Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Questions (52, 55)

John Browne

Question:

52. Deputy John Browne asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the amount of moneys accumulated to date in the dormant account fund since its inception; the amount available at present; his plans to allocate such funds; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44895/13]

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Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

55. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the allocation in next year's Estimate for expenditure under dormant accounts measures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44882/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 52 and 55 together.

Under the Dormant Accounts legislation, balances on dormant accounts with banks, building societies and An Post and the net encashment value of certain life assurance policies are paid into the Dormant Accounts Fund, which is managed by the National Treasury Management Agency. The primary purpose of the legislation is to re-unite the original account holders with their moneys, including all interest due. In addition, the legislation also provides that disbursements from the fund may be made for charitable purposes or for purposes of community benefit. Since its establishment in April 2003 to the end of September 2013, the transfers to the Dormant Accounts Fund have totalled some €724.6m, which includes interest earned of approximately €39.8m. Funds reclaimed in that period by account holders amounted to around €267.6m. €278m of disbursements have been approved, with €251m already spent on projects designed to benefit the community over the same period. The current balance of uncommitted funds is €120.6m.

The Disbursement Plan of 2009, put in place by the Dormant Accounts Board, will be replaced shortly by a new disbursement scheme in accordance with the Dormant Accounts (Amendment) Act 2012. The 2012 Act also provides for the preparation of an action plan, to give effect to the disbursement scheme. The plan will indicate the programmes or types of projects that may apply for disbursement and the maximum funds available. Different amounts may be specified in the plan in relation to a particular class or classes of programme or project.

This year, I have allocated €6.385m for Dormant Accounts Measures, which includes €2.835m to be used to support labour force activation measures in local authorities. The budget provision for 2014 is €5.456m, made up of €3.45 current and €2.006 capital. This will allow for the continuation of funding to support the labour force activation measures and the implementation of a modest action plan. Further data in relation to Dormant Accounts Funding is available on my Department's website at www.environ.ie.