§ Mr. Byers
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans she has to reduce the amounts due to be paid to training providers in respect of training provided in 1994 and financed by the European social fund as a result of exchange rate fluctuations; what is the total amount to be held back; how many training providers will be affected; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Paice
Because of fluctuations in the exchange rate, the Government have not yet received sufficient funds from the European Commission to pay 1994 European social fund final claims in full. Applicants will therefore receive 95 per cent. of the total eligible costs of their projects. No money is being held back. The final claims presented to the European Commission for 1994 have been paid in full in ecu; the shortfall for applicants results from the translation of ecu into sterling.
Additional information is now being sought from applicants to enable the claim to be recalculated in a way which should provide more sterling to enable further payments to be made in due course. There were 1,512 applicant organisations in 1994.