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HMRC to make job cuts

HM REVENUE & CUSTOMS is to cut thousands of jobs as the department looks to rein in costs.

Around 200 workers are to be offered redundancy across four Welsh tax offices, Carmarthen, Pembroke Dock, Merthyr Tydfil and Colwyn Bay the sites affected.

In all, jobs cuts across 21 offices are being considered. 

Taxpayers’ increased use of online filing has been cited as one of the main driving forces behind the decision.

A separate 3,000 workers brought in to cope with increased demand also face losing their jobs once their contracts expire in April 2014 after it was decided not to make them permanent.

In a statement, union PCS said: “We have made it clear we oppose the decision not to extend these contracts beyond April 2014 or make the staff permanent.

“Since 2005, 34,000 jobs have gone from HMRC and another 10,000 are planned by 2015 under the government’s spending cuts.

“The department is clearly suffering from chronic staffing shortages, which mean it is unable to collect all the tax owed, or chase down the tax dodgers who deprive our economy of tens of billions of pounds a year.

“And we will use the 90-day redundancy consultation period to fully scrutinise HMRC’s budgets and come up with alternatives.”

Commenting on the Welsh redundancies, an HMRC spokeman said: “HMRC’s business areas have continually reviewed where work should be done and adjusted their workforce and offices in response to business need. The voluntary exits being offered to staff in 21 offices are as a result of one or more business areas concluding that these offices do not fit with their long-term plans, and that work that is currently being done in them is better placed in other offices. This is part of a long-term trend to ensure that HMRC’s workforce and office estate fits the needs of the business and that the UK’s tax system is managed cost-effectively.”

In relation to the temporary workers, the spokesman added: “HMRC has 3,900 people on temporary fixed-term appointments, whose contracts are due to expire at the end of March 2014. Yesterday, we began formal consultation with the Department’s trades unions on whether to terminate these contracts when they expire. We also confirmed our intention to extend up to 1,000 of these 3,900 staff beyond March 2014, and we are working through the detail of where and for how long these extensions will be offered.” 

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