Select Committee on Treasury Third Report

3  Performance of the core tasks


9. The concept of "core tasks" for select committees originated with a Report from the Select Committee on the Modernisation of the House of Commons in February 2002 which argued that there should be greater clarity about the objectives of select committees and greater consistency about how these were discharged, and that an agreed statement of the tasks of departmental select committees would assist with this.[10] The Liaison Committee broadly supported these proposals, while noting that "the key to the usefulness of a list of core tasks is that it should represent a serious aspiration for committees, not a mechanical checklist. Not every item will be appropriate for every committee, nor will all items be capable of being tackled each year."[11] The concept of common objectives was debated by the House of Commons on 14 May 2002, and during that debate the proposals of the Modernisation Committee were welcomed by the Chairman of this Committee.[12] On that occasion, the House invited the Liaison Committee to develop core tasks, and that Committee issued the core tasks in June 2002.[13]

10. Table 3 in the Annex sets out the core tasks and Table 4 provides an overall analysis of the extent to which each subject considered by the Committee and its Sub-Committee was relevant to the core tasks.[14] The sections which follow provide a commentary on particular work relevant to each core task.

Task 1: Examination of policy proposals

11. The first core task is "to examine policy proposals from the UK Government and the European Commission in Green Papers, White Papers, draft Guidance etc, and to inquire further where the Committee considers it appropriate". A major policy proposal which first emerged from HM Treasury in November 2005 was the decision to legislate to make the Office for National Statistics independent of Government. Specific legislation on statistics had been called for by our predecessors, and the Government's proposals envisaged a role for parliamentary committees in holding the new body accountable, so the Sub-Committee conducted an inquiry into the full consultation document which was published in March 2006.[15] The Report which we subsequently published characterised the Government's proposals as a welcome step in the right direction, but highlighted a number of ways in which new legislation could enhance public confidence in official statistics.[16] The Report's findings received broad support from within the statistics profession: for example, the Statistics Commission—an advisory non-departmental public body (NDPB) of HM Treasury—endorsed all the main arguments of the Committee's Report.[17] Although the initial Government reply largely re-stated the Government's original position,[18] the subsequent Government response to its consultation exercise accepted several of the Committee's recommendations.[19] There are, nevertheless, a number of unresolved issues, including the need to address the independence of statistics prepared within Government departments and the means by which official statistics are designated as National Statistics, which may be considered during the parliamentary progress of the Statistics and Registration Service Bill.[20]

12. In the field of financial services, legislation originating with the European Commission plays an increasingly important role. Late in 2005, we began an inquiry into European financial services regulation, which included a visit to Brussels to which we have already referred.[21] This inquiry examined developments relating to the Commission's Financial Services Action Plan, most notably the progress in fleshing out the framework Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. The Report also explored the arguments for and against possible new Directives relating to mortgage credit and cross-border clearing and settlement, meaning that the Committee will be better prepared to examine any such proposals that emerge.[22]

13. A number of policy aims of the Government in international economic affairs are pursued through international financial institutions, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. United Kingdom influence within the IMF is considerable, not least because the Chancellor of the Exchequer is also Chairman of the International Monetary and Financial Committee which reviews much of the IMF's work. We undertook an inquiry into the role of the IMF which coincided with the review of its Medium-Term Strategy being undertaken by the IMF's Managing Director, Mr Rodrigo de Rato. In our Report we made a number of recommendations designed to support and strengthen the reform agenda set out by Mr de Rato and the Chancellor of the Exchequer.[23] The Chancellor of the Exchequer applauded our Report as an "important document",[24] and Mr de Rato said in a letter to the Chairman: "your Committee's timely report is well-argued and I believe it will advance the agenda and consensus on important aspects of IMF reform".[25] The Report subsequently received a constructive response from the Government.[26]

Task 2: Identification and examination of certain policies

14. The second core task is "to identify and examine areas of emerging policy, or where existing policy is deficient, and make proposals". Drawing in part on relevant work undertaken by our predecessors,[27] at an early stage of this Parliament we identified financial inclusion as an issue meriting further examination. We embarked on a wide-ranging evidence-gathering exercise. Particular value came from oral evidence sessions where we were able to question senior figures in public and private sector organisations on their commitment to financial inclusion, requiring them to address issues which are often delegated to lower levels of such organisations. We acquired significant new evidence on the extent of access to particular financial services by the financially-excluded across the United Kingdom. The originality and value of the evidence we gathered is demonstrated by the fact that our evidence was cited by a Treasury Minister as his source for an answer to a parliamentary question.[28]

