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Revenue and Customs: Wales

Volume 487: debated on Monday 2 February 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the effect on HM Revenue and Customs expenditure of closing its office in Aberystwyth, identifying (a) costs and (b) savings separately; and if he will make a statement. (252862)

Normally HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is unable to provide specific estate savings for a particular office for reasons of commercial sensitivity relating to the accommodation and facility contracts between HMRC and its PFI contractors. However, as HMRC’s accommodation in Aberystwyth is not held under a PFI contract I can say that its vacation is estimated to contribute £83,000 to annual estate savings of about £4 million in Wales. This figure takes account of the need for continuing provision of face to face inquiry services.

Estate savings are however only part of the overall savings HMRC expects to achieve as a result of business efficiencies arising from restructuring, and have not been a primary factor in taking decisions on whether a particular office should be retained or vacated. The main consideration has been whether there is a business requirement to retain the office.

While HMRC recognises that there will be short-term costs associated with the closure of its office in Aberystwyth, reliable figures will only be established once solutions have been found for all staff and the accommodation has been vacated.