§ Lord Laird,
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether, in their decision of 26 February to cut by 16 per cent the budget of the Ulster-Scots Agency for 2003, the underspend for 2002–03 by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure was taken into consideration. [HL3275]
§ The Lord President of the Council (Lord Williams of Mostyn)
Budgets for all North/South bodies are determined in the context of annual business plans for the bodies and the financial resources required to deliver the plans. The process of agreeing the budget was carried out in accordance with the arrangements under the agreement made by the exchange of notes between the two governments dated 19 November 2002. The financial position of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure at that time was not a factor in this process.