Wednesday, 31 May 2000
Dáil Eireann Debate
41. Mr. J. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage Gaeltacht and the Islands the measures proposed to offset the extra costs of living for people whose permanent place of residence is on our offshore islands. [15055/00]
Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands (Éamon Ó Cuív): The Deputy will be aware that, since my appointment as Minister of State with responsibility for the islands, I have increased substantially the resources available to fund investment in the infrastructure, facilities and services on our offshore islands. In that regard, it has been a particular priority of mine to facilitate improved access to the islands. The financial allocations for the islands in the estimates for the current year are almost 50% up on actual spend during 1999 and I intend to maintain the momentum of the development activity already under way.
I am also in favour of the introduction of special tax and social welfare allowances for island dwellers and have raised these issues with the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs respectively.
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