§ Mr. Dobson
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish the criteria he intends to apply when deciding the value of the asset base and the charge on assets for foundation trusts. 
§ Mr. Hutton
[holding answer 14 October 2003]: All national health service bodies are at present required to earn an annual return of 3.5 per cent. of their average relevant net assets held during the year. This charge is 734W paid by NHS trusts as public dividend capital dividend. Relevant net assets are all the assets and liabilities held by the NHS body, with the exceptions of donated assets, assets provided by Government grant and cash held in paymaster accounts. The legislation currently before Parliament requires that the Public Dividend Capital dividend payment required from foundation trusts would be calculated on the same basis as that for NHS trusts.