§ Dr. Cable
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is her Department's latest estimate of the total cost of the welfare to work scheme in 1997–98 and each of the next three financial years calculated(a) gross and (b) net of reduced social security spending, and increased tax and national insurance receipts. 
§ Mr. Geoffrey Robinson
I have been asked to reply.
The Windfall Tax is expected to raise £5.2 billion to finance the Welfare to Work programme over the course of this parliament. Estimates of the allocation of the Windfall Tax between programmes and between financial years was set out in Table 2.1 of the Financial Statement and Budget Report 1997, "Equipping Britain for our long-term future". Further details of estimated expenditure in respect of 1997–98 was set out by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Education and Employment in the answers to the parliamentary questions from my hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Sutton (Mrs. Gilroy) on 5 November 1998, Official Report, column 228, and from my hon. Friend the Member for Amber Valley (Judy Malleber) on 23 February 1998, Official Report, column 109. A revised allocation for future years, taking into account developments since the last Budget, will be published in the forthcoming Budget.
The Government have not made an assessment of the effect of the Welfare to Work programme on social security spending, tax and national insurance receipts. To do so would require information on the full effect of the programme on unemployment, wages and the broader economy. The Welfare to Work programme will be carefully evaluated to help, where possible, to determine these effects.