HC Deb 28 June 1988 vol 136 cc162-3W
Mr. Gould

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will give the costs and revenues for each of the services provided by the companies registration offices and indicate the effect on them of the proposed fee increases.

Mr. Maude

Fee income received by the companies registration offices is applied to meeting the costs of a system of regulating companies and developing the law relating to them.

In 1987–88, the costs of CRO search services were £8.5 million against fee income of £4 million. The costs of incorporating companies and registering documents at CRO amounted to £12.6 million. The balance of fee income, £23 million, was applied to these costs and to those of running other parts of the system. These include companies investigation work and the branches of the Department's companies division which are concerned with the development of company law.

Our forecasts indicate that the average annual income over the next public expenditure survey period, without the increase in fees, would amount to just over £30 million. Total costs, however, are forecast on the same basis to be in excess of £36 million. The shortfall of around £6 million is the amount which is expected to be covered by the increase in search and related fees and needed to balance income and expenditure.