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Written Statements

Volume 540: debated on Wednesday 8 February 2012

Written Ministerial Statements

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Attorney-General

Freedom of Information

I have today given the Information Commissioner a certificate under section 53 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the Act”). The certificate relates to the Decision Notices dated 12 September 2011 (ref. FS50347714) and 13 September 2011 (ref. FS50363603). It is my view, as an accountable person under the Act, that there was no failure by the Cabinet Office to comply with section 1(1 )(b) of the Act in these cases by withholding copies of the minutes of the Cabinet Ministerial Committee on Devolution to Scotland and Wales and the English Regions (DSWR) from 1997 and 1998.

The consequence of my giving the Information Commissioner this certificate is that the Commissioner’s Decision Notices, which ordered disclosure of most of the DSWR minutes, cease to have effect.

A copy of the certificate has been laid before each House of Parliament. I have additionally placed a copy of the certificate and a detailed statement of the reasons for my decision in the Libraries of both Houses, the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office.

This is only the third time the power under section 53 (otherwise known as the “veto”) has been exercised since the Act came into force in 2005. In that time, central Government have released an enormous amount of information in response to FOI requests—including in October 2010 the minutes of the Cabinet discussion of the Westland affair.

My decision to exercise the veto in this case was not taken lightly, but in accordance with the Statement of Government Policy on the use of the executive override as it relates to information falling within the scope of section 35(1) of the Act. I have placed a copy of that policy in the Libraries of both Houses.

In line with that policy, I have both assessed the balance of the public interest in disclosure and non-disclosure of these minutes, and considered whether this case meets the criteria set out in the Statement of Government Policy for use of the veto.

I consider that the public interest falls in favour of non-disclosure and that disclosure would be damaging to the doctrine of collective responsibility and detrimental to the effective operation of Cabinet government. I have concluded, in light of the criteria set out in the Government’s policy, that this constitutes an exceptional case and that the exercise of the veto is warranted. A detailed explanation of the basis on which I arrived at the conclusion that the veto should be used is set out in my statement of reasons.

Treasury

Parliamentary Questions

The Treasury has conducted its annual indexation exercise of the cost of oral and written parliamentary questions so as to ensure that these costs are increased in line with increases in underlying costs. The revised costs, which will apply from today, are:

Oral Questions £450

Written Questions £164

The disproportionate cost threshold (DCT) for written questions will increase to £850.

Terrorist Asset Freezing

Following consultation with other relevant Departments and agencies, the Treasury is today publishing the Government’s response to David Anderson’s first report on the operation of the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010. This will be laid before the House today as a Command Paper.

Terrorist Asset Freezing

Under the Terror Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010 (“TAFA 2010”), the Treasury is required to report quarterly to Parliament on its operation of the UK’s asset-freezing regime mandated by UN Security Council Resolution 1373.

This is the fourth report under the Act and it covers the period from 1 October 2011 to 31 December 2011. This report also covers the UK implementation of the UN-Al-Qaeda asset freezing regime.

Follow up to independent reviewer’s report

Following recommendations made by David Anderson QC, the independent reviewer, in his report on the operation of the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010 published on 15 December 2011, the Treasury has revised the content and format of the quarterly report to provide additional information.

This report has been revised to take account of the independent reviewer’s recommendation to publish more information about the operation of the domestic asset-freezing regime. This information can be found in the table and text below. In accordance with the recommendation at paragraph 11.5 of the independent reviewer’s report, the lists at the end of this statement provide a breakdown by name of all those designated by the UK and the EU in pursuance of UN Security Council Resolution 1373.

The Treasury has also decided to report more fully on the operation of the EU asset-freezing regime in the UK under the EU Regulation (EC) 2580/2001 which implements the UNSCR 1373 against external terrorist threats to the EU. Under this regime, the EU has responsibility for designations and the Treasury has responsibility for licensing and compliance with the regime in the UK under part 1 of TAFA 2010.

The Treasury has published its response to the independent reviewer’s report today (8 February 2012) and the next quarterly report will provide an update on implementation of other recommendations which impact on the operation of the asset-freezing regime in the UK.

Additional information, where available, is also provided for the al-Qaeda regime in the revised format adopted to meet the independent reviewer’s recommendation.

