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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 128 - 141
 Header Item Invalidity Pension Appeals
 Header Item Carer's Allowance Applications
 Header Item Invalidity Pension Appeals
 Header Item Domiciliary Care Allowance Applications
 Header Item Departmental Funding
 Header Item Departmental Funding
 Header Item Telecommunications Services Provision
 Header Item Household Charge Exemptions
 Header Item Departmental Funding
 Header Item Community Development Initiatives
 Header Item National Drugs Strategy Budget

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 787 No. 4

First Page Previous Page Page of 79 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 128 - 141

Invalidity Pension Appeals

 128. Deputy James Bannon Information on James Bannon Zoom on James Bannon asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the position regarding an appeal for invalidy pension in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Longford; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57303/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned has not been received by that office.

  The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions on social welfare entitlements.

Carer's Allowance Applications

 129. Deputy James Bannon Information on James Bannon Zoom on James Bannon asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton when a carer's allowance will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Longford; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57305/12]

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 the 14th   of November 2011. This application was referred to one of the Department’s medical assessors who found that the caree in question was not medically eligible for carer’s allowance. The person in question subsequently submitted further medical evidence for review.   Following completion of the review, carer’s allowance has been awarded for the period 17/11/2011 to 17/10/2012, and all arrears due have issued. The person in question has been notified of the position.

  I am aware that the person being cared for has recently passed away. I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere sympathy to your constituent and his family for their bereavement.

Invalidity Pension Appeals

 130. Deputy Dan Neville Information on Dan Neville Zoom on Dan Neville asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton if she will review a invalidity pension application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork. [57310/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton Invalidity pension is a payment for people who are permanently incapable of work because of illness or incapacity and who satisfy the contribution conditions.

This department received a claim for invalidity pension for the person concerned on 05 April 2012. The medical evidence provided by the claimant in support of her claim was examined by a medical assessor who was of the opinion that the person concerned is not eligible for invalidity pension as she does not satisfy the medical criteria. The application for invalidity pension was, accordingly, disallowed by a deciding officer. The applicant was notified of this decision and the reason for it on 05 September 2012.

The person concerned subsequently submitted further medical evidence in support of her claim. This evidence has been forwarded to a different medical assessor for evaluation and a decision will issue to the person concerned once the review is completed.

  Questions Nos. 131 and 132 withdrawn.

Domiciliary Care Allowance Applications

 133. Deputy Ciarán Lynch Information on Ciaran Lynch Zoom on Ciaran Lynch asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton when a determination will be made on an application for domiciliary care allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57349/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton An application for domiciliary care allowance (DCA) was received on the 11th December 2012. This application has been forwarded to one of the Department’s Medical Assessors for their medical opinion. Upon receipt of this opinion, a decision will issue to the customer.

  It can take up to 8 weeks to process an application for DCA.

Departmental Funding

 134. Deputy Paudie Coffey Information on Paudie Coffey Zoom on Paudie Coffey asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan if he will provide in tabular form, the total amount of capital funding his Department has allocated to Waterford for the years 2011 and 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57285/12]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan As the Deputy is aware, my Department administers and delivers a wide range of programmes and measures, descriptions of which are available on its website at http://www.ahg.gov.ie/.

  My Department’s gross capital allocation for this range of programme and measures in 2012 is €43m. The table provides a breakdown of this funding for each of my Department’s programme areas.

   While expenditure under these programme areas takes place countrywide, it is not possible to give a county-by-county breakdown of that expenditure. For example, a number of my Department’s programmes are delivered through agencies and other intermediary bodies that operate across county boundaries and in respect of which there is no detailed breakdown on a county basis held by my Department. In addition, groups and organisations that receive grants directly from my Department are not necessarily constituted on a single-county basis.

  In view of the wide range of my Department’s schemes and programmes, and the large volumes of payments and grants thereunder on an ongoing basis, it is not clear that the work involved in compiling and collating the breakdown of expenditure sought by the Deputy would be feasible or justified. However, if the Deputy has specific queries relating to a particular programme or grant, I would be glad to seek to provide him with relevant information in that regard. Similarly, if the Deputy would like specific information in relation to a particular scheme, I would be glad to arrange to have any such request from him examined.

Table: Capital Allocations for 2012

Programme Area
2011 Provisional Out-turn (€m)
REV Allocation 2012 (€m)
Arts, Culture & Film
29.136
20.101
Heritage
10.242
9.469
Irish Language, Gaeltacht and Islands
12.378
8.927
North-South Co-Operation
6.001
4.503
Total
57.757
43

Departmental Funding

 135. Deputy Paudie Coffey Information on Paudie Coffey Zoom on Paudie Coffey asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte if he will provide in tabular form, the total amount of capital funding his Department has allocated to Waterford for the years 2011 and 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57287/12]

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Pat Rabbitte): Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte Total capital expenditure by my Department for the country as a whole was €123m in 2011 and is currently forecast at around €85m for 2012. This expenditure is not allocated at county level.

