Government response |
THE OUTPUT GAP
1. Migration of uncertain magnitude
and the greater stability of the economy may reduce the value
of the concept of the output gap as a tool of economic analysis.
We recommend that the Government examine the impact of these factors
on the role which the concept of the output gap should play in
Treasury forecasting and analysis, and report on the outcome of
such examination in its response to this Report.
HM Treasury's approach to forecasting macroeconomic
developments is set out in paragraphs B.30 to B.35 of Budget 2007.
At the heart of this approach are estimates of the economy's 'trend'
level and rate of growth, which provide the foundation for analysis
of cyclical movements around that trend - the output gap. The
Treasury's analysis of trend growth and the output gap is therefore
central to the economic forecast that underpins the setting of
HM Treasury's latest assessment of trend growth was
set out in Trend growth: new evidence and prospects, published
alongside the 2006 Pre-Budget Report, when new data relating to
inward migration provided grounds to support an upward revision
of the assumed working-age population growth rate post-2006. A
number of other institutions, including the IMF, also raised their
estimates of medium-term growth in light of the new evidence on
migration. Budget 2007 noted that "the latest evidence suggests
that migration to the UK from new Member States of the EU continued
through 2006 at levels somewhat above those seen in 2005"
(paragraph B.40). As also set out in Budget 2007, migration data
are subject to inevitable uncertainties (paragraph B.42), as are
the data and projections for all components of trend output. Nevertheless
the influence of migration on the economy is an important consideration
and, as with other components of trend output growth, HM Treasury
will keep developments in migration and related projections under
close review. As set out in response to the Committee's next recommendation,
HM Treasury continues to support the Office for National Statistics
on-going work to improve the quality of their migration statistics.
Greater macro-economic stability has meant that the
estimated output gap has fluctuated in a much narrower range over
the past 10 years than previously, as illustrated in Chart B3
of the Budget report. To the extent that this reflects the effects
of the improved macroeconomic framework in reducing policy-induced
shocks and more effectively damping other economic shocks, then
the lower amplitude of the cycle can be expected to continue.
However, it would be imprudent to assume that other shocks to
the economy will not occur.
HM Treasury also uses a range of other economic indicatorsincluding
business surveys, labour market indicators and price datato
corroborate estimates of the output gap. HM Treasury's latest
assessment of these indicators is set out in paragraphs B.50 to
B.53, and Box B3 of Budget 2007.
2. Given the importance of migration for both
the labour market and the measurement of the output gap, we welcome
the work undertaken by the Office for National Statistics aimed
at improving the quality of migration statistics. We recommend
that the Treasury report regularly in Budget and Pre-Budget Reports
on the progress of this work.
HM Treasury recognises that accurate and timely estimates
of migration in and out of the UK are increasingly important following
the growth of international migration flows.
HM Treasury continues to support the Office for National
Statistics on-going work to improve the quality of their migration
statistics. As reported in the Budget report (paragraph B.42)
the ONS has consulted on the feasibility of producing estimates
of short term migrants; a summary on the results of the consultation
is now available on their website.
The ONS' has also set improving migration statistics as one of
its key priorities in its 2007/8 statistical work programme,
with emphasis on:
- methods for estimating the
numbers of short term migrants;
- improvements in the methods of distributing internal
and external migrants between local authorities in population
- plans and priorities for taking forward work
on migration statistics, recommended by the Migration Statistics
In future years, once the Statistics and Registration
Service Bill has passed through Parliament, work priorities will
be set by the Statistics Board which will be a non-Ministerial
department accountable to Parliament.
HM Treasury will continue to actively monitor progress
on the work to improve migration statistics in a manner consistent
with the Statistics Board's future statutory independent status.
INFLATION AND MONETARY POLICY
3. The recent rise in inflation has
been caused in part by a number of short-term factors, such as
higher energy bills. There is little evidence at the moment that
higher inflation is having second-round effects. We will, however,
continue to keep the situation under review through our regular
hearings on the Bank of England's Inflation Reports and our scrutiny
of Budgets and Pre-Budget Reports.
