HL Deb 30 July 2002 vol 638 cc171-2WA
Lord Stoddart of Swindon

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What applications have been made by them, or any other statutory authority, to the European Commission, or any other institution of the European Community, concerning loans or grants available to Network Rail in respect of expenditure, or contingent liability, for assuming the responsibilities of Railtrack plc; what replies have been received; under what rules such applications were made or agreed; and what parts count against any ceiling or restriction made on public borrowing requirements by the Government under Community rules. [HL5506]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston

The Commission was notified on 31 May of a scheme to enable Railtrack plc to be brought out of administration on a financially sound and secure basis. The Commission announced on 17 July that it had no objections to the support facilities, which it judged not to be state aid. Included in this is some public expenditure, but £23 billion of the £23.5 billion notified is for contingent financial support facilities that do not count against any public borrowing ceiling or restriction under Community rules.