A BRITISH Government allowance to Vietnamese asylum-seekers volunteering for repatriation will be funded from a special reserve fund. After initially denying any knowledge of the scheme announced on Friday by the Hong Kong Government, the British Foreign Office confirmed yesterday that the offer of US$150 (HK$1,158) per person to volunteers was under way. However, both governments refused to reveal which side initiated the scheme and the Hong Kong Government claimed that it had, after all, informed the Vietnamese Government of the plan prior to the announcement. On Friday, Refugees Co-ordinator Brian Bresnihan said Vietnam had not been consulted. He said permission would be sought from Vietnam to allow an information campaign to operate to stop people from leaving Vietnam for Hong Kong in the belief they would be eligible for the allowance. Yesterday, however, Mr Bresnihan said prior consultation with Hanoi had not taken place, but Vietnam had been informed of the decision before the official announcement was made. A Foreign Office spokesman in Hong Kong said GBP6.3 million (HK$75.15 million) had been allocated by Britain to the Comprehensive Plan of Action under the latest budget. The plan is an international scheme established to pave the way for repatriation and resettlement of Vietnamese boat people. He also confirmed that the US$150 allowance would come from a separate reserve fund. The first to benefit under the special allowance scheme was a group of 33 people who departed yesterday for Ho Chi Minh City under the voluntary repatriation scheme. It was also the first group this year to fly direct to the south of Vietnam. Most flights are to Hanoi.