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. 813-819
 Header Item EU Directives
 Header Item LEADER Programmes
 Header Item LEADER Programmes
 Header Item LEADER Programmes
 Header Item Departmental Contracts
 Header Item Departmental Staff

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 998 No. 5
Unrevised

First Page Previous Page Page of 120 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 813-819

EU Directives

 813. Deputy Catherine Connolly Information on Catherine Connolly Zoom on Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the cost to her Department to date of all fines paid by Ireland for non-transposition of EU directives into Irish law; the breakdown by directive of the lump sum cost and the daily cost of each fine; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28606/20]

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys I can confirm that there are no such cases or associated fines relating to the Department of Rural and Community Development.

LEADER Programmes

 814. Deputy Jackie Cahill Information on Jackie Cahill Zoom on Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the plans in place for a rollover and transition funding for the 34 LEADER companies across the country whose contract ends on 31 December 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28673/20]

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys LEADER is co-funded by the European Commission under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The current programming period concludes in December 2020.

Proposals for new regulations for the CAP 2021-2027 were launched in June 2018 by the European Commission. However, given the nature of the discussions on the CAP and the wider EU Budget post-2020, there has been a delay in adopting these proposals. This means that the next LEADER programme will not now commence until January 2022 at the earliest.

The Programme for Government includes a commitment to prioritise a State-led programme to bridge the gap between the current LEADER programme and the next EU programme. My Department is currently examining the best approach to deliver on this commitment.

The European Commission has also published proposals for transitional measures to allow for continuity between the programming periods. The Commission's Transitional Regulation is still under negotiation and there are still a number of issues to be resolved over the coming months, including the duration of the transitional period.

I hope to be in a positon to make decisions relating to the proposed transitional programme as committed to in the Programme for Government shortly, having regard, inter alia, to any arrangements that may be agreed at European level.

LEADER Programmes

 815. Deputy Jackie Cahill Information on Jackie Cahill Zoom on Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys when she expects a new LEADER programme to be in place, particularly in respect of the 34 LEADER companies across the country; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28674/20]

 816. Deputy Jackie Cahill Information on Jackie Cahill Zoom on Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys if the same format will be kept in place for the next programme of Leader, particularly with regard to the 34 Leader companies across the country; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28675/20]

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys I propose to take Questions Nos. 815 and 816 together.

LEADER is co-funded by the European Commission under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The current programming period concludes in December 2020.

Proposals for new regulations for the CAP 2021-2027 were launched in June 2018 by the European Commission. However, given the nature of the discussions on the CAP and on the wider EU Budget post-2020, there has been a delay in adopting these proposals. This means that the next LEADER programme will not now commence until January 2022 at the earliest.

Once there is agreement at European level regarding the regulations for the next CAP period, decisions will be taken in relation to the delivery of the next LEADER Programme having regard to, inter alia, the provisions of the EU Regulations governing the structure of future Local Action Groups and the outcome of consultations with all relevant stakeholder groups.

In the meantime, the Programme for Government includes a commitment to prioritise a State-led programme to bridge the gap between the current LEADER programme and the next EU programme. My Department is currently examining the best approach to deliver on this commitment and I hope to be in a positon to make a decision on this matter shortly.

LEADER Programmes

 817. Deputy Marian Harkin Information on Marian Harkin Zoom on Marian Harkin asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the progress that has been made to ensure that the commitment in the programme for Government that the new LEADER programme will be led by independent local action groups will be honoured; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28769/20]

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The Programme for Government contains a number of commitments in relation to the LEADER Programme, including a commitment to promote the role of independent Local Action Groups (LAGs), while ensuring that strong accountability and transparency mechanisms are in place to protect taxpayers’ money.

Over the coming months, my officials will be working through the details of all of the commitments in the Programme for Government in relation to LEADER. The first objective, as set out in the Programme for Government, is to prioritise a new State-led LEADER programme to bridge the gap between the current EU programme which finishes at the end of this year, and the commencement of a new EU-funded programme. The commencement of the new EU programme has been impacted by the delay in finalising the EU budget for the period 2021-2027.

Decisions on the delivery of the new LEADER programme will be have regard, inter alia, to the provisions of the EU Regulations governing the structure of future Local Action Groups and the outcome of consultations with all relevant stakeholder groups.

Departmental Contracts

 818. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys if she has engaged a third-party company in each of the years 2017 to 2019 and to date in 2020 to conduct online and-or social media monitoring and-or provide reports on social media coverage of her Department; if so, the cost of same; and if the name of the social media platforms being monitored will be provided. [28911/20]

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys My Department has not engaged any company or other organisation to carry out the work described during the period in question.

Departmental Staff

 819. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the number of staff in her Department on sick leave between March and September by month in 2019 and to date 2020; the pay arrangements that exist for staff on sick leave for an extended period of time; the number of sick days accounted for by her Department over the period; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28929/20]

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The administrative arrangements for the Sick Leave Scheme in the Civil Service are set out in Circular 05/2018 – Arrangements for Paid Sick Leave, and operate in conjunction with the Public Service Management (Sick Leave) Regulations (SI 124 of 2014) and Public Service Management (Sick Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 (S.I. 384 of 2015).

  The Sick Leave scheme provides for the payment of the following to staff during periods of absence from work due to illness or injury:

  - a maximum of 92 days on full pay in a rolling one year period

  - followed by a maximum of 91 days on half pay in a rolling one year periods subject to a maximum of 183 days paid sick leave in a rolling four year period

  Critical Illness Provisions (CIP) may be provided in exceptional circumstances whereby a longer period of sick leave is required to address a critical illness or physical injury. Sick Leave granted under the Critical Illness Protocol is as follows:

  - 183 days on full pay in a rolling year period

  - followed by 182 days on half pay subject to a maximum of 365 days in a rolling four year period.

  Temporary Rehabilitation Remuneration (TRR) may be payable to eligible employees, if there is a realistic prospect of a return to work. The following limits apply for the payment of TRR:

  - Ordinary sick leave: 547 days on TRR in a rolling 4 year period

  - Critical Illness Provisions: 365 days on TRR in a rolling 4 year period with a provision to extend for a further 2 years.

  The below table shows the number of staff in my Department on sick leave between March and September, by month, in 2019 and to date 2020. Also shown is the number of sick days accounted for my Department over the period:

  Number of Staff on Sick Leave by month, March to September 2019 and to date 2020

Month Sick Leave 2019Staff Number Sick Leave 2020Staff Number
March 20 17
April 16 4
May 24 7
June 25 9
July 17 6
Aug 12 6
Sept 15 11
Total Sick Days - March to Sept 2019 Total Sick Days - March to Sept 2020
746 510


Last Updated: 07/04/2021 15:30:16 First Page Previous Page Page of 120 Next Page Last Page