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Written Parliamentary Questions: 26th April 2006

Millennium Dome
Q:To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the cost has been of the Millennium Dome to public funds in each year since its inception. (John Hemming)

A:The information is as follows.

(1) Grants from National Lottery funds were made by the Millennium Commission to the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) as follows.

Grant (£)
1997–98 449
1998–99 nil
1999–2000 60
2000–01 119
2001–02 nil
2002–03 nil
2003–04 nil
2004–05 (23)nil
2005–06 (24)nil

(23)£24 million (unrequired funds decommitted from NMEC by the Millennium Commission for use on other projects)

(24)£1 million (unrequired funds decommitted from NMEC by the Millennium Commission for use on other projects)

(2) In addition, English Partnerships has been meeting management, maintenance, security and other costs at the site from 1 July 2001, and will continue to do so until the redevelopment of the arena by the Anschutz Entertainment Group is completed, expected in summer 2007, at which time Anschutz takes on full responsibility for the Dome structure and its immediate surroundings.

All of English Partnerships' costs (gross total of around £32 million to date) from July 2001 to the completion of the arena's construction, and including the costs of the entire sale process, are expected to be recovered from sale proceeds, forecast at £550 million over the period of the deal, which lasts for around another 19 years.

The year by year English Partnerships' maintenance and other costs to date have been as follows:

Maintenance and other costs (£)
2001–02: 2.299
2002–03: 2.952
2003–04: 2.586
2004–05: 1.726
2005–06: (25)0.364
Total 9.927

(25)To end February 2006.

In addition, English Partnerships spent £6.7 million on decommissioning some of the Dome's contents, £0.558 million on a one off payment for insurance and £14.5 million on the sale process between March 1999 and June 2004. (Richard Caborn, Minister of State (Sport), Department for Culture, Media & Sport)

Relative Need
Q:To ask the Deputy Prime Minister for what reasons the system was changed from formula spending share to relative need factors.(John Hemming)

A:I refer the hon. Member for Birmingham, Yardley to the statement I made to the House when announcing the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement, 5 December 2005, Official Report, column 627. (Phil Woolas, Minister of State (Local Government), Office of the Deputy Prime Minister)


Relative Need
Q:To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the formula is for converting relative need factors into monetary amounts. (John Hemming)

A:The full formula is given in Section 5 of the Local Government Finance Report (England) 2006–07.

A model showing the calculation of formula grant for all authorities can be found on the ODPM website at: http://www.local.odpm.gov.uk/finance/0607/grant.htm. (Phil Woolas, Minister of State (Local Government), Office of the Deputy Prime Minister)

Relative Need
Q:To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the total relative needs grant block is for 2006–07; and what the total of needs above threshold is for 2006–07.(John Hemming)

A:The relative needs amount for 2006–07 is £20,878,123,134. The total needs above the threshold is 0.23098045438450.

A model showing the calculation of formula grant for all authorities can be found on the ODPM website at: http://www.local.odpm.gov.uk/finance/0607/grant.htm (Phil Woolas, Minister of State (Local Government), Office of the Deputy Prime Minister)

NHS Finance (Hospitals)
Q:To ask the Secretary of State for Health what account is taken of the variation of fixed capital costs in the formulae for funding NHS hospital trusts through payment by results.(John Hemming)

A:The national tariff is currently based on average reference costs, which are calculated from individual returns from every national health service trust, NHS foundation trust and primary care trust which provides services. NHS reference costs are based on a full absorption methodology and therefore include cost of capital. In addition, the annual tariff uplift includes an assessment of the increase in statutory capital charges payable and charges payable on new private finance initiative investments. (Liam Byrne, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health)

Payment-by-Results
Q:To ask the Secretary of State for Health which hospitals she identified before the introduction of payment by results as being at risk of deficits as a result of its introduction; and what percentage deficit she expected for each one. (John Hemming)

A:The movement from local prices to a national tariff means that the income of most national health service providers will change. We undertook an exercise to estimate changes in income for organisations to inform the transition from local prices to national tariff. Transitional arrangements channel extra funds into organisations which lose income under payment by results, to give them time to adjust to the new arrangements.(Liam Byrne, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health)

