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Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Thursday, 5 Jun 1980

Vol. 321 No. 11

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Coolmine (Dublin) Therapeutic Community.


asked the Minister for Health if he will provide additional moneys to enable the stage II programme at Coolmine Therapeutic Community, Coolmine, Lodge, County Dublin to be properly established.

I regret that it will not be possible for me to make resources available in the current year to enable the second stage programme of the Coolmine Lodge Therapeutic Community to commence fully this year.

Why is it not possible?

The Deputy should be aware of the financial economies that have had to be effected in overall public expenditure this year. These, obviously, have had an effect on expenditure in health. Within the restraints within which we are operating it will not be possible to pursue the second stage programme fully this year.

Did the Minister say that the financial constraints being operated by the Government have had an effect on expenditure in health?

We went to some pains earlier to explain that there would have to be economies in all Departments this year and such economies were necessary in Health as in every other Department. As far as this therapeutic centre is concerned, I would certainly be interested in doing anything I could to assist and if this becomes possible I would certainly be glad to do so.

But not just yet. Is the Minister now saying that the statements attributed to him in the Irish Independent in late January, prior to the budget, to the effect that there would be no cutback in expenditure on health have now proved to be incorrect?

That is a separate question.

The Minister may not say one thing in January and another in June.

You cannot have 40 different questions. It does not arise now.

The Deputy is talking about further development and it is in that context that there is a limit to the number and size of further developments which can take place in this year. I have never denied that fact.

We are not talking about further developments; we are talking about stage two of a very worthwhile and a very necessary project and about a relatively small capital involvement. The Minister is saying that even that cannot be provided this year and I am asking if his statement of last January undertaking that there would be no cutback in expenditure on health is now being denied by him.

We are getting into argument and we cannot have this at Question Time.

I do not think it is argument. I think if the Minister got a chance he would have to agree.

The Deputy first spoke of a statement that was attributed to me and now he calls it a statement that I made. It was not a statement which I made in the first instance. I think that any statements I made will be found on examination to be consistent and I would hope will continue to be so.

Will the Minister please answer Question No. 43?

Is the Minister saying that the report by Kevin Moore in the Irish Independent was not correct?

Kevin Moore does not enter into this matter at all.

Why did the Minister not issue a denial at the time?

I have spoken at great length in this House on Health expenditure and on the size of the increase in Health expenditure. This year we will be spending——

Will the Minister please answer Question No. 43 and not be led up the garden path?