Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 43-62
 Header Item Property Taxation Administration
 Header Item Tax Code
 Header Item Tax Code
 Header Item Defined Benefit Pension Schemes
 Header Item Defined Benefit Pension Schemes
 Header Item Consultancy Contracts Expenditure
 Header Item Banking Sector Remuneration
 Header Item EU Directives
 Header Item Tax Exemptions
 Header Item Departmental Legal Costs
 Header Item Bus Éireann Investigations
 Header Item Public Sector Staff Issues
 Header Item Student Grant Scheme Appeals
 Header Item Student Grant Scheme Delays
 Header Item Book Rental Scheme
 Header Item School Accommodation
 Header Item School Transport Provision
 Header Item EU Directives
 Header Item Departmental Legal Costs

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 824 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 102 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 43-62

Property Taxation Administration

 43. Deputy Lucinda Creighton Information on Lucinda Creighton Zoom on Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan in the absence of local property tax registered property details being provided, if persons will be subjected to a penalty for delay in payment for failing to register in advance of 27 November; if he will specifically consider the properties (details supplied) which were recently acquired and where the owner has attempted to pay the tax in advance of the deadline as well as register, but their e-mails and telephone calls have been allegedly ignored despite their efforts; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [53247/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan I am informed by Revenue that a key aspect of the work undertaken on the Local Property Tax (LPT) was the development of a comprehensive register of residential properties in the State, which included the consolidation of various Government and non-Government data sources. Part of the development also included a link with Revenue's e-Stamping system, which facilitates a direct update of "stamped" property transactions to the Register. I am also informed by Revenue that the introduction of Local Property Tax (LPT), which amounts to the largest extension of the self-assessment system in its history, continues to represent a very great administrative challenge in maintaining normal customer service contact standards. For example, Revenue has answered in excess of 900,000 phone calls and replied to approximately 220,000 letters or emails since March 2013. In particular, Revenue has experienced unprecedented demand for customer support in recent weeks following the issue of payment reminder notifications in respect of 2014 LPT obligations.

In the specific case raised by the Deputy, the person concerned acquired four properties between July and September of this year and the details of these transactions were correctly entered to Revenue's e-Stamping system. However, due to technical difficulties the transactions did not correctly transfer across to the Property Register. The person made direct contact with Revenue on 30 October requesting that the properties in question be linked to him and Revenue responded on 31 October requesting his PPSN and the relevant Property ID numbers, which he should have received from his solicitor as part of the conveyance process. The person responded to Revenue on 4 November and provided his PPSN and the addresses of three of the properties but did not provide the Property ID numbers. Revenue subsequently tried to link the properties to the person from the information supplied but unfortunately this proved to be a difficult matching exercise without the Property IDs. The linkages were further delayed because the person was involved in a fourth property transaction while the correspondence of 4 November only confirmed three transactions.

Revenue has acknowledged that the person made a number of contacts over the following weeks in an effort to clarify the situation, but because of the volume of correspondence during that period he did not receive a timely reply. However, Revenue has confirmed that the properties in question have now been identified and correctly linked to the person in question. Revenue has assured me that a member of the LPT team will contact the person in the coming days to confirm all the details and will assist him in completing his LPT obligations as necessary.

Revenue has confirmed that the person is considered LPT compliant because his queries were received in advance of the filing deadline and he will not be subject to any penalties providing he meets the outstanding obligations in a timely manner after he receives contact from the LPT team.

Tax Code

 44. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding gift tax. [53252/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the material supplied by the Deputy does not contain all of the details required in order to provide a reply to the queries raised. At the very least, it would be necessary to examine the terms of the person's mother's will as well as the terms of the Agreement in relation to the sale of the house and the giving of a 1/5th share in the house in return for not contesting the will. Should the person concerned wish to discuss the matters with a Revenue official, she may contact Ms. Sheila O'Brien, Dublin Capital Acquisitions Tax, Aras Brugha, 9 – 15 O'Connell St., Dublin 1, telephone 01 – 8655719 who will assist her in this matter.

Tax Code

 45. Deputy Denis Naughten Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the provisions within the taxation code which provide preferential tax treatment to non-residents over Irish residents; the reason for any such provision and the cost to the Exchequer; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [53282/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that there are no provisions within our tax code that provide preferential income tax, universal social charge (USC), domicile levy, capital gains tax (CGT) or capital acquisitions tax (CAT) treatment to non-residents. The tax treatment of non-residents in Ireland is in line with the position prevailing in many other jurisdictions. The general treatment under the various taxes can be summarised as follows.

