Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Departmental Advisory Bodies.


asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will list the number of advisory bodies set up by his Department and give details of the activitiess of these bodies and the budgetary provisions for each of them.

The only advisory body attached to my Department is the advisory committee on the development, operation and monitoring of a programme of pilot schemes to combat poverty. The budgetary provision for this committee for 1980 is £500,000.

Will the Minister give an indication of the Department's future plans for that committee?

The budget provision of £500,000 has been provided and the pilot scheme to combat poverty will have to make a report the same as any other committee.

Will the Minister say if there will be provision in next year's Estimate for an allocation to that committee?

A further £80,000 was allocated this year. The expenditure of the committee in 1979 was in excess of £½ million; it was £543,000. The EEC paid a grant of £235,000 towards the cost of the projects. Because of the importance of that type of work some moneys will be provided in the normal way.

That is an undertaking?

I have said.

That is a very important undertaking. I hope the Minister realises the significance of it.

Is the Minister of State giving an undertaking that provisions are at present being made for the continuation of the work of the pilot scheme to combat poverty into 1981 and could the Minister give an indication whether it is intended to maintain the same level of activity next year as was undertaken this year?

I am not the Minister for Finance and the Deputy is surely aware that I cannot tell what will be provided in the budget.

The Deputy might have a chance next month.

The Deputy will agree however that the advisory committee's work is important and the work will not be reduced in effectiveness.

That is a very important undertaking.