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Construction Industry (Registration Cards)

Volume 447: debated on Thursday 15 June 2006

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many construction industry services registration cards have been issued in each (a) year and (b) quarter since 1 April 2001; and if he will make a statement; (77067)

(2) how many construction industry services registration (CIS4) cards (a) have been issued and (b) are in use; and if he will make a statement.

There have been 2.4 million construction industry registration cards (CIS4) issued since the scheme began in 1999. Of these 1.9 million have been used.

Unused cards are attributable to: holders of recently issued cards having not yet been paid within CIS; holders that normally work within the domestic sector having applied for a card in case they become involved in CIS work; and where one or two partners in a company use their cards on behalf of the company (with those of the other partners being unused).

A quarterly breakdown of the number of CIS4 cards issued since 1 April 2001 is given in the following table. These figures include replacements for cards that have been lost, stolen or have expired (in the case of temporary cards).

Number of CIS 4 cards issued

Quarter

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

April to June

56,000

61,000

63,000

74,000

77,000

July to September

61,000

83,000

73,000

83,000

82,000

October to December

48,000

55,000

63,000

65,000

63,000

January to March

58,000

70,000

78,000

75,000

81,000

Total

223,000

269,000

277,000

297,000

303,000

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what checks are made of (a) immigration status and (b) nationality before issuing construction industry services registration cards; and if he will make a statement; (77068)

(2) what changes he plans to make to the construction industry services registration card system in 2007; what (a) identity checks and (b) immigration status checks will be put in place; and if he will make a statement.

Neither the legislation for the current construction industry scheme (CIS) nor the legislation for the new scheme empowers HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to question the immigration status or nationality of applicants for CIS registration cards. There is also no legal exchange of information gateway to allow such information that might be obtained by HMRC to be passed to the Home Office.

Under both the current and new schemes, HM Revenue and Customs must be satisfied about the applicants' identity and addresses. They may be required to produce appropriate documentation to evidence their identity, which might include a passport or driving licence. The new CIS scheme will also allow HMRC to require attendance in person to provide such information as satisfies HMRC on an applicant's identity and address.