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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 187-203
 Header Item Mortgage to Rent Scheme Funding
 Header Item Proposed Legislation
 Header Item Motor Tax Yield
 Header Item Motor Tax Collection
 Header Item Water Services Funding
 Header Item Air Pollution
 Header Item Rural Development Programme Funding
 Header Item Property Taxation Application
 Header Item Litter Pollution Fines
 Header Item Foreshore Licences Applications
 Header Item Household Charge Collection
 Header Item Housing Adaptation Grants Expenditure
 Header Item Non-Principal Private Residence Charge Exemptions
 Header Item Rural Development Programme Funding
 Header Item Community Development Initiatives
 Header Item Leader Programmes Funding

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 787 No. 5

First Page Previous Page Page of 76 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 187-203

Mortgage to Rent Scheme Funding

 187. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the position regarding mortgage to rent scheme in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57376/12]

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 On foot of the recommendations of the Keane Report on mortgage arrears, the Government launched a mortgage to rent scheme on a pilot basis in February 2012. This scheme was extended nationally in June 2012, targeting those low income families whose mortgage situation is unsustainable and where there is little or no prospect of a significant change in circumstances in the foreseeable future. The scheme ensures that the family remains in their home, while ownership is transferred to an approved housing body who in turn rent it to the original owners. While my Department has been responsible for devising the scheme, including, inter alia , setting the parameters for household eligibility, neither I nor my Department have   any function or role in relation to specific cases.

Proposed Legislation

 188. Deputy John Lyons Information on John Lyons Zoom on John Lyons asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the status of the Noise Nuisance Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57434/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan The Programme for Government includes a commitment to take further steps to address noise pollution, inter alia, through the introduction of fixed payment notices (also known as on-the-spot fines) and provision for mediation procedures between neighbours. The development of new noise legislation by my Department will be considered in the context of this commitment; however, as indicated in the Government Legislation Programme published in September, it is not possible at this time to indicate when the legislation will be published, having regard to other priorities in the area concerned and the broader range of legislative priorities to be progressed across my Department’s remit.

  Currently, a person experiencing noise nuisance may contact their local authority, which may initiate proceedings on grounds of noise nuisance under the Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992. This Act also provides for any person, or group of persons, to seek an order in the District Court to have noise giving reasonable cause for annoyance abated. The procedures involved have been simplified to allow action to be taken without legal representation. A public information leaflet A Guide to the Noise Regulations, outlining the legal avenues available to persons experiencing noise nuisance, is available on my Department’s website: www.environ.ie.

Motor Tax Yield

 189. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will set out in tabular form the motor tax received in each of the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and to date in 2012, in total and to provide a breakdown of the tax received by band; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [57442/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan  The data requested are set out in the following tables in respect of 2011 and the period to the end of October 2012. A breakdown of the receipts by band for 2009 and 2010 is being compiled and will be forwarded to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Private vehicles taxed on engine capacity – 2011

Engine cc - Licensing Period - Total
- Annual Half-yearly Quarterly -
- € m € m € m € m
not over 1,000 14,728,981 5,010,647 8,356,727 28,096,355
1,101-1,200 12,073,952 5,084,252 9,985,484 27,143,688
1,001-1,100 840,015 344,330 584,969 1,769,314
1,201-1,300 15,487,519 6,730,113 14,340,523 36,558,155
1,301-1,400 64,174,826 28,291,106 55,073,440 147,539,372
1,401-1,500 9,365,211 3,653,220 7,816,039 20,834,470
1,501-1,600 47,717,556 23,021,907 46,689,880 117,429,343
1,601-1,700 1,160,145 588,823 1,311,689 3,060,657
1,701-1,800 25,368,206 9,489,423 22,682,753 57,540,382
1,801-1,900 31,443,442 13,873,287 32,871,420 78,188,149
1,901-2,000 46,296,498 22,712,652 44,502,675 113,511,825
2,001-2,100 172,905 64,444 130,883 368,232
2,101-2,200 8,409,501 3,787,425 6,553,666 18,750,592
2,201-2,300 2,779,446 1,256,157 2,177,440 6,213,043
23,01-2,400 1,801,374 609,307 1,112,351 3,523,032
2,401-2,500 8,832,994 3,676,282 6,955,122 19,464,398
2,501-2,600 896,460 414,548 600,494 1,911,502
2,601-2,700 1,917,024 1,084,292 1,808,919 4,810,235
2,701-2,800 3,000,350 1,188,228 1,407,603 5,596,181
2,801-2,900 172,788 110,824 323,385 606,997
2,901-3,000 12,793,482 4,495,284 6,715,002 24,003,768
3,001 or more 10,036,518 3,398,511 4,546,754 17,981,783
Total 319,469,193 138,885,062 276,547,218 734,901,473


