Opinion Former Article

PCS: Union backs public accounts report on revenue and customs

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) today backed calls by the Public Accounts Committee to safeguard opportunities for the public to have face-to-face contact with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) when dealing with their tax affairs.

In a report, published today, the Public Accounts Committee warns that: "the preference that many older people have for face-to-face advice should not be sacrificed in the department's drive to achieve efficiency savings."

The report published by the committee, called Revenue and Customs: Dealing with the tax obligations of older people, says that the elderly are poorly served by HMRC and that over 2 million are paying more tax on their savings than they need to.

The report comes at the same time as HMRC axe 25,000 jobs and press ahead with the closure of over 200 offices. The union warned that unless HMRC reversed its cuts, that services would continue to suffer and face-to-face advice become non-existent.

Commenting, Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: "The Public Accounts Committee is right to call for face-to-face advice to be safeguarded. Revenue and Customs are recklessly pursuing their programme of job cuts and office closures which will damage services and important face-to-face advice. Rather than crude cuts in the name of 'efficiency', HMRC should be investing in service delivery and chasing over £100 billion worth of taxes that is uncollected, avoided or evaded."

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For further information, interviews and comment please contact Alex Flynn PCS national press officer on 020 7801 2747 or 07833 978216.

PCS, the Public and Commercial Services Union is the union representing civil and public servants in central government. It has more than 300,000 members in over 200 departments and agencies. It also represents workers in parts of government transferred to the private sector. PCS is the UK's sixth largest union and is affiliated to the TUC. The general secretary is Mark Serwotka and the president is Janice Godrich.

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