Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Questions (489)

John McGuinness


489. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the funding granted to the sport horse industry will be considered for additional funding of €5 million in budget 2020 to enable the industry to achieve objectives (details supplied); if the funding Departments will recognise the benefits of this investment as reflected in figures drawn from a 2016 analysis; if he will meet with the industry to discuss its strategy for the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37330/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department is fully committed to maximising the potential of the Sport Horse industry and continues to provide support to it both financially and with policy initiatives. I have demonstrated my commitment to the industry by increasing the budget allocated to Horse Sport Ireland from €2.0m in 2017 to €2.5m in 2018 and I have approved a further increase of €500,000 to €3.0m in 2019.  This is an increase of 50% on the 2017 allocation. I am conscious of the potential of this industry; a recent independent economic assessment estimated the annual economic contribution of the sector to be the region of €816m.

I have recently received a funding submission from HSI for 2020, detail of which the Deputy refers to.  I will consider this detail in the context of the 2020 budget negotiations.  My officials have already met with HSI in this regard.