Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Mental Health, James Browne TD has said that the government’s proposals for mental health funding in 2017 are not satisfactory.

“Last week on Budget Day Minister of State McEntee pledged to initiate €35 million in mental health spending in 2017. There was concern that this meant only a partial spending of €35 million.”

“Such concern is justified on the basis of what the Minister told me in the Dáil today. The government seems determined to repeat the mistake it made last year when €12 million was withheld. It seems that only €15 million will be drawn down in 2017.”

“Now the government needs to understand that a commitment to increase investment by €35 annually is a commitment to increase investment by €35 annually, not to partially increase it or put in place initiatives with a full year value of €35 but only to spend €15 million of it in 2017.

“The Confidence and Supply arrangement commits to fully implement ‘Vision for Change’ in the area of mental health. I want to see a multi annual plan for how that will be done. Government credibility on this matter is stretched thin especially in view of what happened with 2016 investment.”