§ Mr. McLoughlin
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise will be implementing the Keith committee's recommendation that they extend nationwide their 1977 Leeds experiment for exchange of information between local revenue and value added tax offices.
§ Mr. Norman Lamont
Both the Revenue and Customs, in their published responses to volumes 1 and 2 of the report of the Keith committee on the enforcement powers of the revenue departments, proposed that the matching recommendations on local exchange of information should be accepted. With my authority, exchanges, which were formerly restricted to head office level as a result of a 1972 ministerial undertaking, will, from 1 April 1988, take place at local level also. The exchanges will concentrate on larger cases of suspected tax evasion.
Statutory authority for the exchange of information by Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise for the purpose of assisting them in the performance of their duties is already provided by section 127, Finance Act 1972. No new legislation is therefore required.