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 Header Item Written Answers Nos 93-107
 Header Item Flood Risk Insurance Cover
 Header Item Flood Prevention Measures
 Header Item Recycling Policy
 Header Item Office of Public Works Properties
 Header Item Flood Relief Schemes Applications
 Header Item Foreign Direct Investment
 Header Item IDA Jobs Data
 Header Item Intellectual Property Protocol
 Header Item EU-US Trade
 Header Item Tobacco Control Measures
 Header Item IDA Funding
 Header Item IDA Staff

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 817 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 89 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos 93-107

Flood Risk Insurance Cover

 93. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan Information on Maureen O'Sullivan Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin the position regarding the discussions between the Office of Public Works and the Insurance Federation of Ireland on insurance for homes that flood or are risk of flooding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43457/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brian Hayes): Information on Brian Hayes Zoom on Brian Hayes The Office of Public Works does not have any function or powers in relation to the regulation of the insurance market in Ireland. The discussions that have taken place between the Office of Public Works and Insurance Ireland (formerly the Irish Insurance Federation) have been limited to considering and agreeing a format for the exchange of information regarding completed OPW flood relief schemes which the insurance industry can take into account in assessing flood risk cover in locations where such works have been carried out. A Working Group comprising of representatives of the insurance industry and the Office of Public Works was established earlier this year to oversee the detailed work involved.

Agreement on the format of that information has been reached and the OPW has supplied an initial batch of information to Insurance Ireland, including the design standard and extent of benefitting properties and lands in a number of locations where capital flood protection works have been completed by OPW in recent years.

The OPW met with Insurance Ireland recently to review the arrangements and timelines for Insurance Ireland's constituent member companies to incorporate that information into their IT platforms and risk assessment systems. This work will take time but it is hoped that the insurance companies will be in a position to have their systems updated and operational before year end.

The OPW will be providing additional information to Insurance Ireland at regular intervals

The provision of house insurance and the nature of the cover provided remains a commercial matter between each householder and the companies operating in the insurance market in Ireland.

Flood Prevention Measures

 94. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin the reason remedial works on the River Clare in County Galway to prevent further flooding are not complete; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43643/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brian Hayes): Information on Brian Hayes Zoom on Brian Hayes It is important to point out at the outset that major flood relief works such as the Clare River flood relief scheme involve complex engineering and construction operations which inevitably involve lengthy lead-in times, with each scheme having its own unique set of variables to be considered. The Office of Public Works (OPW) works with the relevant Local Authority to try to ensure that the scheme proposals are acceptable to local people, and must also ensure that the requirements of environmental and other stakeholders are met as far as possible.

A Public Exhibition of the Clare River scheme was held in late 2012 and stakeholders were afforded an opportunity to send in their observations on the scheme proposals. A number of responses were received, including a detailed submission by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in relation to nature conservation and underwater archaeology aspects of the proposed works. The issues raised were considered fully by the OPW, where necessary with in-depth technical input from the consultants for the scheme, and have been addressed where appropriate. The scheme will be submitted to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform for Confirmation (i.e. statutory approval) shortly and it is expected that construction will commence before the end of the year in areas that do not have particular environmental or weather restraints, subject to approval being given by the Minister.

I would point out that very substantial advance works, involving construction of an additional flood eye at Claregalway Bridge and construction of a new bridge at Crusheeny, have already been carried out. These advance works have had a substantial positive effect in reducing the flood levels in these areas.

Recycling Policy

 95. Deputy Martin Ferris Information on Martin Ferris Zoom on Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin the reasons the Office of Public Works is refusing Kerry County Council permission to locate a recycling bring bank on the site of a Garda station (details supplied) in County Kerry which is jointly owned by the OPW and the Garda, in view of the fact that the Garda has no objections; and if he is facilitating the granting of permission, as this site is the only suitable location for such a facility according to Kerry County Council.  [43263/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brian Hayes): Information on Brian Hayes Zoom on Brian Hayes The Garda station site in Ardfert, County Kerry includes a Garda residential property adjacent to the Garda station. While the residence is currently unoccupied any decision to facilitate the bottle bank at this location would impact negatively on future occupants of the residence. In addition, there are security concerns with placing a bottle bank adjacent to a Garda station.

