It is HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) aim to reply to the majority of all letters within three weeks. There is no separate target for e-mails.
The majority of telephone enquiries to Tax Credit Office are dealt with as they are received.
I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Fareham (Mr. Hoban) on 18 February 2008, Official Report, columns 368-69W.
Information about the number of staff engaged in tax credits administration each year is contained in part 2, table 1 of the comptroller and auditor general’s standard report in the 2006-07 HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) accounts, which is available on the HMRC website at:
Quarterly information would only be available at disproportionate cost.
For the information requested at (a) and (b) I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr. Hammond) on 17 March 2008, Official Report, column 898W.
The proportion of Tax Credit Office staff on temporary contracts is around 12.5 per cent. and none of those contracts have been for less than one year.
The average salary of staff at all grades working in TCO is (A) £24,400 and in HM Revenue and Customs as a whole is (B) £23,300.
Award notices are issued at the following points in the tax credits cycle:
An initial award notice, following a successful claim.
An amended award notice when a claimant notifies HMRC of a change of circumstances or income during a year.
A finalised award notice following the completion of the renewal process.
Where payments are continuing following a finalised award for one year, an award notice is issued to advise of the provisional payments HMRC will be making for the subsequent year.
Award notices issued each year since 2003 are as follows:
Total 2003-04 21,000,000 2004-05 34,000,000 2005-06 37,500,000 2006-07 32,000,000 2007-081 29,000,000 1 To end February
1 To end February