The news that HMRC is to shut all of its tax offices in Wales and open a new branch in central Cardiff is disturbing particularly as it seems that the Welsh Assembly will have some Tax powers in the future
HMRC will shut its Swansea and Porthmadog offices in 2019-20 while the existing Ty Glas site in Llanishen, Cardiff, will also shut at the same time.
The tax agency has confirmed it is to open a new regional centre in the capital in 2019-20. Wrexham’s office will also shut in 2020-21. An office in Merthyr is alr
Staff working at Cardiff are expected to move to the new building while a “significant number of people” from Swansea will likely be able to do so as well, a leaked briefing document said.
But the document adds that HMRC recognises the planned new regional centre will be out of reasonable daily travel for many people working in Swansea.
It is all part of a massive reorganisation of HMRC’s estate across the UK – with staff officially informed of the plans on Thursday.
Workers in Porthmadog and Wrexham
HMRC said it currently had around 2,900 staff in Wales, including 350 in Wrexham, 300 in Swansea, and 20 in Porthmadog.
20 in Porthmadog does not look a lot but in a small towneven a number such as this can be devastating. as Plaid Leader Leanne Wood said
"The loss in jobs in places .... with population centres that are quite small relatively speaking, has a much bigger impact than it would in areas of a bigger size where it would still be a huge problem,"
It could also mean that Welsh Language Provision by HMRc could be more difficult to obtain in the future
Unions have called for a high-profile consultation while there are warnings at the implications that closing the Porthmadog centre will have on the Welsh language.
It also reflects a worrying trend to divert al our resources to Cardiff.
I do not support Devolution or Independence to emulate the UK state with Cardiff becoming like London a drain on other parts of the Nations sucking in al the important government jobs.
Government agencies like HMRC shoild be devolving work outside its main Offices rather than consolidating jobs in one area.
We live in a digital age where Workers in Porthmadog could as easily be on the next floor as far as a Cardiff or even London HQ are concerned.
Can it be a coincidence these job losses will be happening in a department that has just been slated by a Commons committee for gross incompetence, and customer service
Fifty per cent of calls to HMRC go unanswered because there's no one to answer them, and no one seems to be available to deal with the thousands of tax dodgers' names given to them by the HSBC leaker.
This is how Government works now highlight a problem that you would probably try to suppress just before you make drastic cuts through a reorgainsation.
Its not just in Wales and as Munguin's Republic points in Scotland it is particularly poignant
as HMRC workers were told by the NO campaign that the only way to save jobs in HMRC, was to vote No. (An independent Scotland wouldn't, it seemed, have needed tax collectors???)
Indeed, they even managed to get people from HMRC to stand outside with banners proclaiming their jobs were only safe within the pooling and sharing UKOK. Save our UK jobs! Vote NO, they pleaded with Scottish Voter in the referendum'
It certainly leaves a nasty Taste in the mouth of many workers in the future.