Thursday, 25 February 1993
Dáil Éireann Debate
Minister for Enterprise and Employment (Mr. Quinn): The principal determining factor in arriving at departmental allocations for 1993 is the constraints inherent in the overall budgetary situation. This accounts for several areas of my Department's Vote, including Vote 34.J — the Science and Technology Development Programme — which are the subject of a decreased allocation.
I should, however, point out to the Deputy that the reduction in the voted amount for the S&T Development Programme is offset by an additional £13.416 million which is being directly co-financed, for the first time this year, by the EC Commission. This additional funding is being provided for a new measure under the Structural Funds-supported Operational Programme for Industry and will assist in-company research and development projects. When this allocation — which is not provided from within the Vote — is taken into account, the total expenditure on the S&T Development Programme amounts to £34.381 million, an increase of 30 per cent on the 1992 outturn.
Minister for Justice (Mrs. Geoghegan-Quinn): The apparent reduction of 54 per cent exaggerates the actual reduction between the two years in that the equivalent allocation for 1992 included a special once-off allocation of £300,000 to enable the Irish Productivity Centre to carry our a major restructuring which was considered necessary by the management, in addition to a provision — £25,000 — for special pay increases brought forward from this year.
Therefore the real reduction in the 1993 allocation is of the order of 25 per cent. This is in line with the policy of phasing out Exchequer funding for the centre over a three-year period in order to allow it to operate on a wholly commercial basis.
Minister for Justice (Mrs. Geoghegan-Quinn): The increase of £1.923 million in Vote 34.X5 relates to the employment subsidy scheme. Payment of the subsidy is made to employers in arrears after 13 and 34 weeks with the final payment made after 78 weeks. The scheme is terminating at the end of this week but the allocation for 1993 is required to meet commitments to employers in respect of those already recruited under the scheme.
Minister for Justice (Mrs. Geoghegan-Quinn): The increase of £10.543 million in the allocation for the social employment scheme — Vote 34.X4 — will allow an average participation of 13,500 people  on the scheme in 1993 compared with around 12,000 in 1992.
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