asked the Minister for Local Government if he is aware of the delay in paying local government reconstruction and new house grants in County Donegal, and, if so, if he will endeavour to expedite payment of them.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Payments of Donegal Housing Grants.
I am aware that there is a large volume of work on hands at present in County Donegal. To meet this position, an additional housing inspector has recently been assigned to the area.
That applies all round.
It is not due to a shortage of money?
Try, and you will find out.
In view of the fact that these delays occur periodically, would the Minister now consider reverting to the old system whereby local architects and engineers are appointed officers for the administration of the Act, and thus avoid the necessity of appointing additional engineers?
I am afraid I do not go all the way with the Deputy as to the causes and effects. The reappointment of officers would merely bring back a system which, on examination and from experience, was found not to be good. I will not go into why at the moment, but their sole purpose initially was the inspection of the location and siting of premises. If that initial siting and allocation work were taken away, that would not in itself afford sufficient relief to avoid some of this backlog that has built up.
It provided additional visits for the inspectors.
Very brief ones, which would amount to a very small portion of time.
I should like to ask the Minister if it is true that inspectors have been instructed to go slow on this work?
I am glad the Deputy asked that. The very reverse is the fact. I have asked the inspectors to speed it up in order that we can pay out more grants.
I am very glad to know that because completely different statements were made in my area.