by Tim Lezard The department that collects the taxes that fund all our other public services has announced it will close another 14 offices in the UK and cut more than 1,000 jobs, the Public and Commercial Services union says. The confirmation from HM …
by Tim Lezard
The department that collects the taxes that fund all our other public services has announced it will close another 14 offices in the UK and cut more than 1,000 jobs, the Public and Commercial Services union says.
The confirmation from HM Revenue and Customs, which comes on the same day it says £34 billion in tax was uncollected last year, follows a consultation in the summer in which the union raised the department’s inability to properly tackle tax avoidance and evasion.
The closure announcement sparked a spontaneous walkout by staff in Merthyr Tydfil.
The union, which last month published a new report on the extent of tax evasion, says £34 billion is a serious underestimation, but collecting even this would change the debate about the funding of public services overnight.
The closure of the 14 offices puts 450 jobs at risk and other announcements today threaten a further 690 low-paid administrative assistant jobs in the personal taxes division.
Continuing with its plan to cut thousands more jobs by 2016, HMRC is currently spending £4 million a month on overtime. It is closing scores of offices – including all 281 walk-in tax advice centres – as it moves towards a proposal to operate from just 14 large sites in the UK by 2025.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “It makes absolutely no economic sense to continue cutting in the department that collects the taxes that fund the public services we all rely on.
“This political and economic vandalism is even more stark and outrageous when, even by the department’s own modest estimate, tens of billions of pounds is lost to our public finances every year, largely through tax evasion and avoidance.”
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