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19 Feb 2008 : Column 42WS

d. a transfer of £4,847,000 to non-voted provision included in (iv) b.above.

Non-Voted: total increase of £89,634,000

(i) Take up of £73,183,000 near cash end year flexibility for the net operating losses of London and Continental Railways

(ii) A net transfer of £16,451,000 from voted provision for:

a. £300,000 near cash for the Renewable Fuels Agency

b. £4,847,000 near cash for the utilisation of the following provisions: pensions (£2,847,000); early retirement (£1,500,000); and an HM Revenue and Customs tax liability for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (£500,000);

c. £5,000,000 near cash for shared services;

d. £7,740,000 non-cash for London and Continental Railways (£6,217,000); Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency cost of capital (£1,394,000); and towards the Shared Service Project depreciation (£129,000);

e. partially offset by £1,436,000 near cash transfer from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

Capital Change: (total increase of £641,395,000)

Voted: total increase of £35,651,000

RfRl

(i) Take up of £150,000,000 end year flexibility for a capital grant to the Greater London Authority to pass on to Transport for London to provide short term flexibility while the costs associated with Metronet's administration remain uncertain.

(ii) Net transfer of £114,349,000 to non-voted provision consisting of:

a. £58,439,000 from Network Grants to London and Continental Railways;

b. £59,951,000 from Local Transport Major Schemes; partially offset by:

c. £4,041,000 increase to the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency.

Non-Voted: total increase of £605,744,000

(i) £304,000,000 reserve claim to part cover a notional charge (of £454,000,000 in total) scoring within Capital DEL to reflect the marginal impact on Public Sector Net Debt in 2007-08 of costs relating to Metronet in the light of its move into administration.

(ii) Take up of £187,395,000 end year flexibility, comprising:

a. £150,000 for the remainder of the notional charge relating to Metronet, as referred to in (i) above; and

b. £37,395,000 for London and Continental Railways to provide cover for their capital expenditure.

(iii) Net transfer of £114,349,000 from voted provision consisting of:

a. £58,439,000 for London and Continental Railways to provide cover for their capital expenditure;

b. £35,000,000 for the Integrated Transport Block;

c. £21,000,000 for UK Trustports;


19 Feb 2008 : Column 43WS

d. £3,951,000 towards General Lighthouse Authority ship lease; partially offset by;

e. £4,041,000 to voted provision from Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency receipts.

Wales

The Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Paul Murphy): The Welsh Assembly Government’s Departmental Expenditure Limit will be increased by £61,435,000 from £13,819,490,000 to £13,880,925,000. The increase is a result of:

(a) Take-up of £60,000,000 EYF—non-cash

And includes

(b) Transfers of £245,000 and £1,190,000 near-cash from the Ministry of Justice

The increase in DEL will be offset by transfers from other Departments and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.

Provision for the Wales Office is increased by £950,000 as a result of £950,000 near cash take-up of End Year Flexibility.

Wales Office spending is contained within single Ministry of Justice Departmental Expenditure Limit and Administration Costs Limit.

Work and Pensions

Employment and Social Policy Informal Meeting (Brdo, Slovenia)

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mr. James Plaskitt): The Employment and Social Policy informal meeting was held on 31 January to 2 February in Brdo, Slovenia. I represented the UK.


19 Feb 2008 : Column 44WS

The theme of the informal meeting was “How best to respond to the common principles of flexicurity”, following their adoption at last year’s December Council. There was a broad consensus around the concept of flexicurity and the discussion was positive and forward looking, but there was no agreement on how to make the “flexicurity” principles a reality.

Ministers agreed that there was no one model to copy, but that we could usefully learn from each other’s experiences. All Member States raised the importance of better training and lifelong learning, and also the need to anticipate the economy’s future requirements. There was also a strong focus on the need to facilitate job transitions, modernising social protection systems to ensure their long-term fiscal sustainability and ensuring that flexicurity worked for all workers, with a particular focus on young and older workers.

I spoke on the importance of maintaining flexibility at a time of economic uncertainty, the need to promote new approaches to skills and lifelong learning, and support for the idea of a European skills review.

The French also launched their idea of a “flexicurity mission”. Its objective would be to explain flexicurity and what it meant in terms of reforms to European citizens. The mission would visit a few Member States before reporting back to the Council during the French presidency.

