Written Answers. - Drugs Initiative.

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

108 Mr. O'Dowd asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he will make a statement on the fact that the Drug Initiative D3/Y3 budget allocation for his Department of ?16.3 million does not cover the work programme of ?22.7 million as discussed in a document (details supplied). [3651/03]

The Deputy should note that the budget for funding of drugs services provided by my Department has increased by 16% in 2003, although the overall level of funding available to the Department has decreased. The increase in expenditure for 2003 clearly reflects the Government's ongoing commitment to addressing the problem, particularly in areas where heroin misuse is most prevalent. While there may be additional demands on the subhead in 2003, I believe that through this increased allocation and close monitoring of spending, we can address such demands over the course of the year.