Sammy On Tax Office Closures
During a debate on the centralisation of tax offices in the House of Commons this week Sammy has slammed the Government’s plan to close local tax offices in its plan to open 13 regional offices across the United Kingdom concentrating resources in fewer locations using more use of IT and cutting down access which the public have to tax offices.
Sammy said that as a result of the Government plan, in Northern Ireland a number of tax offices had been closed and jobs in towns where there was high unemployment had been lost. Many of those people who were made redundant had years of expertise and local knowledge and from my constituency work I have found people increasingly frustrated at their inability to find out who is actually now responsible for their tax affairs.
This runs totally against Government policy of ensuring a spread of jobs and economic growth across the country, creating better services for tax payers and tackling tax fraud.
With the closure of offices in the border region of Northern Ireland where criminal tax fraud, especially in Republican areas is widespread, many of those who had local knowledge and expertise have now been lost to Her Majesty’s Revenue. This is good news for criminals but bad news for tax gathering.
Sammy said “I have taken part in a number of debates on this issue in the House of Commons and along with colleagues from the Scottish Nationalist Party and in the Labour Party will continue to press the Government on these changes which I know are not delivering the benefits which the Audit Office have already identified are not delivering the benefits which the Government claimed would be obtained from this policy”.