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

I am delighted that the hon. Gentleman has intervened and I ask him to refer to what the hon. Member for Daventry said:

“Even attenuated, the total cost of the LSC bureaucracy comes to £1.8 billion—a very heavy burden, and it comes out of what is available for front-line education.”—[Official Report, 21 May 2007; Vol. 460, c. 1020.]

Indeed, the hon. Member for South Holland and The Deepings could also refer to what the hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. Jackson) said:

“We know that the current spend on administration alone in LSCs is £1.8 billion.”—[Official Report, 21 May 2007; Vol. 460, c. 1059.]

If, as I gather from what the hon. Member for South Holland and The Deepings is saying, we are seeing an indication that the cat is out of the bag and the Opposition are backtracking, that is something that I very much welcome. The message that he has sent out by describing that £1.8 billion of expenditure as administration and bureaucracy is that those areas are ripe for cuts. If that is the case, it will be an enormous cause for concern to those young people in receipt of education maintenance allowance, which has brought about the biggest step change in participation in education at the age of 16 since the early 1990s; those in receipt of the care to learn grant; those in receipt of career development loans; those in receipt of dance and drama awards; and the colleges, which have seen their capital expenditure go from zero 10 years ago to £500 million per year today. All those items make up the £1.8 billion.