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Written Statements

Tuesday 3 September 2013


Scotland Analysis

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Danny Alexander): The Government have published the fifth paper in the Scotland analysis programme. This series of publications is designed to inform the debate on Scotland’s future within the United Kingdom ahead of next year’s referendum.

“Scotland analysis: Macroeconomic and fiscal performance” looks at Scotland’s economic performance and finds that, as part of the UK, Scotland is outperforming most other parts of the country and its performance is comparable to many other independent European countries as a result of the benefits of deep economic integration with the rest of the UK.

These benefits include free access to the larger UK market, a common regulatory framework, integrated supply chains and a highly flexible labour market. As a result, Scottish companies trade more goods and services with the rest of the UK than with the rest of the world, exporting £36 billion of goods and services to the rest of the UK. Flexible labour movement between Scotland and the rest of the UK allows businesses to recruit the best people from across the whole UK, and the benefits of being part of the UK have made Scotland an attractive destination for foreign investment.

The paper finds that the absence of a border is key for economic integration. Even where free trade agreements exist and physical borders are weak, neighbouring countries with similar economies are affected by the presence of a border. The analysis finds, for example, that that trade between the US and Canada is thought to be 44% lower than it could be as a result of the border between them. Canadian provinces trade around 20 times more with one another than with US states of a similar size and proximity, despite a free trade agreement between Canada and the US. Labour migration between Scotland and the rest of the UK is also estimated to be as much as 75% higher within an integrated UK, allowing the sharing of skills and knowledge.

The UK’s diverse economy protects Scotland from economic shocks and the volatility of oil prices. An integrated UK and a broader and more diverse tax base helps to maintain the stability of public spending in Scotland and smooth the impact of volatile sources of revenue, such as North Sea oil and gas.

The paper shows that since 1999, Scotland’s onshore economy has generated 8.3% of the UK’s tax receipts, while at the same time Scotland has received an average of 9.4% of UK public spending. Relative to the UK generating and spending £100, this means that Scotland’s onshore economy has generated £98 for the UK Exchequer, while receiving £112 of public spending.

Integration is at the heart of the UK’s current economic and fiscal union. Independence would fundamentally transform and fragment this relationship, ending the pooling of resources and risk-sharing between Scotland and the rest of the UK, and erecting a border where one

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does not currently exist. Research in the paper concludes that remaining part of the borderless United Kingdom could boost real incomes in Scotland by as much as 4% after 30 years, equivalent to £5 billion in 2012 prices or £2000 per household, compared to the outlook if Scotland were to become independent.

Future papers from the Scotland analysis programme will be published over the course of 2013 and 2014 to ensure that people in Scotland have access to the facts and information ahead of the referendum.

Communities and Local Government

Improving Planning

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Nick Boles): The coalition Government have taken a series of steps to ensure a streamlined, easy-to-use planning system. A number of statutory instruments to make planning practice swifter and simpler are being laid this week.

Faster planning appeals to support sustainable economic growth

Following the consultation last year on proposals to make the planning appeals process faster and more transparent, reforms are being introduced from 1 October 2013 under statutory instruments laid today that mean that appeal decisions can be taken sooner, while ensuring the process remains fair.

Where appeals are allowed, development will be able to commence sooner, bringing forward much needed jobs and growth. Communities will be able to see an appellant’s whole case when making their own representations, as this will now be submitted up front when they make their appeal, giving greater transparency.

A new commercial appeals service, closely modelled on the successful householder appeals service, will introduce an expedited procedure for some minor commercial appeals such as those relating to advertisement consent or shop fronts, allowing decisions to be made in only eight weeks.

Guidelines on acquiring land

Revised guidance on the compulsory acquisition of land or rights over land for nationally significant infrastructure projects will help applicants understand the powers in the Planning Act 2008 and how they can be used to best effect. It will also help ensure that the process of dealing with such orders is as fair, straightforward and accurate for all parties as possible. I am arranging for a copy of the guidance to be placed in the Library of the House.

