrogant twat, the kind that makes so much money you can afford to spend £200,000 on an accountant and avoid paying a single penny on tax that the rest of us have to stump up for by paying ever increasing taxes.

    You're either a sarcastic bastard which every one hates or an arrogant twat that every one hates, your choice.

  50. Chris Sharp

    Does HMRC Ambition...

    ...sound to anyone else like the name of a ship?

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    HMRC Ambition!! Lets celebrate it!!!

    Mr Donnely: What you fail to understand is that we have a simbiotic relationship with a number of different governmnt organistations who rely on us for 'outside the box blue sky thinking'.

    £1.4 million may sound like a lot. But you have to take into account the number of different expenses that a firm like mine has to dollop out to procure these lucruitive contracts. After taking into account lap dancing expences, gorment meals, away days at major sports events (including overseas) you begin to get a picture of what we have to go through before we even get started on 'work'.

    Most governent employees that are tasked with the important jobs of picking a provider for services such as ours expect and deserve to be entertained away from the office in order to 'gain perspective' on the services available to them.

    Given the cost of even simple things such as proving taxis so that staff can sample a few simple nibbles at a mind expanding art show such as the one we hosted at Tate featuring work by Damien Hurst and you begin to get a picture of the lengths we have to go to.

    Leading consultancies that we work in conjunction with have put a value on the brands and ideas that we create on behalf of government at £100's of millions of pounds. I can assure you that it was not easy of cheap for us to secure these valuations and a lot of hard work went into thinking about how to quantify them to important stakeholders such as taxpayers.

    I hope this goes some way to allaying the fears that you may have that this type of work is 'waste and 'unproductive'.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: celebrating HMRC Ambition.

    'So what you're saying is that you're the Chairman of a media consultancy in London that has lucrative government contracts.....

    Paraphrased......"Its not a waste of money, I'm getting a good chunk of it"

    Your entire industry is based on leeching money from other companies, while delivering non-physical assets. Where is the physical value of a slogan, a brand, or a logo?'

    .

    I think the joke (Irony) from the poster went straight over your head there....:-)

    Read the post again sloooowly

  53. N Silver badge

    stunning value...

    £1.4 M for three meetings? the've cut things to the bone compared to the £55Billion of our cash to prop up a bank, or had it doubled last time I looked?

    useless wasters.

  54. Spleen

    Especially brilliant

    "If you improve the quality and leadership in the department it benefits everyone from people who claim tax credits to the Government."

    Notice that they can't even bring themselves to refer to "people who pay taxes", the individual citizen is represented as "people who claim tax credits". Tax credits are one of the defining scandals of NeoLabour - whereas a decent government (if such a thing wasn't a contradiction in terms) might cut taxes, NeoLabour gives tax credits. In other words, it takes just as much of your salary (in fact, more, this being Labour) at effective gunpoint, but then it gives you some of YOUR MONEY back - and has the nerve to act as if this is generosity!

    Why am I focusing on this admittedly trivial choice of words? Because the stupidity of the whole £700k-per-word thing has been adequately covered above. All governments waste their spare change on paying consultants for useless shit like this - it's simple scaling. Whereas in a local protection racket, Mr Big might spend his profits on an entourage of hos, bodyguards and assorted hangers-on to follow him around and tell him how wonderful he is, a truly large-scale operation (or 'government') will employ an entourage of consultants to... follow them around and tell them how wonderful they are. The bling changes, the behaviour remains the same.

  55. RW
    Paris Hilton

    @ Christoph

    Don't forget Scott Adams' "Dilbert" as another analysis of management stupidity to set alongside "Parkinson's Law".

    There is an extremely amusing account in Adams' "The Joy of Work", pp. 233–237, of consultant-led development of a mission statement that arrived at a result almost as soft-centered as the new HMRC slogan.

    It appears that HMRC has forgotten one of the yardsticks by which the "goodness" of a tax system is measured, how much does the collection of the tax cost relative to the total collected? Every nickel spent on frippery automatically reduces the quality of the system. "HMRC Ambition" is definitely frippery.

    The worst part is that the participants in these exercises in nonsense-generation have neither any shame about their participation nor awareness of how silly and wasteful it looks from the outside. For all the good the new HMRC slogan does, the participants might as well have been sent on a John Cleese Silly Walk Seminar.

    However there is worse: the government of British Columbia once came up with the management guideline "visible frugality", apparently missing the point that this slogan implied that wastefulness was acceptable as long as it was well-hidden.

