Aberdeen & Inverness Revenue & Customs Branch

The Cuts Just Got Deeper..........
27th June 2013.  The 2015/16 Comprehensive Spending Review is announced and "the stark reality of what is facing members finally hits home.........."
The highlighted section above reads like an opening line from one of the Tory rags, but it actually is exactly what every PCS rep dreams will happen.  We all hope that members will believe what we are telling them and for the last 5 years we have been predicting this day and backing it up with evidence after evidence every time the government strikes another blow to the civil and public sector.  PCS reps battle daily to get the message across to members of just what is around the corner and how it will affect them.  Some members take it in and become active, others take it in but just keep their heads down and the few members who dismiss all that is said and cross the picket lines will no doubt be amongst those who today are reeling from the CSR announcement.
Pre - 27th June 2013
  • Between 2004 and 2010 over 200 HMRC offices closed with the loss of over 25,000 jobs.
  • 281 Enquiry Centres were announced for closure as part of an ongoing pilot aimed at saving costs and providing a "better public service".
  • Sections of debt collection work have been put to the private sector.
  • Compensation Scheme terms have been slashed, meaning that those forced to leave their jobs are not adequately rewarded for their service.
  • Sickness absence management procedures have been introduced that do not support members to regain full health and return to their work.  They manage members out of the door with as little support and compensation as possible in as short a timescale as possible.
  • New performance management procedures put the emphasis on members providing evidence that they can do their job.  So much time is taken up building evidence that members don't have time to actually do the job they are employed to do.  An arbitary 10% of staff must fail to meet their objectives.  What if everyone meets their objectives?  Looks like there will have to be a losers lottery!
  • New terms and conditions have been imposed for those gaining promotion  and new entrants to include - annual leave being cut, paid sick leave being cut and all grades becoming mobile on promotion amongst other changes.
  • A pay freeze for 2 years followed by an average 1% annual pay rise until 2014/15 at the same time that the cost of living is rising and the number of people living below the living wage is increasing, many of them are our members, some even relying on food banks.
  • Pensions have been cut, contributions have increased and members will now have to work longer, and will have less of a retirement to look forward to, if they can afford to leave their homes to enjoy their retirement at all.
27th June 2013 onwards.......
  • A further 144,000 public sector jobs to be cut before 2015/16.
  • 10% cut to resource budgets across most governments departments.
  • 5% cut to resource budget in HMRC whilst achieving £1billion in additional tax yield in 2015/16, not including the 8,000 processing staff still to be cut.  All this at the same time as having to cope with a higher workload due to the workforce having been cut by over 25% in the last 5 years.
  • The 1% average pay rise cap to be extended until 2015/16.
  • Pay progression to be abolished in the civil service by 2015/16.  This effectively means that a rate for the job/grade would be established, likely to be mid-grade or lower, resulting in pay freezes for those higher up the current pay structure for their grade (which is the majority of staff currently in the department).  The only way to increase your pay will be to get promoted, which comes with the aforementioned cuts in annual leave etc.
  • Further reductions in the civil service compensation scheme terms are to be announced with the legal minimum expected to be applied.
  • The department continues to plan for centralisation and privatisation, which ultimately means further huge job losses and a public service that those recently retired would barely recognise.
If this is the progress that you are looking for and the society that you crave to live in then you need to nothing.  However, if the above fills you with horror and makes you angry then think about what you can do to help.
  1. You can speak to your colleagues and if they are not in the union then you can encourage them to join.
  2. You can take an active part in protests and demonstrations that happen across the country on an almost daily basis.
  3. You can take part in strike action when it is called and stand on a picket line to demostrate the depth of feeling against the cuts.  One day's pay for each strike day is a lot less than what you will lose in the long run when your pay remains at its current rate, pension contributions increase and retirement will only be for the lucky few who live long enough to see it.
  4. Most importantly of all, don't be an ostrich.  Be informed, take part in deciding your own destiny and support your fellow union members in being able to do the same.
Together we are stronger!

Save HMRC Enquiry Centres
Please complete this e-petition to help save all 281 tax enquiry centres

 Updates will be added to the website as more information becomes available.

Together we can make a difference! 


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