§ Mr. Field
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement on plans for the division of responsibilities between the Treasury and the Department of Social Security with respect to(a) answering parliamentary questions and (b) appearances before Select Committees following the implementation of the Social Security Contributions (Transfer of Functions, Etc.) Bill [Lords]. 
§ Mr. Timms
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Security, announced to the House on 8 February 1999,Official Report, columns 35–45, that Treasury Ministers would take on responsibility for policy on National Insurance on 1 April 1999. The Social Security Contributions (Transfer of Functions, Etc. Bill currently before Parliament transfers operational responsibility for National Insurance contributions, Statutory Sick Pay, Statutory Maternity pay and contracting out matters, together with control and management of the National Insurance Fund, to the Board of the Inland Revenue. It also transfers responsibility for policy on National Insurance contributions from my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to Treasury Ministers.
Policy responsibility for Statutory Sick Pay, Statutory Maternity Pay, contracting out, credits, Home Responsibilities Protection and the security of the National Insurance Number system remains with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Security. He will also continue to be responsible for benefits. Ministers and, where appropriate, officials will be accountable to Parliament on the areas for which they are responsible. Treasury Ministers will answer questions relating to the Inland Revenue including those responsibilities transferred to it by the Bill. It is for the House to decide on the areas of responsibility for Select Committees.