The most significant component of my Departments capital expenditure is in respect of energy efficiency programmes administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. They have advised me that spending under these schemes amounted to around €5.1 million in 2011 and around €1.5 million in 2012 on their Better Energy programmes in Waterford.

In addition, in 2011, the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI), as part of the INFOMAR Programme funded by my Department, fully mapped Waterford Harbour and approaches. This work utilised two state research vessels at an estimated cost of €250,000.

Finally, the Deputy may wish to note that there were 31 electoral divisions in County Waterford covered by the National Broadband Scheme (NBS). The actual expenditure is not available as it is part of a national contract for the NBS.

Telecommunications Services Provision

 136. Deputy Michael Moynihan Information on Michael Moynihan Zoom on Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte if any of the moneys raised by the recent multi-band spectrum auction have been paid into the Exchequer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57352/12]

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Pat Rabbitte): Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte The management of the radio spectrum is a statutory function of the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) under the Communications Regulation Act, 2002 as amended.

  ComReg recently announced the winning bidders of its Multi-band Spectrum Auction for the 800, 900 and 1800 MHz bands.

I can confirm that ComReg transferred the amount of €450M, in respect of upfront fees accruing from its Multi-band Spectrum Auction, to the Exchequer on Friday 14th December 2012. The remainder of the fees will be paid on an annual basis over the duration of the terms of the licences.

Household Charge Exemptions

 137. Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Information on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Zoom on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will consider removing executors of wills from the Local Government (Household Charge) Act 2011.  [57176/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan The Local Government (Household Charge) Act 2011 provides the legislative basis for the household charge. Section 4 sets out the exemptions and waivers from the charge including where personal representatives for a deceased person are relevant. There are currently no plans to amend the legislation in this respect .   

The Household Charge was brought forward as an interim measure pending the introduction of a full Local Property Tax in 2013. The Finance (Local Property Tax) Bill 2012 is currently before the Oireachtas and issues relating to the Bill are a matter for the Minister for Finance.   

Departmental Funding

 138. Deputy Paudie Coffey Information on Paudie Coffey Zoom on Paudie Coffey asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will provide in tabular form, the total amount of capital funding his Department has allocated to Waterford for the years 2011 and 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57290/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan Capital funding provided to local authorities in Waterford   in 2011 and 2012 (to date) under programmes for which my Department is responsible is set out in the following table :   

Local Authority 2011 2012
Dungarvan Town Council €598,815 € -
Waterford City Council €19,563,032 €9,544,102
Waterford County Council €7,700,686 €13,657,114
Total €27,862,533 €23,201,216

Community Development Initiatives

 139. Deputy Barry Cowen Information on Barry Cowen Zoom on Barry Cowen asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if there will be guaranteed multi-annual core funding for local development companies after 2013 in view of proposals in Putting People First which suggest that the new socio-economic committees will be the decision making body for local development funding including LEADER and LCDP from 2014 onwards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57299/12]

 140. Deputy Barry Cowen Information on Barry Cowen Zoom on Barry Cowen asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the way he intends to retain the experience and expertise of local development companies in the delivery of services for their communities in view of the fact that local development companies will not be viable entities if their core funding is given to the Socio-Economic Committee from 2014 onwards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57300/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan I propose to take Questions Nos. 139 and 140 together.

  It is my intention that the expertise and experience of local development companies will be retained in the new structures outlined in The Action Programme for Effective Local Government - Putting People First.  In their report , the Alignment Steering Group recognised the key strengths of local development companies, in areas such as service planning and delivery.

  Programme administration funding will continue to be available to local development companies in respect of their continued involvement in such work. The exact arrangements in this regard are significantly dependent on the scale of future programmes, including decisions yet to be taken at EU level.

Alignment will see local development and local government working in partnership with each other, and their communities. The recommendations of the Alignment Steering Group highlight the need to improve efficiency across the local and community development sector, for example through shared service arrangements between local development companies and with local authorities. The alignment process should facilitate the best use of the resources, experience and expertise available at local level to deliver better services in the most cost effective and efficient way possible. These and other new arrangements should place local development structures on a more sustainable footing, and they will be the focus of the implementation arrangements that my Department is putting in place for these reforms. In particular, the key stakeholders have been invited to participate on an alignment implementation group to assist and advise on the implementation of the alignment recommendations and I look forward to progress in a spirit of co-operation, trust and respect between the sectors.   

National Drugs Strategy Budget

 141. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will confirm that the necessary funding is being provided for the retention of the estate management projects in an area (details supplied) in Dublin 24; if he will appreciate the importance of these two projects; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57341/12]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O'Sullivan): Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan The projects in question no longer operate as mainstreamed drugs projects under my Department’s Housing programme.

However, I understand that my colleague, the Minister of State with responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy, announced on 11 December 2012 that funding of €50,000 has been allocated to the Tallaght Local Drugs Task Force to support the projects in question during 2013.   


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