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

Dolan, Aisling, Dillon, Alan , Hoey, Annie, Ward, Barry, Leddin, Brian, Berry, Cathal , Crowe, Cathal, O'Sullivan, Christopher, O'Callaghan, Cian, Kerrane, Claire, Devlin, Cormac, O'Rourke, Darren, Smith, Duncan, Flynn, Eileen, McCallion , Elisha, Currie, Emer, Higgins, Emer, McGreehan, Erin, Duffy, Francis Noel, Ahearn, Garret, Gannon, Gary, Cairns, Holly, O'Connor, James, Carroll MacNeill, Jennifer, Whitmore, Jennifer , Flaherty, Joe , Cummins, John, McGahon , John, Guirke, Johnny , Mythen, Johnny, Boylan, Lynn, Farrell, Mairéad , Noonan, Malcolm, Ó Cathasaigh, Marc, Sherlock, Marie, Wall, Mark, Browne, Martin, Fitzpatrick, Mary, Seery Kearney, Mary, Carthy, Matt, Shanahan, Matt, Carrigy, Micheál, Hourigan, Neasa, Foley, Norma, Crowe, Ollie, Smyth, Ossian, Daly, Pa, Ryan, Patricia , Costello, Patrick, Donnelly, Paul, O'Reilly, Pauline, Tully, Pauline , McAuliffe, Paul , Cronin, Réada, Moynihan, Rebecca, O'Donoghue, Richard, O'Gorman, Roderic, Garvey, Róisín, Ó Murchú, Ruairí, Keogan, Sharon, Clarke, Sorca, Matthews, Steven , Gould, Thomas, Murphy, Verona, Martin, Vincent P., Wynne, Violet-Anne

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Financial Resolution No. 2: Excise - Mineral Oil Tax: Motion

I move:



    (1)THAT for the purposes of the tax charged by virtue of section 95 of the Finance Act 1999 (No. 2 of 1999), that Act be amended, with effect as on and from 14 October 2020—More Button

    Financial Resolution No. 2 provides for an increase in the carbon charge component of mineral oil tax on petrol and auto diesel with effect from midnight tonight. The increase amounts to €7.50 per...More Button

    Financial Resolution No. 2: Excise - Mineral Oil Tax: Motion (Continued)

    I thank the Deputies who contributed. I agree with Deputy Howlin, in that supporting the implementation of the carbon tax is the acid test of our seriousness as a country in tackling climate chang...More Button

    It will finance a range of important and targeted social protection interventions,-----More Button

    -----some of which are particularly relevant to my Department in the context of increases in the qualified child payment, those being, €2 per week for children under 12 years of age and €5 per week...More Button

    It will lead to a €5 increase in the living alone allowance and a €3.50 per week increase in the fuel allowance. Those are the social welfare measures that will be funded as a result of this measu...More Button

    A number of Deputies raised the issue of rural Ireland. It is important to note that €20 million of the revenue will be used to pilot environmental programmes in agriculture, which is a recognit...More Button

    Is the Leas-Cheann Comhairle indicating that I must conclude?More Button

    The overall impact of this measure has to be seen in the context of a range of programme for Government commitments, some of which are being financed today, for example, the increased investment in...More Button

    Financial Resolution No. 3 - Value Added Tax: Motion

    I move:More Button

    Financial Resolution No. 4 - Corporation Tax: Motion

    I move:More Button

    Financial Resolution No. 4 - Corporation Tax: Motion (Continued)

    I will try to address some of the issues raised by Deputies. Following on from what the Tánaiste has said, these measures are in the context of wider reviews of corporate tax regimes and the wider...More Button

    In that context, Revenue officials here conducted an informal review of the publicly-available information and data concerning tax bases in different jurisdictions, and examining, in particular, ...More Button

    The Minister is moving to address that situation through this resolution and to ensure that Ireland's IP allowances are consistent with international best practice. As a result, section 288 of t...More Button

    Deputy Paul Murphy asked if this will lead to a significant increase in revenue. It is not expected that there will be, given the current profile of claims demonstrated by Revenue data. The Rev...More Button

    Departmental Funding

    Was asked: the status of the need for increased funding for the National Youth Council of Ireland in view of the mental health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    The allocations under Budget 2021 are being considered by Government in the context of the annual Estimates process for 2021. As this process is ongoing, the Deputy will appreciate that it would no...More Button

    While I recognise and acknowledge that youth sector funding saw deep cuts during the preceding decade, in recent years, funding for the provision of youth services has increased on an annual basi...More Button

    It is now more critical than ever that our young people are supported as they experience the social, economic, physical and mental health impacts of the pandemic. In recognition of the vital role...More Button

    I am committed to supporting this important sector, which has enormous value both to the many young people involved and from a broader social and economic viewpoint.More Button

