Health authority use of earmarked funds for AIDS-related services is monitored through the reports required under the AIDS (Control) Act 1987. From this year, we have also introduced a requirement for regions to submit to the Department forward spending plans, which will be checked against quarterly monitoring reports.
Does the Minister agree that it is more important than ever that health authorities allocate adequate resources to help to prevent the spread of AIDS and to provide care and treatment to those who are HIV positive or who have AIDS? The House welcomes the Minister's confirmation that quarterly monitoring is now supplementing the annual reports made under the AIDS (Control) Act 1987. May we take it that the Government are determined to ensure effective ring fencing of the money required for those purposes?
I acknowledge the hon. Gentleman's close interest in that subject over the years and confirm that the Government are determined to ensure, through the quarterly monitoring reports, which are operating for the first time in the current year, that the substantial resources allocated to AIDS-related services are used for the intended purposes. Those resources amount to more than £180 million in the current year, which is a rise of more than one third over last year, and contribute to expenditure of more than £650 million since 1987.