Hampshire & Isle of Wight

'No job losses' despite Portsmouth tax office closure

Jobs losses will be avoided in Portsmouth despite the announcement that a tax office is to close, HM Revenue & Customs has said.

Wingfield House, in Commercial Road, will close by 31 March 2015 following the government's Spending Review.

The 499 workers will be transferred to Lynx House in Cosham without the need for redundancies, HMRC said.

But the Public and Commercial Services union says it fears not all staff can be transferred.

In the Spending Review in 2010, it was announced that 10,000 HMRC posts would go across the UK by 2014/2015.

The department now says 2,500 posts will be lost each year due to natural wastage and there will be no redundancies.

Regarding the Portsmouth decision, a spokeswoman said: "Today's announcement is about closing office accommodation, it is not about redundancies."

'People not buildings'

But Lorna Merry, deputy president of the HMRC group of the PCS, said: "We believe it's not possible for 499 people, that are currently at Wingfield House to be transferred to Lynx House, without a significant amount of job losses.

"HMRC say they say can achieve this by natural wastage but we are yet to be convinced. If they can do it, that would be acceptable, as our concern is people not buildings."

In a statement, HRMC said: "Wingfield House is the only building in Hampshire, Dorset and Isle of Wight that we propose to vacate in 2014/15.

"The only other office affected by these proposals is Holland House in Bournemouth, where the plan is to reduce the amount of office space required at that location, but not to vacate it."

The inquiry centre at Wingfield House is currently open two days a week while the centre at Lynx House is open five days a week.

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