independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Sports budget up €20m and not cut back, says defiant Varadkar

EXCLUSiVE

Leo Varadkar,TD,the Minister for Transport,Tourism and Sport  at the announcement of the  Government's 150 million Euro investment in Infrastructure and Jobs  at a press brefing held in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform yesterday.Pic Tom Burke 5/6/13
Leo Varadkar,TD,the Minister for Transport,Tourism and Sport.

Sports Minister Leo Varadkar, has slammed the Federation of Irish Sport's criticism of cuts in the budget as "not based on fact."

FIS chief executive Sarah O'Connor described as "grim" another reduction in funding to the Irish Sports Council in October, suggesting the detail to be "even worse than we'd feared."

But Minister Varadkar answers those criticisms in a wide-ranging interview with the Irish Independent today, insisting that the Federation "tends to mistake funding of the Sports Council with overall funding for sport".

He argues that there have been increases in all other streams of sports funding, with expenditure in 2014 due to be up by more than €20m on 2013.

"I don't think they appreciate the extent to which the current budget was protected over the capital budget," he said. "What we're actually looking at is an increase in funding for sport overall from €72m to €93.4m. Now in an austerity budget with €2.5bn in cuts and tax increases, I don't think that's doing all that badly."

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