§ Lord Borrie
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will clarify the position on reductions in the Department of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Defence budgets announced earlier this year.
§ The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert)
The Ministry of Defence budget for 1997-1998 was reduced by £168 million as a result of the department overspending in the previous financial year. This overspend was largely a result of goods and services being delivered and paid for earlier than expected. The Department of Trade and Industry budget for this financial year was reduced by £102 million because the nuclear industry no longer requires the funds; it was not a fine for overspending.