asked the Minister for Local Government if he will revise reconstruction, water and sewerage grants in order to bring them into line with present day material costs, etc.
Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Water and Sewerage Schemes.
I would refer the Deputy to my reply to a similar question on 5th December, 1968.
Is the Minister aware that, in reply to a question yesterday, the House was informed that, compared with 1957, the £ is now worth only 13s 2d? The grants in question have not been revised upwards for the past 15 or 16 years. In view of the falling value of the £, does the Minister not think that these grants should now be revised upwards?
This question has nothing to do with the value of the £. It concerns reconstruction, water and sewerage grants.
In view of the fact that most, if not all, housing grants have not been revised upwards since 1949, is it not high time they were now increased?
That is not strictly accurate. Since then, supplementary grants were brought in. Some people qualify for double grants.
We are dealing with State grants. My supplementary question relates to State grants.
The assistance available to people building or reconstructing houses, in the case of people who qualify for a supplementary grant, is the total of the State grant and supplementary grant.
The question relates to State grants and in view of the fact that State grants have not been increased since 1948 would the Minister not think that now is the time to increase the amounts?
As I said in the reply to which I have referred, the matter is continuously under review.
That is very poor consolation.
He has not got the money.
The Minister has had driving tests under review for nine months and——
Driving tests have been in operation for more than nine months.
And the Minister maintains that people who come back after five years should still do a test.
I still maintain there should not be unilateral recognition of foreign driving licences.
The Minister did not say that in his reply. He said that——
I said I would be in favour of a reciprocal arrangement.
The Question relates to grants and this matter does not arise. It has been discussed on the Adjournment.
And will be again.
asked the Minister for Local Government when work is likely to start on the Poulavanogue group water scheme, Clonmel, County Waterford.
The proposed source of water for this scheme is unsuitable. The problem in finding a suitable supply is currently being investigated. In the meantime work cannot be put in hand.
asked the Minister for Local Government the cause of the delay in implementing the proposed group water supply scheme for Lisgriffin, Buttevant, County Cork.
I would refer the Deputy to the reply given to Deputy Meaney on 25th February last. There has been no change in the position since then.
asked the Minister for Local Government the cause of the delay in finishing the group water supply scheme for Knockaloman and Holymount, County Cork.
Work has not yet started on the servicing of this area which will be dealt with as an enlargement of the Ballydaly group water scheme. A contractor is being sought by the group to carry out the additional work.
asked the Minister for Local Government when a water supply will be made available to the residents of Kilmanahan village, County Waterford.
As I indicated in reply to a previous question, the Kilmanahan water supply scheme has been fully approved by me. It is a matter for the local authority to arrange for the execution of the work.
asked the Minister for Local Government if he is aware that the present water supply in Ballina, County Mayo, is inadequate for domestic use, fire fighting, etc.; and what steps he proposes to take to remedy this situation.
I am aware of the inadequacy of the present water supply in Ballina. In October last I approved of the Urban District Council's proposal to appoint a consultant to prepare a preliminary report for the laying of a new water distribution system in the town and I gave approval in principle in November last to Mayo County Council's proposals for Stage I of a joint scheme to serve Ballina town and the adjacent rural area.
Can the Minister say when can we expect a water supply to be provided? The position has reached emergency proportions.
There is nothing before my Department in regard to this at present.