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Tax Advice

Volume 300: debated on Wednesday 5 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what estimate he has made of the expenditure by (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) non-departmental public bodies, on (i) tax consultants and (ii) other external tax advice in (1) 1995–96, (2) 1996–97 and (3) 1997–98; and if he will make a statement. [13257]

For the Department and for non-departmental public bodies the information is not held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. For agencies the figures are: 1995–96 Nil, 1996–97 £16,562 and 1997–98 (spend to date) £3,525.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what is the policy of his Department on the purchase of tax avoidance advice; and if he will make a statement. [13258]

One agency of the Department has used tax advisers to enable it to fulfil its statutory tax obligations rather than for tax avoidance purposes.