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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 104-112
 Header Item Student Grant Scheme Applications
 Header Item Office of Public Works Projects
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item National Procurement Service Savings
 Header Item Public Sector Pensions
 Header Item Property Valuations
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 800 No. 4

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Written Answers Nos. 104-112

Student Grant Scheme Applications

 104. Deputy Nicky McFadden Information on Nicky McFadden Zoom on Nicky McFadden asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn if a full Student Universal Support Ireland grant will be awarded to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19484/13]

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 application from the student in question is being reviewed and SUSI will contact the student directly in relation to the outcome shortly.

Office of Public Works Projects

 105. Deputy Michael Creed Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin the reason for the delay in concluding an agreement to purchase a site at a location (details provided) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19171/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brian Hayes): Information on Brian Hayes Zoom on Brian Hayes A site in Macroom has been identified as a suitable location for a new Garda Station. The proposed site also has the capacity to cater for a new Fire Station and it is intended that the Office of Public Works (OPW) and Cork County Council will jointly purchase the site. Officials in OPW and the Council are actively engaged in the drafting of an agreement, which will govern the purchase and site management arrangements. The drafting of this agreement is at a very advanced stage and is expected to be completed shortly.

Departmental Expenditure

 106. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin if any of his Department’s 2012 capital expenditure allocation was used for current expenditure purposes last year, the amount used for this purpose; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19220/13]

 107. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin if he will provide the month by month profile for his Department's 2013 capital expendiuture; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19236/13]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin I propose to take Questions Nos. 106 and 107 together.

  The capital allocation for my Department for 2012 was €0.500m. None of this budget was used for current expenditure. The capital allocation for my Department for 2013 is €0.500m. Please see monthly profile in attached table:

Vote 11 - Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Capital budget 2013

Month Profiled spend
January 1,000
February 0
March 0
April 10,000
May 186,000
June 42,000
July 10,000
August 10,000
September 186,000
October 10,000
November 10,000
December 35,000
Total 500,000


A further €5.4m of capital is allocated on Vote 18 (Shared Services), which is a function under the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. This amount is profiled as follows:

Vote 18 - Shared Services
Month Profiled spend
January  
February  
March  
April 1,510,000
May 150,000
June 400,000
July 550,000
August 650,000
September 550,000
October 425,000
November 575,000
December 590,000
Total 5,400,000

National Procurement Service Savings

 108. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin if he will provide details of the contrast in price and service between the mandatory Viking contract for stationery consumables for schools and existing community based purchasing groups such as that provided by a company (details supplied) in County Meath.; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19303/13]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin I can confirm that the National Procurement Service (NPS) has no contracts with Viking. Furthermore, as the NPS has no contract with Comdex Technology (County Meath), I am not in a position to comment on their prices and service provided.

Public Sector Pensions

 109. Deputy Willie O'Dea Information on Willie O'Dea Zoom on Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin if there will be an assurance given that no further cuts will be made to the pensions of retired Gardaí; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19327/13]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin As the Deputy will be aware the Government stated its intention to require public service pensioners with pensions in excess of €32,500 to make a further contribution to the budgetary consolidation measures, in conjunction with the contribution being sought from serving staff. That was noted in the Labour Relations Commission proposals for a new public service agreement.

  Following the non-acceptance of those proposals by the Public Services Committee of the ICTU, the Government yesterday reaffirmed its requirement for €300m of pay and pension bill savings in 2013 and €1bn by 2015. The Government further agreed to request the CEO of the Labour Relations Commission to make contact with the parties in the coming days to establish whether or not there is a basis for a negotiated agreement to meet these budgetary targets.  

Property Valuations

 110. Deputy Ray Butler Information on Ray Butler Zoom on Ray Butler asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin the reason the entire premises of sporting organisations are being evaluated under the commercial rateable jurisdiction of local authorities in view of the fact that this is leading to excessive financial pressure and potential closures of sports clubs' facilities nationwide; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19328/13]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin The Commissioner of Valuation is independent in the exercise of his duties under the Valuation Act, 2001 and the making of valuations for rating purposes is his sole prerogative and the statute does not accord the Minister any function in this regard. The position is that the Valuation Act, 2001 provides for the exemption from rates of land that is developed for sport such as playing pitches. There is also provision for the exemption of community halls which are not licensed to sell alcohol and where the facilities are not used for profit and involve participation by inhabitants of the locality generally and are recreational or otherwise of a social nature.

However, the Act provides that where an organisation or club is registered under the Registration of Clubs (Ireland) Act, 1904 and is licensed to sell alcohol, all the club buildings, wherever located, are rateable in their entirety. The legislation is unambiguous in this regard and the Valuation Office has no option but to consider all such premises to be rateable. However, in all such cases exemption from rates can be achieved by the cessation of the liquor licence.

The sale of alcohol is a commercial activity and the club is competing with other commercial licensed premises in their locality, all of which are rateable. The apportionment of club premises between areas used for the sale of alcohol and those areas used for other activities could be operationally problematic and lead to anomalies in the rateability of premises licensed to sell alcohol. There are no plans to provide for special treatment of licensed clubs under the Valuation Act, which maintains the long-standing principle that all commercial activities are valued in a fair and equitable manner.

Departmental Expenditure

 111. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if any of his Department’s 2012 capital expenditure allocation was used for current expenditure purposes last year, the amount used for this purpose; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19218/13]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton None of my Department’s 2012 Capital expenditure allocation was used for current expenditure purposes. My Department utilised the provisions of the Multi-Annual Capital Envelope Framework to carry over €25m of unspent Capital allocation from 2012 for use in 2013 in order to maximise the amount of funding available for job creation purposes.

Departmental Expenditure

 112. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if he will provide the month by month profile for his Department's 2013 capital expendiuture; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19234/13]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton My Department's 2013 Capital allocation under the recently published Revised Estimates Volume is €454.5m. This allocation supports the transition to an economy based on exports, enterprise and innovation through Capital funding to Agencies and Programmes such as IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, the County Enterprise Boards, Shannon Development, InterTrade Ireland, INTERREG, the National Standards Authority of Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI) and the Temporary Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme.

  The drawdown of exchequer monies through the Agencies of my Department is based on commitments made in a given year and projected draw-downs against those commitments in the year in question. The drawdown of exchequer financial support by companies or other bodies (e.g. Competency Centres) is demand-led and can only take place if the company or body in question has progressed a given project in line with the agreement entered into with the State at the time of the financial commitment.

  The pattern of disbursement of funds is essentially determined according to this demand-led nature of grant payments and issues relating to the timing of expenditure and significant drawdown occurs in the last quarter of the year. The month by month profile of anticipated expenditure from the 2013 allocation is provided below.

  CAPITAL ALLOCATION 2013 - Profile of drawdown from Exchequer on a month-by-month basis

REV Allocation:
PROFILES
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
June
July
Aug
Sept
Oct
Nov
Dec
€454.500m
€m
27.808
11.552
39.964
33.035
38.925
37.124
38.473
21.778
37.949
49.669
39.921
78.302


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