Treasury Committee Press Notice No. 7

Session 2004-05, 24 January 2005

FORTHCOMING MEETINGS OF THE TREASURY COMMITTEE AND SUB-COMMITTEE

The Treasury Committee and Sub-committee will hold the following meetings, at which oral evidence will be taken from witnesses indicated. (See below for further details on each inquiry)

SUB-COMMITTEE:

WEDNESDAY 9 FEBRUARY: PERFORMANCE TARGETS AND MONITORING

At 2.30 pm: Rt. Hon. Paul Boateng MP, Chief Secretary, HM Treasury

MAIN COMMITTEE:

THURSDAY 10 FEBRUARY: CASH MACHINE CHARGES (amended)

At 9.15 am: Stuart Bernau, Executive Director of Commercial and Treasury, Nationwide

At  approx 9.35 am: Sir Mike Hodgkinson MBE, Chairman, Graham Halliday, Banking and Financial Services Director, and David Miller, Chief Operations Officer, Post Office Limited

At approx. 10.30 am: Stephen Timms MP, Financial Secretary, HM Treasury

THURSDAY 24 FEBRUARY: REGIONAL PRODUCTIVITY

At  09.15am: Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, HM Treasury

Inquiry details:

PERFORMANCE TARGETS AND MONITORING

The Sub-committee is to take evidence from the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, the Rt Hon Paul Boateng MP, one of whose responsibilities is public expenditure, including planning, control, pay, efficiency, capital investment and targets (including local authorities and public corporations).

The Sub-committee is looking at the Treasury's role in setting targets and monitoring departments' performance against them, with a particular focus on the efficiency technical notes produced by departments setting out how they will measure progress against their agreed efficiency targets. The evidence session will also look at the Treasury's progress against its own Public Service Agreement targets based on the Treasury's Autumn Performance Report (Cm 6395, published in December 2004).

CASH MACHINE CHARGES

This inquiry was announced on 5 November 2004 (see press notice no. 53 of session 2003-04). The Committee is looking at:

•The principle of charging and the  trend towards charging: the principle of charging for access to funds through cash machines; and the increasing prevalence of machines at which a charge is levied;

•Transparency: the clarity of presentation of these charges to the consumer;

•Financial exclusion and location: concerns over the impact that the spread of charging may have on financial exclusion and low-income households, examining whether there is evidence of very limited access to free machines in certain areas;

Oral evidence has already been taken from LINK, and Which?, National Consumer Council, and Citizens Advice on 21 December 2004, and a further meeting will be held on 1 February 2005 with HBOS, RBS, Moneybox plc, TRM, Bank Machine Ltd and Cardpoint plc.

REGIONAL PRODUCTIVITY

This inquiry was announced on 8 December 2003 (see press notice no. 1 of session 2003-04). The Committee is looking at:

•the reasons for the productivity differentials between regions;

•the operation and effectiveness of the various programmes to address the productivity gap at a regional level;

•the contribution of:  measures under the Lisbon Agenda; 'clusters' as a route to greater regional development; the Regional Development Agencies;

•the measurement of flows of public expenditure into the regions, and the effects of such flows on productivity/growth rates.

Oral evidence has already been taken from the Government Departments on 3 February, academic experts on 18 May 2004, Regional Development Agencies on 6 July 2004, experts on university-business links on 14 September 2004, venture capital bodies on 9 November 2004, and Rolls-Royce, AstraZeneca and Microsoft UK on 16 November 2004.