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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 211-223
 Header Item Social Insurance Yield
 Header Item Departmental Bodies
 Header Item Employment Support Services
 Header Item Carer's Allowance Appeals
 Header Item Rent Supplement Scheme Eligibility
 Header Item Jobseeker's Allowance Applications
 Header Item Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance Scheme Applications
 Header Item Social Welfare Appeals Status
 Header Item Rent Supplement Scheme Payments
 Header Item Domiciliary Care Allowance Eligibility
 Header Item Public Sector Pensions Expenditure
 Header Item National Library
 Header Item Wildlife Regulations

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 782 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 72 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 211-223

Social Insurance Yield

 211. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton if she will set out in tabular form, the gross receipts from employee and employer PRSI for each year from 2007 to 2011; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49276/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the following table.

  Social Insurance Fund (SIF) - PRSI Receipts 2007-2011

- 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
- €000 €000 €000 €000 €000
Employer 5,762,011 5,944,892 5,290,403 5,000,275 5,460,786
Employee 1,539,147 1,633,708 1,559,416 1,377,140 1,617,352
Self-Employed * 420,852 405,582 314,787 330,603 348,342
Total ** 7,722,010 7,984,182 7,164,606 6,708,018 7,426,480


* People who are self-employed also pay PRSI contributions and have in the interests of completeness been included in this table.

** The total represents PRSI receipts only and is exclusive of any amounts collected and paid to the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Department of Education and Skills in respect of Health Contributions and the National Training Levy, respectively.

  Following the introduction of the Universal Social Charge, Health Contributions received, which prior to 1 January 2011 were payable to the HSE, are now retained as SIF income in accordance Section 15 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2010. The amount received in 2011 in respect of past years was €115.257 million.

Departmental Bodies

 212. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton if she will provide in a tabular form the total list of quasi-governmental organisations and agencies under her remit; if she will provide a list of quasi-governmental organisations and agencies under her remit that have been abolished since March 2011 or are scheduled to be abolished and the date on which they are due to be abolished; the date on which the body was created; the name of the body; the 2012 budget for the body; the number of employees of the body in 2012; the names of any outside consultants hired by the organisation since March 2011 and what future plans she has for the body.  [49318/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton There are no quasi-governmental organisations under the aegis of the Department of Social Protection. The statutory bodies operating under the aegis of my Department are the Social Welfare Tribunal, the Citizens Information Board, the Pensions Board, and the Office of the Pensions Ombudsman. Details of these statutory bodies are set out in the following table.

  Statutory Bodies

Social Welfare Tribunal

The Social Welfare Tribunal is a statutory body set up in 1982

to deal with cases where entitlement to Jobseeker's Benefit or Jobseeker's Allowance is refused due to an involvement in a trade dispute. Where a person feels unreasonably deprived of employment because an employer refused or failed to engage in the mediation process for settling disputes, application may be made to the Tribunal for adjudication on the matter.
The Citizens Information Board The Citizens Information Board is the national agency responsible for supporting the provision of information, advice and advocacy on social services and for the provision of the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS).
The Pensions Board The Pensions Board is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Pensions Act 1990 (as amended), which provides for the regulation of occupational pensions and Personal Retirement Savings Accounts. The Board also advises the Minister in relation to pension policy.
The Office of the Pensions Ombudsman The Office of the Pensions Ombudsman investigates complaints of financial losses due to maladministration and disputes of fact or law, in relation to occupational pension schemes and Personal Retirement Savings Accounts. The Pensions Ombudsman is a statutory officer and exercises his functions independently.


  I understand that the information sought on budgets, employee numbers and so on is required only in respect of bodies abolished or proposed for abolition. No body under the aegis of my Department has been merged or abolished since the formation of the Government in March 2011.