Private vehicles taxed on engine capacity – 2012 (to end October)
Engine cc - Licensing Period - Total
- Annual Half-yearly Quarterly -
- € m € m € m € m
not over 1,000 11,230,154 3,220,745 5,834,964 20,285,863
1,101-1,200 729,199 267,824 512,774 1,509,797
1,001-1,100 9,930,624 4,258,350 9,173,316 23,362,290
1,201-1,300 12,894,974 5,592,030 12,455,771 30,942,775
1,301-1,400 55,720,777 23,493,159 48,853,522 128,067,458
1,401-1,500 8,197,203 3,002,349 7,264,778 18,464,330
1,501-1,600 40,388,831 18,833,465 42,735,374 101,957,670
1,601-1,700 922,957 512,336 1,207,895 2,643,188
1,701-1,800 20,466,893 8,070,719 20,365,807 48,903,419
1,801-1,900 24,435,704 12,389,411 30,715,756 67,540,871
1,901-2,000 37,518,965 18,358,282 40,741,557 96,618,804
2,001-2,100 126,456 53,206 118,734 298,396
2,101-2,200 7,024,988 2,971,276 6,026,606 16,022,870
2,201-2,300 2,324,567 1,014,732 2,086,310 5,425,609
23,01-2,400 1,442,841 512,176 965,213 2,920,230
2,401-2,500 6,617,529 3,308,016 6,038,725 15,964,270
2,501-2,600 699,560 359,384 515,010 1,573,954
2,601-2,700 1,412,391 816,102 1,576,663 3,805,156
2,701-2,800 2,663,956 880,928 1,294,077 4,838,961
2,801-2,900 104,676 53,568 218,250 376,494
2,901-3,000 10,489,855 4,048,203 5,813,667 20,351,725
3,001 or more 8,200,800 2,488,845 3,871,290 14,560,935
Total 263,543,900 114,505,106 248,386,059 626,435,065


Private vehicles taxed on CO2 - 2011
CO2 emissions – grams per km - Licensing period - Total
- Annual Half-yearly Quarterly -
- €m €m €m €m
A ( 0 - 120) 14,674,685 798,697 500,711 15,974,093
B (121-140) 19,694,527 1,368,641 1,279,570 22,342,738
C (141-155) 12,688,950 2,353,940 2,270,811 17,313,701
D (156-170) 7,564,514 1,551,688 1,491,216 10,607,418
E (171-190) 4,288,707 914,844 780,429 5,983,980
F (191-225) 2,893,280 654,434 437,498 3,985,212
G (226 & over) 914,210 162,655 110,436 1,187,301
Total 62,718,873 7,804,899 6,870,671 77,394,443


Private vehicles taxed on CO 2 – 2012 (to end October)
CO2 emissions – grams per km - Licensing period - Total
- Annual Half-yearly Quarterly -
- € m € m € m € m
A ( 0 - 120) 16,752,826 1,311,072 868,664 18,932,562
B (121-140) 32,468,724 3,669,365 2,728,188 38,866,277
C (141-155) 14,325,741 2,635,666 2,792,284 19,753,691
D (156-170) 8,279,240 1,746,610 1,786,169 11,812,019
E (171-190) 4,701,164 1,021,113 933,254 6,655,531
F (191-225) 3,208,501 734,848 548,534 4,491,883
G (226 & over) 1,036,276 210,510 133,770 1,380,556
T otal 80,772,472 11,329,184 9,790,863 101,892,519


