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Decommissioning

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 23rd February 2005.

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Photo of Ian Pearson Ian Pearson Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Northern Ireland Office 11:30 am, 23rd February 2005

As a Government, we need a decommissioning commission and we are absolutely clear about that. The cost of the de Chastelain commission has been some £3.8 million over eight years, which I do not believe is excessive. As a Government, we continually look to ensure that we keep costs to a reasonable minimum and I can tell the hon. Lady that, since 2000–01, there has been a 60 per cent. reduction in the annual cost of operating the decommissioning commission. If we are to take the gun out of politics, we need such a commission.