§ Mr. Andrew MacKay
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement about the cash limits for the Northern Ireland Office and for Northern Ireland departmental services for 1985–86.
§ Mr. Tom King
Subject to parliamentary approval to the necessary Supplementary Estimates the cash limit for the Northern Ireland Office—class XVII, vote 1—for 1985–86 is being increased by £9,080,000 from £425,602,000 to £434,682,000 to cover increased requirements for expenditure on law, order, protective and miscellaneous services. The increase is mainly due to a higher number and value of claims for compensation for criminal injury and damage and unavoidable increases, including higher than estimated overtime working, in the costs of meeting agreed manpower levels for the police and prison services. Supplementary provision to cover the carry-forward allowed under the end-year flexibility scheme is not being sought by the N10 and the cash limit is being adjusted accordingly. This increase is being fully offset by a decrease in the cash limit for Northern Ireland departmental services and does not therefore add to the total of public expenditure.
The cash limit for Northern Ireland departmental services for 1985–86 has been reduced by £1.3 million from £2,190.5 million to £2,189.2 million. This comprises the reduction of £9.1 million to offset the increase in class XVII, vote 1 referred to above, and two additions: £3.9 million has been added in respect of a final assessment of the net changes to the Northern Ireland programme to reflect changes in comparable programmes in England made in the 1984 "Public Expenditure Survey"; and some £3.8 million has been added following the expansion of the community programme announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget speech on 19 March. The net increase arising from these two cash limit changes is £7.75 million this is being charged to the reserve and does not therefore add to the total of public expenditure.