Revenue & Customs management last week announced the latest stage in their assault on workers and public services with plans to close over 130 offices in the next 12 months.
The cuts mean that over 1,700 staff are being forced to take voluntary redundancy or to stay and hope a job can be found for them in another office.
However, with another 1,800 workers to face compulsory transfer, there are no guarantees that this will happen.
The department has already shed over 20,000 jobs since 2006. It has pledged to cut a further 5,000 by next year.
The reaction of PCS union members in the affected offices was one of shock and dismay, which quickly turned to anger. Staff in the Harlow office staged an unofficial walkout when the news was broken to them.
The government should be investing in more staff to get the £130 billion of tax that is going uncollected annually, due to evasion, avoidance and fraud. Most of this tax is owed by the rich.
After the job cuts, management want the remaining staff to do more work. Yet only two days after the announcement, a national audit office report highlighted how understaffing is already hitting services provided over the telephone.
PCS members must take a stand against the government’s relentless barrage of cuts to essential public services.
An emergency meeting of the PCS group executive committee is scheduled to discuss the issue next week.