HM Treasury's view on the outlook for inflation was
set out in paragraphs B.56 to B.58 in Budget 2007, and the risks
to that outlook were set out in paragraph B.105. The Treasury's
assessment is that inflation expectations remain anchored to the
inflation target and earnings growth has remained subdued. This
suggests there have been no second-round effects from the recent
above-target rates of inflation, although that risk has not yet
subsided and developments over the next few months will need to
be monitored particularly closely. The Government has continued
to emphasise the need for pay settlements to be consistent with
the achievement of the inflation target of 2 per cent. As set
out in the Governor of the Bank of England's recent Open Letter
to the Chancellor, "The Monetary Policy Committee remains
determined to set interest rates at the level required to bring
inflation back to the 2 per cent target".
The public finances
4. We note the very significant downward revision
of forecast North Sea oil revenues in 2006-07 and 2007-08 compared
with the 2006 Pre-Budget Report. We are concerned that the Treasury's
estimate at Budget 2007 is so much lower than its forecast in
the 2006 Pre-Budget Report, only three months earlier. We believe
that the volatility of North Sea oil revenues constitutes a risk
to taxation revenues in the future.
As set out at Budget 2007, increases in capital and
operating expenditure within the North Sea, combined with a much
greater than expected decline in North Sea production and a strengthening
of the dollar-sterling exchange rate, have seen the prospects
for North Sea revenues alter significantly since the 2006 Pre-Budget
Report. An updated forecast for North Sea revenues will be published
in the 2007 Pre-Budget Report.
5. The deterioration of the current budget balance
predicted for 2006-07 and 2007-08 compared with the forecasts
in last year's Budget and Pre-Budget Report has been caused by
a reduction in the Treasury's forecasts of non-North Sea corporation
tax revenues as well as a fall in its forecasts of North Sea oil
As set out at Budget 2007, the revisions to the current
budget are due to a combination of expenditure and receipts effects.
Lower than expected North Sea revenues more than account for the
shortfall in forecast receipts, before discretionary measures,
relative to the 2006 Pre-Budget Report. Non-North Sea corporation
tax receipts in 2006-07 are estimated to be £1.9 billion
lower than estimated in the 2006 Pre-Budget Report.
6. We recognise that the Government's forecasting
record for overall revenues appears to have improved this year
and that its forecasts of corporation tax receipts have been affected
by the unanticipated reduction in North Sea oil revenues in 2006-07.
However, the Treasury has over-estimated corporation tax receipts
for the past six years. If the direction of forecasting errors
is correlated with the economic cycle, as Treasury officials have
suggested, the Treasury's recent forecasting record of over-estimation
should be more cautious in the near future if output moves above
trend. We will continue to monitor the Treasury's performance
in forecasting corporation tax receipts with this in mind.
The Government acknowledges the Committee's intention
to monitor corporation tax receipts in this context.
7. This year's Budget includes confirmed levels
of overall current public spending for the period from 2008-09
to 2010-11 which are in line with the figures used for the purposes
of fiscal planning in the 2006 Pre-Budget Report, although previously
cited figures relating to spending in this period were characterised
by the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time as "working
assumptions" rather than final figures.
Although DEL and AME totals for 2008-09 onwards have
not yet been determined, Budget 2007 sets firm overall spending
limits for the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review period.
Taking account of time limited items announced in
this Budget, public sector current expenditure is forecast to
grow at 2.0 per cent in real terms in 2008-09, and by 1.9 per
cent in 2009-10 and 2010-11, unchanged from the 2006 Pre-Budget
Report. This means that, on average, public sector current expenditure
is forecast to grow by 2 1/4 per cent per year in real terms between
2006-07 and the end of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review
period. Public sector current expenditure is assumed to grow by
2.0 per cent in real terms in 2011-12.
The capital expenditure envelope for the 2007 Comprehensive
Spending Review period is fixed, based on public sector net investment
at 2 1/4 per cent of GDP over the period, unchanged from the 2006
Pre-Budget Report. Net investment remains at 2 1/4 per cent of
GDP in the spending projection for 2011-12.
As a result of these decisions on the firm overall
limits for current and capital expenditure in the 2007 Comprehensive
Spending Review period, Total Managed Expenditure (TME) grows
by 2.0 per cent a year on average over the period. In each year
of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review period, TME as a per
cent of GDP is broadly unchanged from the 2006 Pre-Budget Report.
8. We welcome the procurement capability
reviews that the Government is initiating in central government
departments. We will continue to monitor outturns of public sector
net investment expenditure against allocated budgets to develop
an understanding of whether and how soon these capability reviews
The Government is determined to improve the capability
of its procurement function, to help deliver better public services
at good value for money for the taxpayer, and welcomes the Committee's
interest in this area. The Office of Government Commerce is leading
these reviews, with the benefit of support from experienced people
from the private sector and within government.
