The Main Supply Estimates for central government departments, presented to the House of Commons today as HC 921, seek Parliamentary authority for expenditure in 2011-12.
Estimates seek Parliamentary authority for the voted element of spending plans set out in Spending Review (SR) 2010 and updated in Budget 2011. Estimates include non-cash items such as depreciation, which are excluded from the main spending total used to control resource settlements as set out at SR 2010 and updated in Budget 2011.
For the first time, Estimates are presented on a budgetary basis, the means by which the Treasury monitors and controls departmental spending. This is the culmination of the Clear Line of Sight reforms which were set out in ‘Alignment (Clear Line of Sight) Project’, Cm 7576 March 2009, to deliver a single, coherent financial regime that is effective, efficient and transparent.
|Of which: depreciation
 Amounts for which specific Parliamentary approval is sought in the Estimates.
 Includes payments to the Devolved Administrations. Spending by the Devolved Administrations is included in non-voted RDEL.
Notes for Editors
The Main Supply Estimates 2011-12 can be found on the HM Treasury website. Supply Estimates are the means by which the Government seeks from Parliament funds and Parliamentary authority for departmental expenditure each year. Main Supply Estimates present the first opportunity for Parliamentary authority for spending for this financial year. There will be one further Estimates round in January 2012, which will be the last opportunity to revise the plans set out in the Main Estimates.
Estimates seek Parliamentary authority for voted resources, capital and cash both for existing services and for any necessary new services. They include non-cash items such as depreciation. Depreciation (the allocation of the cost of consumption of an asset over its useful economic life) is excluded from the Treasury’s primary control within resource budgets, which was the basis on which Spending Review settlements were agreed. Along with other non-cash items, depreciation has no immediate impact on public sector borrowing or public sector net debt.
Under Alignment, Estimates now include non-voted spending. Non-voted items include programmes funded direct from other funds, such as the National Insurance Fund and Consolidated Fund Standing Services, which are covered by specific legislation and therefore do not require additional Parliamentary approval. Similarly, the spending of Devolved Administrations is also included in the budgetary numbers as non-voted, as this is subject to separate approval. However, Parliament votes the grants to the administrations, which score as non-budget in Estimates.
The amount allocated to the Reserve in SR 2010 and Budget 2011 tables is not shown in departmental budgets or Estimates until it is allocated. Any drawing on the Reserve will be visible in the individual departmental Supplementary Estimates presented towards the end of the financial year.
Annually Managed Expenditure (AME) is also shown in the Estimates. Forecasts of AME spending are conducted by the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR). Their latest forecast accompanied the Budget 2011. However, departments may have more up-to-date information included in their Estimate: the OBR will take the latest information into account when making its next forecast.
Total Managed Expenditure (TME) includes resource and capital Departmental Expenditure Limits (DEL) - for which plans were set in the SR 2010 - and Annually Managed Expenditure (AME). AME is subject to annual review as part of the Budget process. The Estimates also reflect any subsequent movements between departments such as machinery of government changes.
The 2011-12 Main Estimates are presented in six volumes. This volume covers the main central government departments. Separate booklets are presented to Parliament by the House of Commons: Administration (HC 935), the National Audit Office (HC 911), the Electoral Commission (HC 933), and the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (HC 934). A further booklet will be presented by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority in due course.
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