Select Committee on Environmental Audit Third Report



APPENDIX 4

Memorandum from the Council for the Protection of Rural England

  1. CPRE welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the Environmental Audit Committee's inquiry. The Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) has been one of the main drivers of Government policy since the Committee was established and it provides a key indicator of the success of the Government's commitment to put the environment at the heart of all Government decisions. This can be assessed in terms both of the extent to which the environment and sustainable development featured in the process of the CSR and the extent to which its outcomes assist in meeting sustainable development objectives.

  2. CPRE contributed significantly to five CSRs—DETR, Planning, Housing, Rural policy and Environment—and we met senior officials and Ministers in DETR, MAFF, Treasury and the Downing Street Policy Unit to discuss our contribution. We greatly welcomed the opportunity to contribute for the first time to a cross-Governmental process of such significance in this way. A copy of our submission to the DETR review is enclosed with this evidence which includes an Annex summarising our contributions to the other reviews.[2] A key aspect of our submissions was the lack of an effective environmental dimension to the process as a whole.

  3. This submission focuses on three issues relating to both the process and the outcome of the CSR which we commend to the Committee for attention:

    —  the absence of sustainable development and environmental protection from the Government's objectives which provided the foundation for all the reviews with the sole exception of DETR;

    —  the failure of the CSR to gain purchase on some key decisions (such as the aims and objectives of the newly integrated DETR), its positive and negative environmental outcomes and the absence of any process of environmental assessment;

    —  the limitations of the process put in place to plan and control public expenditure in helping the delivery of the Government's objectives for sustainable development.

(1) PUTTING THE ENVIRONMENT AT THE HEART OF THE CSR

  4. The CSR provided an ideal mechanism for the Government to give real meaning to its commitment to put the environment at the heart of decision making. In reality it has demonstrated the continuing confusion within the Government about the implications of sustainable development and the lack of consistency in approach to integrating it into policy decisions.

  5. The Government's stated commitment to building the environment into the CSR cannot be in doubt. Soon after the details of the CSR were made public on 24 July 1997 CPRE raised concerns with the Environment Minister Michael Meacher MP that sustainable development did not feature in the terms of reference for any of the CSRs except those relating to DETR. In his response of 8 October 1997 the Minister states:

    "As you recognise, the issue of sustainable development has been given prominence in this Department's terms of reference for the Comprehensive Spending Review. While other Departments may not have made specific mention of it in their terms of reference, I can assure you that it is a matter of great importance to the Government. It is intended that the individual Departmental review taking place under the ambit of the Comprehensive Spending Review should not be completed in isolation, but rather than this big issue and common themes should be drawn together across Departments. I and my Ministerial colleagues in DETR will ensure that sustainable development is one such theme."

Letter from Rt Hon Michael Meacher MP to CPRE on 8 October 1997

  6. In a similar vein the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott MP, told the Environmental Audit Committee itself in January 1998 that he would be using his influence to ensure Departments incorporated sustainable development into their CSRs—"this is precisely what the Green Ministers should be doing" (House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee meeting with DPM, 28 January 1998, paragraph 34).

  7. The absence of reference to sustainable development in the terms of reference or the Government's overarching objectives may help explain the large disparity in the way different Departments dealt with the issue. Annex I summarises the responses from different Departments to a Parliamentary Question concerning their handling of sustainable development. They are notable for their confusion and vagueness. It would appear that only the Scottish Office developed a specific mechanism to address sustainable development while the Department for Social Security displayed a remarkably limited understanding of the concept and the Ministry of Defence put no mechanisms in place.

  8. The Annex also illustrates often contradictory interpretations of what the Government's objective for sustainable development actually is. A wide variety of terms are used to describe it and, while not particularly significant in itself, this suggests a continuing failure to integrate the concept across Government as a whole. It is a cause of particular concern that the terms "sustained economic growth" and "sustainable development" seem to be used interchangeably by some Departments (including HM Treasury). The Government's response to the Environmental Audit Committee inquiry into the Pre-Budget report published on 15 July 1998 provides a further example of this. The Treasury's statement of intent with respect to environmental taxation says:

    "Delivering sustainable growth is a task that falls across government. It will be a core feature of economic policy under this administration."

(Environmental Audit Committee Third Report, Appendix II, paragraph 2)

  9. An almost identical statement appears in the Government's response with the subtle but important difference that it is sustainable development which is identified as a core feature and that its importance is recognised now rather than in the future:

    "Delivering sustainable development is a task that falls across government. It is a core feature of economic policy under this administration."

