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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 103 - 116
 Header Item Carer's Allowance Delays
 Header Item Social Insurance Yield
 Header Item Rent Supplement Scheme Applications
 Header Item One-Parent Family Payment Applications
 Header Item Carer's Allowance Eligibility
 Header Item Scéim na bhFoghlaimeoirí
 Header Item Scéim na bhFoghlaimeoirí Gaeilge
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Special Areas of Conservation Designation
 Header Item Turf Cutting Compensation Scheme Issues
 Header Item Broadcasting Service Provision

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 786 No. 3

First Page Previous Page Page of 73 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 103 - 116

Carer's Allowance Delays

 103. Deputy Brendan Ryan Information on Brendan Ryan Zoom on Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton if her attention has been drawn to the delay in processing a carer's allowance application in respect of a person (details supplied); the reason for the delay; when a decision will issue; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [56150/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton I confirm that the department received an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question on 29th December 2011. Further information was needed to finalise the claim and that was requested from the person concerned. This information has recently been received back in carer’s allowance section. The application is with a deciding officer for a decision. Once processed, the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome.

Social Insurance Yield

 104. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the estimated yield for every 0.1 of a percent added to the rate of employee PRSI; and the rate increase required to provide for a yield of €265 million in 2013 and €289 million in a full year. [56167/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton It is estimated that the full year yield for a 1% increase in the rate of employee PRSI would be in the region of €383 million. To provide a yield of €265 million in 2013 and €289 million for a full year an increase of approximately 0.75% in employee PRSI would be required.

Rent Supplement Scheme Applications

 105. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the current and correct level of rent support payable in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; the reason rent support was discontinued; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [56186/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton In September 2012, the rent allowance payable to the person concerned was reviewed. She was issued with an explanatory letter and the relevant forms for completion. Payment was discontinued as she had not replied, nor had she contacted the local community welfare service office.

The information requested has now been received and payment has been re-instated. The correct level of rent allowance payable to the person concerned is €725 per month.

One-Parent Family Payment Applications

 106. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton when the correct level of one parent family allowance will issue in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [56187/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The person concerned is in receipt of a weekly rate of one parent family payment of €277.40. This consists of a personal rate of €188.00 plus €89.40 qualified child allowance. A fuel allowance of €20 per week is also in payment. The rate of payment is correct according to the information available to this Department.

Carer's Allowance Eligibility

 107. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the level of carer's allowance payable in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare in view of the fact that they receive one parent family allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [56188/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The person in question is in receipt of one-parent family payment. If she can satisfy the conditions for carer’s allowance she would be entitled to get half the rate of carer’s allowance along with her existing one-parent family payments. The qualifying conditions for receipt of half rate carer’s allowance payment are exactly the same as carer’s allowance.

Scéim na bhFoghlaimeoirí

 108. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan cén caiteachas a rinneadh ar scéim na bhfoghlaimeoirí Gaeilge, cé mhéad dalta ar íocadh deontas ina leith do gach bliain ó 1997 i leith; agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh. [56084/12]

 109. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan cén ráta íocaíochta a bhí ann i leith daltaí a d’fhan i dtithe Gaeltachta faoi Scéim na bhFoghlaimeoirí Gaeilge ón mbliain 1997 i leith; agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh.  [56085/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Dinny McGinley): Information on Dinny McGinley Zoom on Dinny McGinley I propose to take Questions Nos. 108 and 109 together.

  Tá an t-eolas ata iarrtha ag an Teachta i bhfoirm tábla thíos. Ní miste a lua go bhfuil líon na bhfoghlaimeoirí a bhí ar iostas i mbrúnna sa Ghaeltacht agus i dtrí cinn de choláistí cónaithe seanbhunaithe taobh amuigh den Ghaeltacht san áireamh. Tá líon na ndaoine fásta a d’fhreastail ar chúrsaí sa Ghaeltacht san áireamh freisin.

  Maidir leis an ráta íocaíochta, íocadh an ráta céanna deontais i leith foghlaimeoirí a bhí ar iostas i mbrúnna ó 2001 go 2011 agus a íocadh leis na teaghlaigh. Íocadh deontas de €5.00 in aghaidh an lae i leith foghlaimeoirí a bhí ar iostas i mbrúnna i 2012.

