Dáil debates

Wednesday, 8 February 2006

1:00 pm

Photo of Noel AhernNoel Ahern (Minister of State, Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs; Dublin North West, Fianna Fail)

Disbursements from the dormant accounts fund are designed to assist three broad categories of people — people who are socially and economically or educationally disadvantaged and people with a disability.

Having consulted appropriate Ministers and obtained the approval of Government, I announced details on 4 January last concerning the allocation of €24 million in 2006 for the purpose of supporting programmes and types of projects tackling social and economic disadvantage. Details of the announcement are available on the website of my Department at www.pobail.ie.

The roll-out of the measures announced on 4 January has now commenced. In this regard, an invitation to the 45 RAPID area implementation teams, AITs, issued at the end of January requesting them to submit their priority projects for consideration. This measure provides for the ring-fencing of €11.5 million for priority projects identified by the RAPID AITs. On the other measures proposed, it is anticipated that they will be rolled-out on a phased basis over the coming months as operational arrangements are finalised.

With regard to the other two categories — educational disadvantage and persons with a disability — the consultation process required under the legislation is not yet completed. It is anticipated that further announcements will be made shortly on proposals under these headings when work ongoing in both the Departments of Education and Science and Health and Children is completed, subject to specific measures being submitted and approved by Government.

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