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Taxation: Offshore Industry

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 13th June 2011.

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Photo of Zac Goldsmith Zac Goldsmith Conservative, Richmond Park

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether the Energy Company Obligation is classified by the Office for National Statistics as tax and spending for national accounts purposes.

Photo of Nick Hurd Nick Hurd The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office, The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated June 2011

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking whether the Energy Company Obligation has been classified by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) as tax and spending for national accounts purposes. (58569).

ONS makes classification decisions in line with a published protocol that is available on our website at:

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/about/national_statistics/cop/downloads/NAclassification.pdf

DECC states (see

http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/What%20we%20do/Supporting%20consumers/green_deal/1732-extra-help-where-it-is-needed-a-new-energy-compan.pdf that the “Energy Company Obligation” is envisaged as a successor to the CERT energy efficiency obligation which finishes at the end of 2012. We understand that the existing legislative basis is being supplemented in the Energy Bill currently before Parliament.

As such, the ECO is a proposed policy, rather than an existing scheme. Paragraphs 31-37 of the classification protocol sets out how ONS deals with policy proposals such as this. ONS does not usually classify proposed schemes unless asked to do so by Government, such requests do not usually arise until a scheme is well developed.

To date ONS has not been asked to provide an indicative classification of the Energy Company Obligation.

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