§ Mr. Illsley
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what factors underlay the decrease in spending on the selective assistance and trade support unit in the Department of Economic Development, in each of the years from 1990–91 to 1997–98. 
§ Mr. Ancram
[holding answer 22 April 1996]The key factor which accounts for the decrease in spending on selective assistance and trade support in the years 1990–91 to 1997–98 is the gradual decline in expenditure under the packages of financial assistance which supported the privatisation of Harland and Wolff and Short Bros. in the late 1980s.
For example, expenditure under the privatisation arrangements totalled £90 million in 1991–92 but had decreased to £35 million by 1994–95. The provision for 1997–98 stands at £7 million.