To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff worked in the (a) escalating cases team and (b) intermediaries team of group 33 on tax credits in each year since it was established; and if he will make a statement.
Group 33 in Tax Credit Office (TCO) was formed towards the end of 2004-05 to handle referrals from HM Revenue and Customs Contact and Enquiry Centres and to manage the dedicated helpline for intermediaries in the voluntary sector. This is now known as the Escalated Cases and Intermediaries Team. It is not possible to isolate the number of staff allocated to each task as TCO deploys its resources according to demand. The average number of full-time equivalent (FTE) staff allocated to these two tasks in each full year was:
The reduction in the number of FTE staff reflects the general reduction in the number of cases being escalated by the Tax Credits Helpline.