Market leading insight for tax experts
View online issue

Senior HMRC officials ‘orchestrated plot against staff union’, says PCS

printer Mail

Senior HMRC officials are accused of an ‘orchestrated plot’ to undermine the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union following the leak of a top-level memo, the PCS said. The revelation comes after HMRC walked away from talks aimed at resolving an ongoing dispute over job cuts and office closures.

The strategy paper, written for HMRC’s executive committee, outlines plans to try to isolate the union that represents 50,000 HMRC staff – around three-quarters of the workforce. The memo states that HMRC’s senior management believes its ‘business interests’ are best served by an approach that ‘reduces the influence of the unions’, setting out a plan to ‘marginalise PCS’ and that ‘further proactive measures targeted at key union activists’ would be considered.

The PCS has accused the HMRC’s most senior civil servants of acting politically to stifle opposition to cuts at a time when even government estimates acknowledge the amount lost in uncollected tax is rising, and calls for HMRC to re-engage with its officials and representatives.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: ‘This orchestrated plot to undermine a union that represents three quarters of HMRC staff is further evidence of the creeping politicisation of the civil service. Collecting even a fraction of the tens of billions of pounds a year that is lost to our economy through tax evasion and avoidance would change the debate about public spending overnight and this is what HMRC should be focusing on.’