HL Deb 03 June 2003 vol 648 c153WA
Baroness Byford

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Press Release 4/02 of 7 January 2002 on the LEADER+ European Community Initiative, whether matched funding from government, which lasts beyond one year, is treated in government accounts as an irrevocable forward spending provision. [HL2906]

Lord Whitty:

The England LEADER + Programme has a budget set out in the programme document which has been endorsed by Ministers and approved by the European Commission for the lifetime of the programme.

There is therefore a commitment for Defra to match-fund this programme at endorsed levels.

Departmental decisions on resource allocation are currently made annually and we expect LEADER + to receive the required funding via the normal mechanism.

Although there is therefore a ministerial commitment to fund the LEADER + Programme, this does not technically constitute an "irrevocable forward spending provision."