Office of Public Works Properties

 96. Deputy Seán Kenny Information on Seán Kenny Zoom on Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin the visitor numbers to the Office of Public Works site the Casino in Marino, Dublin 3, in the years 2010, 2011, 2012 and to date in 2013; if there are plans to refurbish same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [43385/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brian Hayes): Information on Brian Hayes Zoom on Brian Hayes The visitor numbers for the Casino were: 2010 – 6,425; 2011 – 12,047; 2012 – 7,444; 2013 – 11,347 (to date).

  There are no plans to refurbish the Casino. The Office of Public Works has commenced surveys with a view to examining the condition of the exterior of the building and remedial work will, if necessary, take place in the next few years.

Flood Relief Schemes Applications

 97. Deputy Tom Fleming Information on Tom Fleming Zoom on Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin the position regarding an application to the Office of Public Works from emergency flood relief work to the Cullawa river, Rathmore, County Kerry; and if the approval for commencement of works will be given at an early date to ensure it is completed before the winter.  [43608/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brian Hayes): Information on Brian Hayes Zoom on Brian Hayes Funding of €40,000 in respect of an application submitted by Kerry County Council under the Minor Flood Mitigation Works & Coastal Protection Scheme to undertake channel works on the Cullavaw River at Rathmore, has been approved.

  The progression of the works is a matter for the Council.

Foreign Direct Investment

 98. Deputy Derek Keating Information on Derek Keating Zoom on Derek Keating asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if he will provide details of the inventive schemes available from his Department to encourage foreign direct investment in Ireland in the green energy sector. [43094/13]

 99. Deputy Derek Nolan Information on Derek Nolan Zoom on Derek Nolan asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if he will detail incentivisation schemes available from his Department to encourage foreign direct investment in Ireland in the green energy sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43279/13]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I propose to take Questions Nos. 98 and 99 together.

  IDA Ireland actively markets Ireland as an investment location for international companies in the green energy/renewable technologies space and sees this sector as a growth area into the future. This particular area differs from many of the other sectors which IDA Ireland promotes because of the growing domestic market opportunity around our natural resources in wind and tidal strength. IDA Ireland engages with developers and manufacturers to ensure that as much of the green energy supply chain as possible creates sustainable jobs in this country.

  All of the financial (grant aid) and non-financial supports used by IDA Ireland to attract and develop various sectors are also available to the Green Energy Sector, subject to compliance with relevant eligibility criterion and EU State Aid requirements.

  IDA Ireland offers a wide range of financial assistance including capital, employment, training, R&D and environmental supports to companies wishing to locate or expand their existing operation in Ireland. A brief description of the types of grand aid made available by IDA is set out in the attached Appendix.

  Appendix to Questions Nos. 43094 & 43279

  Brief description of the types of grant aid payable by IDA Ireland

  - Capital grants are available to subsidise expenditure of the purchase of land and buildings and new plant and equipment.

  - Employment grants are available where permanent full-time positions are created and are the most commonly used type of grant.

  - IDA's policy emphasis in relation to Research and Development (R&D) Grants is on   the need to help existing clients to move up the value chain and ensure companies are focused on activities which will secure competitiveness and strategic importance within the overall corporation through Research and Development.

  - The Training Grants scheme is focused on assisting training programmes that will constitute a significant upgrading of the skills base of clients, and which makes a substantial contribution to the Irish companies' long term competitiveness.

  - The Environmental Aid Support Scheme assists IDA Ireland client companies to achieve improved international competitiveness through the production of goods and services in a manner that is more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable. The Scheme has five elements which are considered the most appropriate and implementable of the extensive range of state aid measures covered by current EU environmental guidelines.

  1. Environmental investment aid for High Efficient Co-generation (CHP);

  2. Aid for the promotion of Renewal Energy Sources;

  3. Environmental investment aid for Energy Saving Measures;

  4. Aid for Environmental Studies;

  5. Investment Aid for Environmental Protection.

  Grant aid is permitted only towards those additional costs that are incurred by client companies investing in environmental protection projects that exceed the mandatory standards required by EU and National Legislation.

  Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) provides technical advisory services to IDA and client companies to ensure that the applicant’s investment project is eligible and appropriate.

