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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 4 May 1995

Vol. 452 No. 4

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Horizon Programme.

Helen Keogh


10 Ms Keogh asked the Minister for Enterprise and Employment the reason it has been decided not to allocate 65 per cent of the Horizon Programme specifically for disability; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7630/95]

The distribution of the Horizon funding has been negotiated and agreed with the European Commission. This provides 55 per cent of the budget for projects in favour of people with disabilities. The balance will fund projects for disadvantaged people such as the very long term unemployed, substance abusers and lone parents. The agreed allocation takes account of the operational experiences under the Horizon programme to date. It is designed to ensure that the impact of the expenditure is maximised and that the projects funded are those which are most likely to inform and improve national training and employment policies for disabled and disadvantaged people.

These allocations are not set in stone and can be reviewed during a mid-term review if that proves desirable. All training programmes funded under the human resource programme are open to people with disabilities.

Why did we not subscribe to the 65 per cent requirement that other countries, with the exception of two others, subscribed to?

I understand it was based on experience of the previous Horizon programme. They looked at the nature and quality of the proposals. Given the success of the previous programme which was based on a 55 per cent/45 per cent they felt that was the appropriate balance. Clearly it is open to review and the Department is open to considering that. There are substantial human resource budgets available. The interests of persons with disability are not confined to the Horizon programme. Other programmes endeavour to ensure that persons with disability have access to training through them.