(Environmental Audit Committee Third Report, paragraph 4)

  10. We urge the Committee to seek greater clarity and consistency from the Government in defining and prioritising sustainable development as an overarching objective for all Government departments. The current confusion and uncertainty cannot be allowed to continue and the revised Sustainable Development Strategy needs to be more successful than its predecessors in addressing it.

(2) PROCESS AND OUTCOME OF THE CSR

Aims and objectives

  11. The CSR process provided an important opportunity to reassess the aims and objectives of all Government Departments to reflect and contribute to sustainable development objectives. The White Paper announcing the outcomes—Modern Public Services for Britain—makes no direct reference to sustainable development in the Government's objectives. It states that "The Government's central objectives is to achieve high and stable levels of economic growth and employment which will promote greater fairness and social cohesion, while also respecting the environment" and identifies economic stability, encouraging work and raising productivity as the priority areas for attention. There is little to show how these objectives can best be integrated.

  12. There is no evidence that individual Departmental aims and objectives have changed better to reflect environmental considerations with the sole exception of MAFF where we have welcomed the broadening of the Ministry's aims and objectives to include reference to the whole "sustainable food chain" and also to "rural and coastal communities". Regrettably, there has been little evidence of this impacting on the Ministry's activities or priorities and MAFF has resisted calls to integrate more effectively at a regional level, for example by merging its regional structures with existing Governmental Regional Offices.

  13. It is particularly disappointing that the CSR was marginal to the process of developing aims and objectives for the newly integrated DETR and there was no specific consultation about this. This was despite the matter being raised directly in a meeting between CPRE staff and the DETR's Permanent Secretary during the course of the CSR. The new aims and objectives were published on 15 December 1997 (Hansard column 27-28). Despite reference to the possibility of further review through the CSR, an update on the Environment CSR circulated by officials on 8 January 1998 clearly states that "organisational changes within DETR are being considered primarily in the context of the creation of the new Department, rather than as a result of the CSRs themselves." The aims and objectives were not changed when the CSR was announced.

  14. CPRE's submission to the DETR CSR highlights the importance of the new aims and objectives as being central to the CSR process and their role in securing better integration within the Department. The lack of consultation over them has meant that concerns about their internal consistency and the lack of reference to landscape protection and resource management have not been heard.

Environmental appraisal

  15. The Environment Minister, Michael Meacher MP, in announcing the publication of the DETR advice note, Policy Appraisal and the Environment: Policy Guidance (1998) said "we are determined to ensure that environmental issues are considered in the development of all Government policies to deliver an improved and lasting quality of life" (DETR 2 April 98). As one of the most important initiatives which examines the work of Government in all areas, CPRE would expect that a process of environmental appraisal should be undertaken as part of the CSR. Yet the Modern Public Services for Britain White Paper did not contain an environmental appraisal, unlike other announcements such as the outcome of the energy review.

  16. A key aspect of the appraisal process is to identify the aims of a policy or programme and the options available. Central to the CSR was a re-evaluation of departmental aims and objectives yet, as described above, there is little evidence that this happened with regard to environmental protection or sustainable development. Indeed, in responding to the Environmental Audit Committee's 2nd report, the Government states " . . . Green Ministers will consider and report to ENV on how far sustainable development should be incorporated into the remit of existing Departments and NDPBs". While this is to be welcomed, one would expect such an exercise to be superfluous had sustainable development been an integral part of the CSR process. It will now require significant political support from the highest level to ensure that the recommendations of the Green Ministers are acted upon.

  17. We believe that significant benefits would have resulted had environmental appraisal techniques been employed as part of each CSR. Had the Government used the DETR advice note, each CSR would have:

    —  examined a range of policy options and objectives;

    —  assessed the environmental implications of each in a systematic manner;

    —  evaluated the significance of these with a view to reducing adverse effects;

    —  considered how the results of the appraisal were to be published.

  18. The CSR process itself was opaque, a problem in itself, and it is therefore difficult to ascertain the degree to which the environment featured within it.

  19. We urge the Committee to inquire into whether environmental appraisals were undertaken and to request copies. The Committee may wish to examine how any environmental appraisals undertaken influenced the outcome of any of the individual reviews.

  20. In order to ensure a "joined up approach" to the re-examination of departmental and NDPB aims and objectives to address sustainable development, we ask the Committee to recommend that Green Ministers explicitly re-examine existing aims and objectives and undertake a compatibility analysis to ensure any internal inconsistencies are avoided.

