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£180m Catalyst Fund is “new money”

December 6, 2011

Interesting parliamentary exchange here with regard to the government’s £180 million Catalyst Fund:

Andrew Miller (Ellesmere Port and Neston, Labour)
It is good to see that the Secretary of State is now on the same side of the debate as me regarding NO2ID and similar issues. Nevertheless, there is an important issue about ensuring the greatest public buy-in to the issue of data sharing, and careful work is needed on that. May I specifically ask him about the catalyst fund? To what extent is this new money? Can he assure the House that money from patient care is not being transferred into the catalyst fund? Will the Technology Strategy Board be able to control its use, or will it be directed by Government?

Andrew Lansley (Secretary of State, Health; South Cambridgeshire, Conservative)
In the first instance, the £180 million to which I referred consists of £90 million from the Medical Research Council, which is new money within its existing budget but not at the expense of any other programmes. The other £90 million is provided by the Treasury to the TSB and is new money. None of this comes out of any NHS resources. The implementation will be led by the Medical Research Council, so to that extent it will not be driven by Government.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 9, 2011 10:55 am

    “the £180 million to which I referred consists of £90 million from the Medical Research Council, which is new money within its existing budget but not at the expense of any other programmes”.

    Since the £90 million comes out of the MRC’s existing budget, by definition it comes at the expensive of other programmes. (There is £90 million less for the MRC to spend on other programmes). Not that it’s a bad way to spend the money of course! But it ain’t new.

  2. December 9, 2011 11:12 am

    Who would have thought that the government would play around with words in this way?

    Thanks for the comment, Richard. I’m keen to see what the MRC is saying about this. If Nature has covered it, could you post the link in another comment?

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