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Burton, Joan

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Redundancy Payments

Was asked: the liability the Exchequer has for redundancy payments at a company (details supplied) in the event of redundancies being made prior to the sale of the business; and if she will make a statement o...More Button

It is the responsibility of the employer to pay statutory redundancy to all its eligible employees. Where an employer can prove to the satisfaction of the Department that he/she is unable to make ...More Button

I am advised that the company referred to by the Deputy is the subject of a court-appointed Examinership process under the supervision of the High Court. The number of redundancies, if any that ...More Button

Employment Support Services

Was asked: the position regarding employment in respect of a person (details supplied). More Button

The Department of Social Protection is committed to supporting people with disabilities to participate more fully in society and become more self-sufficient by providing supports that address barri...More Button

Was asked: if she will provide in tabular form for 2013 and 2014 information regarding jobs clubs funded by her Department (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Department contracts for the provision of job clubs with local development companies and community organisations, the details of which are set out in the tabular statement hereunder.

...More Button

Social Welfare Appeals Status

Was asked: if an appeal for invalidity pension will be expedited in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was referred to an Appeals Officer on 20 March 2014, who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on ...More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to soci...More Button

Was asked: if she will provide an update on a social welfare appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) lodged with the appeals office in D’Olier House in respect of an illness benefit claim which was r...More Button

Payment of illness benefit, to the person concerned, was disallowed by a Deciding Officer following an examination by a Medical Assessor of the Department who expressed the opinion that she was cap...More Button

Was asked: the reason the file of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo has not yet been forwarded to the social welfare appeals office despite the fact that an appeal was registered on 10 December 2013;...More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 10th December 2013. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process t...More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to s...More Button

Social Welfare Code

Was asked: in view of the recent coverage whereby a family was identified as entitled to qualify for in excess of €70,000 per annum in social welfare entitlements, her plans to review the schemes.More Button

The maximum amount of social welfare paid to any family depends on the composition of that family and the type of welfare support appropriate to that family. In this regard, it is self-evident that...More Button

In some cases, families receive larger volumes of supplementary payments and therefore have a higher level of welfare income. This is usually because one or more family members require caring or...More Button

It should be noted that, as regards people of working age receiving welfare payments, the vast majority of those on the Live Register receive only a single personal weekly payment of €188 or less...More Button

In a small percentage of cases where a disincentive to work does exist, I am overseeing extensive reforms to remove such disincentives and assist people back to work and towards financial indepen...More Button

In addition, the Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare is currently progressing its final module of work on the issue of working age income supports and the interaction of the tax and social w...More Button

Social Welfare Benefits Eligibility

Was asked: the advice she would offer in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 12.More Button

The Department has noted the medical circumstances in the case mentioned. The manager of the Mid Leinster Rents Unit will contact the Deputy directly and the client or their agents, to discuss the...More Button

Carer's Allowance Appeals

Was asked: the progress to date in the determination of an appeal for carer's allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Carer’s allowance was stopped on 26 February 2014 in respect of the person in question as, following a review, it was decided that the medical criteria were no longer satisfied. The person in quest...More Button

Was asked: the progress to date in determination of a review of an application for carer's allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I confirm that the Department received an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question on the 15th May 2013. The person in question was refused carer’s allowance on the 1st of July...More Button

I am informed that the Social Welfare Appeals Office has asked for the file to be returned to that office on the 17th of February 2014. The Social Welfare Appeals Office will be in touch with the...More Button

Was asked: if she will allow an appeal of an application for carer's allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an appeal from the person concerned was registered on 13th   March 2014. In accordance with statutory requirements that Office...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding a carer's allowance appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 3 February 2014. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that ...More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to s...More Button

  Question No. 545 answered with Question No. 494.More Button

  Question No. 546 withdrawn.More Button

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive a decision on an appeal for carer's allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an appeal, by the person concerned, was registered on 6 February 2014. In accordance with the statutory requirements, the Appeals Office cont...More Button

When these have been received from the Department the case will be referred to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on documentary evidence presented or, if req...More Button

Community Services Programme

Was asked: if she will reverse the decision not to continue funding for community radio Youghal under the community services programme through Pobal (details supplied).More Button

The Community Services Programme (CSP) supports community businesses to deliver local services to their communities and to create employment opportunities for people from disadvantaged groups. The ...More Button