Goods vehicles - 2011
Unladen weight (kg) - Licensing period - Total
- Annual Half-yearly Quarterly -
- € m € m € m € m
not over 3,000 64,426,105 13,244,063 10,075,615 87,745,783
3,001-4,000 1,230,531 213,248 133,190 1,576,969
4,001-5,000 1,263,209 322,942 208,664 1,794,815
5,001-6,000 1,092,544 294,810 203,070 1,590,424
6,001-7,000 830,418 293,788 233,310 1,357,516
7,001-8,000 1,255,710 394,454 390,539 2,040,703
8,001-9,000 1,615,902 693,428 601,418 2,910,748
9,001-10,000 1,575,489 606,273 806,220 2,987,982
10,001-11,000 1,822,218 770,367 1,627,996 4,220,581
11,001-12,000 2,636,063 1,305,594 3,189,258 7,130,915
12,001-13,000 2,540,190 1,448,240 3,152,233 7,140,663
13,001-14,000 2,916,371 1,457,841 2,643,864 7,018,076
14,001-15,000 2,296,929 1,174,719 2,030,469 5,502,117
15,001- 16,000 1,566,768 555,673 917,862 3,040,303
16,001-17,000 955,234 378,335 346,234 1,679,803
17,001-18,000 559,981 150,986 191,100 902,067
18,001-19,000 255,093 73,077 63,116 391,286
19,001-20,000 139,986 37,664 46,813 224,463
20,001 or more 374,185 127,625 198,120 699,930
Total 89,352,926 23,543,127 27,059,091 139,955,144

Goods vehicles – 2012 (to end October)

Unladen weight (kg) - Licensing period - Total
- Annual Half-yearly Quarterly -
- m m m m
not over 3,000 54,687,248 11,755,478 9,566,033 76,008,759
3,001-4,000 1,060,169 191,367 128,455 1,379,991
4,001-5,000 1,053,863 296,886 198,729 1,549,478
5,001-6,000 919,188 270,860 208,495 1,398,543
6,001-7,000 717,528 254,415 220,821 1,192,764
7,001-8,000 1,086,598 359,438 364,517 1,810,553
8,001-9,000 1,386,797 548,048 633,087 2,567,932
9,001-10,000 1,331,700 547,773 695,350 2,574,823
10,001-11,000 1,447,477 632,292 1,483,704 3,563,473
11,001-12,000 2,129,208 1,042,040 2,760,674 5,931,922
12,001-13,000 2,099,067 1,304,733 2,901,623 6,305,423
13,001-14,000 2,718,390 1,364,068 2,475,028 6,557,486
14,001-15,000 2,015,652 1,087,509 1,966,590 5,069,751
15,001- 16,000 1,429,820 463,113 890,168 2,783,101
16,001-17,000 945,400 348,845 423,677 1,717,922
17,001-18,000 576,444 111,056 238,442 925,942
18,001-19,000 321,300 53,735 84,700 459,735
19,001-20,000 100,430 25,330 50,271 176,031
20,001 or more 352,821 106,195 219,765 678,781
Total 76,379,100 20,763,181 25,510,129 122,652,410


Miscellaneous vehicles - 2011
Vehicle Type - Licensing Period - T otal
- Annual Half-yearly Quarterly -
- m €m m €m
Off Road Dumper 6,128 1,700 4,536 12,364
Dumper/Forklift Truck 182,622 - - 182,622
Excavator/Digger 356,639 - - 356,639
Mobile Machine 1,373,456 162,415 88,287 1,624,158
Agricultural Tractor 5,713,888 - - 5,731,888
General Haulage Tractor 251,932 15,754 7,938 275,624
Taxi/Hackney 2,082,615 - - 2,082,615
Schoolbus 70,095 - - 70,095
Large PSV/Youth/Community Bus 1,713,378 220,124 122,253 2,055,755
Motorcycle 2,605,713 - - 2,605,713
Vintage & Veteran 1,240,930 - - 1,240,930
Motor Caravan 966,925 - - 966,925
Island Vehicle 72,814 - - 72,814
Hearse 75,814 - - 75,814
Total 16,730,737 399,999 223,220 17,353,956


