HC Deb 27 March 2003 vol 402 c338W
Mr. Flight

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether National Audit Office audits of the key assumptions used for the fiscal projections made in the 2002 pre-Budget report audit(a) the process used in making these assumptions and (b) the assumptions themselves. [105333]

Ruth Kelly

In accordance with Sections 156 and 157 of the 1998 Finance Act, the National Audit Office has been invited to audit any changes to the key assumptions and conventions underlying the fiscal projections; these are set out in Box B1 of the 2002 pre-Budget report (Cm 5664). In addition, prior to the March 2000 Budget my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer invited the Comptroller and Auditor General to carry out a three-year 'rolling review' of these assumptions.

The remit for this exercise is set out in paragraph 6 of the Comptroller's report on the Audit of Assumptions for the 2002 Pre-Budget Report (HC 109, Session 2002–03): To ensure that the key audited assumptions underpinning projections of the public finances remain valid, the Comptroller and Auditor General shall examine each audited assumption three years after its most recent audit (a) to review whether the assumption has resulted in reasonable and cautious projections of the elements of the public finances projections it relates to since it was first audited; and (b) to check that it remains a reasonable and cautious assumption to use in future projections of the public finance;.

Forward to