Union’s campaign over tax office closure takes to the streets of Portsmouth

Taxpayers forking out millions in legal costs

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THE Public and Commercial Services Union will be campaigning today and tomorrow to keep a Portsmouth tax office open.

They will campaign outside Wingfield House in Commercial Road from noon on both days.

Union members will hand out postcards and urge members of the public to send them to their MPs asking for the issue to be raised with the Chief Secretary of the Treasury.

Wingfield House was earmarked for closure as part of government cost-cutting measures, and has 550 full and part-time members of staff.

HMRC has previously told The News that jobs will be accommodated at Lynx House in Cosham or elsewhere, but the PCS says Lynx House is already at capacity with 800 staff working there.

PCS spokesman Patrick Smyth said: ‘This campaign is to involve the public.

‘The tax office in Wingfield House is popular with the public as it’s easy to get to.

‘Pensioners and tax credit claimants will have a longer journey to take to visit the HMRC office in Cosham.

‘The decision by senior HMRC management to close Wingfield House or not has already been postponed due to the local campaign.

‘We believe with increasing support from local traders and members of the public this postcard campaign will help keep the office open.’

If Wingfield House does close, services will be moved to Lynx House by 2014.

HMRC has been carrying out a review of its offices since the government’s Public Sector Spending Review.