HC Deb 17 September 2003 vol 410 c816W
Mr. McGrady

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps are being taken to address the underspending of Government Departments through more co-ordinated financial planning; and if he will make a statement. [123958]

Mr. Pearson

On the basis of underspends in previous years an action plan to address this issue was set out in a Statement to the Assembly on 1 July 2002 by the then Minister of Finance and Personnel. This included setting spending plans at a level which exceeded the actual spending power available by building in underspend assumptions, and the revised spending plans for 2003–04 to 2005–06, announced on 11 December 2002, built on that approach. Full details are set out in Section 2 of the Budget Document ("Building on Progress: Budget 2003–2006").