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Written Statements

Volume 689: debated on Tuesday 20 February 2007

Written Statements

Tuesday 20 February 2007

Avian Flu

My honourable friend the Minister for Housing and Planning (Yvette Cooper) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Changes to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 for England came into force today introducing a new permitted development right to help mitigate the current increased risk of avian influenza (“bird flu”).

Following the recent outbreak of avian influenza on a farm in Suffolk, Defra has taken measures to prevent the spread of the virus, including the culling of all birds on the infected premises, putting in place a three kilometre protection zone and a 10 kilometre surveillance zone around the infected area and a restriction zone covering approximately 2,090 square kilometres of north-east Suffolk and south-east Norfolk. In all of those zones, bird keepers are required to house their birds or, if that is not practical, otherwise isolate them from contact with wild birds.

In order to help deal with the current increased risk of avian influenza nationwide, the Government have decided to assist poultry farmers and owners of other captive birds by granting planning permission in the whole of England for temporary and reversible works to shelter poultry and other captive birds from contact with wild birds. Landowners will be allowed to erect a building with a ground area of up to 465 square metres, or extend an existing building by up to 50 per cent. Any such development will be permitted to remain standing for as long as it is necessary to protect poultry and other captive birds from avian influenza, but not beyond 12 months. After such time, the structures will either need to be removed and the land restored to its original condition or to any condition as agreed between the local planning authority and the developer or planning permission for a permanent structure will need to be sought.

The amendment will also cover conservation areas, areas of outstanding natural beauty and national parks. Legislation protecting listed buildings and sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) will continue to apply.

Courts: Disclosure in Expert Evidence

The General Medical Council has started a hearing into allegations of professional misconduct by Professor David Southall, a consultant paediatrician. It is said that he kept so-called “special case” files containing original medical records relating to his patients that were not also kept on the child's proper hospital file. Concerns have been raised that in some of those cases criminal proceedings may have been taken but the existence of the files not revealed, resulting in their not being disclosed as part of the prosecution process. I share those concerns.

What is not clear at this stage is the nature and extent of the failure of disclosure, if such it be. I have therefore decided that I will conduct an assessment of the cases where Professor Southall was instructed as a prosecution witness to determine whether any “special case” files existed in any cases involving criminal proceedings. Once that assessment has been completed, I will decide what, if any, further review is required.

Department for Education and Skills: DEL

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (Alan Johnson) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Subject to parliamentary approval of any necessary supplementary estimate, the Department for Education and Skills departmental expenditure limit (DEL), (including the Office for Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools (Ofsted) which has a separate estimate) will be increased by £139,575,000 from £59,602,990,000 to £59,742,565,000 and the administration cost budget will be increased by £5,500,000 from £272,561,000 to £278,061,000.

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

ResourcesCapital***

Change

New DEL

Of which

Change

New DEL

Of which

Voted

Non-voted

Voted

Non-voted

DfES

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

RfR 1

242,109

51,999,450

35,001,134

16,998,316

13,241

5,853,146

3,373,907

2,479,239

RfR 2

-115,601

1,113,542

1,113,542

0

0

426,425

426,425

0

RfR 3

220

145,796

145,796

0

0

0

0

0

Ofsted

206

204,206

204,206

0

-600

0

0

0

Sub Total

126,934

53,462,994

36,464,678

16,998,316

12,641

6,279,571

3,800,332

2,479,239

**Of which Admin Budget

5500

278,061

278,061

0

0

0

0

0

Near-cash in RDEL

-414,308

52,185, 665

35,174, 731

17, 010, 934

0

0

0

0

Depreciation*

-707

-35,606

-9,175

-26,431

0

0

0

0

Total

126,227

53,424,888

36,453,003

16,971,885

12,641

6,279,571

3,800,332

2,479,239

*Depreciation, which forms part of resource DEL, is excluded from the total DEL, in the table above, since capital DEL includes capital spending and to include depreciation of those assets would lead to double counting.

** The total of “Administration budget” and “Near-cash in resource DEL” figures may well be greater than total resource DEL, due to the definitions overlapping.

***Capital DEL includes items treated as resource in estimates and accounts but which are treated as capital DEL in budgets.

Within the administration cost budget changes, the impact is set out in the following table:

OriginalChangeRevised

DfES

£’000

£’000

£’000

DfES (RfR1)

244,091

5,500

249,591

OFSTED

28,470

0

28,470

Total

272,561

5,500

278,061

Resource DEL

The increase in the resource element of the DEL of £126,934,000 arises from an increase in the voted element of the resource DEL of £9,730,000 and an increase of £117,204,000 in the non-voted element of resource DEL mainly in the department's non-departmental public bodies.

Voted Resource DEL

The £9,730,000 increase in the voted element of the resource DEL arises from:

RFR1

the take-up of end-year flexibility of £105,500,000 for the resource consequences of student loans £100,000,000, for pay and pensions for departmental running costs £5,500,000;

a movement of £115,048,000 from RFR2, £82,325,000 in respect of nursery education extension funding, £50,000 in respect of early years national travellers programme, £1,500,000 in respect of child- contact centres, £2,500,000 in respect of early years foundation centres, £100,000 in respect of early years data collection pilot, £28,573,000 in respect of current grants;

a £124,710,000 virement to non-voted resource DEL, £25,523,000 to support schools and teachers, £25,193,000 to support higher education, £73,089,000 to support further education and lifelong learning, £905,000 to support children, young people and families;

a £29,951,000 virement from non-voted resource DEL for other central services;

a movement of £220,000 to RFR3, for repayment of the children's fund loan;

an increase of £72,000 for special educational needs for dyslexia taken up from the invest to save budget;

a transfer from the Home Office of £604,000 for offender education;

transfers to Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools (OFSTED) £393,000 for the childcare register and to the Home Office £947,000 for offender education.

