The introduction of a new strict programme of employee appraisal at HMRC has caused 2,500 senior tax officials to plan a Valentine’s Day strike.

They claim that the imposition of new quotas for staff will result in 1 in 10 employees being labelled as ‘underperforming’, regardless of how good they are at their jobs. Those identified as such could later risk being fired.

The new scheme will force senior bureaucrats to identify 10% of their workforce that need to improve, or risk being penalised themselves.

Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA trade union, said:

“Our members in HMRC are not faceless bureaucrats, but real people striving every day to serve the government and the public. They deserve a fair performance system, one which allows them to do their job, free from the tangle of bureaucracy.”

HMRC has been under a lot of pressure since receiving heavy criticism by the public accounts committee in October for failing to raise as much money as expected from a tax evasion agreement with Switzerland.

This has resulted in a strict set of reforms. An HMRC spokesperson said:

“Assessing the performance of staff through a fair and reasonable performance appraisal system is a key part of these reforms.”