§ Mr. Madden
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received from Inland Revenue staff representatives about staffing levels; in what grades of staff current staff numbers are below establishment; what is the current backlog in routine inspection work; and how many staff are engaged in investigating suspected tax evasion and frauds.
§ Mr. Norman Lamont
[holding answer 10 June 1988]I have received no such representations recently, but staff representatives are in regular contact with senior management in the Inland Revenue on a wide variety of issues, including staffing levels. The numbers of staff in post in tax offices are generally in line with authorised numbers, but there are particular staff shortfalls at some grades of the tax inspectorate. I am not quite sure what the hon. Member means by "routine inspection work"; but the state of work in tax offices at April 1988 was generally good. In particular, the number of items of post awaiting attention for more than 14 days was at its lowest level for very many years. The Revenue currently employs some 2,600 staff on investigation work in local tax offices and specialist units.