New Year's Honours 2016: HMRC chief Lin Homer made a Dame

Chief executive of the tax authority awarded in New Year's Honours list - while DWP perm sec Robert Devereux is knighted

By Civil Service World

31 Dec 2015

The chief executive of HM Revenue & Customs has been awarded a Damehood in the latest New Year’s Honours list.

 Lin Homer, who was appointed to the top job at HMRC in 2011, has been made a Dame in recognition of her “public service particularly to public finance”.

Prior to leading HMRC, Homer served as permanent secretary at the Department for Transport, and previously led the now-abolished UK Border Agency.

 But the decision to hand Homer a gong has drawn criticism from one Conservative member of the Public Accounts Committee, which recently issued a report that was sharply critical of HMRC’s record.

 Nigel Mills told the Daily Telegraph that there were “serious questions” about the performance of the tax authority, which he said was “failing to answer enough calls and collect enough money from large businesses and tax avoiders”.

He added: “You would think you would want that sorting out before you gave someone a gong. I don’t understand why we have to have every well paid civil servant in every department getting a knighthood of damehood.

“Surely these honours should go to captains of industry who have created lots of jobs or people who have done transformational things for charities. It seems wrong to me.”

A spokesperson for HMRC defended Homer’s record, however, saying that she had helped that the tax authority “to deliver more and at a lower cost to taxpayers than ever before”.

They added: “Last year alone we brought in record breaking revenues of more than £517 billion and we increased compliance yields to £26.6 billion, up by 43 per cent since 2011/12 - all achieved through tougher enforcement and record prosecutions of tax cheats.”

The latest New Year’s Honours list also sees Department for Work and Pensions permanent secretary Robert Devereux knighted, for “services to transport and welfare and for voluntary service in Kilburn, London”.

Claire Moriarty — the former director of the Department for Transport’s rail executive who is now permanent secretary at he Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs — meanwhile becomes a Companion of the Order of the Bath, as does Susan Baldwin, the civil servant in charge of the academies programme at the Department for Education.

Share this page