Tuesday, 26 May 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
304. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs his Department’s annual spend on tackling problematic alcohol and illegal drug use respectively for each of the past three years. [20950/09]
Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy John Curran): At the outset, I would like to advise the Deputy that expenditure on alcohol services rests with my colleague, Mary Harney T.D., Minister for Health and Children.
The table below sets out the expenditure from my Department’s Vote on tackling drugs misuse for each of the years 2007, 2008 and the 2009 allocation. The main areas of expenditure covered include current and capital initiatives delivered by the 14 Local and 10 Regional Drugs Task Forces; the research programme and administrative supports for the National Advisory Committee on Drugs and administrative costs of the former National Drugs Strategy Team. The funding in 2007 and 2008 also includes expenditure under the Young People’s Facilities and Services Fund, responsibility for which transferred to the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (OMYCA) in January 2009.
As the Deputy is aware, the Drugs Strategy is based on a co-ordinated effort across many Government Departments and Agencies and my Department’s funding is only part of a much bigger investment programme in drugs services by these other bodies. In 2008, it was estimated that total expenditure on drugs programmes was over €264m. Considerable resources are targeted at problem substance use across Ireland and the challenge over the coming years, given the current financial constraints facing the country, will be to maximise the overall effectiveness of that funding.
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