‘Newry HMRC closure to have devastating impact’ – McGreevy
The proposed closure of HMRC’s Newry office if it is allowed to go ahead will have a devastating impact on the still fragile economic recovery Councillor Connaire McGreevy has warned.
And the Councillor has accused the Government of using the public controversy generated by high profile political issues involving the Attorney General and revelations regarding an alleged rogue British Army death squad to “conveniently try and bury the issue”.
McGreevy told Newry Times, “The way the proposed closure plan was fed into the media was disgraceful. It was a cynical manipulation of the lives of 134 workers and their families in the Newry area.”
McGreevy said the closure of the office would cause particular problems for those construction and building companies that operate on both sides of the border. “The Newry area HMRC office for generations has been a vital bridgehead between both jurisdictions in terms of providing advice for the construction industry.
“The fact is that more than in terms of any other part of the island of Ireland we need to have professionally trained revenue staff available to help firms cope with complex taxation issues. Our border location makes that service facility a vital tool in terms of sustaining Newry’s capacity to compete as a supplier of building trades staff.
“Traditionally workers in the construction industry have had to work on both sides of the border. In recent years that has been even more commonplace. It has meant that they have had to cope with a huge raft of technical taxation matters that required the help and support of the HMRC staff,” Councillor McGreevy explained.
“We are thankfully at least starting to look forward to a healthier economic climate. The building sector both in the North and in the Republic will therefore attract more workers back into the employment sector.
He added, “It is vital that we have a fully functioning revenue and taxation office in Newry that can cope with that expected employment upsurge.”
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