Outcomes

  21. The CSR White Paper Modern Public Services for Britain provides only a partial summary of the outcomes of the CSR process and the details can only be gleaned from Parliamentary Written Answers and Departmental press releases. As a result the CSR outcomes have lacked transparency and integration when looking beyond the immediate headlines. Remarkably, it has not been possible to obtain any separate written formal outcome for the separate CSR of land use planning at all. We urge the Committee to inquire into the outcome of the land use planning CSR and how this will be publicised beyond the corridors of Whitehall.

  22. It is clear that while education and health priorities have dominated, environmental protection has been an important feature of some CSRs. Transport and regeneration in particular have receive special attention with policy changes and extra funding linked to the Transport White Paper process and the Government's commitment to an urban renaissance. There have also been some welcome, albeit small, increases in environmental funding with respect to English Nature, the Environment Agency, the new Countryside Agency and energy efficiency.

  23. There are a number of small but important commitments as a result of the MAFF CSR which will help to expand areas under agri-environment schemes, extend Arable Stewardship and the Organic Aid Scheme and introduce Upland Countryside Stewardship. There is also an important commitment to end production related support in the uplands and replace it with a system of area-based payments with environmental and social objectives.

  24. The CSR process has also confirmed that there will be a halt to large-scale sales of Forestry Commission Land, that public access will not be compromised in future arrangements, and that the Government is supportive of a more multi-purpose approach to the forest estate.

  25. CPRE's analysis of these and other outcomes is that they are generally positive for the countryside and the environment but demonstrate a lack of purchase for these issues on the Government's mainstream concerns for health, education and competitiveness. The changes are marginal by comparison and there is little evidence of any additional integration of environmental, social and economic objectives at the heart of Government. In addition, there is little evidence of any guiding principles or over-arching strategy within which these decisions have been made. The CSR has, however, provided some new mechanisms which might help to achieve this in the future.

(3) NEW MECHANISMS FOR LINKING POLICY AND EXPENDITURE

  26. The CSR has introduced some new mechanisms to manage and control expenditure and link it more effectively to policy objectives. In the long term these may be the most important outcomes of the process and CPRE commends them to the Committee for attention. The main features are:

    —  public expenditure plans to be over a three year period instead of an annual cycle with flexibility for Departments to adjust priorities within their own budgets without Treasury approval. This will give greater certainty to the planning process. For Transport the CSR looks seven years ahead and assumes growing income from new revenue streams post 2000 as a result of the measures announced in the Transport White Paper;

    —  a stronger system of expenditure control which will require Government Departments to demonstrate how objectives are being met, including a new Cabinet Committee on Public Expenditure. Consultation on Departmental "Output and Performance Analysis" has been promised which will provide an opportunity to influence the objectives and targets against which Departments will be judged, although the process lacks transparency and it is unclear how or when this consultation will take place or how meaningful it will be;

    —  early signs of a more integrated approach to policy development which cuts across traditional departmental boundaries—with a single budget line for the New Deal for Communities which involves a number of Departments. It is expected that a similar approach might develop in relation to the link between MAFF and DETR;

    —  a requirement for Departments to "root out unjustified subsidies" before allocations are made—with the ending of production related support in the uplands as an example.

  27. A further significant change in the machinery of Government is the merger of the Cabinet Office and the Office of Public Service. This follows a review undertaken by Sir Richard Wilson (Cabinet Secretary) which concluded that the linkage between policy formulation and implementation needed improvement and that cross-departmental issues of policy are not handled well. The new Cabinet Office combines policy formulation and implementation functions and has developed some new machinery for dealing with cross-cutting issues.

  28. All of these changes could have positive benefits for furthering sustainable development since they will require greater co-ordination across Government as a whole and provide a means of assessing progress against sustainable development objectives. A change to longer term financial planning should make it more possible, for example, to incorporate strategic thinking on sustainable development and environmental assessment into the budgetary process. The new mechanisms will only be effective, however, if sustainable development is identified as a central objective against which future policy and expenditure is assessed. This places great significance on the emerging Sustainable Development Strategy which needs to put sustainable development central to the mechanisms of expenditure control.

