HC Deb 20 July 2001 vol 372 c564W
Mr. Beith

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what factors contribute to the difference between expenditure on agriculture in the North East and in London in the published analysis of general Government expenditure by region in 1999–2000; and if he will make a statement. [4580]

Mr. Andrew Smith

[holding answer 18 July 2001]: The analysis of public expenditure by region published in Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses (Cm 5110) attempts to allocate spending over regions to reflect the relative benefits incurred by the respective populations. The commentary in that document (paragraph 8.2) notes the limitations of this approach, in particular the definitional problems associated with allocating spending on the basis of who benefits. Where there is no clear basis for deciding which region benefits from a particular spending programme, or where accounting information for allocating spending by region is not available, allocation is based on other available indicators. Spending on agriculture has therefore been allocated over regions on a per capita basis.

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