Income Tax and Universal Social Charge

  - Individuals who are resident in the State for a tax year are liable to Irish income tax and the USC on their worldwide income for that tax year, and

  - Individuals who are not resident here for tax purposes are liable to Irish income tax and the USC on their Irish source income and on income attributable to duties of an employment exercised here.

Capital Gains Tax

  - Persons who are either resident and domiciled or ordinarily resident and domiciled in the State for a tax year are liable to Irish CGT on their worldwide chargeable gains.

  - Individuals who are resident or ordinarily resident in the State but are not domiciled in the State are liable to Irish income tax and CGT on income or chargeable gains arising outside the State where the income or chargeable gains are received in the State.

  - Persons who are neither resident nor ordinarily resident in the State for a tax year are liable to Irish CGT on chargeable gains made on the disposal of certain Irish assets, as follows:

     - assets of a business carried on by such a person in the State,

     - interests in land, buildings or minerals situated in the State,

     - exploration or exploitation of rights in the Continental Shelf, and

     - unquoted shares which derive their value, or the greater part of their value, from any of these assets.

Capital Acquisitions Tax

  - Beneficiaries who take a gift or inheritance are within the charge to CAT if the assets, the subject of the gift or inheritance, are situated in the State. This charge applies equally to both Irish resident beneficiaries of those assets and also to non-Irish resident beneficiaries of those assets.

  - Beneficiaries who take a gift or inheritance are also within the charge to CAT if the assets, the subject of the gift or inheritance, are situated abroad but the individual who provides a gift or inheritance is resident in Ireland, irrespective of whether that beneficiary is Irish resident or non-Irish resident.

Domicile Levy

  - The Domicile Levy applies to an individual:

  - who is domiciled in the State in a tax year,

  - whose world-wide income for the tax year exceeds €1m,

  - whose liability to Irish income tax for the tax year is less than €200,000, and

  - the market value of whose Irish property on the valuation date (i.e. 31 December)   is in excess of €5m.

  - The Domicile Levy applies irrespective of whether or not the individual is resident in the State.

  In circumstances where double taxation would otherwise arise there are provisions for relief in accordance with the terms of relevant double taxation treaties.

Defined Benefit Pension Schemes

 46. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the current status of the AIB defined benefit pension scheme; the annual cost savings associated with changing the scheme from defined benefit to defined contribution; the number of staff impacted by the change; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [53326/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan I have been informed that the AIB Defined Benefit Pension Scheme will close to future accrual as planned on 31st December 2013 in line with the recommendation of the Labour Court. Relevant details in respect of the closure of AIB's Defined Benefit schemes will be reflected in AIB's 2013 Annual Financial Report which is likely to be available in Q1 2014. This change affects c. 11,000 AIB staff based in the Republic of Ireland and the UK who were members of the AIB Defined Benefit Pension Schemes. AIB staff will accrue future pension benefits on a defined contribution basis from 1st January 2014. The individual effect on each staff member will depend on their previous benefit structure and period to retirement.

As the Deputy will be aware AIB has previously announced that it intends to make cost savings of c€350m by the end of 2014 and the closure of the pension scheme forms a significant proportion of this proposed saving.

Defined Benefit Pension Schemes

 47. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the current status of the Permanent TSB defined benefit pension scheme; the annual cost savings associated with changing the scheme from defined benefit to defined contribution; the number of staff impacted by the change; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [53327/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan I have been informed by Permanent TSB that its three defined benefit pension schemes are currently being wound up by the Trustees to each scheme. The wind up of the schemes impacts c 3,800 members of the schemes, of which c 1,400 are current employees. Detailed information on the schemes is included in Note 20 of the 2013 interim report and Note 30 of the 2012 annual report, both of which are available on the company's website at http://www.permanenttsbgroup.ie/investor-relations.aspx.

Consultancy Contracts Expenditure

 48. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the total cost of consultancy services and external advice engaged by his Department in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [53329/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan The total cost of consultancy service and external advice engaged by the Department of Finance in 2013 is 3,244,676 euro (as of today - 6th December). This includes 1,985,984 euro for legal fees and advice.

Banking Sector Remuneration

 49. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the total number of requests the board of AIB made for former directors to surrender part of their pension voluntarily; the total number of replies received; the total values of pensions voluntarily foregone by former directors of AIB; if he expects any further developments in respect of pensions paid to former AIB directors; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [53330/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan I have been informed by AIB that, as previously indicated, the bank has written to former senior executives requesting a voluntary reduction in their pension levels. In excess of 30 letters have been issued to date. As AIB indicated when before the Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform quite a few responses have been received and the process remains ongoing. It should be noted that for reasons of confidentiality AIB cannot disclose information in respect of individuals or the levels of reductions agreed.