The CSP is designed on a social enterprise model and a core requirement of the programme is that contract holders generate non-public revenue from their operations e.g. by charging fees for servi...More Button

A re-contracting process for a number of the approved organisations took place in 2013, including the project referred to by the Deputy. This involved the submission of business plans which were...More Button

Community Employment Schemes Places

Was asked: if she will reverse the cut that sees the loss of a community employment supervisor in the Community LYNKS drugs project, Inchicore, Dublin; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Officials from the Department met with representatives from the Community Lynks Special Drugs CE Scheme on 27 February last. I understand that there was a temporary supervisory post due for complet...More Button

In the meeting with the Community Lynks representatives, it was confirmed that there will be no change in the numbers of places on the scheme - 40 approved places. The scheme currently has 36 pa...More Button

CE schemes involved in the drug rehabilitation strand have a lower participant to supervisor ratio due to the different nature of the clients participating on those schemes. The standard ratio is...More Button

Invalidity Pension Appeals

Was asked: the status of the appeal against the refusal of invalidity pension in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo; if same will be expedited; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 29 October 2013. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that ...More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to s...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding an appeal for invalidity pension in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo; if the invalidity pension section of her Department notified the claimant that the ...More Button

I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an Appeals Officer, having fully considered all of the available evidence, has decided to allow the appeal of the person concerned by way of a...More Button

  Question No. 517 withdrawn.More Button

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Galway will receive a decision on their appeal for invalidity pension; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 13th January 2014. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process ...More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to s...More Button

  Question No. 530 withdrawn.More Button

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive a decision on their invalidity pension appeal; the reason for the delay; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 9 January 2014. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that ...More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to s...More Button

  Question No. 549 withdrawn.More Button

Rent Supplement Scheme Administration

Was asked: if rent allowance will be extended to participants in back to work enterprises who are in the early stages of their businesses and in receipt of low incomes; and if she will make a statement on the...More Button

The purpose of rent supplement is to provide short-term support to eligible people living in private rented accommodation, whose means are insufficient to meet their accommodation costs and who do ...More Button

A person who is in receipt of rent supplement who commences the back to work enterprise allowance may retain entitlement to rent supplement, subject to the means test, if they are deemed as eligi...More Button

A new applicant for rent supplement who is participating on the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance scheme would not qualify for rent supplement. The Department has no plans to change the condition...More Button

Work Placement Programmes

Was asked: the number of persons in Counties Westmeath and Longford who have so far participated in the Gateway local authority work placement scheme; if there are plans to expand the number of Gateway positi...More Button

Gateway has a target to provide for 3,000 placements focusing on those who have been unemployed for 24 months or more.

  The initial placement of participants on Gateway has com...More Button

Was asked: if a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will be re-called for an interview for gateway; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Gateway is a work placement initiative which aims to improve the employability and maintain the work readiness of those who have been unemployed for 24 months or more. Participants are selected by ...More Button

Responsibility for delivery of Gateway rests with the individual county and/or city councils. I understand that Mayo County Council have agreed to re-arrange an interview with the individual conc...More Button

Was asked: if persons offered a placement on the gateway scheme who are under 26 years of age will be brought up to a full rate of jobseeker’s allowance; or if the reported €20 per week in additional income f...More Button

Was asked: if persons offered a placement on the gateway scheme who are in receipt of a partial jobseeker’s allowance payment will be brought up to a full rate of jobseeker’s allowance; or if the reported €20...More Button

Was asked: if persons signing for credited contributions will be allowed to participate in the gateway scheme. More Button

Was asked: if additional payments to participants in the gateway scheme will be made by her Department or the participating local authority. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 502 to 505, inclusive, together.More Button

Gateway is a work placement initiative which aims to improve the employability and maintain the work readiness of those who have been unemployed for 24 months or more. Similar to Tús, participant...More Button

Random selection for participation on Gateway is restricted to those who are currently on the live register and in receipt of a jobseeker’s allowance. Those who are signing for credits are not e...More Button

The current minimum rate of payment on Gateway and other DSP work placement programmes is €208 per week. In cases where the individual’s original rate of jobseeker’s payment is under €188 per we...More Button

Was asked: if persons with a disability will be eligible to participate in the new Government initiative gateway scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The purpose of Gateway is to focus on those people who are long-term unemployed. For this reason, eligibility is at present confined to those on the Live Register for 24 months and in receipt of jo...More Button

Persons in receipt of disability payments are not, therefore, eligible for participation on Gateway. I currently have no plans to extend the qualifying criteria beyond that identified above.More Button

Departmental Reports

Was asked: the number of external or internal policy reports currently that have been handed to her but not yet published; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: when she will publish reports currently in her possession that have not been published to date; if she will outline in tabular form the reports involved; and if she will make a statement on the mat...More Button

I propose to answer Questions Nos. 487 and 488 together.

