§ Mr. Malcolm Bruce
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the level of value added tax receipts in relation to(a) the latest Customs and Excise VAT forecasting equation and (b) the assumptions underlying the public finance forecasts. 
§ Dawn Primarolo
The receipts forecast published in the Economic and Fiscal Strategy Report were an update of the budget forecasts taking account of the latest outturn data. The underlying economic assumptions are unchanged and the Customs and Excise equation was not run again. The forecast of VAT receipts for 1998–99 was reduced by £0.3 billion because the outturn for 1997–98 was lower than expected.