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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 1152-1161
 Header Item Action Plan for Jobs
 Header Item Sports Capital Programme Applications
 Header Item Driving Licence Renewals
 Header Item Rail Network
 Header Item Sports Capital Programme Applications
 Header Item Road Signage
 Header Item Tourism Promotion
 Header Item Public Transport Subsidies
 Header Item Industrial Disputes
 Header Item Public Transport Issues

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 788 No. 1

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Written Answers Nos. 1152-1161

Action Plan for Jobs

 1152. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the 2012 targets set for his Department for implementation of the Jobs Action Plan; if he will report on the attainment or otherwise of these targets; the reason targets were not met; the steps he is taking within his Department to create new jobs; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [1289/13]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar Three quarterly progress reports on the Action Plan for Jobs were published during 2012 and are available on the website of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.  The fourth progress report will be published shortly after it has been considered by the Government.  The Government has also commenced the preparation of the 2013 Action Plan for Jobs, which will set out the role and actions to be undertaken by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport to help create jobs in the coming year.

Sports Capital Programme Applications

 1153. Deputy Timmy Dooley Information on Timmy Dooley Zoom on Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if his attention has been drawn to the funding difficulties associated with many small sports clubs, particularly in relation to a club (details supplied), and if, where available, Dublin City Council facilities can be provided at a discounted rate for clubs dealing with children; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1326/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Michael Ring): Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring I have recently announced grant allocations of €31 million for local, regional and national project under the 2012 Sports Capital Programme. The 2012 Sports Capital Programme is now closed and there are no more grants available at this time. It may be possible for clubs to raise funds via the ‘Tax Relief for Donations to Certain Sports Bodies’ scheme (section 847A of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997). This is a Revenue operated scheme which offers tax benefits to individuals or companies who make donations to the club. Further details on this scheme can be found on the Revenue Commissioners website. The prices that Dublin City Council charge for their facilities is a matter for Dublin City Council.

Driving Licence Renewals

 1154. Deputy Brendan Ryan Information on Brendan Ryan Zoom on Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the reason holders of old format drivers licences cannot apply to have them replaced with the new format licences; if this facility will be made available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1355/13]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar While the form of driver licence will change from paper to plastic with effect from 19 January 2013, licence-holders will not be allowed to exchange the old for the new, at least for the foreseeable future. The transition in 2013 is not only from a paper to a plastic licence, but also from a system where licences are issued by the local authorities to a system in which the Road Safety Authority will be the sole driver licensing authority in the State.  This change is quite a complex operation, and will involve a transition period during part of 2013 when the local authorities will temporarily continue to perform some licensing functions on behalf of the RSA.  If people were allowed or encouraged to exchange their old licences for new ones, there could be a large volume of applications which might overwhelm the system.  It is more practical to allow licences to be renewed when they fall due, and so give the new system a chance to settle in.  The matter will be reconsidered when the new system is up and running and any transitional issues resolved.

Rail Network

 1155. Deputy Seán Kenny Information on Seán Kenny Zoom on Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he will contact the CEO of Iarnrod Éireann and request that works (details supplied) be carried out as soon as possible; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1379/13]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.  Matters relating to improvements at individual railway stations are day-to-day operational issues for Iarnród Eireann in the first instance and I have no function in such matters. In the Greater Dublin Area (GDA), funding for Public Transport infrastructure projects, such as the upgrading of rail stations referred to by the Deputy, is provided by my Department to the National Transport Authority (NTA) for allocation to projects and programmes. Noting this, I have referred the Deputy’s question to the NTA for direct reply.  I ask him to advise my private office if he does not receive a reply within 10 working days.

Sports Capital Programme Applications

 1156. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the position regarding grants in respect of a club (details supplied) in Dublin 5. [1385/13]

 1167. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the grants or financial supports available to a club (details supplied). [1508/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Michael Ring): Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring I propose to take Questions Nos. 1156 and 1167 together.

The allocations under the 2012 Sports Capital Programme were announced last December.  The 2012 Sports Capital Programme is now closed and there are no more grants available at this time. No application was received from the organisation referred to by the Deputy. It may be possible for the club to raise funds via the Tax Relief for Donations to Certain Sports Bodies scheme (section 847A of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997). This is a Revenue-operated scheme which offers tax benefits to individuals or companies who make donations to the club.  Further details on this scheme and how it operates can be found on the Revenue Commissioners website.

Road Signage

 1157. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he will outline in tabular form broken down by county the amount of money spent by the National Roads Authority on new road signs in 2012, providing details on the nature of the signs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1402/13]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects is a matter for the National Roads Authority (NRA) under the Roads Acts 1993 to 2007 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned. Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy’s question to the NRA for direct reply.  I ask him to advise my private office if he does not receive a reply within 10 working days.

Tourism Promotion

 1158. Deputy James Bannon Information on James Bannon Zoom on James Bannon asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he will provide a report on State or council lands, such as amenity areas on the Shannon River in counties Longford and Westmeath, with a view to developing them as tourist areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1474/13]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The development of land held by Government Departments, State agencies or local authorities is a matter for the bodies concerned.  Regional tourism development is an operational matter for Fáilte Ireland. I have referred the Deputy's Question on tourism development in Longford and Westmeath to the agency for direct reply. I ask him to advise my private office if he does not receive a reply within ten working days.

Public Transport Subsidies

 1159. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the way much of the recent €36 million subvention for CIE was allocated to Bus Éireann; the amount allocated to Dublin Bus and Irish Rail; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1479/13]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The allocation of the additional subvention of €36 million in 2012 to the CIE companies is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) and I have referred the matter to the NTA for direct reply.  I ask the Deputy to advise my private office if he does not receive a reply within 10 working days.

Industrial Disputes

 1160. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he will ensure that all the industrial relations mechanisms of the State are utilised to resolve the current IR difficulties at Bus Éireann; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [1480/13]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar Industrial relations issues at Bus Éireann are the responsibility of the company.  I understand that following discussions at the Labour Relation Commission on Friday, 11 January, matters have been referred to the Labour Court.  I want to record my thanks to the Labour Relations Commission and Labour Court for their work on this matter.

Public Transport Issues

 1161. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he has been informed of any recent malfunctions in the Bus Éireann ticketing system which may have mitigated against the collection of Bus Éireann fares for a specified length of time; if the company supplied a report of losses in relation to this malfunction; the action, if any, management has taken to prevent a reoccurrence of this issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1481/13]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar This is a matter for Bus Éireann in conjunction, as appropriate, with the National Transport Authority.  I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the company for direct reply.  I ask him to advise my private office if he does not receive a reply within ten working days.


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