§ Mr. Merchant
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what changes he intends to make to the cash limits and running costs provision for 1996–97 within his responsibility. 
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimates, I intend to make changes to nine voted cash limits, three non-voted cash blocks and nine running cost limitsThe cash limit for class XIII, vote 1—agriculture, fisheries and environmental services, Scotland—will be increased by a total of £5,184,000 from £359,091,000 to £364,275,000. Provision for running costs on this vote will be increased by £482,000 from £16,553,000 to £17,035,000. The changes include take-up of end-year flexibility entitlement for capital of £2,085,000 as announced by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 12 July 1996, Official Report columns 326–31, in respect of the new fisheries research vessel, take up of end-year flexibility for the running costs for the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency of £330,000 and for the Scottish Agricultural Science Agency of £152,000; and increase in fisheries grants of £1,126,000; a transfer from class XIII, vote 3 of £1,349,000 for rural partnership fund; and a transfer from class VI. vote 3 of £142,000 for local authorities' costs associated with air quality duties.The cash limit for class XIII, vote 2—local government, housing. transport, other environmental services and European funds, Scotland—will be increased by a net total of £33,423,000 from £5,568.583,000 to £5,602,006,000. The net increase reflects a claim on the reserve of £15,058,000 in respect of the AEF guarantee scheme, an increase in Scottish Homes grant-in-aid of £14,528,000 met by a transfer of provision from SO/LA2; a reduction in Scottish new towns of £422,000; and a net increase of £1,972,000 for Historic Scotland—covering an increase in gross running cost provision of £1,607,000 from £13,609,000 to £15,216,000 reflecting the take-up of end-year flexibility entitlements, £1,143,000 capital and £691,000 running costs; a transfer from class XIII, vote 6 of £138,000 for running costs, further increases in provision of £778,000 for running costs, £1,322,000 for current expenditure and £1,487,000 for capital expenditure are offset fully by increased appropriations in aid—additional provision of £1,000,000 will be made available to Highlands and Islands Airports Limited to fund its assuming responsibility for operations at RAF Machrihanish and will be met by a transfer of provision from the Ministry of Defence; additional provision of £800,000 in revenue deficit grant to Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd. will be met by a corresponding reduction in grant for capital investment; and the take up of end year flexibility for the roads and transport programme of £1,287,000.The cash limit for class XIII, vote 3, education, industry, arts and libraries, Scotland, will he increased by £17,414,000 from £1,596,530,000 to £1,613,944,000. The increased cash limit takes account of £16,146,000 in respect of end year flexibility arrangements for capital expenditure relating to the National Museums of Scotland, the Scottish Office Pensions Agency and regional selective assistance. The increase also includes £334,000 in respect of end year flexibility arrangements for running costs expenditure relating to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland and the Scottish Office Pensions Agency. The changes include transfers from class XIII, vote 6 totalling £255,000 in respect of both agencies. The changes also reflect an increase in provision of £2,028,000 in respect of Scottish Enterprise, which has been offset by a corresponding reduction in SO/LA2, and a reduction of £1,349,000 which is transferred to class XIII, vote I in respect of rural parterships fund. 298W Provision for pre-five education has been increased by £850,000 offset by a corresponding amount in appropriations in aid. Running cost provision increases by £579,000 from £7,736,000 to £8,315,000.The cash limit for class XIII, vote 4, hospital, community health, family health, other health services and welfare food, Scotland. will be increased by a net total of £59,538,000 from £3,476,975,000 to £3,536,513,000. The increase includes £66,264,000 reflecting the take up of end year flexibility; a transfer of £292,000 from class XI, vote I for services previously funded directly by Department of Health; a transfer of £19,000 from class Xl. vote I for GP fundholding cross border flows; a transfer of £150,000 from class XI, vote 2 for HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns; a transfer of £140,000 from class XIII, vote 6 following the transfer of responsibility for the regional dental service to the Common Services Agency, a transfer of £541,000 to class XIII, vote 3 for placement allowances and travel expenses for student nurses; and a transfer of £283,000 to class XIII, vote 6 for increased accommodation and IT costs for the Mental Welfare Commission. In addition there is an increase of £100,000 for the setting up of the Scottish drugs