Bliain Líon Foghlaimeoirí Ráta Deontais Caiteachas na Roinne
1997 23,709 £4.00 £1,860,288
1998 24,116 £4.40 £2,074,119
1999 23,551 £4.40 £2,023,633
2000 24,104 £5.00 £2,333,586
2001 24,642 £5.50 £2,640,146
2002 25,430 €7.00 €3,466,767
2003 24,859 €8.00 €3,770,117
2004 24,577 €8.00 €3,638,029
2005 25,203 €9.00 €4,260,625
2006 26,645 €9.50 €4,816,150
2007 26,271 €10.50 €5,294,957
2008 28,112 €10.50 €5,593,486
2009 27,443 €10.50 €5,593,458
2010 25,120 €10.00 €4,727,849
2011 24,714 €9.50 €4,446,159
2012 23,840 €9.50 €4,051,424

Scéim na bhFoghlaimeoirí Gaeilge

 110. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan céard iad na hathruithe a chuir sé ar Scéim na bhFoghlaimeoirí Gaeilge don bhliain 2012, cé mhéad airgid a shábháil gach athrú; agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh.  [56086/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Dinny McGinley): Information on Dinny McGinley Zoom on Dinny McGinley Ar an gcéad dul síos, tá áthas orm a rá go raibh ar mo chumas an deontas laethúil céanna a íoc leis na teaghlaigh in 2012 agus a íocadh in 2011. Ag an am céanna, bhí ar mo Roinn, ar nós gach Roinn eile, sábháil a dhéanamh agus rinneadh leasuithe áirithe dá réir ar Scéim na bhFoghlaimeoirí Gaeilge. Laghdaíodh an deontas laethúil i leith foghlaimeoirí a bhí ar iostas i mbrúnna go €5.00 in 2012. Rinneadh sábháil de €180,000 mar thoradh air seo in 2012.

Cé nár laghdaíodh líon na bhfoghlaimeoirí a bhí ceadaithe a bheith ar iostas le teaghlaigh faoin scéim in 2012, níor íocadh deontas ach i leith uasmhéid de 14 foghlaimeoir in aon teaghlach. Tá sé seo ag teacht leis an moladh a rinneadh sa tuarascáil ‘Athbhreithniú ar chóras na gColáistí Samhraidh’ a foilsíodh in 2000. Glactar leis gur fearr a n-éiríonn leis an gcaidreamh idir teaghlaigh agus foghlaimeoirí nuair nach mbíonn líon mór foghlaimeoirí ag fanacht leis an teaghlach. Meastar go raibh sábháil de thart ar €60,000 mar thoradh air seo in 2012.

Departmental Expenditure

 111. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan the reason for the underspend of €8 million, €3 million current and €8 million capital, against profile at the end of November; the steps being taken to ensure no underspend at the end of the year in view of the number of groups seeking money from his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56119/12]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan Gross expenditure for my Department on November 30th 2012 totalled €234.5m, which is on target at 97% of profile. This represents approximately 87% of the total REV allocation for the year. Current expenditure accounted for just over €204.1m of this total (99% of profile), while capital expenditure accounted for €30.4m (86% of profile).

Current expenditure is a little over €2m behind profile, which is a 1% variance against profile. Capital spending is approximately €5m behind profile, primarily due to certain capital projects progressing at a slightly slower rate than was anticipated. My Department has sought capital carryover of €1.2m into 2013 in respect of the heritage area. However, I expect, as with last year, that close to my Department's full programme provision will be utilised and no significant surpluses or deficits are envisaged.

I am very committed to ensuring that the maximum value is derived from my Department's budget in terms of maintaining, promoting and protecting Ireland’s heritage and culture, developing cultural tourism, advancing the use of the Irish language, and supporting the sustainable development of the islands. This is reflected in the fact that, in 2011, excluding Departmental administration, my Department expended approximately 99.76% of its available programme funding.

I will, of course, continue to closely monitor expenditure trends across all my Department’s subheads in the lead up to year-end to ensure the greatest possible use of the resources available.

