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

Humphreys, Heather

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Registration of Deaths

Was asked: the legislation that outlines the time frame in which deaths must be reported; the current time frame; her plans to shorten same in view of the Covid-19 pandemic; and if she will make a statement o...More Button

Part 5 of the Civil Registration Act 2004, as amended, provides the legal framework for the registration of deaths. Currently, the obligation to register a death rests with the relatives of the de...More Button

Some four in every five deaths that are not referred to Coroners are registered within the three month timeframe. The manner and operation of the death registration process has been identified a...More Button

The working group is finalising proposals which, following public and stakeholder engagement, will form the basis for legislative changes to the Civil Registration Act to be considered by the Gov...More Button

I have been informed by the GRO that the proposals emerging from the Working Group will focus on reducing the current timeframe for death registration and on introducing new mechanisms for the ea...More Button

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

Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

Was asked: if a person can still claim the pandemic unemployment payment in cases in which they are on the pandemic unemployment payment and seeking to improve their future career prospects by enrolling in a ...More Button

Was asked: if those on the pandemic unemployment payment or similar will be deemed eligible for retraining grants that are ordinarily reserved for those on jobseeker’s allowance rather than have to lose out o...More Button

Was asked: if a person who commences a part-time Springboard course can still be in receipt of the pandemic unemployment payment.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 492, 504 and 505 together.

  My Department’s Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) provides income support for jobseekers and certain others in rece...More Button

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) will receive the correct rate of pandemic unemployment payment; when arrears will be issued in view of the fact they are at the lower rate and have provided all doc...More Button

The Pandemic Unemployment Payment in respect of the person concerned has now been re-rated to a rate of €250 per week, based on their 2019 self-employed returns. Arrears due from 26/06/2020 will is...More Button

Was asked: the number of persons in receipt of the various rates of pandemic unemployment payments, including the sectors in which the recipients previously worked; and if she will make a statement on the mat...More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the table.

  Table 1: PUP recipients by rate payable week ending 3rd October 2020

More Button

Was asked: the cost of paying all those in receipt of the pandemic unemployment payment a rate of €350 until the end of April 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The cost of Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) up to April 2021 will depend on the ongoing suppression of the Covid-19 virus.

  The Government has already decided to extend the...More Button

Was asked: the entitlement to the Covid-19 payment in the case a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

If a person is advised to medically self-isolate they can apply for Illness Benefit for COVID-19 absences.

  To receive the enhanced payment, a person must be:

 &nb...More Button

Was asked: the number of persons in County Wexford in receipt of the Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payment by age range (details supplied) in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the table below, and refers to recipients of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) for the week ending 03 October.

More Button

Was asked: when persons that had pandemic unemployment payment claims that were not paid will receive their backdated arrears; if she can provide a timeline for same; if this timeline will be communicated to ...More Button

Since the introduction of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment scheme in March, approximately 750,000 people have applied for payment and in some cases, they have done so on a number of occasions as t...More Button

During the month of March, my Department received and processed jobseeker claims equivalent in number to a three year claim-load. These applications were processed as quickly as possible, with al...More Button

My Department is keenly aware that many people are due some arrears and that every case will be different. In order to address an issue of this scale, the Department is currently developing an au...More Button

Given the complexity attached to the project, it will take some time yet to complete the necessary development work to review all cases and to determine to what extent, if any, arrears are due to...More Button

I hope that this clarifies matters for the Deputy.More Button

  Question No. 524 answered with Question No. 515.More Button

Was asked: the number of young persons under 25 years of age in receipt of the pandemic unemployment payment, by county in tabular form. More Button

Was asked: the number of young persons between 25 years and under 30 years of age in receipt of the pandemic unemployment payment by county in tabular form. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 533 and 534 together

 The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the table below, and refers to people in receipt of the Pandemic Unemploym...More Button

Was asked: the number of persons on the €203, €250 and €300 rates of payment per week of the pandemic unemployment payment in tabular form.More Button

Was asked: the number of young persons under 25 years of age on the €203, €250 and €300 rates of payment per week of the pandemic unemployment payment in tabular form. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 535 and 536 together.

