My thanks to a loyal reader who sent me the following transcript of PCS's brief (issued today) on the announcement by HMRC of the closure of the Enquiry Centres:
"HMRC approached us to emphasise that they were fully prepared to enter into meaningful dialogue with PCS and ARC on a strictly confidential basis. These talks were to be ahead of any firm decision about the future direction in respect of customers needing enhanced support. We welcomed this offer and dialled into a telecom on 21 Feb in what can only be described as a very bizarre meeting. The heading of the meeting was 'the future of f2f enquiry centres' but when we tried to discuss this we were informed it was now changed to 'customers who need enhanced support'It looks as though HMRC were playing games with the unions.
We made it clear at the meeting what PCS response would be to closures and it was agreed in the spirit of employee relations agreement to hold weekly meetings. HMRC hoped to inform us of timescales at first meeting as well as give details of trials and research undertaken.
These meetings never took place and following cancellation of second scheduled one by HMRC our group secretary deputy and full time officer were invited to a confidential.meeting last week in which they were informed of the plans."
Do bear in mind that HMRC have been planning the demise of the Enquiry Centres for quite some time.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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