  I have no policy reports that are awaiting publication.More Button

Domiciliary Care Allowance Appeals

Was asked: when a domiciliary care allowance application will be finalised in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that in light of representations and additional supporting evidence submitted by the Deputy the Appeals Officer has decided that the appeal in this...More Button

Question No. 490 withdrawn.More Button

Was asked: when a domiciliary care allowance application will be finalised in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that in light of additional information submitted, the Appeals Officer has decided to set aside her previous decision to disallow the appeal of the...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding a domiciliary care allowance appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the position regarding a domiciliary care allowance appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to answer Questions Nos. 494 and 545 together. More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 06 January 2014. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process tha...More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to s...More Button

Social Welfare Benefits

Was asked: if she will outline Ireland's position on taking unemployment benefits to another EU country, currently set at three months; if Ireland supports a European Commission proposal to extend this up to ...More Button

Social welfare entitlements for people moving around the EU to live or work are regulated by EU regulations on the coordination of social insurance systems. Amongst other things, these regulations ...More Button

As part of a series of measures to encourage and facilitate free movement of EU citizens across the Union, the EU Commission has proposed that the export period should be standardised at six mont...More Button

It is important that unemployed people are assisted in their efforts to secure employment and in this regard the facility to export benefits is an important support for those who wish to look for...More Button

Disability Allowance Appeals

Was asked: when a decision will issue on a disability allowance appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an oral hearing of the appeal of the person concerned took place on 13 February 2014 and that the Appeals Officer is now considering the appea...More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to soc...More Button

Was asked: if she will review eligibility for disability allowance in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare in view of medical circumstances; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The person concerned was disallowed disability allowance on 4 December 2012 on the grounds that his weekly means exceeded the statutory limit allowable for receipt of disability allowance. The pers...More Button

If the person’s circumstances have changed it is open to him to make a new application for disability allowance.More Button

Was asked: if she will expedite a disability allowance appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 21 January 2014. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that ...More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to s...More Button

  Question No. 540 answered with Question No. 523.More Button

  Question No. 541 withdrawn.More Button

Was asked: if a decision has been made on the review of a disability allowance application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 11 March 2014. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that th...More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to s...More Button

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Roscommon will receive a decision on their application for disability allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an oral hearing of the appeal of the person concerned was scheduled for 24 March 2014. The person concerned will be notified of the Appeals O...More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to s...More Button

Was asked: if the disability allowance appeal of a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath has been received by the appeals office; and when a decision will be reached on the appeal.More Button

I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an Appeals Officer, having fully considered all of the available evidence, decided to disallow the appeal of the person concerned by way of a ...More Button

Community Development Projects

Was asked: if she will provide an annual breakdown, in tabular form, of the money invested in the community sector in County Donegal yearly since 2008. More Button

I set out in the following table a breakdown of monies allocated in employment programmes by the Department in Co. Donegal from 2008 to 2013.

More Button

Social Welfare Benefits Expenditure

Was asked: if she will provide an annual breakdown, in tabular form, of the amount spent on social welfare payments in County Donegal yearly since 2008. More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is not available in my Department. Statistics in respect of expenditure are collated annually in respect of all social welfare payments on a national basis o...More Button

Question No. 497 withdrawn.More Button

Departmental Programmes

Was asked: her plans for the introduction of a standard means test that would apply across all arms of Government to avoid the current situation whereby persons have to complete multiple means test forms depe...More Button

My Department operates a range of means tested schemes and these schemes, including the means testing elements, are administered through a network of local and central offices.More Button

In the case of means tested social assistance schemes, the vast majority of claimants are means tested only once. In a small number of cases, a second means test may be required if they apply fo...More Button

In 2010, DSP commenced work on a project to build an application to allow the capture and storage of means data for customers across 13 different means-tested schemes. The resulting application i...More Button

Now that the functionality for the relevant schemes to use the MAO is in place, roll-out of the application will be undertaken to the additional business and scheme areas involved. The overall e...More Button

A second project, the Means Information Sharing Service (MISS), will provide the capability to allow for the electronic sharing and re-use of means element data as stored by DSP within the MAO wi...More Button

  Question No. 500 withdrawn.More Button

Exceptional Needs Payment Eligibility

Was asked: if an allowance will be paid to a person in respect of the cost of medication if they were to lose their current medical card and who previously was covered by the long term chronic illness medical...More Button

Was asked: the number of applications made to community welfare officers for exceptional needs payments in February 2013 and February 2014 per county, respectively.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 501 and 515 together.

