Thursday, 28 April 2016 20:43

TAX office closures - 'Another betrayal for Scottish workers

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 SNP MP Chris Stephens  has said the UK Government must suspend its proposed closures of tax offices to have proper parliamentary scrutiny of the plans  - which if they go ahead would lead to widespread job losses in Scotland .

 In the debate - secured by Mr. Stephens  - MPs are to call for a halt to the Tories’ proposal to close 137 local HM Revenue and Customs  (HMRC) offices across the UK , to be replaced by 13 regional centres - expected to lead to thousands of job losses in Scotland – at a time when tax evasion and avoidance is under the spotlight.
 Commenting Chris Stephens MP said :
 ‘’The plans to close over a hundred HMRC offices across the UK are wrong and another betrayal of all the promises made to the Scottish workers in the offices by the UK government during the referendum. The proposed closures will have a disproportionate effect on Scotland, and this is against the backdrop of assurances made just two years ago that a 'No' vote would be the only way to secure their future.  
 “These plans fail to understand or take into account the diversity or needs of the Scottish economy and have the potential to seriously compromise the ability of HMRC to collect tax, enforce compliance and close the tax gap - as well as creating uncertainty about jobs in a number of locations.
 "Tax avoidance and evasion is under the spotlight and only the Tories would propose curtailing tax offices at a time when offshore funds and vehicles to avoid proper tax collection are depriving HMRC of huge revenues.
 “ These plans should have been subjected to parliamentary scrutiny and it is essential  that the UK Government suspends the closure programme until a comprehensive consultation and review has been undertaken.
 “The Tory government needs to urgently rethink these nonsensical and ill-conceived closures.”