THE GOLDEN RULE
9. We welcome the Chancellor of the
Exchequer's acknowledgment that counting the last year of the
present economic cycle as the first year of the next economic
cycle for the purposes of assessing whether or not the Government
meets the golden rule would represent adherence to the Treasury's
past practice. We expect to see this practice continue into the
As explained in the Government's response to the
Treasury Committee's Report on the 2006 Pre-Budget Report, the
Government will set out in the normal way the details of the fiscal
position under the framework over the next cycle when it provides
its view on the end of the current cycle. The Government will
continue to publish its assessment of progress against the
golden rule in each Budget and Pre-Budget Report.
The economy is expected to have returned to trend
early in 2007. On this basis, and based on cautious assumptions,
the Government is meeting the golden rule over the current cycle.
The golden rule has worked to ensure sound public
finances: the surplus on the current budget over the current economic
cycle is projected to average 0.1 per cent of GDP. This compares
with an average deficit of 2 per cent of GDP over the last economic
cycle from 1986-87 to 1997-98.
10. The reduction in amplitude of the
economic cycles in the past decade or so and the difficulties
of measuring the output gap have made the dating of the economic
cycle and application of the golden rule a particularly difficult
process. We reiterate our recommendation that the Government review
the golden rule and consider how to make it more forward-looking
and its application less dependent on the dating of the economic
Setting the golden rule over the cycle allows fiscal
policy to support monetary policy in maintaining macroeconomic
stability. This allows the fiscal balances to vary between years
in line with the cyclical position of the economy, permitting
the automatic stabilisers to operate freely to help smooth the
path of the economy in the face of variations in demand. Responsible
management of the public finances, in line with the Government's
objectives, has enabled fiscal policy to effectively support monetary
policy over the current cycle. The IMF noted in March this year,
that in the UK "shocks, such as the global downturn of 2000-03
and the increase in oil prices during 2004-06, were managed with
good policy responses", and noted "the shallowness of
the UK growth slowdown during the last global downturn".
Fiscal policy is made in a forward looking way, as
is made clear by the extensive use of projections in Budget 2007,
covering the five years to 2011-12. The Government reports in
each Budget and Pre-Budget Report on whether the golden rule,
using cautious assumptions, is set to be met after the current
cycle ends on the assumption that the economy is on trend. It
also reports on projected performance against the golden rule
in a cautious case of trend output being lower by 1 percentage
point to stress test the projections.
The fiscal rules provide a clear measure of success
that plays a vital role in ensuring the credibility and accountability
of the fiscal framework.
THE SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENT RULE
11. We note that the interpretation
of the sustainable investment rule in the current economic cycle
requires that net debt is maintained below 40% in each and every
year of the economic cycle. We recommend that the Government,
in its response to this Report, give an account of the circumstances
in which it would change its current interpretation of the sustainable
investment rule for the next economic cycle.
The Government will set out in the normal way the
details of the fiscal position under the framework over the next
cycle when it provides its view on the end of the current cycle.
INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL REPORTING STANDARDS AND PFI
12. We welcome the Government's
decision to adopt International Financial Reporting Standards.
We recommend that the Government, in its response to this Report,
provide a fuller technical explanation of the differences between
International Financial Reporting Standards and UK GAAP that could
affect the future accounting treatment of PFI liabilities. We
further recommend that the Government, in its response to this
Report, explain more fully the reasons for the existing variations
in on- and off-balance sheet classifications between departments.
There is no IFRS for accounting for PFI although
there is likely to be an International Financial Reporting Interpretations
Committee (IFRIC) Interpretation for the private sector side of
accounting for Service Concessions (including PFI) in place by
2008/9 (it is currently in the process of being adopted by the
EU). It is not yet clear how this Interpretation will apply to
public sector procuring authorities, or how public sector auditors
will apply it. This means that it is not possible, at this point
in time, to provide a detailed technical explanation of the differences
between the UK Standard currently used by the public sector, which
is consistent with UK GAAP and focuses on the risks and rewards
of ownership, and an IFRIC Interpretation that has yet to be developed
for use in the public sector.