  Under the supplementary welfare allowance (SWA) scheme, the Department may make a single exceptional needs payment (ENP) ...More Button

Social Insurance Payments

Was asked: the number of persons aged under 26 years who are signing for credited contributions with her Department. More Button

Was asked: the number of persons aged over 60 years who are signing for credited contributions with her Department. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 506 and 507 together.More Button

Credited contributions (credits) are a feature of the contributory social insurance schemes. A credit is a pay related social insurance (PRSI) contribution awarded to an insured person under cert...More Button

I assume that the Deputy is referring to unemployment credits in his questions. Of the total of 37,312 current jobseeker credit only claims i.e. those not in receipt of a jobseeker’s payment, 35...More Button

Carer's Allowance Applications

Was asked: the progress to date in determination of an application for carer's allowance in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare who submitted further requested documentation in recent da...More Button

I confirm that the Department received an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question on the 14th January 2014. The application is with a deciding officer for a decision. Once pro...More Button

Child Care Services Provision

Was asked: if there are any further measures planned to support lone parents in getting access to affordable child care; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In Budget 2013, a joint initiative between the Department and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (D/CYA) was announced to provide subsidised after-school child care places for low-income ...More Button

Following Budget 2014 the Childcare Employment and Training Support (CETS) Programme was expanded from 1 January, 2014 to include Community Employment (CE) participants. There are 1,800 places av...More Button

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs has responsibility for the wider provision of childcare and any further childcare measures planned would be a matter for that Department.More Button

Departmental Meetings

Was asked: the number of times her Department received requests by Philanthropy Ireland to meet in 2011, 2012 and 2013; the number of times her Department met with Philanthropy Ireland in those years; and if ...More Button

I am informed by my Department that it has not received any requests from Philanthropy Ireland to meet in 2011, 2012 or 2013 and no meetings with Philanthropy Ireland were held in those years.More Button

Farm Assist Scheme Appeals

Was asked: the position regarding farm assist in respect of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an Appeals Officer, having fully considered all of the available evidence, has decided to allow the appeal of the person concerned by way of a...More Button

Community Welfare Services

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 401 of 25 February 2014, the number of home visits undertaken by community welfare officers each month since the restructuring of the community welfare service...More Button

As part of the Department’s overall process to provide a more streamlined and consistent service to the customer and to support the activation commitments under the Pathways to Work Programme and ...More Button

Overall, this is resulting in a rebalancing of resources across the Department’s range of activities including the relocation of some staff to main centres, primarily Intreo offices, which will p...More Button

In general, this means that the frequency of available public clinics has increased. Improved phone services have been put in place, allowing in many cases, for customer queries to be processed ...More Button

The Department does not maintain records of the number of home visits undertaken by staff in the CWS. However, in response to the recent severe weather conditions, I can confirm that Department o...More Button

  Question No. 515 answered with Question No. 501.More Button

JobsPlus Scheme

Was asked: the reason single mothers who want to work cannot work under the JobsPlus scheme (details supplied), as they are not considered unemployed until their child is of seven years of age and are thus th...More Button

JobsPlus is a pilot incentive which encourages and rewards employers who offer employment opportunities to the long term unemployed. It takes the form of a cash grant payable monthly in arrears to ...More Button

National Internship Scheme Eligibility

Was asked: the reason a recipient of a widow's pension would be excluded from taking part in the JobBridge scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

JobBridge, the National Internship Scheme has made significant progress since it came into operation on the 1st July 2011. As at 13th March 2014, 26,874 internship placements have commenced to dat...More Button

Youth Guarantee

Was asked: the progress of the implementation of the youth guarantee scheme; the amount pledged to this scheme; the number of participants who have taken part in this scheme to date; and if she will make a st...More Button

