Revenue, customs staff to walk out

Revenue and Customs workers have voted to take industrial action in a row over jobs and privatisation, adding to the growing number of disputes the government is facing.

The Public and Commercial Services union said four out of five of its members had backed industrial action short of a strike, and just over half supported walkouts. The union represents 55,000 members in HMRC, including tax advisers and call centre staff, with a third taking part in the ballot.

The PCS said it was fighting plans to cut thousands of jobs in the department over the next few years, adding that 30,000 posts had already been lost since 2005.

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A trial using private companies to handle tax credit inquiries in two centres in Cumbria and West Lothian is also being opposed.