Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 17 May 1989

Vol. 390 No. 2

Ceisteanna-Questions. Oral Answers. - National Lottery Funds.


asked the Minister for Education if it is intended that no further funds will be offered from the proceeds of the national lottery for the provision of recreational amenities and facilities throughout the country; whether a Cabinet decision has been made in relation to the future of the disbursement of funds from the national lottery; if any alternative uses have been considered in this context; whether her Department will be in a position to spend any moneys on various projects throughout the country from the proceeds of the national lottery in the current year having regard to the fact that no allocations have been made in the first four months of the year; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

A final decision has not yet been made by the Government on the disbursement of the surplus proceeds of the national lottery in 1989. The extent to which these proceeds will be allocated to existing schemes or alternative purposes will be decided by reference to that decision. When approved, funds allocated to various projects will be disbursed during the course of the year.

Can the Minister indicate the precise amount of moneys available to the Department of Education for disbursement in the current year having regard to the applications received and allocations already made in the past two years?

The amount of money available to the Department of Education last year was £4 million for these schemes. We have about £50 million worth of applications in the Department at present. We have not yet received a decision from the Government as to the method of allocation of money this year or to the amount of money that will be available. Last year's allocation of lottery funds came from a collection period of 20 months, from April 1987 to December 1988. This year's allocation of lottery funds will be for 12 months which will inevitably mean a decrease in the amount of overall money available.

When it comes to making the allocation, will it be in accordance with the manner prescribed by the all party committee on the lottery?

The Government have not yet taken a decision on that matter.

Does the Minister expect that the Government will make decisions and will allocations be made over the next three or four weeks?

Over the next three or four days.

I cannot anticipate Government decisions.


Will the Minister indicate how much of this year's lottery money is already earmarked for expenditure arising from commitments last year?

Of the £4 million in commitments last year, approximately £2.4 million was spent up to 31 December. Since then money has been going out at a very fast rate as schemes have been completed and all the moneys allocated last year have been taken up. No further allocations, therefore, have been made or can be made until such time as we get Government approval on the method of allocation in the first instance and on the amount of money to be allocated in the second.

Can I take it that what the Minister is saying is that none of the commitments made last year can be carried over in relation to funds that will be available from this year's allocation of lottery funds?

We are talking here about the allocation of money for the club and community scheme under our capital projects. There are significant carry-overs under the national and regional local sports centre programme because of the delay in the planning of those facilities. That money is still available and will be spent as planned.

Is the Minister aware that the Minister for Finance seemed to indicate in the House last week that very little funds would be available from that surplus for expenditure in the current year? I notice that in response to replies to parliamentary questions recently, there was an indication that no application has been received from specific organisations. I would like clarification from the Minister whether an application which has been made becomes obsolete in the new financial year and if a new application is necessary in that case?

There is no necessity to renew an application. Applications already on file are held on file and therefore are considered in a new year. If the Deputy has problems with any applications I will be glad to take the matter up. What was the first part of the Deputy's question?

The intimation of the Minister for Finance——

As I said, because this year's national lottery allocation will be disbursed over a shorter period, 12 months, as opposed to 20 months in respect of last year's allocation, inevitably there will be less money to be allocated. The Government are committed to providing national facilities, such as the national indoor centre, six regional centres and local facilities. We are committed to doing so over a number of years because of the very large size of these developments. As a result less money will be available for club and community facilities.

We have only six months left in which to make the allocations. I ask the Minister——

We have dealt adequately with this question. Let us have a reply to Question No. 22, please.