HC: 434, 2009-2010
24 Mar 2010
HC: 434, 2009-2010
“My report today sets out clearly the facts surrounding current cash payments from the public service pay-as-you-go pension schemes and the basis for future projections of these payments. The Treasury has performed some analysis on the sensitivity of its projections to changing assumptions, but has not considered the potentially significant effects of changes in the size of the public service workforce.
“Later this year I intend to report to Parliament on recent changes to the schemes, which are designed partly to reduce costs.”
“It is difficult to imagine the scale of the consequences for the economy and society if major banks had been allowed to collapse. The Treasury was justified in using taxpayers’ money to safeguard savings and stabilise and restore confidence in the financial system.
“But the big question is what all of this will eventually cost the taxpayer. This will take time to answer. What we do know is that how the eventual sale of RBS and Lloyds is managed will be crucial to protecting the public interest. The structure of the UK banking system has changed beyond recognition. When it comes to selling its stakes in the banks, the government has to be mindful of the proceeds for the taxpayer but also of the implications for competition in the UK market, so that customers get a fair deal.
“As the crisis begins to subside, lessons must start to be learned. The authorities need to put formal arrangements in place to evaluate the effectiveness of the support provided to banks in order to inform future policy makers.”
“Commercial skills are essential to success in complex projects and a great deal of money rests on this; but there is still not a coherent system for providing skills across government or for using the existing skills as efficiently as possible.”
This briefing has been prepared for the Treasury Select Committee to provide an overview of the work and performance of HM Treasury in the financial year 2008-09 and subsequent months. The briefing takes as its basis the Department’s Annual Report and Accounts 2008-09 (HC 611), drawing upon the work of the National Audit Office together … Read more
“This financial year has been an extraordinary one and has presented extraordinary challenges for HM Treasury. The department’s huge in-year growth in its assets and liabilities illustrates the extreme nature of the problems faced and action taken. It should be recognized that the pressure for the department to intervene by offering the Asset Protection Scheme gave it no time to seek from Parliament the additional resources needed. The breach of the Treasury’s expenditure limits has necessitated my qualifying my opinion on its resource accounts. This arose from the need to take action at a point when it was too late to obtain spending authority through the Parliamentary estimates process.”
The NAO has reported that the nationalisation of Northern Rock in early 2008 offered the best prospect of protecting the taxpayers’ interests and was based on a sufficiently robust analysis of the options available. However, the Treasury was stretched to deal with a crisis of this nature and there were lessons to be learned. In … Read more