Written answers

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Department of Rural and Community Development

Brexit Supports

Photo of Dara CallearyDara Calleary (Mayo, Fianna Fail)
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30. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the budget 2020 supports for the community and voluntary sector to deal with all Brexit scenarios. [43788/19]

Photo of Michael RingMichael Ring (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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Preparations for all the various Brexit scenarios are being led at Government level by my colleague, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Simon Coveney, T.D. 

My Department and its agencies have fed into these preparations and will continue to engage across Government and with our stakeholders in the rural and community development sectors. 

My Department's focus continues to be on maintaining maximum flexibility in our programme of funding initiatives, to enable us to continue to support all communities and to target available funding to those economic sectors and geographic areas most in need. 

In total, my Department has an allocation of €148 million in 2019 for its community development programmes.

Using this funding my Department provides a wide range of supports to the community and voluntary sector, through major Government programmes such as the Community Services Programme (CSP) and Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP), and other schemes such as the PEACE Programme, Community Enhancement Programme, Seniors Alert Scheme, the Scheme and Supports for National Organisations, and supports for volunteering.

Supporting this sector will remain a priority post-Brexit, and my focus continues to be supporting the development of sustainable, inclusive and empowered communities across the country.

Budget 2020 provided for an increase in my Department's budget of €17 million which I intend to use for targeted measures across the rural and community development areas.

The exact breakdown of budget allocations will fall to be considered in the context of the Revised Estimates 2020 to be published in December by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and should reprioritisation of funding be required post-Brexit, this can be considered as part of that process. 

However, at this stage, I expect these allocations to include the following increased supports for the community development area:

- an increase in funding to the PEACE programme of €2million, to €7million. This programme is particularly important given current uncertainty surrounding Brexit. It is designed to promote positive relations and social cohesion in the cross border region. The total value of the programme is approximately €270 million (85% funded by the EU).

- a €3 million package of targeted supports for the community and voluntary sector, and organisations and individuals in disadvantaged communities

- an additional €1.5 million across the SICAP and CSP (€43.2 million and €46.2 million respectively in 2019) to fund some new organisations and to provide targeted supports for disadvantaged communities.

- €1.2 million to support the implementation of measures in the new Strategy for Community and Voluntary Sector development in Ireland and a further €300,000 to support delivery of the recently published National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland.


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