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HMRC union strikes over job cuts

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25th Jun 2012
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The civil service union PCS claimed that 75-85% of its HMRC members stayed away from work today as part of a one-day strike against job cuts.

Tax offices across the country were closed for the day and the union claimed calls to telephone enquiry lines went unanswered.

According to the PCS, 30,000 positions have been lost since the department’s formation in 2005, and a further 10,000 are planned as part of continuing cut-backs in public spending.

But as the Commons Public Accounts Committee and AccountingWEB columnist Philip Fisher have pointed out, the loss of so many experienced staff has undermined HMRC’s ability to collect tax.

“It is sickening to see millionaires in the cabinet wringing their hands about the immorality of tax avoidance when it is their lack of political will to act that means we lose tens of billions of pounds every year,” said PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka.

“The case for investment in our public services as an alternative to austerity could not be more obvious than it is in HMRC. Yet the government wants to cut 10,000 more jobs from the department, letting the wealthy tax dodgers off the hook and punishing the rest of us for a recession we did not cause.”

The strikers are also protesting against the use of two private contractors to handle tax credit enquiries and will continue their action with an overtime ban from Tuesday to emphasise the extent to which overtime is being used to minimise the effect of staffing cuts.

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By jmwaa
25th Jun 2012 18:51

Calls unanswered
I tried to call the New Employer Helpline this morning being unaware of the strike. After beng told that I should call back on Tuesday, or better still Wednesday, the call was cut off. I wasn't given the opportunity to hold on for an adviser.

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