§ Rev. Martin Smyth
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement about the operation of the retail prices index error fund; and if he will publish a table showing(a) those organisations which applied to the Department of Health and Social Security for funding and the outcome and amounts of any award and (b) those organisations which applied for funds under the scheme administered by the Northern Ireland voluntary trust and the outcome and amount of any award.
§ Mr. Needham
[holding answer 22 February 1989]: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply given to a question by my hon. Friend the Member for Wells (Mr. Heathcoat-Amory) on 3 May about the retail prices index error fund. On 9 May 1988 I announced that Northern Ireland would recieve £250,000 as its share of the fund and published the arrangements under which grants would be made. Applications were invited from voluntary organisations which resulted in the receipt of bids 10 times in excess of the amount available for distribution. The Department of Health and Social Services gave careful consideration to all applications which it received from regional organisations and grants were subsequently made having regard to the published criteria and to the Department's own strategic priorities. The list of those organisations which applied to the Department and the details of the awards made are voluminous, and I have therefore placed. a copy in the Library.
The sum of £.120,000 was allocated to Northern Ireland. voluntary trust for disbursement to locally-based. organisations. Details of the applications considered by Northern Ireland voluntary trust and the grants made by it to date have also been placed in the Library.
I am pleased to report that Northern Ireland is now also to receive a further £251,000 of the additional monies available from the retail prices index error fund which my hon. Friend the Minister of State for Social Security announced on 9 February. Arrangements for the allocation of this sum will be finalised shortly.