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Financial Resolution No. 15: General (Resumed) (Continued)

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 785 No. 3

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  2 o’clock

(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Jimmy Deenihan: Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan] Including the EU Presidency culture programme funding, the total allocated to the culture Ireland programme in 2013 will increase compared to the current year.

A provision of over €18 million is being made available in respect of capital expenditure. The bulk of this capital funding will be channelled toward the Irish Film Board, in recognition of its importance from both a cultural and employment perspective. One of the key reasons Ireland continues to be chosen as a film location is the work the Irish Film Board does to promote Ireland at international film and television markets. The positive impact of this work is threefold, in terms of creating jobs in Ireland, creating spend on local goods and services, and promoting Ireland on the big and small screens to audiences of millions internationally.

I also welcome the decision by the Minister for Finance, Deputy Noonan, to extend the section 481 film tax relief scheme until the end of 2020. This will give a great deal of certainty to the Irish audiovisual sector to the end of the decade. Moving to a tax-credit model will be a significant change, but there is an extended lead-in period to the new arrangements to enable the sector to adapt. This year alone a number of significant productions are filming in Ireland, including "Vikings", with a spend in Ireland of €25 million, and "Ripper Street", with a spend of almost €11 million. The extension of the scheme is important for Ireland, for both the jobs that are supported by this sector and our location as a place for film and audiovisual investment.

Funding of some €44.3 million has been made available in the context of my Department's heritage programme. A provision of almost €37.6 million has been allocated for current expenditure with a further €6.8 million in capital funding. A further €1.2 million in capital funding will be carried over into 2013 giving an overall reduction in funding for heritage of approximately 6% next year.

Exchequer funding of around €4.4 million will be made available to support the work of the Heritage Council. My Department will be working with the council over the coming months to implement the findings of the recent review which recognised the council's particular strengths in supporting and building links with local communities and local government in the promotion of our heritage.

With regard to natural heritage, the key outputs in 2013 will focus on meeting our obligations under EU directives. Turf-cutting and the protection of designated raised bogs remains a key concern for my Department and I remain determined to address this issue in a way that is fair, balanced and supportive of those affected. My Department and the Peatlands Council will continue to work closely with turf-cutters who are required to cease cutting turf on Ireland's 53 special area of conservation raised bogs so as to ensure that their needs are met through relocation to a new bog or through compensation. A national plan will be progressed for the management of these protected habitats together with an overarching peatlands strategy to set out national policy on the future of all of Ireland's peatlands.

Heritage functions in my Department will also continue to be supported through the Environment Fund in 2013. The level of allocation from that fund will be decided in due course.

I am committed to developing North-South co-operation within the broader arts, heritage and commemorative activities of my Department as well as through the funding of North-South bodies. An indicative provision of €40.3 million is being made available to support the two North-South implementation bodies, An Foras Teanga comprising Foras na Gaeilge and the Ulster-Scots Agency, and Waterways Ireland. These allocations will fall to be agreed by the North-South Ministerial Council in due course.

My Department makes a significant contribution to supporting economic activity and employment across the country, both in the sectors that it directly supports and, equally, in the context of cultural tourism. My primary concern is to make every effort to ensure that, within the provision available to me, I can continue to support the agencies that are contributing to job creation while also maintaining front-line services to the public. In addition, for 2013 every saving that can be made from cutting down on overheads, and through the public service reform plan, will continue to be pursued. The Government has reaffirmed its commitment to fairness, jobs and reform in the budget. My Department will continue to play its part to help move Ireland to a sound and sustainable economic position.

Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Dinny McGinley): Information on Dinny McGinley Zoom on Dinny McGinley Tá áthas orm an deis seo a fháil labhairt sa Teach inniu maidir leis an soláthar do mo Roinn i dtaca le cúrsaí Gaeilge, Gaeltachta agus Oileán. I dtús báire, ní miste a rá gur figiúirí tascacha iad na figiúirí a bheidh á lua agam, faoi réir na Meastachán a bheith foilsithe agus faofa i Feabhra 2013.

Is léir go bhfuil acmhainní an Stait thar a bheith tearc faoi láthair agus go raibh cinntí crua le tógáil dá réir ag an Rialtas maidir le leithdháileadh na n-acmhainní sin sa cháinaisnéis a cuireadh i láthair an Tí seo inné. I bhfianaise an tsoláthair laghdaithe atá curtha ar fáil do ghnothaí Gaeilge, Gaeltachta agus Oileán, is léir go mbeidh cinntí crua le tógáil ag mo Roinnse fosta. É sin ráite, tá sé i gceist againn na seirbhísí túslíne a chosaint oiread agus is féidir.

San iomlán, beidh beagnach €57 milliún le caitheamh ag mo Roinnse in 2013 ar ghnóthaí Gaeilge, Gaeltachta agus Oileán, lena n-airítear an Foras Teanga. Áirítear anseo beagnach €42.4 milliún atá le caitheamh ar ghnothaí Gaeilge, Gaeltachta agus Oileán agus tuairim is €14.6 milliún ata le caitheamh ar an Fhoras Teanga thuaidh agus theas, faoi réir chomhaontú na Comhairle Aireachta Thuaidh Theas.

