HL Deb 30 April 2003 vol 647 c103WA
Lord Laird

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How much the North/South Ministerial Council spent in 2000–01, 2001–02 and 2002–03; how much each government contributed; how much was spent on set-up costs and in doing so identifying decorating, carpets and furniture; and how much was spent on other items. [HL2470]

Lord Williams of Mostyn

The North/South Ministerial Council (NSMC) annual reports for 2000 and 2001 provide financial information in respect of the North/South Ministerial Council Joint Secretariat for the periods December 1999 to December 2000 and January 2001 to December 2001 respectively. Copies of these reports can be accessed at the NSMC website, www.northsouthministerialcouncil.org. The annual report for 2002 is not yet finalised, but the indicative total payments for 2002 are in the region of £ 1,400,000.

Staff costs associated with the Joint Secretariat are met by the parent administrations. All other costs are divided equally between the two administrations.

I refer the noble Lord to the responses to HL2062 and HL2305, which detailed the Joint Secretariat's setup costs and provided a breakdown of those costs respectively. Of the £21,182 for furnishings and fittings referred to in HL 2305, there was a zero spend on decorating, £7,257 spent on carpets, £654 spent on furniture and £13,271 spent on other items respectively.