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Dormant Accounts Bill is an attempt to silence the community sector-Stanley

15 November, 2011 - by Brian Stanley TD


Dormant Accounts Bill is an attempt to silence the community sector-Stanley

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Environment, Community & Local Government, Brian Stanley TD, has called on the government to,"ensure funding for community projects remains independent of government."
Speaking in the Dáil tonight during the debate on the Dormant Accounts Bill, Deputy Stanley said, "the Dormant Accounts Board has overseen the funding of over 4,000 projects from Dublin to Galway, from Donegal to Kerry. It has ensured that projects tackling the drugs crisis, promoting inter-culturalism and access to education received funding.
“The Board operated independently of government and at arms reach of any department. Dormant Accounts funding was at no cost to the exchequer. It was monies untouched in bank accounts, An Post accounts and building societies. This legislation, if passed, will change all that."
Stanley explained, "The bill will dissolve the board and transfer all functions to the Minister for the Environment. This legislation is a blunt and crude instrument for distributing funding to the community sector. This sector has a long and proud history of independence. Sinn Féin has serious concerns at the bill.
“The funding mechanism will no longer be separate to the minister's office and may well end up slush fund for government spending. There is no commitment to ring fence this funding for community projects only. We fear the money in dormant accounts may end up bailing out banks and not communities.”
Stanley concluded by saying, "it is vital that there is an independent voice for the community sector. This bill, if passed, is an attempt to silence that voice."
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