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16 Mar 1999 : Column WA77

Written Answers

Tuesday, 16th March 1999.

Government Borrowing

Lord Harris of Haringey asked Her Majesty's Government:

    (a) why the United Kingdom regards borrowing from the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund as counting against the public sector borrowing requirement and the general government financial deficit, while 13 of the other members of the EU do not do so; (b) whether steps are being taken to change the definition so that such loans do not count in the future; and (c) if no steps are being taken to do so, why this is.[HL1394]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: All central and local government current and capital expenditure, including that financed by borrowing from the EIB, scores in General Government Net Borrowing (GGNB) and the Public Sector Net Cash Requirement (PSNCR). Expenditure by public corporations, including that financed by borrowing from the EIB, only scores in the PSNCR.

Private sector borrowing from the EIB does not count in the calculation of GGNB or the PSNCR.

The calculation of GGNB is prescribed by the European System of Accounts (ESA95), which is mandatory in all EU member states for certain purposes. The UK practice is fully in line with the requirements of the ESA95.

The EIF, unlike the EIB, does not provide loans. It provides guarantees and equity investment. In the UK, such EIF support would normally be to the private sector and so it would not score in GGNB or PSNCR.

The PSNCR is a specific UK measure. It is not prescribed in the ESA95. Other countries may have no equivalent or may calculate any equivalent in different ways.

No steps are being taken to change the definition of GGNB and PSNCR in this regard as GGNB and PSNCR are designed to measure general government's or the public sector's need to borrow from outside general government or the public sector in the UK.


Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord McIntosh of Haringey on 18 February (WA 83) concerning the freedom of the United Kingdom over VAT coverage and rates, whether Parliament is (a) free to extend the coverage of the zero rate of VAT; (b) to reduce the coverage of VAT; (c) to reduce the main rate to 10 per cent; and (d) to reduce the lower rate to 2.5 per cent.[HL1388]

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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: As I explained in my previous answer on 18 February (WA 83), the VAT regimes of all EC member states, including the United Kingdom, have operated within the framework provided by the European Community's Sixth VAT Directive for the last 22 years. This means that the UK Parliament: (a) can make marginal adjustments to existing VAT zero rates, but cannot introduce new ones, or significantly extend those we already have; (b) can make marginal reductions in the coverage of VAT; (c) will not be able to reduce the standard rate of VAT below 15 per cent. when the proposed directive renewing the provision on the minimum EC standard rate of VAT has been approved; and (d) cannot introduce a reduced VAT rate of less than 5 per cent.

Welfare Payments: Cost

Lord Gilmour of Craigmillar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish figures for the 1998-99 financial year (or the latest year for which figures are available) estimating the costs to the Exchequer, in cash benefits and revenue foregone, of (a) social security benefits, housing benefit, council tax benefit and education and employment grants, allowances and loans; (b) income tax allowances; and (c) income tax reliefs.[HL1280]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Details of the costs to the Exchequer of these items can be found in the following publications, which are available in the House Library:

    social security benefits

    Pre-Budget Report (Table B12), November 1998 (Cm 4076)

    housing benefit

    DSS Departmental Annual Report 1998 (Table 3)

    council tax benefit

    Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses 1998-99 (Section 6), April 1998 (Cm 3901)

    education and employment, grants allowances and loans

    DfEE Departmental Annual Report 1998, and Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses 1998-99 (Sections 5 and 6), April 1998 (cm 3901)

    income tax allowances

    Inland Revenue Statistics 1998

    income tax reliefs

    Inland Revenue Statistics 1998.

16 Mar 1999 : Column WA79

Palestinian Authority Legal System: Funding

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How much of the bilateral aid to the Palestinian Authority is earmarked for improving their legal system and the capacity of their non-governmental organisations to monitor and report on human rights problems, including those arising from a lack of due process.[HL1435]

Baroness Amos: Around £1.7 million (21 per cent.) of DFID's current bilateral programme to the West Bank and Gaza is allocated to projects designed to improve the Palestinian Authority legal system. We are also spending some £72,000 on human rights projects through our Small Grants Scheme. These projects are targeted specifically on helping to develop the capacity of Palestinian NGOs to monitor human rights problems.

In addition, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is providing £350,000 for projects targeting a range of different human rights issues in the West Bank and Gaza. DFID also funds 14 per cent. of the European Commission's West Bank and Gaza programme, which

16 Mar 1999 : Column WA80

has allocated 7 million ecu (nearly £5 million) to human rights projects.