  29. Consequently CPRE urges the Committee to consider the potential of the new CSR mechanisms for strengthening the attention given to the environment in the machinery of Government. This includes:

    —  stressing the importance of the Sustainable Development Strategy in establishing environmental objectives across all Government Departments against which future expenditure will be assessed;

    —  highlighting the need for public expenditure to be consistent with sustainable development principles in the Government's Code for Fiscal Stability and Economic and Fiscal Strategy Report;

    —  encouraging the development of cross-Departmental budget lines on policy issues which require "joined-up" thinking—e.g., agri-environment and rural development expenditure;

    —  exploiting the potential role of the Performance and Innovation Unit in examining how cross-cutting environmental issues such as countryside policy, are handled by the machinery of Government;

    —  improving links between the Cabinet Office machinery for dealing with cross-cutting issues and the Sustainable Development Unit in DETR;

    —  encouraging a systematic review of "unjustified subsidies" in the environmental sphere which should be addressed as a matter of priority;

    —  highlighting the role of Strategic Environmental Assessment in helping to establish policy options and objectives and articulating the importance of environmental resources which cannot be readily addressed by conventional accounting techniques because of their intrinsically qualitative nature;

    —  investigating whether there is an environmental dimension to the process of consultation on departmental Output and Performance Analysis/Resource Accounts and how this is being undertaken; and

    —  emphasising the role of the promised White Paper on Better Government, in helping to overcome institutional barriers to the promotion of sustainable development.

  30. We highlight a few of these mechanisms for special attention below.

(a) Cabinet Office and Greening Government

  31. The Cabinet Office has developed new mechanisms for dealing with issues that cut across a number of Government departments. The new Performance and Innovation Unit, in particular, is responsible for ensuring that cross-cutting issues are effectively tackled, and in developing innovative ways of improving policy delivery. The Cabinet Office also contains the Social Exclusion Unit and the Women's Unit and units for improving public service delivery, including the Better Government Team, the Service First and Better Regulation Units and the Efficiency and Effectiveness Group. Day to day responsibility for greening Government, however, lies with the Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) within DETR. For the time being, and until the effectiveness of the new Sustainable Development Strategy can be assessed, CPRE is content for the SDU to remain in DETR. Nevertheless, much closer liaison (both formal and informal) is needed with the Cabinet Office machinery for dealing with cross-cutting issues. This could involve, for example, seconding staff from the SDU (providing adequate staffing was retained within the SDU) and organising joint training programmes.

  32. The aim should be to ensure that:

    —  the promotion of sustainable development benefits from new ideas for tackling cross-cutting issues;

    —  the Cabinet Office machinery considers the environmental dimension to the policy reviews which it undertakes (such as how Government brings a coherence to its policies which affect the countryside);

    —  the Government is able to identify areas where cross-departmental budgets might assist the delivery of more environmentally integrated policies (such as rural development).

  33. We encourage the Committee to recommend that the Performance and Innovation Unit examines this as one of its first initiatives.

(b) Resource Accounts

  34. The Government is committed to changing the basis on which public expenditure is planned and controlled. The phased introduction of new resource accounts is a key aspect of this. The Treasury short guide to Resource Accounting and Budgeting (RAB) states that "RAB will, for the first time, require departments to report systematically on how their resources are allocated to their aim and objectives, and on what is achieved as a result" HM Treasury 1998). How this is to be undertaken is described in the Resource Accounting Manual which sets out the procedures which HM Treasury will require of departments. The Government has indicated that the manual will be kept under review. The need for departments to explain how expenditure will relate to departmental objectives is to be included under Schedule 5 of the accounts under what is to be known as the "Statement of Resources".

  35. The RAB system was launched in 1993 and was followed by a White Paper in 1995. CPRE identified RAB as an important opportunity to ensure greater integration between public expenditure and Greening Government objectives. Correspondence with HM Treasury at the time indicated, however, that such "joined-up thinking" had not occurred. Officials reported that:

    "While this [the Resource Accounts] will include, as you point out, the provision of information regarding the allocation of resources to departmental aims and objectives, it is not proposed that there should be a built-in requirement to assess the level of resources applied to all Government-wide objectives . . . there are no adequate systems for the allocation of expenditure to objectives which permeate all areas of a department's activity."

Letter from Resource Accounting Team to CPRE (13 June 1996)

  36. CPRE believes that this is currently a missed opportunity to bring together financial control with that of sustainable development. We appreciate and do not underestimate the practical difficulties of trying to define which aspects of Government policy help promote sustainable development in the course of financial accounting, but believe that this area needs to be thoroughly investigated.

