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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): My right honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Jonathan Shaw) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

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Remploy’s achievement against its targets set by Government for 2007-08
Target DescriptionTargetAchievement

To live within the company’s financial means in the 2007-08 financial year

Operating result £145.8 million

£145.8 million

To meet the financial target for the overall cost of the factory network

within £100 million

£95.7 million

To meet job entry targets through the company’s Employment Services business

Total job entries 6,000;


of which Workstep 4,600


Remploy is due to publish its annual report and accounts in November 2008 giving further details of its performance throughout 2007-08. Copies of the annual report and accounts will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses, when it is published.

On behalf of my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, I have written to the chairman of Remploy formally approving the provisionally agreed 2008-09 performance and resources agreement between the department and the company. The performance and resources agreement includes targets for the current year. The agreement has been negotiated on behalf of my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. The targets for 2008-09 are:

Target DescriptionTarget

To live within the company’s financial means in the 2008-09 financial year

To achieve an operational funding result of £121.5 million; and to modernise the business within a cost of £23 million.

Factory businesses

To achieve an operating result of £67.6 million; and a cost per disabled employee of £22,000.

Employment Services business—Job Entries

To achieve a total of 7,500 job entries, of which 5,500 will be Workstep job entries, to be achieved within an operating result of £29.1 million

The full agreement for 2008-09 will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Scotland: Winter Supplementary Estimates

The Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Davidson of Glen Clova): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Scotland (Jim Murphy) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimates, the departmental expenditure limit (DEL) provision for the Scotland DEL will be increased by £329,774,000 (of which £157,206,000 is depreciation) from £27,287,375,000 to £27,459,943,000.

The administration of the Scotland Office DEL will remain unchanged.

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The Scotland DEL increase takes account of the following routine adjustments to the Scottish Executive provision:

the take-up of end-year flexibility (EYF) by the Scottish Executive amounting to £300,000,000;

the take-up of 2008 Budget consequentials by the Scottish Executive amounting to £13,095,000;

and a switch of £115,562,000 from near cash to non-cash in respect of increased depreciation charges in the Scottish NHS.

The DEL increase also includes the following changes, amounting to a net increase of £16,679,000. These are:

a transfer for £15,910,000 from the Department for Transport; and

a transfer for £769,000 from the Department for Transport.

The increases will be added to the planned total of public expenditure to fund spending commitments in the current financial year.

Transport: Delivering Sustainability

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Transport (Geoff Hoon) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am announcing today the publication of Delivering a Sustainable Transport System. This document marks the latest milestone in our longer-term planning process, setting out our goals and identifying the various challenges that future transport schemes will need to address.

The publication of Towards a Sustainable Transport System in October 2007 outlined our approach to long-term transport planning. Since then, the department has been undertaking further work and accelerating the process for identifying the strategic national corridors where we face our most immediate transport challenges. The national networks strategy group I announced on 29 October will be focusing on measures to ensure that we make best use of investment in key strategic national corridors and develop these for the longer term. The development of solutions for international networks will also be led by the department. Regions and local authorities will undertake similar work for the remaining networks.

Transport is a critical enabler for the economy and underpins many of the things we regard as important for our quality of life but we are also committed to addressing climate change, both now and for future generations.

A copy of the document has been placed in the House Library.

I am also announcing today that I am bringing forward over £1 billion of investment in improving our nation’s transport infrastructure, in particular to tackle bottlenecks and improve access to key international gateways. This comprises an extra £700 million which will be invested in major transport

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projects next year to accelerate government plans to cut congestion and significantly increase rail capacity. This includes:

dualling of the A46 between Newark and Widmerpool (£100 million—as part of £174 million government funding overall);

an additional 200 train carriages to relieve congestion on the Great Western, Northern and TransPennine rail franchises (£300 million);

and introducing more managed motorways schemes to make best use of our existing motorway capacity (£300 million).

Alongside that, £300 million of new government funding will be committed to speeding up the delivery of other key schemes that improve transport links to some of the UK’s most important airports and ports, as well as offering more environmentally friendly options for transporting freight. This includes:

improvements to the A180/A160 junction to enhance access to Immingham Port (£30 million);

technology improvements to enhance traffic flow on the A12 between the M25 and Ipswich, improving access to Felixstowe and Harwich ports (£60 million);

the south-east Manchester relief road, to improve access to Manchester Airport (£165 million);

and enhancements to the North London Line to enable increased movements of rail freight on this important link (£54 million).

Delivery of the A46, A12, A180/A160 and access to Manchester Airport schemes is subject to agreeing regional funding contributions and, with the exception of the A12, the completion of statutory planning processes.

UK Statistics Authority: Winter Supplementary Estimate

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform & Cabinet Office (Baroness Vadera): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office (Kevin Brennan) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Subject to parliamentary approval of any necessary supplementary estimate, the UK Statistics Authority’s total departmental expenditure limit (DEL) will be increased by £805,000 from £210,060,000 to £210,865,000, and the programme budget will be increased by £805,000.

Within the DEL change, the impact on resources and capital is as set out in the following table:

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Change (£,000)New DEL (£,000)

Resource DEL






Of which:

Administration Budget*






Near-cash in RDEL












Less Depreciation †



- 16,500


- 16,500







The change in the resource element of DEL arises from:

public expenditure survey transfers from other government department in support of migration statistics; andtransfer to HMT in respect of the Centre of Expertise in Sustainable Procurement.

The change in the programme budget arises from transfer from other government department of £850,000 and transfer of £45,000 to HMT in respect of the Centre of Expertise in Sustainable Procurement.

Value Added Tax

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): My right honourable friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr Stephen Timms) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer yesterday announced as part of the Pre-Budget Report a temporary reduction in the standard rate of VAT to 15 per cent from 1 December 2008 to 1 January 2010 when the rate will return to 17.5 per cent.

The Government have taken these steps to provide further support for growth and incomes during the economic downturn. The Government’s discretionary fiscal action will deliver support of around 1 per cent of GDP to the economy in total in 2009-10.

However, it is also important that the Government protect the public finances from artificial avoidance seeking to exploit the change in VAT rates where there is no current economic activity. Therefore, the Finance Bill 2009 will contain anti-forestalling legislation to ensure that the announced VAT rate

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changes are fully effective. The Government will expose the draft legislation for comment as soon as possible.

Anti-forestalling legislation will apply from today to ensure that, in the circumstances set out below, supplies with a basic time of supply after a VAT rate increase takes effect will be subject to the rate of VAT in force at that time. The provisions are designed to prevent artificial forestalling while being straightforward for business to understand and operate and not affecting genuine commercial transactions. This legislation is not intended to catch the normal commercial activity of providing goods and services.

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