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Tory Cuts To HMRC Will Hit Customer Service And Tax Collection, Government’s Own Research Finds

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS Union which has fought against cuts since 2010, told HuffPost UK: “This is deeply embarrassing for HMRC.

“Its plans for the coming years are all predicated on more cuts, yet it is clear for everyone to see that is the exact opposite of what the department and our economy need.”

Earlier this year the Public Accounts Committee was scathing about HMRC’s record.

It claimed cuts to HMRC helplines have cost customers £4 for every £1 saved and left taxpayers waiting for an average of 47 minutes for their calls to be answered.

The committee warned that plans to cut the number of staff at HMRC by a third by 2021 could lead to another “collapse” in customer service and will “chill the blood of many taxpayers”.

It said that last year a decision by HMRC to save money by axing 5,600 staff led to “unacceptable” waiting times as people spent more than 4 million hours waiting for their calls to be answered.

Treasury ministers have insisted in the past that the switch to regional centres will improve service rather than undermine it, and say that more investment into tax evasion teams is yielding results.

The HMRC have been contacted for comment.

Only this week a new report by firm PfP found that on average it took just four-and-a-half minutes to get through to an advisor for those who phoned between the hours of 8:30am and 9:30am, or between noon and 12:30pm.

But those who called between 4:30pm and 5pm wait up to 12 minutes, with some callers having to hold for up to 25 minutes before being connected to an advisor.

Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2016/09/02/tory-cuts-hmrc-customer-service-call-centres-pcs-union_n_11831422.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-politics&ir=UK+Politics