  37. The Treasury memorandum to The Committee of Public Accounts inquiry into Resource Accounting and Budgeting (HC731-i) presents a useful summary of the new approach and is reproduced below in full:

    "In June, the Government launched a Comprehensive Spending Review including a list of departmental spending plans. One of the first tasks of the reviews is to revise the objectives for each Department to reflect the policies and priorities of the new administration. In developing their aims and objectives, departments are seeking to ensure that they will also meet the requirements of RAB—in particular, that the structure of aims and objectives will provide a suitable basis for the production of Schedule 5 of the Resource Accounts and of the complementary but separate Output and Performance Analysis (OPA). The Treasury is continuing to work closely with departments on this, offering advice and ensuring that the objectives of individual departments, taken collectively, reflect the Government's overall objectives."

HM Treasury Memorandum to Committee of Public Accounts 11 May 1998 (paragraph 18).

  38. This statement re-emphasises the importance of ensuring environmental protection and sustainable development are clear objectives of all departments, and that the review of departmental aims and objectives by Green Ministers is incorporated into the new accounting process. It would appear that since 1996 there has been a recognition of the need to ensure public money is being applied consistently across Whitehall towards the Government's overall objectives. From this, once could deduce that the RAB system will move beyond departmental specific objectives and ensure that all objectives relate to the over-arching priorities of Government. In CPRE's opinion, this means that sustainable development should be an integral part of the RAB process. We take heart from the Prime Minister who, in announcing the outcome of the review into the Cabinet office, stated "my objective is to meet the corporate objectives of the Government as a whole, rather than just the objectives of individual departments".

  39. Better integrating the environment into RAB would provide a number of benefits. First, it would help provide greater information to finance directorates within Government on the environmental implications of their activities and so place a spotlight on programmes needing particular attention, perhaps by the Green Minister. Second, it would enable Parliament and the public to see how public money is being used and the degree to which Government departments are investing in environmental protection. And third, by bringing environmental objectives and departmental objectives together it would help to illuminate any inconsistencies and the presence of perverse subsidies. By avoiding damaging subsidies (such as those directed towards agricultural production) it would help focus minds on the areas needing "greening" and, in the longer term, help to move public policy towards a more preventative approach to environmental management.

  40. We welcome the fact that the Government's response to the Environmental Audit Committee's 2nd report states "the Government understands the importance of appropriate accounting rules and guidance to influence the behaviour of Government departments". The challenge will be to ensure that environmental protection and sustainable development is integrated into the RAB system where major decisions on financial allocations are to be made, rather than as an additional or bolt on exercise.

  41. To ensure greater co-ordination in the setting of budgets with the Government's overarching aim of environmental integration and sustainable development, CPRE encourages the Committee to recommend that:

    —  the resource accounting Manual produced by HM Treasury specifically highlights how the RAB system can help further the goal of sustainable development;

    —  the Government ensures that sustainable development and environmental protection is included in Schedule 5 of all RAB accounts produced by Government departments, in recognition of its cross cutting nature;

    —  the promised report from the Green Ministers into the aims and objectives of departments and NDPBs is fed directly into the RAB process;

    —  the Treasury investigate how the effect of departmental policies on Sustainable Development Indicators can usefully be included in the Output and Performance Analysis which assesses the extent to which expenditure is meeting Government objectives;

    —  the remit of the Cabinet Committee on Public Expenditure includes the need for departmental spending plans to be consistent with environmental protection and sustainable development objectives;

    —  the Government explains how it will further the objectives of sustainable development when publishing its next Economic and Fiscal Strategy Report which will set out the Government's long-term strategy and objectives; and

    —  the Environmental Audit Committee be specifically consulted on a RAB Bill which will need to be presented to Parliament in order to amend existing budgetary arrangements so that the potential for environmental integration can be properly examined.

(c) Existing Greening Government mechanisms

  42. It has been apparent that the existing greening Government mechanisms (e.g., Green Ministers, environmental appraisal, ENV Cabinet Committee) have not had a major influence on the direction of the CSR as a whole. The Environmental Audit Committee has already commented on the problems caused by the production of a Sustainable Development Strategy after many important decisions have already been taken, including the CSR. CPRE welcomes the fact that the government intends to summarise how public expenditure and taxation can assist the promotion of sustainable development in its strategy, and believes it should go beyond describing the role of selected economic instruments to show how a systematic approach is to be employed for appraising the environmental impacts of Government financial decisions and budget allocations.