15. Such was the range of evidence which we gathered on financial inclusion that we decided that the best way to do justice to the complex subject area was to produce three separate Reports, each with a different focus:

  • the first Report analysed the challenges of financial inclusion, made proposals to enhance access to affordable credit and to financial advice and advocated a greater emphasis on the promotion of accessible savings products in Government policy on financial inclusion;[29]
  • the second Report focused on the role of banking services as an essential stepping stone to financial inclusion and the steps which the banking industry and the Post Office can take to maintain and broaden access to basic bank accounts and Post Office accounts;[30] and
  • the third and final Report drew together the various strands of our inquiry and set out an agenda for action by the Government and the FSA to ensure a more coherent approach to promoting financial inclusion in future.[31]

The influence which these Reports have had in raising the profile of financial inclusion is demonstrated by an oral answer in the House by the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Mr Ed Balls MP, who acknowledged that the Chairman and the Committee had "played an important leadership role on those matters in recent months".[32]

16. In our inquiry into the design of a National Pension Savings Scheme and the role of financial services regulation we endeavoured to examine a policy in its emerging stages. We held our inquiry following the publication of the Second Report of the Pensions Commission chaired by Lord Turner of Ecchinswell and in advance of the expected Government White Paper.[33] In our Report, we emphasised the need for the Government to develop a new pensions product which maintained the simplicity and near-universal suitability proposed by the Pensions Commission to minimise both cost and the need for regulation.[34] The value of the Committee's contribution has been acknowledged on more than one occasion by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, who said that the Report "has helped our thinking greatly", and the Report has influenced the debate leading up to the publication of the Government's detailed proposals on personal accounts in December 2006.[35]

Task 3: Scrutiny of draft bills

17. The third core task is "to conduct scrutiny of any published draft bill within the Committee's responsibilities". HM Treasury did not publish any draft Bills in 2005 or 2006 and so scrutiny of such bills did not form part of the Treasury Committee's work. On occasions, HM Treasury and HM Revenue & Customs publish draft Clauses for possible subsequent inclusion in the Finance Bill, most frequently following the Pre-Budget Report, but we do not have the time or the resources to devote to examination of what are usually highly technical provisions.

Task 4: Examination of departmental documents and decisions

18. The fourth core task is "to examine specific output from the department expressed in documents or other decisions". The main documents published each year by the Treasury are the Budget and Pre-Budget Reports and the many documents which accompany them, and we examine these closely as part of our ensuing inquiries. Our examination is made more rigorous by the fact that we return to similar topics in the course of each of these periodic inquiries, and individual members of the Committee develop particular areas of interest and expertise as the Parliament progresses. To illustrate this work, we refer in this section to three examples of the topics covered in our periodic inquiries, relating respectively to economic forecasting, fiscal policy and public expenditure.

19. Each Budget and Pre-Budget Report is required to contain the Government's economic forecast for the current year, the next year and the longer term. We compare those forecasts with those of outside organisations and we take evidence from a panel of experts who assist in identifying the risks that may affect the reliability of the Treasury's forecast. Any economic forecast must contain a range of assumptions, and the oral evidence which we take from senior Treasury officials on such occasions provides a valuable opportunity to shed light on those assumptions.

20. The so-called "golden rule"—that over an economic cycle, the Government will borrow only to invest and not to fund current spending—plays an important role in the Government's fiscal framework. Assessment of the Treasury's compliance with this rule depends in part upon understanding and evaluating the Treasury's judgement on the length of the current economic cycle. The Treasury's assessment of the length of that cycle has changed on three occasions since July 2005. The first such change was announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he gave evidence to us soon after we were appointed.[36] Further revisions have followed at the time of the 2005 Pre-Budget Report and of the 2006 Pre-Budget Report. We have subjected these changes to close scrutiny in our inquiries and made recommendations about the formulation and operation of the golden rule.[37]

21. Each Budget and Pre-Budget Report provides an update on the progress of the efficiency programme designed to secure annual savings of £21.5 billion across central and local government by March 2008. We have examined these updates on a regular basis. We have made recommendations about how the presentation of information on the programme could be made more comprehensive and transparent so as to enhance public and parliamentary confidence in the programme, and have returned to the issue in subsequent inquiries in order to maintain pressure on the Government to improve its reporting to Parliament.[38]