The following table sets out the key asset-freezing activity in the UK during the quarter ending 31 December 2011:

TAFA 2010

EU Reg(EC) 2580/2001

Al-QaedaRregime

UNSCR1989

Assets frozen (as at 31/12/2011)

£33,000

£11,000

£72,0001

Number of accounts frozen in UK

(at 31/12/11)

70

10

39

New accounts frozen

0

0

0

Accounts unfrozen

4

0

2

Number of designations

(at 31/12/11)

42

51

343

(i) new designations

(during Q4 2011)

5

5

1

(ii) Delistings

1

1

1

(iii) individuals in custody in UK

15

0

3

(iv) individuals in UK, not in detention

5

0

7

(v) individuals overseas

14

26

242

(vi) groups

8 (0 in UK)

25

91 (2 in UK)

Renewal of designation

1

n/a

n/a

General Licences

Issued in Q4

Amended

(iii) Revoked

(i) 0

(ii) 5

(iii) 0

Specific Licences:

(i) Issued

(ii) Revoked

(i) 4

(ii) 9

(i) 0

(ii) 0

(i) 1

(ii) 2

1 This figure reflects the most up-to-date account balances available and includes approximately $64,000 of suspected terrorist funds frozen in the UK. This has been converted using exchange rates as of 04/01/12.

The key areas of activity during the quarter were:

The Treasury made five new designations under TAFA 2010. These were in respect of Hamed Abdollahi, Manssor Arbabsiar, Abdul Reza Shahlai, Ali Gholam Shakuri, and Qasem Soleimani; and were the first new designations made under TAFA 2010. The five individuals were subsequently listed under EU Regulation 2580/2001.

Two reviews of existing designations were completed during the quarter, which resulted in the delisting of Ismail Bhuta and the renewal of designation of Bilal Abdullah.

Nine licences were revoked following the delisting of Ismail Bhuta.

The decrease in balances since the last quarter follows delistings made and licences issued (under which frozen funds have been released).

The Al-Qaeda (Asset-Freezing) Regulations 2011 were introduced in November to replace the Al-Qaeda and Taliban (Asset-Freezing) Regulations 2010, following the split of the al-Qaeda and Afghanistan regimes agreed by the UN in June 2011.

Legal Challenges

Two legal challenges against designations made under both the Terrorism (United Nations Measures) Order 2009 and TAFA 2010 were ongoing in the quarter covered by this report. There were no specific developments during the quarter in the cases brought by Zana Rahim and Ismail Bhuta. No new challenges were made against the Treasury during the quarter.

Proceedings

In the quarter to 31 December 2011, no proceedings were initiated in respect of breaches of the prohibitions of the Act or the Al-Qaeda (Asset-Freezing) Regulations 2011.

(i) Designated persons under TAFA 2010 by name2

INDIVIDUALS

Hamed ABDOLLAHI

Bilal Talal ABDULLAH

Habib AHMED

Imad Khalil AL-ALAMI

Abdula Ahmed ALI

Abdelkarim Hussein AL-NASSER

Ibrahim Salih AL-YACOUB

ManssorARBABSIAR

Selman BOZKUR

UsamaHAMDAN

Nabeel HUSSAIN

Tanvir HUSSAIN

ZahoorlQBAL

Umar ISLAM

Hasan IZZ-AL-DIN

ParvizKHAN

Waheed Arafat KHAN

Osman Adam KHATIB

Musa Abu MARZOUK

GulamMASTAFA

Khalid MISHAAL

Khalid Shaikh MOHAMMED

Ramzi MOHAMMED

Sultan MUHAMMAD

YassinOMAR

Hussein OSMAN

Zana Abdul RAHIM

Muktar Mohammed SAID

Assad SARWAR

Ibrahim SAVANT

Abdul Reza SHAHLM

All Gholam SHAKURI

Qasem SOLEIMANI

Waheed ZAMAN

entities

1. basque fatherland and liberty (eta)

2. ejercito de liberacion nacional (eln)

3. fuerzas armadas revolucionarias de colombia (farc)

4. hizballah military wing, including external security organisation

5. holy land foundation for relief and development

6. popular front for the liberation of palestine - general command (pflp-gc)

7. popular front for the liberation of palestine (pflp)

8. sendero luminoso (sl)

2For full listing details please refer to: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/terrorism.htm.

