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National Probation Service for England and Wales: Finance

Volume 499: debated on Wednesday 11 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the likely level of expenditure on the National Probation Service in the next five years. (298287)

The budget for the National Probation Service for the 2010-11 financial year is £870 million.

Planning for the next spending review period, that is 2011-12 to 2013-14, will be considered as part of the next comprehensive review.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the year-on-year change in expenditure on the Probation Service has been in each of the last 15 years. (298331)

Change in expenditure by local probation areas is detailed in the following table:

£ million

Financial year

Expenditure

Year-on-year change

2008-09 (provisional)

897

52

2007-08

845

38

2006-07

807

37

2005-06

770

83

2004-05

687

13

2003-04

674

69

2002-03

605

29

2001-02

576

71

2000-01

505

34

1999-2000

471

25

1998-99

446

2

1997-98

444

-4

1996-97

448

34

1995-96

414

-3

1994-95

417

49

1993-94

368

The figures for 2001-02 to 2007-08 are the net operating costs recorded in the annual consolidated accounts of local probation boards. The figure for 2008-09 is provisional as the boards’ consolidated accounts have not yet been signed off, and is taken from the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) 2008-09 accounts, including probation trusts. Before 2001-02, local probation committees were financed partly by local government and the figures are based on the expenditure implied by the main grant cash limit plus an allowance for probation hostels; these figures include some estimates.

Following standard accounting practice, local boards’ and trusts’ pension contributions are not fully reflected in the figures. Expenditure on probation met centrally by the former National Probation Directorate and the National Offender Management Service is not included in local areas’ expenditure.

Comparisons over time are difficult because of machinery of government changes and accounting methodology changes. After adjusting as much as possible for these factors and discounting for inflation, the real terms increase in expenditure on probation between 1996-97 and 2007-08 is about 70 per cent.