The two senior civil servants will appear before members of the House of Commons’ powerful Treasury select committee on 1 November when they are bound to face fierce questioning about bringing the two bodies together.
Controversy has surrounded the whole question of merger. The Treasury committee has already stated openly that it believes merger to be the best option for the Revenue and Customs, and for taxpayers.
Meanwhile officials have continued to state their opposition claiming the two departments already work closely together but have unique tasks which preclude full merger.
The position was compounded for Customs however when it refused to allows MPs access to a unpublished report written in 1993 on the possibility of merger.
New research was demanded by the Treasury committee in its report which said that policy formulation on the ‘most cost effective’ tax collection system was essential.
The committee also lambasted paymaster general Dawn Primarolo, accusing her of failing to take notice of Canada where major reorganisation has taken place.
The Treasury committee’s report said that ‘a merger should proceed and the government should bring forward a plan for the merger in accordance with our conclusions’.
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