Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today (November 13th 2015) ripped into the government for their handling of job losses at three local tax offices which are now due to close over the coming four years.
“This news is a disgrace to the name of proper government. They are now talking of sacking loyal and often low paid HMRC workers on Teesside at a time when figures released earlier this week showed that the level of staffing is already so poor that HMRC were unable to answer 18million phone calls from the public last year – more than a quarter of those it received. Figures given to the House of Commons showed that that 10.5million calls to HMRC went to an answer machine or received a busy tone, while 7.4million more were terminated by frustrated customers fed up with waiting on hold.
“So what’s the Government’s answer? To sack more staff here on Teesside, something that will make the matters even worse. This only adds insult to injury for taxpayers and puts the burden of paying for the cuts on to dismissed members of staff and their families.
“To compound matters, the local announcement was made weeks after the announcement of the SSI job losses, a week after the announcement of the Stockton Air Products job losses and on the very same day that it was announced that 350 jobs were to go at the Boulby Potash Mine.
“Teesside has just endured a tsunami of job losses. This all means the work being done by the original steel task force needs to be redoubled to cope with the latest onslaught, and this time the government have to put their money where their mouths are.
“They could make a start by announcing that one of the new HMRC “Regional Hubs” would be sited on Teesside, allowing for some expansion at a time where the news elsewhere is of contraction. This is a key demand and one I will be making of Treasury Ministers.”