Opinion Former Article

PCS: Government should invest to improve HMRC efficiency

The government has acknowledged concerns raised by the Treasury select committee about a problem with leadership in Revenue and Customs but the continuing drive to cut staff will only worsen the situation, says PCS.

The Treasury committee's report into the administration and effectiveness of HMRC recognises that hard-working staff continue to do more with less. But the government's proposals to make further savings will only worsen staff morale and hit efficiency further.

A PCS spokesman said: "If the government is serious about increasing the amount of money collected in taxation and improving efficiency it should invest instead of reducing net costs by 15% by 2014-15.

"Thousands of experienced staff have been lost and the department says it is trying to get the 'right skills in the right place' but this is made virtually impossible as it continues the massive programme of office closures. This is compounded by the intention to cut a further 8,000 posts before the end of the spending review period.

"We welcome moves to address leadership skills and create more productive relationships with people in the department but this will not be achieved by looking for further savings through the PaceSetter work-monitoring system and a punitive absence management policy.

"The report says HMRC expects to move over to a face-to-face business model that better targets customers' needs but the department continues to reduce opening hours and access to local face-to-face contact centres.

"There needs to be a serious commitment to investment in staff across the department."

 

ENDS

 

Notes


- For information contact PCS journalist Dave Tilley on 020 7801 2744

- The Public and Commercial Services union represents civil and public servants in central government. It has more than 300,000 members in over 200 departments and agencies, as well as staff in parts of government transferred to the private sector. PCS is the UK’s fifth largest union and is affiliated to the TUC. The general secretary is Mark Serwotka and the president is Janice Godrich

- Follow PCS on Twitter http://twitter.com/pcs_union

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