WI’s budget: the minister speaks

I wrote here about the implications of the RoI 2014 budget for Waterways Ireland. The minister, Jimmy Deenihan [FG, Kerry North/West Limerick], spoke about it in the Dáil on Wednesday 16 October 2013 [h/t KildareStreet.com]. At the end of his lengthy contribution he said:

I am committed to developing North-South co-operation within the broader arts, heritage and commemorative activities of the Department as well as through the funding of North-South bodies. A provision of €38.3 million will be made available to support the two North-South implementation bodies, An Foras Teanga, comprising Foras na Gaeilge and the Ulster-Scots Agency, and Waterways Ireland. The provision will enable Waterways Ireland to deliver on its core activities and targets, which include keeping the waterways open for navigation during the main boating season and promoting increased use of the waterways resource for recreational purposes. This expenditure should also assist in developing and promoting the waterways, attracting increased numbers of overseas visitors and stimulating business and regeneration in these areas. Capital funding of almost €4 million will be made available to Waterways Ireland to facilitate the ongoing maintenance and restoration of Ireland’s inland waterways, thereby increasing recreational access along the routes of waterways.

The Government has reaffirmed its commitment to continuing to make progress, to improving the economy, to exiting the bailout, and to helping to create jobs. The Department and the sectors it represents will make a significant contribution to this work over the course of 2014.

I pointed out last year that Waterways Ireland is part of northsouthery and that, at budget time, we don’t get a breakdown of the northsouthery budget between An Foras Teanga and Waterways Ireland. In 2011, WI got roughly 60%, but I don’t know what happened after that. Here’s what I thought was happening last year:

Current spending (WI)

2010 Estimates: €25 585 000
2011 Estimates: € 24 335 000
2012 Estimates: €22 929 600 (60% of €38 216 000)

Capital spending (WI)

2008 Estimates: €11 000 000
2009 Estimates: €10 300 000
2010 Estimates: €8 000 000
2011 Estimates: €6 000 000 (or €6 002 000)
2012 Estimates: €4 500 000 (or €4 502 000) (100%)

In his speech, above, the minister said that northsouthery is going to get €38.3 million and that Waterways Ireland is to get capital funding of €4 million. However, the €4 million is included in the €38.3 million. The expenditure report [PDF; see page 160] gives these details:

  • for 2013 northsouthery had €36 210 000 of current spending; for 2014 it will get €34 425 ooo
  • for 2013 northsouthery had €4 080 000 of capital spending (all, or almost all, of which was for Waterways Ireland}; for 2014 it will get €3 958 000
  • the overall budget for northsouthery is down 5%.

We can calculate that the capital budget is down about 3%; the much larger current budget is down 5%. If WI gets 60% of the total, its current expenditure contribution from RoI will be €20 655 000, down over €2 000 000 from the previous year and about €5 000 000 since 2010, and its total current expenditure (85% RoI, 15% NI) will be €24 300 000.

The other interesting part of the minister’s speech is what WI is expected to do:

  • promoting increased use of the waterways resource for recreational purposes
  • developing and promoting the waterways
  • attracting increased numbers of overseas visitors
  • stimulating business and regeneration in these areas
  • increasing recreational access along the routes of waterways.

That should keep them busy. But I omitted one activity:

  • keeping the waterways open for navigation during the main boating season.

Emphasis mine, but does this mean that winter boating (at least if it involves staff time, eg at locks) will become a thing of the past?


12 responses to “WI’s budget: the minister speaks

  1. Sae hoo mony millions ay a made-up leid? hink hoo mony shovels they coods buy wi’ ‘at!

    [translated in the interests of equality of esteem. bjg]

  2. ”does this mean that winter boating (at least if it involves staff time, eg at locks) will become a thing of the past?”
    well, the royal cant be crossed.the grand cant be crossed and l.ree is heading the same way.

  3. BJG, transliterating my English into an egregious fictional orthography may provide parity of esteem, but it is also linguistically bizarre, and does not and never will make it another language, nor will it ever make me think it is a good thing to spend our taxes on. The answer is sadly that some loons sat in an office getting paid with our taxes to make these spellings up, based on such historical research as the wrong answers way Jummy gieavh in hus schpellun tast in Musses Wally’s clawws in Nayneteen Suvvantay Foore.
    Their orthography (that’s spellings for the layman) is painfully ad-hoc and inconsistent to the point of being beyond parody. For instance, why should “many” be spelt “mony”? Why not “monny”, “mawny”, “mennae”, “minnah”….

  4. Argh and now it has messed my sentences up n the wrong order

  5. See? It’s not as easy as you thought …. bjg

  6. I used a web translater for Scots, which has a reasonable claim to be a language (although of course I accept that the dividing line, if not expressed in military terms, is hard to define) of which Ullans, or Ulster Scots, is a dialect. As for orthography, it is by its nature ad hoc. I do have three books on Ulster Scots myself, including two dictionaries, but wouldn’t risk making my own translations. bjg

  7. Languages have their own grammar and vocabulary. Bar about 50 archiac dialect words, Ulster Scotch has none of these. All the Ulster Scotch Agency are doing with our taxes are bizarre phonetic transcriptions of people speaking English in a Ballymena accent. One could do this for several dozen regional accents throughout these islands. It would not make any of them languages. What next, the Brummie Institute? The Mummerset Academy? The Ronnie Corbett Panopticon for the Promotion of Edinburghese? May mayde quare baggles, sew it duzz.

  8. I think you’re missing the point: Ulster Scots is a dialect of Scots, not of English. There is nothing unreasonable about studying varieties of languages; I am glad to see that Dr Terence Dolan has published a new edition of his Dictionary of Hiberno-English. bjg

  9. “Sae hoo mony millions ay a made-up leid? hink hoo mony shovels they coods buy wi’ ‘at!”
    Brian, this translation sounds like a mixture of Chinese and Middle Low German to me but ich verstehe nur Bahnhof. Non capisco un’acca. I just understand millions and shovels.

    David, it’s as clear as mud to me, what you are trying to say. Please can you translate it into basic English for me?

  10. I said “So *how* many millions for a made-up language?? Think how many shovels they would buy with all that!”
    BJG, the folk of the Ulster Scotch Quango are free to go an “study” a dialect of Scots any time they wish. The internet is a marvellous resource, and the taxpayer also provides many excellent public libraries. I do not see why our taxes need to be used to gives them millions of pounds per year to assist their study. Just how many pencils and excercise books do they need? It would also seem that their “study” involves concocting a bizarre orthography with no etymological or linguistic basis whatsoever. And apparently if we don’t give them the money, they’ll have no alternative but to go around murdering everyone. Oh and we also pay for them to transcribe all Stormont records and public sector information into this made-up orthography. ARRRGH.

  11. You have moved on to a different topic there and I don’t propose to follow you. I’ve really confined myself to the contention that there is, in Ulster Scots, something that can be studied. How, and to what extent, such study is to be funded are matters on which I do not intend to develop an opinion. bjg

  12. Pingback: Waterways budgets: cut by one third in six years | Irish waterways history

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