HC Deb 15 June 1999 vol 333 c67W
Mr. John D. Taylor

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps she has taken to examine the case for enhanced financial assistance for the work of reconciliation as agreed in the Belfast Agreement; what consultations have been undertaken with the Irish Government; and if she will make a statement. [86149]

Mr. McFall

Financial allocations for all areas of public expenditure were considered in the context of the Comprehensive Spending Review. The acknowledgement of work to develop reconciliation and mutual understanding in the Good Friday Agreement was instrumental in maintaining the community relations budget at the present level of over £9 million per annum. This was not identified in the Good Friday Agreement as a potential area for enhanced North/South co-operation and implementation, and there have been no consultations with the Irish Government consequent on the Agreement. There are existing mechanisms for funding reconciliation work on a cross-border basis under the European Union Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation and International Fund for Ireland programmes.