HMRC announces 15 more offices could close – taking number to more than 200 in three years
The closure of more tax offices announced by HM Revenue and Customs yesterday will further damage our slumping economy, the PCS warns.
HMRC has announced that 15 more offices around the UK could close during 2014/15, following the closure of more than 200 in the last three years.
The department has also confirmed plans to shut nine UK offices that were threatened with closure in September 2011, including one in Wick in northern Scotland that won a reprieve after a PCS campaign.
The Wick office serves a geographical area the size of Belgium and there are no redeployment opportunities in the town for the 20 staff who work there.
The news comes on the day official figures show the UK economy shrank by 0.2% in the last three months of last year.
HMRC wants to cut another 10,000 jobs before 2015, to add to the 30,000 that have gone since 2005.
Closing offices and cutting jobs will do further damage local economies that need investment, not more cuts, the union says.
Having tax offices based in local communities also shows the importance and value of tax collection to our economy and public services, as well as providing a face to face service for people who can not, or do not want to, use the internet or phone a call centre.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Our economy is slumping because this government is ruthlessly cutting when it should be investing and tackling the billions of pounds in tax that some very wealthy individuals and organisations avoid and evade paying every year.
“Closing scores more tax offices sends the message that paying tax is not important and not of value. Instead of cutting more jobs and closing offices, ministers should be investing in their staff and in the services they provide to help our economy to grow.”
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