Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions today, Imran called on David Cameron to work with HMRC to urgently reconsider their decision to close their offices in Bradford.
It follows last week’s decision by HMRC to close three of their offices in the Bradford District with the view to move operations to a new regional hub in Leeds, threatening the employment of the 2,300 people employed in the three offices and removing vital high-wage, high-skill roles from the city’s economy.
Along with the threat to jobs for Bradford, Mr Hussain also raised the point that the planned move will have additional economic implications for the city as it will remove up to £1.2 million in business rates and close to £12 million in retail spending from Bradford, declaring that it will have a “devastating impact on Bradford’s families and economy.”
He therefore called on the Prime Minister to urge HMRC to meet with him to discuss the closures and present the “clear economic and social case for HMRC to keep the offices in Bradford”, based upon the facts that Bradford lies in close proximity to leading universities and possesses one of the best MBA programmes in the UK at Bradford University School of Management, has a growing skilled and diverse workforce, and few existing public sector roles.
Speaking on the planned closures of the HMRC offices in Bradford, Imran said:
“The announcement last week that HMRC will close their Bradford offices will have devastating consequences for the city as it will rip many high-paying jobs and significant amounts of disposable income out of the city, which is why I raised it with the Prime Minister today and why I will continue to raise it with the Government, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury and HMRC.
“When the Government is already laying waste to Bradford through their tax credit cuts, lack of investment in creating good, secure jobs and funding cuts imposed on local services, the city simply cannot afford to lose a major employer and source of income.
“It also makes little sense for HMRC to relocate from Bradford, and there is no economic case for them to do so as we have an excellent School of Management at the University along with a growing, skilled workforce and greater capacity for expansion, so it is this argument that I will be making, tooth and nail, to the relevant authorities, including the Government and HMRC to try and keep these offices open.”