    Paris because while she pretends to be an airhead but seems to be financially pretty astute, the villains in this case are genuine airheads with no financial astuteness whatsoever.

  56. Tony Barnes
    Unhappy

    @HMRC Ambition!! Lets celebrate it!!!

    >>I think that it is frankly discusting for so many commentators to imply that £1.4 million was a waste of money to spend on a new slogan and rebranding. HMRC revenue and customs works hard to guide customers and stakeholders through a maze of tax and regulations. A decent image, brand and slogan is crutial to maintaining loyalty to the UK tax system and ensuring that staff are connected to the values and asperations that we all share. This will have imeasurable benefits in ensuring staff retention, especially as there will be a below average wage increase for all the loyal civil servants who have toiled in the HMRC underground salt mines for so long.<<

    Surely you are taking the piss. A two word phrase, of which they already had one word, does not need to cost £1.34m. Given that the best word they came up with was "ambition", they clearly overlooked the negative context it could highlight - i.e. we hope we can do better - the first emotion it provoked in myself.

    Loyalty to the UK tax system is promoted by a fair tax system, that isn't full of stupid loopholes, and ways of fucking you at every step. Not some dumb name. People aren't that thick - "oooh, it sounds nice, let's buy into it" - when presented with information about what's going on.

    >>Given that the UK has some of the highest level of both direct and indirect taxation in the developed world £1.4 million on a new slogan is quite frankly a drop in the ocean for an organisation of its size. In fact, the revenue could spend 10 times this amount and still be able to cover the cost by improving tax collection or even through much needed increased taxation!<<

    Yes, it could spend 10, 50, or 100 times more than this if it likes and still cover the cost - the point is that it shouldn't have to cover an overinflated cost. That's not even the beginning of an argument. That is money that they have collected from tax payers, and thrown into the pockets of marketeers.

    >>In addition please don't forget the jobs that an excercise of this magnitude provides for the hard working media executives who toil on late night fact finding missions and brainstorming sessions to come up with slogans such as this. The contribution made to the 'knowledage economy' that is held in such high regard by so many other jealous countries cannot be underestimated.<<

    The hard working media executives who are getting paid a boatload of money for one, crap word?? How would another country hold this in high regard?? They'll laugh at us for being ripped off and weak.

    >>Lastly lets not forget the contribution made to the equally hard working PR event management and catering industry. All of these key workers worked hard to ensure that as these key decisions regarding branding were being made everyone had enough to eat and drink!<<

    !?!?!??

    >>As chairman of a media consultancy in London providing just these types of services to a number of government agencies I can ensure readers that it is jolly hard work and money well spent.<<

    I can only assume you actually netted a fair chunk of this completely wasted cash yourself. If the outcome of "jolly hard work" is 1 word, I would hate to see what happens when you are underproductive.

    Either that or you are taking the piss, which I do truly hope....

  57. Robert Grant

    What about "Poundland"

    Post in title.

  58. Pat
    Coat

    Typo error, surely...

    they meant 'HMRC Abolition'?

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Revolution?

    "£1.4 M for three meetings? the've cut things to the bone compared to the £55Billion of our cash to prop up a bank, or had it doubled last time I looked?"

    Or £1800 from each and every one of us. Yet they're still in power? Trouble with us lot is we shout lots on forums but have no appetite for revolution.

  60. Matt Bradley
    Coat

    Cost cutting

    I think everybody has failed to see where HMRC has made the saving here. If they'd paid the original £28m asking price, they'd have to the additional word "penalised"

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: HMRC Ambition!! Lets celebrate it!!!

    'Surely you are taking the piss. A two word phrase, of which they already had one word, does not need to cost £1.34m'........I can only assume you actually netted a fair chunk of this completely wasted cash yourself. If the outcome of "jolly hard work" is 1 word, I would hate to see what happens when you are underproductive....Either that or you are taking the piss, which I do truly hope....

    .

    He was. It was a joke. It was a sarcastic response....<Bangs head>

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Actually

    It's the five year ambition. When it first came out it was called the five year plan.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    only £1.4m?

    Last time I went to an HRMC naming meeting there were hooker filled jacuzzis galore, piles of coke Mr Montana would be proud of and I was opening beer bottles on the queen's asshole....I think £1.4m is a touch on the conservative side...This kind of stuff is usually a lot more expensive.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    E Petition :)

    How about someone starting up an e-petition basically static what was said on the 3rd post down, and asking for a refund.