IDA Jobs Data

 100. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien Information on Jonathan O'Brien Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the total number of jobs promoted by the Industrial Development Agency relating to the field of customer support for each year since 2007. [43015/13]

 101. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien Information on Jonathan O'Brien Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the jobs promoted by the Industrial Development Agency relating to the field of customer support, as a percentage of total jobs promoted by the IDA for each year since 2007. [43016/13]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I propose to take Questions Nos.100 and 101 together.

  The Forfás Annual Employment Survey reports on job gains and losses in companies that are supported by the enterprise development agencies. The Survey tracks employment by NACE codes i.e a pan-European classification system which groups organisations according to their business activities. Customer support jobs fall within the International Services code.

  The attached tabular statement sets out the total number of jobs in IDA client companies in each of the years 2007 to 2012, the total number of jobs within the International Services Code in IDA client companies for the same period and shows the International Services jobs as a percentage of total IDA supported jobs.

  Table Showing:

  (a) the total number of jobs in IDA client companies in each of the years 2007 to 2012;

  (b) the total number of jobs within the International Services Code in IDA client companies for the same period; and

  (c) International Services jobs as a percentage of total IDA supported jobs

- 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
(a)Total Jobs in IDA client companies 155,949 152,514 138,171 139,760 145,847 152,785
(b)Permanent employment within in International services in IDA client companies 45,346 45,780 41,197 43,057 46,823 51,128
(c)International Services as a percentage of total IDA supported jobs 29% 30 % 30% 31% 32% 33 %

Intellectual Property Protocol

 102. Deputy Damien English Information on Damien English Zoom on Damien English asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if his attention has been drawn to a study published on 1 October 2013 by the European Patents Office and the Office for the Harmonisation of the Internal Market that 35% of all European economic activity arises from intellectual property rights; if he will provide a comparable percentage figure for Ireland; the steps he is taking to ensure that the Government protects the intellectual property rights of companies trading in the Irish market; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43056/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Sean Sherlock): Information on Seán Sherlock Zoom on Seán Sherlock The recently published study referred to by the Deputy carried out jointly by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) and the European Patent Office is the first ever EU-wide study of the impact of Intellectual Property Rights on the European economy in terms of GDP, employment, wages and trade. The study focussed on data collected from twenty-seven EU Member States and covers the two-year period 2008 to 2010.

The study found that about 40% of total economic activity in the EU amounting to some €4.7 trillion annually is generated by industries that are referred to as being IPR-intensive in the sense that they are significant users of Intellectual Property rights to support their economic activity. Furthermore, it was found that approximately 35% of all employment in the EU (77 million jobs) stems from industries that have a higher than average use of Intellectual Property rights.

While my officials have not had the opportunity to consider the study in detail, it is seen as providing important data that will underpin and inform evidence-based policy making in the area of Intellectual Property. It appears also to establish a clear link between the use of Intellectual Property rights and stimulating innovation and creativity leading ultimately to job creation.

Ireland’s rating in the study is very favourable. Ireland rates first in terms of GDP share in all IPR-intensive industries in the EU, first for GDP share of copyright-intensive industries and, first for GDP share of trade mark-intensive industries. Ireland performs well also in relation to other rankings, positioned third in the EU for GDP share of patent-intensive industries and above average employment share in copyright-intensive industries. Ireland has the highest percentage of IP-intensive employment from industries based outside the European Union. This can be attributed to the level of high quality foreign direct investment that we have successfully attracted to locate here.

This Government has focussed on ensuring Ireland’s Intellectual Property regime compares favourably with best international practice. The Action Plan for Jobs has targeted enhancements in Ireland’s IP regime as intrinsic to establishing high-quality employment in Ireland. New protocols for managing IP from collaborative research in research institutions and promoting Ireland as an IP jurisdiction in the context of financial services all play their part.

During the Irish EU Presidency, an agreement to establish a Unified Patent Court was signed in February 2013 which, when established alongside the EU unitary patent system, will help to streamline patenting in Europe making it more affordable to secure and enforce patent rights in Europe. This is particularly important for small and medium sized enterprises.

A report by the Copyright Review Committee set up in 2011 to examine the existing Copyright regime and to specifically examine whether it presents any barriers to innovation is expected to be published shortly. I will be reviewing this with interest to consider and examine if modifications to the copyright regime are required.