  The Public Service Reform Programme provides that the integration of the regulatory functions of the Pensions Board with the Financial Regulator and the merging of the Pensions Ombudsman with the Financial Services Ombudsman be the subject of a critical review. The review will include identifying any potential savings arising from such an amalgamation. The Critical Review Group held its first meeting in July 2012. I expect to receive a report from the Group by end 2012. Following receipt of this report, decisions in relation to possible reforms will be taken.

Employment Support Services

 213. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton when she plans to roll out the new Intreo service in Cork city or county.  [49347/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The Pathways to Work document states that the introduction of the new Intreo service is a multi-annual project. All elements of the Intreo service will be operational in four offices by the end of November 2012 and a further six offices are expected to be live by the end of the year. The plans for 2013 are now being developed and the selection of offices will depend upon a range of factors including availability of suitable accommodation, I.T. and the necessary skilled and trained staff being available in a location to deliver the full range of services. I will announce the names of the next phase of offices when the final selections have been made.

Carer's Allowance Appeals

 214. Deputy Emmet Stagg Information on Emmet Stagg Zoom on Emmet Stagg asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton when an appeal will be decided upon in relation to a carer's allowance application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare. [49349/12]

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 23rd February 2012. This application was referred to one of the Department's medical assessors who found that the care recipient in question was not medically eligible for carer's allowance. A letter issued on the 8th August 2012 refusing the allowance. The person in question subsequently submitted further evidence for review on 22nd September 2012. This evidence is awaiting assessment by a medical assessor. On completion of all the necessary investigations as part of this review, a decision will be made and the person in question will be contacted directly with the outcome.

Rent Supplement Scheme Eligibility

 215. 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 reason rent support has not been restored in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Dublin; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49370/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton A review of this case is being undertaken and the person concerned will be informed of the outcome once the review is completed.

Jobseeker's Allowance Applications

 216. 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 jobseeker's allowance will be paid in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Dublin; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49371/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton According to the records of this Department, the person concerned has not applied for jobseeker's allowance.

Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance Scheme Applications

 217. 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 if and when back to school allowance will be paid in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Dublin; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49373/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BSCFA) scheme operates from the beginning of June until the end of September. A person may qualify for payment of BSCFA if he or she is in receipt of a social welfare or health service executive payment, is participating in an approved employment scheme or attending a recognised education or training course and has household income at or below certain specified levels. The person concerned was refused the allowance because neither he nor his spouse is in receipt of a qualifying payment.

Social Welfare Appeals Status

 218. 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 an appeal will be determined in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Dublin; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49374/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that the appeal from the person concerned has been referred to an Appeals Officer who proposes to hold an oral hearing in this case. The person will be advised of arrangements for the hearing when made. 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.

Rent Supplement Scheme Payments

 219. 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 correct level of rent support payable in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49375/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The rent supplement payable to the person concerned is currently under review. The person concerned will be advised of the outcome once the review is completed.

Domiciliary Care Allowance Eligibility

 220. 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 if she will review the refusal of domiciliary care allowance in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49376/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton An application for domiciliary care allowance was received from the person concerned on 1st October 2012. The application was referred to one of the Department's Medical Assessors, who, having examined all the information supplied, considered that the child was not medically eligible for the allowance. A letter issued on the 25th October 2012 advising of the decision.

In the case of an application which is refused on medical grounds, the applicant may submit additional information and/or ask for the case to be reviewed by another medical assessor. Alternatively, they may appeal the decision directly to the Social Welfare Appeals Office within twenty one days.

