To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer
(1) how much HM Revenue and Customs paid to private debt collection agencies in 2012-13;
(2) how many private debt collection agencies are currently used by HM Revenue and Customs' Debt Management and Banking unit;
(3) how much revenue was collected by private debt collection agencies on behalf of HM Revenue and Customs' Debt Management and Banking unit in the last year for which data is available.
Following ministerial agreement under the previous Government HMRC ran a pilot on the use of debt collection agencies in 2009-10.
In the 2010 emergency budget, we set out that the Government would collect an additional £140 million in tax revenue from existing debts through debt collection agencies.
A total of 12 private sector debt collection agencies are currently being used by HM Revenue and Customs' Debt Management and Banking unit.
The agencies are paid on commission but rates are commercially confidential.