Good Governance: Aid Budget

Baroness Rawlings asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which projects received what funds from the United Kingdom aid budget towards good governance in (a) 1997-98 and (b) 1998-99.[HL1137]

Baroness Amos: Information on policy targeting is available from DFID's Policy Information Marker System (PIMS) for bilateral projects with a commitment value of £100,000 or more. PIMS covers around 70 per cent. of bilateral expenditure only. On 1 April 1998, the definition of good government changed to exclude human rights, which are now covered separately in an extended definition which includes economic and social rights as well as civil and political rights. For comparison purposes, the attached listing therefore includes all projects which targeted good government as a principal policy objective in 1997-98 and those which targeted either good governance or human rights as a principal policy objective in 1998-99 to date.

16 Mar 1999 : Column WA79

PIMS Projects with a Principal Mark (£ Actuals)
Projects marked Principal for Human Rights

CountryProject/Programme TitleCommitment 1998-99
Asia RegionalParticipatory Action Research with Migrant Children and Youth245,000
BangladeshCommunity Development II350,000
ChinaChina: Shanghai Foster Care and Training Project621,016
ColombiaCivil Conflict (New PHS)149,905
GhanaWSIP Water Sector Improvement Sector4,065,000
HPD Individual Contracts UK Financial Contribution to the Population Council200,000
IndiaSupport to ILO for the Elimination of Child Poverty2,500,000
IndonesiaComplimentary Feeding Programme1,250,000
MozambiqueNational Child Rights Programme128,350
RwandaICRC Detainee Protection Activities in Rwanda350,000
South Africa, Republic ofSupport to the South African San Institute (SASI) and the SA535,500
UgandaDisabled People121,450
ZambiaZambia Primary Reading Programme10,205,000

