HC Deb 25 June 1980 vol 987 c232W
Mr. Skeet

asked the Minister of Transport, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Bedford, Official Report, 4 June, column 746, why the provisional outturn for the subhead total is £10.3 million below the estimate of £297,040,000; and if he will explain why the estimated requirement of £268,087,000 at 1979 survey prices exceeded the provisional out-turn of £239.5 million.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

Because inflation was higher than allowed for in the Estimates the amount of work measured in constant prices that could be carried out within the cash limit for the block was less than planned. The cash allocation for maintenance was increased so as broadly to maintain the maintenance programme at its planned level. It was intended that this increase would be offset by reduced spending on construction.

The difference between the estimated requirement for construction and the out-turn, measured at constant prices, arises not only because of the £10.3 million reduction in cash spending but because the factor used to discount the cash outlay back to 1979 prices is increased as a result of the higher rate of inflation.