RFR2

A movement of £1,327,000 from non-voted departmental unallocated provision for central government grants;

a movement of £116,928,000 to RFR1, £82,325,000 in respect of nursery education extension funding, £50,000 in respect of early years national travellers programme, £1,500,000 in respect of child- contact centres, £2,500,000 in respect of early years foundation centres, £100,000 in respect of early years data collection pilot, £28,573,000 in respect of current grants. A movement of £1,880,000 to RFR1 non-budget section in respect of the National College for Schools Leadership.

RFR3

A movement of £220,000 from RFR1 for repayment of children’s fund loan.

Ofsted

The increase of £206,000 in resource DEL arises from:

a transfer from the Department for Education and Skills £393,000 for the childcare register;

a decrease of £187,000 from profit on the sale of an asset.

Non-voted resource DEL

The £117,204,000 increase in non-voted resource DEL arises from:

a £124,710,000 virement from RFR1 voted resource DEL, £25,523,000 to support schools and teachers, £25,193,000 to support higher education, £73,089,000 to support further education and lifelong learning, £905,000 to support children, young people and families;

a £29,951,000 virement to RFR1 voted resource DEL for other central services;

a movement of £1,880,000 from RFR2 voted resource DEL to support the National College for Schools Leadership;

a transfer in of £5,669,000 from Department of Health for pension indexation;

the take-up of end-year flexibility of £16,500,000 for take-up of Adult Learning Inspectorate provisions £4,500,000 and for take-up of Qualifications and Curriculum Authority provisions £12,000,000;

a reclassification of £277,000 from non-voted resource DEL to non-voted capital DEL for the Office of the Children's Commissioner capital investment;

a movement of £1,327,000 to RFR2 central government grants from departmental unallocated provision.

Capital DEL

The increase in the capital element of the DEL of £12,641,000 arises from a £4,472,000 decrease in the voted element of capital DEL and an increase of £17,113,000 in the non-voted element of capital DEL.

Voted Capital DEL

The £4,472,000 decrease in the voted element of the capital DEL arises from:

RFRI

the take-up of end-year flexibility of £7,964,000 for the Cybrarian capital modernisation fund £7,851,000 and the invest to save budget for Construction Industry Training Board £113,000;

a £16,836,000 virement to non-voted capital DEL £11,000,000 for support to higher education, £51,000 for the School Food Trust, £1,105,000 for support to the Sector Skills Development Agency, £4,680,000 from the departmental unallocated provision for central government grants;

transfer from the Department for Communities and Local Government of £5,000,000 for the combined universities of Cornwall;

the decrease of £600,000 in Ofsted capital for non-operating appropriation in aid in respect of the sale of an asset.

Non-voted Capital DEL

The £17,113,000 increase in the non-voted element of capital DEL arises from:

a £16,836,000 virement from voted capital DEL £11,000,000 for support to higher education, £51,000 for the School Food Trust, £1,105,000 for support to the Sector Skills Development Agency, £4,680,000 from the departmental unallocated provision for central government grants;

a reclassification of £277,000 from non-voted resource DEL to non-voted capital DEL for the Office for the Children's Commissioner capital investment.

Administration Cost Budget

The take-up of end-year flexibility of £5,500,000 to cover net pressure on departmental administration costs.

Department for International Development: DEL

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for International Development (Hilary Benn) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the Department for International Development departmental expenditure limit (DEL) will be increased by £57,216,000 from £4,958,465,000 to £5,015,681,000; the administration budget will be increased by £30,000,012 from £235,000,000 to £265,012,000. The administration budget increase is for non-cash changes in accounting provisions; the cash budget for administration activities is unchanged.

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

£000s

New DEL

Change

Voted

Non-voted

Total

Resource

57,216

4,352,691

665,000

5,017,691

of which

Administration budget*

30,012

265,012

-

265,012

Near-cash in RDEL*

27,216

4,262,319

681,204

4,943,523

Capital

-

20,000

20,000

Depreciation**

-

(22,010)

(22,010)

Total

57,216

4,350,681

665,000

5,015,681

* The total of “Administration budget” and “Near-cash in resource DEL” figures may well be greater than total resource DEL, due to the definitions overlapping.

** Depreciation, which forms part of the resource DEL, is excluded from the total DEL, since capital DEL includes capital spending and to include depreciation of these assets would lead to double counting.

The net addition to the resource DEL is made up as follows.

Additions: draw down of £77,077,000 of resource provision from end-year flexibility entitlements set out in the public expenditure 2005-06 outturn White Paper, allocation of £343,000 from the Treasury Reserve for Band Aid VAT and £12,000 transferred from the Cabinet Office in respect of DfID’s use of the Parliamentary Counsel’s Office.

Reductions: transfer of £5,341,000 from the Africa conflict pool and £13,875,000 from departmental unallocated provision (DUP) to FCO for support to the African Union mission in Sudan (AMIS) and quick impact projects in Afghanistan, and £1 million from DUP to Home Office for migration projects.

Department for Transport: Smoke Free Provision on Vessels

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Transport (Douglas Alexander) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

The Government announced last year that restrictions on smoking in enclosed workplaces, public places and vehicles would be introduced in England from 1 July 2007. These provisions are described in the Health Act 2006 which aims to act on medical and scientific advice. This will save thousands of lives over the next decade by reducing both exposure to hazardous second hand smoke and overall smoking rates.

The Health Act 2006 includes provisions designed to prohibit smoking in enclosed public places and vehicles, but does not cover vessels operating at sea or on inland waters. I now intend to introduce similar provisions to provide protection from second hand smoke for people on vessels operating in UK waters, both at sea and on inland waterways.

On 14 February, I launched a consultation paper asking for comments as to how smoke- free provisions should be implemented on sea-going and inland-waterways vessels. The provisions under the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 will apply to all vessels operating in UK inland waters or within the 12-mile territorial waters, regardless of which country they are flagged with, provided they carry passengers or employees. I am also keen to see these provisions extended to Wales and Northern Ireland and for a consistent set of restrictions to be established in Scotland.

