Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 18 April 2024

Are these the laziest WFH staff in Britain? HMRC civil servants are gardening, taking the dog for a walk and playing video games while ‘at work’, reveals GUY ADAMS. Meanwhile taxpayers face year-long waits… and a £100m office lies half empty

Slap, bang in the centre of Cardiff, between the Principality Stadium and the central train station, is a large, state-of-the-art office building called Ty William Morgan.

Recently built for the UK Government at a reported cost of £100 million, and named after a 16th century bishop who first translated the Bible into Welsh, it boasts 25,000 square metres of desk-space spread across 12 air-conditioned floors.

The whole thing was created to provide a ‘home’ for 4,500 civil servants, according to a press release circulated at the time of an opening ceremony in December 2022.

It further informed us that the vast majority of them – some 4,000 – would be employed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, or HMRC.

These lucky taxmen (and women) were being given a ‘modern and inclusive working environment to enable collaborative working and to deliver an effective service for customers’, the announcement stated, adding that their swanky new Welsh HQ would help ‘create a dynamic and flexible Civil Service which is equipped for the future’.

That was the plan, at least. Sixteen months later – last Wednesday morning, to be precise – I visited Ty William Morgan to see how things were working out.

My trip was inspired by a pertinent fact: behind the scenes, HMRC currently finds itself on the front line of a mounting political controversy over the huge number of civil servants who are still choosing to work from home.

Indeed, four years after the Covid pandemic struck, a mere 53 per cent of desks at its prestigious London head office are occupied on any given day, placing it rock bottom of a league table of Whitehall departments published by the government earlier this month. This is despite official guidance mandating a (still-paltry) occupancy rate of at least 60 per cent.

At the same time, the performance of HMRC, which was traditionally one of the most respected government departments, has fallen to some of the worst levels ever recorded.

Taxpayers currently face record average waits of 25 minutes to speak to an adviser on the phone (by contrast, the Universal Credit helpline picks up in 90 seconds), while 840,000 calls to HMRC went unanswered in January alone.

Elsewhere, the department was recently carpeted by the National Audit Office for getting its sums wrong on tax breaks, while last month saw a humiliating U-turn over highly controversial plans to completely shut its telephone line for six months a year, which would have left taxpayers to wrestle with the HMRC website instead.

Read More: Are these the laziest WFH staff in Britain? HMRC civil servants are gardening, taking the dog for a walk and playing video games while ‘at work’,

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