Durkan: Derry tax office job losses ‘engineered’ and ‘unfair’

SDLP MP, Mark Durkan.
SDLP MP, Mark Durkan.

SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan has expressed his concern that HMRC has invited 44 staff at the Derry tax office on the Duncreggan Road to apply for voluntary redundancy.

Mr Durkan, who earlier this year met UK Treasury Minister David Gauke and senior managers from the HMRC in London over the job fears, said:

“The way HMRC have gone about this has been unfair.

“They have engineered a particular situation where on the one hand they are telling customers no more enquiry centres, no more face-to-face services at local offices like Foyle House – and then they say the fact that there aren’t face-to-face services means that customers don’t want it, that demand is changing, that people want to go online.

“I have consistently made the case for keeping the jobs at the Derry tax office – not least in terms of the performance and the contribution it makes.

“I have also stressed the devastating impact that redundancies or job cuts would have on our local economy.

“I have questioned and challenged senior managers why they are threatening a business unit that is successfully performing and successfully supporting colleagues elsewhere throughout the HMRC network.

“I have strenuously made the point that not all of the work that is being done in Derry is localised – but in fact serves the whole HMRC network. I stressed that in terms of the quality, performance and contribution, the Derry operation carries out vital work which will be needed in the future. This includes supporting appeals or in relation to other tax issues across the network – not least the overseas payment work which is being left in Derry but could be threatened in the longer term.”