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Doherty, Regina

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Household Benefits Scheme

Was asked: if she will consider reinstating the telephone allowance as part of the household benefit package in budget 2018 (details supplied).More Button

The savings arising from the initial reduction and subsequent discontinuance of the telephone allowance meant that my Department was able to retain the other valuable elements of the household bene...More Button

The cost of the telephone allowance scheme had risen significantly each year, as the number of eligible customers grew. At the end of September 2013 there were almost 396,000 receiving the telep...More Button

The Government is keenly aware of the impact of Budget decisions on the Department’s clients, and strives to ensure that the money available is targeted in the most effective way. In Budget 2016...More Button

In Budget 2017, there was a further increase in the rate of State pensions by €5, which has increased the maximum personal rate of the non-contributory pension to €227, and of the maximum rate of...More Button

Therefore, over the past two Budgets, the maximum weekly rate for State Pensions has increased by €8 per week, along with pro-rata increases for Increases for Qualified Adults. The value of thes...More Button

The Department of the Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government has responsibility for the Seniors Alert Scheme which provides grant support for the supply of equipment such as personal a...More Button

Any decision to restore the telephone allowance would have to be considered in the context of overall budgetary negotiations. In the previous two Budgets, the Government has concentrated resourc...More Button

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.More Button

Ministerial Responsibilities

Was asked: the number of Ministers of State attached to her Department; the responsibilities of each; if designated powers have been signed by her and assigned to the relevant Ministers of State; the date on ...More Button

The Government’s authority to delegate powers and duties to Ministers of State is contained in section 2 of the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1977.

  On 14 J...More Button

Community Employment Schemes Data

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 695 of 20 September 2017, if there have been cases of persons participating in courses that are NFQ level 7 or higher as part of their individual learning plan...More Button

Training on Community Employment (CE) is based on the personal and occupational needs of each individual and is identified through the tailored Individual Learning Plan (ILP), agreed between the CE...More Button

Was asked: the number of active participants on community employment schemes.More Button

Community Employment (CE) schemes provide part-time temporary work in local communities, including opportunities for training and development as a stepping-stone back to employment, for people in r...More Button

Was asked: the number of community employment schemes that are engaged in crèche and after school services.More Button

   My Department introduced a new Community Employment (CE) childcare strand in 2013 under which there is a dedicated childcare training programme leading to a major award at ...More Button

Gender Recognition

Was asked: the composition and terms of reference for the review group of the Gender Recognition Act 2015; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Section 7 of the Gender Recognition Act 2015 provides for a review of the Act to commence within 2 years of enactment of the legislation.

  My Department is working on this and I...More Button

Rural Social Scheme Eligibility

Was asked: the new qualifying criteria for the rural social scheme; if she will honour the commitment made to participants that where on the rural social scheme before these changes were implemented that they...More Button

Was asked: the reason participants of the rural social scheme in County Kerry are being called for review; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 191 and 192 together.More Button

The rural social scheme (RSS) provides opportunities for farmers and fishermen/women who are currently in receipt of specified social welfare payments to work to provide certain services of benef...More Button

Since 1 February 2017, all participants commencing on the RSS have to be over 25 years of age and a 6 year overall participation limit on the work scheme also applies. The new measure ensures th...More Button

To be eligible to participate on the RSS, an individual must satisfy the qualifying criteria for the scheme. This includes having an entitlement to one of the qualifying social welfare payments ...More Button

This Department has a strong governance ethos in relation to all funding provided for the administration of its schemes and programmes. It endeavours at all times to ensure that only eligible cu...More Button

Participants on the RSS are given an annual contract if they continue to satisfy the conditions of the scheme. In the event that any of the conditions pertaining to the scheme are not satisfied,...More Button

The control of RSS is aligned with the aims to reduce fraud and minimise risks to public funds on an ongoing basis. Any change in a participants/household circumstances should be notified to the...More Button

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.More Button

Fuel Allowance Eligibility

Was asked: if she will review the case of a person (details supplied) in view of the fact that they qualify.More Button