Departmental Expenditure Limit (2007-08)

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (James Purnell): Subject to Parliamentary approval of the necessary Supplementary Estimate, the Department for Work and Pensions Departmental Expenditure Limit will increase by £60,847,000 from £7,643,047,406 to £7,703,894,406 and the administration budget will decrease by £88,000 from £5,816,364,000 to £5,816,276,000.

Within the Departmental Expenditure Limit change, the impact on resource and capital is as set out in the following table:

£’000
ChangeNEW DEL
VotedNon-votedTotalVotedNon-votedTotal

Resource

142,825

-117,913

24,912

6,592,712

1,165,437

7,758,149

Ofwhich

Administration(1)

104,812

-104,900

-88

5,815,366

910

5,816,276

Near-cash

97,825

-117,913

-20,088

6,336,342

1,214,095

7,550,437

Capital

35,439

496

35,935

99,219

891

100,110

Depreciation(1)

-

-

-

-153,023

-1,342

-154,365

Total

178,264

-117,417

60,847

6,538,908

1,164,986

7,703,894

(1)Depreciation, which forms part of resource DEL, is excluded from the total DEL, since capital DEL includes capital spending and to include depreciation of those assets would lead to double counting.


Resource Departmental Expenditure Limit

The change in the Resource Departmental Expenditure Limit arises from:

Request for Resources 2

i. A machinery of government transfer of the Disability Rights Commission (sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions) to the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (sponsored by Government Equalities Office).

ii. The Disability Rights Commission is an Executive Non Departmental Public Body. The Resource Departmental Expenditure Limit transactions were a reduction in Voted Administration of £88,000 (near-cash) and a reduction in Non-Voted Other Current £20,000,000 (near-cash).


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Request for Resources 5

iii. A draw down of £45,000,000 Other Current End of Year Flexibility to support non-cash expenditure.

Capital Departmental Expenditure Limit

The change in the Capital Departmental Expenditure Limit arises from:

Request for Resources 3

iv. A budget transfer from the Northern Ireland Executive of £4,935,000 in respect of expenditure incurred by the Pension Transformation Programme.

v. A draw down of £31,000,000 End of Year Flexibility to support expenditure on the Pensions Change Programme.

Administration Costs Limit

The movement in the Administration Cost limit arises from the changes to the Resource Departmental Expenditure Limit as noted at items i and ii above.

Movements in Non-Voted Resource Expenditure

The changes in non-voted resource expenditure arise from the changes to the Resource Departmental Expenditure Limit as noted at items i and ii above. In addition the following adjustments:

Request for Resources 1

vi. A reduction in non-voted resource expenditure of £104,900,000 offset by an increase in voted resource expenditure of £104,900,000 in respect of the allocation of the Departmental Unallocated Provision to support the Child Support Agency Operational Improvement Plan.

Request for Resources 2

vii. An increase in non-voted expenditure of £1,461,000 offset by a decrease in voted expenditure of £1,461,000 in respect of increased spend of Working Ventures (UK) Limited.

Request for Resources 3

viii. An increase in non-voted expenditure of £244,000 offset by a decrease in voted expenditure of £244,000 in respect of increased spend of The Pensions Advisory Service.

ix. An increase in non-voted expenditure of £189,000 offset by a decrease in voted expenditure of £189,000 in respect of decreased spend of The Pensions Ombudsman.

x. A reduction in non-voted expenditure of £839,000 offset by an increase in voted expenditure of £839,000 in respect of decreased spend of The Pensions Regulator.

xi. An increase in non-voted expenditure of £6,532,000 offset by a decrease in voted expenditure of £6,532,000 in respect of planned expenditure for the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority.

xii. A reduction in non-voted expenditure of £600,000 offset by an increase in voted expenditure of £600,000 in respect of an adjustment to the classification of spend for Better Government for Older People.

Movements in Non-Voted Capital Expenditure

The changes in non-voted capital relate to the following adjustments:


19 Feb 2008 : Column 46WS

Request for Resources 3

xiii. An increase in non-voted expenditure of £5,000 offset by a decrease in voted expenditure of £5,000 in respect of increased spend of The Pensions Advisory Service.

xiv. An increase in non-voted expenditure of £17,000 offset by a decrease in voted expenditure of £17,000 in respect of increased spend of The Pensions Ombudsman.

xv. An increase in non-voted expenditure of £474,000 offset by a decrease in voted expenditure of £474,000 in respect of increased spend of The Pensions Regulator.


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