Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs ought to be a beacon of responsible spending – low and behold they are not.
It turns out HMRC actually rents its offices from a company registered in an offshore tax haven, reports the i100.
600 offices in total to be precise.
HMRC offices are owned by offshore company. For tax reasons.
That is basically STRAIGHT UP TROLLING. pic.twitter.com/rQESedfnJ4
— Alex Andreou (@sturdyAlex) April 4, 2016
As highlighted in these Tweets, HMRC is paying its rent to a company called Mapeley Steps Limited which is registered in Bermuda as part of a private finance initiative (PFI).
PFIs were first launched by the Conservative government -shock horror- in the early 90s, and see private firms fund the construction of buildings, infrastructure or IT systems, before then leasing them back to public bodies.
These deals have been highly criticised and it is estimated will cost taxpayers £209bn over the next 35 years – excellent.
— Joel Benjamin (@Gian_TCatt) April 4, 2016
An HMRC spokesman told the i100:
We follow Civil Service guidelines when establishing contracts which assure value for money and that suppliers are compliant with their UK tax obligations.Advertisement
We don’t comment on identifiable taxpayers but we apply the law as firmly to those supplying us with services as to any other business.
Elsewhere, The Guardian has reported David Cameron actively blocked the European Union from investigating the owners of offshore trusts back in 2013.
There is even a letter penned Mr Cameron available online highlighting his opposition to the proposed EU crackdown.
The plot thickens.