HMRC cuts front line staff

More than 100 HM Revenue & Customs call centre staff are being moved from
front-line services before the end of the year, despite widespread concern that
service levels from the department are falling woefully short of the mark.

Accountants have flooded their institutes with complaints over the quality of
advice from HMRC call centre staff, with ICAEW tax faculty technical manger Jane
Moore stating there would be ‘even more friction’ if the department moved to use
call centres for more services.

Despite this, Accountancy Age has learned that HMRC is moving 400 call centre
staff from Edinburgh and Leicester on to end-processing work in November, while
an extra 280 staff in East Kilbride and Newcastle will attempt to make up the

‘Staff from two contact centres are taking on new roles, though this will
have no effect on the high level of service we offer,’ said an HMRC spokesman.
‘There will be no job losses. New technology and the synergy provided by the
merger allows us to better husband the resources at our disposal.’

The Public and Commercial Services Union slammed the proposals, saying HMRC
could not ‘cut out staff and deliver the same level of service’.

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