  65. James Pickett
    Paris Hilton

    Ambition

    Ambitions can be modest. Not losing any more CD's would be a start...

    PH because - well, all sorts of reasons, really...

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    May they burn in hell

    I think Jesus said it best: "...tax collectors and sinners."

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Two word slogan:

    Thieving Bastards

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oi, Reg: Shurely, a slogan competition is in order?

    'nuf said.

    HMRC: We'll bleed you white.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Total rebrand

    For that money, they should've gone the whole rebranding hog, in the style of ICSTIS.

    (Was)YourMoneyPlus!

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    My first post, can I swear.....?

    Cunts Cunts Cunts Cunts Cunts

  71. Spleen

    Re: 20:01

    Speak for yourself. It's just that "revolutionary" is irregular and has singular, dual and plural forms, like in Arabic.

    One sad nutter, two terrorists, many revolutionaries.

    Most of us would be happy with being the third but are uneasy about the second, and see becoming the first as a waste of our life.

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    W. T. F.

    I'm currently brainstorming whether I should vomit in disgust, laugh in misery or cry in anger.

    Time to bring the "experts" in to help me decide. Should be a cost effective exercise, just a few hundred thousand.

    Anyway, my suggestion: HMRC Your Hard-Earned Money Fuels Our Crack Addictions and Three-Hour Lunches.

  73. Andrew Meredith

    @ Andrew Davenport

    [[[ I think also the blame should be split to the people who get off on charging public sector this kind of money, hey look, its a public sector job, lets quadruple our prices! ]]]

    Doing work for the public sector is very very expensive. The requirements shift like sands under the tide .. and at roughly the same intervals. The lead times on invoice payments are stunning. The paperwork required to even open the bidding simply beggars belief; to name but a few. It is only a very small, select and closely related band of very large consultancies that can afford to do it. So of course, they can pretty much charge what they like. Supply and demand and all that.

    The rest of us, the other 95+% of companies (the SME sector), for the most part turned our backs on the public sector a long while ago and trade only with the slightly more sane private sector. Some SMEs do still trade with the big public sector bodies, but even then, they quite often shelter behind a BigCorp prime contractor, or they already have some "In" like they used to work for the department with which they now have a contract.

    If by some miracle a magic wand is found to clear this behaviour out of the public sector and make them more like humans to deal with; expect to see the amounts they need to pay for 3rd party services go tumbling down.

    ... but don't hold your breath waiting for that. This caustic style of behaviour is now a habitual part of the infrastructure. Senior denizens of the public sector don't even seem to be able to drop this approach when they leave. I have seen countless examples.

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stop Complaining...

    OK, so they spent £1.34m. As long as they spent it in the uk then at least most of that will come back to them as Tax!

  75. Colin Millar
    Coat

    @Tony Barnes

    Coming up with a new slogan while taking a dump eh?

    Was it by any chance:

    HMRC: We'll leave you a few pounds lighter

  76. Waldo
    Thumb Up

    HMRC Ambition = HMRC Titanic?

    H_er M_ajesties R_eal C_on

    There... I did it in 15 seconds, that will be 60 grand please...

  77. Dave Bennett
    Stop

    E-petition

    My e-petition keeps getting rejected, firstly for containing links (oops) and now for not requesting a specific action.

    Initially I requested a breakdown of the cost and justification. Then I changed this to a restriction on what HMRC could spend our money on.

    Any ideas on how to word this to get passed the e-petition ogres. (And they don't like swearing, so watch your fucking French).

    Dave

    PS: This might be along the lines of what needs to happen - http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/TaxCompensation/#detail

  78. Steve B

    The cry is there. It's up to us.

    As i understand it the spokesperson was basically pleading with us to replace the existing management starting from the top (GB GB) down. I have just at last cottoned on as to why a certain person has been giving me the hebegebes.

  79. Steve Sutton
    Coat

    @AC ("My first post, can I swear.....? ")

    I'm no expert, but you seem to have got the hang of it!

  80. Seán

    Liontamers

    So what the fuck kind of "Ambition" could these people have? If you were personally ambitious you wouldn't be in the civil service. So what "Ambition" could the revenue and customs organisation have? It's such an unlikely combination, ambition and grubby taxmen, nothing comes to mind. So what the fuck is the point in a slogan which is instantly unintelligible?

    Unless they brought along huge bales of coke to the meeting to demonstrate what customs do, and whooshed the lot.

    Why they couldn't have had an internal competition with a prize of £500 for the best slogan and £200 each for the two runners up is beyond me.

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