Hundreds show support for PCS campaign against HMRC cuts

Hundreds of supporters and dozens of MPs showed their support for the PCS campaign against HMRC office closures and job cuts.

The rally outside parliament  on 1 March to show solidarity with HMRC members was attended by hundreds of people, many holding PCS flags, who braved the wet weather. They heard from shadow shancellor of the exchequer John McDonnell MP, Chris Stephens MP (the new PCS parliamentary group chair) and our general secretary, Mark Serwotka.

All spoke of their opposition to the department’s destructive plans, which threaten thousands of jobs and aim to close all 160 HMRC offices and move them out of towns into regional centres miles away from current locations.

In November 2015, HMRC announced its plans to shut all its offices and open 13 regional hubs and 4 specialist centres putting the future of thousands of staff at risk given many staff will not be able to relocate to new regional hubs due to them being outside reasonable daily travel.

These proposals pose a significant threat to the operation of HMRC, its service to the public and the working lives of staff. The threat is so severe, we believe, that as well as entering into genuine negotiations, HMRC must launch a high-profile public consultation and allow its proposals to be subject to full parliamentary scrutiny.

Local presence vital

MPs and tax experts have previously supported our view that a visible, local HMRC presence is essential to maintaining confidence in our tax system and ensure taxpayers comply with their obligations. The proposals under the HMRC ‘plan’ called “Building our future” would not only be absolutely devastating for HMRC and the people currently employed by the deparment but also for the provision of local services.

The shadow chancellor told the lunchtime rally: “The last thing you do if you want to close the tax gap is close offices and cut staff.”

Mark said the government should invest in HMRC to “cut the tax gap not workers’ jobs.” He also said that cuts to HMRC were “part of a picture of cuts across the civil service.”

Following the rally we had our best ever parliamentary briefing session inside the House of Commons with more than 80 MPs in attendance. PCS members, some of whom had travelled hundreds of miles, were able to explain to their MP the impact of the attacks on their livelihoods and communities.

We have also asked MPs to sign a House of Commons early day motion that calls on the government to suspend the closures and hold a comprehensive consultation.

Support the campaign

Attend our Budget Day demonstration – Wednesday 16 March, assemble 12.30pm, South Park.

RSVP on Facebook here and on 38 Degrees here.

Sign and share the petition against the closures here

Tweet to #Battle4Bootle and #KeepJobsLocal

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Workers and residents vow to Battle for Bootle at public meeting

Several dozen Bootle workers and residents voiced their determination to fight for jobs and the local community at a recent public meeting held at Bootle Town Hall.

The meeting was called to formally launch the ‘Battle for Bootle’ campaign, which was initiated by Bootle branches of the PCS union. The campaign is a response to plans by HM Revenue & Customs to close all 170 of its offices in favour of 13 regional hubs, which the union says will cost thousands of jobs. Continue reading Workers and residents vow to Battle for Bootle at public meeting

Join the Bootle Spending Review protest

Thursday 25 November, 1pm
Stanley Road Jobcentre Plus, Bootle
Bring flags and banners

On Thursday 25 November, Chancellor George Osborne is expected to announce more cuts that will hurt working class people and communities. His Spending Review announcements will be met with protests nationwide. Continue reading Join the Bootle Spending Review protest

PCS Group Executive statement on HMRC office closures

HMRC Announce a Decade of Disruption

HMRC has now announced further details of its plans to cut the number of staff working for the organisation to 51,000 and reduce the number of locations at which the remaining staff are employed to 17. The location plans which HMRC propose to implement over the next decade, alongside their wider change agenda, pose a significant threat to the operation of HMRC as a business, its service to the public and the working lives of its staff.  The potential for disruption to the core operation of HMRC and the dislocation to the staff that work for the organisation is so significant that the proposals being made by HMRC must be subject to rigorous scrutiny before any attempt is made to implement them. Continue reading PCS Group Executive statement on HMRC office closures

HMRC confirms widespread office closure programme

On Thursday 12 November, HM Revenue & Customs unveiled its ‘Building Our Future’ location strategy, with simultaneous announcements to all of its staff across the country. Almost all of its 170 offices will be closing to be replaced by 13 regional centres and 4 specialist sites over the next five years. Although some existing sites will remain open longer, by 2021 HMRC will be operating out of just 35 locations. Continue reading HMRC confirms widespread office closure programme