The variations in on and off-balance sheet classifications
are as a result of the varying nature of projects undertaken by
individual public sector bodies, and the view of independent audit
bodies such as the NAO and Audit Commission on those deals. For
any particular deal the accounting treatment reflects where the
accountants and their independent auditors see the balance of
risks lying as between the public and private sector for individual
PERSONAL TAXATION, TAX CREDITS AND CHILD POVERTY
13. An important part of any change to the personal
taxation regime must be that both winners and losers can identify,
with ease, how they are affected by the changes stated within
a Budget package. We recommend that, in future, this information
be provided within the Red Book.
The reforms announced in Budget 2007 included eight
separate measures designed to simplify the system, help pensioners,
tackle child poverty and make work pay. The overall effect on
a household will depend on the interactions between the different
elements. So whether, or by how much, one might gain from these
changes will depend on both individual and household characteristics.
Therefore in this case it was not feasible in the space available
to set out comprehensive tables of the effects of all the measures.
However, HMRC will, as usual, produce their specimen
tables following Budget 2008 once all the tax, national insurance
other parameters have been finalised. In addition, HM Treasury
has provided detailed answers to Parliamentary Questions of the
impact in specific circumstances that the Committee might find
14. Given that the personal taxation changes announced
in this year's Budget will have an impact on the post-tax earnings
of those who are childless and earning an income entitling them
to claim Working Tax Credit, the need to increase the low take-up
rate of Working Tax Credit among that group should be a priority.
We therefore welcome the evidence of a recent increase in the
take-up of Working Tax Credit provided by the Chancellor of the
Exchequer, although we would welcome further details as to the
increase in the take-up of Working Tax Credit in percentage terms.
We also note the Government's efforts to increase take-up still
further. However, we expect the Treasury to carefully monitor
the impact of any increase in the take-up rate on the fiscal planning
assumptions within Annually Managed Expenditure.
Increasing take-up of Working Tax Credit is a priority
for the Government. HMRC are looking at ways of improving awareness
of entitlement to WTC amongst this group, and encouraging more
people to claim.
HMRC does publish provisional award figures twice
annually, which include take-up numbers broken down by family
type, income band, and hours worked. However, it is more difficult
and time-consuming to produce figures for take-up rates in percentage
terms, as these are calculated by comparing the total number of
finalised awards to the total number of people who are estimated
to be eligible for tax credits. This latter figure is based on
Family Resources Survey (FRS) data for the year in question, and
as such, take-up rates in percentage terms cannot be produced
until both the FRS and finalised tax credits data are available,
which takes time. HMRC do however produce and publish these figures
as soon as they are able, and will continue to do so. HMRC hope
to publish the next set of take-up rates by the end of this year.
Since take-up rates have to be calculated after the
fact and based in part on survey data, it is impractical to base
fiscal planning assumptions on them. The Government's forecast
assumptions are based on current caseload which, as the Chancellor
said in his evidence, is higher than the figure used to calculate
the most recent take-up rates, which relate to 2004-05. The impact
on fiscal planning assumptions of any increase in caseload are
of course kept under continual review.
15. We are concerned by the recently reported
rise in child poverty in 2005-06 of 100,000 children, according
to the Government's preferred measure. We welcome the extra resources
allocated in the Budget, which it is estimated will help around
200,000 children out of relative poverty. We reiterate the recommendation
made in our Report on the 2006 Pre-Budget Report that the Government,
in reporting on the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review,
state how it intends to meet the 2010-11 target to halve the number
of children in poverty and where the resources will come from
to meet that target. We welcome the Government's increased emphasis
on improving incentives to work and recommend that, in reporting
on the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review, the Government
publish its analysis of the impact of improving incentives to
work on meeting its child poverty targets.
The Government's welcomes the Committee's support
for the measures announced in the Budget to reduce child poverty
As the Government set out in its response to the
Committee's report on the 2006 Pre-Budget Report, the Government
has most recently set out its strategy in the Child Poverty
Review, published alongside the 2004 Spending Review. This
strategy encompasses financial support for families, promoting
work for those who can, and excellent public services to tackle
material deprivation now and address cycles of deprivation. The
Government has reported progress against its poverty and social
exclusion agenda annually in Opportunity for All.
The Government will continue to make decisions on
the levels of financial support in Budget and Pre-Budget Reports.
16. Targeting those children in families
at the very lowest income levels must be a priority for the Government,
but is important to ensure that adopting a target to help such
children does not detract from meeting the overall 2020 target.