Departmental Expenditure

 112. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan his plans to make further payments either directly from his Department or through an Bord Scannan to Solas - Galway Picture Palace before the end of the year in view of the significant progress being made with this project in recent months both from a building perspective and also in collecting private finance for the project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56120/12]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan My Department has no plans to make further payments to the Solas – Galway Picture Palace Project before the end of the year.

  Bord Scannán na hÉireann/Irish Film Board is a statutorily independent agency with its own management structure and board and decisions relating to funding are ones for that organisation to make.

  I welcome the progress made to date on the project and look forward to continued progress in 2013.

Special Areas of Conservation Designation

 113. Deputy Mary Mitchell O'Connor Information on Mary Mitchell O'Connor Zoom on Mary Mitchell O'Connor asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the area of 27,000 hectares from Dalkey Island northwards across Dublin Bay to north of Swords which he is proposing to designate as a special area of conservation is subject to a exploration licence agreement for gas and oil; his views on whether it is appropriate to designate such lands in this manner under the circumstances; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56124/12]

 114. Deputy Mary Mitchell O'Connor Information on Mary Mitchell O'Connor Zoom on Mary Mitchell O'Connor asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan if he is seeking to have the exploration licence revoked for the of 27,000 hectares from Dalkey Island northwards across Dublin Bay to north of Swords which he is proposing to designate as a special area of conservation [56125/12]

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan I propose to take Questions Nos. 113 and 114 together.

As part of its obligations under the Habitats Directive, Ireland must designate Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) for the protection of endangered habitats and species. The European Commission oversees the fulfilment of these obligations through a series of biogeographic seminars, which compare the effort of Member States within a biogeographic region. Such a seminar in 2009 found that certain habitats and species were insufficiently represented in the list of marine candidate SACs proposed for designation by Ireland. The designation of marine SACs is scheduled for completion for the entire EU in 2012. The site referred to by the Deputy is one of six additional sites proposed that will constitute Ireland’s contribution to that process. The harbour porpoise is the principal conservation interest of the site in question, while areas of reefs are also afforded protection.

Sites proposed for designation invariably have existing consents which allow certain activities or developments within them. The legal implications of the proposed designation apply certain obligations relating to consents granted after the date of the notification. I understand that the consent referred to was granted by the Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government before the date of notification.

Like all species of cetacean, harbour porpoise, for which the site in question is to be designated, also enjoys strict protection under the Habitats Directive wherever it occurs. Potential impacts arising from interventions in the marine environment must be assessed for impacts upon these species.

My Department was consulted in advance of the issuing of the consent and provided advice to the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government on the protection of marine mammals, including the harbour porpoise, and on appropriate mitigation measures that should be employed during the seismic survey to be carried out. It is understood that reefs within the proposed SAC will not be affected by the activities allowable under the consent that issued.

Any future consent for exploration, extraction or any other activity within or in the vicinity of the SAC will need to be examined for potential impacts upon it. Consent authorities will need to satisfy themselves that applications do not pose a risk to the site before issuing such consents.

Turf Cutting Compensation Scheme Issues

 115. Deputy Martin Heydon Information on Martin Heydon Zoom on Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan if he will provide an update on the progress of turf deliveries to family members under the agreed compensation scheme for a special area of conservation bog in County Kildare (details supplied); when he expects all deliveries to be complete; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56147/12]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan To date, 29 turf deliveries amounting to 417 tonnes of turf have been made to applicants and their family members under the cessation of turf cutting compensation scheme, administered by my Department, in respect of the raised bog special area of conservation referred to in the Deputy’s Question.

Where applicants claim to have been extracting more than 30 tonnes of turf per annum from their bog plots for themselves and family members, arrangements have been put in place for assessments to be carried out in order to verify such claims.

Broadcasting Service Provision

 116. Deputy Tony McLoughlin Information on Tony McLoughlin Zoom on Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte if consideration has been given to naming the new Oireachtas TV station to "Telifís Oireachtas" rather than Oireactas TV in consideration to the Irish Language, our first language.  [56094/12]

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Pat Rabbitte): Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte The establishment of an Oireachtas TV channel is provided for in Chapter 6, Part 7 of the Broadcasting Act 2009.

  S 125(2) provides for the channel to be known as in the Irish language, Bealach Thithe an Oireachtais or, in the English language, the Houses of the Oireachtas Channel.


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