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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 120-134
 Header Item Social Welfare Code Issues
 Header Item Turbary Rights
 Header Item Departmental Staff Remuneration
 Header Item Departmental Contracts
 Header Item Turbary Rights

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 786 No. 2

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Written Answers Nos. 120-134

Social Welfare Code Issues

 128. Deputy Michael Moynihan Information on Michael Moynihan Zoom on Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton if PRSI was paid out of the early retirement farm scheme, whether this contributes to a social welfare entitlement.  [55952/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton Under social welfare legislation, certain payments received by way of pension are excluded from income on which PRSI is charged. As payments received under the Early Retirement Scheme are regarded as payments received by way of pension, they are not subject to PRSI and therefore do not contribute to a social welfare entitlement.

Turbary Rights

 129. Deputy Kevin Humphreys Information on Kevin Humphreys Zoom on Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton if the money provided to turf cutters under the compensation scheme for those affected by the cessation of turf cutting on raised bog special areas of conservation is assessed as means for the awarding of means tested payments such as farm assist and jobseeker's allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [55953/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton Payments received by persons under European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 in compensation for loss suffered by the depreciation of an interest in the land to which he or she is entitled (turf cutting compensation scheme) are not assessable as cash income for the purposes of means tested, social assistance payments.

Departmental Staff Remuneration

 130. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton if temporary promotions or acting-up allowances have been a feature of the staffing arrangements for this EU Presidency; if she will confirm that her Department has been given sanction to make such arrangements, detailing the number by grade involved, the date sanction was sought and the date it was given. [56304/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The Department of Social Protection has not sought sanction for any promotions or acting-up allowances in respect of staffing arrangements associated with the upcoming EU presidency.

Departmental Contracts

 131. Deputy Damien English Information on Damien English Zoom on Damien English asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan if he will provide details of each service in his Department that is currently outsourced; the company that provides such services and the total cost for these services; the other services which may be outsourced in the future that are currently being run in his Department; the names of the companies, fees paid and nature of service for all contracts awarded from his Department excluding legal, accounting, PR or building refurbishment related services since March 2011. [55826/12]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan While certain work is contracted out from time to time in cases where particular expertise is required, in particular technical advice, engineering services and some architectural services, there has been no case of outsourcing responsibility for core public service provision to the private sector since my Department was established on 2 June 2011. The Department is committed to examining further options and alternative delivery mechanisms where appropriate in order to achieve cost savings and enhance accessibility of specific technical skills.

Turbary Rights

 132. Deputy Kevin Humphreys Information on Kevin Humphreys Zoom on Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan if he will estimate for 2012 the number of turf cutters that qualified for the compensation scheme for those affected by the cessation of turf cutting on raised bog special areas of conservation; the number who did not accept the payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55997/12]

 133. Deputy Kevin Humphreys Information on Kevin Humphreys Zoom on Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan the amount spent in 2012 on payments under the compensation scheme for those affected by the cessation of turf cutting on raised bog special areas of conservation; if he will provide a breakdown of the total sums paid by county and for each county list the average, highest and lowest payment of total payments and if payments were for 2011 and 2012 or just for 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55998/12]

 134. Deputy Kevin Humphreys Information on Kevin Humphreys Zoom on Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan the number of turf cutters in 2012 that qualified for the additional once off payment of €500 under the compensation scheme for those affected by the cessation of turf cutting on raised bog special areas of conservation; the total awarded to date in 2012; if he will provide a breakdown of the number awarded and total amount by county; the amount budgeted in total for this once off payment and the number of turf cutters refused the payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [55999/12]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan I propose to take Questions Nos. 132, 133 and 134 together.

  Details are set out in the following table, on a bog by bog basis, of the number of applications under the cessation of turf cutting compensation scheme received by my Department, the number of applicants opting for financial compensation, the number of applicants expressing an interest in relocation to non-designated bogs, and the number of payments made. Out of the 2,544 applications received in my Department under the cessation of turf cutting compensation scheme, 1,784 applicants have opted for financial compensation and 760 applicants have expressed an interest in relocation.

  To date, a total of 2,105 payments and 180 turf deliveries have been made to applicants at a total cost of €3,409,000. A cost of €51,000 was incurred in 2011 with the remaining cost of €3,358,000 being incurred in 2012.

  The scheme is comprised of a payment of €1,500 per year, index linked, for 15 years or, where feasible, relocation of turf cutters to non-designated bogs where they can continue to cut turf.

  Payments and turf deliveries have been made on the basis that applicants have indicated in their application forms that they fulfil all the qualifying criteria of the cessation of turf cutting compensation scheme. My Department has been checking, and will be continuing to check, that all of the qualifying criteria of the scheme have been met in each case.

  I am advised that at this stage one applicant has been informed that he does not fulfil the qualifying criteria. He has requested a Departmental review of the decision. Arrangements are also being considered by the Peatlands Council to put in place an appeals system where applicants wish to appeal the outcome of a review by the Department. While it may be anticipated that there will be further instances where applicants do not qualify, priority has been given to processing payments to those who clearly appear to meet the qualifying criteria on the basis of the information provided in their application forms.

