HMRC’s enforcement and compliance officers engage in a wide range of activities, from dealing with relatively low-value errors made by small businesses and individuals to addressing significant risks among the largest corporate bodies, as well as countering criminal attacks on the tax and duty system. For that reason, HMRC does not collect statistics on the average revenue collected by an enforcement or compliance officer. Results of HMRC’s compliance activity were published in its 2009 autumn performance report.
Given that we have already lost more than 9,000 enforcement and compliance officers, and I am told that each officer raises more than £600,000 after their salary, does the Exchequer Secretary not think that he should get those statistics and start recruiting people rather than sacking them?
As I said earlier, my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary made an announcement a couple of weeks or so ago of about £900 million-worth of investment in HMRC over the spending review period. It is important to tackle compliance, and the Government, perhaps more than our predecessors, will be determined to do that.