The Head of HM Revenue and Customs appeared in front of the Committee for Exiting the European Union. I asked him about how much of HMRC’s time is being absorbed by the EU referendum result and the cost of it. You can read the exchange below
Stephen Kinnock: How much of your time would you estimate is now being absorbed into the process of responding to the result of the referendum on 23rd June 2016?
John Bourne (Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary of HMRC): Oh, it is significant… I would guess that it is somewhere between 40 and 60% of my week.
Stephen Kinnock: 40 and 60% of your time is spent dealing with the ramifications of Brexit?
John Bourne (Head of HMRC): We’ve employed 340 extra people so far, and my estimate is that in the end it [the number of new people employed] will be somewhere between 3-5,000, probably at the upper end of that range.
Stephen Kinnock: Have you done an estimate in terms of cost, additional cost to your payroll of that 3-5,000?
John Bourne (Head of HMRC): It is in the order of £200million pounds extra in addition to our current budget.
Stephen Kinnock: And that is on an annual basis?
John Bourne (Head of HMRC): On an annual basis, yes.
Stephen Kinnock: £250 million, annual payroll addition?
John Bourne (Head of HMRC): Yes. And next year it will be more than that. Because we need to, there are a series of IT changes that we will need to make too. So in 2018/19, the current estimate is around £300 million, and then it should settle down at around £200 million from 2019 onwards.
Stephen Kinnock: Thank you very much.