We recommend that, in publishing the outcome of the Comprehensive
Spending Review, the Government set out its latest understanding
of the dynamics of the very poor, perhaps in the context of the
Government's work on its new deprivation index. We further recommend
that, at the same time, the Government set out its views on the
possible value of an additional target specifically focused on
child poverty in the very poorest households (defined as earning
less than 40% of median income) within the context of its target
of eliminating child poverty by 2020.
The Government's medium term measure of child poverty
was set out in Measuring Child Poverty,
following extensive consultation. Further details, including on
the material deprivation tier of the child poverty measure, will
be provided as part of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review.
The Government will continue to keep under review the latest evidence
on the dynamics of poverty.
Reported snap-shot incomes are not seen as a reliable
reflection of the living standards of people below 40 per cent
of median income, and they are not produced in accordance with
National Statistics standards, therefore the Government does not
report against a 40 per cent of median income threshold. However,
Opportunity for All does report against a wider set of
indicators, including those in persistent poverty.
17. We recommend that whenever the Government
reports on complicated, multi-faceted responses to policy issues,
such as child poverty, it should attempt to draw together all
the analysis on all relevant policy instruments in the appropriate
Budget or related document, so that it is transparent what the
different policies are intended to achieve, at what cost, and
how the whole package of policies will interact and achieve their
Regarding child poverty, the Government has most
recently set out its strategy in the Child Poverty Review,
published alongside the 2004 Spending Review.
More generally, the Government does as appropriate
use either the Budget or related documents to bring together analysis
and policy responses to particular issues, including the publication
of specific supplementary documents alongside the Budget. All
this material is available freely on HM Treasury's website.
In addition, as part of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending
Review, each cross-cutting Public Service Agreement will be underpinned
by a single, published Delivery Agreement setting out plans for
delivery, the role of each organisation in the delivery chain,
how progress towards the outcome will be measured, and strengthening
accountability at all levels.
18. It is not clear whether measures such as the
increase in the R&D tax credit and the introduction of the
Annual Investment Allowance will have the desired beneficial impact
on investment levels by small companies. We recommend that, prior
to the 2009 Budget, the Treasury review the impact of these measures
on business investment in order to ensure that the measures are
having a positive impact on investment and business growth, including
the impact on small business that do not qualify for the R&D
tax credit or the Annual Investment Allowance.
HM Treasury accepts the importance of evaluating
the impact of both the increase in the R&D tax credit and
the introduction of the Annual Investment Allowance. Similarly,
the Treasury will monitor the impact of the Budget business tax
reforms more generally.
The Government already has a comprehensive evaluation
strategy in place for the R&D tax credit. An independent feasibility
study, published last year (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/research/non-technical-summary.pdf),
established that econometric analysis of the effect of R&D
tax credits on levels of business R&D would require a minimum
of 10 years of data. The analysis of the impact of the introduction
of R&D tax credits is therefore unlikely to be possible before
The same evaluation restrictions apply to the Annual
Investment Allowance (and indeed any tax measure). The lags in
data mean that, by April 2009, less than one year of tax data
will be held by HMRC following the introduction of the Annual
Investment Allowance. HM Treasury is unlikely, therefore, to achieve
any quantitative analysis of the impact of the introduction of
the Annual Investment Allowance by the Committee's recommended
target of Budget 2009.
MISSING TRADER INTRA-COMMUNITY FRAUD
19. We welcome signs of progress by
HM Revenue & Customs in combating Missing Trader Intra-Community
fraud. We also welcome the agreement secured by the United Kingdom
Government to a derogation from EU VAT law to enable the application
from 1 June 2007 of a "reverse charge" to certain categories
of goods that have proved attractive to fraudsters. We note that
estimates of the additional Exchequer receipts from this measure
appear to have been revised downwards substantially since the
Chancellor of the Exchequer's initial announcement in evidence
to us on 13 December 2006 and we recommend that the Government,
in its response to this Report, provide a fuller explanation for
this downward revision, including an assessment of the likely
impact of the time-limited nature of the initial derogation.
We expect the Government to remain vigilant for signs
that fraudsters are switching their attention to categories of
goods that are not covered by the new derogation from EU VAT law.
We further recommend that, in its response to this Report, the
Government set out the state of discussions within the EU about
the possibility of subsequent, further extensions of the VAT derogation
to combat Missing Trader Intra-Community fraud, both in terms
of the range of goods covered by the derogation and the duration
of the derogation.
The Government welcomes the Committee's support for
its strategy to tackle Missing Trader Intra-Community (MTIC) VAT
fraud. Some further clarification of the estimated revenue yield
from the reverse charge, and other anti-fraud measures announced
in this year's Budget, may be of use to the Committee.
