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That this House is concerned by Government plans to close all HM Revenue and Customs' (HMRC) 281 enquiry centres throughout the UK; notes that only 87 customers in the pilot area in the North East of England managed to secure a face-to-face appointment during the first two months of the pilot, compared to 2,182 over the same period in 2012; further notes that as a result of the closures more pressure will be put onto HMRC contact centres, which already struggle to meet existing caller demand; recognises that the decision to end the contracts of 4,500 staff employed as fixed term appointments by March 2014 will further compound the misery of members of the public and the business community who want to comply with the tax system, potentially increasing disengagement with HMRC and leading to more tax avioidance and evasion; and calls on the Government to reconsider its proposals to close the HMRC enquiry centre network and to ensure that adequate levels of properly trained, permanent staff are put in place to meet public service demand.
Total number of signatures: 62
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