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Written Answers. - Departmental Expenditure.

Tuesday, 26 November 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 1

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 478. Mr. O'Dowd Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd  asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  the exact cutbacks which were made in his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23208/02]

Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Éamon Ó Cuív): Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív The programme areas of my Department that have a reduced allocation in the AEV 2003 compared to 2002 are shown in the following table:

Area 2002€m AEV 2003€m % reduction
An Foras Teanga 14.00 12.42 11%
Scéimeanna Feabhsúcháin sa Ghaeltacht 12.9 10.29 20%
Údarás na Gaeltachta – deontais do thionscail agus caiteachas caipitil ar fhoirgnimh (Fó-mhír H2) 32.2 25.00 22%
Grants for Community and Voluntary Service 34.96 29.54 16%
Local Development/Social Inclusion Measures 47.58 44.9 6%
Programme for Peace and Reconciliation 11.29 11.05 2%
Grant to Waterways Ireland 30.97 30.49 2%
Western Development Commission (Grant-in-aid for general expenses) 1.5 1.35 10%
Western Investment Fund (Grant-in-aid) 6.35 2.01 68%
NDP Rural Development 11.86 11.09 7%
LEADER, INTERREG and Peace Programme 14.41 13.87 4%
Ceantair Laga Árd-riachtanais (CLÁR) 12.7 9.52 25%
Information society – community initiative 5.13 0.7 86%
Training co-ordination 0.025 0.024 4%

[333] The administrative budget for my Department is also lower than the REV 2002 administrative budget, although direct comparisons with the 2002 administrative budget allocations are misleading. Administration costs for 2002 also refer to the former Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands which had far more staff and locations, and thus higher administrative costs, than my new Department.

A number of key areas of my Department have also secured increased allocations in 2003. These include Ciste na Gaeilge – +8%, Tithe Gaeltachta – +5%, Oileáin – +9%, and the Drugs Initiative – +16%. The increase in funding for the drugs initiative shows the Government's continued commitment to tackling the drugs problem, and our willingness, even in times of financial pressure, to prioritise resources for this very important task.

I have no doubt that with responsibility for both community and local development now in the one Department, streamlining can take place to ensure more efficient delivery of services and better value for money. To this end, I will be undertaking a review of the programmes and activities under my Department's remit during 2003 to ensure better co-ordination and benefit from the various community initiatives.

In the longer term this will ensure enhanced and more efficiently delivered services to those most in need of assistance. My Department will spend approximately €265 million next year on community, rural and Gaeltacht programmes. This shows the Government's continued commitment, even in these times of financial pressure, to the priority work undertaken by my Department.

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