Calls for support for HMRC workers, though changes could lead to more skilled jobs in Wales
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs is to shut it’s Welsh tax offices, with staff offered a transfer to a new regional centre in Cardiff – or north west England.
The changes are taking place over a ten year period and mean the closure of offices in Wrexham, Swansea and Porthmadog. The present site in Cardiff will also close, to be replaced by a new regional office in the capital.
The Welsh Conservatives have called on HMRC to provide support to affected workers in Wales, including those who do not wish to be relocated.
The Welsh Conservative Leader – Andrew RT Davies – also called for assurances that the changes would not lead to HMRC’s Welsh language support being compromised or downgraded.
Mr Davies said:
“Today’s announcement will be of real concern to those workers located at the offices which are set to close, particularly in North Wales, and I have every sympathy for those who affected.
“The reorganisation could, however, lead to a net gain in terms of Welsh jobs of several hundred, with the regional centre likely to locate 3,800 employees.
“HMRC will need to ensure that packages are put in place to support both those who opt not to relocate to the new centre and those who do. Support, in particular, must be given to older workers who typically find it more difficult to find new employment.
“Ultimately, recent reports have highlighted the need to modernise the way in which HMRC works. Not only in terms of the way in which complaints are handled, but the efficiency of the organisation at tackling the minority which cheat the system.
“HMRC will need to convince people that the reorganisation will be able to deliver a better service, but the changes could lead to more high-quality, skilled jobs in Wales.”
On the closure of the Porthmadog site, Mr Davies added:
“It is clear that the current set-up is in need of reconfiguration, but safeguards must be put in place to ensure that the Welsh language service is not compromised by the closure of the Porthmadog site.”