Task 5: Examination of expenditure

22. The fifth core task is "to examine the expenditure plans and out-turn of the department, its agencies and principal NDPBs". The Sub-Committee holds a regular hearing with senior Treasury officials on issues arising from the Treasury's departmental annual report. The Treasury itself has a relatively small budget and its own expenditure issues are seldom to the fore in such hearings, although we have, for example, examined escalating expenditure on the new Treasury building.[39] Similarly, expenditure issues are often raised during the routine scrutiny sessions which the Sub-Committee holds regularly with other departments and associated public bodies. This is particularly the case in relation to HM Revenue & Customs, where we have examined both its senior officials and the Paymaster General on the expenditure allocation decisions which have flowed from the efficiency programme.[40]

23. The Treasury has wider responsibilities for financial management in Government. During our visit to the Treasury at the start of this Parliament and in subsequent oral evidence sessions of the Sub-Committee with senior Treasury officials, we have monitored the progress of the Treasury's target to ensure that all Government departments have professionally-qualified finance directors.[41] We have also kept abreast of progress by departments under Treasury encouragement to lay their resource accounts before the House of Commons as early as possible after the end of the financial year to which they relate.[42]

Task 6: Examination of Public Service Agreements and targets

24. The sixth core task is "to examine the department's Public Service Agreements, the associated targets and the statistical measurements employed, and report if appropriate". The Sub-Committee's regular hearings with senior Treasury officials about their departmental report have been structured around examination of performance against Public Service Agreement targets. Both the Sub-Committee and the main Committee, in its inquiries into the 2006 Budget and the 2006 Pre-Budget Report, have paid particularly close attention to Treasury performance in relation to the targets which it shares with the Department for Work and Pensions to reduce and then eliminate child poverty.[43] We have probed the methods used to measure progress towards certain targets, seeking further elucidation from the Treasury on the ways it assesses its performance against its target to raise the rate of UK productivity growth.[44] We have also raised with the Treasury whether we could be involved in prior examination of its new Public Service Agreement targets as part of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review,[45] and this is a matter which we intend to pursue early in 2007.

Task 7: Monitoring of associated public bodies

25. The seventh core task is "to monitor the work of the department's Executive Agencies, NDPBs, regulators and other associated public bodies". Both the main Committee and the Sub-Committee devote considerable time each year to the monitoring of such bodies. The Treasury Committee plays a key role in securing public and parliamentary accountability for the work of the MPC of the Bank of England which sets short-term interest rates within a monetary framework established by the Government. The remit of the MPC set by the Chancellor of the Exchequer under the terms of the Bank of England Act 1998 states that "the Bank of England will be accountable to Parliament through regular reports and evidence given to the Treasury Select Committee".[46] We take evidence at least three times a year from the Governor of the Bank of England and four other members of the MPC on the decisions of the MPC and their individual analysis of monetary policy risks and prospects. Such hearings are often preceded by hearings with outside experts and advisers to inform our understanding of the state of monetary policy. As a general rule, we do not prepare Reports arising from these sessions, although they inform our analysis of the state of the economy in our regular Reports on Budgets and Pre-Budget Reports. In 2007, we will be undertaking a major inquiry examining the performance of and prospects for the MPC ten years on from its establishment.[47]

26. The most important regulator within our purview is the FSA, which regularly gives evidence to us in the course of inquiries relating to financial services, including those on financial inclusion and the National Pension Savings Scheme. In addition, we hold regular hearings on the FSA's annual report when we cover a broad range of topics, and seek updates on matters that the Treasury Committee has examined in the past, such as the mortgage endowment market and split capital investment trusts.[48] In 2006 we sought to strengthen the effectiveness of our scrutiny of the FSA's annual report by identifying key themes in advance of the session and hearing evidence from other witnesses at a separate session prior to the hearing at which we took evidence from the FSA.[49] The FSA has recently assumed responsibility for the regulation of the general insurance industry, and our focus on this issue amongst others during our sessions scrutinising the FSA's annual report in 2006 led to our decision to hold a separate inquiry into the scope of the FSA insurance regulation, on which we will report early in 2007.

27. Of the departments and public bodies whose annual reports are regularly scrutinised by the Sub-Committee, HM Revenue & Customs is by far the largest. The Sub-Committee's scrutiny of its report and accounts in 2005 led directly to the decision that the Sub-Committee's first inquiry in the new Parliament would be into the administration of tax credits, an inquiry we discuss later in this Report.[50] In 2006, the Sub-Committee decided to consider tax credits in an evidence session separate from the scrutiny of annual reporting documents in order that the Sub-Committee could do full justice to other topics falling within HM Revenue & Custom's remit.

