§ Mr. Pearson
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made on co-operation between the Inland Revenue, the Contributions Agency, and Customs and Excise since 19 September 1995. 
§ Mr. Jack
[holding answer 1 February 1996]: Excellent progress continues to be made on co-operation between the Inland Revenue, the Contributions Agency and Customs and Excise. A number of measures have been implemented since 19 September 1995, including the successful launch of a telephone helpline pilot in Scotland for employers and VAT traders; a joint leaflet to help those setting up in business on their own; and new arrangements being piloted in the North of England to give new businesses a single form to register with all three departments. Peter Wyman—head of tax at Coopers and Lybrand and a member of the deregulation task force— has accepted an invitation to oversee work on joint working between the Inland Revenue and the Contributions Agency to bring in an external perspective. All three departments are continuing to work closely to identify other areas which will streamline their relationship with business.