(ii) Persons designated by the EU under Council Regulation (EC)2580/20013

Hamed ABDOLLAHI*

Rabah Naami ABOU

Maisi ABOUD

Abdelkarim Hussein AL-NASSER*

Ibrahim Salih AL YACOUB*

ManssorARBABSIAR*

Kamel ARIOUA

Mohamad ASLI

Rabah ASLI

Mohammed BOUYERI

Noureddine DARIB

Abderrahmane DJABALI

Sofiane Yacine FAHAS

Hasan IZZ-AL-DIN*

15. Khalid Shaikh MOHAMMED*

FatehMOKTARI

FaridNOUARA

HoarlRESSOUS

19. Noureddine SEDKAOUI

Abdelghani SELMANI

Sofiane SENOUCI

Abdul Reza SHAHLAI*

All Gholam SHAKURI*

Qasem SOLEIMANI*

Mohammed TINGUALI

Jason Theodore WALTERS

Abu Nidal Organisation (ANO)

Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade

Al-Aqsa e.V.

Al-Takfir and Al-Hijra

Babbar Khalsa

Communist Party of the Philippines, including New People’s Army (NPA), Philippines

Gama’a al-lslamiyya (a.k.a. Al-Gama’a al-lslamiyya) (Islamic Group— IG)

Islami Büyük Dogu Akincilar Cephesi (IBDA-C) (Great Islamic Eastern Warriors Front)

Hamas, including Hamas-Izz al-Din al-Qassem

Hizbul Mujahideen(HM)

Hofstadgroep

Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development*

International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF)

Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF)

Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) (a.k.a. KONGRA-GEL)

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)

Ejército de Liberación Nacional (National Liberation Army)*

Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)*

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine—General Command (PFLP-GC)*

Fuerzas armadas revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC)*

Devrimci Halk Kurtulu Partisi-Cephesi—DHKP/C (Revolutionary People’s Liberation Army/Front/Party)

Sendero Luminoso (SL) (Shining Path)*

Stichting Al Aqsa

Teyrbazen azadiya Kurdistan(TAK)

3for full listing details please refer to: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/terrorism.htm.

*EU listing rests on UK designation under TAFA 2010.

Defence

Armed Forces Pension Scheme

Changes to the armed force compensation scheme introduced in May 2011, and armed forces redundancies as a result of the strategic defence and security review, have increased the resource annually managed expenditure (AME) and net cash requirements for the armed forces retired pay, pensions etc. estimate in a manner which could not have been foreseen at the time of the main estimate in April. Parliamentary approval for additional resource AME of £1,340,000,000 has been sought in the supplementary estimate for armed forces retired pay, pensions etc. laid before the House today.

However, the rate of spend under this vote has also been faster than anticipated at the start of the year, for example, because payment of the retrospective additional compensation payments as part of the implementation of Lord Boyce’s recommendations for reform of the AFCS, has proceeded more quickly than expected. The Department therefore needs to make arrangements to ensure the financial obligations of the armed forces pension scheme can continue to be met up until the supplementary estimate is approved. Parliamentary approval for additional resources of £1,340,000,000 is sought in the supplementary estimate for the armed forces retired pay, pensions etc. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £340,000,000 will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.

Energy and Climate Change

EU Energy Council

In advance of the forthcoming Energy Council in Brussels on 14 February, I am writing to outline the agenda items to be discussed.

The first substantive item on the agenda will be a debate on the proposal for a regulation on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure. The UK welcomes proposals to reduce investment barriers for energy infrastructure development and to build on best practice to help streamline permitting processes across the Union, particularly for cross-border projects. We recognise that considerable investment in energy infrastructure will be needed between now and 2020 to meet the agreed EU and UK core objectives of competitiveness, sustainability and security of supply as well as meeting the 2020 targets on renewables, energy efficiency and CO2 reduction. However, we have some concerns that in some areas the proposals and time-schedules appear overly prescriptive.