28. The Sub-Committee is also committed to regular scrutiny of the smaller bodies and departments within the Chancellor of the Exchequer's remit. In 2005, those examined included National Savings and Investments, as well as the Office for National Statistics and the Statistics Commission.[51] In 2006, the Sub-Committee examined the Royal Mint, which had recently lost its Chief Executive and is facing significant problems in meeting the commercial targets set for it by the Treasury, and the Government Actuary's Department.[52] As part of the consideration of the management of our work which we discuss further later,[53] we have discussed ways to maintain and strengthen the effectiveness of our scrutiny of annual reports in future.

Task 8: Scrutiny of major appointments

29. The eighth core task is "to scrutinise major appointments made by the department". Since 1998, the Treasury Committee has led the way in this area, holding hearings with all new appointees to the MPC of the Bank of England.[54] We have continued the same approach, sending a questionnaire to appointees to gain information about their personal independence and professional competence and then focusing our questions on issues with a bearing upon those criteria.[55] We have held hearings with five new appointees to the MPC in 2005 and 2006.[56] In Reports arising from our hearings, we indicated that we would return to the appointment process for senior posts at the Bank of England and for positions on the MPC, and the composition of the MPC.[57] We expect to examine these matters as part of our inquiry into the MPC in 2007 to which we have already referred.[58]

30. Our endeavours to ensure individual accountability for members of the MPC, each of whom has a vote of equal value in deliberations on short-term interest rates, do not end with appointment hearings. The evidence that we hear from those members during our regular hearings on the MPC's Inflation Reports ensures that we remain informed about their individual views and contributions. We have also indicated that we intend to take evidence and report on subsequent re-appointments to the MPC as well as initial appointments.[59] We expect to consider ways of maintaining and strengthening individual accountability of MPC members as part of our broader inquiry into the work of the MPC.

31. At present, we do not extend the same systematic approach to the scrutiny of other appointments within the Treasury sphere, although the regular hearings which we and the Sub-Committee hold on annual reports and accounts usually ensure that new senior appointees are likely to appear before the Committee or Sub-Committee not long after their appointment. Following the passage of the Statistics and Registration Service Bill, we expect to give further consideration to the way in which we will examine appointments to the new independent statistics office and the appointment of any new National Statistician.[60]

Task 9: Examination of implementation of legislation and policy

32. The ninth core task is "to examine the implementation of legislation and major policy initiatives". The most far-reaching new policy within the area which we cover in recent years has been the introduction of the "new" tax credits—the child tax credit and the working tax credit—in April 2003. The administration of this new system was the subject of the first inquiry in this Parliament by the Sub-Committee. The tax credits system had also been examined by other select committees in the House, but the thorough and far-reaching Report which we published in June 2006 added significantly to parliamentary and public understanding of the system and its failings. We identified a number of significant problems with the administration of tax credits and made recommendations as to how HM Revenue & Customs could focus effectively on adopting a more claimant-centred approach. We highlighted the role of official error in causing overpayments, followed up several recommendations made earlier by the Parliament Commissioner for Administration and analysed the likely effect of the package of reforms announced at the time of the 2005 Pre-Budget Report.[61]

33. Another significant policy innovation in recent years has been the introduction of Child Trust Funds following the passage of the Child Trust Funds Act 2004. This policy had been the subject of a Report by the Committee in 2003 arising from an inquiry by the Sub-Committee,[62] and the Sub-Committee subsequently held an evidence session with the Minister responsible for Child Trusts Funds, the then Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Mr Ivan Lewis MP, in November 2005. The Sub-Committee examined the relatively slow rate at which Child Trust Fund accounts were being opened by parents and the arrangements relating to the range and choice of accounts.[63] We expect this hearing to represent the start of a continuing monitoring process during this Parliament.

