Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 1 February 2017
When HMRC announced the next stage of their Building our Future transformation programme on 12 November 2015, the First Minister personally spoke to the second Permanent Secretary at HMRC to relay her grave concerns over job losses. Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, wrote to David Gauke MP, Financial Secretary to HM Treasury, on 5 July 2016, to relay the Scottish Governments concerns over HMRC office closures and to request a meeting to discuss the plans in detail and to establish what might be done to mitigate the programmes impact on Scotland.
David Gauke's successor as Financial Secretary to HM Treasury, Jane Ellison MP, replied on 20 December 2016 and it was agreed that Mr Brown and Ms Ellison would meet on 24 January 2017. Unfortunately, events conspired against both parties and the meeting was delayed. A new date, convenient to both parties, is actively being pursued during which time concerns raised by stakeholders with Scottish Ministers will be raised with the UK Government.