Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 3 Dec 1997

Vol. 484 No. 1

Written Answers. - Drugs Task Force.

Pat Rabbitte


13 Mr. Rabbitte asked the Taoiseach if he intends to convene a meeting of the Cabinet committee on social exclusion and drugs before the publication of the budget; if the commitment to a £20 million youth services development fund in the second report of the ministerial task force will be confirmed by his Government; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19281/97]

Pat Rabbitte


14 Mr. Rabbitte asked the Taoiseach the progress, if any, there has been in the establishment of a youth services development fund in relation to the recommendation in the second report of the ministerial task force on measures to reduce the demand for drugs; and the progress, if any, which has been made in relation to attracting funds from the private corporate sector. [19408/97]

Ruairí Quinn


15 Mr. Quinn asked the Taoiseach if he will give details of the number of occasions the Cabinet sub-committee on drugs has met; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21153/97]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 13 to 15, inclusive, together.

As the Deputies will be aware, the previous Government established a Cabinet committee on drugs, chaired by the Taoiseach, to give overall political leadership in the fight against drugs; review all trends in the drugs problem; assess progress in the strategy to deal with it; and resolve any policy or organisational difficulties which may inhibit an effective response to the problem.

Recognising the links between social exclusion, drug abuse and alienation, the present Government decided that the most strategic way to tackle the problem of social exclusion was to reconstitute the drugs committee into a wider Cabinet committee which would address disadvantage in the broadest sense. This committee — which continues to be chaired by the Taoiseach but whose membership has been expanded to include other relevant Ministers, such as Finance and Social, Community and Family Affairs — links together the work being done under the local development operational programme and the national anti-poverty strategy, as well as the national drugs strategy.

The committee meets as appropriate to review progress in the implementation of these strategies, resolve any difficulties which might arise and direct the work of bodies, such as the national drugs strategy team, which have been set up to progress the implementation of the various strategies. The establishment of the youth services development fund has been the subject of recent discussions with a view to bringing it into operation from early next year.