Wednesday, 11 February 2004

Questions (108)

Denis Naughten


170 Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Finance the criteria used to decide on the location of Government offices under his decentralisation programme; the reason the towns of Boyle, Ballaghaderreen and Castlerea fell short based on those criteria; if those towns will be considered for the outstanding allocation of offices; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4172/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Finance)

Following my original announcement about decentralisation in December 1999, my Department received submissions, representations and inquiries on behalf of more than 130 centres throughout the country. The programme which I announced on budget day covered 53 centres and the criteria used to select these locations are set out in budget 2004.

As I indicated in my Budget Statement, decisions on location have yet to be made in relation to some 1,300 of the 10,300 jobs being decentralised. I also believe that the final total can be closer to 12,000 jobs and I intend to examine options in this regard once the new programme is well under way. The selection of locations for any future phases of decentralisation will be considered by Government at the appropriate time.