Thursday, 8 March 2012
Dáil Éireann Debate
55. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the criteria used to cut the funding for those social inclusion projects, including an organisation (details supplied). [13078/12]
Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): As part of the Government’s Comprehensive Review of Expenditure and the 2012 estimates process, difficult decisions have had to be taken in relation to prioritising funding for core services in all programme areas. The provisional funding estimate to support the mainstreamed drugs projects under my Department’s Housing programme for 2012 was €100,000, compared with €400,000 in 2011. In view of this, my Department informed the relevant local authorities, Dublin City Council and South Dublin County Council, that it would not be possible to continue funding the relevant projects concerned throughout 2012. Pro rata funding would be provided for the first quarter of 2012 only, while a consultation process was pursued between the projects, the Councils and other bodies to explore alternative funding mechanisms for the projects for 2012 and beyond.
In the interim, and having regard to difficulties identified by the Councils, the projects and other funding partners in ensuring that the relevant drugs projects have sufficient time to identify alternative streams of funding and/or to undertake a reconfiguration of project tasks and priorities, my Department has also agreed to provide additional pro rata funding to support the projects for the second quarter of 2012, i.e. to 30 June 2012, through a transfer of €100,000 within the provisional housing programme estimate for 2012.
This funding is being provided strictly on a once off basis and on the clear understanding that it represents an extension of the transitional arrangement only, thereby providing projects with sufficient time to undertake a fully comprehensive consultation to identify future alternative funding mechanisms. It will be a matter for all the public funding bodies, as part of the consultation process, to identify resources to deliver on the overall objectives of the reconfigured projects beyond end June 2012.
Furthermore, in the context of a public funding provision of €260 million for drugs programmes across all Departments and agencies in 2011, my colleague, the Minister of State with responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy is currently undertaking a review of the structures that underpin the National Drugs Strategy at local, regional and national level, including how the current funding structures can be improved or streamlined, particularly in relation to local and regional drugs task forces.
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