HMRC workers in strike over cuts

WORKERS AT HM REVENUE & CUSTOMS are taking strike action in protest against job cuts and privatisation.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union are concerned over proposed plans to cut approximately 10,000 jobs by 2014/15.

According to the union, billions of pounds in tax are already lost annually due to a lack of resources to tackle evasion and avoidance, and the situation would only worsen as a result of the “massive cuts”.

The PCS added the proposed reduction follows on from 30,000 jobs lost at the Revenue since its merger with Customs and Excise in 2005.

HMRC said it was on track to meet its tax compliance targets, and was “disappointed with the decision to strike and will do everything it can to maintain services to the public”.

A spokesman said: “We are seeking dialogue with the PCS to address their concerns and will work to minimise any disruption to our customers.

“In our 2010 spending review, the government made £917m available to us to tackle avoidance, evasion and fraud.

“This is being used to increase our tax take from compliance work by £7bn a year in 2014/15 which we are on target to do. Last year alone we increased the yield from our compliance work to £13.9bn.”

The PCS is the largest civil service union, with 55,000 members in HMRC alone. More than half of the members polled voted in favour of industrial action in a ballot earlier this month.

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