Gas Supplies
Q:To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to his statement during the debate on 14 March 2006, Official Report, column 1303, on gas supply and demand, what the source was of the statement that Germany's wholesale gas prices have increased by 80 per cent.(John Hemming)

A:The sources of the statement are publicly available IMF data on Russian-German border prices over 2005 and Royal Bank of Scotland exchange rate data. (Malcolm Wicks, Minister for energy, Department of Trade and Industry)

Gas Supplies
Q:To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to his statements during the debate on 14 March 2006, Official Report, column 1303, on 16 February 2006, Official Report, column 1551 and on 12 January 2006, Official Report, column 486, on gas supply, how he calculated the figures regarding the costs of energy to British and German industry. (John Hemming)

A:The statement on 12 January,

"Our liberalised markets mean that the cost of industrial gas is also competitive. In the past 14 years, the cost of energy to British industry has been around £8 billion less than the cost to German industry"

referred to the difference in cost were UK industry to have paid German prices for the gas they consumed over the period 1990 to 2004. The statistics for the prices to UK and German industries were taken from the TEA publication 'Energy Prices and Taxes' and Ofgem estimates, while the consumption of UK industry was taken from the IEA publication 'Energy Statistics of OECD countries'. A similar exercise undertaken by Ofgem came to the same figure.

The statement on 16 February,

"over the past 10 years British companies have paid £9 billion less for their energy than German companies, for instance, but there is an issue here that we need to tackle"

referred to the difference in cost were UK industry to have paid German prices for the gas and electricity they consumed over the period 1995 to 2004. The statistics for the prices to UK and German industries were taken from the IEA publication 'Energy Prices and Taxes', while the consumption of UK industry was taken from the IEA publication 'Energy Statistics of OECD countries'. (Malcolm Wicks, Minister for energy, Department of Trade and Industry)


NHS Finance (Hospitals)
Q:To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the expected (a) turnover, (b) fixed capital costs as a proportion of turnover, (c) fixed costs and (d) financial out-turn is for each NHS hospital trust for 2005–06. (John Hemming)

A:The information requested on turnover, fixed capital costs as a proportion of turnover and financial out-turn for 2005–06 for each national health service trust has been placed in the Library.

The turnover and forecast out-turn position for 2005–06, as submitted by both NHS trusts and primary care trusts at the mid-year point (month six), is available in the Library. Copies of this information is also available on the Department's website at:

www.dh.gov.uk/publicationsandstatistics/freedomofinformation/classesofinformation/fs/en
(Jane Kennedy, Minister of State (Quality and Patient Safety), Department of Health)

Council Tax
Q:To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the values were for (a) the assumed national Council Tax before floors and ceilings and (b) Council Tax at standard spending in each year since 1997–98; and for what reason these figures have increased at a rate beyond that of inflation. (John Hemming)

A:The following table gives the Council Tax for Standard Spending for the years 1997–98 to 2002–03 and the Assumed National Council Tax for the years 2003–04 to 2005–06.

Council Tax for standard spending/assumed national council tax £
1997–98 593.09
1998–99 634.62
1999–00 664.88
2000–01 695.54
2001–02 730.89
2002–03 769.16
2003–04 1,037.46
2004–05 1,061.46
2005–06 1,101.96

Both of these measures were simply the calculation of the assumed national council tax used within the formula grant calculations, and depended on the total of Standard Spending Assessments or Formula Spending Shares, the amount of Revenue Support Grant and the distributable amount of business rates, and the number of band-D equivalent properties in England.

The large increase between 2002–03 and 2003–04 reflects the change to the Formula Spending Share system. The totals for Formula Spending Shares were set at approximately the level of spending by authorities, and thus the assumed national council tax was reset to a level nearer to the actual national average band-D council tax. (Phil Woolas, Minister of State (Local Government), Office of the Deputy Prime Minister)

National Blood Service
Q:To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the National Blood Service uses predictive dialling. (John Hemming)

A:The National Blood Service, an operational division on National Health Service Blood and Transplant, uses predictive dialling. (Caroline Flint, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Health), Department of Health)

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