Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Second Report

Annex 209

Letter to the Registrar of Members` Interests from Mr Andrew Walker, Director of Finance and Administration, House of Commons

Thank you for your letters of 23 and 26 June.

We have analysed, in spreadsheet form, Kevin Reid`s and Chris Winslow`s payslips, calculated the employer`s NI contributions and compared the result with the Scottish Labour Party`s budget forecasts, as at January 1999. I enclose the spreadsheets, which I hope are largely self-explanatory. We have added one or two observations on the spreadsheets, covering a few relatively minor points. Overall, the results are in line with what we would expect, in terms of their attempt to anticipate cash flow, and consistent with the possible explanations in my letter of 23rd May.

You asked particularly about national insurance contributions. The NICs shown on the payslips are, of course employees` contributions. We have worked out the appropriate employers` contributions and included them in the spreadsheet. You will notice that these do not always run at 10 per cent, because of the way the contributions tables work. But there is nothing particularly unusual in the full 10 per cent being allowed in the budget, even though in fact a lower percentage would be due in some months, depending on pay levels. That would simply reflect the fact that the office manager might not have the NIC break points at the top of her mind when she was setting or adjusting the budget.

Turning to your second letter, the explanations provided by Annmarie Whyte are broadly consistent with the documentary evidence which we have seen. We have not detected any obviously suspicious elements.

I hope this will the Commissioner to progress to a conclusion with her investigations.

28 June 2000

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