Written answers

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation

Enterprise Support Services

9:00 pm

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
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Question 69: To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation the way cuts to enterprise development funding will be implemented; the way cuts to county enterprise development funding across the State will be implemented; the expected impact of these cuts; the reason enterprise development funding to county enterprise development and INTERREG enterprise development is being cut at a time when job creation by indigenous enterprises is vital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2641/11]

Photo of Batt O'KeeffeBatt O'Keeffe (Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Cork North West, Fianna Fail)
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My Department's capital allocation for enterprise development is set out in the National Recovery Plan. The Plan underpins the work of the job creation and research agencies, IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland and the County Enterprise Boards, by providing funding that will allow them to meet their ambitious targets. My Department's allocation under the Plan is €2.182bn for the period 2011-2014 – made up of €508m this year, and an increase to €558m annually between 2012 and 2014.

The Government - as these figures make clear - remains committed to investments that make the greatest contribution to economic recovery and underpin the creation of sustainable employment. Future capital investment must be targeted and employment-focused. The primary focus of investment must be on creating the framework conditions in which the enterprise sector can thrive in the medium to long term. Public capital investment will have its greatest impact by ensuring that sufficient capacity in the economy is maintained and productivity is enhanced.

The programmes supported by my Department and its agencies will be critical in achieving a return to economic growth through promoting the export potential of enterprise in Ireland and advancing the Smart Economy Agenda. The allocation of capital funding will ensure that the enterprise agencies' core programmes are sustained and targeted. This will include actions to position Ireland as a Global Innovation Hub.

Included in the allocation of €508m in the 2011 Estimates is a provision of €15m in respect of the Capital funding for the County and City Enterprise Boards, which is a slight increase on the 2010 Estimates allocation of €14.994m and, notwithstanding the increased demand for the services of the CEBs, represents a strong investment in the micro-enterprise sector at a time of severe pressure on the public finances. An allocation of €2m has been included for 2011 in respect of Interreg enterprise development. This is substantially higher than the level of expenditure for 2010.

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