Business Development Grants

  • Max Bradford
Business Development

Business Development Boards grants have been suspended temporarily, not axed - contrary to alarmist Alliance claims, Business Development Minister Max Bradford said today.

Mr Bradford said he was advised yesterday that the Secretary of Commerce, Mr Paul Carpinter, was temporarily suspending payment of Business Development Grants.

"This step was not taken lightly. It has been of concern that some Business Development Boards have been issuing grants which are not in line with the criteria they are required to follow. This is unauthorisied expenditure for which I am ultimately responsible, and puts the Ministry, and eventually me as Minister, in contravention of the Public Finance Act.

The Secretary of Commerce had been discussing this matter with Boards, but until the issues were sorted out all grant expenditure was suspended until the Ministry was confident the criteria was being complied with in all cases, Mr Bradford said.

"As I have signalled publicly on a number of occasions, the Business Development policy is the subject of review at the present time."