In line with the Health Act 2006, I am proposing that owners and operators of vessels may provide for residents and guests on merchant ships to be allowed to continue smoking in an entirely private area of residential accommodation.

I am also proposing that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency holds the responsibility for enforcement of these provisions with a scale of penalties similar to those laid down in the Health Act.

Copies of the consultation paper have been sent to a wide range of representatives in the shipping industry and they will have 12 weeks to respond to the consultation. Further copies of the consultation paper are available on the DfT website at www.dft.gov.uk. Copies have also been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Department for Work and Pensions: DEL

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (John Hutton) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the Department for Work and Pensions DEL will increase by £204,654,000 from £7,780,201,000 to £7,984,855,000 and the administration budget will increase by £225,465,000 from £5,827,134,000 to £6,052,599,000.

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

Change £kNew DEL £k

Voted

Non-voted

Voted

Non-voted

Total

Resource

278,595

-43,754

6,784,298

1,208,481

7,992,779

of which:

Administration

262,965

-37,500

6,051,289

1,310

6,052,599

Near-cash

205,681

-42,414

6,497,384

1,247,269

7,744,653

Capital

42,903

570

222,235

720

222,955

Depreciation1

-75,000

1,340

-229,667

-1,212

-230,879

Total

246,498

-41,844

6,776,866

1,207,989

7,984,855

1 Depreciation, which forms part of resource DEL, is excluded from the total DEL since capital DEL includes capital spending and to include depreciation of those assets would lead to double counting.

Resource DEL

The change in the resource element of the DEL arises from:

RfR2

a drawdown of end of year flexibility to support expenditure in respect of Jobcentre Plus Change Programme £200 million administration (of which £50 million non-cash);

additional funding in respect of in-work credit as provided in the pre-Budget report £151,000 administration and £9,849,000 other current;

RfR3

a transfer to capital spend of £473,000 in respect of planned expenditure of the pension protection fund.

RfR5

a drawdown of end of year flexibility to support expenditure in respect of centrally managed non-cash costs £25 million (administration).

Capital DEL

The change in the capital element of the DEL arises from:

RfR2

a drawdown of end of year flexibility to support expenditure in respect of Jobcentre Plus Change Programme £43 million;

RfR3

a transfer from resource spend of £473,000 in respect of planned expenditure of the pension protection fund;

Administration Costs

The movement in the administration cost limit arises from those items noted above as affecting administration costs plus the following entry which is offset by other current receipts from the National Insurance Fund (NIF):

an increase in provision of £314,000 (administration) relating to the transfer of functions from the Government Actuary’s Department (GAD).

Movements in non-voted expenditure

Transfers from other government departments:

£314,000 increase in non-voted spend relating to the transfer of functions from Government Actuary’s Department (GAD) and related NIF receipts from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Additionally, there are the following drawdowns that are neutral in overall DEL terms:

Resource DEL

Housing Benefit Reform Fund (HBRF)

£6,500,000 into RfR2 for modernisation of housing benefit.

Unallocated Provision

£37,500,000 into RfR1 to increase provision for the Child Support Agency operational improvement plan.

Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs)

£2,285,000 from RfR2 for expenditure by National Employment Panel (NEP) Limited;

£264,000 from RfR2 for increased expenditure by Disability Rights Commission (DRC);

£75,000 from RfR3 for increased expenditure by Centre for Policy on Ageing;

£73,000 into RfR3 relating to decreased expenditure by the Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS);

£708,000 into RfR3 relating to decreased expenditure by the Pensions Ombudsman (PO);

£1,911,000 into RfR3 relating to decreased expenditure by the Pensions Regulator (TPR).

Capital DEL

Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs)

£550,000 from RfR3 for increased capital expenditure by the Pensions Regulator (TPR).

£20,000 from RfR3 for increased capital expenditure by the Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS).

Department of Health: DEL

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Ivan Lewis) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Subject to the necessary supplementary estimate, the Department of Health's element of the departmental expenditure limit (DEL) will be reduced by £5,513,000 from £87,176,137,000 to £87,170,624,000 and the administration cost limit will be increased by £12,259,000 from £227,319,000 to £239,578,000. The Food Standards Agency DEL remains unchanged at £144,847,000. The overall DEL including the Food Standards Agency will reduced by £5,513,000 from £87,320,984,000 to £87,315,471,000. The impact on resource and capital are set out in the following table.

ChangeNew DEL

Voted

Non-voted

Voted

Non-voted

Total

Department of Health

£ million

£ million

£ million

£ million

£ million

Resource DEL

632.421

-638.121

81,762.746

92.623

81,855.369

Of which:

Administration budget

12.259

239.578

239.578

Near-cash in Resource DEL

534.070

-539.770

77, 787.041

463.833

78, 250.874

Capital DEL

-238.937

239.124

1,834.178

3,481.077

5,315.255

Total Department of Health DEL

393.484

-398.997

83,596.924

3,573.700

87,170.624

Depreciation**

-195.622

-1.649

-1,011.755

-37.428

-1,049.183

Total Department of Health spending (after adjustment)

197.862

-400.646

82,585.169

3,536.272

86,121.441

Food Standards Agency

Resources

0

0

143.900

0

143.900

Of which:

Administration budget

0

0

52.316

0

52.316

Near-cash in Resource DEL

0

0

140.677

0.060

140.737

Capital

0

0

0.947

0

0.947

Total Food Standards Agency DEL

0

144.847

0

144.847

Depreciation*

0

0

-2.004

0

-2.004

Total Food Standards Agency spending (after adjustment)

0

0

142.843

0

142.843

* The total of “administration budget” and “Near-cash in resource DEL” figures may well be greater that the total resource DEL, due to definitions overlapping.

**Depreciation, which forms part of resource DEL, is excluded from the total DEL since the capital DEL includes capital spending and to include depreciation of those assets would lead to double counting.

