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Cash And Running Costs Limits

Volume 300: debated on Wednesday 5 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what changes he intends to make to the cash limits and running costs provision for 1997–98 within his responsibility.[14840]

Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimates, I intend to make changes to nine voted cash limits, four non-voted cash blocks and seven running cost limits:

The cash limit for class XIII, vote 1, Agriculture, fisheries and environmental services, Scotland, will be increased by £3,117,000 from £309,772,000 to £312,889,000. Within this total, the running costs provision has been increased by £617,000 to £29,826,000. This takes account of £305,000 take up of end year flexibility as announced by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 17 July (Official Report: columns 245–50) for Agency running costs, and a transfer of £2,812,000 from vote 6 to provide additional grant in aid for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and additional running costs for the Fisheries Research Services Agency and Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency.
The cash limit for class XIII, vote 2, Local Government, Housing, Transport, Other Environmental Services and European Funds, Scotland will be increased by a net total of £10,301,000 from £5,473,575,000 to £5,483,876,000. The net increase reflects a transfer of £3,000,000 from SO/ERDF to cover expenditure on the empty homes and rough sleepers initiative; an increase of £1,350,000 from SO/ERDF to cover additional costs to local authorities as a result of implementation of the Pennington recommendations; a transfer of £150,000 from class V, vote 2 for the Edinburgh City car club project; an increase of £600,000 for the Council Tax District Equalisation Scheme and £1,586,000 for the Council Tax Collection scheme transferred from SO/ERDF and SO/LAI respectively; an increase to provision for Historic Scotland of £1,845,248 covering an increase in running cost provision of £1,390,248, and an increase of £455,000 in capital provision reflecting take up of end year flexibility entitlement in respect of capital; an increase in provision of £25,000 for the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, offset by a matching reduction in class XIII, vote 6; a net increase of £1,245,000 for Roads and Transport (covering a gross increase in Roads capital of £8,620,000, an increase in the Northern Isles Ferry Services of £2,549,000 and an increase in Piers and Harbours Grant of £468,000 and offset by decreased Roads current expenditure of £5,000,000 and increased appropriations-in-aid of £5,392,000) reflecting the take up of end year flexibility; and the take up of end year flexibility for Caledonian MacBrayne (£300,000) and Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd. (£200,000).
The cash limit for class XIII, vote 3, Education, industry, arts and libraries, Scotland, will be increased by £4,303,000 from £1,667,405,000 to £1,671,708,000. The increased cash limit takes account of £7,435,000 in respect of end year flexibility arrangements for capital expenditure relating to the National Museums of Scotland, the Scottish Office Pensions Agency and inward investment. The increase also includes £360,000 in respect of end-year flexibility arrangements for running costs expenditure relating to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland and the Scottish Office Pensions Agency. The changes include transfers from class XIII, vote 6 totalling £300,000 in respect of both Agencies. The increase also includes a transfer of £275,000 from class IV, vote 1 in respect of support schemes and a transfer of £2,000,000 from SO/ERDF for Early Intervention. The Supplementary takes account of a transfer of £317,000 to class XIII, vote 6 in respect of software development and a reduction of £5,750,000 as a contribution towards increases in provision elsewhere in class XIII. Certain other transfers have taken place within the vote as a result of changes in Ministerial responsibilities.
The cash limit for class XIII, vote 4, Hospital, community health. family health, other health services and welfare food, Scotland, will be increased by a net total of £78,745,000 from £3,628,304,000 to £3,707,049,000. The increase includes £58,798,000 reflecting the take up of end-year flexibility; a transfer of £37,000 to class XIII, vote 6 for additional expenditure by the Mental Welfare Commission on information technology and some adjustments to reflect changes to anticipated appropriations-in-aid. The NHS Trusts' External Financing Limit has also been decreased by £16,447,000 from £–11,590,000 to £–28,037,000.