Public Sector Pensions Expenditure

 221. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton if she will provide in tabular form the number of public servants in receipt of annual gross public sector pensions of between 0 to 10,000 euro, 10,001 to 20,000 euro, 20,001 to 30,000 euro, 30,001 to 40,000 euro, 40,001 to 50,000 euro, 50,001 to 60,000 euro, 60,001 to 70,000 euro, 70,001 to 80,000 euro, 80,000 to 90,000, 90,000 to 100,000 euro, 100,001 to 110,000 euro, 110,001 to 120,000 euro, 120,001 to 130,000 euro, 130,001 to 140,000 euro, 140,001 to 150,000 euro, 150,001 to 160,000 euro, 160,001 and above; and if these figures include local authorities, vocational educational committees, commercial semi-State companies, non-commercial State agencies or bodies public sector retirees.  [49829/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton My Department does not hold the specific details being sought by the Deputy in respect of retired departmental staff. Payment of a pension to retired civil servants including staff of the Office of the Pension Ombudsman is made by the Paymaster General's office. In this regard, I understand that my colleague, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform is providing the details being sought. The agencies that come under the aegis of my Department are the Pensions Board and the Citizens Information Board. Details in respect of pensions in payment to former staff of these organisations are shown in the following tabular statement.

TABULAR STATEMENT

Rate of pension in payment Pensions Board Citizens Information Board
Annual pensions 0 to €10,000 per year 1 14
Annual pension €10,001 to €20,000 per year 0 7
Annual pension of €20,001 to €30,000 per year 0 7
Annual pension of €30,001 to €40,000 per year 1 1
Annual pension of €40,001 to €50,000 per year 3 0
Annual pension of €50,001 to €60,000 per year 0 1
Annual pension of €60,001 to €70,000 per year 0 0
Annual pension of €70,001 to €80,000 per year 0 0
Annual pension of €80,001 to €90,000 per year 0 0
Annual pension of €90,001 to €100,000 per year 0 0
Annual pension of €100,001 to €110,000 per year 0 0
Annual pension of €110,001 to €120,000 per year 0 0
Annual pension of €120,001 to €130,000 per year 0 0
Annual pension of €130,001 to €140,000 per year 0 0
Annual pension of €140,001 to €150,000 per year 0 0
Annual pension of €150,001 to €160,000 per year 0 0
Annual pension in excess of €160,001 per year 0 0
Total 5 30

National Library

 222. Deputy Peter Mathews Information on Peter Mathews Zoom on Peter Mathews asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan his plans (details supplied) regarding the National Library.  [49345/12]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan The Deputy will be aware that, as part of a range of reforms recently agreed by Government under the Public Service Reform Plan, it was decided that the existing National Archives of Ireland (NAI) governance model will be applied to the National Library of Ireland (NLI) and the National Museum of Ireland (NMI). The National Archives Advisory Council will be retained, with a reduced membership operating pro bono. A single statutory NLI and NMI Advisory Council will operate pro bono in place of the existing boards. Board membership will be reduced overall by some 60%. It is anticipated that this model will achieve significant savings and increase efficiencies across the institutions. The NAI will continue to operate, as currently, with a statutorily independent Director, and a similar governance model will be put in place for the Directors of the NLI and NMI. A robust shared services model will be deployed - through my Department in relation to corporate support services and by formal inter-institutional agreement in relation to operational services.

  It is my intention to make clear statutory provision for the independent status of the Director of the NLI and the Director of the NMI. Issues such as the status of staff (whether as civil or public servants) and related administrative matters will be pursued at the appropriate time with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, the institutions and relevant staff associations/unions.

Wildlife Regulations

 223. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan further to Parliamentary Question No. 382 of 23 October 2012, the process by which this product can be considered under the regulations outlined; if he will confirm the requirement set out by the regulations with which the product did not comply; and if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the product is approved by other EU member states. [49194/12]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan As the Deputy is aware, the use of traps, snares and nets in relation to wildlife is governed by the Wildlife Act 1976 (Approved Traps, Snares and Nets) Regulations 2003. Regulation 3 of those Regulations approves certain types of traps, including, at 3(a)(ii), a spring trap. Such a spring trap must be designed to secure either the immediate death, or the immediate unconsciousness and subsequent death without intervening consciousness, of the wild birds or wild animals which it is designed to trap. I am advised that the product referred to by the Deputy in his Question does not fulfil this requirement. I am aware that the product in question is legal in at least one EU Member State.


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