There I was thinking of taking an early bath and along comes a report the Institute's tax faculty wants a watchdog for HMRCs online efforts following the debacle over ELS. Unimaginative. Rubbish. Nonsense. Stupid idea. I've said so.
The way you get change is not by appointing narrow focused insider watchdogs that have little or no real influence. We already know what they will say and how they'll wring their hands. If the Institute used its collective brains, it would realise that change comes from the bottom up. That's you, me and our clients. It's why we have general elections.
So that no-one's confused. This is not about petitioning although that could be an outcome. It's about creating an important, powerful and influential group that gets enough attention to impact policy. It's about entering the debate, conversation, call it what you will and making sure it gets enough attention that it cannot be ignored. And before anyone runs away and says yes, but who's going to organise it, who's going to sponsor it, who's going to moderate it blah blah blah:
- A site for that purpose can be established in less than a day at near ZERO cost.
- It can be PR'd in less than 3 days - again at near ZERO cost.
- If there is a cost, I'll wager I can raise enough to make it worthwhile in...oooh...10 minutes?
- It would be as influential as the number of people entering the debate - the only cost is the time and effort to get involved.
This is you chance to say NO to the Institute and offer a viable alternative that government can swallow. After all, it understands the focus group idea - this is not dissimilar, only much bigger. If this kind of thing is important to your clients then I'd encourage you to think about an appropriate response. This is my effort. You decide.