Tuesday, 17 September 2019
Department of Rural and Community Development
Voluntary Sector Funding
602. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the estimated full year current and capital cost of a proposal by an organisation (details supplied) for the community and voluntary sector to revert to 2008 and 2009 funding levels. [37319/19]
The provision of funding and supports for the Community and Voluntary Sector is a key function of my Department. In 2019, funding of €12.687 million has been allocated for supports to the sector.
In 2018, €14.974 million was invested by my Department in the sector. This represented an increase of €2.28 million over the original allocation and reflects my commitment to extending supports to the sector where funding is made available.
In 2009, the Community and Voluntary Sector was supported by funding of €15.8 million in current funding by the former Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.
The pre-Budget submission in question outlined a proposal for increases in allocations to my Department of five per cent across a wide range of programmes totalling €6.7 million. These include the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme, Community Enhancement Programme, Community Services Programme, measures under the Dormant Accounts Fund, and supports for Local Community Development Committees and Public Participation Networks.
My Department’s allocations for 2020 will be considered and agreed as part of the forthcoming Estimates process. As part of this process, the Department will always seek to secure funding to build community resilience and then work to direct this money where it is needed most.
I have also recently launched Sustainable, Inclusive and Empowered Communities: a Five-Year Strategy to Support the Community and Voluntary sector in Ireland 2019-2024. This Strategy sets a general direction of travel for Government policy in relation to community development, local development and the community and voluntary sector and will be implemented in partnership with sectoral stakeholders over the next five years and beyond.
603. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development his views on the proposal by an organisation (details supplied) for streamlining of regulation and compliance requirements for the community and voluntary sector; and the estimated annual cost to provide for the cost of compliance in funding agreements as set out in the submission. [37320/19]
I recently launched Sustainable, Inclusive and Empowered Communities: a Five-Year Strategy to Support the Community and Voluntary sector in Ireland 2019-2024. This Strategy sets a general direction of travel for Government policy in relation to community development, local development and the community and voluntary sector and will be implemented in partnership with sectoral stakeholders over the next five years and beyond.
The Strategy was prepared by my Department with the support of the Cross Sectoral Group on Local and Community Development. The organisation referred to by the Deputy was an active participant on the Cross Sectoral Group.
Action 4.1 of the Strategy commits to developing a sustainable funding model to support the community and voluntary sector in line with the commitment in the programme for Government. The action specifically identifies the need to fully consider the cost of compliance and relevant overhead and administration costs when developing such a model. This action will be led by my Department with collaboration from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and other relevant Government departments.
As the Strategy will entail far reaching changes across Government and the community and voluntary sector, it will require an incremental building of supports over the period of the strategy and beyond. This will be the case particularly for those actions, such as Action 4.1, which will require larger scale and sustained funding support.
My Department officials have begun the work needed to start implementing the actions contained in this strategy and while I acknowledge that the delivery of some of the actions will take time, I am committed to fully achieving the objectives of this Strategy.