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Mr. Meacher: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many tax collectors were employed by HM Revenue and Customs and its predecessor in each year since 1979; how much tax revenue they collected in each year; how many are expected to be employed in each of the next three years; and how much is expected to be collected by them in each year. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 17 March]: Most of the staff in HM Revenue and Customs, and its predecessor departments, Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise, are employed directly or indirectly in the collection of tax. However, because of departmental reorganisation it is not possible to provide directly comparable figures for each of the years in question.
In 2006-07, the average number of people HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) employed in the collection of taxes (taken from Note 9 of the 2006-07 Resource Account) was 89,746. This figure does not include staff working on child benefit and child trust fund. HMRC collected £423.443 billion in tax in 2006-07, and in 2007-08 £383.701 billion up to the end of February 2008.
Detailed staffing estimates for each of the next three years are not available, but HMRC has indicated that it expects by 2011 to be operating with around 25,000 fewer posts than the baseline SR04 figure of 97,755 full-time equivalent posts on 1 April 2004.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many overseas visits were made by staff working on tax credits in each of the last five years; which destinations were visited; and at what cost in each year. 
Jane Kennedy: Staff from different parts of HMRCs business can be involved in tax credits work and an overseas visit will often cover a range of departmental topics. In such circumstances it would not be possible to isolate the information requested so it can be attributed specifically to tax credits.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many times staff from HM Revenue and Customs criminal investigation arm have met officers from the Serious and Organised Crime Agency since the Agencys creation. 
Jane Kennedy: Issues concerning tax havens and tax evasion were discussed at ECOFIN on 4 March. The UK and other member states made clear their determination to tackle cross-border tax evasion and invited the European Commission to bring forward its review of the savings directive, which enshrines the principle of exchange of information as the means of combating tax evasion. The savings directive is complemented by agreements with countries and territories outside the EU. There will be further discussions in the coming months.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the Answer of 4 March 2008, Official Report, column 2327W, on taxation: trade unions, which trade unions subscription fees are eligible for tax relief under section 344 of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003. 
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has made of the revenue to be raised by charging VAT to the users of saunas and spas within leisure centres backdated in respect of (a) 2005, (b) 2006 and (c) 2007; 
(4) what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on leisure centres liability for back-dated value added tax where those leisure centres allow swimmers access to saunas or spas. 
Jane Kennedy: There have been no recent changes to the VAT rules for supplies made by leisure centres. No estimate has been made of revenue properly due from leisure centres on charges made for use of their saunas and spas between 2005 and 2007.
HM Revenue and Customs regularly receives and evaluates legal and other advice on the administration of the VAT rules, and its statutory duties in relation to the collection of VAT that is properly due. Treasury Ministers are also in regular discussion with Ministers in other Departments on a range of issues.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the Tax Credit Office's target is for responding to (a) letters, (b) telephone calls and (c) e-mails from (i) hon. Members and (ii) members of the public; and how many in each category were answered within the target time in the last 12 months. 
Information about the number of staff engaged in tax credits administration each year is contained in part 2, table 1 of the comptroller and auditor generals standard report in the 2006-07 HM
Revenue and Customs (HMRC) accounts, which is available on the HMRC website at:
Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people (a) left the Tax Credit Office and (b) were recruited to permanent posts in the Tax Credit Office in each year since 2003; what proportion of current staff are employed on (i) a temporary basis and (ii) contracts of less than one year; and what the average salary is of staff working in (A) the Tax Credit Office and (B) HM Revenue and Customs as a whole. 
Jane Kennedy: For the information requested at (a) and (b) I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr. Hammond) on 17 March 2008, Official Report, column 898W.
An initial award notice, following a successful claim.
An amended award notice when a claimant notifies HMRC of a change of circumstances or income during a year.
A finalised award notice following the completion of the renewal process.
Where payments are continuing following a finalised award for one year, an award notice is issued to advise of the provisional payments HMRC will be making for the subsequent year.
|(1) To end February|
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 17 March 2008,
Official Report, column 900W, on welfare tax credits, if he will place in the Library the six Office of Government Commerce Gateway reports on the new tax credits programme. 
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offences were recorded under the Air Navigation Order 2000 in each year since 2002, broken down by offence; and what percentage of these offences (a) resulted in court proceedings against suspected perpetrators, (b) led to a conviction and (c) resulted in a sanction detection. 
Mr. Coaker: The information requested is not available. Offences under this legislation are recorded in the Other indictable or triable either way offences classification and cannot be separately identified from other offences within that classification. As a result, information on the percentage which resulted in court proceedings and convictions for those offences cannot be provided.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she has plans to meet representatives of the Portman Group to discuss (a) binge and (b) under-age drinking; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Coaker: The Home Secretary has no current plans to meet with representatives of the Portman Group, but the Government continue to work with members of the alcohol industry to address issues such as binge and under-age drinking.
We are aware that our Department of Health colleagues have regular contact with the Portman Group regarding a number of proposals and will continue this support to further reduce alcohol-related harms. A joint industry and Government officials seminar is due to be held on 24 April 2008 to consider how to further promote sensible drinking.
Mr. Byrne: Statistics on the location of asylum seekers in the UK are linked to the available information on the support that the asylum seeker receives. The location of those asylum seekers not in receipt of support is not available.
The number of asylum seekers in receipt of support is available, broken down by Government office region, local authority and parliamentary constituency; these regional breakdowns are available from December 2002.
The number of asylum seekers in receipt of support is published on a quarterly and annual basis. Copies of these publications are available in the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics website at:
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