Shadow chancellor to join union protest against HMRC cuts and closures

29 February 2016

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell will speak at a PCS protest outside parliament tomorrow against plans to close almost all HM Revenue and Customs offices.

The protest will be from 1.15pm in Old Palace Yard in Westminster, also including PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka, and followed by a drop-in briefing for MPs in the Commons at 2.30pm.

The union is opposing plans by HMRC to close all but a dozen of its 170 offices in the UK, and the announcement earlier this month of 150 compulsory redundancies in the department.

These are the first compulsory redundancies in HMRC and are linked to the office closures because senior officials are refusing to redeploy at-risk staff to any site earmarked to shut in the coming years.

The union has not ruled out industrial action over the job cuts, which are from predominantly administrative grades in a range of locations.

Mark Serwotka said: "The government must invest in HMRC if it is serious about tackling the kind of tax avoidance exposed by the recent Google scandal, but instead the Tories continue to cut its budget leading to office closures and job losses.

"We are very grateful for the support of John McDonnell and we're assisting in any way we can with his review of HMRC's resources to ensure it is able to properly collect and administer the taxes that fund all our other public services."

John McDonnell said: "Closing almost all of HMRC's offices will devastate a department whose funding continues to be slashed by the Tories while they offer mates' rates that let corporate giants off the hook on tax.

"Labour's major review of HMRC is a part of our commitment to create an economy that works for everyone, not just the privileged few."


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