Projects marked Principal for Good Government

CountryProject/Programme title1997-981998-99
Africa RegionalCommonwealth Local Government Forum149,460
Aid and Soc. Pol. Ind. Cntrcts.Commonwealth Local Government Good Practice Scheme483,000
Aid and Soc. Pol. Ind. Cntrcts.Debt Strategy and Analysis Capacity--Building Programme400,000
Aid and Soc. Pol. Ind. Cntrcts.New Models of Accessible Justice and Penal Reform in Develop650,000
Aid and Soc. Pol. Ind. Cntrcts.Commonwealth Secretariat Y2K250,000
Aid and Soc. Pol. Ind. Cntrcts.Promoting and Protecting Human Rights, Peace and Development225,000
AlbaniaLocal Government Finance and Development450,000
Asia RegionalRegional Working Group on Child Labour139,374
Asia RegionalParticipatory Action Research with Migrant Children and Youth245,000
Asia RegionalDev. of Inst. Capacity for Demand Reduction Among High Risk G1,068,000
Asia RegionalProgramme to Build the Advocacy Capacity of South East Asian175,000
BangladeshGood Government Small Projects250,000
BangladeshPrivate Sector Infrastructure Development Project5,800,000
BangladeshManaging at the Top2,400,000
BangladeshMicrofinance Institutions120,000
BangladeshFinancial Management Academy Project2,917,000
BangladeshReforms in Government Audit885,000
BangladeshCommunity Development II350,000
BelizeFinancial Management Development Programme405,300
BelizeFinancial Management Development Programme842,500
BosniaRadio and TV Skills Course for Journalists and Technicians232,000
BotswanaTechnical Assistance to the Roads Dept. (Phase III)2,740,000
BrazilStreet girls' education and training centre and residence home194,437
BulgariaNational Social Security Institute Project392,000
BurundiBDI-98--1/N20: Human Rights Monitoring Mission750,000
CambodiaSupport for Elections (New PHS)500,000
CaribbeanCaribbean--Financial Investigation Expert Team3,000,000
CaribbeanCaribbean management development association: Capacity build210,000
CaribbeanTrade Union Training (JPS 1367)163,365
CaribbeanCaribbean Regional--Penal Reform Project500,000
ChinaShanghai Municipal Finance Reform Project (Phase III)1,500,000
ChinaChina: Shanghai Foster Care and Training Project621,016
ColombiaCivil Conflict (New PHS)149,905
Dept. of EnvironmentRoad Planning, funding and funds allocation117,674
DominicaPublic Sector Development Project399,000
East AfricaTraining and Capacity Building Program224,577
Eng. Div. Indiv. ContractsEnvironmental Capacity to Assist Plan (R6861) for sust. dev.110,000
Eng. Div. Indiv. ContractsDesign and Implementation of a Model Scheme of Assistance to S192,583
EthiopiaAssistance to Parliament (new PHS)187,500
Gambia, TheInstitutional Strengthening and Capacity Building for the Na200,000
GhanaDisability and Development plan JFS 134s195,041
GhanaWSIP Water Sector Improvement Sector4,065,000
GrenadaGrenada Customs400,000
HPD Individual ContractsUK Financial Contribution to the Population Council200,000
IndiaAndhra Pradesh Urban Services for the Poor Project66,086,000
IndiaInitial Support for Public Sector Reform in Orissa10,000,000
IndiaTraining Development Programme for the Indian Police1,400,000
IndiaPublic Administration Training Programme1,600,000
IndiaSupport to ILO for the Elimination of Child Poverty2,500,000
IndiaTechnical Assistance for APERP4,700,000
IndiaInitial Support for Public Sector Reform in Orissa9,000,000
IndiaAndhra Pradesh Urban Services for the Poor Project28,327,000
IndonesiaILO Trade Unions1,000,000
IndonesiaComplimentary Feeding Programme1,250,000
IndonesiaWorld Bank Health Sector Review200,000
JamaicaJamaica Police Development Project2,000,000
JamaicaJamaica, Support to the Office of Utilities Regulation (New P400,000
JamaicaMinistry Reviews400,000
Kenya1998 Demographic Health Survey100,000
KenyaDevelopment Training Programme380,845
KenyaInstitutional Dev. Support to Kenya Institute of Admin. (KIA)627,938
KenyaMonitoring of 1997 Kenya General Elections351,250
KenyaInformation and Communications Systems Support to the East A139,918
KenyaSupport to the Office of the Attorney General, Kenya438,600
KenyaCivil Service Reform Support Project175,000
KenyaSupport for Year 2000 Compliances in East Africa125,000
KenyaSupport to Implement Beijing Platform for Action Ph2513,000
LatviaLatvia Non-state Pensions120,000
LesothoDepartment of land survey759,352
LesothoDepartment of lands and surveys and physical390,000
LesothoGovernance Assistance Project: Salaries Review Commission590,000
LesothoLesotho Governance Assistance Project660,000
LesothoCommunity Safety and Security Project750,000
MalawiCustom Support Project Phase II (CUSP II)1,554,000
MalawiCustoms Support Project Phase II (CUSP)1,696,000
MalawiSupport to Malawi Census500,000
MalawiDEDZA Sustainable Livelihoods1,990,000
MalawiAgricultural Rehabilitation Project for the Prison Service160,934
MalawiAdviser to Chief Elections Officer100,000
MontserratConstruction of Emergency Prison Facilities1,200,000
MontserratTemporary Accommodation for Government Offices Project370,000
MontserratTransfer of Prisoners to TCI, the UK and Other Islands250,000
MozambiqueAssistance to the NGO forum of Zambezia155,334
MozambiqueIntegrated development of community water supply schemes286,389
MozambiqueInstitutional Strengthening in Zambezia to Support the Decen500,000
MozambiqueNational Child Rights Programme128,350
NamibiaPublic Service Efficiency and Charter Unit701,000
NepalEnhancing the Effectiveness of the State and Civil Society250,000
Non Specific CountryHumanitarian Intervention in times of Conflict and Human Rights128,029
Non Specific CountrySupport to office of United Nations High Commissioner for human rights2,500,000
NRED Individual ContractsSeeking Connections: Linking Learning with Policy Formulation225,000
PakistanFBS: Support to Pakistan Integrated Household Survey164,500
PakistanStrategic Review of the Planning Process200,000
PeruDeveloping Developers202,514
PolandJournalist training programme BBC Polish Service241,000
