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Doherty, Regina

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Order of Business (Continued)

Certainly, no problem. I will give Deputy Barry exactly the same answer today as I gave him last week when he raised the issue. There are competing interests in this House, we have ten days left,...More Button

If we finish Committee Stage next week, with respect, it still has to go to the Seanad and then, from the Seanad, it will still have to come back here. Unless the Deputy has some other suggestions...More Button

I can only assume from the way the Deputy has asked the question that she may not be aware that we have just gone through a very comprehensive review of the Gender Recognition Act 2015. The report...More Button

The review of the Act encompasses all the issues and challenges facing that particular community. The only thing I can agree to today is that once I have finished reviewing the report I will issue...More Button

The Deputy will see the recommendations in the report.More Button

The Deputy will be able to see the recommendations in the report when it is published in fullMore Button

Civil Registration Documentation

Was asked: when a birth certificate will be issued to a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The registration of stillbirths in Ireland was first provided for in the Stillbirths Registration Act 1994. The definition of a stillbirth contained in that Act was carried forward to the Civil Re...More Button

When the 1994 Act was introduced it was primarily to afford comfort to the bereaved parents. For this reason it was felt that the definition of a stillbirth should be as wide as possible, consis...More Button

The definition is now contained in section 2(1) of the 2004 Act and provides that a stillborn child "means a child who, at birth, weighs not less than 500 grammes or has a gestational age of not ...More Button

Stillbirths which occurred in Ireland prior to the enactment of the 1994 Act may be registered, if the criteria set out in this definition are fulfilled.More Button

The definition of 'stillborn' varies from country to country. Some countries use gestational age only, while others use weight, or a combination of both. In Ireland, in order to broaden the def...More Button

While acknowledging that the loss for the family concerned there are no plans to amend the legislation as the definition of a stillbirth contained in the 2004 Act is consistent with accepted medi...More Button

Free Travel Scheme Review

Was asked: the length of a survey required to be carried out when requesting a review of the payment for the free transport scheme; if it is six months, the same as the initial survey or if it is two weeks; a...More Button

The free travel scheme permits free travel on most CIÉ public transport services, Luas and a range of services offered by some 80 private operators in various parts of the country for those eligibl...More Button

The six month survey period is necessary to capture possible seasonal fluctuations in passenger traffic. My Department is satisfied that this length of time produces a very fair and equitable re...More Button

Whilst my Department appreciates that the carrying out of a survey and the associated manual recording of data is a labour intensive project, it is not possible to review payment of existing oper...More Button

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.More Button

Disability Allowance Applications

Was asked: when an application by a person (details supplied) will be processed; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if a matter regarding the case of a person (details supplied) will be addressed; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Community Employment Schemes Supervisors

Was asked: the number of community employment assistant supervisors promoted to community employment supervisor in each of the years 2012 to 2017, by percentage and number, by county in tabular form; and if s...More Button

Community Employment (CE) schemes are typically sponsored by groups (known as CE sponsors) wishing to benefit the local community. The CE sponsoring organisations are the legal employers of CE sup...More Button

Was asked: if the finance required to fund overdue pension entitlements for community employment supervisors has been approved and ring-fenced in budget 2019 Estimates following the passing of a motion in Dái...More Button

As the Deputy is aware Community Employment (CE) scheme supervisors are employees of private companies in the community and voluntary sector that receive public funding. They are not employees of ...More Button

While the motion called for the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to meet with unions with a view to addressing the issue of CE supervisors’ pension provision, the issue is currently bei...More Button

A detailed scoping exercise was carried out with input from the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service (IGEES) on the potential costs of providing Exchequer support for the establishmen...More Button

I am very conscious that while the issue relates to Community Employment supervisors and assistant supervisors, such individuals comprise of just one small group within the wider Community and Vo...More Button

The Deputy should note that any provision of State funding for such a scheme in respect of those employees could potentially give rise to claims for similar schemes on the part of those in the br...More Button

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.More Button

Carer's Support Grant

Was asked: the status of a carer's support grant application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

An application for Carer's Support Grant was received in my Department on 20 April 2018 from the person concerned. Having fully considered the application a Deciding Officer has now awarded the 20...More Button

Invalidity Pension Applications

Was asked: the status of an application for an invalidity pension by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Disability Allowance

Was asked: if a disability allowance will be approved for a person (details supplied).More Button