Task 10: Informing parliamentary debate

34. The tenth core task is "to produce reports which are suitable for debate in the House, including Westminster Hall, or debating committees". In 2006, we maintained the practice of our predecessors of preparing our Report on the Budget at high speed in time for it to be "tagged" for the debate on the Second Reading of the Finance Bill, and the Report was referred to on several occasions in that debate.[64] Our Report also made a recommendation about further information related to the tax treatment of certain trusts which we considered would be of value to the House during subsequent detailed consideration of the Bill.[65]

35. Publication of our Report on the administration of tax credits was followed swiftly by an Opposition half-day debate on that subject to which our Report was highly relevant. The Report was widely referred to in the debate and praised by spokespersons for the Opposition parties as well as by the Minister.[66] The debate demonstrated the value of a select committee report in providing an element of consensus and clear factual information in a highly contentious area. The Report also informed questioning on a subsequent statement in the House by the Paymaster General about tax credits.[67]

36. The Report on the design of a National Pension Savings Scheme and the role of financial services regulation was "tagged" as relevant to a debate on Pensions Reform on a Government motion in which members of the Committee participated.[68] We have already referred to the influence which this Report had on the evolving public and parliamentary debate on personal accounts.[69]

37. One debate arising from a Report of the Committee has been held in Westminster Hall in the current Parliament. We refer to this debate on cash machine charges and the important role that it played in taking forward the recommendations of the Treasury Committee in the next chapter.[70]

10   Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons, First Report of Session 2001-02, Select Committees, HC 224-I, para 33 Back

11   Liaison Committee, Second Report of Session 2001-02, Select Committees: Modernisation Proposals, HC 692, para 17 Back

12   HC Deb, 14 May 2002, col 656 Back

13   Liaison Committee, First Report of Session 2004-05, Annual Report for 2004, HC 419, para 6 Back

14   For the text of the core tasks, see HC (2004-05) 419, p 6. Back

15   HC Deb, 28 November 2005, col 78W; Treasury Committee, Second Report of Session 2000-01, National Statistics, HC 137, para 19; HM Treasury, Independence for statistics: a consultation document, March 2006; Treasury Committee, Fourth Report of Session 2005-06, The 2006 Budget, HC 994-I, paras 117-119 Back

16   Treasury Committee, Tenth Report of Session 2005-06, Independence for statistics, HC 1111 Back

17   Statistics Commission press notice, 'Statistics Commission endorses Treasury Committee Report on Independence for Statistics', 26 July 2006, Back

18   Treasury Committee, Seventh Special Report of Session 2005-06, Independence for statistics: Government response to the Committee's Tenth Report of Session 2005-06, HC 1604 Back

19   HM Treasury, Independence for statistics: The Government response, November 2006 Back

20   House of Commons Bill 8 of Session 2006-07 Back

21   See paragraph 7. Back

22   Treasury Committee, Seventh Report of Session 2005-06, European financial services regulation, HC 778 Back

23   Treasury Committee, Ninth Report of Session 2005-06, Globalisation: the role of the IMF, HC 875 Back

24   HC Deb, 13 July 2006, col 1453 Back

25   Letter from Mr Rodrigo de Rato, Managing Director of the IMF, to the Chairman of the Treasury Committee, 18 July 2006 Back

26   Treasury Committee, Second Special Report of Session 2006-07, Globalisation: the role of the IMF: Government Response to the Committee's Ninth Report of Session 2005-06, HC 52 Back

27   Treasury Committee, First Report of Session 2003-04, Transparency of Credit Card Charges, HC 125-I, paras 67, 73-109 and 129-136; Treasury Committee, Eighth Report of Session 2003-04, Restoring confidence in long-term savings, HC 71-I; Treasury Committee, Fifth Report of Session 2004-05, Cash Machine Charges, HC 191 Back

28   HC Deb, 4 December 2006, cols 190-191W Back

29   HC (2005-06) 848-I Back

30   HC (2005-06) 1717 Back

31   Treasury Committee, First Report of Session 2006-07, Financial inclusion: the roles of the Government and the FSA, and financial capability, HC 53 Back

32   HC Deb, 7 December 2006, col 429 Back

33   A New Pension Settlement for the Twenty-First Century: The Second Report of the Pensions Commission, November 2005 Back

34   Treasury Committee, Fifth Report of Session 2005-06, The design of a National Pension Savings Scheme and the role of financial services regulation, HC 1074-I Back

35   HC Deb, 25 May 2006, col 1662; HC Deb, 27 June 2006, col 144; HC Deb, 12 December 2006, col 746; Department for Work and Pensions, Personal accounts: a new way to save, Cm 6975, December 2006 Back

36   Treasury Committee, Oral Evidence, G8 and other international issues, HC (2005-06) 399-i, Qq 1, 7-8; HM Treasury, Evidence on the UK economic cycle, July 2005 Back

37   HC (2005-06) 739, paras 40-47, 50-56; HC (2005-06) 994-I, paras 28-38; Treasury Committee, Second Report of Session 2006-07, The 2006 Pre-Budget Report, HC 115, paras 27-35 Back

