In 2014 the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht [.pdf: go to page 51] is to cut its current expenditure on North–South Co-operation by €2.1 million:
Savings, in excess of the agreed 3% per annum efficiency savings, for the North-South Implementation Bodies will require the approval of the North-South Ministerial Council.
The 85% of Waterways Ireland’s current budget that comes from the [Republic of] Ireland government is in there somewhere; the NI executive pays the other 15% and, in theory, the North–South Ministerial Council will have to give its blessing, but in practice the NI ministers can hardly force the RoI ministers to pay up.
There’s a list of 14 High Level Programme Activities [mustn’t hurt anyone’s feelings by leaving out their favourite fodder] of which No 13 is
Development of inland waterways within the context of the implementation of the Good Friday and St. Andrews Agreements.
Translation: Ulster Canal, even if there’s no money for it. But there is half a million for a
20-Year Strategy for Irish with a range of concrete measures, including supportive actions to roll out the language planning process on the ground, in line with the Gaeltacht Act 2012. These actions will include direct support to community organisations to enable them to prepare and implement practical and deliverable Irish language plans – not only in the Gaeltacht itself but also in selected towns and areas in other parts of the country.
Do they ever give up? They’d be better off supporting Ulster Scots, which has at least some chance of showing a growth in the number of speakers. But page 51 has a long list of imaginary measures to allow the department to claim that it will save €15 million in 2014: more efficient working, review, examining the scope for achieving further efficiencies … waffle.
On the capital expenditure side, RoI and NI each pays for works within its own jurisdiction. The RoI spending will be down from €4071000 in 2003 to €3858000 for 2014: a cut of just over 5%.
Maybe the money is being put aside to pay for the Clones Sheugh, although it’s not specifically mentioned in the document.