HC Deb 05 November 1987 vol 121 cc841-2W
Mr. Chris Smith

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer in what form authorisation will be sought for any expenditure arising from the Bank of England's buy-back scheme for BP shares.

Mr. Norman Lamont

The shares will be paid for and held by the issue department of the Bank of England as part of the portfolio of assets backing the note issue, under the provisions of the Currency and Bank Notes Act 1928. Other additional expenses incurred which are specifically related to the share purchase arrangements will be brought to account on the vote which relates to the sale of shares in BP plc (class XIX, vote 16). Parliamentary approval for such expenses will be sought in a Supplementary Estimate for the vote. Pending that approval of this new service, urgent expenditure will be met by repayable advances from the contingencies fund. It is not possible to provide a firm estimate of the expenditure that will be incurred as this will depend on the extent to which shares are offered for sale to the Bank of England.