Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East SNP MP, Stuart McDonald, yesterday asked a parliamentary question at Scottish Questions in the House of Commons regarding the future of tax offices in Scotland and, in particular, the future of the tax office in Cumbernauld.
Cumbernauld and Kilsyth MSP, Jamie Hepburn, has also previously raised this issue with Financial Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke MP, the UK Government Minister responsible for the HMRC.
This comes as the HMRC “Building Our Future” review is due to report on Thursday 12th November. This could potentially see the tax office in Cumbernauld closed and merged with other tax offices in the West of Scotland and replaced with a single regional centre.
Stuart McDonald MP commented:
“I am angry that the UK Government is considering action which would have a very serious impact on jobs in Cumbernauld and the surrounding area. As is obvious from the question I asked at Scottish Questions the impact this process will have on staff seems to have played very little part in UK Government considerations. I have arranged to meet with the PCS trade union, who represent HMRC staff, next week to discuss this ongoing situation with them and to offer my support.
“I am also concerned at the effect a closure of the HMRC office in Cumbernauld may have on the town centre and have previously asked a number of written questions to the Treasury about what economic assessment has been made of the effect on town centres of moving HMRC offices. The answer unfortunately appears to have been very little.
“The fact that my questions were aimed at the Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, who could not even be bothered to answer and instead delegated them to a Treasury Minister shows, I believe, a deep disrespect for the issues at hand. There was not even a cursory attempt by David Gauke, Financial Secretary to the Secretary, to show that he understood the impact that these potential changes would have on the local area.”
Jamie Hepburn MSP commented:
“The HMRC office in Cumbernauld is one of the biggest employers in the town and I am dismayed by these shocking plans which could see this office closed and moved out of Cumbernauld.
“The 1100 jobs connected with this office are crucial for local families and for the economy of the town and any threat to this office would have a serious lasting impact to the town.
“I have previously met with representatives of the workers and the PCS trade union and pledged my support in efforts to keep this office open and I have also written to the Treasury to oppose their plans and to support this vital local employer. I hope that the UK Government see sense and keep this office where it is.”