The council will also hold a debate on the Europe 2020 strategy, which will form the Energy Council’s contribution to the European semester exercise (the EU initiative to improve economic policy coordination). The council will consider the contribution of energy efficiency and renewable energy to growth and jobs.

The presidency will then report on the progress of negotiation of the draft directive on energy efficiency. Over lunch, Ministers will discuss the remaining potential areas of concern in the draft directive in terms of scope, requirements and implementation of the proposal and how they can be best addressed before negotiations begin with the European Parliament. We support the general level of ambition in the draft directive although we have concerns over the level of prescription. We are pleased with the direction of discussions in council, which reflects these concerns.

There will be reports by the presidency on the progress of negotiations on the draft decision on an information exchange mechanism on intergovernmental agreements and on preparations of the Rio+20 UN conference on sustainable development. The commission will report on the activities of the Electricity Co-ordination Group and on a number of international energy relations issues.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agriculture and Fisheries Council

My right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food (Jim Paice) represented the UK on agriculture matters at the Agricultural and Fisheries Council on Monday 23 January. Stewart Stevenson MSP and Alun Davies AM were also in attendance.

The meeting opened with a presentation of the Danish presidency’s priorities for the first half of 2012. Progress on CAP reform negotiations and political agreement on the common fisheries policy were the two main objectives, with simplification of food legislation, the technical alignment of legislation with the Lisbon treaty, and a focus on animal welfare also mentioned.

The main agenda item was a CAP reform discussion focusing on the Single Common Market Organisation (SCMO) proposal. The Commission stated that the proposal would refine existing market intervention measures, enabling the EU to react more effectively to agricultural crises, and introducing a new off-budget crisis reserve. The Commission called for Producer Organisations (PO) and Inter-Branch Organisations (IBO) to be allowed to benefit from clearer rules on competition law allowing them to plan effectively and adjust their production. The Commission also announced the creation of a high level group to examine the EU wine sector.

The UK acknowledged the requirement for a safety net but stressed the need to differentiate between market volatility and a genuine crisis; and disagreed that a crisis reserve should be off-budget. The UK welcomed the end of certain market measures such as the sugar quota, but restated the need for a balanced sugar market which allowed the EU sugar beet and cane refining industries to compete on a level playing field. Finally, the UK stated that the existing Producer Organisation model had been difficult to implement in member states and needed clarification.

Member states accepted the requirement for a safety net for farmers, but were split over the best ways to achieve this. The major wine producing member states regretted the proposed end to vine planting rights, but welcomed the formation of a high level group. A large group wanted to continue with sugar beet quotas. The Producer Organisations and Inter-Branch Organisations proposals were generally well-received, although many member states rejected the idea of compulsory recognition.

There were two items under any other business. The first saw a Commission presentation of its strategy for the protection and welfare of animals 2012-15. There was some reference to poor implementation of the ban on conventional cages for laying hens, and to the importance of maintaining the deadline for compliance with the sow stall ban in 2013.

The second any other business item was information from Holland on discovery of the Schmallenberg virus in Holland, Germany and Belgium. Holland called for a monitoring plan and EU funding to tackle the disease and for it be classified notifiable. The UK also reported discovery of four cases of Schmallenberg but stated that while EU-wide monitoring, research, and co-ordination was important there was not enough evidence to make the disease formally notifiable. The Commission stressed the need to act proportionately and avoid unnecessary disruptions to the market and trade.

Home Department

Firearms

Today I am launching a consultation on whether we need to change existing legislation or sentencing powers in relation to importation and supply of illegal firearms. The consultation will run until 8 May 2012 and a consultation paper is available on the Home Office website. A copy of the consultation document will also be placed in the House Library.

The United Kingdom has some of the toughest firearms laws in the world, sending a clear message that society will not tolerate gun crime. However while gun crime represents only a small proportion of all recorded crime, it has a serious impact on the communities affected by it. We believe that individuals who, while not using the firearms themselves, are responsible for making them available to other criminals should face tough and appropriate sentences.

That is why in our “Ending Gang and Youth Violence” report, the Government committed to undertaking further work to assess whether it is necessary and proportionate to introduce new offences for the supply and importation of firearms. The Government want to ensure that appropriate offences and sentences are in place to address gun crime and support practitioners in their work. Before committing to any action we want to ensure we have correctly identified whether the existing legal framework is sufficient.

