Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - State Entertainment.

29.

asked the Minister for Finance the reason for the substantial increase this year as compared with last year in subhead I of Vote 16.

This year's provision is based on estimates furnished by Departments of the cost of their unavoidable commitments to entertainment during the year. The increase reflects greater activity in the EEC context and covers also occasions on which significant international gatherings here will be marked by some form of official hospitality.

Could the Minister indicate how a commitment becomes unavoidable?

International gatherings, conferences and so on, which take place here are frequently arranged two or more years in advance and the arrangements may involve an official reception. This may be arranged two years before the Estimate is brought before the Dáil and in that sense it is a commitment.

Is there any particular reason why this Estimate is almost double what it was last year?

It is increased by £25,000 for the reasons I have given, plus the increasing cost of everything generally.

The cost of living.