Select Committee on Treasury Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by HM Treasury

  At its evidence session with officials on 6 November, the Treasury Committee requested further information on three issues:

1.  Impact on costs of reports of inclusion of the Estimates, and numbers of reports sold to the general public

  The cover price for a report may depend on a number of factors which impact to varying degrees, such as numbers of colours used, and the printing rate charged where for example urgency is a factor. A precise breakdown of the effect on costs of inclusion of Estimates for each report would be difficult to achieve.

  In terms of pages, 505 (about 14 per cent) of the total of 3,666 pages for the 2001 reports were taken up with presentation of the Estimates. In sum, the 2001 reports cost £492.70 (excluding the discount offered for buying the boxed set), compared with £376 for the 2000 reports. Although this difference cannot be attributed to inclusion of the Estimates alone, it does offer evidence of the trend to bigger and more expensive reports.

  The following table breaks these figures down:

  
2000 prices £
2001 prices £
pages in total
of which Estimate
British Trade International
12.80
72
8
Customs & Excise
19.50
13.80
64
9
Cabinet Office
15.45
21.40
248
60
Chancellor's depts
46.00
55.00
249
56
DCMS
30.00
30.00
232
6
DETR
28.00
30.00
402
44
DfEE
20.40
31.00
222
36
DfID
24.00
24.00
197
12
Dept of Health
21.00
18.50
128
15
DSS
16.00
16.00
142
17
DTI
22.00
43.80
359
52
FCO
20.00
23.70
162
6
Food Standards Agency
17.20
102
9
Home Office
26.50
40.00
192
12
Inland Revenue
8.15
9.95
79
17
Law Officers
11.90
13.30
120
36
Lord Chancellor's depts
24.00
25.00
141
22
MAFF
15.00
15.00
247
37
MoD
6.10
11.45
64
17
Northern Ireland Office
10.50
26.50
156
19
Scotland Office
6.80
7.30
38
11
Wales Office
4.70
7.00
50
4
Total
376.00
492.70
3,666
505


  Sales figures for the reports are set out below:

  
Sponsor
Parliament
Others
Total
British Trade International
750
167
295
1,212
Customs & Excise
1,003
167
263
1,433
Cabinet Office
250
167
229
646
Chancellor's depts
135
167
198
500
DCMS
1,300
167
245
1,712
DETR
811
167
318
1,296
DfEE
1,003
199
269
1,471
DfID
5,000
182
204
5,386
Dept of Health
1,266
172
289
1,727
DSS
750
174
240
1,164
DTI
526
167
283
976
FCO
1,449
167
222
1,838
Food Standards Agency
1,000
167
196
1,363
Home Office
1,153
167
208
1,528
Inland Revenue
201
167
143
511
Law Officers
250
167
201
618
Lord Chancellor's depts
541
167
206
914
MAFF
343
167
279
789
MoD
225
167
236
628
Northern Ireland Office
201
167
225
593
Scotland Office
151
187
210
548
Wales Office
300
189
232
721
Boxed sets
  
  
156
156


2.  Timing of publication of resource accounts: how many departments were ready to publish by 1 November

  On the basis that "ready to publish" resource accounts means that the accounts have been signed by the Accounting Officer and have been certified by the Comptroller and Auditor General, the position is as follows:

  
Total
Ready to publish
by 1 November
Percentage
1999-2000
49
8
16
2000-2001
52
13
25


3.  The Barnett formula comparability factors, including in regard to the London Underground

  The funding arrangements for the devolved administrations are set out in the Statement of Funding Policy published by the Treasury in July 2000 and announced in a written answer to Parliament by the Chief Secretary on 18 July 2000. A copy of the Statement of Funding Policy has been placed in the House of Commons Library.

  The Statement describes the Barnett formula, which provides the devolved administrations with a population based share of comparable increases in UK Government departments' programmes. The Statement includes details of the departmental comparability factors used in the Barnett formula in the 2000 spending review. These departmental factors are set out in Annex C of the Statement, which provides a schedule of comparable sub-programmes for each Government department. The departmental comparability factors, which are applied to the overall increases in departmental programmes in the spending review, represent the extent to which the departmental programmes are comparable, ie represent devolved functions or non comparable, ie spending which is reserved and UK wide.

  The London Transport sub-programme is shown under the DETR—Transport programme as comparable for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Because the extent of devolved functions varies in each of the three countries the departmental comparability factors differ for each country.

  The Statement of Funding Policy was agreed with the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland Secretaries of State, following consultation with the devolved administrations.

18 December 2001


 
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