Implementation of the Youth Guarantee is a medium-term policy of the Irish Government. It is envisaged that the guarantee as it affects those aged under 18 years will be implemented within 2 years...More Button

Unemployment Data

Was asked: the number of under 25s who have been out of work for four months or more; the number of under 25s who are classified as underemployed; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The information requested by the Deputy in respect of the number of under 25s that have been out of work for four months or more is not collated by my Department. I am however informed that at the ...More Button

Departmental Staff Data

Was asked: the number of employment service officers and or advisers currently employed in her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Case officers employed by my Department deliver activation and case management services through Intreo centres and through the network of Departmental offices which are currently transitioning to a...More Button

The number of staff carrying out case officer duties is changing due, for example, to on-going retirements and staff movements. I will be in touch with the Deputy shortly with the number current...More Button

Was asked: if she will provide a breakdown of the staff grade of deciding officers in 2014 compared to 2012.More Button

All staff assigned to scheme areas in the Department of Social Protection are appointed by the Minister as Deciding Officers under section 299 of the Social Welfare (consolidation) Act 2005.More Button

Deciding Officer powers are not revoked on reassignment or promotion. Therefore, given the numbers involved a breakdown by grade is not readily available. The Department has requested the data ...More Button

Private Rented Accommodation Provision

Was asked: her views on the number of landlords who will not accept tenants in receipt of rent allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the provisions being put in place to deal with the rent allowance shortfall and the fact that many hard-pressed tenants are forced to make additional monthly top up payments to secure the rental pr...More Button

Was asked: the safeguards that are in place to ensure that landlords of rent allowance properties receive the rent allowance from their tenants; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the amount that was paid in rental supplement in Dublin 2, 4, 6 and 8 respectively in each year from 2007 to date in tabular form; the number of individual claims for each year in those areas; the ...More Button

Was asked: her plans to increase the rent supplement levels in the Dublin city area due to the increase in market rents and the difficulties persons are having in securing accommodation; and if she will make ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 523, 536, 540, 569 and 570 together.

  The purpose of rent supplement is to provide short-term support to eligible people living in private rente...More Button

Social Welfare Offices

Was asked: if she will provide an update on the roll out of the Intreo offices; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Intreo Project requires the acquisition and development of some new properties and the re-modelling and refurbishment of others. All of this also entails the re-accommodation of staff including...More Button

Notwithstanding the complexity of such a large property programme, the Intreo service is fully operational in forty four offices and the Department is working with the OPW towards a target of com...More Button

Social Welfare Benefits Data

Was asked: the number of persons who are benefiting from the back to work enterprise allowance scheme that have entered the taxi industry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the number of persons who have benefited from the back to work enterprise allowance scheme who entered the taxi industry as part thereof since she entered office; and if she will make a statement o...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 525 and 526 together.

  A breakdown by occupation, or the nature of the self-employment enterprise, of recipients of the back to work enterprise ...More Button

Was asked: the total number of recipients of working age on income supports and the total number of recipients of working age on employment supports, resident in the town of Loughrea, County Galway, for Janua...More Button

Information relating to a claimant’s address is not currently coded to the geographical location of the address. As such it is not possible to accurately report persons in receipt of social welfare...More Button

Social Insurance

Was asked: the current estimate of future liabilities her Department is facing in respect of the State pension contributory and State pension non contributory; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Section 10 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 requires my Department to commission an actuarial review of the position of the Social Insurance Fund (SIF) at 5-year intervals. The third A...More Button

Ministerial Staff

Was asked: the number of civil servants engaged in constituency work on her behalf; and the salaries, accommodation costs and expenses involved or associated with these duties. More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is set out in tablular format.

  The number of staff and costs involved are in line with Government policy in this area. There are no othe...More Button

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Was asked: if a grant will be awarded in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny.More Button

To qualify for Medical Appliance Benefit, a person aged 66 or over, must have paid a total of 260 contributions at Class A,E,H or P since first starting work, and either:

  - 39 ...More Button

Carer's Allowance Payments

Was asked: the position regarding carer's allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I confirm that the Department received an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question on the 30th September 2013. The employer of the person concerned confirmed that she is contra...More Button

 Question No. 536 answered with Question No. 523.More Button

 Question No. 537 withdrawn.More Button

Jobseeker's Allowance Eligibility

Was asked: her views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding social welfare payments to young persons.More Button