The Department of Health DEL has reduced by £5,513,000 made up of transfers with the Department for Education and Skills of £5,669,000 for pension indexation costs and the National Assembly for Wales of £2,441,000 for cross border patient flows, dental sift budget and high security psychiatric services. These reductions are partially offset by an increase from the Scottish Executive of £1,600,000 for a contribution towards the healthy start programme and £997,000 additional funding from the Invest to save budget.

The Department of Health's administration cost limit has increased by £12,259,000 from programme budgets to reflect the re-timing of expenditure between years for the department's change programme.

There is no change to the Food Standards Agency element of the DEL.

Deputy Prime Minister's Office: DEL

My right honourable friend the Deputy Prime Minister is today announcing that, subject to parliamentary approval of any necessary supplementary estimate, the Deputy Prime Minister's Office departmental expenditure limits for 2006-07 will be increased by £587,000 from £1,960,000 to £2,547,000 as set out in the table below:

£'000

NEW DEL

Change

Voted

Non-voted

Total

Resource DEL

587

2,547

0

2,547

Of which

Administration

budget

587

2,547

0

2,547

Near-cash in RDEL

587

2,527

0

2,527

Capital

Depreciation*

Total

587

2,547

0

2,547

*Depreciation, which forms part of resource DEL, is excluded from the total DEL, since capital DEL includes capital spending and to include depreciation of those assets would lead to double counting.

The change in the resource element of the DEL arises from the machinery-of-government changes comprising of £100,000 from Communities and Local Government and £487,000 from the Cabinet Office.

The administration budget for the Deputy Prime Minister's Office will be £2,547,000. This resource will be used for the costs of its administration.

Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (James Plaskitt) has made the following Statement.

The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council will be held on 22 February in Brussels. There are no health or consumer affairs issues. I shall be representing the UK.

The first and main item is preparation for the spring European Council, which will be held on 8 and 9 March 2007. The key messages paper, prepared by the Employment Committee and the Social Protection Committee, identifies the key messages emerging from the various other reports for adoption and endorsement at the March Council. The key messages paper will be adopted following a policy debate.

The second item is an information point from the presidency on the content of the tripartite social summit. This will be held on 7 March in advance of the spring European Council to allow the European social partners to feed in their views to the spring Council. Attendees are the current presidency, the two subsequent presidencies (Portugal and Slovenia), the Commission and the social partners.

The Council will also deal with the opportunities and challenges of demographic change in Europe. The exchange of views on Structuring the European Debate on Demographic Change will be the main discussion on the Council's agenda. I shall insist that Europe should avoid the temptation to set up new or duplicate processes at EU level where perfectly good mechanisms already exist. We need to place any new actions we take within the context of achieving greater growth and jobs and the existing open method of co-ordination. Within the context of demographic change in Europe, the Council will also be asked to adopt a resolution on the contribution of older people to economic and social development.

Under any other business, there is a Commission presentation on the New Community Strategy on Health and Safety at Work 2007-2013, which we expect to be published on 21 February. Also, the committee chairs will give an oral presentation of the 2007 work programmes of the Employment Committee and the Social Protection Committee. The Council is informed annually about the committees' work programmes.

Financial Instruments

My honourable friend the Economic Secretary to the Treasury (Mr Ed Balls) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Government are today announcing three steps to modernise the tax system to remove obstacles to competition and expand choice in trading financial instruments in the UK. They will allow firms to benefit from the new opportunities offered by liberalisation of financial regulation in the European Union, and specifically from the introduction of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID).

First, from November 2007, the Government will no longer require transactions in shares admitted to trading on a regulated market under MiFID to be reported to that market, or those intermediaries to be members of that market, in order for intermediaries to benefit from stamp duty relief. Currently, relief from stamp duty is available for intermediaries that trade securities listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) only if they are members of the LSE and they report their trades to the LSE. This will allow new providers of transaction reporting services to enter the market more easily. The Government are today publishing draft clauses for consultation in advance of this year's Finance Bill.

Secondly, the Government are announcing that, in addition to shares admitted to trading on a regulated market, they also intend to extend this approach to include shares admitted to trading on a multilateral trading facility (MTF). Currently, in order to benefit from stamp duty relief, intermediaries trading in such securities are required to report transactions to the market on which the securities are admitted to trade. The Government intend to remove this requirement, in order further to extend choice in transaction reporting. However, before proceeding with this proposal, the Government are providing time for the Financial Services Authority to consider fully any possible regulatory implications from this change and will provide an update on progress at the Pre-Budget report.

Thirdly, the Government also propose to modernise the definition of a recognised stock exchange for tax purposes to allow shares traded on other regulated markets under MiFID to benefit from the same tax arrangements that currently apply only to the LSE in the UK. For example, this will allow shares listed by the UK Listing Authority and traded on a regulated market under MiFID to be held in an individual savings account or to meet the listing requirement to be a UK real estate investment trust. The Government will publish draft clauses in advance of this year's Finance Bill.

Taken together, these changes will help expand choice and increase competition in the provision of services to trade financial instruments in the UK.

The Government have been a leading proponent of the need to improve competition and efficiency in Europe's securities markets for three reasons:

first, to ensure that capital markets play their full role in financing the long-term investment needs of the wider economy as efficiently as possible;

secondly, to liberalise the provision of services to trade financial instruments within the EU so that successful firms and financial centres such as London can benefit from these opportunities within the European single market;

thirdly, to ensure that the UK's markets and related services remain competitive internationally.

The Government have supported the introduction of greater competition through MiFID. The UK is the only major financial centre in the European Union to transpose the MiFID by the deadline of 31 January. This gives UK-based financial firms the maximum time to prepare for the impact of the new trading environment.

Today's announcement removes other unnecessary non-regulatory obstacles to greater competition in trading financial instruments by modernising the tax system to bring it closer into line with the liberalised regulatory environment.

