To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his Written Answer of 23 March 2006, Official Report, column 505W, on HM Revenue and Customs, what the reasons were for HM Revenue and Customs' decision to close its Basingstoke office; and what the findings were of assessments of the likely impact of the closure on (a) residents, (b) local businesses and (c) others in Basingstoke, with particular reference to equality impact assessments.
HMRC's targets for improving efficiency and reducing costs include reducing staff numbers by 12,500 net by
The decision to close the HMRC office at London House, Basingstoke, was taken in that context. A break in the lease gave the opportunity to give up the accommodation. An assessment of the likely impact of closure found that there would be no significant impact on local businesses, residents or taxpayers. A face to face service for customers will continue to be provided at a nearby building.
The impact assessment identified the equality issues that will need to be addressed in completing the relocation, and HMRC managers will be talking to staff about how to deal with any individual problems the closure may pose for them.