The cash limit for class XIII, vote 5 will be increased by £2,446,000 from £660,189,000 to £662,635,000. The increase includes the take up of end-year flexibility of £1,047,000 under the capital scheme and £699,000 under the HPSS scheme. £700,000 will be transferred from SO/ERDF to cover the advance vote 5 received from the Contingencies Fund for the referendum publicity costs. There will also be a number of minor transfers within the vote.
The cash limit for class XIII, vote 6, Scottish Office Administration, is being decreased by £81,000 to £150,074,000. Within this total the running cost provision for Scottish Office Administration is being increased by £2,257,000 to £136,142,000 as a result of the take-up of end-year flexibility, primarily to finance the taking forward of various new policy initiatives and inter-vote transfers. Provision for capital expenditure is being reduced by £2,608,000 to £13,305,000 as a result of various transfers, primarily one of £2,500,000 to class XIII, vote 1 for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. Provision for other current expenditure is being increased by £270,000 to £8,968,000 as a result of the take-up of end-year flexibility for health expenditure to cover computer system costs at the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland.
The cash limit for class XIII, vote 7, General Register Office for Scotland, is being increased by £750,000 to £5,817,000. Within this total, the running costs provision for GRO(S) is being increased by £150.000 to £7,550,000 as a result of the take-up of end-year flexibility to finance preparatory work for the 2001 Census. The increase in capital provision results from the take-up of end-year flexibility to cover costs of continuing refurbishment work at New Register House. The reduction in appropriations in aid is in respect of an expected fall in receipts from running the NHS Central Register, caused by a reduction in the cost of GRO(S) of operating the Register being reflected in lower charges.
The cash limit for class XIII, vote 8, Scottish Record Office, is being increased by £750,000 to £5,172,000. Within this total the SRO running costs provision is being increased by £300,000 to £4,745,000 as a result of the take-up of end-year flexibility to fund implementation of an internal reorganisation of the Department, which is aimed at delivering future efficiency savings. The increase in capital provision results from the take-up of end-year flexibility to cover costs of continuing refurbishment work at General Register House.
The cash limit element for class XIII, vote 9, Administration of justice, Scotland will be increased by a net figure of £1,700,000. This reflects an increase in capital provision of £3,000,000 to £15,700,000 offset by an increase in appropriations-in-aid of £1,300,000 to £17,341,000. Of the net figure, £1,055,000 will be met by the take up of capital end year flexibility and the remainder will be found by a reduction in running cost end-year flexibility entitlement of £645,000. The additional expenditure is required to meet the revised and higher costs of major building projects which are nearing their end-stage.
The External Financing Limit for the East of Scotland Water Authority will be increased by £5,750,000 from £51,690,000 to £57,440,000. The increase will be offset by a matching reduction in the cash limit of class XIII, vote 3.
The non-voted cash limit SO/LA1, which covers non-housing capital expenditure by local authorities, is to be increased by a net total of £22,012,830 from £389,428,000 to $411,440,830. The increase reflects the transfer of £1,586,000 to class XIII, vote 2 reflecting provision for the Council Tax Collection Scheme, and the transfer of £1,448,830 from class XIII, vote 5 in respect of CCTV scheme, and the take up of end year flexibility of £22,150,000.
The non-voted cash limit SO/LA2 which covers housing capital expenditure by local authorities will be increased by a total of £4,298,000 from £179,928,000 to £184,226,000 in respect of the take up of end year flexibility.
The non-voted cash limit SO/ERDF which covers European regional development fund expenditure in Scotland will be increased by £30,300,000 from £95,900,000 to £126,200,000. The increase takes account of the end year flexibility carried over from the financial year 1996–97.
All increases will be offset by transfers or charged to the Reserve and will not, therefore, add to the planned total of public expenditure.
A new non-voted cash limit will be introduced for the Capital Receipts Initiative (SO/CRI), subject to the passage of legislation, to cover the Government's initiative to release additional resources to support local authority spending on new Housing Partnerships and Welfare to Work. The limit on expenditure is set initially at £12,470,000. This expenditure is classified as outside the Control Total.