We are therefore seeking views on whether current laws are robust enough to ensure that those who import, or supply firearms to criminals face tough and appropriate sentences for their crime.

International Development

Supplementary Estimates 2011-12

Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the Department for International Development’s departmental expenditure limit (DEL) will be reduced by £13.0 million from £7,880.3 million to £7,867.3 million.

Within the DEL change, the impact on resources and capital are as set out in the following table:

ChangeNew DEL£’000

Voted

Non-voted

Voted

Non-voted

Total

Resource DEL

-309.0

31.9

5,341.3

867.9

6,209.2

Of which:

Administration budget

-11.6

0

111.2

0

111.2

Depreciation budget

21.0

21.0

Capital DEL

264.1

0

1,658.1

0

1,658.1

Total DEL

-44.9

31.9

6,999.4

867.9

7,867.3

The change in the Resource element of DEL arises from:

Voted

Transfers out to other Government Departments, including those relating to the jointly managed conflict pool. This sits on Department for International Development’s baseline but is shared between Department for International Development, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Ministry of Defence. Budget transfers relate to expenditure managed by these other Government Departments.

£4.5 million transferred to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in respect of the tri-departmental conflict pool. This was funded from the original conflict pool allocation of £256.0 million, and £4.0 million was funded from DFID RDEL (given unforeseen pressures in Libya);

£4.0 million transferred to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in respect of the tri-departmental conflict pool. This was in addition to the £4.5 million outlined above and was a result of unforeseen pressures in Libya;

£2.1 million transferred to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in respect of approved funding to the returns and re-integration fund;

£2.6 million transferred to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in respect of approved funding for DARWIN project;

£1.9 million transferred to the Home Office in respect of approved contribution to ODA-eligible UK Border Agency (UKBA) funding;

£0.9 million transferred to DEFRA in respect of the technical contribution fund for the International Atomic Energy Agency;

£10.0 million transferred to DEFRA in respect of DFID in respect of the overall ODA and International Climate Finance management strategy. An ODA/GNI target of 0.56% was set out in DFID’s CSR10 settlement letter, as was a climate change spending target of £275.0 million;

£7.1 million transferred to Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in respect of the overall ODA and International Climate Finance management strategy;

£3.0 million transferred from the Department for Education to DFID in respect of a forecast underspend on ODA eligible budget.;

£247.0 million transferred internally from DFID’s RDEL budget to DFID’s CDEL budget in order to facilitate the deposit of the IDA 16 £300.0 million promissory note. This represented the first deposit towards the 16th replenishment of the International Development Association, the arm of the World Bank whose funding provides people with education, health care, clean water and access to economic opportunities in around 80 of the world’s poorest countries. The UK has pledged £2.664 billion to cover the period from July 2011 to June 2014.

Voted Summary

Net RDEL transfer to OGDs

-£30.1 m

Transfer to non-voted RDEL to support EC attribution

-£31.9 m

Transfer to DFID CDEL from DFID RDEL

-£247.0 m

Subtotal voted

-£309.0 m

Non-voted

Adjustment to the total of EC attribution

Based on updated information of 2009 outturn made by EU directly on behalf of the UK the figure for the outturn of the 2009 EC attribution was £31.9 million higher than outlined in the 2011 main estimate. As such, an adjustment is required to reflect the new estimated amount for the non-voted EC attribution total.

£31.9 million transferred from DFID in respect of a forecast underspend on ODA eligible budget.

Non-voted summary

Increase in EC attributed aid

£31.9 m

Subtotal non-voted

£31.9 m

Total reductions in RDEL

£277.1 m

The change in the capital element of DEL arises from:

Voted

Internal transfers from DFID RDEL to DFID CDEL, and transfers of CDEL from OGDs as part of previously stated RDEL to CDEL swaps.

£10.0 million CDEL received from DEFRA in respect of the overall ODA and International Climate Finance management strategy;

£7.1 million CDEL received from DECC in respect of the overall ODA and International Climate Finance management strategy;

£247.0 million internal transfer from DFID RDEL to DFID CDEL. The majority of this internal swap is used to partly fund the £300.0 million promissory note to IDA 16, summarised earlier. DFID’s contribution to IDA, like many other donors, is made by way of promissory note to enable the organisation to enter into commitments with the support of the promissory note but ensure effective cash management and avoid large unutilised cash balances.

