Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (850)

Seán Haughey


968 Mr. Haughey asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will ensure that An Taisce receives adequate and independent financial support; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1637/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

An Taisce is an independent voluntary body whose financing, through membership subscriptions and otherwise, is properly a matter for itself. In 2001 my Department agreed to pay An Taisce an annual grant of €69,836 for the three year period 2001 — 2003 to assist it in its role as a prescribed body under planning legislation. There was no commitment to a continuation of this funding and there is no provision in my Department's Vote to provide similar funding in 2004.

My Department provides grant aid to An Taisce as a contribution towards the administration expenses of the blue flag scheme in Ireland, €75,156 in 2003, and co-finances the An Taisce-led anti-litter initiative national spring clean, €250,500 in 2003.

In addition, An Taisce operating at local level would have received some grants from the environmental partnership fund, €6,875 in 2003, and indirectly through core funding, €1,000 in 2003, to support the environmental NGO movement; both these financial mechanisms are supported by my Department.