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Cumbria tax office closures will 'save taxpayer money'

HMRC has explained the closures. Credit: PA

The UK's tax authority has explained the decision to close two tax offices in Cumbria, with the loss of more than 300 jobs.

Offices at Lillyhall and Carlisle are expected to close by 2018.

HMRC says its workforce in the North West is spread across 24 offices, and that to modernise it needs to close some of these.

Instead, it will have two regional centres, in Liverpool and Manchester, which it says will save the taxpayer money:

HMRC is committed to modern, regional centres serving every region and nation in the UK, with skilled and varied jobs and development opportunities, while also ensuring jobs are spread throughout the UK and not concentrated in the capital.

HMRC has too many expensive, isolated and outdated offices. This makes it difficult for us to collaborate, modernise our ways of working, and make the changes we need to transform our service to customers and clamp down further on the minority who try to cheat the system.

The new regional centres in Liverpool and Manchester will bring our staff together in more modern and cost-effective buildings in areas with lower rents. They will also make a big contribution to the economy of the North West region providing high-quality, skilled jobs and supporting the Government’s commitment to a national recovery that benefits all parts of the UK.”

– Lin Homer, HMRC’s Chief Executive

Hundreds of tax jobs facing axe in Cumbria

Hundreds of jobs will be lost in Cumbria. Credit: PA

HMRC has announced it plans to close 139 local tax offices, including ones at Lillyhall in Workington, and in Carlisle.

The closures:

  • Lillyhall - to close in 2018, with the loss of 200 jobs
  • Carlisle - to close in 2017/18, with the loss of 123 jobs

It's part of a plan to replace local offices with 13 regional hubs, and the new centres are expected to open in the next five years.


HMRC staff strike in Workington

Members of the Workington branch of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are holding a half-day strike today to coincide with the start of the new tax year and the planned introduction of real time information.

The changes would mean staff who operate PAYE would have to inform HMRC every time they pay their staff and make deductions.

The strike follows a walk-out of around 200 staff from the public and commercial services union in Carlisle on Friday.