§ 52. Mr. Skinner
To ask the Chairman of the Public Accounts Commission what recent discussions he has had with the National Audit Office; and if he will make a Statement.
§ Sir Peter Hordern (Chairman of the Public Accounts Commission)
I met the Comptroller and Auditor General and the head of the National Audit Office and his deputy at the meeting of the Public Accounts Commission on 12 December 1989. In addition, I have regular informal contacts with the Comptroller and the Auditor General and his staff.
§ Mr. Skinner
When the hon. Gentleman next meets the officers, will he say to them that there is continuing disquiet about employers not handing over to the Exchequer national insurance contributions that are collected? According to one civil servant who has blown the whistle, an estimated £1 million a day that is collected from low-paid workers in this way is not handed over. Will he tell the officers that it is high time that they used their powers at the National Audit Office to investigate this serious complaint? If the Government can have officers running round all parts of the country investigating people who have received £30 from the Department of Social Security, they should be investigating this matter.
§ Sir Peter Hordern
That is an interesting question, but unfortunately it is not one for the Public Accounts Commission. It sounds to me like one for my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer. However, I shall write to the Comptroller and Auditor General to see that the hon. Gentleman gets a reply.