Chancellor hands jobs axe to new Inland Revenue boss

The
new boss of the combined Inland Revenue and Customs service is set to cut
14,000 jobs.

David
Varney, the outgoing chairman of leading mobile phone company MMO2, will lead
the Government’s planned merger of the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise.

Varney
was named in Parliament today as executive chairman of the new department, to
be named Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs Service.

In
the House of Commons, chancellor Gordon Brown outlined the daunting task Varney
faces when he begins the job later this year.

“His
remit will include implementing staff reductions of 8,000 at Inland Revenue,
3,000 at Customs & Excise and 3,000 as a result of the merger.”

Varney
will also be expected to shave £200m off the existing budgets. 

In
a written statement, Brown added: “[David] Varney is an outstanding business
leader with a first rate record proven across the private sector, with a
reputation for good management and effective delivery.”

Varney,
who is also a member of the CBI Council, will be one of the highest paid civil
servants, earning around £250,000 a year. He has also held executive positions
at Shell and British Gas.

"This
is one of the biggest delivery jobs in government and I am very excited about
the challenge of making the new department a success,” said Varney.

Paul
Gray, currently deputy permanent secretary at the Department for Work and
Pensions, has been named as his deputy.

By
Paul Yandall

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