Wednesday, 26 March 2003
Dáil Eireann Debate
110. Mr. P. Breen asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the present situation regarding the operations and funding in 2003 of the Western Development Commission in view of the advice from the rural development division of his Department that the Western Development Commission is ring-fenced by statute and should not be subject to cuts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8372/03]
Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Éamon Ó Cuív): The grant-in-aid for general expenses for the Western Development Commission for 2003 is €1,385,000 compared to €1,413,000 in 2002. I am satisfied that despite this 2% reduction, the commission will be able to operate effectively this year.
The reduction in the allocation from €6.35 million in 2002 to €2.013 million for the Western Investment Fund, WIF, simply reflected the projected actual expenditure based on the outturn in previous years. The amount required from my Department last year was only €1.157 million.
In recent contacts with the commission I indicated that I am agreeable to providing some additional assistance towards the fund. I am in close touch with the commission in relation to this matter and I will continue to keep it under review.
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