PolandPublic Investment in Rural Infrastructure400,000
PolandWarsaw Palace of Culture250,000
RomaniaInstitutional Support for Ministry of Labour and Soc. Protect.238,000
RomaniaSupport BNS Trade Unions150,000
RomaniaCapital Markets Review405,000
RomaniaSupport for the Development of Probation Services1,446,830
Russian FederationAssistance to the Media Law and Policy Centre165,000
Russian FederationAssistance to the New Perspectives Foundation (NPF)150,000
Russian FederationAssistance to the Russian Bureau of Economic Analysis1,500,000
Russian FederationCharities Aid Foundation Small Medium Projects Scheme (CAF)1,165,000
Russian FederationDevelopment of Political Awareness Amongst Young People1,536,000
Russian FederationFoundation for Legal Reform250,000
Russian FederationMunicipal Finance Moscow1,900,000
Russian FederationParliamentary Co-operation Programme (PACOP)300,000
Russian FederationRussia UK General Elections Study visits150,000
Russian FederationRussia: Ekaterinburg Media Skills744,000
Russian FederationTraining Videos for Russian journalists380,000
Russian FederationDevelopment of Social Services for Vulnerable Groups-Democra180,000
Russian FederationMarshall Plan of the Mind (Phase IV)2,100,000
Russian FederationMoscow School of Political Studies310,000
Russian FederationJudicial Support Project650,000
RwandaDemobilisation and Reintegration Programme1,000,000
RwandaRWA-98 1/14 Human Rights2,000,000
RwandaICRC Detainee Protection Activities in Rwanda350,000
SerbiaSerbia Financial Sector208,000
SerbiaGood Governance Project Fund250,000
Sierra LeonePublic Service Reform Project1,200,000
Sierra LeoneMedia Development Project1,100,000
Sierra LeoneSupport to Government of Sierra Leone Taskforce1,000,000
Sierra LeoneCommonwealth Development Police Task Force for Sierra Leone800,000
Sierra LeoneLaw Development Project2,200,000
Slovak RepublicDfEE Proposal for Assistance to the MOLSAF and new NLO226,000
Slovak RepublicAssistance to Local Government Reform (Phase III)895,000
South Africa, Republic ofLocal government Support Programme (LGSP)1,030,000
South Africa, Republic ofPresidential Review Commission335,275
South Africa, Republic ofTo develop effective human resources, develop water and forestry250,000
South Africa, Republic ofSupport to the South African San Institute (SASI) and the SA535,500
South Africa, Republic ofCustoms Transformation Project9,000,000
South Africa, Republic ofIntegrated Provincial Support Programme125,000
South Africa, Republic ofSupport to the Commission on Gender Equality600,000
Sri LankaUNICEF Programme1,714,800
St. LuciaCustoms Reform and Modernisation544,000
Sthrn Af Dev Coord CtteSARPCCO Regional Police Training Initiative113,000
Sthrn Af Dev Coord CtteAssistance to small-scale rights-based initiatives100,000
TanzaniaA water sanitation and hygiene development plan231,399
TanzaniaKieto district water programme174,391
TanzaniaParticipatory Animal Health Project274,450
TanzaniaSupport to Records Management1,666,100
TanzaniaTanzania Revenue Authority Support Project (TRASP)220,000
TanzaniaPersonnel Controls and Information Systems Project: Phase 22,458,033
TanzaniaDevelopment of the RoadMentor Maintenance Management211,706
TanzaniaInformation and communications Systems Support to the East A139,918
TanzaniaSupport for Year 2000 Compliance in East Africa100,000
TanzaniaLocal Government Reform Support Project500,000
TanzaniaPersonnel Controls and Information Systems Project: Phase 21,315,970
TanzaniaCommunity Development Programme Mta Mburuhalti Barafu Kinon-D131,642
Turks and Caicos IslandsGeographical Information Systems412,000
Turks and Caicos IslandsGrand Turk Police Station973,426
Turks and Caicos IslandsTCO Attorney General1,943,113
Turks and Caicos IslandsTCO Economic Adviser140,000
Turks and Caicos IslandsTCO Government Architect140,000
Turks and Caicos IslandsPolice Development Project902,000
UgandaDistrict Council Strengthening Project200,000
UgandaEducation Sector Strategy Plan580,600
UgandaSupport to Local Government Elections250,000
UgandaSupport to Records Management Phase 3572,430
UgandaSupport to the office of the Controller and Auditor General830,000
UgandaSector Approach for Agriculture225,000
UgandaInformation and Communications Systems Support to the East A139,918
UgandaSupport to Uganda Parliament312,375
UgandaSupport for the Year 2000 Compliance in East Africa100,000
UgandaDisabled People121,450
UgandaCommunity Development Programme123,642
UkraineAssistance to the Broadcast Media--TV Training Programme227,723
UkraineCivil Service Reform 164,561
UkraineCorporate Governance IFC250,000
UkraineLand Privatisation Phase 31,689,802
UkraineUK Election Study Tour208,193
UkraineUkraine: Kiev Mohyla Academy: Law Faculty Development Project500,000
West Bank and GazaPalestinian Legislative Council Library230,000
West Bank and GazaPopulation Census962,500
West Bank and GazaUnification and Development of Legislation770,000
West Bank and GazaStrengthening of Parliamentary Democracy775,000
YugoslaviaBudgetory Aid to New Government1,000,000
YugoslaviaSCF Developing Child Welfare Protection and Rights200,000
ZambiaPublic Sector Reform Programme Phase 1425,000
ZambiaZimbabwe Women's Civic Education project987,517
ZambiaAssistance to the Zambia Electoral Commission for Local Govv100,000
ZambiaZambia Primary Reading Programme10,205,000
ZimbabweAgricultural Services & Management Project4,500,000
ZimbabweSupport to CSO for development of economic statistics240,000
ZimbabweZimbabwe Republic Police Organisation Development Project2,787,000
ZimbabweZimbabwe Womens Civic Education Project987,517
ZimbabweZimbabwe Public Service Reforms235,000
ZimbabwePrivatisation Agency Support Project1,709,300
ZimbabweLand Rovers For Zimbabwe Police ATP Project (LANPOL)8,411,000
ZimbabwePrivatisation Agency Support Project339,100
ZimbabweStudy of Market for Basic Commodities120,000
ZimbabweLand Rovers for Zimbabwe Police ATP Project (LANPOL)200,000

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