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Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:30 pm on 28th June 2000.

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Photo of Stephen Byers Stephen Byers Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry 3:30 pm, 28th June 2000

As to the position with regard to the devolved Administrations, I know that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales is making an announcement this afternoon about how he intends to deal with these matters in Wales.

The ring-fenced funding has been negotiated in the context of the comprehensive spending review, and it will apply to Wales as well as England. The right hon. Member for Caernarfon (Mr. Wigley) is right to point out that targeted financial support must be supplied to deprived rural areas as well as to deprived urban areas, but that support will take different forms. The power to put subsidy into rural areas is contained in the new Postal Services Bill, but the fund for deprived urban areas is exclusively for those areas, and will be ring-fenced accordingly.