‘Don’t call us,’ says HMRC

HM Revenue & Customs took the unlikely step of telling taxpayers not to phone its call centres on Monday, April 8th.

Photo Credit: 401(K) 2013 via Compfight cc


It might not seem particularly preferable for the Revenue to effectively shut up shop so soon into the new tax year, but that was what it was forced to do as members of the trade union PCS went on strike.


PCS – the Public and Commercial Services Union – embarked upon a ‘long weekend of action’ on Friday, April 5th, with walkouts at several public services.


Among them were Jobcentres and benefits offices, many of which were either closed or offering drastically reduced services, while several museums and galleries also closed.


Many Department for Work and Pensions offices were closed too, while the Child Maintenance Enforcement Commission inBirkenheadwas left operating on a skeleton staff after 600 workers walked out.


The protests were inspired in part by pay cuts, worsening working conditions in the public sector, and disruption to pensions – and were exacerbated by the government’s refusal to meet with union officials.


HMRC was not affected until Monday, April 8th, when similar walkouts affected its ability to handle incoming calls during the morning.


A statement from HMRC said: “Our contact centre phone lines will be open today as normal, but due to a civil service day of action, which at HMRC is scheduled to end at 12 midday it will inevitably take longer than usual to talk to us.


“If you can delay making your call until later in the day or leave it until tomorrow, you will find it much easier to get through. We very much regret any inconvenience and appreciate your patience.”

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