Closure of HMRC is a threat to the local economy
The closure of Peterlee HMRC will affect almost 500 workers who will be forced to commute to Newcastle if they want to keep their jobs.
A report by the National Audit Office warned the Government’s plan is “unrealistic” and is unlikely to save as much money as expected as costs of the new regional centre continue to rise.
Following a meeting with HMRC staff Easington MP Grahame Morris said:
“It was a pleasure to meet HMRC staff at Peterlee. I share their palpable anger at the Government’s ill thought out plans to centralise the services delivered by HMRC.
Relocating these jobs to Newcastle is questionable cost cutting exercise. Peterlee HMRC provide an exemplary service, which simply will cannot be replicated in an impersonal and inaccessible regional centre.
The closure of the Peterlee Office will lead to some staff having to give up their jobs, and those who accept transfer will see their family life disrupted having to travel to and from Newcastle each day for work adding up to four hours to travel times.
Taken alongside the pay restraint of the past decade which has cut real term wages, it is not difficult to see why HMRC staff are fed up and demoralised.
I would like to offer them hope, however, while a Tory Government remains in power, the public sector remains under threat through pay restraint and damaging cuts that will result in the loss of valuable experience at HMRC.
The Northern Powerhouse must mean more than centralising services in one city. This decision will weaken the local economy in East Durham, taking jobs and money out of the area. I urge this Government to think again not least because of the need to provide additional support to vulnerable people in receipt of tax credits transferring to Universal Credit.”