    Youth Work Supports

    Was asked: if an additional €4.7 million in funding for youth work services in 2021 will be provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    The allocations under Budget 2021 are being considered by Government in the context of the annual Estimates process for 2021. As this process is ongoing, the Deputy will appreciate that it would no...More Button

    While I recognise and acknowledge that youth sector funding saw deep cuts during the preceding decade, in recent years, funding for the provision of youth services has increased on an annual basi...More Button

    It is now more critical than ever that our young people are supported as they experience the social, economic, physical and mental health impacts of the pandemic. In recognition of the vital role...More Button

    I am committed to supporting this important sector, which has enormous value both to the many young people involved and from a broader social and economic viewpoint.More Button

    School Attendance

    Was asked: his plans to address school absences in view of the results of the annual attendance report for the 2017 to 2018 school year; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    As the Deputy may be aware, Tusla Education Support Services (TESS) is responsible for addressing issues in relation to participation, retention and attendance in schools.More Button

    Educational Welfare Officers (EWOs) work with young people and their families who are experiencing difficulty with school attendance. The main priority of their work is around the welfare of chil...More Button

    The 2017/2018 Annual Attendance Report indicates that non-attendance rates in school remain broadly stable over the past five academic years from 2013/2014 to 2017/2018. There was a slight increa...More Button

    All schools have a School Attendance Strategy in place and attendance is a central theme of DEIS planning with all DEIS schools required to set targets for improved school attendance. Non-attend...More Button

    For the first time in 2017/2018 schools were asked to indicate if absences were explained or unexplained and this indicated that over 60% of absences in primary schools were explained compared to...More Button

    In November 2019, TESS rolled out a very successful campaign to promote positive school attendance called “Every School Day Counts” and over 2,000 schools ran initiatives in their schools to prom...More Button

    As the Deputy will be aware, An Taoiseach announced, as part of his speech on the formation of Government on Saturday 27 June, that “Educational welfare functions will be returned to the Departme...More Button

    Was asked: the truancy rate for children with a disability at primary and post-primary level; the engagement by school attendance officers with schools and parents in such instances; and if he will make a sta...More Button

    The Tusla Education Support Service (TESS) operates under the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000 which emphasises the promotion of school attendance, participation and retention. More Button

    TESS operates a referral based system. Under Section 22 of the Education (Welfare), Act 2000 each school is obliged to have a statement of strategies to encourage regular attendance among all stu...More Button

    TESS has advised my Department that it does not record the attendance rate for individual cohorts of students including children with a disability at primary or post primary level.More Button

    Children in Care

    Was asked: the number of children in the care of Tusla in residential placements in the United Kingdom; the number on short term or specialist placements; the number on long term placements; the implications ...More Button

    The Deputy is referring to an operational matter for Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. I have therefore referred the matter to Tusla, and asked that Tula respond directly to the Deputy.More Button

    Was asked: the number of children in the care of Tusla in foster placements in the United Kingdom; the number on short term or specialist placements; the number on long term placements; the implications of Br...More Button

    The Matrimonial and Parental Judgments: jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement (Brussels IIa) Regulation is the legal mechanism in relation to children in the care of Tusla, the Child and Fami...More Button

    Was asked: the number of children aged under 12 and aged under 18 resident here by Tusla LHO area in tabular form.More Button

    The Deputy is referring to an operational matter for Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. I have therefore referred the matter to Tusla, and asked that Tula respond directly to the Deputy.More Button

    Mother and Baby Homes Inquiries

    Was asked: if he will consider setting up hubs at mother and baby home sites or nearby so that both the history can be preserved and that records could be accessed on a regional basis.More Button

    The Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes is due to submit its final report by 30th October 2020. The important work of this Commission will undoubtedly help us to acknowledge and...More Button

    Memorialisation was one of the key issues examined by the Collaborative Forum of former residents of Mother and Baby Homes and related institutions which was set up by my predecessor. My Departme...More Button

    The Commission's final report will assist to inform deliberations on the development of local and national memorialisation measures. I am committed to facilitating further engagement with former ...More Button

    Childcare Services

    Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to reports from parents that some crèches are no longer accepting the national childcare scheme (details supplied); the percentage of crèches availing of the scheme;...More Button

    At present, there are 2,874 childcare providers participating in the National Childcare Scheme. In total, there are 4,373 providers participating in at least one programme funded by my Department. ...More Button

    Was asked: the reason parents are required to keep their child’s full attendance up in a crèche or risk funding being cut in view of the fact that County Dublin is in level 3 restrictions and there is a stron...More Button

    My Department provides a number of funding schemes which provide help to parents and guardians with childcare fees, including the NCS, CCSP and TEC. Under these schemes parents pay a reduced fee, ...More Button

    Was asked: the capital supports available to private childcare providers that need assistance in developing premises for early childhood education; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    My Department operates an annual capital funding programme, under which early learning and care and school-age childcare service providers are invited to apply for capital funding to enable them t...More Button

    Was asked: the reason qualified and experienced childcare providers that run their businesses from home are prohibited from registering with Tusla preventing them from accessing the national childcare scheme;...More Button

    Childcare providers who operate from their homes are required to register with Tusla and are thereby able to take part in the National Childcare Scheme if they care for four or more preschool child...More Button

    Was asked: the funding available to preschools for developing and maintaining premises; the funding opportunities that can be availed of; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    My Department operates an annual capital funding programme, under which early learning and care and school-age childcare service providers are invited to apply for capital funding to enable them to...More Button

    National Childcare Scheme

    Was asked: if a person (details supplied) will be entitled to part funding to allow them avail of the national childcare scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    The National Childcare Scheme incorporates two kinds of subsidy towards the cost of quality of childcare. More Button

    The universal subsidy is available to all parents of children aged between 24 weeks and 36 months (or until the child qualifies for the Early Childhood Care and Education programme if later). The...More Button

    For income-assessed awards, the highest levels of subsidy will go to families at or below the minimum reckonable income threshold of €26,000, with the level of subsidy tapering down smoothly as i...More Button

    Parents with a net income threshold of more than €60,000 per annum do not qualify for an income-assessed award under the National Childcare Scheme. However, they may be eligible for a universal s...More Button

    If the individual concerned is unhappy with the award, it is open to them to appeal to the scheme administrator through the applicants online portal at ncs.gov.ieMore Button

    Was asked: if allowance has been made for an increase in the income thresholds for the national childcare scheme; and the thresholds of proposed increases.More Button

    Allowance has been made within the design of the National Childcare Scheme for potential changes to be made to the income thresholds. The Scheme has been designed to be flexible, with income thresh...More Button

    Currently, for income-assessed awards under the Scheme, the highest levels of subsidy will go to families at or below the minimum reckonable income threshold of €26,000, with the level of subsidy...More Button

    The Scheme also offers a universal subsidy which is unrelated to parental income. The universal subsidy is available to all parents of children aged between 24 weeks and 36 months (or until the c...More Button

    Youth Services

    Was asked: if he will increase investment in youth services including services such as an organisation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    The allocations under Budget 2021 are being considered by Government in the context of the annual Estimates process for 2021. As this process is ongoing, the Deputy will appreciate that it would no...More Button

    While I recognise and acknowledge that youth sector funding saw deep cuts during the preceding decade, in recent years, funding for the provision of youth services has increased on an annual basi...More Button

    It is now more critical than ever that our young people are supported as they experience the social, economic, physical and mental health impacts of the pandemic. In recognition of the vital role...More Button

    I am committed to supporting this important sector, which has enormous value both to the many young people involved and from a broader social and economic viewpoint.More Button

    Victim Support Services

    Was asked: his plans to expand the counselling services and supports available for victims of sexual abuse following court proceedings; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

    Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, has statutory responsibility for the care and protection of victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence (DSGBV). In 2020, I am providing core funding o...More Button

    Tusla provides annual funding to 16 rape crisis centres nationwide. Services provided by these centres include specialist counselling for individuals seeking assistance in coming to terms with th...More Button

    Barnahus is a child-friendly, interdisciplinary and multiagency model of service that brings child protection, policing, medical, therapeutic and forensic services together to provide services fo...More Button

    In the Barnahus model, health services, including mental health services and treatment for victims of sexual abuse, are provided by professionals with specialised training and expertise. These pr...More Button

    It should be noted that overall responsibility for mental health services lies with the Department of Health. The Health Service Executive (HSE) operates the National Counselling Service (NCS), a...More Button

    The O'Malley Report, which was recently published by the Department of Justice, reviewed protections for vulnerable witnesses in the investigation and prosecution of sexual offences. The Departme...More Button

    Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

    Was asked: the provisions in place for childcare facilities with staffing difficulties due to Covid-19.More Button

    I acknowledge that many early learning and care and school-age childcare services are reporting staffing and recruitment difficulties, with increased pressures as a result of Covid-19. There is no ...More Button

    Early Childhood Care and Education

    Was asked: the status of ECCE deposits and the mechanism of refunds.More Button

    Childcare services providing the ECCE programme may charge a refundable booking deposit to hold an ECCE place for a child. The maximum deposit a provider may charge is equivalent to four weeks’ ECC...More Button

    In circumstances where a service is holding a legacy deposit for a child who has been attending the service prior to their commencement on the ECCE programme, and where the service has not charge...More Button

    My Department funds a national network of County Childcare Committees (CCCs) who provide support and advice to parents and childcare providers. Any parents who have concerns regarding ECCE depos...More Button