In a move bound to provoke fierce debate among tax professionals, the pin-striped figure will be shown the door in a ceremony in front of the media on Thursday.
Peter Wyman, tax supremo at PricewaterhouseCoopers paid tribute to the cuddly characters who appeared in TV ad campaigns, on billboards and in newspapers.
‘Hector has done a sterling job in drawing attention to self-assessment deadlines for a large number of people.
‘His job is still not done but the time is probably right for an honourable retirement,’ he said.
Hector’s main role in the civil service has been to encourage people to submit their tax returns on time. But during an illustrious career he has appeared keeping goal at football, as spiderman, locked away inside an hourglass, attached to a space rocket and most recently on television with a wobbly flab-fighting machine.
Last year there were fears that Hector was being asked to do too much. Writing in Accountancy Age, columnist Ann Baldwin said: ‘If the Revenue keeps pushing him outside his comfort zone like this, he may suffer severe stress and sue for compensation.’And on another occasion he was forced to take a snowball right where it hurts.
Hector pandered to the traditional view of taxmen as staid, middle aged and wearing a pinstripe suit topped with a bowler. His departure will be the first major act by Ian Schoolar, the Revenue’s new marketing director, who is obviously keen to update the department’s image.
But with the Revenue planning to use a riverboat on the Thames on Thursday, he will certainly be given a good send off.
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