Tuesday, 18 November 2008
Dáil Eireann Debate
84. Deputy Seymour Crawford asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the amount of grant aid he has provided under CLÁR funding to local improvement schemes on a county basis for each of the past four years; the amount which will be provided on a county basis in 2008; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40656/08]
Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív): During the period 2004 to 2007 my Department through CLÁR approved over €20.5m of funding on Local Improvements Schemes roads (L.I.S.) in CLÁR areas. The table below details approvals over the past four years.
As all Departments have to refocus their priorities in these uncertain financial times, The CLÁR LIS measure is not being run in 2008. However CLÁR is co-funding with the Department of Transport a measure for Class 11 and Class III Local Roads and Bridges in CLÁR areas for 2008. The Local Authority has sole responsibility for the selection of projects, which are eligible for funding. The total funding for 2009 is almost €6m of which CLÁR is contributing almost €3m.
Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív): My recent announcement in respect of the Rural Development Programme Ireland 2007 — 2013 represents the outcome of the process for selecting Local Action Groups and the allocation of funding to Local Action Groups to deliver the LEADER elements of the Programme.
Under the Programme funding of €425m will be provided towards LEADER activities for the programming period. This is the largest ever package for such rural development in Ireland and is almost treble the level of funding available under the previous LEADER Programmes.
I am delighted to be able to announce this package of funding, particularly in light of the economic challenges currently facing the country. This considerable investment in rural Ireland is expected to result in the creation of more than 12,000 full time jobs and support for 10,000 new and existing micro-enterprises.
In this context, and on the basis of complementary investment from the CLÁR Programme and the Rural Social Scheme, I believe we will see significant and sustained benefits across rural Ireland over the coming years.
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