Dáil Éireann - Volume 668 - 25 November, 2008

Written Answers. - Departmental Expenditure.

Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the costs involved in off-site rental storage of his departmental documents in designated document storage centres (details supplied). [43229/08]

  Deputy Eamon Ryan: As the Deputy will be aware, the Office of Public Works (OPW) manages and operates dedicated Public Sector file storage facilities in Dublin. My Department uses these facilities for storage of files relating to the work of all functions of the Department that are Dublin based. The costs [767] of this storage is met by OPW. My Department also rents a file storage facility located at Belturbet, County Cavan that serves the Department’s office in Cavan town. This facility costs €800 per month and this cost is not calculated on a per box rate.

Deputy Brian O’Shea asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the proposals he has to address the concerns of a group (details supplied) in regard to the budget 2009 changes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42320/08]

  Deputy Brendan Smith: The budget for 2009 was framed against the background of a serious deterioration in the national finances. Difficult choices had to be made in allocating the resources available to me in 2009. I made these decisions in the best interests of the sector as a whole, following detailed analysis of my Department’s programme of expenditure and careful consideration of the options available. Despite the economic and budgetary situation, funding of €1.8 billion gross is provided for my Department in the 2009 Budget. When combined with EU funding and co-funding of about €1.4 billion next year, this represents very substantial funding for the support and development of the agri-food sector.

My priority in framing the 2009 Budget for the Department was to focus available resources on protecting the most productive elements of the agriculture, food, forestry and fisheries sectors and to ensure that they will continue to develop. My objective is to continue to develop the sector within the budgetary constraints to ensure that it is well positioned to achieving its full potential and benefit from future economic growth. I will monitor all aspects of my Department’s expenditure throughout 2009 and, in the normal course, I will review spending priorities in the context of the preparation of the 2010 Estimates.