HC Deb 17 December 1996 vol 287 c528W
Mr. Derek Foster

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what costs quoted in the document, "New Labour's Public Expenditure Plans", were prepared in his Department; what detailed assumptions and interpretations were provided to officials in his Department to enable preparation of each cost; and what was the total cost to public funds of preparing each estimate. [6348]

Mr. Lilley

The Department of Social Security, in conjunction with the Treasury, prepared factual material relating to costings published in "New Labour's Public Expenditure Plans" numbered 64 to 80. The detailed assumptions and interpretations that were provided to officials are set out in my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary's reply to the hon. Member today. It is not the normal working practice to keep a record of the time spent in providing factual information to Ministers and it is not therefore possible to offer a reliable estimate of the costs involved.