Ní miste a rá go bhfuil laghdú idir 4% agus 5% tagtha ar an bhuiséad reatha agus go bhfuil laghdú 10% tagtha ar an bhuiséad caipitil sna réimsi a thagann faoi mo chúram. Ach é sin ráite, tá mise dóchasach go mbeimid in ann aghaidh a thabhairt ar ár gcuid tosaíochtai a chomhlíonadh taobh istigh den tsoláthar a bheidh againn.

Mar is eol don Teach, tá cur i bhfeidhm na Straitéise 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge ar an chloch is mo ar phaidrín mo Roinne ón uair gur tháinig sí i bhfeidhm i mí na Nollag 2010. Agus Acht na Gaeltachta 2012 ina dhlí anois, táimid ag tabhairt tús áite don phróiseas pleanála teanga agus muid ag treabhadh ar aghaidh le cur i bhfeidhm na straiteise.

Má bhreathnaítear ar an chaiteachas reatha i dtosach, tá me an-shásta a fhógairt go mbeidh tuairim is €3.4 milliún ag Údaras na Gaeltachta a bheidh le caitheamh ar chur i bhfeidhm na straitéise sa Ghaeltacht agus, ach go hairithe, chun an próiseas pleanála teanga a fheidhmiú i gcomhar leis na heagraíochtaí pobalbhunaithe sa Ghaeltacht. Is díol suntais atá ann gur éirigh linn buiséad reatha an údaráis a mheadú agus is féidir liom a rá gur tógadh an cinneadh sin mar gheall ar thábhacht an phróisis, pleanála teanga. Ina theannta sin, beidh tuairim is €9.2 milliún ag Údaraá na Gaeltachta dá bhuiséad riaracháin.

Chomh fada is a bhaineann sé le caiteachas reatha mo Roinne, meastar go mbeidh tuairim is €6.7 milliún againn le caitheamh ar na scéimeanna tacaíochta Gaeltachta agus tuairim is €4.1 milliún againn le caitheamh ar na scéimeanna tacaíochta Gaeilge taobh amuigh den Ghaeltacht. Cé go bhfuil laghdú tagtha ar na figiúirí seo ón bhliain seo caite, tá mé ag súil go mbeimid in ann na seirbhísí túslíne a chosaint sna réimsí seo, ar nós na mná tí agus na coláistí Gaeilge, oiread agus is féidir.

Ní miste a rá go bhfuil mé an-shásta a fhógairt go mbeidh an t-allúntas céanna, is é sin €5.9 milliún, ann do na seirbhísí iompair do na hoileáin. Arís, is díol suntais atá ann gur éirigh linn an t-allúntas seo a choinneáil ag an leibhéal céanna, i bhfianaise na laghduithe atá curtha i bhfeidhm beagnach trasna an bhoird i mo Roinn.

Ar an taobh caipitil, tá mé an-shásta a fhógairt go bhfuil méadú tagtha ar an allúntas d'Údarás na Gaeltachta go tuairim is €6 mhilliún. Tógadh an cinneadh seo i bhfianaise tábhacht an allúntais seo do chruthú fostaíochta agus d'fhorbairt fiontraíochta sa Ghaeltacht. Idir allúntas an Státchiste agus acmhainní an Údaráis féin, tá mé ag súil go mbeidh an t-údarás in ann leanúint orthu ag cruthú post nua sa Ghaeltacht agus ag cosaint na bpost atá ann faoi láthair.

Maidir leis an allúntas caipitil a bheidh le caitheamh ag mo Roinn, beidh tuairim is €1.2 milliún le caitheamh ar na scéimeanna tacaíochta Gaeltachta agus beidh allúntas de thuairim is €680,000 ar thaobh na n-oileán.

Maidir leis na háisíneachtaí a thagann faoi scáth mo Roinne, creidim go mbeidh soláthar dóthanach acu in 2013 chun leanúint orthu lena gcuid feidhmeanna reachtúla a chur i gcrích. Beidh allúntas iomlán de thuairim is €18.6 milliún ag Údarás na Gaeltachta chomh maith le maoiniú breise óna gcuid foinsí féin. Beidh allúntas de €615,000 curtha ar fáil d'Oifig an Choimisinéara Teanga in 2013.

Ina theannta sin, beidh tuairim is €14.6 milliún ag an bhForas Teanga thuaidh theas, faoi réir chomhaontú na Comhairle Aireachta Thuaidh Theas in am trátha.

Mar fhocal scoir, creidimse go bhfuil tiomantas an Rialtais don Ghaeilge, don Ghaeltacht agus do na hoileáin le feiceáil go soiléir sa leithdháileadh atá beartaithe do mo Roinn don bhliain 2013. Ciallaíonn an soláthar seo go mbeidh mo Roinn in ann leanúint uirthi ag tabhairt tosaíochta do chur i bhfeidhm na Straitéise 20 BIiain don Ghaeilge, chomh maith le tacaíocht a thabhairt do phobal na Gaeilge, na hUltaise, na Gaeltachta agus na n-oileán tríd an réimse leathan gníomhaíochtaí a mhaoiníonn mo Roinn agus áisíneachtaí mo Roinne.


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