Dundee West MP Jim McGovern has raised the planned closure of the HMRC enquiry office, based in Caledonian House in the Greenmarket in Dundee, during Prime Minister’s Questions.
On Monday 23rd June Mr McGovern joined the PCS trade union, who represent the HMRC staff, on the picket lines as they staged a one day strike in protest of the government’s plans. The Dundee office will be closed as part of a UK-wide plan to close all 281 of the HMRC’s enquiry offices. The staff provide face to face advice to members of the public regarding HMRC services.
The closure may lead to redundancies for some, and pay cuts as well as reductions in terms and conditions to those deployed elsewhere within the HMRC.
Mr McGovern asked the Prime Minister if he could allay the fears of PCS members that these reforms were a prelude to privatisation of these HMRC services. In reply the Prime Minister said his aim was to make the HMRC ‘more efficient’ but refused to deny that privatisation may occur in the future.
Jim McGovern said:
“It is extremely worrying that the Prime Minister refused to categorically deny that some HMRC services may be privatised. The fears I heard from PCS members on the picket lines in Dundee seem to be justified.”
“The staff at the Dundee office work hard to provide essential advice to members of the public. It was bad enough that these cuts will mean redundancies, pay cuts and reductions to terms and conditions, but now we may see the whole service sold to the private sector. That is a terrible betrayal of the staff. “
“These services are vital and are popular with the public. The loss or privatisation of these offices will leave ordinary people worse of. I will continue to support the PCS in their fight against these poorly judged reforms and I will keep pressing the government to think again.”