It has been revealed the Department of Environment and Local Government needs €34.7m more than was announced in last year's budget.

Some €22m of this is for the LEADER programme to fund rural development.

A department spokesperson said: "Capital financial provision of €50m in 2014 for the LEADER programme is not sufficient to meet commitments now arising."

News of this hike in rural spending came as the Cabinet expanded the Junior Minister for Rural Affairs' role.

The Minister had been appointed to the Department of Agriculture, but from today Anne Phelan will also work out of the Department of Environment.

Almost €13m in extra funding went to local authorities to repair the damage caused by last winter's storms.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is also seeking a supplementary estimate of €177m, to deal with an anticipated shortfall in EU aid.

The shortfall is due to a delay in getting €180m from the EU. This funding will now be drawn down in 2015.