Select Committee on Treasury Second Report


Our inquiry

1. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, delivered his tenth and latest Pre-Budget Report on 6 December 2006.[1] In accordance with past practice, we have undertaken an inquiry into the Pre-Budget Report.[2] We held three evidence sessions in the week following the Pre-Budget Report—from outside experts[3] on Monday 11 December, from Treasury officials on Tuesday 12 December and from the Chancellor of the Exchequer on Wednesday 13 December. We received a range of written evidence which is published with this Report. We also benefited from oral evidence which we took from the Governor of the Bank of England, Mr Mervyn King, and other members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England, on 30 November 2006 as part of our examination of the November 2006 inflation report.[4] We are most grateful to all those who gave evidence, and to Professor David Heald of Sheffield University and Professor Colin Talbot of Manchester Business School for their specialist advice.

Our other inquiries

2. Our examination of the 2006 Pre-Budget Report has complemented three other inquiries which we are undertaking. Some matters raised during evidence on the Pre-Budget Report were relevant to our inquiry on Globalisation: its impact on the real economy, on which we have been taking evidence in the second half of 2006 and on which we will report shortly. We will soon be taking oral evidence on two new inquiries, one on the Comprehensive Spending Review: emerging issues,[5] and another on Climate change and the Stern review: the implications for HM Treasury policy on tax and the environment.[6] Certain issues related to the 2006 Pre-Budget Report will be examined in more detail in the Reports arising from those inquiries.

1   HC Deb, 6 December 2006, cols 305-314; HM Treasury, Pre-Budget Report: Investing in Britain's potential: Building our long-term future, Cm 6984, December 2006 (hereafter Pre-Budget Report 2006) Back

2   Treasury Committee, Second Report of Session 2005-06, The 2005 Pre-Budget Report, HC 739 (hereafter HC (2005-06) 739), para 1 Back

3   Divided into two part-sessions, the first broadly concentrating on macroeconomic issues (with Mr Robert Chote, Institute for Fiscal Studies, Professor David Miles, Morgan Stanley, Ms Bridget Rosewell, Volterra Consulting, and Dr Martin Weale, National Institute for Economic and Social Research) and the second examining microeconomic issues (with Professor Colin Talbot, Manchester Business School, and Mr John Whiting, PricewaterhouseCoopers, together with Mr Chote and Mr Weale). Back

4   Treasury Committee, Bank of England November 2006 Inflation Report: Oral and Written Evidence, HC (2006-07) 89-i Back

5   See Treasury Committee press notices No. 54 of Session 2005-06 and No. 13 of Session 2006-07, available at Back

6   See Treasury Committee press notice No. 14 of Session 2006-07, available at Back

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Prepared 25 January 2007