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Departmental Finance

Volume 404: debated on Monday 28 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much money remained unspent at the end of each of the past five years in respect of financial allocations to the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety; and how much of this unspent allocation has been returned to the Treasury in each of these years. [109211]

With the introduction of Devolution in Northern Ireland in December 1999, NI Departments restructured and increased in number from six to 11, thus it is not possible to provide the information requested in respect of DHSSPS prior to 1999. In addition, information on 2002–03 will not be available until June and the table which follows therefore covers the period 1999–2000 to 2001–02.

Underspend £

Amount returned

to Treasury

1 Cash basis.

2 For the 2000–01 year, the departmental budget was planned, managed and controlled on a cash basis, with a retrospective adjustment to a resource basis to facilitate the transition to Resource Accounting and Budgeting. However, the cash figure better reflects departmental performance in managing spend for that year.

3 Resource basis.

4 In accordance with the Treasury End Year Flexibility Scheme, the original claim for 2001–02 was based on provisional outturn and amounted to £39.6 million. The difference between this and the final underspend figure of £49.1 million will be drawn down in

2003–04, subject (as is always the case in respect of end year flexibility) to agreement by the Treasury of the necessary call on the Reserve.