These announcements today coincide with an informal meeting of the high level group on City competitiveness, during which senior figures from the UK-based financial services sector met European Commissioners Charlie McCreevy and Neelie Kroes to discuss the future direction of financial services policy in Europe, including developments in trading securities.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office: DEL

My right honourable friend the Minister for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs (Ian McCartney) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Subject to parliamentary approval of any necessary supplementary estimate, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office departmental expenditure limit (DEL) will be increased by £115,860,000 from £1,878,801,000 to £1,994,661,000. The administration budget will be decreased by £6,611,000 from £891,442,000 to £884,831,000. Within the DEL change, the impact on resources and capital are as set out in the following table:

Change £000New DEL £000

Voted

Non-Voted

Voted

Non-Voted

Total

Resource

110,704

-22,000

1,924,913

44,213

1,969,126

Of which:

Administration budget*

5,389

-12,000

847,331

37,500

884,831

Near-cash in RDEL

128,704

-10,000

1,786,194

21,213

1,807,407

Capital**

8,776

-

157,779

1,000

158,779

Depreciationo

-6,380

-12,000

-110,244

-23,000

-133,244

Total

113,100

-34,000

1,972,448

22,213

1,994,661

*The total of “Administration budget” and “Near-cash in resource DEL” figures may well be greater than total resource DEL, due to the definitions overlapping.

**Capital DEL includes items treated as resource in estimates and accounts but which are treated as capital DEL in budgets.

oDepreciation, which forms part of resource DEL, is excluded from the total DEL since capital DEL includes capital spending and to include depreciation of those assets would lead to double counting.

The change in the resource element of the DEL arises from:

Request for Resources 1 (RfR1)

Administration

Transfer to the DEL reserve of £6,611,000 in respect of the overseas pricing mechanism (OPM) impact on the FCO.

Programme

DEL reserve claim of £14,600,000 in respect of consular premiums collected in the UK.

DEL reserve claim of £12,849,000 in respect of the FCO/HMT 50/50 international organisations cost-sharing agreement.

Transfer to the DEL reserve of £3,837,000 in respect of the overseas pricing mechanism (OPM) impact on the FCO.

Transfer from the DEL reserve of £821,000 in respect of the overseas pricing mechanism (OPM) impact of the British Council.

Budgetary transfers to SIA of £200,000 and £74,000 in respect of planned programme activity.

Neutral Changes

An increase in income and expenditure of £16,600,000 in respect of wider market sales.

An increase in income and expenditure of £10 million in respect of consular A in A.

An increase in income and expenditure of £4,830,000 in respect of an invoice from FCO to HO for Afghan delivery plan.

An increase in income and expenditure of £3,789,000 in respect of an invoice from FCO to DfID for FTN services.

An increase in income and expenditure of £3,413,000 in respect of reclaimable VAT.

An increase in income and expenditure of £2 million in respect of an invoice from FCO to Cabinet Office.

An increase in income and expenditure of £1,766,000 in respect of an invoice from FCO to DfID for FTN services.

An increase in income and expenditure of £1,210,000 in respect of an invoice from FCO to SOCA for FTN services.

An increase in income and expenditure of £439,000 in respect of an invoice from FCO to HO for migration fund.

An increase in income and expenditure of £432,000 in respect of an invoice from FCO to DfID for FTN services.

An increase in income and expenditure of £168,000 in respect of an invoice from FCO to HMRC for FTN services.

Capital

DEL Reserve claim of £9,094,000 in respect of the FCO/HMT 50/50 international organisations cost-sharing agreement.

Transfer to the DEL reserve of £318,000 in respect of the overseas pricing mechanism (OPM).

Neutral Changes

An increase in income and expenditure of £7,600,000 in respect of the asset recycling agreement with Treasury.

An increase in income and expenditure of £1,087,000 in respect of the asset recycling agreement with Treasury.

Request for Resources 2 (RfR2)

Programme

Drawdown of £60,500,000 balance of Africa peacekeeping main estimate provision for planned programme activity and budgetary transfers.

Budgetary transfer to MoD of £53 million for peacekeeping (Balkans).

Drawdown of £46,500,000 balance of global peacekeeping main estimate provision for planned programme activity and budgetary transfers.

Budgetary transfer from DfID of £5 million for Africa conflict prevention activity (Sudan).

Budgetary transfer from DfID of £5 million for Africa conflict prevention activity (humanitarian).

Budgetary transfer from DfID of £5 million for Africa conflict prevention activity (peacekeeping).

Budgetary transfer to MoD of £4,200,000 for planned programme activity.

Take up off £4,000,000 EYF in respect of global conflict prevention pool for planned programme activity.

DEL reserve claim of £950,000 for global conflict prevention pool peacekeeping.

Budgetary transfer from DfID of £875,000 for quick intervention programmes (QIPs).

Budgetary transfer from DfID of £341,000 for Africa conflict prevention activity.

Budgetary transfer from SIA of £190,000 for Africa conflict prevention activity.

HM Revenue and Customs: DEL

My right honourable friend the Paymaster General (Dawn Primarolo) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Subject to parliamentary approval of any necessary supplementary estimate, the HM Revenue & Customs departmental expenditure limit (DEL) will be increased by £98,509,000 from £4,858,924,000 to £4,957,433,000 and the administration costs limits will be increased by £31,230,000 from £4,492,263,000 to £4,523,493,000.

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

£'000

Change

New DEL

Voted

Non-Voted

Voted

Non-Voted

Total

Resource DEL

144,261

-76,665

4,271,163

347,939

4,619,102

Of which:

Administration Budget*

91,304

-60,074

4,523,493

-

4,523,493

Near-cash in RDEL

106 477

-64,288

3,965072

404,316

4,369,388

Capital**

34,652

-3,739

338,331

-

338,331

Less Depreciation ***

-13,8651

-

-202,99

-

-202,998

Total

165,048

-80,404

4,406,496

347,939

4,754,435

*The total of “Administration Budget” and “Near-cash in resource DEL” figures may well be greater than total resource DEL, due to the definitions overlapping.

