Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Water and Sewerage Grants.

Tuesday, 4 December 1973

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 269 No. 7

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9.

Mr. Connolly: Information on Gerard C. Connolly  Zoom on Gerard C. Connolly  asked the Minister for Local Government if he proposes to increase water and sewerage grants.

Mr. Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  The existing scheme of improvement grants is currently the subject of a comprehensive review in my Department. Pending the outcome of that review I cannot say what changes will be proposed in the present scheme of grants.

Mr. R.P. Burke: Information on Ray Burke  Zoom on Ray Burke  Will the Minister inform the House when he expects to have this review completed?

Mr. Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  I am afraid the Deputy was not listening to the reply. I said that pending the outcome of the review [848] I could not say what changes will be proposed in the present scheme of grants.

Mr. R.P. Burke: Information on Ray Burke  Zoom on Ray Burke  I wanted to know when the Minister expects this review will be completed.

Mr. Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  If I had that information I would have given it. I am sorry I cannot give the Deputy the information because I have not got it.

Mr. R.P. Burke: Information on Ray Burke  Zoom on Ray Burke  An approximate date would suffice.

Mr. Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  I do not like approximating. I am not quite sure of the facts and I do not like giving information when this is so.

Mr. R.P. Burke: Information on Ray Burke  Zoom on Ray Burke  May I register disappointment with the Minister's reply——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy may ask a question. Indeed, he has asked a number of questions.

Mr. R.P. Burke: Information on Ray Burke  Zoom on Ray Burke  The Minister has often told this House that he is reviewing a matter but he never comes forward with answers to questions.

Mr. Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  The Deputy is being abusive. In fact, he has adopted this line to everything I say.

Mr. R.P. Burke: Information on Ray Burke  Zoom on Ray Burke  On the contrary, I am not being abusive.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  We cannot have an argument on the matter. I am calling Question No. 10.

Mr. Power: Information on Patrick Power  Zoom on Patrick Power  Will the Minister inform the House for how long has the scheme of grants for water and sewerage schemes of £50 and £25 been in operation?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  That is a separate question.

Mr. Power: Information on Patrick Power  Zoom on Patrick Power  It is connected with the question.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  It is a separate question and we must pass to Question No. 10.

Mr. Power: Information on Patrick Power  Zoom on Patrick Power  Can the Minister tell us why he did not increase the water and sewerage grants when he increased the reconstruction grants?

[849]Mr. Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  The present scale of grants has been in operation since 1963. In fact, I am awaiting a report from the people who are doing the review and when I get it I will be only too glad to make the necessary adjustments.

Mr. Cunningham: Information on Liam Cunningham  Zoom on Liam Cunningham  In view of the fact that quite recently, without any report from a committee, the grants for group water schemes were substantially increased——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy is making a statement rather than asking a question.

Mr. Cunningham: Information on Liam Cunningham  Zoom on Liam Cunningham  In view of the grants of £125 per house that are available for group water schemes, is the Minister of the opinion that the other grants should be increased also?

Mr. Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  It would appear that if the previous Government had been doing their job properly they would have increased the grants when they were increasing the grants for group water schemes. However, they did not do that but they will not hang it around my neck now.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Fahey: Information on John Fahey  Zoom on John Fahey  Because of increased costs, does the Minister agree that the grants should be increased now?

Mr. Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  Yes, I agree. My own opinion is that they should be increased and that they should have been increased when the previous Government raised the other grants.

Mr. Cunningham: Information on Liam Cunningham  Zoom on Liam Cunningham  The Minister is saying there is no need for an inquiry. Is it a waste of money?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Callanan has been trying to get in for some time. Would Deputy Cunningham please allow him to put his question?

Mr. Cunningham: Information on Liam Cunningham  Zoom on Liam Cunningham  Does the Minister agree——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Callanan is waiting to put his question. [850] Would Deputy Cunningham please allow him to do so?

Mr. Callanan: Information on John Callanan  Zoom on John Callanan  Deputy Fahy asked the question I intended to put. Is the Minister aware that a substantial increase is necessary owing to the increased costs at present?

Mr. Fahey: Information on John Fahey  Zoom on John Fahey  A Cheann Comhairle, I did not get a satisfactory answer. The Minister must be aware of the enormous increases which have taken place since last March. Surely he has a responsibility for increasing the grant?

Mr. Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  The last time the grants were increased in this case was in 1963. I am aware of the enormous increases which have occurred in the meantime. So far as I am concerned I will give a fair grant to the people who are repairing their houses and for water grants. Fianna Fáil should have done this during their 16 years in office. They will not hang it around my neck now.

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I am passing on to Question No. 10. I have given Deputies a lot of latitude. We cannot deliberate on this question all day. Will Deputy Burke please resume his seat?


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