Fight for tax jobs is given a boost

East Kilbride News - - NEWS - Ni­cola Find­lay

The bat­tle to keep thou­sands of tax of­fice jobs in East Kil­bride re­ceived a boost when the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s cabinet sec­re­tary for fi­nance, econ­omy and fair work met with union rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

East Kil­bride SNP MSP Linda Fabi­ani wel­comed Derek Mackay MSP on Mon­day as the Stay in EK cam­paign, backed by the News, con­tin­ues the bat­tle to keep 2700 jobs in the town.

Mr Mackay spoke with the lo­cal branch of the Pub­lic and Com­mer­cial Ser­vices Union (PCS) who are spear­head­ing the cam­paign.

The cabinet sec­re­tary was in­ter­ested to hear the per­spec­tive of lo­cal em­ploy­ees; the on­go­ing cam­paign and the con­cerns of the EK Task Force about the ef­fect on the town if the tax of­fices close.

HMRC plan to axe the Plaza of­fice in 2021 with Cen­tre 1 closed in 2026. Op­er­a­tions would be based at a re­gional cen­tre in Glas­gow.

Ms Fabi­ani has also writ­ten to the sec­re­tary of state for Scot­land, David Mun­dell MP, twice high­light­ing con­cerns to move Scot­land Of­fice op­er­a­tions – in­clud­ing HMRC jobs – to a new ‘UK Gov­ern­ment Hub’ at Hay­mar­ket in Ed­in­burgh, from its cur­rent lo­ca­tion in the city, while mov­ing thou­sands of jobs out of East Kil­bride but has yet to re­ceive a re­sponse.

Ms Fabi­ani said: “In the ab­sence of any re­sponse to me by the UK sec­re­tary of state for Scot­land, and the lack of in­for­ma­tion com­ing from West­min­ster, it was good to talk and ask Mr Mackay to con­firm the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s support for keep­ing HMRC jobs in EK.

“The fight con­tin­ues for HMRC to ‘Stay in EK’.”

PCS East Kil­bride vice-pres­i­dent John David­son said: “We re­ceived a fair hear­ing from the fi­nance sec­re­tary who seemed re­cep­tive to our ar­gu­ments that the plan to close East Kil­bride is wrong on hu­man, eco­nomic and fis­cal lev­els.

“At a time when HMRC ad­mits that the tax gap runs to tens of bil­lions of pounds each year, and more staff are needed to deal with the con­se­quences of Brexit alone, a mora­to­rium is the min­i­mum the UK Gov­ern­ment should de­clare over the clo­sures.

“We will be work­ing with Mr Mackay and our many other sup­port­ers in the weeks, months and years to come to en­sure that tax jobs Stay in EK.”

Bat­tle con­tin­ues Derek Mackay MSP, PCS branch pres­i­dent Scott Clark, PCS in­dus­trial of­fi­cer Cat Boyd, branch vice-pres­i­dent John David­son and Linda Fabi­ani MSP

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