**Capital DEL includes items treated as resource in estimates and accounts but which are treated as capital DEL in budgets.

***Depreciation, which forms part of resource DEL, is excluded from the total DEL since capital DEL includes capital spending and to include depreciation of those assets would lead to double counting.

Resource Change: Admin (total increase of £31,230,000)

Voted total increase of £91,304,000.

RfRI

£60,074,000 department unallocated provision from non-voted to voted administration costs to support ongoing merger costs and to drive forward the modernisation programme;

£38 million non-cash administration costs end-year flexibility (EYF), as announced in the 2005-06 public expenditure outturn White Paper (Cm6883);

£35,109,000 transfer of administration costs to programme expenditure, of which £11,000,000 relates to a reclassification of some legal costs;

£30 million reserve claim in respect of the expansion of call centre capacity;

a machinery of government change to the Home Office in respect of Serious Organised Crime Agency funding amounting to £1,445,000 in near cash administration costs and £216,000 in non-cash administration costs.

Non-voted: total decrease of £60,074,000.

RfR1

£60,074,000 department unallocated provision from non-voted to voted administration costs to support on-going merger costs and to drive forward the modernisation programme.

Resource Change: Programme (total increase of £36,366,000)

Voted: total increase of £52,957,000.

RfR1

£35,109,000 transfer of administration costs to programme expenditure, of which £11 million relates to the reclassification of some legal costs;

a reduction of £16,277,000 to voted programme receipts met from a commensurate reduction in non-voted programme expenditure. This is a neutral DEL change;

£1,500,000 reclassified as programme expenditure from capital DEL in respect of the government secure zone;

£168,000 programme expenditure from the Department for Finance and Personnel in respect of the aggregates levy;

a machinery of government change to the Home Office in respect of Serious Organised Crime Agency funding amounting to £97,000 in programme expenditure.

Non-voted: total decrease of £16,591,000

RfR1

A reduction of £16,277,000 to voted programme receipts met from a commensurate reduction in non-voted programme expenditure. This is a neutral DEL change;

£314,000 transfer to DWP in respect of the National Insurance Fund provision.

Capital Change (total increase. of £30,913,000)

Voted: total increase of £34,652,000

£30,602,000 transferred from resource to help deliver major investment in information technology and business systems infrastructure;

£3,739,000 non-voted department unallocated provision transferred to voted capital DEL to help deliver major investment in information technology and business systems infrastructure;

£1,500,000 reclassified as programme expenditure from capital DEL in respect of the government secure zone;

a machinery of government change to the Home Office in respect of Serious Organised Crime Agency funding amounting to £289,000.

RfR2

£2,100,000 administration costs, as announced in the 2005-06 public expenditure outturn White Paper (Cm6883) vired into capital.

Non-voted: total decrease of £3,739,000

RfR1

£3,739,000 non-voted from department unallocated provision to help deliver major investment in information technology and business systems infrastructure.

Home Office: DEL

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department (John Reid) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the Home Office's departmental expenditure limit for 2006-07 will be increased by £214,980,000 from £14,191,117,000 to £14,406,097,000 and the administration budget will be increased by £36,661,000 from £573,636,000 to £610,297,000.

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

£'000's

Change

New DEL

Voted

Non-voted

Voted

Non-voted

Total

Resource DEL

60,982

73,300

11,044,497

2,133,245

13,177,742

of which:

Administration Budget*

45,424

-8,763

610,297

0

610,297

Near-cash in RDEL *

60,766

40,000

10,551,410

2,083,914

12,635,324

Capital**

104,164

-23,480

1,019,727

318,197

1,337,924

Less depreciation***

14

-

-91,055

-18,514

-109,569

Total DEL

165,160

49,820

11,973,169

2,432,928

14,406,097

* The total of administration budget and near-cash in RDEL figures may well be greater than total resource DEL, due to their respective definitions overlapping.

** Includes items treated as capital DEL in budgets, but as resource for estimates and accounts purposes.

***Depreciation, which forms part of resource DEL, is excluded from the total DEL since capital DEL includes capital spending and to include depreciation of those assets would lead to double counting.

The change in the resource element of DEL arises from:

000's

* Sections as per the Home Office 2006-07 Spring Supplementary Estimate

Total

of which Admin

Total

134,296

36,661

comprising:

Take-up of end-year flexibility:

15,000

15,000

For the Identity and Passport Service (Section* N) - representing the carry-over of surpluses generated by the Passport Service during 2005-06 to offset expenditure in 2006-07

15,000

15,000

Machinery of government change:

1,758

1,661

Additional transfer from HM Revenue and Customs in respect of functions now carried out by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Programme to Section Y and Admin to Section D)

1,758

1,661

Reserve Claims:

107,550

20,000

For Corrections HQ (Section I), to support exceptional pressures on prison capacity

50,000

20,000

HM Treasury's contribution to the Recovered Assets scheme, to be held by Organised and International Crime (Section D)

14,250

Release of CJS IT funding following the improvement in the forecast benefits of the CJS IT portfolio.

