Skip to main content

Revenue and Customs: Closures

Volume 478: debated on Monday 23 June 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the anticipated savings from the proposed review of HM Revenue and Customs office space in (a) Cornwall and (b) England. (212596)

HMRC is reviewing all its accommodation so that it is aligned to future business needs and represents best value to the taxpayer. On 11 June 2008, the Department issued proposals for all its offices in Cornwall as well as many other locations throughout the United Kingdom. Consultation on these proposals runs until 6 August, and it is hoped that decisions will be announced before the end of the year.

In the event that all these proposals were implemented, HMRC estimates that the resulting estates running costs savings from Cornwall would be approximately £640,000 per annum by 2011-12 compared with £91,000,000 for England as a whole.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what account was taken of the Government's policy to locate civil servants outside major cities in determining the closure of local tax offices and centralisation of services in Scotland. (212913)

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is restructuring its business and estate across the whole of the UK in order to achieve business efficiencies and customer service improvements, and release surplus accommodation. Three quarters of its staff already work in and around the major urban centres, and most of its business streams can operate more effectively by consolidating more of their work in fewer locations. In its restructuring plans HMRC is taking account of its specific commitments under the government relocation programme to relocate jobs away from London and the South East.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the possible effects of the proposed closure of HM Revenue and Customs offices in Scotland on the payment and administration of benefits; and if he will make a statement. (212944)

The payment and administration of most benefits is a matter for the Department for Work and Pensions. The only benefit payment HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is responsible for is child benefit. HMRC is also responsible for tax credits administration.

HMRC has a network of Enquiry Centres offering face to face advice to HMRC customers including tax credits claimants. If it is decided to close any building housing an Enquiry Centre, those services will continue to be provided, if not from the current building then from one nearby. There is therefore no reason why the proposed closure of any HMRC offices in Scotland should have any effect on the payment or administration either of child benefit or of tax credits.