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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 303-316
 Header Item Hospital Beds Data
 Header Item Home Help Service Data
 Header Item Home Care Packages Data
 Header Item Ambulance Service Data
 Header Item Horse Racing Ireland
 Header Item Compensation Schemes
 Header Item Young Farmers Scheme Eligibility
 Header Item GLAS Applications
 Header Item GLAS Payments
 Header Item TAMS Administration
 Header Item GLAS Administration
 Header Item Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments
 Header Item Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme Applications
 Header Item Fishing Vessel Safety

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 947 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 97 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 303-316

Hospital Beds Data

 303. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of beds and wards in all public and voluntary acute hospitals that were closed on 7 April 2017 in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18717/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly

Home Help Service Data

 304. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of home help hours by local health area provided in each month in 2016 and to date in 2017 in tabular form. [18718/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Helen McEntee): Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Home Care Packages Data

 305. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of home care packages currently being provided by local health office area on a seven day week basis, on a five day week basis and fewer than five days a week, respectively, in tabular form. [18719/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Helen McEntee): Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Ambulance Service Data

 306. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of ambulance attendances at each emergency department nationwide in March 2017 in tabular form; the number of such ambulances that waited longer than 20 minutes, 40 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes, 120 minutes and 180 minutes, respectively, to hand over patients, receive their trolley and return to responding to calls, in tabular form. [18720/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Horse Racing Ireland

 307. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan Information on Maureen O'Sullivan Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed if there has been an external or internal investigation into Horse Racing Ireland and if individuals have been removed from the board. [18614/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) is a commercial state body responsible for the overall administration, promotion and development of the horse racing industry.

  Indecon Consultants carried out a review of HRI in 2012 and the structure of the Board was considered in that review. Indecon's recommendations were addressed in the Horse Racing Ireland Act 2016.

  HRI have informed me that the Board has not been subject to any external or internal investigation and that there has never been any situation where an individual has been removed from the Board.

Compensation Schemes

 308. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed his plans to compensate the 370 grain farmers affected by flooding; the timeframe to provide such compensation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18687/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed I am sure the Deputy is aware I hosted a further Tillage Stakeholders Forum recently which consisted of representatives from all sides of this Sector. Addressing the Forum, I took the opportunity to highlight that one of my priorities has been to address the impact of the change in the sterling exchange rate and lower commodity prices in some sectors, which have caused cash flow difficulties for farmers.

Therefore I was pleased to facilitate the “Agriculture Cashflow Support Loan Scheme”, which was developed by my Department in co-operation with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) and makes €150 million available to farmers throughout Ireland at interest rates of 2.95%. Distributed through AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank, it provides tillage farmers with a low cost, flexible source of working capital and will allow them to pay down more expensive forms of short-term debt, ensuring the ongoing financial sustainability of viable farming enterprises. The loans are for amounts up to €150,000 for up to six years and are flexible with interest only facilities of up to three years. Although no official returns have been made to my Department as yet, the banks have confirmed that they have applications up to the amounts available under the Scheme. I am pleased at the very positive reaction by farmers to the Scheme, which has proved that significant demand exists for low-cost flexible finance. I hope that the commercial banks will respond positively to this demand by reducing interest rates and providing more flexible terms for cash flow loans in the future. I am meeting with the Chief Executives of the banks shortly to discuss this and other issues relating to access to finance in the agri-food sector.

The Tillage Investment Scheme under TAMS II opened for online applications on the 8 March 2017. The specific areas of investment include Minimum Disturbance Tillage Equipment, Sprayers, Rain Water Harvesting, Grain Storage and Grain dryers. This Tillage Scheme is the latest of the Targeted Modernisation Schemes (TAMS II) to be launched under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. The Scheme is co-funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). All applications must be made on-line, either by the farmer or by an adviser authorised to act on his or her behalf. The closing date for applications under the first tranche of the new scheme will be Friday 30 June 2017.

As an additional support to cash flow on farms, including Tillage farms, I am pleased to record that to date €1.183 billion has been paid out under the 2016/17 Basic Payment Scheme to 123,929 farmers and these payments are ongoing. Furthermore, payments of €201.38 million have also been made to 94,101 applicants under the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme.

I can also confirm to the Deputy that a wide ranging discussion took place among all the stakeholders who attended the recent session of the Tillage Forum, including on the issue of crop losses as a result of the poor harvest conditions of last autumn. My officials have since then had some further meetings with stakeholders and I will consider further the outcome of those deliberations.

Young Farmers Scheme Eligibility

 309. 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 Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed his views on a matter (detail supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18372/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed In order to qualify for the 2017 Young Farmers' Scheme, applicants must have successfully completed a recognised course of education in agriculture giving rise to an award at FETAC Level 6 or its equivalent by the 15th May 2017.