Carer's Allowance Applications

Was asked: the status of an application for a carer's allowance by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Carer's allowance (CA) is a means-tested social assistance payment made to a person who is habitually resident in the State and who is providing full-time care and attention to a person who has suc...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the delay in a decision regarding an application for carer's allowance by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Carer's allowance (CA) is a means-tested social assistance payment made to a person who is habitually resident in the State and who is providing full-time care and attention to a person who has suc...More Button

Was asked: when an application will be finalised for a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Carer's allowance (CA) is a means-tested social assistance payment made to a person who is habitually resident in the State and who is providing full-time care and attention to a person who has suc...More Button

Was asked: when a decision will be made in respect of an application by a person (details supplied) for carer's allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Carer's allowance (CA) is a means-tested social assistance payment made to a person who is habitually resident in the State and who is providing full-time care and attention to a person who has suc...More Button

Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: the annual expenditure on commercial archaeology services in her Department by provider in each of the years 2013 to 2017 and to date in 2018; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department has not incurred any expenditure on commercial archaeology services during the years 2013 to 2017 and to date in 2018.More Button

State Pension (Non-Contributory) Appeals

Was asked: the status of an application for a State pension, non-contributory, by a person (details supplied); if their qualification for a State pension, contributory, will be examined; and if a history of t...More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was referred to an Appeals Officer on 28 May 2018, who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on th...More Button

State pension (contributory) cannot be decided in the absence of a completed pension application form. According to the records of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, an ...More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against dec...More Button

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.More Button

Telephone Support Allowance

Was asked: her plans to extend or reinstate the telephone allowance to all pensioners; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The new weekly Telephone Support Allowance (TSA) is a payment of €2.50. Customers of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection who are in receipt of a qualifying payment and who a...More Button

The primary objective of the TSA is to allow the most vulnerable people access to personal alarms or phones for security. The allowance will also encourage social contact and assist in the preve...More Button

In the previous Budgets, the Government has concentrated resources on increasing the rate of the pension, rather than on the household benefits package.More Button

The criteria for the TSA are framed in order to direct the limited resources available to my Department in as targeted a manner as possible. Fuel Allowance is a means tested payment and these cr...More Button

Any decision to extend the TSA scheme to all pensioners regardless of their means or personal circumstances or to reinstate the telephone allowance element of the household benefits package would...More Button

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.More Button

Was asked: the reason a person in receipt of a widow's non-contributory pension is not eligible to apply for the telephone support allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The new weekly Telephone Support Allowance (TSA) is a payment of €2.50. Customers of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection who are in receipt of a qualifying payment and who a...More Button

The primary objective of the TSA is to allow the most vulnerable people at risk of isolation, including the elderly and those with disabilities, access to personal alarms or phones for security. ...More Button

The criteria for receiving the TSA requires a person to be in receipt of the living alone increase. People on widow’s non-contributory pension are automatically transferred to the State pension ...More Button

The schemes that allow a person aged under 66 to receive the living alone increase or the TSA are Invalidity Pension, Disability Allowance, Incapacity Supplement or Blind Pension. Because of the...More Button

Any decision to extend both the living alone increase and the TSA to include people on the widow’s non-contributory payment would have budgetary consequences and would have to be considered in th...More Button

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.More Button

Unemployment Levels

Was asked: her views on the levels of long-term unemployed; the action she is taking to ensure all opportunities are given to the long-term unemployed; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Government’s primary strategy to tackle unemployment – including long-term unemployment – is twofold. The Action Plan for Jobs supports continuing strong economic recovery and employment growt...More Button

To date, these policies have been effective in reducing long-term unemployment.More Button

Latest available data shows that the long-term unemployment rate has fallen from a peak of 9.5% in 2012 to 2.1% in Q1 2018. The actual number of people out of work for a year or more has fallen ...More Button

Long-term unemployment can be expected to fall further this year in line with the continuing forecast fall in overall unemployment. Already, we have exceeded our target to bring long-term unempl...More Button

Policy continues to focus on support for the long-term unemployed. For example, the Pathways to Work 2016-2020 strategy prioritises long-term unemployed people – most notably through the roll-ou...More Button

This continued policy focus, together with the continuing strong performance of the economy, will support further reductions in long term unemployment.More Button

Electric Vehicles

Was asked: the number of charging ports and parking bays for electric vehicles at her Department building and other buildings used by her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There are no e-car charging points or parking bays provided for at the Department's buildings, or at other buildings used by the Department.More Button

