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Revenue and Customs: Reorganisation

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what (a) gross costs, (b) gross savings and (c) net savings are assumed by HM Revenue and Customs in respect of their proposals to change their operations in (i) Trinity House, Oxford, (ii) Andover, (iii) Aylesbury, (iv) Banbury, (v) Newbury, (vi) Sterling House, Oxford and (vii) South East England as a whole; and if he will make a statement; [208571]

(2) over what period of time HM Revenue and Customs plans to make the savings expected to derive from its reorganisation of offices in the South East; [208572]

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(3) if he will publish a cost/benefit analysis of HM Revenue and Customs' plans for office relocation and reorganisation in the South East. [208581]

Jane Kennedy: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has too much office space and is engaged in a review programme to decide which offices should be retained as best suiting its future business needs. The review is being carried out on a regional basis but in the light of HMRC's operational needs across the UK, as its work is organised on national business lines rather than regionally.

Decisions have now been made and announced for all HMRC offices in the major urban centres, including those in south-east England.

Proposals were published in March for the remaining HMRC offices in south-east England, as well as in the west midlands, east midlands and north-east. They included proposals to retain the office building in Trinity House, Oxford, but vacate those in Andover, Aylesbury, Banbury, Newbury and Sterling House, Oxford. Final decisions have not yet been made on the future of any of these offices.

There will be short-term costs associated with closing any office as well as specific ongoing estate savings from that closure. However, it would be misleading to look at these in isolation as they are just a small part of the overall picture. HMRC is restructuring its entire business operations in order to achieve the value for money savings and customer service improvements required by the end of the comprehensive spending review (CSR) period in March 2011. MRC is monitored on its performance against its departmental strategic objectives and this includes a cost/benefit analysis of its departmental transformation programme. The restructuring and relocation programme contributes to that programme.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what account has been taken of the Government's plans for housing growth in South East England in formulating the plans of HM Revenue and Customs for office reorganisation in that region. [208573]

Jane Kennedy: HM Revenue and Customs' (HMRC's) office restructuring proposals are not affected by potential fluctuations in local populations. Most of the work carried out in HMRC offices is not directly related to the area in which the office is situated and HMRC has given a commitment that inquiry centre services offering face to face advice to HMRC customers will be maintained in all their current localities.

Revenue and Customs: Smoking

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many smoking shelters were built at each HM Revenue and Customs office in the last five years. [208671]

Jane Kennedy: There were no smoking shelters built at HMRC offices since the formation of HMRC in April 2005. There were smoking shelters built at ex-Customs and Excise buildings prior to the merger. Information regarding ex-IR offices prior to the merger in 2005 could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

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When Benton Park View, Newcastle-upon-Tyne was constructed—1999-2000 Phase 1, 2002-03 Phase 2 and 2004 Phase 3—eight smoking shelters were built as part of the design package.

Revenue and Customs: Standards

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many incorrect penalty notices were sent by HM Revenue and Customs in each of the last five years. [208746]

Jane Kennedy: The information requested is not available.

State Retirement Pensions: Females

Steve Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library a copy of the leaflet from the early 1970s which women opting to pay the married woman's stamp were required to certify that they had read. [207205]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 22 June 2008]: The former Paymaster General (Dawn Primarolo) did so on 20 January 2003 in response to a similar question from the hon. Gentleman, Official Report, column 86W.

Tax Credit: Leeds

John Battle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what his latest estimate is of the number of people receiving working family tax credit in (a) Leeds West constituency and (b) Leeds metropolitan district; [209208]

(2) what his latest estimate is of the number of parents receiving child tax credit in (a) Leeds metropolitan district and (b) Leeds West constituency. [209209]

Jane Kennedy: Working families’ tax credit was replaced by child and working tax credits in April 2003.

Estimates of the number of recipient families with tax credits, by local authority and constituency, as at 5 April 2008, are available in the HMRC snapshot publication “Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics. Geographical Analyses. April 2008”. This is available on the HMRC website at:

We do not produce these statistics separately for child tax credit and working tax credit.


Mr. David Hamilton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what revenue would be raised by a (a) one penny and (b) two pence increase in the rate of taxation of earnings over (i) £500,000, (ii) £1,000,000 and (iii) £2,000,000 in 2008-09. [207802]

Jane Kennedy: The table ‘Additional full-year yield from the introduction of additional higher rates of tax on TAXABLE incomes over a specific amount’ contains comprehensive information on income tax and is available in the Library of the House. The table excludes any estimate of behavioural response.

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The version of the table currently available is based upon the 2003-04 Survey of Personal Incomes and is therefore out of date. An updated table for 2008-09 based on the latest available survey will be placed in the Library before the summer recess.

Taxation: Pensioners

Tim Loughton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate has been made of the administrative cost of collecting income tax from those in receipt of the state pension. [208868]

Jane Kennedy: Income tax is collected in a variety of ways from those in receipt of state pensions, including self assessment, PAYE, and tax deducted at source from investment income. HMRC has no estimate of the extent to which the range of implied administrative costs arises specifically from that group.

Taxation: Rebates

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what average time was taken to process and pay tax refunds in each of the last three years. [208744]

Jane Kennedy: There are many circumstances in which a tax refund may arise, and HMRC does not hold this information centrally. Refunds arising from online self assessment returns are normally made within seven days. Repayment claims arising from tax on investment income deducted at source are processed within 15 working days of receipt.

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of people who (a) are eligible to claim back tax deducted from their savings income at 10 per cent. and (b) have claimed back this tax in the last 12 month period for which data are available. [208749]

Jane Kennedy: The number of taxpayers in 2008-09 with savings income in the 10p starting rate band is estimated at around three million. Of these around 750,000 are estimated to claim back the difference between tax on interest deducted at source and tax liable at the 10p starting rate. The information is based on the Survey of Personal Incomes 200-06, projected in line with Budget 2008 assumptions.

Valuation Office

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 17 March 2008, Official Report, column 899W, on the Valuation Office, to what a consequential refers for the purposes of the Valuation Office Agency's work on council tax valuations and revaluation. [203122]

Jane Kennedy: The term is commonly used in the Valuation Office Agency to refer to the review of the council tax banding of a property 'as a consequence' of information brought to light in respect of a neighbouring property. This is consistent with the statutory responsibility to maintain council tax valuation lists. There is no council tax revaluation being undertaken.

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VAT: Lighting

Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has for lowering the rate of VAT on energy efficient light bulbs; and if he will make a statement. [208783]

Jane Kennedy: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Montgomeryshire (Lembit Öpik) on 4 June 2008, Official Report, column 929W.

Welfare Tax Credits: Fraud

Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many times tax credit recipients have
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been charged penalties for (a) not notifying HM Revenue and Customs of changes in their circumstances and (b) negligently supplying incorrect information in each year since 2003; what the total value of such penalties was in each year; and what percentage of penalties were paid in full in each year. [205822]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 16 May 2008]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 20 May 2008, Official Report, column 212W.

The total value of such penalties and percentage of penalties paid in full could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

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