HC Deb 27 October 2003 vol 412 c130WS
Mrs. Iris Robinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the total cost of(a) the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference, (b) the British-Irish Council and (c) the North-South Implementation Bodies has been since April 1998. [132095]

Mr. Paul Murphy

A breakdown of the costs in each year since December 1999, when these bodies were established, is set out as follows:

(a) The information requested by the hon. Member for Strangford on the total cost of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conferences since 1999 can be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The expenditure of the British-Irish I ntergovernmental Secretariat is met by the two governments and the cost to the British Government since 2 December 1999 is as follows:

1999–2000 1232
2000–01 488
2001–02 554
2002–03 539
2003–04 2287
1 The BIIGC was established on 2 December 1999. The figure for that year covers the period 2 December 1999 to 31 March 2000.
2 Provisional figure (April to September 2003).

(b) Each member of the British-Irish Council is responsible for the costs of its participation. The British and Irish Governments provide the secretariat for the Council, in co-ordination with officials of each of the other members, and bear the costs between them. It is, therefore, not possible to provide the total cost of the Council since its inception in December 1999.

(c) I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 7 July 2003, Official Report, column 596W.