Voted Summary

Transfer to DFID CDEL from DFID RDEL

£247.0 m

Transfer from OGDs to DFID CDEL

£17.1 m

Subtotal voted

£264.1 m

Non-voted

No CDEL non voted adjustments

Non-voted Summary

Subtotal non voted

£0

Total increases in CDEL

£264.1 m

DFID’s Annually Managed Expenditure (AME) budget is used to fund amendments to provision requirements and also fair value adjustments to financial instruments, notably DFID’s existing loan portfolio. DFID’s significant provisions include contributions towards the International Finance Facility for Immunisations (IFFIm) and Advance Market Commitments (AMC).

Voted

Adjustments have been made to reflect updated expectations of provision requirements and utilisation of provisions based on revised information. The most notable of these are in IFFIm and AMC provisions. DFID’s provision requirements for IFFIm represent the net present value of committed payments to cover the UK share of currently issued bonds. This year bond issues are expected to be lower than originally forecast, due to lower anticipated demand for bonds as a result of the global economic circumstances. AMC’s provision represents committed payments to fund supplier agreements signed to produce vaccines to meet demand. The value of agreements signed in the year is now lower than forecast at main estimate stage and a reduction in AME is expected for this reason.

These reductions are offset by an expected increase in AME to cover fair value adjustments in loans, which are now treated as AME by way of the Clear Line of Sight reform. The majority of DFID’s loan debtor represents DFID’s share of a euro-denominated portfolio of loans given to developing countries which is administered by the European Investment Bank (EIB). It is expected the valuation of this outstanding balance will reduce due to a combination of exchange rate movements, recognising the weakening of the euro against sterling, but also to reflect doubts over the recoverability of certain balances where the countries are in default or are expected to be given debt relief status.

Expected net income from the sale of assets disposed of in the financial year is £1.6 million, and is capital AME. This is included below.

AME voted summary

Increase in utilisation of provisions

-£10.9 m

Increase in provision

£3.4 m

Income in AME Capital

-£1.6 m

Subtotal voted

£9.1 m

No AME non-voted adjustments have been made

AME non-voted summary

Sub total non-voted

£0

Total decrease AME

£9.1m

Scotland

Supplementary Estimates 2011-12

Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate the Scotland DEL will be increased by £361,773,000 from £27,987,779,000 to £28,349,552,000. Within the total DEL change, the impact on resources and capital is set out in the following table:

£’000

Change

New DEL

Fiscal RDEL

114,616,000

24,955,969,000

Ring-fenced Depreciation within RDEL

9,500,000

544,257,000

Ring-fenced Student Loans within RDEL

16,109,000

87,487,000

Capital DEL

221,548,000

2,761,839,000

Resource DEL + Capital DEL

361,773,000

28,349,552,000

Less Depreciation

9,500,000

544,257,000

Total DEL

352,273,000

27,805,295,000

The increase in the Scotland DEL takes account of the following adjustments to the Scottish Government provision:

A DEL carry forward of £130,000,000 (£30,000,000 resource and £100,000,000 capital);

Barnett consequentials of £90,194,000 (£69,206,000 resource and £20,988,000 capital);

Increase of £15,970,000 (£15,410,000 resource and £560,000 capital) in lieu of Barnett consequentials in settlement of the Olympics dispute;

£50,000,000 towards the upgrading of the ScotRail sleeper services;

A pre-payment transfer for the Forth replacement crossing of £50,000,000;

An increase in the student loans subsidy of £16,109,000; and

Additional depreciation of £9,500 for Highlands & Islands Airports Limited following

its change from a public corporation to a central Government body.

Transport

Search and Rescue Helicopters

On 13 July 2011 the Department for Transport commenced a procurement competition for search and rescue helicopter services to replace the existing contracted Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) capability. The procurement process has now concluded, and I wish to inform the House of the results.

