HC Deb 07 February 2001 vol 362 cc528-9W
Mr. Willetts

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the Government's programmes aimed at reducing poverty and social exclusion, indicating the annual cost and coverage of each one. [148484]

Ms Armstrong

We published the second annual report on our strategy for tackling poverty and social exclusion, "Opportunity for all—One year on: making a difference" in September 2000 (Cm 4865). This provides a detailed account of the action we have taken since we announced our strategy in September 1999 and what more we need to do. It clearly shows that we are already making a difference to people's lives and that real progress is being made in a number of key areas. "Spending Review 2000: New Public Spending Plans 2001–2004" sets out annual expenditure for the major programmes aimed at reducing poverty and social exclusion.

A number of DETR regeneration and other programmes help to reduce poverty and social exclusion, including English Partnerships, Housing Action Trusts, Coalfields Trust and Fund. In particular, New Deal for Communities and Single Regeneration Budget are aimed at reducing poverty and social exclusion.

New Deal for Communities (NDC) is tackling the deprivation faced by people in some of the poorest neighbourhoods in England. Seventeen partnerships were set up in 1998 under NDC, as part of the Government's strategy to tackle social exclusion. Round two of the New Deal for Communities, launched in 1999, included 22 additional areas being invited to bid for funding. Outturn Government expenditure on NDC in 1999–2000 was £48.5 million. Planned expenditure is £120.7 million in 2000–01 and £450.0 million in 2001–02.

The Single Regeneration budget (SRB) provides funding through the Regional Development Agencies for regeneration schemes in England, which are developed and implemented by local partnerships. It is an important instrument in the Government's drive to tackle social exclusion. There are over 890 partnerships from rounds 1 to 6 with over £5.6 billion in SRB support over their lifetime of up to seven years. It is estimated that these will attract almost over £8.6 billion of private sector investment and help to attract European funding. Outturn Government expenditure on SRB in 1999–2000 was £ 663 million. Planned expenditure is £ 814 million in 2000– 01 and £ 878 million in 2001–02.

The Government's Action Plan "A New Commitment to Neighbourhood Renewal", which was launched by the Prime Minister on 15 January, sets out our vision for narrowing the gap between poor neighbourhoods and the rest of the country. It aims to deliver economic prosperity, safe communities, high-quality schools, decent housing, and better health to the poorest parts of the country.

The Action Plan is backed up by a new Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, which is to improve services in the most deprived neighbourhoods. Planned expenditure through the fund, which will be paid to the 88 most deprived local authorities in England, is £ 200 million in 2001–02, £ 300 million in 2002–03 and £ 400 million in 2003–04.