Budget 2006 estimated that the reverse charge would
yield around £500 million in 2007-08. In Budget 2007, this
yield was revised to £135 million (and listed in Table A1.1
of the 2007 FSBR, as
a re-estimated measure that had been announced previously). The
majority of the revision is due to the very significant reduction
in baseline levels of attempted fraud since the original estimates
were produced, reflecting the success of the Government's strategy
in tackling this serious threat. The revised estimate also reflects
changes to the scope of the derogation and the implementation
date for the reverse charge, as well as an extra estimated effect
on revenues arising from the delay to some VAT receipts from affected
The Committee also referred to the revenue yield
of £50 million in 2007-08, relating to the extension of the
VAT joint and several liability provisions. HMRC may use these
provisions to make a trader responsible for another's VAT debt,
if the trader in question knew or had reasonable grounds to suspect
that VAT would go unpaid elsewhere in the supply chain. The estimated
revenue yield (published in Table A1 of the 2007 FSBR, covering
newly-announced measures) is in addition to that estimated for
the reverse charge.
Returning to the reverse charge, the Committee notes
that the derogation is time-limited (it will remain in effect
until 31 March 2009). This does not affect the revenue estimates
for the reverse charge, which, in line with normal practice, assume
that the derogation will be renewed if it is still required in
the future. Under the terms of the derogation, the United Kingdom
is required to evaluate the impact of the reverse charge by no
later than 31 March 2009 and will give further consideration to
an extension or other changes in the light of that assessment.
The Government is determined to build on the success of its strategy
in recent months. The introduction of the reverse charge and the
changes to the joint and several liability provisions will allow
HMRC to respond more quickly and flexibly to any future mutations
in the fraud.
THE GERSHON PROGRAMME OF EFFICIENCY SAVINGS
20. In our Reports on Budgets and Pre-Budget
Reports in the current Parliament we have set out an agenda for
improvements in the reporting framework for the efficiency programme
in three areas, relating to the central reporting of progress
by the Treasury and the Office of Government Commerce, reporting
by individual departments and verification issues surrounding
service quality. We welcome the significant improvement in the
first area since we last reported: the Government has responded
positively to our recommendations for a departmental breakdown
of efficiency savings in the Red Book and for further information
on savings by work stream and by verification status. The response
to our recommendations about the quality and consistency of departmental
reporting on the efficiency programme should be apparent when
2007 departmental annual reports are published shortly. Regarding
service quality, we welcome the further steps taken through collaboration
between the Office of Government Commerce, the National Audit
Office and the Audit Commission to establish agreed measures of
service quality, and expect further information about this work
to be provided in departmental annual reports. (Paragraph 77)
HM Treasury welcomes the Committee's view that the
reporting of the Efficiency Programme has improved and that positive
steps have been taken by departments to assure themselves that
service quality levels have been maintained. HM Treasury will
await the Committee's view on efficiency reporting in departmental
ASPECTS OF THE COMPREHENSIVE SPENDING REVIEW
21. We expect to consider the implications of
changes in the central management of the efficiency programme
when we report on prospects for the Comprehensive Spending Review.
HM Treasury will await the Committee's consideration.
22. In this Report, we have examined several aspects
of the Comprehensive Spending Review, including the timing of
departmental settlements, education spending, the efficiency targets
for the period from 2008-09 to 2010-11 and the Treasury's definition
or definitions of 'front-line' services. We intend to explore
these matters further in our Report on the prospects and processes
for the Comprehensive Spending Review.
HM Treasury welcomes the Committees further examination
of these matters, and looks forward to receiving its report on
the prospects and processes for the Comprehensive Spending Review.
13 June 2007
1 Updates on the ONS' Improving Migration and Population
Statistics Project is available at the following web address:
Office for National Statistics (2007). ONS sets out statistical
work priorities for coming year. ONS Press Release 27 March 2007.
Office for National Statistics (2007). Plans for the ONS Statistical
Work Programme for 2007-08. http://www.statistics.gov.uk/about/ons/downloads/ONSWP0708Commonbody.pdf Back
United Kingdom: Staff Report for the 2006 Article IV Consultation,
IMF, March 2007, page 4. Back
Published by the Department for Work and Pensions Back
Department for Work and Pensions, December 2003 Back
Budget 2007, table A1.1, item b, p 227 Back