Jim Harra gives HMRC members another reason to vote yes for strike action

Almost a third of HMRC staff are so poorly paid they’ll receive an uplift to ensure that the government department is compliant with the minimum wage.

The chief executive of the government department responsible for enforcing minimum wage requirements has revealed that his own staff must receive an uplift to bring them above the National Living Wage threshold.

Jim Harra, last week, told MPs that almost a third of civil servants in the department were to be given an uplift to make sure that the employer complied with the National Living Wage.

Under questioning from Therese Coffey, who had suggested that civil servants were well paid, Mr Harra responded “I am this month having to give nearly a third of my staff, including all the helpline advisers and the staff who work on the post teams, a rise so that they can stay with the national living wage.

“That is the rate of pay I am giving those colleagues, which is not a position that I want to be in, but just in case people were left with the false impression that we pay people very high salaries, that is not the case.”

The government’s National Living Wage is set almost 5% below what the Living Wage Foundation calculates someone would need to earn to meet the basic necessities of daily living.

In light of this, PCS general secretary Fran Heathcote said “It is simply scandalous that the workers who ensure we have the finances to run public services in this country are being paid such a meagre wage, and the words of Jim Harra directly challenge the Tory view that civil servants are well paid.

“The fact that HMRC is being legally forced into giving almost a third of its workforce an uplift demonstrates why it is so important for PCS members to back our pay demands and vote YES for strike action in the national ballot to send a clear message that this is unacceptable.”

Have you voted?

There’s still time to vote in our national ballot, and strengthen PCS’s hand in negotiating with the government for a fair deal on pay and to stop attacks on jobs and terms and conditions.

If you’ve already voted, let us know by logging into PCS Digital now.