Commons debate on Cumbernauld’s largest employer

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Cumbernauld’s Member of Parliament held a debate on the future of the town’s biggest employer in the Commons last week.

The final discussions before recess saw Gregg McClymont question Finance Secretary David Gauke on the government’s plan for HMRC and the Cumbernauld tax centre which is the largest in the UK.

Mr McClymont stated his opinion that HMRC would benefit from a “No” vote in the forthcoming independence referendum as there is a greater proportion of related jobs in Scotland than elsewhere in the UK.

He said afterwards: “The figures are clear. Scotland gets a good deal when it comes to UK tax jobs. We benefit from a HMRC jobs dividend of over 2500 posts.”

“It is clear that when you are administering a tax system for 5 million people rather than 63 million, you will need far fewer staff.

“I know from Cumbernauld what an important part of the local economy the tax office can be.”

“It’s welcome news that the Minister confirmed that the plans for 170 new posts in Cumbernauld remain in place.

“I am pleased that management at HMRC have also agreed to meet with me shortly to discuss the particular issues raised with me by trade union representatives in detail.”

“As part of the UK we can have the best of both worlds – a strong Scottish Parliament, with the guarantee of more powers, without losing the strength, stability and security of being part of the UK. That is why so many Scots are saying No thanks to separation.”

However the handling of the debate has drawn criticism from trade union officials.

John Miller, local secretary of the trade union PCS, said: “It is regrettable that our local MP is unable to reply to our branch’s questions on job security, privatisation, pay and pensions etc submitted to him over two months ago yet he freely uses the Houses of Parliament to make his own political points for his own particular agenda.”

Jamie Hepburn MSP commented: “Having secured a debate on job security at the Tax Office at a time when the Tory cuts are threatening 40 local posts I find it remarkable that Mr McClymont chose to focus on anything else in his contribution.”

“I would have hoped that at a Commons debate on the HMRC in Scotland at a time of local job cuts he could have made the case to save these jobs and held the Tories accountable.”

PCS members will again be on strike tomorrow.