The Battle for Bootle Campaign has called for a public demonstration on Wednesday 16 March, to coincide with the Chancellor delivering the Budget.
At its first planning meeting the campaign group, which was set up to oppose plans to close all of the local tax offices, voted in favour of the protest as a way to show the town’s opposition to plans which will cost hundreds of jobs locally and thousands nationally.
HM Revenue & Customs announced in November that all of its 170 offices nationwide would close by 2020, to be replaced by 13 regional centres. HMRC’s own figures estimate that 1 in 4 jobs will be lost in the North West alone.
The Department recently announced 153 compulsory redundancies ahead of the closures, and the PCS union says that there will be many more to come.
A spokesperson for the Battle for Bootle said: “For the past five years, the Budget has been little more than an excuse for the Chancellor to play up to a baying mob of Tories as he attacks the livelihoods of working class people and the services they depend on.
“The recent announcements from HMRC will not only cost jobs within the department, but within local areas like Bootle. Civil Service jobs were put here specifically to help regenerate the area and taking them out will cause more shops to shut and see the town run into the ground.
“This demonstration is just the beginning of our opposition to these plans, but it is important that everybody with a stake in the local area does their best to attend and show the government that we won’t take their attacks lying down.”
Battle For Bootle Budget Day Demonstration
Wednesday 16 March, 12.30pm
Assemble in South Park, Stanley Road
All welcome. Bring flags and banners!
RSVP on Facebook here and on 38 Degrees here.
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
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
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