HC Deb 09 April 2003 vol 403 cc269-70W
Mr. Norman

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many(a) staff and (b) staff engaged in inspection work have been employed by (i) HM Customs and Excise and (ii) the Inland Revenue in each year since 1997. [105872]

John Healey

The information is as follows:

(a) Total Staff

Details of how many staff were employed by HM Customs and Excise are contained in the HM Customs and Excise Spring 2002 Departmental Report, published in June 2002. Inland Revenue figures can he found in two publications: the "Inland Revenue Government Expenditure Plans 2000–02", published in April 2000; and the "Inland Revenue Government Expenditure Plans 2002–04", published in June 2002. Copies of these reports are available in the Library of the House.

(b) Staff Engaged in Inspection Work

Customs staff engage in a variety of activities which can include the inspection of goods, documents, accounts, electronic files, vehicles and premises. It is not possible to give the information requested, as the question is formulated in too general a manner—Exemption 9 of the Open Government Code applies.

The Inland Revenue undertakes a variety of activities to monitor and ensure compliance. Chiefly, this concerns inquiries into the tax returns of individuals, businesses and companies, and reviews of employer compliance. Though figures for earlier years are not available, the number of staff engaged in this work was 12,622 in 1999–2000, 12,439 in 2000–01 and 13,130 in 2001–02. This involves staff at different levels working in local offices, the Large Business Office and the Special Compliance Office.

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