Miscellaneous Vehicles    2012 (to end October)
Vehicle Type - Licensing Period - T otal
- Annual Half-yearly Quarterly -
- m €m m €m
Off Road Dumper 9,876 5,928 3,016 18,820
Dumper/Forklift Truck 163,989 - - 163,989
Excavator/Digger 254,433 - - 254,433
Mobile Machine 1,185,146 143,275 100,200 1,428,621
Agricultural Tractor 5,365,645 - - 5,365,645
General Haulage Tractor 218,246 13,244 6,264 237,754
Taxi/Hackney 1,841,138 - - 1,841,138
Schoolbus 63,192 - - 63,192
Large PSV/Youth/Community Bus 1,595,624 182,917 116,812 1,895,353
Motorcycle 2,508,689 - - 2,508,689
Vintage & Veteran 1,259,014 - - 1,259,014
Motor Caravan 837,301 - - 837,301
Island Vehicle 77,502 - - 77,502
Hearse 72,292 - - 72,292
T otal 15,452,087 345,364 226,292 16,023,743


Vehicle Licence Arrears Receipts 2011 and 2012 (to end October) by motor tax class
Motor Tax Class 2011 2012 (to end October)
- €m €m
Private – engine capacity 17,874,617 15,407,884
Private – CO 2 1,084,638 1,355,130
Goods 3,438,957 2,751,457
Off Road Dumper 0 164
Dumper/Forklift Truck 5,260 3,785
Excavator/Digger 9,405 5,711
Mobile Machine 40,947 29,190
Agricultural Tractor 150,274 127,298
General Haulage Tractor 5,162 3,565
Taxi/Hackney 33,678 25,260
Schoolbus 832 355
Large PSV/Youth/Community Bus 29,445 24,083
Motorcycles 83,792 74,349
Vintage & Veteran 25,723 25,819
Motor Caravan 19,675 19,551
Island Vehicle 2,333 2,236
Hearse 1,869 1,700
T otal 22,806,607 19,857,537

Motor Tax Collection

 190. Deputy Tom Fleming Information on Tom Fleming Zoom on Tom Fleming asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will allow vehicle tax Budget 2013 increases commencement date to be introduced on 1 January 2013, as it is standard to allow vehicle owners to pre tax vehicles on the rate at start of prior month; if he will allow the rate at start of December and issued throughout December be the charge for new tax discs issued for 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [57453/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan Increases in motor tax rates were announced in the Budget on 5 December 2012 and approved by Financial Resolution of the Dáil.  As with previous rate increases, the new motor tax rates came into force from the following day for vehicle licences with a commencement date of the following month i.e. January 2013 in the case of this Budget.

Water Services Funding

 191. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will provide a breakdown of funding (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57476/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan Substantial funding towards local authorities’ water conservation programmes is being provided under my Department’s Water Services Investment Programme 2010 – 2013. Water mains rehabilitation is a key priority under the Programme which includes the Kerry Watermains Rehabilitation Project valued at €18.79 million. My Department has to date in 2012 provided funding of € 1.26m to Kerry County Council for watermains rehabilitation works throughout the County. The following table sets out in detail the rehabilitation works underway and the funding recouped to date in 2012 to the Council.

