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Cash And Running Cost Limits

Volume 300: debated on Wednesday 5 November 1997

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To ask the President of the Board of Trade what changes will be made to the cash and running cost limits for her Department, the Office of Telecommunications, the Office of Gas Supply and the Office of Electricity Regulation for 1997–98 and to the external financing limit of BNFL for 1997–98. [14899]

Subject to Parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the cash limit for class IV, vote 1–Department of Trade and Industry: programmes and administration-will be increased by £4,656,000 from £1,344,410,000 to £1,349,066,000. This net increase results from:

(i) the take up of running costs and capital end-year flexibility (0,783,000) as announced by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 17 July 1997 (Official Report, cols 245–250);
(ii) the transfer of £300,000 from the Cabinet Office: Office of Public Service (Class XVII Vote 1) to the Department's accommodation budget;
offset by:

(iii) a net reduction of £852,000 in the Local Competitiveness budget as a result of transfers to the Scottish and Welsh Offices;
(iv) an increase of £575,000 in fee income from the supervision of insurance companies.

Within this total, the gross running costs limit for the Department of Trade and Industry will be increased by £5,244,000 from £366,693,000 to £371,937,000. This change comprises the take-up of running costs end-year flexibility and includes payment of £25,000 to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in respect of the transfer of responsibility for music sponsorship.

The take up of the Department's running costs and capital end-year flexibility (£5,783,000) will be charged to the Reserve and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.

Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the cash limit for Class IV Vote 8—Office of Telecommunications—will be increased by £353,000 from £10,408,000 to £10,761,000 and the running costs limit will be increased by £353,000 from £9,993,000 to £10,346,000. These changes reflect extra resources required for work on numbering administration and give effect to the end-year flexibility carry-forward of £280,000 announced by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 17 July 1997, Official Report, columns 245–50. The increase will be charged to the Reserve and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.

Also, subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the cash limit for Class IV Vote 9—Office of Gas Supply—will be increased by £1,053,000 from £10,075,000 to £11,128,000 and the running costs limit will be increased by £950,000 from £11,412,000 to £12,362,000. These changes reflect the extra resources required for the extension of competition in the domestic gas market, and give effect to the end-year flexibility carry-forward of £103,000 on capital announced by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 17 July 1997, Official Report, columns 245–50. The increase will be charged to the Reserve and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.

Additionally, subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the cash limit for Class IV Vote 10—Office of Electricity Regulation—will be increased by £2,000,000 from £13,950,000 to £15,950,000 and the running costs limit will be increased by £2,000,000 from £14,635,000 to £16,635,000. An increase in receipts to the consolidated fund of £2,000,000 is expected as a consequence of the increase in running costs. These changes reflect the extra resources required by the Director General of Electricity Supply to fulfil his obligations under the Electricity Act 1989, and to meet the deadlines set for deregulation of the franchised electricity supply market. The increase will be charged to the Reserve and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.

In addition to these changes, the External Financing Limit of BNFL has been adjusted from — £67,000,000 to — £169,000,000 to reflect an improved trading performance since the External Financing Limit was set in the 1996 budget.