Part of Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 13 January 2005.
I am grateful to the Economic Secretary for that explanation, but can he assure the Committee of something? Clauses 23, 24 and 25 are useful and important and add to transparency—and I hope that they will make taxpayers even more convinced than hitherto that the actions of the Revenue and Customs are under scrutiny. As we have said before, it is important that we have a just and equitable tax system, or else it is deeply corrosive of morale and makes collecting tax even more difficult. I hope that the Economic Secretary can confirm that if the IPCC needs and requests sensitive information in the course of an investigation, it will get it and there will be no inhibitions on that.
I appreciate that members of the IPCC who deal with such matters will have to sign the relevant oath and other confidentiality agreements. That is right and proper. However, they need the tools to do the job and I hope that no obstacles at all will impede them in their task.