Good morning. Here is Tuesday’s 9am Lowdown.
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HMRC cleaners ‘shoulder the cost’ of NLW
The staff who clean HMRC are being told they must “shoulder the cost” of the national living wage through cuts in their hours and jobs, according the Public and commercial services union (PCS).
In a letter written to the Guardian, the PCS campaigned that HMRC cleaners are treated equally with HMRC’s own employees. The cleaners are employed by private company Mapeley, who subcontracts the work to the global firm ISS Facility Services. PCS says this arrangement “blurs the lines of responsibility”.
The PCS said: “It is inconceivable that the money cannot be found to pay the cleaners a wage that allows them to afford a basic standard of living. Added to this, cleaners currently only receive statutory sick pay and holiday entitlement. We do not believe they should have fewer rights than the civil servants they work alongside in HMRC.”
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Labour slams Osborne’s CGT cuts
Labour is calling for Osborne’s CGT cuts to be scrapped, saying the cuts only benefit 0.3% if the population, according to the Guardian.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said that the cuts expose Osborne’s priorities, considering the small number who benefit , saying “it blows apart any claim the Tories make about ‘we are all in it together’”. McDonnell continued: “This crass tax cut should not be going ahead because we need an economy that works for the many, not tax cuts for the few.”
Osborne’s spokesman hit back, saying “at 20%, the rate of CGT paid by higher rate taxpayers on other types of gain will still be two percentage points higher than it was when [Labour] were last in power”.
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HMRC campaign used agency linked to tax haven
HMRC used an advertising agency linked to an offshore tax haven to launch its publicity campaigns against tax evasion.
According to The Times, TNS one of the advertising agencies HMRC has used in its publicity campaigns is controlled by WPP, which is incorporated in the ‘offshore haven’ of Jersey.
HMRC has spent over £6m on campaigns, with £300,000 targeting tax evasion