EU Directives

 50. Deputy Anthony Lawlor Information on Anthony Lawlor Zoom on Anthony Lawlor asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the number of EU directives related to his Department that have yet to be transposed into Irish law despite the deadline date having passed; when it is proposed that these directives will be transposed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [53352/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan There is currently one outstanding Directive relating to the Department of Finance which is yet to be transposed despite the deadline date being passed. The Financial Conglomerates Directive 2002/87/EC (FICOD) came into effect in 2005 and it applies supplementary prudential supervision to mixed financial groups that carry out both banking/investment firm activities and insurance activities of a significant size. On 16 November 2011, the European Parliament and Council adopted the amending Directive 2011/89/EU, which revised amongst other things the existing Financial Conglomerates Directive (2002/87/EC). The Transposition date was 10 June 2013 for this Directive.

Work is ongoing on a draft Statutory Instrument with the Office of Parliamentary Council, the Department of Finance and with the Central Bank of Ireland. This transposition is late due to the resource implications of the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the prioritisation of the transposition of the Capital Requirements Directive. In addition, the subject matter contains a number of references to entities supervised under the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRD) 575/2013 and Directive 2013/36/EU and because of this it is envisaged that this will be completed alongside the CRD IV transposition later this month or in early January.

It is also worth noting that the deadline of 30 June 2013 for the transposition of Directive 2009/138/EC (Solvency II) has been extended to 31 March 2015 with the implementation date extended to 1 January 2016.

Tax Exemptions

 51. Deputy Paudie Coffey Information on Paudie Coffey Zoom on Paudie Coffey asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan his plans to sanction a similar exemption from income tax to the annual allowance of €1,000 paid to volunteer members of the Garda Reserve to other volunteer members of the emergency services such as the Coast Guard; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [53360/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan Finance (No. 2) Bill 2013 proposes an amendment to the Taxes Consolidation Act to provide for the exemption from taxation of the annual allowance paid to volunteer members of the Garda Reserve. This allowance - "in respect of expenses incurred in performing their functions" - is provided for in the Garda Síochána (Reserve Members) Regulations 2006. I accepted the proposal of the Minister for Justice and Equality that members of the Garda Reserve should not be disqualified from receiving state benefits solely as a result of the payment of a contribution towards their expenses incurred in volunteer work for the State.

It is important to note that implementation of the proposal will be Exchequer neutral. At present, any tax and PRSI liabilities on the allowances of Reserve members are reimbursed. Such reimbursements will be unnecessary in the context of tax exemption. I have no plans or proposals to extend the measure in the manner suggested by the Deputy.

Departmental Legal Costs

 52. Deputy Jim Daly Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the cost incurred in his Department as a result of Oireachtas Members initiating legal challenges in the courts for each of the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [53654/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan The cost incurred by the Department of Finance as a result of Oireachtas members initiating legal challenges in the Courts for each of the past five years are as follows: zero in 2009; zero in 2010; zero in 2011; zero in 2012; and €92,296 in 2013.

Bus Éireann Investigations

 53. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn the reason the names of members of the public who make complaints to his Department regarding corruption within Bus Éireann in the administration of the school transport contract are being circulated among Bus Éireann's staff and to the general public; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [53193/13]

 54. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn the name and contact details of the garda who is dealing with the current investigation regarding corruption within Bus Éireann in the administration of the school transport contract, as it is the stated policy of Bus Éireann, as recently confirmed by the Minister, to inform the Garda Síochána of incidents of corruption within the school transport contract.  [53194/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy Ciarán Cannon): Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I propose to take Questions Nos. 53 and 54 together.

Bus Éireann has assured my Department that their investigation into matters of alleged corruption in the administration of school transport is treated with the utmost discretion and confidentiality. Details are very closely restricted and there is no question of names being circulated to staff generally or to the wider public.

Bus Éireann has further advised that, in relation to the current investigation by the Company into allegations of corruption by individual employees, no evidence of criminality or wrongdoing has been furnished by those making these allegations despite being encouraged to do so. If evidence of criminal behaviour is disclosed during the course of the investigation, such evidence will be notified to the Garda Síochána by Bus Éireann in accordance with their procedures.

