Dáil Éireann - Volume 569 - 26 June, 2003
Written Answers. - Partnership Agreements.
Mr. F. McGrath Mr. F. McGrath
45. Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if the commitments in chapter five of the partnership agreement, Sustaining Progress, on developing a fair and inclusive society, are having an impact on reducing the gap between rich and poor. [15945/03]
Mary Coughlan Mary Coughlan
Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Mary Coughlan): The core objective of chapter five of Sustaining Progress is the creation of a fairer and more inclusive society, where people have adequate resources and opportunities to live with dignity and have access to quality public services.
Recognising that an extensive framework for addressing poverty, social inclusion and equality concerns is already in place, Sustaining Progress identifies key principles for action. These are: the implementation of the key social inclusion and equality strategies, including the National Anti-Poverty Strategy; the targeting of key resources to ensure the achievement of the strategic objectives identified in those strategies; the identification of emerging causes of exclusion or inequality; the development of a data framework to support evidence-based policy making and to support the evaluation, monitoring and review of social inclusion programmes and initiatives, and the review and revision, as appropriate, of social inclusion programmes and initiatives.
The office for social inclusion, based in my Department, is currently engaged in a process which is directly addressing these principles, through the framing of Ireland's second National Action Plan against Poverty and Social Exclusion, NAPincl. The NAPincl, which must be submitted to the EU by end July 2003, will cover the period from mid-2003 to 2005 and will set out the social inclusion targets and actions for the next two years in line with a set of objectives agreed by the EU Council of Ministers in December 2002. The plan will draw to a significant extent on the revised National Anti-Poverty Strategy and on the commitments contained in Sustaining Progress.
As part of the preparation of the plan, the office for social inclusion in conjunction with the Combat Poverty Agency has engaged in a wide-ranging consultation process with all the relevant actors. Progress towards the achievement of the objectives and targets in the NAPincl will be monitored through the use of indicators agreed at EU level, as well as through the use of supplementary national indicators where relevant. I am confident that the delivery of the commitments contained in Sustaining Progress will significantly improve the position of people in poverty and of an inclusive society.
Dáil Éireann 569 Written Answers. Partnership Agreements.