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08 February 2012

Supplementary Estimates 2011-12

The Supplementary Estimates, presented to the House of Commons today as HC1755, seek parliamentary authority for voted expenditure by government departments for 2011-12. The Estimates seek parliamentary authority for resources and cash, both for existing services and for any necessary new services.

It is expected that these Estimates will not involve any overall change in the elements of Departmental Expenditure Limits (DEL) which impact on public sector net borrowing or public sector net debt. Any DEL increases sought have either been offset by savings elsewhere in departmental spending programmes or charged to the DEL Reserve.

Any changes to Annually Managed Expenditure (AME) will be reflected in the next Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast. Changes to AME in Estimates do not imply an equivalent change in the fiscal forecast for the year.

Within the overall increase (both voted and non-voted) there are:

For the first time, the Supplementary 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 aim to deliver a single, coherent financial regime that is effective, efficient and transparent.

Notes for editors

1. The Supplementary Estimates 2011-12 can be found on the HM Treasury website.

2. Supply Estimates are the means by which the Government seeks from Parliament funds and parliamentary authority for departmental expenditure each year. The Supplementary Estimates present the final opportunity for departments to seek changes in parliamentary authority for spending for this financial year. Supplementary Estimates increase or decrease voted provision. Non-cash budgetary items (e.g. impairments and provisions) have no immediate impact on public sector borrowing or public sector net debt.

3. Changes to AME in Estimates do not imply an equivalent change in the fiscal forecast for the year. The figures show increases or decreases since the last Estimates round. The OBR will publish changes to the forecast, including estimates for AME in 2011-12, in its Budget 2012 forecast.

4. The DEL Reserve is set aside within the Government’s spending plans as a contingency against higher borrowing. Therefore, only DEL Reserve claims which impact on the public finances are charged against the published DEL Reserve.

5. The Clear Line of Sight reforms were set out in ‘Alignment ( Clear Line of Sight) Project’, Cm 7576 March 2009.

6. The Budget Exchange (BX) system allows departments to give up unspent DEL and move it into next year 2012-13 up to a reasonable limit. 

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