10,000

Non-cash resource DEL to provide for the impact of a change in accounting policy for CICA as per HM Treasury agreement

33,300

Transfers from other government Departments:

12,310

Return of budgetary cover from the Department for Education and Skills to Prison Service - public sector (Section K), following a change in the responsibilities of the Learning and Skills Council

947

Return of joint Criminal Justice System (“CJS”) IT ring-fenced budget from the Department for Constitutional Affairs to Criminal Justice (Section F)

2,999

Transfer of budgetary cover from the Department for Constitutional Affairs to Criminal Justice (Section F), to fund Local Criminal Justice Boards

2,000

Transfer of budgetary cover from the Crown Prosecution Service to Criminal Justice Grants (Section AM), to fund the “No Witness No Justice”programme

364

Transfer of budgetary provision from the Department for Constitutional Affairs to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (Section M) to fund the single asylum budget

6,000

Transfers to other government Departments:

-2,336

Transfer of budgetary cover to the Department for Education and Skills to fund educational needs in prison establishments, comprising:

from Corrections HQ (Section I)

-593

from Prisons - public sector (Section K)

-11

Transfer of budgetary cover to the Department for Constitutional Affairs from Corrections HQ (Section) following the postponement of “Custody Plus”

-1,603

Transfer of budgetary cover to the Department for Constitutional Affairs from Criminal Justice (Section F) to fund development of software to help implement Recommendation 7 of the Bichard inquiry

-129

Other changes:

14

Change in depreciation, which forms part of RDEL

14

The change in the capital element of DEL arises from:

* Sections as per the Home Office 2006-07 Spring Supplementary Estimate

Total

80,684

comprising:

Take-up of end-year flexibility:

30,000

For Corrections HQ (Section I), to support exceptional pressures on prison capacity

30,000

Machinery of government change:

289

Additional transfer from HM Revenue and Customs in respect of functions now carried out by the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

289

Reserve Claims:

50,000

For Corrections HQ (Section I), to support exceptional pressures on prison capacity

50,000

Transfers from other government Departments:

565

Transfer of CJS IT ring-fenced budget from the Department for Constitutional Affairs to Criminal Justice (Section F)

565

Transfers to other government Departments:

-170

Transfer of CJS IT ring-fenced budget to the Department for Constitutional Affairs from Criminal Justice (Section F) to fund the XHIBIT internet portal

-170

Legal Aid Reform

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs, has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

On 12 February, the Legal Services Commission (LSC) published the following papers which take forward the Government's legal aid reform programme set out in Legal Aid Reform: the Way Ahead:

Police Station: Boundaries, Fixed Fees and New Working Arrangements—Consultation Paper;

Market Stability—Response to Consultation;

A Consultation Plan for Duty Solicitor Call Centre and CDS Direct; and

Best Value Tendering for Very High Cost Cases (VHCC)—Consultation Paper.

Legal Aid reform: the Way Ahead was published on 28 November 2006. It followed the extensive consultation we undertook on the proposals set out in the final report by Lord Carter of Coles, published on 13 July 2006. We very carefully considered and are continuing to consider the suggestions and concerns expressed by practitioners during the consultation. We have already made changes to the timing, sequencing and detail of some of Lord Carter's proposals.

We value the input of practitioners and interested parties on the ongoing reform of legal aid. We are grateful to all those who contributed to the recent consultation on market stability, and encourage all those with an interest to contribute both to the current consultations, and to the consultation on the Duty Solicitor Call Centre and CD2S Direct, which will begin in March 2007.

Copies of the papers published on 12 February are available on the Legal Services Commission's website at www.legalservices.gov.uk/criminal/consultations.asp and copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Ministry of Defence: DEL

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Des Browne) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the Ministry of Defence departmental expenditure limits (DEL) will be increased by £539,530,000 from £33,611,177,000 to £34,150,707,000. Within the DEL change, the impact on resources and capital are as set out in the following table:

£000s

Change

New DEL

Voted

Non-Voted

Voted

Non-Voted

Total

Resource

555,530

-250,000

33,553,497

550,550

34,104,047

Near-cash in RDEL

450,530

-

22,898,385

318,984

23,217,369

Capital

89,000

-

7,446,916

744

7,447,660

Depreciation

-100,000

250,000

-7,181,000

-220,000

-7,401,000

Total

539,530

-

33,819,413

331,294

34,150,707

*Depreciation, which forms part of resource DEL, is excluded from the total DEL since capital DEL includes capital spending and to include depreciation of those assets would lead to double counting.

The change in the resource element of the DEL arises from:

the drawdown of part of the department's unallocated provision (DUP) of £250,000,000 indirect resource DEL to meet top-level budget holders’ latest forecasts of depreciation and cost of capital;

a transfer in of £3,080,000 from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport as its contribution to the National Meteorological Programme and Severe Weather Warning Service;

to increase Request for Resources 2 by £298,200,000 resource DEL and £89,000,000 capital DEL to reflect the costs of peacekeeping in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans and the global prevention pool;

a transfer of £42,000,000 from RfR1 to RfR2 to cover depreciation and cost of capital costs.

In addition, there is a transfer within RfR1 from resource DEL indirect (non-cash) to resource DEL direct (near-cash) of £150,000,000.

The changes to resource DEL and capital DEL will lead to an increased net-cash requirement of £550,331,000.

NHS: Finance

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Health (Patricia Hewitt) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

Today, my department has published the National Health Service financial report for the third quarter of 2006-07. This report shows that the NHS as a whole is forecasting a £13 million surplus for the year.

We remain on course to deliver net financial balance across the NHS by the end of March 2007.

The report has been placed in the Library, and is available on the department's website at http://www.dh.gov.uk/PublicationsAndStatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidanceArticle/fs/en?CONTENT_ID=4143035&chk=K/OpG3.

We are also today laying before Parliament the Government’s response to the Health Select Committee's report on NHS deficits (Cm 7028). We welcome the report from the Health Select Committee on NHS deficits and the valuable contribution made to the wider debate on the financial position of the NHS.

Our response has been placed in the Library, and is available on the department's website at: http://www.dh.gov.uk/PublicationsAndStatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidanceArticle/fs/en?CONTENT_ID=4143033&chk=9%2B3116.

My department is also publishing today the report compiled by our Chief Economist, entitled Explaining NHS deficits, 2003-04 to 2005-06. This report describes various evidence concerning NHS deficits and explores potential explanations for the timing, geographical patterns, and organisational structure of deficits. Its conclusion is that there is no single cause of deficits, although there is more evidence for some explanations than others. The report has also been placed in the Library, and is available on the department's website at

http://www.dh.gov.uk/PublicationsAndStatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidanceArticle/fs/en?CONTENT_ID=4143034&chk=WhXwaX.

