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Revenue employees face redundancies

14 January 2010
Categories: News , office closures , Admin
Lay-offs not ruled out as 130 office closures confirmed

HMRC say they cannot rule out compulsory redundancies following confirmation that 130 tax offices will be closed during 2010/11.

The move is part of an ongoing ‘change programme’, which was launched in November 2006 ‘to make sure that the department has the right number of people with the right skills in the right places’.

‘By bringing staff together in larger teams and closing smaller offices, HMRC will be able to deliver a better service to customers while delivering better value for money,’ said a Revenue spokesman.

He added: ‘A number of options are available to our staff currently based in these offices [the ones scheduled for closure], and we will be holding one-to-one discussions in the near future.

‘We are absolutely committed to doing everything we can to avoid compulsory redundancy, but we cannot rule this out.’

Last February, the HMRC claimed they had instigated no redundancies, either compulsory or voluntarily, since the 2005 merger of the Inland Revenue and Customs & Excise, which led to 17,000 workers leaving the department via a variety of routes.

The taxman’s latest announcement drew an angry response from the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), which claimed that up to 1,700 experienced and skilled staff will be forced out of their jobs.

The union – which represents around 300,000 workers in government departments, agencies, public bodies and private companies – went on to warn that Revenue office closure will severely reduce advice and support for taxpayers, as well as undermining the ability of the department to collect tax revenue.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said, ‘Access to tax advice in communities across the UK will be damaged by the confirmation of these closures, which will hit businesses and the public, as well as taking quality jobs out of local communities during a recession.’

He added: ‘It is no coincidence that, as HMRC staff members have been cut, the amount of uncollected tax written off as doubtful has nearly doubled. There is over £130 billion uncollected, evaded and avoided.

HMRC refuted Mr Serwotka’s claim regarding the size of the tax gap. A study released by the Revenue last month estimated that the figure stands at £40 billion per annum.

View a full list of the proposed tax office closures.

Categories: News , office closures , Admin
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