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Treasury (Staff)

Volume 930: debated on Wednesday 27 April 1977

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will give details of the main staffing implications of the Finance Bill and the extent to which, after the proposals have been taken into account, further staff would be required by any increase in the number of taxpayers.

So far as the Inland Revenue is concerned, the effect of the Finance Bill measures, other than those relating to the increases in the personal allowances and the changes in the higher rates of income tax, would be a cost of about 800 man-years in 1977–78 and of about 500 staff in the longer term.The main effect of the proposals for the personal allowances and the higher rates of tax is to avoid the need for the substantial increases in staff which would otherwise have been necessary to deal with the people who would have been brought within the tax net, or who would have become liable at the higher rates of tax. The staff needed on this account might have been as high as 1,100 man-years in 1977–78 and would have been greater subsequently—perhaps 1,5001,600 man-years annually—since some of the work, especially that relating to the higher rates, arises after the end of the tax year in which the income is received. The proposals will eliminate the need for almost all this additional staff, but implementing the changes in the personal allowances by PAYE recoding will require about 650 man-years currently. Most of this is expected to be met by overtime.As regards Customs and Excise, the proposals will, on balance, have a negligible effect on staff numbers and costs.The proposals also involve a staff cost of six man-years in the Department of Health and Social Security from 1978–79 onwards.