  43. The CSR process was not a transparent one and it is hard to judge the extent to which the DETR or the Sustainable Development Unit were involved in discussions on any reviews outside the DETR. It would appear that only the Green Minister in the Scottish Office was given a specific duty with regard to the CSR. In theory, departmental spending plans should already benefit from environmental appraisal since the Treasury is bound by the commitment to assess the environmental impact of its decisions where these might be significant. Yet, there is little evidence of this being undertaken and no specific role is provided for the DETR in this process, outside discussions on the development of a few economic instruments and the financial allocation for that department.

  44. This is in contrast to Norway which has adopted a more proactive approach. Each Government department in Norway, for example, has to submit a report to Parliament as part of the annual budgetary process which sets out a description of their role and responsibilities regarding sustainable development, an analysis of environmentally-related expenditure undertaken by the Ministry for that year, and an analysis of the environmental effects of the Ministry's activities. Both the Environment and the Finance Ministries work together to assist other Ministries in producing the reports and in collating the information for presentation to Parliament.

  45. CPRE believes that responsibility for ensuring that the environment is effectively integrated into financial decisions in the UK should rest with each department, with support from the DETR and Treasury. The new Resource Accounting and Budgeting Process could provide one way of helping to do this, although it would not appear to be a priority area for Government at present.

  46. It would be helpful if the Green Ministers, in producing their annual report to the ENV Cabinet Committee, set out how they (or the Secretary of State) has ensured that money is not being directed towards programmes which degrade the environment and for Parliament to scrutinise this aspect in its regular review of departmental spending.

  47. In order to ensure that the existing Greening Government machinery is able to help deliver, CPRE encourages the Committee to liaise with the Public Accounts Committee to ensure that it questions the extent to which environmentally damaging subsidies and Government programmes have been identified and tackled in each Government department.

  48. We also encourage the Committee to recommend that:

    —  the Treasury (working with DETR) insists on environmental appraisals from Government spending departments as part of the budgeting process;

    —  the Green Ministers be required to describe, as part of their annual published report, the budget allocation within the department which supports the work of the Green Minister directly and which promotes environmental protection and enhancement programmes. They should also describe the mechanisms used to ensure that financial allocations do not lead to environmental degradation.

November 1998



ANNEX I

CSR AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

  The table below draws together the answers to the following Parliamentary Question:

    What mechanisms have been put in place to ensure the Government's objective of promoting sustainable development is reflected in the outcome of the comprehensive spending reviews for the Department?
DepartmentReply
Defence"The Strategic Defence Review is my Department's contribution to the Government's wider CSR. I have put no mechanisms in place specifically to address sustainable development in advance of the completion of the review. Environmental issues are being taken into account in our work on the Review and there may be decisions arising from it which will affect future policy."
Trade and Industry"Sustainable development is a factor in all my Department's work. As part of the CSR, I aim to ensure that sustainability, including environmental and social issues, is integrated in all areas and by all Directorates. I have also made sustainability a key part of the remits for my Competitiveness working groups (business advisory panels) on Management Best Practice and innovation."
Environment, Transport and the Regions "The overarching Terms of Reference for DETR's CSRs include a requirement to take particular account of the policy aim of sustainable development. Individual CSRs are reflecting that, and other policy aims in their work. One of the Department's CSRs is also looking specifically at environmental policy."
Duchy of Lancaster"The CSR for the Office of Public Service is being conducted within terms of reference that were announced by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 24 July 1997."
Health"The CSR in the Department is considering how best to contribute to all the Government's commitments and objectives including the promotion of sustainable development."
Home Office"The policy aims of the CSR, including enhancing sustainable economic growth, are reflected in the terms of reference for the CSR of the Home Office spending programme."
Scottish Office"I have asked my noble Friend the Minister for Agriculture, the Environment and Fisheries in Scotland, whose responsibilities as Green Minister include the promotion of sustainable development, to assist colleagues in the CSRs in my Department. In fulfilling this role Lord Sewel will ensure that the Government's commitment to sustainable development is properly reflected in all the reviews currently being conducted in my Department."
Social Security"Social Security policy has little direct input on development issues and we do not expect that the Department's CSR will conflict with the promotion of sustainable development."
MAFF"In accordance with the terms of reference for the Government's CSR, the Department is reviewing all aspects of its expenditure and determining how best its programme can contribute to the Government's objectives, including in particular the aims of enhancing opportunity and fairness and promoting employment and investment for sustained economic growth."
Welsh Office"My Rt. Hon Friend is currently carrying out a CSR of the Department's spending priorities. The Government's objective of promoting sustainable development will continue to be taken fully into account as part of that Review."


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