Fuel allowance is a means tested payment to assist householders on long-term social welfare payments who are unable to provide for their own heating needs. It is not intended to meet those costs i...More Button

Eligibility for fuel allowance is subject to a household means test and other qualifying conditions, such as household composition. With regard to means, a person may have a combined household i...More Button

In addition to their state pension (contributory), the person concerned is in receipt of a private pension which brings them over the permissible weekly income limit. On that basis, their applic...More Button

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.More Button

Fuel Allowance Applications

Was asked: the status of a fuel allowance application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The fuel allowance is payable to persons who receive certain qualifying social welfare payments. Carer's allowance is not a qualifying payment.

  However, carers may qualify for...More Button

JobPath Programme

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the fact that a company (details supplied) contracted by her Department to provide JobPath services is demanding that users register with a London-based company. More Button

Was asked: if she has satisfied herself that no data protection concerns arise from the demand by a company (details supplied) contracted by her department to provide JobPath services that users register with...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 197 and 198 together.More Button

Ireland’s Public Employment Service (PES) is managed by my Department and delivered directly by its own Intreo service as well as by contracted private providers i.e. companies delivering the Loc...More Button

The purpose of sharing information is to assist in the development of tailored plans for individual jobseekers in order to support them back into paid employment. More Button

JobPath providers may use jobseekers’ data only for the purposes of delivering employment services for the Department. Both companies undertake regular independent audits of their data processes...More Button

Employees of Seetec, and their subcontractors, are subject to the same data protection laws as departmental staff.More Button

JobPath providers are contractually required to register with the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner. Data protection legislation requires that personal data shall be kept only for one o...More Button

Abintegro is a job-seeking aid that has various tools and features, such as a library of video tutorials, a CV builder, a cover letter building tool, advice on completing job applications and has...More Button

Defined Benefit Pension Schemes

Was asked: the reason persons (details supplied) were not included in the settlement which was reached under a European Court of Appeal ruling approximately two years ago; and if she will make a statement on ...More Button

The mediated agreement for former Waterford Crystal workers, covers members of the Waterford Crystal Limited Contributory Pension Plan for Staff and the Waterford Crystal Limited Contributory Pensi...More Button

(a) a tax-free once-off lump sum of €1,200 for every year of pension scheme service (not company service), not exceeding 40 years, plusMore Button

(b) payment of moneys in respect of pension scheme service which is payable from the normal retirement date of the scheme members (on a fortnightly basis). More Button

The terms of the mediated settlement are specifically in respect of a particular group of scheme members whose pension benefits were significantly and detrimentally affected by the wind-up of the...More Button

Former workers who left the service of Waterford Crystal in the early 1990s received their full pension entitlements in relation to pre-1991 service under the schemes at that point. In line with...More Button

I understand that the persons referred to by the Deputy left the service of Waterford Crystal in 1986 and in the early 1990s and received a full refund of their pension contributions under the sc...More Button

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy..More Button

Social Welfare Benefits Expenditure

Was asked: the cost of increasing all welfare and pension payments for every 1% increase.More Button

The cost of increasing all weekly rates of payment by 1% is estimated to be just over €145 million in 2018 and a full year. The cost includes proportionate increases for qualified adults.

More Button

Labour Activation Programmes

Was asked: the position regarding the case of a person (details supplied); her views on whether this is a sensible approach to helping persons back into the workforce; and the options available to this person...More Button

The person concerned is in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance and approved for participation on a part-time Springboard course. One of the conditions for jobseekers pursuing part-time educational cou...More Button

I am advised that the person concerned has engaged with JobPath and agreed his Personal Progression Plan on 20 September 2017. He will have access to a personal adviser who will assist and suppo...More Button

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy..More Button

Rent Supplement Scheme Data

Was asked: the number of persons at the end of each month that were in receipt of rent supplement in each of the years 2014 to 2016 and to date in 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The rent supplement scheme plays a vital role in housing families and individuals, with the scheme currently supporting approximately 38,600 tenants for which the Government has provided €253 milli...More Button