South West Wales

Tax disc change job loss fears allayed at Swansea DVLA

Car tax disc
Image caption The paper tax disc system will be scrapped from 1 October 2014

Staff at Swansea's DVLA offices will be redeployed rather than face redundancy after changes to the way motorists pay their car tax, a UK transport minister has confirmed.

Stephen Hammond said job roles would change when the paper system for car tax discs is scrapped in October.

The minister allayed fears about job losses in a letter to Swansea East AM Mike Hedges.

Mr Hedges said the minister's response would "give comfort" to DVLA employees.

Concerns over the future of some of the 5,000 workers at the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency centre were raised in October after Chancellor George Osborne's Autumn Statement.

The chancellor announced that the tax disc would be replaced with an electronic system in October 2014.

The new system will allow people to pay the charge by monthly direct debit.

Mr Hedges had written to Mr Hammond asking for clarification of the government's intentions.

In his response to Mr Hedges, Mr Hammond said: "It is likely that the introduction of a direct debit scheme may mean there will be a natural reduction in the amount of refunds received, in addition to the withdrawal of the tax disc.

"This may mean changes to job roles and the need to train on new processes.

"Any reductions in numbers of people needed for these activities will be managed through redeploying to other growth areas of the business."

Mr Hedges welcomed the minister's assurances.

He added: "Whilst disappointed that the changes will reduce the number of job opportunities at the DVLA, I can see the advantages of both paying by monthly direct debits and not having to show a tax disc.

"I am pleased the minister is committed to redeployment rather than redundancies and I am sure this response will give comfort to many concerned DVLA employees."

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