Thursday, 17 December 2020
Appropriation Bill 2020: Second and Subsequent Stages
Táim sásta labhairt ar an mBille seo tráthnóna inniu. Mar a dúirt mo chomhghleacaí, an Teachta Mairéad Farrell, tá an reachtaíocht seo de dhíth mar gheall ar an mBunreacht. Tugann sé cead don riail cheithre cúigiú, sé sin, go bhfuil cead ag Ranna Stáit ceithre chúigiú den chaiteachas a vótáladh sa bhliain a chuaigh roimhe sin a chaitheamh sa bhliain atá amach romhainn.
Along with the four fifths rule, this legislation also allows for the carryover of capital, whereby Departments can carry over up to 10% of their allocations into the following year. This year's capital carryover stands at 7.4%, which is a very high figure, but obviously representing the severe challenges that Covid restrictions have had leading to certain projects being held up.
As the Bill relates to capital expenditure and drawdown, I want to raise an issue that is important to the sporting life in my constituency in Donegal: the new Finn Harps stadium, an issue I have raised with the Minister in the past. It is a shovel-ready project that would create local jobs and serve the sporting life of the community. Over a decade ago €1.2 million was spent on this project, but since then it has been left idle. Work has stalled since 2014. It is ready to go and has planning permission. Previous commitments were made by the Department and all that is needed now is the funding and the fulfilment of those commitments. I am glad that the Minister of State has agreed to come to Donegal on 5 and 6 January when he will meet a delegation from Finn Harps. I ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to take this as an example of a shovel-ready project that can generate employment and is a social good, and ensure that the €1.2 million already spent by the Department is not wasted.