38   HC (2005-06) 739, paras 71-76; HC (2005-06) 994-I, paras 71-77; HC (2006-07) 115, paras 40-47 Back

39   Treasury Sub-Committee, Oral Evidence, HM Treasury: Departmental Report 2005, HC (2005-06) 691-i, Qq 7-8; Treasury Sub-Committee, Oral and Written Evidence, HM Treasury Departmental Report 2006, HC (2005-06) 1659-i, Q 95 Back

40   Treasury Committee, Oral and Written evidence, HM Revenue and Customs: Spring Departmental Report 2005, HC (2005-06) 524 i-ii ,Qq 128-129, 137-138, 230-232; Treasury Committee, Oral and Written evidence, HM Revenue and Customs Spring Departmental Report 2005-06, HC (2006-07) 51-i, Qq 17-34 Back

41   HC (2005-06) 691-i, Qq 108-111; HC (2005-06) 1659-i, Qq 99-102 Back

42   HC (2005-06) 1659-i, Qq 103-104 Back

43   HC (2005-06) 691-i, Q 30; HC (2005-06) 994-I; paras 86-92; HC (2006-07) 115, paras 62-74 Back

44   HC (2005-06) 1659-i, Qq 58-59 and Ev 16-17 Back

45   Ibid, Qq 108-110 Back

46 Back

47   "Treasury Committee announces new inquiry into 'The Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England: ten years on'", Treasury Committee Press Notice No. 3 of Session 2006-07, Back

48   Treasury Committee, Oral and Written evidence, The Financial Services Authority, HC (2005-06) 655-i, Qq 33-39, 120-121; Treasury Committee, Oral and Written Evidence, FSA annual report scrutiny, HC (2005-06) 1594-i & ii and HC (2006-07) 191, Qq 217-220 Back

49   Ibid Back

50   See paragraphs 32 and 35. Back

51   Treasury Committee, Oral and Written evidence, National Savings and Investments Annual Report and Accounts 2004-05, HC (2005-06) 575-i; Treasury Committee, Oral and Written evidence, Office for National Statistics: Annual Report and Accounts 2004-2005, HC (2005-06) 666-i; Treasury Committee, Oral evidence, Statistics Commission: Annual Report 2004-05, HC (2005-06) 641-i Back

52   Treasury Committee, Oral and Written evidence, Royal Mint Departmental Annual Report 2005-06, HC (2005-06) 1679-i; Treasury Committee, Oral and Written evidence, Government Actuary's Departmental Annual Report and Resource Accounts 2005-06, HC (2005-06) 1678-i Back

53   See paragraph 43. Back

54   For a summary of hearings between 1998 and 2003, see Treasury Committee, First Report of Session 2005-06, The Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England: appointment hearings, HC 525-I, paras 3-4 and Annex Back

55   Ibid, paras 7-9 Back

56   Mr David Walton, Sir John Gieve, Professor David Blanchflower, Professor Tim Besley and Dr Andrew Sentance. Back

57   Treasury Committee, Third Report of Session 2005-06, The Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England: appointment hearing for Sir John Gieve, HC 861, para 3; Treasury Committee, Eighth Report of Session 2005-06, The Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England: appointment hearing for Professor David Blanchflower, HC 1121-I, para 3; Eleventh Report of the Treasury Committee, Eleventh Report of Session 2005-06, The Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England: appointment hearings for Professor Tim Besley and Dr Andrew Sentance, HC 1595-I, para 3 Back

58   See paragraph 25. Back

59   HC (2005-06) 525-I, para 8 Back

60   HC (2005-06) 1111, para 115 Back

61   Treasury Committee, Sixth Report of Session 2005-06, The administration of tax credits, HC 811-I Back

62   Treasury Committee, Second Report of Session 2003-04, Child Trust Funds, HC 86 Back

63   Treasury Committee, Oral and written evidence, Child Trust Funds: update on progress, HC (2005-06) 738-i Back

64   HC Deb, 24 April 2006, cols 367, 378-384, 385, 435, 447, 453, 458 Back

65   HC (2005-06) 994-I, para 109 Back

66   HC Deb, 7 June 2006, cols 277, 282, 285, 292, 293, 325 Back

67   HC Deb, 11 July 2006, cols 1281-1293 Back

68   HC Deb, 27 June 2006, cols 143-144, 217-219 Back

69   See paragraph 16. Back

70   See paragraphs 41-42. Back

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