EU-US Trade

 103. Deputy Damien English Information on Damien English Zoom on Damien English asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton his views on the current state of negotiations of a transatlantic trade and investment partnership between the EU and US; his views on whether the partnership should include clauses empowering EU and US based companies to take private legal cases directly against Governments at international tribunals where they find that national laws in areas such as public health, environmental and social protection infringe their right to business; the implications of such a clause for Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43057/13]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Negotiations between the EU and the US on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) began formally in July, with the first round of negotiations held in Washington in the week beginning 8 July 2013. The second round was due to have taken place in Brussels from 7-11 October, but this was cancelled at the request of the U.S. due to difficulties caused by the partial government shutdown in the U.S. The EU Commission is responsible for negotiating on behalf of the EU, and it is doing so on the basis of a wide mandate from the EU Council of Ministers. From the feedback I have had thus far, I am satisfied that the EU Commission is approaching these negotiations in an assiduous and comprehensive way. It is planned that the EU Trade Commissioner, Mr Karel De Gucht, will bring ministers up to date on the state of play of negotiations at the Council of Ministers meeting on 18 October.

I am conscious of the issues arising in relation to Investor-State Dispute Settlement. It is clear that the State has the right to regulate in areas such as public health, environmental and social protection and this will continue to be the case. It is far too early to say whether and if so under what conditions Investor-State Dispute Settlement provisions might feature in an eventual TTIP Agreement.

Tobacco Control Measures

 104. Deputy Damien English Information on Damien English Zoom on Damien English asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if his Department is participating in the high level implementation group to oversee the project plan for the introduction of plain packaging of tobacco products; if his officials will highlight the extent of illicit trade in the tobacco sector and the negative impact it is having on jobs in the retail sector; if he will summarise the viewpoints expressed by his Department to the group; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [43058/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Sean Sherlock): Information on Seán Sherlock Zoom on Seán Sherlock The Government announced on the 28th May last that it intends to bring forward legislation for the introduction of plain or standardised packaging for tobacco products in Ireland. The Department of Health is the leading Department on this matter and the Minister of Health has set up a High Level Implementation Group to oversee the project plan for the implementation of standardised packaging for tobacco products legislation.

My Department has nominated a representative to the group and attended the two meetings of the group to date. I understand the work of the group is on-going. My Department has outlined to the group from an Intellectual Property perspective the potential issues arising in relation to domestic and international law.

The Revenue Commissioners are the appropriate authority to answer the Deputy's question in relation to the extent of illicit trade in the tobacco sector and the negative impact it is having on jobs in the retail sector.

IDA Funding

 105. Deputy Derek Keating Information on Derek Keating Zoom on Derek Keating asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the annual budget for the Industrial Development Agency. [43104/13]

 106. Deputy Derek Nolan Information on Derek Nolan Zoom on Derek Nolan asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the annual budget for the Industrial Development Agency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43287/13]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I propose to take Questions Nos. 105 and 106 together.

  The total Exchequer allocation for IDA for the year 2013, as published in Revised Estimates Allocation for 2013 (REV) is €117.447 m. made up of €38.447m. in current monies and €79m in capital monies.

  Amid significant economic challenges globally and locally, IDA Ireland achieved a strong FDI performance in recent years In 2012, IDA Ireland won 145 individual investments, with 6,570 net new jobs gains in IDA Ireland client companies across a broad range of sectors, representing the third consecutive year of growth in net employment   IDA Ireland’s performance in the first 6 months of 2013 has been solid with 70 FDI investments, with potential to create in the region of 7,000 jobs being secured

IDA Staff

 107. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the number of personnel in whole-time equivalent terms in the Industrial Development Agency in each of the following earnings brackets: less than €20,000, €20,001 to €30,000, €30,001 to €40,000, €40,001 to €50,000, €50,001 to €60,000, €60,001 to €70,000, €70,001 to €80,000, €80,001 to €90,000, €90,001 to €100,000, €100,000 to €125,000, €125,001 to €150,000, €150,001 to €175,000, €175,001 to €200,000, €200,001 to €250,000, €250,001 to €300,000, €300,001 to €350,000, €350,001 to €400,000, €400,001 to €450,000, €450,001 to €500,000, and more than €500,000.  [43421/13]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Information in relation to employees of IDA Ireland is a day to day operational matter for the agency and I have requested that IDA Ireland respond directly to the Deputy.


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