Cumbernauld Tax Office closure proposals are “shocking”, says MSP

Written by Scott Campbell, Cumbernauld Media's Senior Reporter.

Published at 11:11 on 8 March 2015

Politics    SNP    HMRC

Cumbernauld and Kilsyth SNP MSP, Jamie Hepburn says the proposals are "shocking"

THE future of the Tax Office in Cumbernauld has been called into question after HMRC documents revealed that Cumbernauld’s HMRC site faces closure as part of proposed centralisation plans. 

Cumbernauld and Kilsyth’s SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament has reacted to the news by describing the proposals as “shocking”.

Jamie Hepburn, SNP MSP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, has said that the “plans being put forward are shocking and must be rejected”, after it emerged that Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs were looking at plans to close the Cumbernauld site and potentially move staff to a centralised centre in Glasgow.

The documents which Mr Hepburn has seen set out that the HMRC are looking to reduce staffing levels and the number of locations they operate from across the country.

Mr Hepburn recently met with representatives of the PCS Trade Union which represents workers at the Tax Office, who confirmed that the office’s future was under serious threat. The Tax Office is one of the largest employers in the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth area, employing over 1100 individuals.

The changes planned would see all offices within what HMRC terms its West of Scotland Campus closed and replaced with a single Regional Centre. None of the existing facilities, including the Cumbernauld Tax Office, are considered suitable and proposals set out in these documents would see a new Regional Centre build “in or around Glasgow”.

Mr Hepburn’s meeting with the trade union representatives has confirmed that these plans are being actively pursued by HMRC senior management.

The SNP MSP has now written to the UK Government’s Minister responsible for HMRC, Financial Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke MP opposing the plans.

Commenting on the threatened closure Mr Hepburn said: “The Tax Office is the largest single employer in the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth area. It represents over 1100 jobs which in turn are crucial support families. It is a key economic anchor for the town and its closure would have a lasting and serious impact on the area. “The plans being put forward are shocking and must be rejected.”

“While HRMC’s intent is clear – they want to close all such offices in the West of Scotland and replace them with one new office “in or around Glasgow” - too much of their plans remain unconfirmed. HMRC need to come clean with their plans immediately.

“I have met with representatives of the workers and it is obvious that the wishes of staff are not being taken seriously.

“I share their concerns and am happy to fight tooth and nail to protect this vital local employer.”