Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Questions (652)

Robert Troy


652. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the steps she will take to rebalance the budget to Údarás na Gaeltachta to ensure it can fulfil its obligations in supporting job creation in areas suffering from a disproportionate level of unemployment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [39560/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

At the outset, I should  point out that the National Development Plan 2018-2027 includes a commitment to increase, on an incremental basis, the capital allocation to Údarás na Gaeltachta from the 2018 base level of €7m to €12m annually.

In that context the Deputy will be aware that additional capital funding was allocated to Údarás na Gaeltachta in 2019, bringing its total allocation to €9m in core capital funding this year. In addition to this, I decided, at the beginning of this year to carry forward a sum of €0.7m, unspent by the Department in 2018 and to add it to An tÚdarás’ capital budget. This has resulted in my Department  providing An tÚdarás with a total capital budget of €9.7m in 2019.

When the €3.86m in total funding allocated recently to An tÚdarás under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, as well as the €2m in funding for Páirc na Mara in Cill Chiaráin allocated to An tÚdarás under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund, is included, it results in an overall capital funding allocation of €15.56m being available to An tÚdaras in 2019.

 As the Deputy will be aware, it is through the annual budgetary and estimates process that Exchequer funding is allocated to my department and indeed to all Government Departments. In this context the Deputy will understand  that the  2020 allocation for Irish Language and Gaeltacht organisations, including Údarás na Gaeltachta,  is currently being considered as part of this process.

Needless to say, I can assure the Deputy that I will continue to advocate for  additional capital funding for An tÚdarás in order to further support the organisation in discharging its functions.