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Anti-poverty activists oppose Revenue cuts

Charities to join union in protest at taxman's HQ

Campaigners from anti-poverty charities and Britain's largest civil service union will tomorrow demonstrate outside the London headquarters of HMRC.

War on Want and the Jubilee Debt Campaign will join with members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) in a rally against reductions in Revenue resources.

The protest will come on the eve of a day of mass action organised by the group UK Uncut, focused on the stores of communications giant Vodafone and Sir Philip Green's Arcadia group, including Topshop, over allegations of tax avoidance.

Friday’s demonstration – scheduled to begin at 1pm - will take place outside the taxman’s HQ on 100 Parliament Street to oppose government austerity plans that the PCS estimates would lead to the axing of 13,000 Revenue jobs on top of the 30,000 that have gone since 2005 and the closure of around 200 tax offices.

The cutbacks will severely damage the department’s ability to help revive the UK economy by combating tax dodging, claim campaigners, who estimate that developing countries are denied £250 billion a year as a direct result of corporate tax avoidance.

‘Successive years of cuts in HMRC have left the department unable to cope. To cut even more jobs at a time when we are told everything must be done to tackle the deficit is not only wrong, it is economically illiterate,’ said Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS.

War on Want executive director John Hilary remarked, ‘The poorest and most vulnerable are being made to pay for a financial crisis sparked by the rich… [who] are allowed to get away with dodging billions in tax that could save jobs and services from decimation [sic].’

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