Dáil Éireann - Volume 318 - 27 February, 1980

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Textile Industry.

25. Mr. M. O'Leary asked the Minister for Industry, Commerce and Tourism in view of recent reports on the bleak outlook for the textile industry, the steps he proposes to take to aid that industry, and if it is intended to make any study of this industry with a view to making it more efficient and profitable.

Mr. O'Malley: The textile industry has been the subject of a number of studies and reports over the years. Furthermore, there is a comprehensive range of State aids available to this industry. Adaptation grants were introduced at the time free trade was approaching and grants are still provided for re-equipment, modernisation, and for training and research and development. The services provided by Córas Tráchtála, Fóir Teo., IIRS and the ICC are also available to the industry. As a special measure to help offset the effects of the British Temporary Employment Scheme, the Government introduced the Employment Maintenance Scheme in April 1978 for the textile industry as well as for the clothing and leather sectors. The State facilities to help the industry to adjust to the competitive environment in which it finds itself are, therefore, extensive.

As it is generally recognised that import penetration from sources outside the EEC is one of the main problems facing the European textile industry, my [666] Department have played and will continue to play an active role in promoting measures which are designed to improve the market situation at home and in other member States; the Department keep in close touch with the industry here in these matters, most of which must, however, be approached on a Community-wide basis.

An Ceann Comhairle: Question No. 26 is for written reply.