An unemployed person may qualify for jobseeker’s benefit or jobseeker’s allowance. Jobseeker’s benefit is based on a person’s social insurance record and jobseeker’s allowance is based on weekly me...More Button

To be eligible for jobseekers allowance, which may be payable in circumstances where a person resides with a parent or step-parent, an applicant must be over eighteen and under sixty-six years of...More Button

In the case of persons aged under 25 years of age, the means test for jobseeker’s allowance takes account of the value of any benefit and privilege enjoyed by a claimant as a result of residing w...More Button

There are currently no plans to alter these arrangements within the jobseeker’s allowance scheme. More Button

Fuel Allowance Payments

Was asked: his plans to put back in place a larger heating allowance for persons who are vulnerable, cold and in need of the assistance (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Some 410,000 customers will receive the fuel allowance of €20 per week for 26 weeks from October to April, at an estimated cost of €208 million in 2014. The allowance is intended as a contribution...More Button

The Department also pays an electricity or gas allowance as part of the household benefits package to 410,000 customers at an estimated cost of €230 million in 2014. It is possible to receive bot...More Button

Under the supplementary welfare allowance scheme, Departmental staff have some discretion in issuing exceptional needs payments to help meet an essential, once-off cost which customers are unabl...More Button

In addition, over 2,200 customers received a special heating supplement, paid to assist people with special heating needs because of ill health or infirmity. More Button

The best way to tackle fuel poverty in the long term, as noted in the Government’s Energy Affordability Strategy, is to improve the energy efficiency of the dwelling. The Better Energy Warmer ...More Button

Registration of Marriages

Was asked: the reason Irish citizens born in the Six Counties have to supply a birth certificate with an apostille stamp; if her attention has been drawn to the added cost and time required for this process, ...More Button

Section 46 of the Civil Registration Act 2004 provides for the notification of marriages. A couple who wish to marry must attend a registrar’s office and notify the registrar of their intention to ...More Button

The Department recognises that the requirement for an apostille stamp on a birth certificate for people born outside the State may result in added costs and extended turnaround times. However, th...More Button

EU Regulations

Was asked: in view of the fact that if there are alterations to existing aid by way of payments for the free travel scheme amounting to an increase of more than 20% from the original budget, and that it has g...More Button

Was asked: if she will clarify an issue in relation to contractual arrangements with binding obligations in breach of EU state aid rules (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if she will clarify obligations on Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus and certain compliance issues (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 553 to 555, inclusive, together.More Button

The intention of the free travel scheme is that it should not confer any real financial advantage on participating undertakings. Moreover, the scheme’s objectives are of a social character and t...More Button

It is the clear understanding of successive Irish Governments that the free travel scheme is compatible with Article 107 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). In this re...More Button

a) Undertakings participating in the free travel scheme have a clearly defined responsibility to provide free travel to beneficiaries of the scheme whereas non-participants have no such obligatio...More Button

b) Compensation under the scheme is calculated in advance on the basis of fares foregone at a reduced rate to take account of travel generated by the free travel scheme. The objective is that com...More Button

c) Those operators which participate in the scheme receive a payment significantly below the standard fare whereas those operators which do not participate in the scheme are free to charge the fu...More Button

As the free travel scheme is not intended to provide a profit to operators, payment under the scheme is not an “advantage” in State aids terms but merely compensation for the additional costs inc...More Button

In any event, the scheme has been in operation since 1967, before Ireland joined the European Communities in 1973. Therefore, even if the scheme did amount to State aid (which, of course, is not...More Button

The contractual arrangements in place with participating transport operators, including CIÉ companies, are on the basis of agreements set out in exchange of letters, rather than a formal contract...More Button

Last year a letter was issued to all transport operators participating in the free travel scheme prior to the launch of the Department’s public services card incorporating the free travel variant...More Button

1. Current Tax Clearance Certificate; More Button

2. A National/International Road Passenger Transport Operator’s Licence as issued by the Department of Transport;More Button

3. Regular service Licence as issued by the National Transport Authority for all bus routes in the Free Travel Scheme;More Button

4. PSV licences in respect of each of the buses on which they carry free travel pass holders;More Button

5. Motor insurance policies which indemnified the Minister for Social Protection against any claims, causes or actions arising out of any accident involving free travel pass holders while embarki...More Button