A better process for consents in conservation areas

New secondary legislation will complete the removal of the requirement for obtaining conservation area consent when demolishing unlisted buildings in conservation areas, and from 1 October 2013 make these proposals subject to planning permission instead. It will remain necessary to obtain the permission of the local planning authority for such demolition, but the changes will reduce complexity in the system, by removing a separate consent regime. The level of protection of unlisted buildings in conservation areas will remain unchanged.

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Britain is building

This Government have introduced a wide ranging package of measures to support stalled development. This includes making £570 million available through the Get Britain Building fund to unlock new homes on small sites that have planning permission, and a £474 million fund for investment in the local infrastructure necessary to support housing and commercial development. Our investments to date are helping to bring forward new homes, boosting the construction industry and stimulating economic growth. Through the Growth and Infrastructure Act, we have enabled developers to request reconsideration of the affordable housing component of any section 106 agreement, to ensure development is not being made unviable by unrealistic requirements. We have also taken steps to boost the housing market by improving access to mortgage finance through initiatives such as the funding for lending and help to buy schemes.

In October 2012, a temporary measure introduced by the previous Government that enables applicants to seek more time to implement a planning permission was extended by 12 months. To encourage developments to start on site promptly once planning permission is granted, this temporary measure will not be extended further. This will complement the £1 billion Government are investing to get stalled sites moving again and help to reduce the 60,500 sites that are currently on hold.

Better performance for the planning process

The Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 allows applications for major development to be made directly to the Secretary of State, in those few cases where a local planning authority is designated as under-performing. The statutory instruments being laid this week explain the procedures that need to be followed, including the local hearing that will ensure communities have an effective say on any applications made in their area. The Government expect to make the first designations by the end of October, and applications can be made to the Secretary of State from that time.

Amendments to the fees regulations will also help to improve performance by requiring a refund of the planning application fee if a planning application has not been decided within 26 weeks, in line with the Government’s “planning guarantee”.


Parliamentary Written Answer (Correction)

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Norman Lamb): I regret that the written answer given to the right hon. Member for Mid Sussex (Nicholas Soames) on 27 June 2013, Official Report, column 344-45W, contained some incomplete figures in the table.

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It has been brought to my attention that the information provided in the original answer did not contain secondary care figures for December 2012. The table below shows the correct figures. The revised answer is as follows:

Expenditure by national health service trusts in London, as defined by the former London Special Health Authority (SHA), is provided for both anti-retroviral HIV medicines and anti-cancer medicines.

London generally has a larger proportion of its medicines costs going through hospitals than other SHAs as patients from areas surrounding London are likely to travel to London hospitals for some treatments.

  Primary care cost1Secondary care cost2
Drug typeYear(£000s)(£000s)

Anti-retroviral HIV3









































Sources Prescribing Analysis and Cost tool (PACT) system. Copyright © 2013, the Health and Social Care Information Centre, Prescribing and Primary Care Services. IMS data. Copyright © IMS HEALTH: Hospital Pharmacy Audit. Some supplies through homecare providers may not be capture,d therefore cost estimates may be under-stated. Notes 1Net ingredient cost. 2Cost of medicines at NHS list price and not necessarily the price paid. 3As classified within British National Formulary (BNF) section 5.3.1 HIV infection. 4Information for 2008 primary care costs is only available for May to December 2008. 5As classified within British National Formulary (BNF) section 8.1 Cytotoxic drugs, paragraph 8.2.3 Anti-lymphocyte monoclonal antibodies, paragraph 8.2.4 Other immunomodulating drugs (Aldesleukin, Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (B.C.G.), Lenalidomide and Thalidomide (immunomodulating) only), section 8.3 Sex hormones and hormone antagonists in malignant disease. 6The main reason for the lower cost is the large reduction in the cost per item price for three drugs, as lower-cost generic formualions became available (Anastrozole, Exemestane and Letrozole). These are mainly used in primary care; therefore there was not the comparable reduction in secondary care costs.