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Did The DWP Consider Running The UK's Payroll?Did The DWP Consider Running The UK's Payroll?

Real-time information or RTI where employers now submit wages and tax information on a monthly basis has been introduced into the UK recently by HMRC and there were some reported problems as the system went live.


We heard that DWP had originally considered going much, much further. When the coalition came into power in 2010, Iain Duncan Smith (IDS) and his advisers sought opinions from the technology industry (and presumably business organisations) as to whether it would be possible not only to have wage and tax information submitted, but to also run everyone's payroll, collecting the tax at source.

Quite a revolutionary idea. Given the track record of Government IT projects, one that perhaps got kicked into touch early on, never mind the uproar it would have caused within the business community.

This writer has had many disappointing dealings with HMRC, this large organisation showing a complete lack of joined-up working, whilst the poor "user" or "customer" pays to call and hang on to a so-called "helpline".

I think IDS and the DWP were quite wise to lower their aspirations; the jury is still out on whether RTI will prove to be a useful move.

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