§ Chris Grayling
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions on what date his Department informed Network Rail that it was willing to provide £300 million of support to enable it to bid for Railtrack's assets. 
§ Mr. Chope
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, (1) pursuant to his oral statement of 25 March 2002,Official Report, columns 582–83, what the date is beyond which £300 million grant will not be available if early exit from administration is not achieved; 
(2) if he will break down the £300 million self-financing savings resulting from an early exit from administration for Railtrack plc; 
(3) if he will set out the basis for calculating the £300 million savings achievable as a result of an early exit from administration; 285W
(4) pursuant to his oral statement of 25 March 2002, Official Report, column 581, what the last date is for Railtrack's exit from administration which meets the criteria for early exit in administration eligibility for a grant of £300 million. 
§ Mr. Jamieson
[holding answer 10 April 2002]: The Department informed Network Rail, during the week before Network Rail made its bid to Railtrack Group plc on 25 March, that it was potentially willing to offer a £300 million grant on the basis of Network Rail's proposal.
The grant offer is conditional upon Network Rail securing an earlier exit from administration than would otherwise have been the case and reflects the benefits available from this earlier exit.
Financial support of a type similar to that negotiated by Network Rail could be available to other bidders. The Government and the SRA are willing to discuss proposals advanced by any serious bidder for Railtrack plc. The guidelines issued by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 31 October 2001, Official Report, columns 669–71W, make clear that any proposal should address the basis, extent and nature of support that will be required from Government. Any support would be subject to negotiation and agreement. No other detailed proposals have been received.
The grant offer reflects the potential savings that can be delivered through an earlier exit from administration. This includes an earlier delivery of efficiency improvements; earlier improvements in network performance; avoiding any delay to the major projects identified in the SRA's Strategic Plan and an earlier end to the Government advisory costs associated with the administration.
In addition, the Network Rail hid itself offers an early implementation of a company limited by guarantee structure. This structure offers a greater alignment of the operation of the network with the wider public interest, a potentially more efficient financing structure through debt finance company and a company that re-invests surpluses back into the railway network rather than distributing them as shareholder dividends.
§ Chris Grayling
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) if he will place in the Library written communications received by the Government from the European Commission related to the decision to allow state aid support to Railtrack in administration; 
(2) if the Government submitted a restructuring plan to the European Commission for Railtrack in accordance with paragraph 31, section 3.2.2 of the Community guidelines on state aid for rescuing and restructuring firms in difficulty (1999/c 288/02); 
(3) if his Department received a copy of a letter sent by the European Commission to the UK permanent representative to the EU setting out the terms on which permission for state aid had been granted for Railtrack in administration; 
(4) when the Government will submit a report under the requirements of paragraph 46 of the Community guidelines on state aid for rescuing and restructuring firms in difficulty (1999/c 288/02); 286W
(5) if his Department received a copy of the decision made by the European Commission over the application made for state aid support to Railtrack in administration. 
§ Mr. Jamieson
[holding answer 18 April 2002]: The Secretary of State has received a copy of the decision of the European Commission setting out the terms on which state aid had been granted for Railtrack in administration for the period to 30 September 2002.
The decision of the Commission contains material that is commercially confidential. In accordance with the procedures of the Commission, the Secretary of State has made a reasoned request for the exclusion of material that should not be disclosed to third parties from the text that is published by the Commission. The Secretary of State will arrange for a copy of the decision to approve state aid granted to Railtrack plc (in administration) to be placed in the Library of both Houses of Parliament as soon as it has been published by the Commission.
The decision of the Commission requires the Department to submit a restructuring or liquidation plan or proof that the Government guaranteed loans to Railtrack have been reimbursed and the Government guarantee has been terminated by 19 August 2002. The Government will take appropriate action to satisfy this requirement in due course.