Carer's Allowance Payments

Was asked: when an application will be processed for a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Carer's allowance (CA) is a means-tested social assistance payment made to a person who is habitually resident in the State and who is providing full-time care and attention to a person who has suc...More Button

Was asked: when payment will issue to a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Carer's allowance (CA) is a means-tested social assistance payment made to a person who is habitually resident in the State and who is providing full-time care and attention to a person who has suc...More Button

Was asked: the reason there is a difference in carer's allowance and foster carer's allowance (details supplied).More Button

Carer’s allowance (CA) and the foster care allowance (FCA) are fundamentally different in their purpose. CA is a primary social protection income support paid by my Department to those on low inco...More Button

Labour Activation Programmes

Was asked: if funding workers on labour activation programmes in line with the proposed legislation being introduced by the Minister for Finance to increase the compulsory retirement age to 70 years of age wi...More Button

The Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2011 provided for the necessary amendments to increase the State pension age in line with the National Pensions Framework. It provided for an increase in the ag...More Button

The Deputy should note that currently people on labour activation programmes funded by my Department may work until the day before their 66th birthday, current state pension age. My Department w...More Button

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.More Button

State Pension (Contributory)

Was asked: the position regarding proposals to resolve the anomaly for women who are receiving a reduced State pension, contributory, owing to a change in 2012 in the pay-related social insurance, PRSI, calcu...More Button

On the 23rd January, the Government agreed to a proposal that will allow pensioners affected by the 2012 changes in rate bands to have their pension entitlement calculated under a total contributio...More Button

The TCA will ensure that the totality of a person’s social insurance contributions - as opposed to the timing of them - determines their final pension outcome. In particular it will benefit peop...More Button

This approach will make it easier for many post-2012 pensioners affected by the 2012 rate band changes who are currently assessed under the yearly average model, to qualify for a higher rate of t...More Button

So, for example, a person might receive a maximum pension based on 20 years paid PRSI contributions, 5 years jobseeker credits, and 15 years HomeCaring Credits (before or after 1994), over a 50 y...More Button

Work is underway to draft legislation to enable implementation of these arrangements. In line with the legislation, IT solutions must be developed to implement the changes. Accordingly, in the ...More Button

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.More Button

JobPath Programme

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 541 of 19 June 2018, if the way in which resignation letters from customers are automatically generated and worded by JobPath providers will be reviewed; if h...More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is currently being compiled by my officials and will be provided to the Deputy as soon as possible. More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 541 of 19 June 2018, the level of engagement and fact checking a deciding officer undertook with Seetec regarding the case of a person (details supplied) who u...More Button

In this case, the decision of the deciding officer (DO) of 29 May 2018 was made based on the information provided in an application for Jobseekers Allowance (JA). The customer was disqualified fro...More Button

Disability Allowance Appeals

Was asked: the status of an application regarding a disability appeal by a person (details supplied); when a decision will issue; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 23 April 2018. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that th...More Button

If the means of the person concerned are insufficient to meet his needs he should contact the Community Welfare Services with a view to making an application for supplementary welfare allowance. More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against dec...More Button

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.More Button

Carer's Allowance Appeals

Was asked: the status of a carer's allowance appeal by a person (details supplied); when a decision will issue; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 23 April 2018. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that t...More Button

If the means of the person concerned are insufficient to meet her needs she should contact the Community Welfare Services with a view to making an application for supplementary welfare allowance. More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against dec...More Button

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.More Button

Disability Allowance Payments

Was asked: when a payment will issue to a person (details supplied) who has been awarded disability allowance following an appeal; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Carer's Allowance Review

Was asked: the reason review information is sought annually regarding persons in receipt of a carer's allowance or carer's support grant even in cases in which the medical evidence supplied highlights permane...More Button

A person is paid Carer’s Allowance each week on the basis that he/she continues to meet all of the caring requirements. Such persons receive payment of the Carer’s Support Grant automatically. More Button

A carer who is not in receipt of Carer’s Allowance may still qualify for the annual ‘standalone’ Carer’s Support Grant. Initial application is made through completion of an application form. In...More Button

This questionnaire is usually the only contact my Department has with the carer and ensures that only those who continue to meet the scheme requirements receive payment for that year.More Button

Live Register Data

Was asked: the live register for the Dublin 7 and 15 areas; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Live Register statistics from the Blanchardstown and Navan Road Intreo Offices approximate the Live Register for Dublin 15 and 7 respectively. The Live Register for both areas is chara...More Button