HC Deb 19 November 1996 vol 285 cc485-6W
Mr. Peter Bottomley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when water payments ceased to be treated as part of Government accounts in(a) England and Wales, (b) Scotland and (c) Northern Ireland. [4356]

Mr. Clappison

The information is as follows:

In England and Wales, the 10 water and sewerage companies ceased to be within the public sector and their external finance requirement ceased to be counted against public expenditure for Government accounting purposes from the date of their privatisation on 12 December 1989;

In Scotland, the external finance requirements of water authorities and domestic sewerage relief grants have counted against public expenditure since 1 April 1996; prior to April 1996 the capital expenditure financed by borrowing by the predecessor local authorities scored against public expenditure totals, as did central Government assistance through the revenue support grant and grants such as the rural water grant.

In Northern Ireland, the Water Service, an executive agency of the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland, is the provider of public water and sewerage services and its finances are included in Government accounts.