  There is no restriction on the date of award of the relevant educational qualification from previous years. The full list of agricultural educational qualifications equivalent to FETAC Level 6 for the purposes of eligibility for the 2017 Young Farmers Scheme is set out at Appendix A of the scheme Terms and Conditions on my Department’s website. Enquiries in relation to the Young Farmers Scheme can also be made to my Department at lo-call 0761 064 420 or by e-mail to NationalReserveYFS@agricluture.gov.ie.

GLAS Applications

 310. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed if a GLAS application has been finalised for a person (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18383/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The person named was approved into GLAS 1 with a contract commencement date of 1 January 2016.

  During the 2016 prepayment checking process an issue presented on the computerised crosscheck of Department databases. Department officials are actively working to resolve this issue with a view to further processing the application for the 2016 payment as soon as possible.

GLAS Payments

 311. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed the status of a GLAS payment issued to a person (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18443/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The person named was approved into GLAS 2 with a contract commencement date of 1 January 2016.

  During the 2016 prepayment checking process an issue presented on the computerised crosscheck of Department databases in relation to the Commonage action. Department officials are actively working to resolve this issue with a view to further processing the application for the 2016 payment as soon as possible.

TAMS Administration

 312. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed further to Question No. 508 of 7 February 2017, the timeframe for the completion of the upgrade of his Department's TAMS information technology systems to allow the deletion of overclaims; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18453/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The TAMS II IT system has been updated to allow for the correction of obvious errors and payment claims which are identified as having these errors are being processed for payment.

GLAS Administration

 313. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed the timeframe for the completion of the upgrade of his Department's GLAS information technology systems; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18456/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed My Department has delivered over 20 new schemes under the current CAP programme 2014-2020. The design, development and roll-out of information technology systems have been critical to support this delivery. The Department is constantly upgrading and improving all its IT systems, including the GLAS system, in order to support better scheme delivery.

In relation to GLAS, the core IT systems are in place, which has meant that payments commenced last December, and to date almost 33,000 farmers have received their 2016 advance payment. Payments runs are continuing on a weekly basis as further cases are cleared.

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments

 314. 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 Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed the status of an AEOS payment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18458/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The person named commenced their AEOS 2 contract on 1 September 2011. Payment issued in respect of the 2011-2015 Scheme years.

Under the EU Regulations governing the Scheme and other area-based payment schemes, a comprehensive administrative check, including cross-checks with the Land Parcel Identification System must take place. As 2016 is the final scheme year of payment for the person named, re-checks on payments made for all scheme years must be completed before final payment can be processed. Payments of cleared cases are issuing on a weekly basis.

Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme Applications

 315. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe Information on Kevin O'Keeffe Zoom on Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed if he will ensure that no delay occurs in issuing a payment to a person (details supplied) under a specific scheme. [18483/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The applicant in question has submitted a claim for payment under the Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme of TAMS II. There are a number of issues with the claim that are being examined with a view to resolving shortly.

Fishing Vessel Safety

 316. Deputy Martin Kenny Information on Martin Kenny Zoom on Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed the grants available for persons safety schemes; the amount allocated to them; and the participation rate for these schemes for the past 20 years. [18550/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed While overall responsibility for safety at sea rests with the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, an Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) administers safety schemes for the fisheries and marine tourism sectors in Ireland as follows:

  - Fleet Safety Scheme (de minimis)

  This Scheme is intended to further improve the overall safety standards on board Irish fishing vessels. The Scheme provides grant aid of up to 60% for the purchase and installation of safety items including statutory lifesaving, fire-fighting, navigation and communication equipment.

  - Marine Tourism Vessel Safety Scheme (de minimis)

  This scheme provides support (up to 40% grant aid) for safety equipment on-board marine tourism vessels.

  - Enhanced Safety Training Scheme (de minimis)

  BIM’s Enhanced Safety Training Scheme is a 1-day course designed to provide the skipper and crews of registered fishing vessels with on-going training in personal survival techniques, first aid, fire fighting, and health and safety in the workplace. Those successfully completing the course (or, in the case of new entrants, those successfully completing BIM’s 3-day Basic Safety Training) may also avail of a special incentive under BIM’s Safety Equipment Scheme. This provides grant aid of up to 60% towards the cost of purchasing Personal Floatation Devices (PFD) fitted with an integrated Personal Locator Beacon (PLB).

  I have requested BIM to provide information on financial allocations and participation rates for these schemes for the past 20 years directly to the Deputy.


Last Updated: 04/03/2020 10:38:16 First Page Previous Page Page of 97 Next Page Last Page