Jim McGovern, Labour MSP for Dundee West raised the following question in parliament on Wednesday, the third day of the HMRC strike:
“On Monday morning….I joined a picket line with members of the Public and Commercial Services Union. They were protesting against the closure of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs offices in Dundee and trying to protect their terms and conditions. Their main concern, however, was that they believed there to be a government plan for the privatisation of HMRC. Will the prime minister assure those members that there will be no such plans on his watch?”
The Prime Minister refused to rule out privatisation, responding: “The plan we have for HMRC is to make it more efficient and more effective at collecting taxes from the people who should be paying them. That is the plan.”
Meanwhile the fourth day of the strike has seen members in the Midlands and Northern Ireland refusing to go into work.
In Coventry, where turnout was around 90%, members on the 12-strong picket line were interviewed by a raft of local media.
In Leicester, the pickets raised a sizeable amount for the group hardship fund.
In Northern Ireland branch secretary Barney Lawn warned: “The latest plans to sack another 22,000…..will lead to the kind of backlogs we’ve seen in other parts of the civil service such as the delays in the processing of passports, leading to an unacceptable level of customer service and further hardship for our undervalued, overworked and underpaid members.”
Today’s action has been covered by: