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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 463-481
 Header Item Legislative Programme
 Header Item Garda Deployment
 Header Item Legislative Programme
 Header Item Defence Forces Personnel
 Header Item Defence Forces Family Clinics
 Header Item Farm Waste Management
 Header Item Single Payment Scheme Appeals
 Header Item Agri-Environment Options Scheme Conditions
 Header Item Single Payment Scheme Administration
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments
 Header Item Single Payment Scheme Appeals
 Header Item Agri-Environment Options Scheme Conditions
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments
 Header Item Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments
 Header Item Single Payment Scheme Payments

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 816 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 82 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 463-481

  Question No. 463 answered with Question No. 444.

Legislative Programme

 464. Deputy Arthur Spring Information on Arthur Spring Zoom on Arthur Spring asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he will provide an update on the progress of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Amendment Bill 2013. [42317/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter My Department has been conducting an examination of the law on sexual offences generally. Arising from this review, I expect to bring legislative proposals to Government for approval in a matter of weeks. It is my intention to publish the General Scheme of the Sexual Offences Bill once my proposals have been considered by the Cabinet.

This will be wide-ranging legislation. Among other measures, it will implement the recommendations of two Oireachtas committees, facilitate full compliance with the criminal law provisions of relevant EU, UN and Council of Europe legal instruments, update the Sex Offenders Act 2001 and reform the law on incest.

Garda Deployment

 465. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he will allocate additional resources to the gardaí to allow them to deal effectively with serious incidents of criminality and anti-social behaviour on the LUAS red line which runs from Dublin city centre to Tallaght and Saggart; if he appreciates the upset and concern of the communities along the line at the negative image being created; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [42340/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The Deputy will appreciate that the deployment of Garda resources is a matter for the Garda Commissioner. I am, however, informed that the Gardaí take a proactive approach in tackling anti-social behaviour and criminality on public transport including the Luas Red Line. This strategy includes a high visibility priority policing presence at key locations and pertinent times.

I am further informed that Operation Clean Tram is a specific operation involving liaison between Veolia Transport Security and An Garda Síochána. A bimonthly meeting, at which all Garda Districts along the Luas Red Line are represented, takes place with Veolia and there is ongoing liaison between local Garda Management and Veolia concerning relevant policing issues relating to the Luas. I am advised that there is excellent cooperation between Gardaí and Veolia and this will continue to underpin efforts to address any issues of concern.

I am advised that local Garda Management closely monitors patrols, and other operational strategies in place, in conjunction with crime trends and the policing needs in the areas along the Red Line to ensure optimum use is made of Garda resources, and the best possible Garda service is provided to the public. I am also assured that the situation is being kept under review.

  Question No. 466 answered with Question No. 461.

Legislative Programme

 467. Deputy Dominic Hannigan Information on Dominic Hannigan Zoom on Dominic Hannigan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter his plans for the legislation on prostitution here after the publishing of the Oireachtas justice committee report on prostitution in Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [42371/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The position is that I have written to the Chairman seeking clarification of recommendations made by the Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality. I have also requested legal advices from the Attorney General, and the views of the Minister for Health, on the report.

Defence Forces Personnel

 468. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Defence Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the reason post-1994 members of the Defence Forces who have not reached the rank of sergeant cannot serve until they reach a set age limit like all other public sector jobs provided they meet all the extra requirements imposed by his Department such as passing medical examinations, fitness tests and serving overseas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41958/13]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter In 1997, agreement was reached with the Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association (PDFORRA) on a new manpower policy for the Defence Forces. This policy, applying to personnel enlisted after 1 January 1994, provided that service for Private Soldiers would initially be for five years with the option to be extended to a maximum of twelve years, subject to meeting standards of medical and physical fitness and conduct. Longer periods of service were envisaged for Non Commissioned Officers.

In 2004 PDFORRA submitted a claim under the Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme for a further review of the terms of service applying to personnel enlisting in the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) after 1 January, 1994. A set of criteria was agreed with PDFORRA to provide longer careers for those who enlisted post 1 January 1994 while continuing to address the Government’s objective of having an appropriate age profile to meet the challenges of a modern defence forces.

The criteria require that any person re-engaging after 12 years service must be able to continue to operate at their current level both at home and overseas on an ongoing basis. Re-engagement is subject to the individual soldier meeting specified criteria in regard to physical fitness, medical category, successful completion of military courses of instruction, service overseas and conduct ratings.

The maximum service period for these personnel is as follows:

- Enlisted Personnel, up to and including the rank of Corporal (and equivalent Naval Service rank), may not serve beyond 21 years service.

- Enlisted Personnel, in the rank of Sergeant (and equivalent Naval Service rank), may be permitted to continue in service up to the age of fifty years.

- Enlisted Personnel in all higher ranks may serve to the age of fifty-six.

Due to the robust nature of many military operations and their attendant physical training regimes, personnel are exposed to a unique range of challenging environments. In these circumstances it is vital that the age and health profile of personnel be such as to ensure that operational capability and effectiveness are not compromised.

In 1990 the Gleeson Commission commented on the unsatisfactory age and fitness profile of the PDF. Thereafter an in depth study of the Defence Forces by Price Waterhouse Consultants in 1994, who had been engaged by the Efficiency Audit Group (EAG), expressed severe criticism of the age profile of the Defence Forces. The present terms of enlistment arose from such criticism. One of the key areas identified for urgent action by the EAG was the development of a manpower policy with an emphasis on lowering the age profile of PDF personnel.

With the approach of 2015 the first effects of the agreement, whereby Privates and Corporals may not serve beyond 21 years, will be felt by PDF members in those ranks.

A claim has been received from PDFORRA for a further review in relation to this matter. In accordance with normal procedures the Association’s claim is being dealt with under the Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme for members of the PDF. The Deputy will appreciate that as deliberations under the Scheme are confidential to the parties involved it would not be appropriate for me to comment further on the matter at this time.

Defence Forces Family Clinics

 469. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Defence Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he will change his decision to close the Curragh families unit conscious of the vital service that it supplies to many army households in the area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41790/13]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I have no plans to change the decision to discontinue the services provided at the Curragh Families Clinic.

  The Families Clinic currently provides free GP and pharmacy services to the families of enlisted military personnel who are resident within the Curragh camp and surrounding areas. The service dates back to a time where the provision of medical services for the families of enlisted personnel was included in Defence Forces Regulations. Following the introduction of free public hospital care for all citizens in the 1970’s, the entitlement to medical services for military families was formally removed from Regulations in 1987 and the family section of the Curragh Military Hospital closed at this time. However, the Curragh Families Clinic was retained because of the difficulty in obtaining doctor and pharmacy services in the Curragh area at the time.  This is no longer the case.

  The service is an anomaly in that it is a benefit which is only available to a relatively small number of families resident within the Curragh Camp and surrounding areas. Similar services are not provided to families of enlisted military personnel at any other location in the State. A further anomaly arises in that new personnel deployed to the Curragh in recent times do not receive the benefit of free family care.

  A number of reviews, undertaken in the period since 1990, have recommended that the Clinic be closed. The decision to discontinue the operation of the clinic has been made having regard to those reviews, equity considerations and the cost of the service.

  I would like to emphasise that the families affected will have the same rights of access to public health services as other families of enlisted personnel. Also, existing services are being maintained for a period of three months to allow families make arrangements to transfer to local GP’s and apply for medical cards or GP visit cards if required. If any patient requires assistance in finding a new GP or applying for a medical or GP visit card this can be provided by staff in the clinic during the transition period.

Farm Waste Management

 470. Deputy Dan Neville Information on Dan Neville Zoom on Dan Neville asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if an official from his Department will make personal contact with a person (details supplied) regarding overpayment of a farm waste management grant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41803/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney I have made arrangements for the relevant official from my Department to contact the person concerned in relation to this matter.

Single Payment Scheme Appeals

 471. Deputy Paul J. Connaughton Information on Paul Connaughton Zoom on Paul Connaughton asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the options open to farmers who failed to tick the box on their single farm payment to confirm that they were seeking suckler welfare scheme payments in terms of appealing or seeking to receive the payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41817/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The Beef Data Programme was introduced in 2013 and is funded using the unused funds of the Single Payment Scheme. The EU Regulations governing the Programme provided for a closing date of 15th May 2013, with a 1% reduction in payment applied to the application for each working day that the application is late up to 8 June 2013. Applications received on/after 9 June were deemed inadmissible in accordance with the provisions of the EU Regulations.

  Farmers, whose applications were not submitted by the deadline, can appeal the decision, on the grounds of force majeure/exceptional circumstances. They can submit their appeal outlining the reasons as to why the application was not submitted within the required timeframe, to Beef Data Programme Section, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Government Offices, Old Abbeyleix Road, Portlaoise, Co. Laois where their appeal will be considered.

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Conditions

 472. Deputy Paul J. Connaughton Information on Paul Connaughton Zoom on Paul Connaughton asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if it is possible under the agri-environment options scheme 1 to replace a parcel which has been taken over by a bank recovering a debt; if in such exceptional circumstances a clawback would apply in relation to funds paid on those lands to date and if such circumstances would be considered exceptional circumstances or force majeure circumstances for the purpose of an agricultural appeal in a case where the debt being recovered was not in the name of the AEOS entrant; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [41818/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The AEOS scheme is an approved measure in Ireland’s Rural Development Programme 2007 – 2013. Under the terms of the existing EU approval it is not possible to transfer a commitment to a new parcel and commitments must be delivered on the same parcel for the full duration of the contract. As regards the application of force majeure   each appeal is considered on a case by case basis.

Single Payment Scheme Administration

 473. Deputy Paul J. Connaughton Information on Paul Connaughton Zoom on Paul Connaughton asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if all matters relating to the 2013 single farm payment of a person (details supplied) in County Galway are in order; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41819/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney An application was received on 15 April 2013 requesting the transfer of 22.55 Single Payment entitlements from a deceased person to the person named under the 2013 scheme year.

Under the Will of the deceased, other persons are the rightful beneficiaries of the Single Payment entitlements. Before the requested transfer can be completed, these persons must indicate their intention, if they so wish, to waive their rights in favour of the person named. To date we have received seven such waivers however, the forms submitted were incorrectly completed and therefore had to be returned. Upon receipt of the correctly completed waivers, the application will be processed. An official from my Department is in contact with the person named regarding this matter.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 474. Deputy Tom Fleming Information on Tom Fleming Zoom on Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he will investigate and expedite a disadvantaged areas scheme payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41898/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney As processing of the 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme application has recently been finalised, payment will shortly issue to the nominated bank account of the person named.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 475. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a 2013 disadvantaged area scheme payment will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41933/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney As processing of the 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme application has recently been finalised, payment will shortly issue to the nominated bank account of the person named.

Single Payment Scheme Appeals

 476. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the position regarding an appeal in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41949/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named submitted a Single Farm Payment application on 11 April 2013. EU Regulations governing the administration of the scheme require that full and comprehensive administrative checks, including in some cases on farm inspections, be completed before any payments issue.

  The application of the person named was selected for a ground eligibility inspection. This inspection identified discrepancies between the area declared and found, resulting in an over-declaration in area of greater than 20%. Based on the Terms and Conditions of the Scheme this results in no payment in respect of 2013. The person named was notified of this decision on the 13th  September 2013.

  The person named appealed this decision and this request for a review is currently being examined. The person named will be notified of the outcome of this review as soon as possible. In the event that the person named is dissatisfied with the outcome of the review, the decision can be appealed to the independent Agriculture Appeals Office within 3 months.

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Conditions

 477. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he will clarify an issue (details supplied) in relation to an agri-environment options scheme and Natura 2000 scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41955/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Under the AEOS and Natura Schemes, undertakings shall be for a minimum of five years, otherwise all or part of the aid paid shall be repaid. Where the participant has ceased farming and has completed three years of the undertaking reimbursement of aid will not be required. In cases where all of the holding is transferred to a family member the AEOS contract transfers to that family member, provided that person is not already receiving aid under AEOS or REPS.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 478. Deputy Tom Fleming Information on Tom Fleming Zoom on Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he will expedite a disadvantaged areas scheme payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41974/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney As processing of the 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme application has recently been finalised, payment will shortly issue to the nominated bank account of the person named.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 479. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a person (details supplied) in County Galway will be paid their 2013 disadvantaged areas based payment; the reason for the delay in issuing this payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42013/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Payments under the 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme have commenced and while an application under the 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme was received from the person named on 15 May 2013, payment will not be issuing in the initial payment runs as, at this stage, the holding of the person named has not yet satisfied the Scheme minimum stocking density requirements.

Immediately the holding concerned is confirmed as having met these requirements, the case will be further processed with a view to payment at the earliest possible date thereafter.

Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments

 480. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when an application for a REP scheme payment will be approved in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Laois; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42016/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney REPS4 is a measure under the current 2007-13 Rural Development Programme and is subject to EU Regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all applications to be completed before any payments can issue.

The person named has made an appeal to the Agriculture Appeals Office in relation to his Single Farm Payment and Department officials are currently awaiting the outcome of that appeal before proceeding further with his REPS application.

Single Payment Scheme Payments

 481. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he will provide in tabular form on a county basis the number of persons who are in receipt of a single farm payment in the following ranges: less than €10,000, between €10,000 and €20,000, between €20,000 and €30,000, between €30,000 and €40,000, between €40,000 and €50,000, between €50,000 and €60,000, between €60,000 and €70,000, between €70,000 and €80,000, between €80,000 and €90,000, between €90,000 and €100,000, between €100,000 and €125,000, between €125,000 and €150,000, between €150,000 and €175,000, between €175,000 and €200,000, and more than €200,000; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [42020/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Based on 2012 payments made to date the data requested by the deputy is provided in tabular form below.

Range Carlow Cavan Clare Cork Donegal Dublin Galway Kerry Kildare Kilkenny
0-10000 809 3,542 4,449 6,833 6,788 366 9,364 5,647 1,040 1,456
10000-20000 414 903 1,212 3,453 818 138 1,897 1,446 476 986
20000-30000 212 186 252 1,442 223 48 374 306 227 495
30000-40000 85 48 53 573 86 26 92 101 105 258
40000-50000 43 16 22 230 39 11 31 38 70 104
50000-60000 22 13 15 129 21 6 17 20 38 57
60000-70000 17 3 3 68 16 9 8 8 19 29
70000-80000 6 3 6 34 4 8 5 6 12 7
80000-90000 8 1 4 25 7 3 7 1 10 13
90000-100000 3 2 2 14 3 3 1 0 8 3
100000-125000 7 2 1 15 8 2 1 0 10 7
125000-150000 1 0 0 8 2 3 0 0 4 1
150000-175000 0 0 0 4 0 2 1 1 2 1
175000-200000 1 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0
>200000 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1
Range Laois Leitrim Limerick Longford Louth Mayo Meath Monaghan Offaly
0-10000 1,486 2,972 3,176 1,695 901 9,902 2,070 2,949 1,753
10000-20000 779 308 1,240 444 290 1,154 795 744 734
20000-30000 342 50 399 119 145 165 381 171 272
30000-40000 151 11 115 42 52 37 184 50 110
40000-50000 76 6 64 16 30 11 95 23 55
50000-60000 34 3 27 6 24 6 55 11 27
60000-70000 18 1 19 5 12 1 33 5 20
70000-80000 10 0 6 5 9 1 29 0 9
80000-90000 8 0 5 2 5 1 16 1 9
90000-100000 5 1 2 2 5 0 14 0 3
100000-125000 3 2 2 0 7 3 18 0 6
125000-150000 2 0 3 0 1 0 8 0 1
150000-175000 0 0 0 0 1 0 6 0 1
175000-200000 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0
>200000 1 0 0 0 2 0 5 0 0
Range Roscommon Sligo Tipperary Waterford Westmeath Wexford Wicklow
0-10000 4,378 3,293 3,392 1,084 1,779 1,850 1,139
10000-20000 945 476 1,888 633 675 1,128 496
20000-30000 193 81 847 342 243 534 208
30000-40000 65 25 368 144 107 231 101
40000-50000 21 3 169 78 38 120 59
50000-60000 3 5 84 52 22 42 26
60000-70000 7 3 42 22 18 30 11
70000-80000 4 2 37 9 12 20 9
80000-90000 1 0 15 8 6 12 4
90000-100000 3 0 17 7 0 7 2
100000-125000 0 0 17 8 5 7 5
125000-150000 0 0 4 2 2 5 2
150000-175000 0 0 0 0 3 0 0
175000-200000 0 0 1 1 0 0 0
>200000 0 0 1 1 0 2 1


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