This week’s blogs

Revenue encourages online filing ­ but what about security

Information in written answers to Parliamentary questions has shown that
security breaches at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have increased significantly
since the data discs scandal.

The figures show that since October 2007 there have been 1,993 security
breaches in all.

Clearly we cannot, as a nation, ignore the substantial benefits that
computerisation can bring, nor can we blame government for trying to encourage
taxpayers to submit more and more information to them on line and so saving
costs for our benefit.

For example, tax returns for 2007/08 have to be submitted by 31 January 2009
if they are submitted electronically. Paper returns have to be in by 31 October
Can we blame those taxpayers who, concerned about security, insist that, despite
the tighter deadline, they are unwilling to submit their returns, disclosing
highly confidential information, online?

HMRC need to do more to convince tax payers that their information will be
just as secure when submitted electronically.

Carol Barrie

A drink from the Olympian cup, Darling?

I guess like most Britons, I was surprised to wake up last Saturday to the
news that the chancellor of the exchequer believes we’re facing the worst
economic crisis for sixty years. Actually, the more I’ve thought about it, the
more my surprise has turned to annoyance.

Instead of Mr Darling locking himself away with a Guardian journalist in a
remote island croft to talk down the country and the government’s poor
communication skills, perhaps his time would have been better spent holed up
with fellow Scot and multi-gold medalist at the Beijing cycling track Chris Hoy.

A few days ago, Team GB did the very un-British thing of going out to
Beijing, confidently talking about winning precious metal and being proud of
their achievements when they succeeded.

How refreshing it all was for a nation that is used to being the plucky

I think Mr Darling could do with a drink from the Olympian cup, stop talking
our chances down and get on instead with coming up with some answers to beat the
credit crisis, kickstart the housing market, and start focusing on winning.

Martin Williams, MD Graydon

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