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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will allocate 0300 telephone prefixes to (a) the Tax Credit Helpline and (b) the Child Benefit Helpline; and if he will estimate the likely level of savings to (i) his Department and (ii) service users of introducing such a change.
HM Revenue and Customs operates 0845 numbers for the majority of its customers facing helplines and has no immediate plans to allocate 0300 telephone prefixes to the tax credit helpline or the child benefit helpline.
HMRC keeps its numbering strategy under regular review. However, there is no single numbering solution that meets all of HMRC's customers' needs, as call charges to customers are dependent on the tariff arrangements they have with their service provider, the device they use for the call and the location from which they call.
The differing tariff arrangements for customers mean that HMRC is unable to estimate the overall likely savings of any such change to service users. Some customers will pay more, others will pay less and for others there will be no change.