This hub concentrates on issues related to the tax and benefits system.

The hub’s 2 core departments will employ a total of 463 communications staff (FTE posts). This total includes significant numbers within HMRC working on operational communications relating to the tax system.

This hub comprises 23 government organisations. The hub has provided data on 6 of the ALBs as these are the ones which deliver significant communication activity. From the data that has been made available, these 6 ALBs will employ a total of 71 communications staff (FTE posts).

The hub has identified a number of priority communications activities for the financial year 2012/13. These include:

  • Preparing claimants and the third sector for the introduction of Universal Credit, the changes it will bring and any action they will need to take
  • Building understanding of workplace pension reform, promoting the benefits of saving and making the case for state pension changes
  • Reducing the cost of fraud and error across the welfare system
  • Encouraging employers and jobseekers to engage with the Work Programme to create supply and demand for employment, and driving employer take-up of the ‘Youth Contract’
  • Building understanding and positive perceptions of Personal Independence Payments as a fair benefit, personalised to reflect claimants’ needs
  • Maximising the filing of Self Assessment tax returns and payments by the required deadlines and thus reducing the number of people receiving penalties
  • Embedding the principles of the social justice strategy on the delivery of services to people with multiple disadvantages
  • Maximising the number of effective child maintenance arrangements in place for those children who live apart from one or both of their parents
  • Preparing HMRC customers, staff and stakeholders for the introduction of the Real Time Information (RTI) software system
  • Encouraging those who need to renew their tax credits to do so early, accurately and on time
  • Encouraging voluntary disclosure of underpaid tax

 Efficiency and Collaboration

  • Communications headcount has reduced by 37% in DWP since 2009, whilst in HMRC 2012 figures are currently 40% down over the same period and will reduce by a further 6% once the 2012 current programme of further efficiencies is complete
  • Collaborating on the development of the Real Time Information project, a software system which will support HMRC employer processes and also enable the DWP led Universal Credit programme
  • Joining up communications to employers and employees (e.g. pensions, business tax, employment)
  • Sharing audience insight, research and evaluation data
  • Sharing resources on design, audio-visual and digital communications

Next:  Hub four: BIS, HM Treasury, and DCMS >>