Nearly 250,000 civil service employees who work for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the Valuation Office, the Home Office and the UK Border Agency will take strike action today to protest cuts to their pay, pensions and working conditions.
This HMRC and Valuation Office members will also hold a half-day strike on Monday 8 April.
The issues being protested include:
- In the 2010 Budget, the government introduced a two-year pay freeze followed by a 1% cap on basic pay rises for the following two years.
- Changes to public sector pensions, which include a move to career-average pension schemes, instead of final salary schemes.
According to the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, the strikes are also designed to disrupt the start of the new tax year and the introduction of real-time information (RTI) reporting, whereby employers that operate pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) schemes are required to notify HMRC immediately every time they pay their staff and make deductions.
Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “PCS’s decision to strike today is futile, counterproductive and irresponsible.
“It benefits no one, but threatens the services people rely on, at a time when we should all be working together to support growth and build the economy.
“I can reassure the public that the government is doing everything we can to minimise disruption today. Rigorous contingency plans are in place to limit the impact of the strike action and to ensure that affected public services operate as effectively as possible.”