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MPs' report should have gone further on job cuts, says senior HMRC staff union

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The union representing senior HMRC staff said last week's report by the Public Accounts Committee should have 'gone further' and highlighted the need to invest in HMRC in order to collect more tax.

Gareth Hills, President of the Association of Revenue and Customs, said: ‘The PAC is right to say that job losses at HMRC undermine its ability to collect tax. But it is a shame that PAC has not gone further and echoed the consistent and credible arguments put forward by ARC throughout its “Defeat the Deficit” campaign about the need to invest in HMRC to collect more tax.

‘The PAC report says that a further £1.1bn taxes could have been collected but for job losses at HMRC. ARC has shown that investing in professional staff could generate many times that amount – money desperately needed to ease the pain of deficit reduction and to encourage much needed growth.’

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said: ‘While we believe the amount of uncollected, evaded and avoided tax is much higher than the committee claims, standing at more than £120bn a year, we absolutely agree that the effort to ensure people pay the taxes they owe will continue to be seriously undermined by job cuts. The case for investment in our public services could not be starker or more obvious than it is in HMRC, yet the government is actually planning to cut 10,000 more jobs from the department in the coming years.’

HMRC estimates the ‘tax gap’ at £35bn a year.