  The requested information is presented in the table below and refers to the number of people in general, and those aged u...More Button

Was asked: if students can continue to claim the pandemic unemployment payment in circumstances in which they were in part-time employment prior to the pandemic, claimed the payment and are now due to return ...More Button

Under normal circumstances students are not eligible to receive unemployment payments. However the Pandemic Unemployment Payment scheme was made available as an emergency response to the unprecede...More Button

Was asked: the number of applicants accepted for payment of the pandemic unemployment payment in August 2020 and separately in September 2020; and the number of these who have been placed on each category of ...More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the tables following. The numbers refer to the gross inflow of people receiving the payment each week; that is, outflows from the payment have ...More Button

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Was asked: the supports that will be provided to assist persons that have to take time off work to self-isolate in cases in which a family member living in the same household awaits a Covid-19 test result; if...More Button

Under the Health (Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Act 2020 (No. 1), the Government, having regard to the manifest and grave risk to human life and p...More Button

Was asked: if provisions are being considered with regard to sole traders and the provision of redundancy to staff if they are to face closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic (details supplied).More Button

The Redundancy Payments Act 1967, as amended, provides for the making of payments by employers to employees in respect of redundancy. It is the employer’s responsibility to pay statutory redundancy...More Button

When such a redundancy payment is made from the Social Insurance Fund, a debt is raised against the employer. The Department is obliged to make every effort to recover the debt owed, in accordanc...More Button

In the case of sole traders, they do not have the protection of limited liability. In such instances the full liability remains with them or their estate. Since the start of the pandemic the Dep...More Button

The Department’s policy is kept under review but any change to the policy must ensure that employer debt is recovered in full wherever possible. More Button

Was asked: the average time from sole traders completing and submitting a form for the €1,000 grant to the local Intreo office to receipt of the funding.More Button

As announced in the July Stimulus package, the enterprise support grant was extended to assist eligible self-employed, including sole traders, who exit the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment or...More Button

Was asked: if there are plans to extend the qualifying criteria for the enterprise support grant to include persons in receipt of a State pension who are also working, in view of the fact that such persons we...More Button

As announced in the July Stimulus package, the enterprise support grant was extended to assist eligible self-employed individuals who exit the Pandemic Unemployment Payment or jobseekers schemes a...More Button

Supports are available to businesses from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, including a new Micro-Enterprise Assistance Fund which will help businesses with fewer than 10 emp...More Button

I trust that this clarifies the position.More Button

Was asked: further to a previous parliamentary question please provide the total amount of additional Covid-19 related Exchequer expenditure for 2021 for her Department; and the breakdown by line items of the...More Button

The 2021 estimates for Covid-19 related expenditure are being finalised as part of the 2021 estimates process and will be published on 2021 Budget Day.More Button

Fuel Allowance

Was asked: if a person (details supplied) will be considered for the fuel allowance on a temporary basis to allow the fuel allowance to be awarded to those that are just above the threshold and cocooning at h...More Button

The fuel allowance is a payment of €24.50 per week for 28 weeks (a total of €686 each year) from October to April, to an average of 352,000 low income households, at an estimated cost of €261.35 mi...More Button

My Department also pays an electricity or gas allowance under the Household Benefits scheme at an estimated cost of €194 million in 2020. This is paid at a rate of €35 per month, 12 months of th...More Button

The criteria for fuel allowance are framed in order to direct the limited resources available to my Department in as targeted a manner as possible. Therefore, to receive the fuel allowance a per...More Button

Fuel allowance can only be paid if the qualifying criteria are met and cannot be paid on a discretionary or temporary basis. More Button

However, under the supplementary welfare allowance scheme, exceptional needs payments may be made to help meet an essential, once-off cost which customers are unable to meet out of their own reso...More Button

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

Social Welfare Rates

Was asked: the full-year cost of increasing all social welfare payments to €350 per week; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The estimated full year cost of increasing all weekly social welfare payments to €350 per week is €10.0 billion.

