asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to what extent his Department will be involved in the proposed studies at the University of Bath of the expense in time and money to businesses in making VAT returns.
I understand that some preliminary work has been done and that a research team lead by Professor C. T. Sandford is planning to make a major survey of VAT compliance costs. Customs and Excise have been authorised to give the help sought from them in mounting this survey. In particular, Customs and Excise will select a suitable statistical sample of registered traders and co-operate in the addressing and despatch of questionnaires under secure conditions. I should make it clear that the university will not be told the names and addresses of persons to whom questionnaires have been sent; that person receiving a questionnaire will be under no legal obligation to reply to it, though I hope they will do so; and that the services provided by Customs and Excise will be paid for by the University of Bath.