Constituency MP Stuart McDonald and local MSP Jamie Hepburn have this week pressed for answers from HMRC over their proposed closure of the Cumbernauld Tax Office.
MP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East Mr McDonald has written to HMRC bosses setting out his opposition to the plans. His letter seeks answers to a number of questions which were raised at his recent meeting with representatives of workers at the site. He has also written to the UK Parliament’s Treasury Select Committee, raising his concerns about the lack of parliamentary scrutiny which has been given to these plans.
His colleague, MP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth Mr Hepburn has also written directly to HMRC bosses. In his letter he highlights arguments made by HMRC that the new regional centres would be of economic benefit to their proposed locations, without any mention of the economic damage the closure of the existing office would cause.
Mr Hepburn has now also sought a meeting with representatives of HMRC to discuss in further detail their plans.
This Monday, 16th November, Mr McDonald tried to secure an Urgent Question in the House of Commons on this topic, but it was not taken. The SNP have now announced that they next week will be forcing the House of Commons to debate these closures.
Mr McDonald said:
“While I was disappointed that there was no opportunity for my Urgent Question on these proposals to be taken in the Commons this week, it is positive that the SNP will be forcing a debate on this matter, which effects offices throughout Scotland and the UK.
“These plans would have a seriously negative impact on the local economy and on the local community. Myself and my colleagues in the SNP will continue to do all we can to hold HMRC to account and to press for these plans to be given the proper scrutiny they require.”
Commenting on these developments Mr Hepburn said:
“The arguments behind this move being made publicly by HMRC bosses states that it would bring economic benefits to the locations of the new centres. However any such benefits will obviously be at the expense of the local economies of the areas where the existing offices are.
“I welcome the opportunity to meet with HMRC bosses directly and I will be sure to make my concerns and opposition to these plans known.”