Kerry Water Conservation Stage 3   

Rehabilitation Works   

Project Amount Recouped
Kerry Water Conservation Stage 3 - Mains Rehabilitation Works - Derry South €52,603.13
Kerry Water Conservation Stage 3 - Ballygarran West €99,555.78
Kerry Water Conservation Stage 3 - Mains Rehab Works - Advance Works - Tralee T own Lead Mains Replacement €17,616.59
Kerry Water Conservation Stage 3 - County Direct Labour €137,348.52
Kerry Water Conservation Stage 3, Advance Works Countywide €954,098.72

Total Paid to Date €1,261,222.74

Air Pollution

 192. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the action he is taking to address air pollution from industries here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57529/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan Under the National Emission Ceilings (NEC) Directive 2001/81/EC, Ireland was required to reduce emissions of transboundary air pollutants below agreed national ceilings by 2010. The four air pollutants concerned (sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, ammonia and volatile organic compounds) contribute to acidification, eutrophication and ground-level ozone. Revised emission ceilings for 2020 were agreed earlier this year at a Meeting of Parties to the UNECE Gothenburg Protocol. This will be given effect in EU Member States through a revision of the NEC Directive, with a proposal to be published in the second half of 2013. The most recent provisional monitoring results from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in respect of Quarter 1, 2012 show levels of sulphur dioxide, ammonia and volatile organic compounds are below the 2010 emission ceilings. Emissions of nitrogen oxides, mainly from road traffic, continue to present a challenge. While these emissions have significantly reduced over the period 1990-2010, they remain marginally above the 2010 ceiling. The EPA monitoring data will be finalised shortly.

  Reductions in pollutants from industrial sources have been achieved through effective licensing of industrial installations by the EPA. All industrial installations in Ireland are subject to the licensing, monitoring and enforcement requirements of the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) regime. The activities of companies operating with an IPPC licence are monitored by the EPA to ensure that the terms of their licences are respected, including in relation to emissions. In addition to the requirements of IPPC, the provisions of the Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD) 2001/80/EC also apply to combustion plants with a thermal output of 50MW or more.  The LCPD aims to reduce acidification, ground-level ozone and particles by controlling emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) from power stations running on solid, liquid or gaseous fuel.

  Ireland developed a National Emissions Reduction Plan (NERP) under Article 4 (6) of the 2001 LCPD, which is a mechanism that allows “existing plants”, as defined in the Directive, to achieve the environmental objectives of the Directive in a cost-effective manner through the installation of abatement at selected qualifying plants. The NERP option was chosen because it provided both an environmentally ambitious and a cost-effective compliance route for Ireland. The ESB and other national operators made a commitment to achieve emission limits for SO2 and NOx from existing plants that were significantly more ambitious than the minimum requirements of the LCPD. In the period from 2008 to 2016, emission reductions are 27% more ambitious for SO2 and 46% more ambitious for NOx  emissions.

  The LCPD has now been recast by the Industrial Emissions Directive 2010/75/EU, in respect of which my Department is currently preparing regulations to achieve transposition into national legislation. As part of the transposition process, my Department is assessing appropriate compliance options for older plants set out under the Directive to ensure that operators continue to commit to ambitious targets that strike the appropriate balance between protection of human health and the environment and cost effectiveness of the abatement solutions.

Rural Development Programme Funding

 193. Deputy Damien English Information on Damien English Zoom on Damien English asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan in view of the recent findings of the Ombudsman, the position regarding an application made by a group (details supplied) under Axis 3 of the Rural Development Programme (Measure 322 – Village and Countryside Renewal Development); the significance to his Department of the findings of the Ombudsman in this instance; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [57530/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan The Ombudsman’s findings in relation to this matter are currently under consideration in my Department. At present , LEADER activities are co-financed by the European Union at a rate of 85% and, accordingly, come within the remit of a strict regulatory regime which requires that each project must be compliant before any funding is awarded. My Department is now considering ways of moving forward on this issue in line with all regulatory requirements.

Property Taxation Application

 194. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan in view of the introduction of the new local property tax if he anticipates any changes to the operation and implementation of the rules with the Private Residential Tenancies Board; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57555/12]

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 Finance (Local Property Tax) Bill 2012 is currently before the Oireachtas and is a matter for the Minister for Finance. Until such time as the Bill is enacted I cannot comment on the implications, if any, the legislation may have for the Private Resid ential Tenancies Board.

