€41million given back to Environment in the middle of a national crisis – McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has asked the Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly to provide a full list of all the funding applications his Department have denied over the course of the last year. Deputy McGrath said he was prompted to do so having voted against the return of over €40 million back to the Paymaster Generals Supply Account through what are termed undischarged appropriations from the Department of the Environment:

“Last Friday this Government voted to return over €40 million back to the Department of the Environment despite the fact that we are in the grip of a persistent national social housing crisis.

This simply beggars belief.

Whatever the merits of pursuing what this Government is calling prudent spending; this level of tight fistedness is staggering.

I am certain that there are areas of responsibility under the Ministers control which are crying out for extra resources; not only with reference to the housing crisis but also with regard to the local authority activities.

Why for example did the Minister not choose to add even a quarter of that returned 40 million sum to escalate flood prevention measures?

Why did he not provide even a portion of that money to actually breathe some life into the mortgage to rent scheme which is under the aegis of his Department?

The Minister needs to urgently clarify the rationale behind what is an absurdly over cautious approach,” concluded Deputy McGrath.


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