Thursday, 23 June 2011

Wrexham tax office under threat - 400 jobs at risk

Plaid AM attacks leaked closure plans

Llyr Huws Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru's new Assembly Member for North Wales, has attacked plans by the UK government to close all tax offices in Wales except for one in Cardiff.

A leaked document lists just 16 Her Majesty Customs and Revenue offices remaining open in the UK, including Cardiff.

He said:
"This is devastating news for the 1,000 tax office staff in Porthmadog, Wrexham, Merthyr Tydfil, Carmarthen, Colwyn Bay, Swansea and Prestatyn.

"A large number of those jobs are in Wrexham, which has absorbed jobs from the previous round of closures under Labour, and I will be doing all I can to ensure that we don't lose more public sector jobs in the North.

"We in North Wales are being clobbered by the Con-Dem government out of all proportion with these planned job losses. Fragile local economies such as Colwyn Bay, Prestatyn and Porthmadog can't take any more cuts as they will impact further on local shops and businesses."

Mr Gruffydd said he was furious that tax office jobs had been lost while big corporations were not being scrutinised effectively enough and paying their share of the tax burden. He added:

"It makes absolutely no sense whatsover to be cutting the very staff who can make sure big business and the wealthy pay their taxes. Each tax inspector is worth, on average, £600,000 in terms of additional tax collected. That's money that can go to build schools and maintain the NHS. Cutting staff means reducing the tax take - it's a nonsensical policy decision.

"Why are successive UK Governments hell bent on attacking the public sector in Wales? This is a cut too far and will be resisted fiercely."


Jac o' the North said...

Does this proposal mean that all Welsh tax-collecting will be done from Cardiff or is it yet another counter-devolution plan that will result in north Wales being 'served' from Liverpool and mid Wales from Telford?

In other words, yet another example of Wales creating jobs for England.

Plaid Whitegate said...

I'm sure the logic (from Westminster) would be transferring North and MId Wales jobs to Liverpool and Telford in the same way that all North Wales post is sorted in Chester.

Given that there is no benefit to having these offices in big cities - most of their work is done by phone, online or by post - then it beggars belief that they are centralising in the big cities, where you'll pay higher rates, higher rents and - in London - higher wages.

Did you need another reason for Welsh independence?