  3 applicants have been rejected because the areas on which they have been cutting turf are not within a raised bog special area of conservation.

  An additional once-off payment of €500 for qualifying turf cutters will be provided where legal agreements are signed with me, as Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. To date, no such payments have been made as my Department has been giving priority to processing the €1,500 per annum payments and requests for the delivery of turf. Based on the number of applicants who have received compensation under the scheme to date, it is estimated that the total cost of the once-off payment will be of the order of €900,000.

Sites nominated for designation between 1997 and 1999

Site Code Name County No. of Applications Received No. Opting for Financial Compensation No. Expressing an interest in Relocation Payments made in respect of Year 1 of 15 -2011 Payments made in respect of Year 2 of 15 - 2012
000006 Killyconny Bog (Cloghbally) Cavan 45 37 8 3 3
000231 Barroughter Bog Galway 58 36 22 43 32
000248 Cloonmoylan Bog Galway 74 66 8 53 49
000285 Kilsallagh Bog Galway 32 23 9 22 28
000296 Lisnageeragh Bog and Ballinstack Turlough Galway 20 11 9 7 10
000297 Lough Corrib Galway 83 75 8 58 69
000301 Lough Lurgeen Bog/ Glenamaddy Turlough Galway 29 20 9 13 15
000326 Shankill West Bog Galway 9 5 4 5 7
000382 Sheheree (Ardagh) Bog Kerry 1 1 0 0 0
000391 Ballynafagh Bog Kildare 56 27 29 23 24
000497 Flughany Bog Mayo/Sligo 17 14 3 11 7
000566 All Saints Bog and Esker Offaly 6 4 2 0 0
000572 Clara Bog Offaly 107 50 57 63 35
000575 Ferbane Bog Offaly 4 1 3 0 0
000580 Mongan Bog Offaly 5 4 1 1 1
000581 Moyclare Bog Offaly 25 4 21 22 13
000582 Raheenmore Bog Offaly 0 0 0 0 0
000585 Sharavogue Bog Offaly 2 2 0 0 0
000592 Bellanagare Bog Roscommon 174 130 44 112 98
000597 Carrowbehy/Caher Bog Roscommon 3 3 0 1 1
000600 Cloonchambers Bog Roscommon 26 21 5 10 5
000604 Derrinea Bog Roscommon 1 1 0 0 0
000614 Cloonshanville Bog Roscommon 7 7 0 2 2
000641 Ballyduff/Clonfinane Bog Tipperary 2 2 0 2 2
000647 Kilcarren-Firville Bog Tipperary 25 22 3 15 15
000679 Garriskil Bog Westmeath 0 0 0 0 0
001242 Carrownagappul Bog Galway 129 59 70 66 66
001818 Lough Forbes Complex Roscommon 13 8 5 2 0
002110 Corliskea/Trien/Cloonfelliv Bog Galway/Roscommon 76 63 13 40 56
  Totals   1029 696 333 574 538


Sites nominated for designation in 2002
Site Code Name County No. of Applications Received No. Opting for Financial Compensation No. Expressing an interest in Relocation Payments made in respect of Year 1 of 15 - 2012
000440 Lough Ree Roscommon/Longford/Westmeath 285 194 91 195
000595 Callow Bog Roscommon 91 73 18 70
002298 River Moy Mayo/Roscommon/Sligo 68 59 9 26
002331 Mouds Bog Kildare 94 55 39 47
002332 Coolrain Bog Laois 54 45 9 40
002333 Knockacoller Bog Laois 26 21 5 6
002336 Carn Park Bog Westmeath 59 26 33 44
002337 Crosswood Bog Westmeath 69 37 32 44
002338 Drumalough Bog Roscommon 19 18 1 12
002339 Ballynamona Bog and Corkip Lough Roscommon 60 30 30 38
002340 Moneybeg and Clareisland Bogs Meath/Westmeath 84 72 12 70
002341 Ardagillion Bog Longford 40 29 11 21
002342 Mount Hevey Bog Meath/Westmeath 66 28 38 22
002343 Tullaher Lough and Bog Clare 191 164 27 151
002346 Brown Bog Longford 6 6 0 1
002347 Camderry Bog Galway 14 6 8 9
002348 Clooneen Bog Longford 11 9 2 7
002349 Corbo Bog Roscommon 67 39 28 38
002350 Curraghlehanagh Bog Galway 46 27 19 26
002351 Moanveanlagh Bog Kerry 27 24 3 22
002352 Monivea Bog Galway 42 38 4 25
002353 Redwood Bog Tipperary 76 70 6 63
002354 Tullaghanrock Bog Roscommon 1 1 0 0
002356 Ardgraigue Bog Galway 19 17 2 16
  Totals   1515 1088 427 993


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