New Clause 7

Part of Further Education and Training Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:00 pm on 14th June 2007.

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Photo of Bill Rammell Bill Rammell Minister of State (Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education), Department for Education and Skills 1:00 pm, 14th June 2007

We are seeing an eloquent, if misguided, attempt to backtrack. The claim that was clearly and explicitly made on Second Reading was that the LSC spends £1.8 billion on administration and bureaucracy. Today, we have demonstrated that that figure is £280 million, and I think that the hon. Gentleman is on the horns of a dilemma. I respect him and his integrity, based on his previous practice. Given his track record of integrity, he should either stand up and admit that the  £1.8 billion figure used to describe administration and bureaucracy costs was a fabrication or signal the intention of a future Conservative Government to cut the programmes of education maintenance allowance, care to learn grants, career development grants, dance and drama awards, and capital expenditure. I will happily give way if he would like to intervene to clarify whether he acknowledges that the £1.8 billion claim was erroneous or, alternatively, that he intends to cut those expenditure programmes.