On Christmas Eve 2002, the Department of Health published the financial allocations to Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) for 2003/4. As usual, this was accompanied by a detailed ‘exposition book’, setting out how the distribution of the available £45.3 bn was decided (Department of Health Finance and Investment Directorate, 2002). Three years ago, I wrote a short article showing how a close reading of this publication could be used to identify notional mental health budgets in these allocations (Glover, 1999). Bindman et al (2000) demonstrated that many health authorities, particularly those that service more deprived areas, spend substantially less on mental health care. As this is the first time financial allocations have been made directly to PCTs, it is helpful to repeat that calculation for the new organisations.