Litter Pollution Fines

 195. Deputy Denis Naughten Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the steps he has taken to date to deal with the issue of election posters on foot of his predecessor's election poster consultation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57588/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan Section 19 (7) of the Litter Pollution Act 1997, as initially enacted, provided that election and referendum posters had to be removed within 7 days following the relevant polling date. Through the Electoral Amendment (No. 2) Act 2009, following the consultation process , this provision was amended also to provide for a time limit prior to the polling date, during which election and referendum posters can be displayed. It specifies that election posters may only be erected from the date of the Polling Day Order or 30 days prior to the date of the poll, whichever is the shorter period. The time limit for referendum posters was not restricted to 30 days; such posters may be displayed from the date the Polling Day Order is signed. Any election or referenda posters in place before or after the stipulated timeframe may be subject to an on-the-spot litter fine of €150. The responsibility for enforcement of this legislation is a matter for the relevant local authority. I have no plans to introduce further legislation in this area at this time.

Foreshore Licences Applications

 196. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if a foreshore licence will issue to a club (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57607/12]

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 I refer to the reply to Question No. 489 of 22 May 2012. As this matter continues to be the subject of court proceedings, it is not appropriate for me to comment further.

Household Charge Collection

 197. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the number of properties that have been liable for the household charge in 2012; and the number that have actually paid the charge to date. [57626/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan The Local Government Management Agency ( LGMA ) is administering the household charge system on a shared service/agency basis for all county and city councils. I understand, from data provided by the LGMA , that as of 1 9 December , 2012, a total of 1,100,227 properties had been registered for payment of the household charge , with a further 22,260 registered for waivers. The combined registrations total of 1,122, 487 represents 69.25% of the total estimated 1,620,814 properties liable for the c harge in 2012.

Housing Adaptation Grants Expenditure

 198. Deputy Brendan Smith Information on Brendan Smith Zoom on Brendan Smith asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will outline the allocations made to Cavan County Council and Monaghan County Council under the housing adaptation grant schemes for older people and people with a disability for each year since 2007; the funding drawn down by each council each year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57638/12]

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 Housing Adaptation Grant Schemes are funded by 80% recoupment available from my Department together with a 20% contribution from the resources of the local authority. It is a matter for each local authority to decide on the specific level of funding to be directed to each of the various grant measures, and to manage the operation of the schemes in their areas from within their allocation.

  Details of the combined Exchequer and local authority allocations in respect of Cavan and Monaghan County Councils for the years 2007 to 2012 and the amount recouped to each authority are set out in the following table:   

Year Cavan - Monaghan -
- Allocation Recoupment Allocation Recoupment
2007 €1,666,666 €753,977 €1,494,583 €1,253,446
2008 €1,813,612 €1,568,060 €2,064,606 €1,470,218
2009 €1,204,166 €1,144,682 €1,592,500 €1,202,311
2010 €1,883,664 €1,309,505 €2,090,834 €1,373,164
2011 €1,850,483 €1,176,998 €1,562,500 €1,232,863
2012 €1,312,500 €1,043,501 €1,500,000 €1,199,342

Non-Principal Private Residence Charge Exemptions

 199. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if the Non-Principal Private Residents Charge is payable in respect of a person who has a second property where members of their immediate family live; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [57677/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan The Local Government (Charges) Act 2009, as amended, broadened the revenue base of local authorities by introducing a charge on non-principal private residences. The charge is set at €200 and liability for it falls, in the main, on owners of rental, holiday and vacant properties It is a matter for an owner to determine if he or she has a liability and, if so, to declare that liability and pay the charge. A number of exemptions from the charge are set out in section 4 of the 2009 Act and section 4(6) provides for an exemption from the charge in a situation where a residential property is occupied rent-free as the sole or main residence of a relative of the owner and the sole or main residence of the owner is either on the same property or within two kilometres of it. This provision is partly based on section 466A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997, which deals with the home carer tax credit.

