Saturday, 25 October 2008

Tax office cuts protest

SEVERAL hundred PCS members attended a protest meeting in Bradford against the planned closure of local tax offices last Friday.
The campaign against the cuts has attracted cross-party support from MPs including Marsha Singh, MP for Bradford West, Shadow Treasury spokesperson David Gauke MP, Shadow Treasury spokesman, Philip Davies, MP for Shipley, Ann Cryer, MP for Keighley, and Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman.
PCS, which represents 1,200 people in the Bradford area, highlighted its opposition to the planned closure of 200 offices by HM Revenue and Customs with the loss of around 25,000 jobs. The cutbacks are part of a move to axe 100,000 civil service posts announced in 2006 by Gordon Brown when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The union says that about 100 remaining jobs are threatened in local offices earmarked for closure by 2011. They include Crown House and Hockney House in Shipley, Worth House, Keighley, Cavendish House, Skipton, Century House, Pudsey, and Empire House in Dewsbury.
PCS Bradford and District president Trudy Bates said: “Job cuts and office closures don’t make sense. A recent report produced by the TUC estimated the UK tax gap at £25 billion, or £1,000 a year for everyone at work in the UK.
“HMRC claims to have saved tax payers £105 million last year through job cuts whilst spending £106 million on private consultants. Office closures are bad for businesses and the communities of West Yorkshire.”