Did accountants suffer because of Wednesday’s strike?

Contractor accountants probably struggled to get through to HMRC on Wednesday as public sector workers went on strike over the government’s pensions proposals. According to the unions, 90% of Revenue staff supported the call for strike action.

Mark Serwotka, the general secretary of the PCS, said it is not only public sector workers who will be impacted by reductions to jobs, pensions and salaries. The communities where they live will also be affected and that is why the government needs to rethink its decision.

Jonathan Baume, the FDA’s general secretary, said the latest forecast from the OBR suggests that 310,000 extra public sector jobs will be lost in the next six years, in addition to the 400,000 redundancies that have already been predicted. Employees at all levels in the public sector now have further reason to be despondent and worried about their future.

On Wednesday HMRC had warned that it might take longer for calls to be answered and also that some of its smaller Enquiry Centres may not be open. Furthermore, it said it expected an increase in the number of calls in the next few days. However, a Revenue spokesman disputed the PCS’s figures, saying the true absence rate was more like 55%.

Overall, around two million public sector workers went on strike, closing around 62% of English state schools and causing thousands of NHS operations to be postponed. Despite the widespread disruption, David Cameron described the strike as “a damp squib”.

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