Public Sector Staff Issues

 55. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn if he will issue a circular to all the boards of management of schools to ensure that all special needs assistant contracts are correct and properly worded and abide by the National Council for Special Education and his Department guidelines detailing the 32-hour week; and if any are in error, if he will instruct the boards of management to rectify such contracts immediately.  [53219/13]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) does not have a role in setting the contractual hours of work of SNAs. The contractual position in respect of SNAs is outlined in their contract of employment. Links to the SNA Contracts of Employment are as follows: Department of Education and Skills Circular SNA 12/05 (Post-Primary) - http://www.education.ie/en/Circulars-and-Forms/Active-Circulars/sna12_05.pdf; and Department of Education and Skills Circular SNA 15/05 (Primary) - http://www.education.ie/en/Circulars-and-Forms/Popular-forms/SNA-15-05-Contract-Form.pdf. This contract of employment is augmented by all of the relevant Departmental Circulars governing Special Needs Assistants which detail the standardised terms and conditions of employment for SNAs. These Circulars are amended and new Circulars are issued by the Minister for Education and Skills from time to time.

The position regarding the working hours of full-time SNAs is as outlined in the standard SNA contract of employment, which was agreed by this Department, the Trade Unions (IMPACT and SIPTU) representing SNAs and the Management Bodies in 2005. In that context, the standard SNA contract has been designed to be flexible to cater for the different spectrum of working hours across all the various schools including primary, post-primary and special schools. No set hours were agreed but instead full-time SNAs are expected to work for the normal school hours in the school that they are working in, and in addition to be available for a period of time before and after school in order to help with reception and dispersal of children and preparation and tidying up of classrooms etc. These times are set locally by the school management and will vary from school to school depending on the requirements of the school.

In addition, all SNAs were required to be available for a number of days at the start and finish of each school term not exceeding 12 in total. Under the Croke Park Agreement it was agreed to introduce greater flexibility to the use of these 12 days. These 12 days now equate to 72 hours (pro-rata for part-time SNAs) to be used by schools as an additional bank of hours to be utilised and delivered outside of normal school opening hours and/or the normal school year. SNAs who are employed in a part-time capacity are paid a pro-rata amount dependent upon their level of hours of employment. Part-time SNAs are paid on the agreed divisor rate for pay purposes for part-time SNAs which is 32 hours. Furthermore, the issue of appropriate working hours for all public servants was one of the key aspects of the set of proposals for a public service agreement which were put forward by the Labour Relations Commission and which now form the Public Service Stability Agreement 2013-2016 (the Haddington Road Agreement).

  The specific text of the Haddington Road Agreement relating to working hours for SNAs is as follows:

"SPECIAL NEEDS ASSISTANTS Hours

  Under the terms of the Public Service Agreement 2010-2014, discussions took place that led to agreement on changed attendance arrangements for Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) that give schools the option of an additional two hours working time per week from each Special Needs Assistant. Under the terms of this Agreement on increased working hours in the Public Service, the available requirements in schools for additional hours for SNAs is quite limited. Given issues such as the duration of the school day and operation hours, and the specific availability of individual SNAs the details of the utilisation of any additional requirements should be the subject of further discussions.

These new attendance arrangements, allied to the provisions outlined in the above paragraph should be the subject of a review by the LRC in advance of the 2013/2014 school year, involving the Department of Education and Skills and IMPACT/SIPTU, in order to assess if the additional hours are being utilised in the most effective and appropriate manner and in order to achieve agreement on any changes deemed necessary in terms of the arrangement agreed for teachers. This will constitute the liability on Special Needs Assistants in respect of working hours for the purposes of this extension to the Public Service Agreement."

Student Grant Scheme Appeals

 56. Deputy Eric Byrne Information on Eric J. Byrne Zoom on Eric J. Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding a Student Universal Support Ireland grant appeal. [53246/13]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn The independent Student Grants Appeals Board has received an appeal from the student referred to by the Deputy. The Appeals Board aims to issue appeal determinations as promptly as possible and within the timeframe specified in the Student Support Act, 2011. The student will be notified directly of the outcome by the Appeals Board.

Student Grant Scheme Delays

 57. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn if he will clarify a query that Student Universal Support Ireland referred to him a number of months ago regarding two student grant applications (details supplied) in County Mayo; and if he will address the delay in processing these two applications.  [53248/13]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn Officials in my Department have been informed by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) that the applications referred to by the Deputy are being reviewed as a result of a change in circumstances and the students will be notified of the outcome shortly.

Book Rental Scheme

 58. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn the role his Department plays in book rental schemes; if he has provided any funding for same in 2013; if any public moneys have been allocated for same; the criteria or guidelines in place for awarding any such funding; if there is an applications process; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [53249/13]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn As the Deputy may be aware I launched new "Guidelines for Developing Textbook Rental Schemes in Schools" on the 28th January last. These Guidelines provide practical advice to primary and post-primary schools on how rental schemes can be established and operated. The aim of the Guidelines is to help as many schools as possible to start such book rental programmes.