challenge fund and some adjustments to reflect changes to anticipated appropriations-in-aid. The NHS trusts' external financing limit has also been increased by £7,1 17,000 from £41,723,000 to £48,840,000.The cash limit for class XIII, vote 5 will be increased by £7,529,000 from £624,399,000 to £631,928,000 and the running costs provision will be increased by £4,635,000 from £141,669,000 to £146,304,000. The cash limit increase is the net effect of the take up of EYF entitlement of £1,700,000 under the capital scheme and £5,435,000 under running costs and £1,494,000 under the HPSS scheme, offset by transfers of £800,000 to class XIII, vote 9 in respect of the running costs of the Dunblane inquiry and £300,000 to SO/LA1 in respect of additional capital allocations for Grampian Joint Police board. The increases will be offset by forecast underspends on criminal injuries compensation within the existing vote total.The cash limit for class XIII, vote 6—Scottish Office administration—is being increased by £7,050,000 from £160,928,000 to £167,978,000. Within this total, the running cost provision for Scottish Office Administration is being increased by £6,180,000 from £146,120,000 to £152,300,000 as a result of the take-up of end-year flexibility predominantly to fund staff early departure costs and inter-vote transfers. The capital provision is also being increased as a result of the take-up of end-year flexibility and inter-vote transfers. The additional capital provision is to cover expenditure on IT associated with the Department's response to BSE and also procurement of a computer system by the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland.The cash limit for class XIII, vote 7, General Register Office for Scotland, is being increased by £93,000 from £5,186,000 to £5,279,000. This increase relates entirely to the capital provision for GRO(S), and results from the take-up of end-year flexibility to cover additional costs of the refurbishment of New Register house.The cash limit for class XIII, vote 8, Scottish Record Office, is being increased by £1,359,000 from £5,006,000 to £6,365,000. Within this total, the SRO running costs limit is being increased by £752,000 from £4,563,000 to £5,315,000 as a result of the take-up of end-year flexibility to cover additional expenditure on computer anti-virus measures, building repairs and the cleaning of records and record storerooms and also potential litigation costs. The increase in capital provision results from the take-up of end-year flexibility to cover cots of refurbishment work at General Register house.The cash limit element for class XIII, vote 9,—administration of justice, Scotland—will be increased by an overall figure of £1,875,000 from £47,366,000 to £49,241,000. This reflects an increase in gross running cost limit of £1,400,000 to £42,144,000. Of that, £600,000 will be met by the take-up 299W of end-year flexibility for expenditure on essential maintenance of court buildings and £800,000 will be transferred from class XIII, vote 5,—law, order and protective services, police grant and social work services, Scotland—to meet the costs of setting up and running the Dunblane public inquiry. Capital provision will be increased by £475,000 to £20,975,000 reflecting the take-up of end-year flexibility for expenditure on essential work on court buildings to bring them up to current health and safety regulations standard.The overall running costs limit for the Scottish Office, together with its Agencies and Associated Departments, is being increased by £15,624,000 from £377,775,000 to £393,399,000. This results from the take-up of end-year flexibility, increased provision for Historic Scotland being covered by increased income, and a transfer from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in respect of work being transferred from their Tory laboratory to Scottish Office fisheries research services.The non-voted cash limit SO/LA1, which covers non-housing capital expenditure by local authorities, is to be increased by £15,300,000 from £426,620,000 to £441,920,000, reflecting part take-up of end-year flexibility amounting to £15,000,000 and an increase of £300,000 transferred from class XIII, vote 5.The non-voted cash limit SO/LA2 which covers housing capital expenditure by local authorities and capital expenditure by new towns will be decreased by a net total of £4,815,000 from £111,210,000 to £106,395,000. The decrease reflects a transfer of provision to Scottish Homes of £14,528,000 and Scottish Enterprise of £2,028,000 for which complementary increases are included in the winter supplementary estimates for class XIII, vote 2 and class XIII, vote 3 respectively and the take-up of end year flexibility of £11,741,000.The non-voted cash limit SO/ERDF which covers European regional development fund payments in Scotland will be increased by £32,105,000 from £97,079,000 to £129,184,000 reflecting the take-up of end year flexibility.
The increases will be offset by savings or charged to the reserve and will not, therefore, add to the planned total of public expenditure.