Socialist Worker

Tax workers walk out against job cuts and privatisation

Issue No. 2308

Workers on the picket line today outside HMRC

Workers on the picket line today outside HMRC's head office in Euston, central London (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Some 55,000 civil service workers in HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) struck on Monday against job cuts and privatisation.

The Tories want to axe 10,000 jobs in the department on top of 30,000 that have been lost since it was formed in 2005.

This is despite an estimated £120 billion of tax revenues being lost every year due to evasion and avoidance by corporations and the rich.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said the cuts effectively meant “letting the wealthy tax dodgers off the hook and punishing the rest of us for a recession we did not cause”.

» More voices from the HMRC strike

Today’s strike will be followed by an overtime ban that starts from tomorrow. Overtime is being used to mask the effects of staff cuts, the PCS union says.

Marianne Owens works at HMRC in South Wales. “These attacks threaten our jobs, conditions and the services we deliver,” she said. “Schools, hospitals and other services face cuts as a result.”

The strikers also oppose attempts to privatise sections of the department. Tax credit inquiries are being handled by private call centres in Bathgate and Lillyhall as part of a year long trial.

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Mon 25 Jun 2012, 10:39 BST
Issue No. 2308
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