Dáil Éireann - Volume 633 - 06 March, 2007

Written Answers. - Departmental Expenditure.

Mr. Crowe asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the costs for the launch of the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion 2007 to 2016 Building an Inclusive Society, including printing, press and public relations, venue hire, refreshments, consultancy fees and all other costs associated with the launch and preparation for same. [8613/07]

  Mr. Brennan: The National Action Plan for Social Inclusion, Building an Inclusive Society , has been completed and launched 10 years after the first strategic plan to combat poverty, the National Anti-Poverty Strategy (NAPS), in 1997, and 5 years after the launch of the revised strategy, Building an Inclusive Society, in 2002. Like the original NAPS, it has a 10-year timescale, 2007 to 2016, which also coincides with the timescale of the national partnership agreement, Towards 2016. It is closely linked to the new National Development Plan 2007-2013 and is the third and final element of the Government’s overall stra[370] tegic framework for social inclusion, based on a new “lifecycle” approach.

The plan is the outcome of a process that began in September 2005 with a consultation process in which the public and the various stakeholders were invited to make written submissions. A total of 81 submissions were received. This was supplemented by 6 regional consultations which 512 people in total attended. A detailed report on the overall consultation has been published entitled The Report on the Consultation for the National Action Plan against Poverty and Social Exclusion.

The Office for Social Inclusion (OSI) is the Irish government office, located in my Department, with overall responsibility for coordinating the development Ireland’s National Action Plan for Social Inclusion and monitoring its implementation. This included coordinating this consultation and working with the National Economic and Social Forum in organising the third NAPS Social Inclusion Forum.

The specific purpose of this Forum was to afford participants an opportunity to input their views on the forthcoming National Action. Plans, including the social inclusion part of the National Report on Strategies for Social Protection and Social Inclusion submitted to the EU in September 2006. Up to 300 attended the Forum held in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham on 15th February, 2006. A detailed report on the proceedings was published subsequently.

The culmination of this process was the completion and launch of the NAPinclusion on 21 February in the Government Press Centre by the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and myself. The event was attended by the media and was followed by a reception in Government Buildings with some 100 invited guests, including social partners, NGOs and officials of government departments and agencies who were closely involved in the development of the Plan.

The design and printing costs of the report and other ancillary items, including translation and the launch amounted to approximately €66,000.