HC Deb 20 February 1996 vol 272 cc81-2W
Mr. Pike

To ask the Chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster what was the expenditure by non-departmental public bodies in(a) 1979–80 and (b) 1994–95 in (i) cash, (ii) real terms and (iii) as a percentage of gross national product. [14946]

Mr. Willetts

Information on expenditure by non-departmental public bodies is held centrally for executive bodies only; That for advisory bodies and tribunals could be produced only at disproportionate cost. For executive non-departmental public bodies, systematic central recording of costs did not begin until 1981–82. However, the Pliatzky "Report on Non-Departmental Public Bodies" in 1980 calculated executive non-departmental public body expenditure for the single year 1978–79. For that year, expenditure by executive non-departmental public bodies was £6,150 million—equivalent, in real terms, to £17,940 million at 1995 prices. This represents approximately 3.5 per cent. of gross national product in 1978–79. Expenditure by executive non-departmental public bodies in 1994–95 was £20,840 million; a figure equivalent to approximately 3.0 per cent. of GNP in the same year.

Increases in total expenditure since 1979 reflect new arrangements for channelling funds and new areas of programme expenditure. The Funding Agency for Schools and the Legal Aid Board, for example, now undertake functions previously performed by local education authorities and the Law Society respectively. Expenditure by these two bodies in 1994–95 totalled approximately £3,000 million.