PCS in HM Revenue and Customs Group

Osborne’s autumn statement confirms massive HMRC cuts

In his autumn statement on 25 November, chancellor George Osborne confirmed plans for massive cuts to HMRC expenditure limits, including real-term cuts of 18% in the department's administration budget alone.
The statement does not go into detail on how the government plans to operate its revenue collection services with massive cuts like these.
Management claim that the office closures will make the organisation more efficient by "making it easier for HMRC teams to collaborate and modernise the way they work" and they rely on the argument that changes and improvements to technology will make up for what will doubtlessly be catastrophic cuts in staffing, when the Chancellor said:
"HMRC will transform into one of the most digitally-advanced tax administrations in the world, becoming more effective, efficient and easier for taxpayers to deal with while delivering sustainable efficiencies and almost £1 billion of additional tax revenues by reducing errors through record-keeping."
"To listen to George Osborne, by 2020 HM Revenue and Customs will have been transformed into a digital tax titan, an example for the world to follow. That's right, the same HMRC that can't even answer its phone calls."
To make matters worse, in his statement the chancellor announced plans to further attack the conditions of service of public sector workers, stating that:
"The government will continue to modernise the terms and conditions of public sector workers, by taking forward targeted reforms in areas where the public sector still has far more generous rights than the private sector."
Race to the bottom
So yet again, the Tory government is embarking on another lap of the 'race to the bottom', when it comes to working conditions in the public sector.  As an example, Osborne went on to repeat the Tories’ claims about public sector sickness levels, saying:
"The government will also review sickness absence in public sector workforces before consulting on how to reduce its impact on public service delivery, and considering legislation where necessary. Public sector sick pay has been estimated to cost around £4.5 billion a year and terms are more generous than typical private sector arrangements.
"It is right that the government reviews how the current systems for managing and compensating for sickness are working and looks at what reforms might be needed to move to a more modern and productive state.”
Worse still, as HMRC goes about its business of closing offices and cutting jobs, Osborne announced plans to slash the redundancy terms for the public sector, stating:
"The government will consult on further cross-public sector action on exit payment terms, to reduce the costs of redundancy payouts and ensure greater consistency between workforces. These payouts totalled around £2 billion a year over the last parliament."
If implemented, the office closures and job cuts proposals would be absolutely devastating for HMRC and for our members who work there. Osborne’s foretelling of further attacks on our terms and conditions and our redundancy schemes are clearly part of a twin-track approach designed to manage people out of a job where possible; and if that can’t be done, to simply sack them on the cheap.
In the difficult months and years ahead, it is more vital than ever that we move quickly to build PCS membership in HMRC; and that PCS members stand together in the fight to defend jobs in the department and the essential services our members provide.

Management announce massive office closure programme

On 12 November 2015 HMRC announced to staff in every location their plans to slash the number of offices from 170 to just 13 Regional Centres and 4 specialist sites. Although there will be transitional arrangements, under the Department’s plans, as early as the year 2021, there will be just 35 HMRC sites remaining open.

Wherever possible, in key locations, members of the PCS Revenue and Customs Group Executive Committee and PCS Headquarters staff are attending the offices for the announcements; and will be encouraged to have discussions with local Trade Union Side.

There are some actions that all branches will be taking as a matter of urgency, including arranging members meetings at each location where this is required. HMRC has encouraged sites to take a common sense, empathetic and flexible approach to PCS having access to members.

More details are on the Latest News pages. A briefing has already been issued to branches that detail the GEC contacts for each region; and any queries need to be directed to those GEC members in the first instance.

PCS members should be left in no doubt that these are still currently deemed to be 'proposals'; and that PCS remain opposed to this government's cynical and politically-motivated cuts programme. Rest assured that our campaign against any planned cuts will continue to embrace all elements of opposition.

Members will quite rightly have grave concerns about management’s plans and should regularly check for updates on the PCS website and social media outlets - as PCS responds to HMRC management's so-called 'Building Our Future' announcements.

Additionally, all members should make sure that they have provided their branch with their personal email address and mobile phone numbers, so PCS can provide you with the latest information as soon as it is available. 

PCS Fighting Fund

The Criminal Justice branch in HMRC presented Mark Serwotka with a cheque for £3000 at this year's group conference in Brighton. The fighting fund supports members taking targeted action like that seen in the National Gallery dispute. If you would like to contribute to the PCS fighting fund please go here.

Latest news

Selected briefings are posted on the latest news section.  Your local representative will have access to all briefings issued by the group.

Reps should be aware that, from January 2016 group briefings will only be published in the Document Library. To ensure you can access these, please register

Young Workers' Month

Held in November every year, the main purpose of TUC Young Workers' Month is to promote trade unions to young workers and to highlight the issues faced by young workers.

This year the R&C young members advisory committee will be celebrating the month by hosting an event on 12-13 November in Newcastle


Or&cle is the magazine for PCS members in the Revenue & Customs (R&C) group employed in HMRC and the VOA. It is no longer posted to members but is instead available as a pdf to download or read online

R&C branches online

HMRC group on Twitter

Group Hardship Fund

  • Applications should be made on the attached form and submitted within 10 days of the end of the month in which pay is deducted.
  • The form should either be typed or completed in black ink.
  • The pay slip showing the deduction must be attached (if it is unclear then please also attach an earlier pay slip).
  • A branch officer must sign the form to confirm that the member took part in the action and that they have been a member for about 6 months.

  Hardship fund application form 2014

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