The bill – Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill 2017-19 – is being brought forward as the government makes arrangements to leave the EU, but comes against a backdrop in which the PCS has been arguing that HMRC requires more resources in order to operate effectively.
The PCS represents HMRC workers whose day-to-day duties will be directly affected by the provisions in the bill and the legislation that follows.
HMRC “not adequately resourced”
Back in November 2015 HMRC announced plans to close approcimately 170 offices and replace them with 13 ‘regional centres’ and four ‘specialist sites’ based mostly in major UK cities. These proposals, titled ‘Building our Future’, would leave huge areas of the country without a local HMRC office or point of contact.
PCS argue that HMRC is already “inadequately resourced” and claims that any arrangements for exiting the EU and a transitional period cannot possible be properly implemented “unless the current and future detrimental impact of the Building Our Future plans and the current resourcing levels are addressed properly, in a government department that is frankly in crisis.”
The Public and Commercial Services Union are the main union representing the majority of workers in HMRC, the government department responsible for assessing, enforcing and collecting taxes which pay for all public services.