Revenue makes £1.87bn saving

When its targets were set for the 1999/00 financial year, the Revenue was expected to spend £187m to create savings of £1.95bn.

Final figures for the programme are expected to be published in the annual Revenue Board report, which was due in October, but now thought likely to be released later this month.

However, the Inland Revenue released an official statement to Accountancy Age. It said: ‘We are now in the third and final year of Spend to Save and against our forecast, the savings over three years are £1.87bn on a £187m spend?.

The programme – introduced to improve tax collection and unveiled by former chancellor Kenneth Clarke in the 1996 budget and introduced in April 1997 – was designed to raise tax revenues and clamp down on fraud and evasion.

None of the 2,000 staff recruited for the initiative are expected to be made redundant on completion of the scheme.

It is also likely many aspects of the programme will continue under a different name.

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