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Have the Green Party been had or are they having us on?

March 31st, 2009 · 4 Comments · Equality Authority, Irish Politics

Green Party leader John Gormley’s announcement about saving the Equality Authority from the drastic cuts in budget and stopping the move to Roscrea made at the Green Party Conference is full of??

Answer to question from Aengus O’Snodaigh from Minister for Justice Equality and Law Reform Dermot Ahern on March 24th

To ask the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if his attention has been drawn to the recent statement to the effect that the decentralisation of the Equality Authority will not continue and that an independent review of its budget will be conducted; if he will confirm the substance of this statement; the position regarding the Equality Authority in view of the fact that its staff is split between two locations as a result of decentralisation to date; the make-up, form and timeframe of the planned budget review; if he will offer a guarantee that the 43% budget cut will be reversed; and the extent to which it will be reversed.

Answer….(Edited by MP to include relevant bit!)
….Discussions have been ongoing between my Department and the Authority on its cost base. The savings, already announced in relation to accommodation and IT, have enabled the Authority to concentrate on its core programme objectives of working towards the elimination of discrimination and promoting equality of opportunity. The Deputy will appreciate that no review of funding of any public body at present can operate without reference to the grave Exchequer position.

Under the Plan the Authority is open for business at both of its offices, in Birchgrove House, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary and in Clonmel Street, Dublin. I recently agreed in principle to a request from the Chair of the Equality Authority to delay on hardship grounds the transfer of 4-5 staff to Roscrea. I have asked my officials to work out the details on a case-by-case basis with the acting Chief Executive Officer of the Authority and to review the situation again in 2011 when other aspects of the wider decentralisation programme are due to be reviewed. I understand from the Equality Authority that fifteen staff have taken up duty at the Roscrea offices of the Authority, a total which will increase to 23 people in the coming weeks.

Over to you Minister Gormley?



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