HC Deb 07 July 1998 vol 315 c431W
Mr. Tyrie

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the staff numbers involved in forecasting in his Department; and what is the estimated cost of forecasting to his Department in the current financial year. [48996]

Mrs. Liddell

Around 8 members of staff in the Treasury work mainly in preparing forecasts of the economy and the public finances. Their full costs, including pay, employers' contributions, superannuation, and share of accommodation and other common services will range from about £44,000 to £73,000 per head in the current financial year depending on grade.

These individuals are engaged mainly, but not exclusively, in forecasting activities. Similarly, other members of staff contribute to the Treasury forecasts but are engaged mainly with other duties. KPMG Management Consulting's Final Report "Market Testing the Treasury's Macro-Economic Forecasting Function" (May 1997) gave a breakdown of resources devoted to forecasts and other forecast-related activities on a full-time equivalents basis (Table 1, page 15).

That report concluded that the quality of Treasury forecast output is generally perceived to be high, and that the potential for net quality improvements or net resource savings was not sufficient to justify a market test. A copy of the Report is available in the House of Commons Library.