Furthermore, the definition of “owner” in relation to a residential property under the Act refers to a person (other than a mortgagee not in possession) entitled to receive the rent of the property. There may, however, be situations involving an exclusive right of residence in respect of a relative residing in such a property. In such cases the owner would not be in a position to receive rent and therefore the owner in question would not be liable. In any event, under the Act it is a function of a local authority to collect the Non-Principal Private Residence Charge. Application of the legislation in particular circumstances is a matter for the relevant local authority. I urge all liable persons who are unsure as to whether they are liable to contact their local authority as a matter of urgency.

Rural Development Programme Funding

 200. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan when the payment of a grant in respect of an organisation (details supplied) will be approved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57699/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan Funding of €314m is available under the Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2007-2013 for allocation to qualifying projects up to the end of 2013. There are 35 Local Action Groups contracted, on my Department’s behalf, to deliver the RDP throughout the country and these groups are the principal decision-makers in relation to the allocation of project funding. Such decisions are made in the context of the local development strategy of the individual groups and in line with Departmental operating rules and EU regulations.

  A full and detailed assessment of all projects is essential. Currently, the LEADER activities are co-financed by the European Union at a rate of 85% and, accordingly, come within the remit of a strict regulatory regime which requires that each project must be compliant before any funding is awarded by the LEADER companies. In that regard my Department undertakes an eligibility check on all projects prior to award of funding. The eligibility of the project in question has been assessed by the Department and the LEADER Company has been advised accordingly. The final decision regarding the approval of funding for this project is for the Board of Laois Partnership Company.

Community Development Initiatives

 201. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if the allocation of all funding to deliver local development programmes such as Leader and LCDP, under the Putting People First proposals will be channelled through the socio-economic committees of the local authorities through annual service level agreements with entities which are members of the SEC; if the local authorities may be contracted to deliver these services as a member of the SEC in place of the existing local development companies; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [57701/12]

 202. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if under the Putting People First Proposals the local authority socio economic committees will be the applicant bodies for the next round of LEADER funding 2014-2020; if he will confirm that the SEC will be the local action body and that the SEC will receive the Leader administration money; if he will further confirm that the SEC will evaluate and approve individual LEADER project applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [57702/12]

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. 201 and 202 together.

  The Final Report of the Local Government/Local Development Alignment Steering Group, reflected in the Action Programme for Effective Local Government -Putting People First, recommended that Socio-Economic Committees should have responsibility for planning and oversight of local and community programmes, including oversight responsibility for the management and disbursement of local and community development programme funds, the matching of resources to priorities and achievement of value for money. The Report also recommended that Socio-Economic Committees, appropriately structured and working in partnership with the local development companies should be considered as the vehicle through which the LEADER approach is implemented for the 2014-20 round of EU Programmes.

  Detailed arrangements regarding programme implementation, funding and administration were not addressed in the Final Alignment Report, but they are now being considered as part of the implementation of the recommendations. I look forward to the participation of key stakeholders in assisting and advising on the implementation of the alignment recommendations as part of the planned alignment implementation group. I anticipate that implementation will be approached in a way that promotes co-operation, trust and respect between the sectors. Future approaches regarding local development programmes are also significantly dependant on the scale of future programmes, including decisions yet to be taken at EU level. The planned alignment will see local development and local government as lead partners on the Socio-Economic Committees working in partnership with each other, and their communities.

Leader Programmes Funding

 203. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if it is intended to transfer allocations by his Department between the different headings under which the Leader programme operates to ensure full spend of the Leader rural development fund in view of the fact that some companies have allocated their full allocation already under certain headings and that there is very little demand under others; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [57733/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan Such a facility is already in place under the LEADER elements of the Rural Development Programme and has been for some time. This was one of a number of amendments, aimed at assisting expenditure under the Programme, put to the European Commission and approved by them. The amendment to remove specific measure allocations and increase the flexibility for expenditure under the measures that are performing better has been very successful. One of the direct results of this change is a reallocation of €18 million into the Basic Services measure. This amendment, along with a number of other changes, including an increased rate of aid of 75% for those creating and developing enterprises, has resulted in substantially increased project activity which now stands at over €263 million.


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