6. A Public Liability Insurance Certificate;More Button

7. Fares structure/s and timetables.More Button

Companies were reminded of their requirement to notify the Department of any change in the level of service which they provide, ensuring at least one month's prior written notification of their i...More Button

Disability Allowance Applications

Was asked: if she will provide details of the timeline pertaining to a disability allowance claim and review, in tabular form, in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo; the date on which an ap...More Button

The person concerned was awarded a reduced rate disability allowance (DA) with effect from 30 March 2011. Following a review of her continuing entitlement to DA on 28 November 2013 she was disallo...More Button

  Question No. 558 withdrawn.More Button

Departmental Correspondence

Was asked: if citizens' applications for welfare and pensions and their associated files are sent via e-mail or post, the processing times for all forms of applications to her Department; and the associated p...More Button

The Department administers over 70 schemes and services through a network of local and central offices throughout the country. In some instances customers call into their local office to submit a c...More Button

Social Welfare Appeals Delays

Was asked: if she will expedite a supplementary welfare allowance appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if she will expedite a jobseeker's allowance appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 560 and 561 together.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that the jobseeker’s allowance appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 12 February 2014. Her supplementary welfare allowa...More Button

  Question No. 562 withdrawn.More Button

Post Office Network

Was asked: the measures she is taking to support the use of post offices in connection with social protection payments; her future plans in this area; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I was very pleased to sign a multi-year contract with An Post for the delivery of over the counter cash services to welfare clients in December last year following an EU-wide procurement competitio...More Button

Last year approximately €9.5 billion was paid in cash to our clients at post offices. This accounted for 43.7 million transactions and cost the Department just under €75 million (including inter...More Button

Mindful of the scope, scale and impact of these payments, the Department undertook a root and branch examination of its payment processes, methods and approaches. This resulted in the preparatio...More Button

We are all aware of the clear trend towards electronic payments which are being adopted by consumers generally as a matter of choice. These behavioural choices are very apparent among the Depart...More Button

Departmental Contracts Data

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 304 of 11 February 2014, in relation to amounts and other details to do with external contracts and procurement and further to the answer she provided to Parli...More Button

I always endeavour to be helpful in relation to the information provided in answers to Parliamentary Questions and to ensure that the response addresses the specific question raised. I would point ...More Button

Programme for Government Implementation

Was asked: if she will provide an update in tabular form of the commitments in the programme for Government that relate to her Department; and the progress that has been made in the implementation of each com...More Button

The Programme for Government commits to implementing a fundamental programme of reform of the system of social protection. The scale of this reform is challenging and wide-reaching. I am committed ...More Button

  Question No. 566 withdrawn.More Button

Public Services Card Provision

Was asked: since the launch of the new public services card, the number that have been issued in total; the number that have been returned and replaced due to being faulty; and if she will make a statement on...More Button

Was asked: the person who has the contract for issuing and managing the recently launched public services card; if she is concerned at the high level of faulty cards; her plans to ensure a more robust system ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 567 and 568 together.More Button

The Public Services Card (PSC) has been introduced to enable individuals gain access to public services more efficiently and with a minimum of duplication of effort, while at the same time preser...More Button

Approx. 615,000 PSCs have been produced to date. These include c.126,000 Free Travel variants. PSCs are produced by a managed service provider, Biometric Card Services Limited, at a facility in ...More Button

To date, of the total number of PSCs issued, only 310 have been returned by customers as “not working”. However, 87 of these functioned correctly when subsequently tested by Card Management Sect...More Button

  Questions Nos. 569 and 570 answered with Question No. 523.More Button

  Question No. 571 withdrawn.More Button

Social Welfare Eligibility

Was asked: if a person who is separated, has two children aged nine and seven and is in receipt of €200 maintenance, working 19 hours per week and receiving €190, is entitled to a one-parent family payment ba...More Button

One parent family payment (OFP) is a social assistance payment for people who are parenting alone. The amount payable depends on an assessment of the parent’s weekly means. In assessing means, acc...More Button

In the assessment of maintenance, housing costs up to €95.23 per week are disregarded, with the balance assessed at 50%. As a result of this approach, a recipient will always retain at least hal...More Button

Semi-State Bodies Remuneration

Was asked: the salaries, including pensions and any other bonus-related additions, including company cars, of chief executive officers of commercial State bodies under the remit of her Department; and if she ...More Button

There are no commercial State bodies operating under the remit of the Department of Social Protection.More Button


 

 

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