Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Health Services Funds.

10.

asked the Minister for Health the funds he proposes to allocate to the health services for 1983, in addition to those contained in the Estimates as published in November last.

I am not in a position to say what extra provision may be made in relation to any areas of health expenditure in 1983. The position in this regard will be clearer after the 1983 budget has been introduced.

Will there be extra money in addition to that provided in the November Estimates for the health boards?

That question seems to be anticipating debate.

We are talking about Estimates not budgets. Will there be extra money in addition to that in the Estimates published in November? The answer is either a straight "yes" or "no".

The exact position and exact allocations will be published after the budget has been introduced.

The Minister is well aware that there is no relationship between the two.

Will there be additional money available to the health boards over and above the November Estimates? The Minister is aware of the position.

I am fully aware of it but it is a matter for the Minister for Finance when he introduces the budget to make the allocations and decisions. It will all emerge in due course and I am sure the Deputy will restrain himself for a few hours.

It is unreasonable to develop this now when there is a budget statement following Question Time.

(Interruptions.)

The Minister does not want to carry the can for it.

Can we take it that the Minister is saying there is no further money available at this time?

The Minister is not in a position to answer any questions until after the budget.

(Interruptions.)

Cabinet responsibility.

Is the Minister aware that there will be less money available for the health boards than there was in November. He criticised the Estimates bitterly——

The Minister has the good grace to blush.

I take it that silence is consent and that that will be the case.

Let the nod of the Minister be recorded.