Thursday, 8 October 2020

Ceisteanna (66)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

66. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the breakdown of funding provided to IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland in 2020; the core Exchequer allocation, additional capital allocation, other current funding and funding specifically to assist in dealing with the Covid-19 crisis restrictions and recovery; if he has discussed the disproportionately low increase in funding for Údarás na Gaeltachta vis-à-vis IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland since the financial crisis with the Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht; and his views on the widening funding gap between IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland on the one hand and Údarás na Gaeltacht on the other. [29485/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Enterprise)

The Deputy will appreciate that Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland are both funded from my Department’s Vote whereas the funding of Udarás Na Gaeltachta is the responsibility of my colleague Minister Catherine Martin.

Insofar as the funding of Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland is concerned, the following table sets out the original allocations for both Agencies as provided for in the December Revised Estimate together with the additional funding provided in the Revised Estimate approved by the Dáil for my Department’s Vote in June. The Table also includes the additional funding agreed for both Agencies as part of the July stimulus which will be presented to the Dáil for its approval in due course.

Subhead Description

DecemberRevised Estimate

Additional funding as per the June Rev 2020

2020 July Stimulus Allocation

2020 Total

IDA Ireland - CAPITAL

136,000

0

20,000

156,000

IDA Ireland – Current

53,177

0

10,000

63,177

IDA Ireland Total

189,177

0

30,000

219,177

Enterprise Ireland - CAPITAL

187,750

394,500

349,000

931,250

Enterprise Ireland – Current

94,332

0

1,700

96,032

Enterprise Ireland Total

282,082

394,500

350,700

1,027,282

It will be seen that both Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland have received significant additional funding to assist them in their response to Covid-19. The Capital funding provided to Enterprise Ireland has enabled it to roll out a myriad of targeted enterprise supports including the Restart Grant, the Sustaining Enterprise Fund, the expansion of the Online Retail Scheme, the Regional Enterprise Centre Scheme, Business Financial Planning Grants etc. Similarly, the additional money provided to IDA in the July stimulus has enabled it to launch the Covid Life Sciences initiative and to significantly increase its marketing and promotion activities to mitigate the impact of Covid-19.

As regards the funding of Udarás na Gaeltachta, a core allocation of €23.652m was provided to an tÚdarás in 2020. It is important to note that Údarás also receives funding from the public purse from various other sources, including additional capital monies from the Rural Regeneration & Development Fund and the Regional Enterprise Development Fund. In addition, Údarás na Gaeltachta also receives current funding in respect of cultural and language planning activities.

In light of the impact of Covid-19 on our society and economy, the Government provided additional funding and supports to Údarás na Gaeltachta and its client companies, through both targeted national and sectorial measures.

The July Stimulus package included a significant additional capital allocation of €8m for Údarás na Gaeltachta in order to enable it to undertake essential upgrades to existing building stock and water treatment facilities, thereby facilitating the marketing of currently dormant factory spaces for modern job-creation projects.

It should also be borne in mind that in addition to the funding allocated directly to Údarás na Gaeltachta it also facilitates access to the schemes administered by the IDA, Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices in Gaeltacht areas. For example, earlier this year, my Department facilitated Údarás na Gaeltachta client companies to access an initial €5m available from the Sustaining Enterprise Fund. Additional funding was also provided to enable Údarás to administer the Trading Online Voucher Scheme in the Gaeltacht.

Covid-19 is presenting a serious challenge to very many businesses throughout the country, not least those in Gaeltacht areas. Supporting and resourcing Udarás na Gaeltachta is a specific commitment in the Programme for Government. The additional funding already provided to an tUdarás this year demonstrates that the Government is determined to honour that commitment. Undoubtedly, Udarás together with Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland have key roles to play in promoting job creation throughout the country and particularly so in the Gaeltacht areas. The Government for its part is determined to ensure that all three Agencies receive the necessary resources to enable them to do so.