asked Her Majesty's Government:
Further to the Written Answers by Lord Bassam of Brighton and Lord Davies of Oldham on 2 July (WA 40—41), whether increases in fees uprated by statutory instruments are always "set at a level to cover the cost of the service" and "based on a two year estimate of inflation"; if not, what other rules are applied to increases; and in what circumstances.
Collated information on the contents of all statutory instruments relating to fees is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Each department is responsible for setting its own fees and laying its own statutory instruments.
Treasury guidance, Managing Public Money—it is available in the House Library or on the Treasury public website at http://managingpublicmoney. treasury.gov.uk/—provides guidance on how to calculate fees, including a list of the main features to be taken into account in measuring the annual cost of a service. So far as possible, the calculation should use actual costs, where they are known. The norm is to base the fee on full cost unless the primary legislation says otherwise. There are some exceptions to this, such as subsidised services, taxation, information services, discretionary services provided in competition with the private sector and levies.