Dáil Éireann - Volume 581 - 09 March, 2004

Written Answers - Ministerial Expenses.

  113. Mr. P. Breen asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the [1303] reason his travel and living expenses are expected to rise by almost 50% in 2004, according to the Revised Estimates for 2004; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7682/04]

  Éamon Ó Cuív:I assume that the Deputy is referring to the 2004 provision of €0.9 million under subhead A2 for the travel and subsistence expenses of my Department. The allocation represents an increase of 33% on the expenditure under the heading in 2003. However, it is a reduction on the amount initially provided for 2003.

I am satisfied that the provision of €0.9 million represents a more accurate assessment of my Department’s requirements. The relatively low level of expenditure in 2003 reflected the period of settling down of the newly established Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. Higher costs will arise this year from the greater level of interaction with the EU, especially in the context of the Irish Presidency and significant policy deliberations on territorial cohesion and rural development.