HC Deb 14 May 2004 vol 421 c606W
Derek Conway

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the grant from public funds to the Commission for Racial Equality in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement on the reasons for the delay in distributing funds to commission area councils for racial equality, including Bexley. [169448]

Fiona Mactaggart

The grant-in-aid paid to the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) in each of the last five years was as follows:

£ million
2000–2001 16.685
2001–2002 20.516
2002–2003 20.424
2003–2004 123.902
2004–2005 19.200
1 A further £4 million was provided in-year to cover a predicted shortfall in the value of Race Equality Council pension scheme.

Substantial additional sums were allocated in the three year period 2001–02 to 2003–04 to allow the CRE to implement the provisions of the Race Relations Amendment Act and its modernisation programme. This increase was carried forward to the baseline for this year. The new baseline of £19.2 million (which includes a 4.5 per cent. reduction in administration costs) will be the starting point for considering next year's budget.

The closing date for bids for Section 44 applications grants was 13 February 2004. Since that time the CRE and the Home Office have been working to agree this years delegated budget, and the CRE has been assessing a large pool of applications in accordance with its criteria. The number of successful applicants is higher than last year. The Commission notified applicants of its funding decisions on Thursday 6 May 2004.