Northern Ireland Office: DEL

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Peter Hain) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

Subject to parliamentary approval the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) will be taking a 2006-07 spring supplementary estimate. This will increase the NIO's DEL by £68,798,000 from £1,237,461,000 to £1,306,259,000.

ChangeNew DEL

£'000

Voted

Non-voted

Voted

Non-voted

Total

Resource

65,719

1,631

400,990

880,838

1,281,828

Admin Budget

17,465

-5,000

104,221

0

104,221

Near-cash

44,081

7,610

319,168

749,194

1,068,362

Capital

7,042

-7,018

45,496

39,833

85,329

Depreciation

-5,658

7,082

-24,120

-36,778

-60,898

Total

67,103

1,695

422,366

883,893

1,306,259

The change in the DEL by £68,798,000 relates to the drawdown of end-year flexibility of £61,303,000, of which £36,900,000 is near-cash resource and £24,403,000 is non-cash. The department is also receiving net budget transfers from other Northern Ireland departments of £2,547,000 resource and £24,000 capital. Also, the department has increased its DEL as a result of a swap from AME budget of £3,500,000. As the DEL stated excludes depreciation, the change is adjusted by £1,424,000 to £68,798,000.

The cash drawdown is required to fund additional pressures declared during the year in areas such as central administration, the political directorate, and the criminal justice directorate. The non-cash element is mainly required to create provision for potential liabilities in the Compensation Agency, the Youth Justice Agency, and the NI Prison Service.

Office for National Statistics: DEL

My honourable friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury (John Healey) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Subject to parliamentary approval of any necessary supplementary estimate, the Office for National Statistics departmental expenditure limit (DEL) will be increased by £28,279,000 from £196,203,000 to £224,482,000, and the administration budget will be increased by £22,993,000 from £168,423,000 to £191,416,000.

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

£'000

Change

New DEL

Voted

Non-Voted

Voted

Non-voted

Total

Resource DEL

34,279

-6,000

196,125

777

196,902

of which:

Administration Budget*

28,993

-6,000

190,639

777

191,416

Near-cash in RDEL

3,439

-2,300

142,520

4,918

147,438

Capital**

-7,962

7,962

19,618

7,962

27,580

Less Depreciation***

-5,270

-

24,903

-

-24,903

Total

21,047

1,962

198,802

8,739

199,579

*The total of “Administration Budget” and “Near-cash in resource DEL” figures may well be greater than total resource DEL, due to the definitions overlapping.

**Capital DEL includes items treated as resource in estimates and accounts but which are treated as capital DEL in budgets

***Depreciation, which forms part of resource DEL, is excluded from the total DEL since capital DEL includes capital spending and to include depreciation of those assets would lead to double counting

Resource Change: Admin (total increase of £22,993,000)

Voted: total increase of £28,993,000.

Reserve claim totalling £27,040,000 in respect of costs associated with vacating Drummond Gate, ONS efficiency and restructuring;

take up of end-year flexibility (EYF) of £553,000 (administration) as set out in the public outturn White Paper (CM 6883);

to draw down £6,000,000 departmental unallocated provision to meet in-year pressures;

to increase admin by £200,000 due to reclassification of EU expenditure and receipts; and

loss on sale of Bessborough House (£4,800,000) financed by savings in administration costs.

Non-voted total reduction of £6,000,000

To draw down £6,000,000 departmental unallocated provision to meet in year pressures

Resource Change: Programme (total increase of £5,286,000)

Voted: total increase of £5,286,000

Take-up of end-year flexibility (EYF) of £686,000 (other current) as set out in the public outturn White Paper (CM 6883);

to reduce programme by £200,000 due to reclassification of EU expenditure and receipts to admin;

loss on sale of Bessborough (£4,800,000) financed by savings in administration costs.

Treasury: DEL

My honourable friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr John Healey) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Subject to parliamentary approval of any necessary supplementary estimate, HM Treasury resource DEL will be reduced by £6,939,000 from £247,599,000 to £240,660,000. The administration budget will be reduced by £4,465,000 from £167,794,000 to £163,329,000. Within the DEL change, the impact on the voted and non-voted elements and near-cash are as set out in the following table:

ChangesNew DEL

Voted

Non-voted

Voted

Non-voted

Total

Resource

1.000

-6,940,000

219,695,000

20,965,000

240,660,000

of which: Administration Budget*

-4,465,000

-

162,329,000

1,000,000

163,329,00

Near-cash in RDEL

-

-6,940,000

221,840,000

20,965,000

242,805,000

Capital**

-

-

7,200,000

-

7,200,000

Depreciation***

-

-

-7,676,000

-

-7,676,000

Total

1,000

-6,940,000

219,219,000

20,965,000

240,184,000

*The total of “Administration Budget” and “Near-cash” in RDEL figures may well be greater than total resource DEL, due to the definitions overlapping.

**Capital DEL includes items treated as resource in estimates and accounts but which are treated as capital DEL in budgets

***Depreciation, which forms part of resource DEL, is excluded from the total DEL since capital DEL includes capital spending and to include depreciation of those assets would lead to double counting.

The reduction in the resource element of the DEL arises from a machinery of government change transfer of £6,940,000 following the transfer of budgetary responsibility for the salaries and pensions of UK members of the European Parliament from the Treasury to the Cabinet Office, to align with the policy responsibility.

The net reduction in the administration budget arises from a transfer of £4,465,000 from RfR 1: “Raising the rate of sustainable growth and achieving rising prosperity and a better quality of life, with economic and employment opportunities for all” to RfR 2 “Cost-effective management of the supply of coins and actions to protect the integrity of coinage” to partially offset an increase in programme spending due to increased metal prices and increased demand for coinage.