A contract has been signed to operate search and rescue services from Stornoway and Shetland with Bristow Helicopters Ltd. A separate contract has been signed with CHC Scotia Bristow Helicopters Ltd to operate search and rescue services from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency bases at Portland and Lee-on-the-Solent. Operations under both contracts will commence by the time the existing MCA service contract expires, and will continue until June 2017. Both contracts will be managed by the MCA.

As I announced on 28 November, procurement is now under way for longer-term arrangements that will see search and rescue contracted nationally. Operations will commence under these longer-term arrangements during 2015 and the future contractor for the UK will assume responsibility for the MCA capability during 2017.

Wales

Supplementary Estimates 2011-12

Subject to parliamentary approval of any necessary supplementary estimate, the Welsh Government’s (WG) total departmental expenditure limit (DEL) will be increased by £123,401,000 from £14,688,541,000 to £14,811,942,000.

Within the total departmental expenditure limit (DEL) changes, the impact is set out in the following tables:

Fiscal RDEL

£’000

Provision at Main Estimates

13,348,774

Changes in Supplementary Estimate

Transfer from DEFRA (Animal Health)

1,200

Transfer to BIS (Public sector Mapping)

-2,081

Resource to capital switch

-97.,000

Reserve Claim: Olympic settlement

8,622

Barnett Consequentials: Council Tax

Freeze

38,895

Barnett Consequentials: Fee Advice

Services

967

Sub-total changes

-49,397

Revised provision (Supplementary Estimate)

13,299,377

Ring-fenced Student Loans in RDEL

Provision at Main Estimates

52,820

Changes in Supplementary Estimate

Switch from Ring-fenced Depreciation

37,868

Reserve Claim: Student Loans

25,600

Sub-total changes

63,468

Revised provision (Supplementary Estimate)

116,288

Ring-fenced Depreciation in RDEL

Provision at Main Estimates

378,329

Switch from Ring-fenced Student Loans

-37,868

Transfer to DEFRA (Environment Agency depreciation)

-1,650

Sub-total changes

-39,518

Revised provision (Supplementary Estimate)

338,811

Capital DEL

Provision at Main Estimates

1,286,947

Changes in Supplementary Estimate)

Resource to capital switch

97,000

Reserve Claim: Olympic settlement

241

Barnett Consequentials: Growing

Places

12,089

Sub-total changes

109,330

Revised provision (Supplementary Estimate)

1,396,277

Summary

Opening Position

Changes

Current Position

Fiscal RDEL

13,348,774

-49,397

13,299,377

Ring-fenced Student Loans in RDEL

52,820

63,468

116,288

Ring-fenced Depreciation in RDEL

378,329

-39,518

338,811

Capital DEL

1,286,947

109,330

1,396,277

Total DEL (RDIL + CDEL)

15,066,870

83,883

15,150,753

Total DEL (RDEL + CDEL-Depreciation)

14,688,541

123,401

14,811,942

The net effect of these and other changes is to reduce the grant payable to the Welsh Consolidated Fund by £45,076,000 from £12,910,867,000 to £12,865,791,000. Full details are set out in the table below.

Welsh Consolidated Fund

Original Position

Changes

Revised Position

£’000

Expenditure Classified as DEL1

15,066,870

83,883

15,150,753

Expenditure Classified as AME

318,789

111,439

430,228

Total managed Expenditure

15,385,659

195,322

15,580,981

Less:

Non-Voted expenditure:

LA Credit Approvals

120,211

0

120,211

Other Non-Voted

6,078

0

6,078

Resource Ring-fenced Non-Cash

431,149

23,950

455,099

AME Non-cash

164,726

122,077

286,803

TOTAL NON- VOTED TME

722,164

146,027

868,191

TOTAL VOTED TME

14,663,495

49,295

14,712,790

Voted receipts

Contributions from the National Insurance Fund

-886,953

8,629

-878,324

NDR Receipts

-867,000

-103,000

-970,000

Total

-1,753,953

-94,371

-1,848,324

Timing Adjustments

Increase / Decrease in Debtors and Creditors

1,275

0

1,275

Use of Provisions

50

0

50

TOTAL GRANT TO WELSH CONSOLIDATED FUND

12,910,867

-45,076

12,865,791

1Resource and capital DEL inc. depreciation.

Includes Budgetary Changes as a result of the implementation of Clear Line of Sight