The publication of these Guidelines follows a survey of schools by the Department, and which I published in May 2012. This had a 99% response rate at primary level, and showed that 76% of primary schools operate a book rental scheme. At second level, the response rate was lower, at 44%. Of those which did respond, 88% of those in the VEC sector and 73% of those in the Community & Comprehensive sector operated a book rental scheme.

I believe these results show that we have a good foundation to build on across the country. I hope that schools that are not yet operating book rental schemes will be encouraged to use the Guidelines to introduce them. If they do, it will result in substantial savings for parents. Schools which already have rental schemes can save parents up to 80% of the cost of buying new books. A special "Guide for Parents" was also published, to inform them of how the schemes operate and how parents can help schools to establish and run them. I have been very clear in my support for book rental schemes. All of us who are parents know how expensive textbooks can be and what a burden it places on already hard pressed families at the start of every school year.

I am pleased to see the high level of book rental schemes in operation at primary level and I believe that these Guidelines will encourage this practice across all schools in our education landscape.

The Department provided approximately €15m in total to first and second level schools by way of book grants in 2012 and the same level of funding was provided in 2013. The per capita funding provided to recognised primary and post-primary schools within the Free Education Scheme is set out in Circular 46/2013. This grant can be utilised for the purposes of a school's book rental scheme. The Deputy will also be aware from Budget 2014 that additional funding has been provided which will involve an investment of €15m to support the establishment of book rental schemes in primary schools that do not currently operate them. The Department will provide €5m in seed capital per annum over a three year period to such schools. I want to achieve a position where every primary schools has a book rental schemes in operation in the 2014/2015 school year.

The Department will be contacting primary schools that do not currently operate a book rental scheme early in the New Year to advise them of the application process. To qualify for seed capital funding, schools will have to undertake to establish a book rental scheme from September 2014 and in return the Department will commit to the provision of such funding in 2014, 2015 and 2016. This scheme will be confined to primary schools that do not currently operate such a scheme.

School Accommodation

 59. Deputy Derek Nolan Information on Derek Nolan Zoom on Derek Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn if the schedule of accommodation for a school (details supplied) in Galway is being designed with a view to replace all existing prefabs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53277/13]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn The Deputy will be aware, that the school to which he refers was invited to participate in the Prefab Replacement Scheme II and I understand that the school authorities accepted this offer. This acceptance, involving the construction of a number of classrooms, including the replacement of some prefabs, represents the first Phase of development works at the school. In that regard, it is envisaged that schedules of accommodation will issue to the school authorities shortly, along with detailed instructions as to the next steps for progressing this project.

School Transport Provision

 60. Deputy Martin Heydon Information on Martin Heydon Zoom on Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn further to Parliamentary Question No. 76 of 9 October 2013, if he will address the additional queries on the issue of school transport in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [53342/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy Ciarán Cannon): Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon The Deputy will be aware that the service operating to Gael Choláiste Chill Dara from the Kilcullen/Calverstown area is operating to capacity this school year and to provide a larger bus would incur additional cost. The child in question has been issued with a ticket for the 2013/14 school year on a newly established service with a pick up/set down point in Kildare Town, which is 2.5 kms from the family home. This is considered to be a reasonable level of service and is within the guidelines set out in the scheme. However, Bus Éireann has advised that the child in question can meet this service at the junction of Grey Abbey Road and Nurney Road which is 1.4 kms from his home address. In this regard, the family should liaise with their local Bus Éireann office.

EU Directives

 61. Deputy Anthony Lawlor Information on Anthony Lawlor Zoom on Anthony Lawlor asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn the number of EU directives related to his Department that have yet to be transposed into Irish law despite the deadline date having passed; when is it proposed that these directives will be transposed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [53350/13]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn One Directive related to my Department falls into the category to which the Deputy refers. The transposition of this Directive (Council Directive 2013/25/EU of 13 May 2013, adapting certain directives in the field of right of establishment and freedom to provide services, by reason of the accession of the Republic of Croatia) requires the amendment of at least 8 pieces of legislation, only one of which falls under the remit of my Department, although my Department is responsible for the overall coordination of the transposition. My Department has notified the relevant Departments of the requirement to transpose the Directive, and it is hoped that overall transposition will be completed before the end of the year.

Departmental Legal Costs

 62. Deputy Jim Daly Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn the cost incurred in his Department as a result of Oireachtas Members initiating legal challenges in the courts for each of the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [53652/13]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn The Department of Education and Skills has not incurred any costs as a result of Oireachtas members initiating legal challenges in the Courts during the past five years.


Last Updated: 12/05/2020 16:33:58 First Page Previous Page Page of 102 Next Page Last Page