In an interview on BBC Radio 4 Money Box today, Lin Homer, the Chief Executive of HMRC acknowledges that 03 numbers are the answer and promises to use them more widely.
The item primarily addresses the problem with unanswered calls and long wait times, which are compounded by the improper use of 0845 numbers - but it does not ignore the important point.
It follows previous coverage of the issue by Money Box - see this item.
The following quotations from Lin Homer indicate that the battle is nearly won.
“[Some] of our callers already have access to a 0345 number, so we are well on the way to trying to make the system work better”
“We are going to renegotiate the contract next year … to get the best value for the callers, as well as for HMRC, when we do that”