I thank the Minister for his reply. As people who represent rural constituencies, the Minister and I are conscious of how important the scheme has been during the years. I am keen to see more money invested to try to reduce the substantial backlogs in many counties.
The funding allocated to my county in recent years has been drawn down. Knowing many of the lanes involved and families who have been the beneficiaries, the work was carried out to a very high standard. I am glad that the Minister has introduced a cap on the local contribution because, in many instances, it was prohibitive, particularly for older people who are surviving on a pension and who would not have money available to contribute. It is important that the scheme not be put beyond people's reach because of income pressures. In many instances, members of families, often sons or daughters, may want to set up home on a site given to them by their parents. One of the factors taken into consideration when deciding whether to build in a particular location is the quality of the roadway to the proposed home and the quality of the road network more generally. In many parishes, thankfully, there is good quality community infrastructure like football and hurling clubs, soccer clubs and community centres, with, by and large, a great network of primary schools. We want to try to ensure people who wish to remain living in rural parishes will not be denied that opportunity.