Some 8,000 jobs could be slashed after HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) announced plans to close 137 tax offices last week.
Many more workers could lose their jobs if they can’t relocate to one of 13 new regional tax centres that will replace the offices in HMRC’s “modernisation” programme.
More than 10,000 HMRC jobs have been cut since 2010, with 250 offices and 281 walk-in centres already closed.
HMRC worker and PCS union NEC member Marianne Owens spoke to Socialist Worker in a personal capacity.
She said, “In some places it’s going to be devastating. The majority of people won’t be able to move to the new centres.
“This means that HMRC will be able to bring in new staff on worse contracts.”
She added, “It also means that some areas are going to be quite badly economically affected.
“In Bootle around 2,000 people are employed by HMRC.”
PCS calls for a public consultation and a parliamentary review of the plans. They are also demanding proper negotiations with HMRC. But reviews and consultations will not be enough to save jobs.
Marianne said, “We need to organise an industrial response in the offices that are going to close. We have to build the union and the fighting fund, and prepare for action.”
Job losses in the steel industry show what can happen if closures are allowed to go through without a fight.
PCS must call a strike ballot in HMRC to stop the attacks.