§ Mr. Lamont
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was Her Majesty's Government's policy on the proposed EU pilot scheme for the rehabilitation of prostitutes; and what is the current status of these proposals. 
§ Mr. Burt
I have been asked to reply.
In January 1996, the European Commission announced that it would grant funding to 86 projects—including a pilot scheme for prostitutes in Austria. The aims of the projects were similar to those covered by an earlier Commission proposal for a programme to combat social exclusion. The proposal was blocked by the UK and Germany in the Council, on the grounds of subsidiarity and value for money.
The Government are opposed to the Commission's action, which has been taken without an adequate legal base. The Government have therefore challenged the expenditure in the European Court of Justice. We await the date of the oral hearing.
1991–92 1992–93 1993–94 1994–95 1995–96 (a) Gross public expenditure Percentage of spend on Basic Social Services (BSS) 10 9 10 9 9 Percentage of spend on BSS, including all Emergency Aid 18 17 21 22 17 (b) ODA programmes Percentage of spend on BSS 11 11 11 11 11 Percentage of spend on BSS, including all Emergency Aid 20 20 23 27 21
The figures quoted are percentages of the UK bilateral programme which accounts for about half of total UK development assistance. Recipient countries also benefit from the UK's substantial contributions to the multilateral agencies.