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Economic Forecasts

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will re-calculate tables (a) B24, (b) B21, (c) B17, (d) B14, (e) B13, (f) B11, (g) B9 and (h) B8

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from the Financial Statement and Budget report of March 1998, on the basis of the information in the Economic and Fiscal Strategy report of June 1998. [46361]

Mr. Darling: The Treasury normally publishes two forecasts a year, as required by the Industry Act 1975. The first of these forecasts for 1998 was published in the March Financial Statement and Budget Report (FSBR), and the second Industry Act forecast will be published later in the year. The Economic and Fiscal Strategy Report (ESFR) included a summary update of the March 1998 FSBR, based on new spending plans and updated projections of aggregate receipts to reflect outturns available since the Budget. Information on the updated fiscal projections can be found throughout chapters 3 and 4 of the EFSR.

Third World Debt (Donations)

Mr. Maclean: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 24 March 1998, Official Report, columns 124-25, to the hon. Member for Perth (Ms Cunningham), what has been the administrative cost to his Department of accounting for postcards with money attached; what has been the average amount donated per donor; and how many responses have been sent to (i) members of the public and (ii) hon. Members and at what estimated cost. [45712]

Mrs. Liddell: The cost of processing postcards with money attached as a donation towards debt relief was estimated in March to be around £28,000. A rough calculation suggests that each donor has contributed, on average, around 50p.

Since January 1997, in response to postcards with money attached, around 4,500 responses have been sent to members of the public and over 1,600 responses have been sent to hon. Members.

Public Finance

Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are his cyclically adjusted estimates for (a) total managed expenditure, (b) general Government receipts, (c) public sector net borrowing, (d) public sector net cash requirement and (e) net public sector debt (i) in cash terms, and (ii) as a percentage of gross domestic product, for (1) 1998-99, (2) 1999-2000, (3) 2000-01, (4) 2001-02, (5) 2002-03 and (6) 2003-04, assuming trend output is 1.5 per cent. above trend in the first half of 1997. [47135]

Mr. Darling: Table 4.1 of the Economic and Fiscal Strategy Report set out the economic assumptions underlying the public finance projections. If output were 1½ per cent. above trend in the first half of 1997, then the assumptions in the EFSR imply that it would be approximately 2 per cent. above trend in 1997-98 as a whole. Cyclically adjusted estimates of the public finances can be calculated using the Treasury's estimates of the effects of the economic cycle on the public finances set out in Treasury Occasional Paper No 4 "Public Finances and the Cycle", published in September 1995. The effects of the economic cycle should not be significantly different between total managed expenditure and general government expenditure, or between public

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sector net borrowing and the public sector net cash requirement. The Treasury does not calculate cyclically-adjusted measures of public sector debt.

Departmental Expenditure Limits

Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his policy with regard to allowing any unused AME margin to be allocated to departmental expenditure limits. [47121]

Mr. Darling: The Annually Managed Expenditure (AME) Margin is designed to meet increases above forecast in elements of AME.

Low Pay

Mr. Browne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate how many (a) men and (b) women working (i) part-time and (ii) full-time in Kilmarnock and Loudoun earn less than (1) £3 per hour, (2) £3.60 per hour and (3) £2.50 per hour; and in each case if he will give the percentage of the total number employed. [47078]

Mrs. Liddell [holding answer 23 June 1998]: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Chief Executive of the Office for National Statistics. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Tim Holt to Mr. Desmond Browne, dated June 1998:




Employees on adult rates, whose pay for the survey pay-period was unaffected by absence--New Earnings Survey--April 1997

Percentage of employees with hourly earnings (excluding overtime) less than:
Kilmarnock and Loudoun£2.50£3.00£3.60
Full-time men0.00.00.0
Part-time men(8)--(8)--(8)--
Full-time women1.71.713.6
Part-time women2.49.528.6
All employees1.12.811.0

(8)Denotes an estimate which is unavailable because the sample size is too small


Gillian Merron: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate how many people in the constituency of Lincoln earn less than the proposed national minimum wage, broken down by (a) gender, (b) age and (c) full- or part-time employment. [47092]

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Mrs. Liddell [holding answer 24 June 1998]: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Chief Executive of the Office for National Statistics. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Tim Holt to Gillian Merron, dated June 1998:







Employees whose pay for the survey pay-period was unaffected by absence--New Earnings Survey--April 1997

Percentage of employees with hourly earnings excluding overtime and shift payments less than:
£3.40£3.60
Lincoln--Employees aged over 21 on adult rates of pay
Full-time males0.72.1
Part-time males(9)--(9)--
All males0.61.9
Full-time females4.39.6
Part-time females9.222.4
All females6.515.3
All full-time2.15.0
All part-time8.320.2
All3.79.0

(9) Denotes an estimate which is unavailable because the sample size is too small



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