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Revenue and Customs: Closures

Volume 492: debated on Wednesday 20 May 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what percentage of the budget for HM Revenue and Customs’ Workforce Change programme has been spent to date; (273637)

(2) what percentage of HM Revenue and Customs’ Workforce Change programme has been completed to date;

(3) what budget has been set for HM Revenue and Customs’ Workforce Change programme.

[holding answer 8 May 2009]: The aim of the Workforce Change programme is to match HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) staff resources and estate to the Department’s future business needs and deliver improved efficiencies for the taxpayer. HMRC expects to realise over £230 million in sustainable savings as well as wider business efficiencies as a result of releasing surplus office space and re-organising into larger more efficient teams in fewer offices.

HMRC allocated and centrally funded £65 million for the Workforce Change programme in 2008-09. For 2009-10 individual lines of business within HMRC will fund business restructuring plans from their general funding allocations.

HMRC is aiming to reduce its estate by 500,000 sq m —approximately one third of the estate inherited from its predecessor departments—by March 2012. To date, HMRC has reduced its estate by 218 000 sq m, or approximately 43 per cent. of this target.