House of Lords written question – answered on 15th July 2008.

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Photo of Lord Taylor of Holbeach Lord Taylor of Holbeach Shadow Minister, Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

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.

Photo of Lord Davies of Oldham Lord Davies of Oldham Deputy Chief Whip (House of Lords), HM Household, Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)

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 Moneyit 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.

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