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Remittances

Volume 482: debated on Wednesday 5 November 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the Government’s estimate is of personal remittances to and from the UK in each of the last 10 years. (232168)

I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated November 2008:

As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your question asking what is the Government’s estimate of personal remittances to and from the United Kingdom in each of the last ten years. (232168)

ONS does not publish separate estimates for flows of personal remittances. Estimates of personal remittance flows to and from the United Kingdom are included in the UK Balance of Payments “Pink Book”, table 5.1, within the published series for other receipts of and payments by households and non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH).

There are components produced at a lower level than these published data, which broadly represent cross-border household to household transfers, and are therefore close, in concept, to personal remittances. However these estimates are highly uncertain which is why they are not published separately on a regular basis.

ONS have estimated that remittances comprise at least 75% of the series published in the Pink Book for total payments and receipts by households and NPISH. The estimates for remittances, excluding the NPISH element, for each of the ten years are in the table below. However it should be stressed that these estimates are highly uncertain.

Personal remittances to and from the UK 1998-2007

Remittances (£ billion)

To the UK

From the UK

1998

2.3

2.3

1999

2.4

2.4

2000

2.3

2.7

2001

2.4

2.8

2002

2.4

2.9

2003

2.4

3.2

2004

2.3

3.5

2005

2.3

3.7

2006

2.4

3.9

2007

2.3

4.1