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Income: Gold

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 3 April 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much revenue has been raised from sales of (a) gold and (b) mobile telephone licences in the last 10 years; and what such revenue was used for. (196808)

The information requested is as follows:


395 tonnes of gold were sold from the reserves between July 1999 and March 2002 and re-invested in interest-bearing foreign currency assets. The total proceeds were around $3.5 billion, equivalent to around £2.3 billion (using exchange rates at the time of the sales).

Mobile telephone licences

The auction of wireless telegraphy licences for 3G mobile telephony raised £22,477.4 million in May 2000. Ofcom has since held three further auctions of licences on a technology and application neutral basis in frequency bands suitable for mobile communications (in May 2006, October 2006 and May 2007) raising a total of £5.64 million.

The aim of the auctions was not to raise revenue but to secure optimal use of the radio spectrum. Receipts from spectrum awards are passed to the Consolidated Fund. The Consolidated Fund receives the proceeds of taxation and certain other Government receipts and finances the nation's general expenditure.