Dáil Éireann - Volume 378 - 09 March, 1988

Written Answers. - Local Improvements Scheme.

[2175] 72. Mr. Molloy asked the Minister for the Environment the steps that have been taken to date to implement the Fianna Fáil policy, as outlined in the document Power back to the People — The Fianna Fáil Alternative, Local Elections, 1985, that for the repair of non-county roads, Fianna Fáil would revert to the old system of calculating local improvement scheme contributions where persons with valuations under £5 were exempt, would double the local improvements scheme allocation in its first year in office to £5 million per annum and would extend the scheme to every county.

Minister for the Environment (Mr. Flynn): The original provision for the local improvements scheme for 1987 was £2.5 million. In March last, the grant allocations notified to county councils on foot of this provision were withdrawn as part of the general financial review for the purpose of the 1987 budget. The 1987 budgetary provision for the scheme was £4 million, an increase of 86% compared with the original provision. The 1988 provision for the scheme has been maintained at £4 million.

Exchequer grants for the local improvements scheme relate solely to farm road projects eligible for EC aid under the western package. Following a recent review of the package, a draft amending regulation has been prepared. This provides for, inter alia, an extension of the package to cover all areas of the country designated as less favourable under EC Directive 85/350.

I understand that the draft regulation is at present being considered by the Council of Ministers. If the Council approve the regulation, a revised programme of works, covering various elements of the package, will have to be prepared for the extended area. An extension of the local improvement scheme will be considered in this context.