Thursday, 5 December 2019

Ceisteanna (36)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

36. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the funding made available in support of community and rural development programmes in the past 12 months; his plans for further investment in the area in 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50614/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

Gross expenditure of €291 million has been provided to my Department under the Further Revised Estimates for 2019 and €308 million is budgeted for 2020.

The most recent aggregate expenditure information available relates to payments processed and paid by 27th November. Almost €245 million of my Department's allocation had been spent by that date. I have set out allocations and expenditure across the Department's strategic programmes to that point in the following table, however, it should be noted that significant further payments are approved and are queued for payment across a range of programme areas.

Continued close monitoring of expenditure is a matter of significant priority so as to ensure full use of our allocated resources, and that value for money is delivered in respect of our funding. I intend to ensure that the resources made available to my Department this year are fully utilized.  

The Department  will continue to deliver benefits next year for all communities and for rural Ireland. The overall level of funding for the Department will increase from €291 million this year to €308 million in 2020. This will facilitate the continued delivery of key programmes for rural Ireland and communities across the country; and provide an additional €17 million to support priority areas. Further detail is set out in the table beneath.

The additional funding will be used to support sectors and communities nationwide that will potentially be most impacted by Brexit, and to enhance supports across the community development area – in particular for disadvantaged communities.  In particular the additional funding will:

- increase investment in the LEADER programme, which supports rural economic growth, from €30 million to €40 million;

- provide additional funding for the cross-border PEACE programme, increasing funding from €5 million to €7 million;

- fund a €3 million package of targeted supports for the community and voluntary sector, and organisations and individuals in disadvantaged communities; and

- increase investment in libraries from €6.2 million to €7.2 million.

Department of Rural and Community Development

Spend to 27th November

Allocation - FREV 2019

 Allocation - 2020

Strategic Programme

 €000s

 €000s

 €000s

RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND REGIONAL   AFFAIRS  

 104,029

138,371

149,662 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT   

 137,465

148,225

153,979 

CHARITIES REGULATORY   AUTHORITY   

 3,192

4,606

4,606 

Gross Total :-  

 244,686

291,202

308,247