§ Mr. Cartwright
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the number of unanswered letters in Inland Revenue offices at the most recent convenient date; what is the average delay in replying to letters; and what steps he is taking to seek to reduce these delays.
§ Mr. Moore
The Inland Revenue estimates that there were 1,100,000 unanswered letters on hand on 10 January 1986. It has insufficient information from which to determine the average delay in replying to letters. On 12 November 1985, the Inland Revenue announced measures to clear its backlog of work and I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave on 15 November 1985 to my hon. Friend the Member for Dorset, North (Mr. Baker).