asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Inland Revenue has yet reached its decision on the appropriate level of staffing of the development land tax office; what figure has been decided upon; by how much the work load has increased so as to justify setting aside the recommendation of the Revenue's staffing survey report last November that the complement should be reduced from about 150 to below 120; and whether he will make a statement.
, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 8th November 1978], gave the following answer:
No final decision has yet been reached about the longer term staffing of the development land tax office. The recommendation that the staffing levels should be reduced—from 152 to 121 on 1st August 1977 figures—was made by reference to the work load as the survey team found it. The work load had increased by the time the report was published in November 1977 and there has since been a substantial further increase. The introduction of work-saving measures and the growing experience of the staff have so far enabled the office to keep roughly in step with the rising work load but over the coming months some extra staff will be required for the efficient administration of the tax. The Inland Revenue has therefore increased the staff ceiling, on an interim basis, to 176. Coupled with this, a review is being undertaken of the procedures of this office and any further changes in staffing levels will be considered in the light of this review and of the work load.