  It should be noted that these costings are subject to change i...More Button

Was asked: the full-year cost of increasing all social welfare payments to €300 per week; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The estimated full year cost of increasing all weekly social welfare payments to €300 per week is €6.1 billion.

  It should be noted that these costings are subject to change i...More Button

Carer's Allowance

Was asked: the estimated full-year cost of granting a €1,000 bonus to all recipients of the carer's allowance.More Button

The estimated cost of paying a once-off bonus of €1,000 to all recipients of Carer's Allowance is €85.6 million, based on the estimated number of recipients in 2020. This estimate is subject to ch...More Button

All recipients of Carer's Allowance, Carer's Benefit and Domiciliary Care Allowance are automatically entitled to the Carer's Support Grant, which is an annual payment of €1,700 for carers who lo...More Button

The grant is paid in a single annual lump sum, usually on the first Thursday in June. The grant is not means-tested and is not taxable. It is paid in respect of each care recipient.More Button

Was asked: her plans to commence the restoration of the carer’s allowance income disregard to ensure those on the average industrial income can qualify; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The main income supports for carers provided by my Department are Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit, Domiciliary Care Allowance and the Carer’s Support Grant. The estimated expenditure on Carer’s...More Button

Carer's Allowance is a means tested payment made to people whose income falls below certain limits, and who are looking after certain people in need of full-time care and attention. More Button

This allowance is part of the system of social assistance supports that provide payments based on an income need. The means test plays a critical role in determining whether or not an income nee...More Button

Current disregards for Carer’s Allowance are €332.50 per week for a single person and €665 per week for a couple, making the means test for carers the least onerous within the social protection s...More Button

In the case of a couple, a carer may retain a full-rate payment of €219.00 per week while having an annual income of €37,500 from employment, retain a payment of (just under half-rate) €109.00 pe...More Button

In the case of a single carer a similar scenario illustrates that a carer may retain a full-rate payment of €219.00 while having an annual income of just under €19,000, retain a payment of €109.0...More Button

The Department has made an estimate of the cost of increasing the weekly income disregards for Carer’s Allowance to €450 for a single person and to €900 for a couple using the ESRI SWITCH model. ...More Button

Changes to schemes are considered in an overall budgetary and policy context and from an evidence based perspective. Some 92% of the current recipients of Carer’s Allowance have no means or mean...More Button

My Department also offers other, non-means-tested, supports to carers. The Carer’s Support Grant is not mean-tested and is available to all carers who meet the eligibility criteria. The payment...More Button

I can assure the Deputy that I am very much aware of the key role that family carers play in our society and I will continue to keep the range of supports available to carers under review. Any c...More Button

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

Was asked: if the costs associated with caring can be deducted from reckonable income for carer’s allowance applicants; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Government acknowledges the important role that family carers play and is fully committed to supporting carers in that role. This commitment is recognised in both the Programme for Government ...More Button

My Department provides income supports to carers such as Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit, Domiciliary Care Allowance and the Carer’s Support Grant. Combined spending on all these payments to ...More Button

Carer's Allowance is a means-tested payment for carers who, on a full-time basis, look after certain people in need of full-time care and attention, where the carer's income falls below certain l...More Button

The means test conditionality for Carer's Allowance is consistent with the overall rules that apply to social assistance payments. The system of social assistance supports provides payments base...More Button

The deduction of further expenses from reckonable income in the means test for Carer's Allowance would effectively increase the current income disregards applied. It should be noted that the mea...More Button

A couple earning up to €37,500 per year can qualify for the maximum rate while a couple earning €49,750 can, due to the tapered withdrawal approach, retain a payment of just under half-rate. A s...More Button

The exclusion of other costs, as suggested by the Deputy, in the calculation of income could have significant budgetary implications and would give rise to inconsistencies in how means tests are ...More Button

Any changes to the means conditions for any of the schemes operated by the Department, including the Carer's Allowance, would need to be addressed in a budgetary context.More Button

Was asked: her plans to increase the disregard allowable in the capital formula for carer’s allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Department operates a range of means-tested social assistance payments. Social welfare legislation provides that the means test takes account of the income and assets of the person (and spouse...More Button

The assessment of capital reflects the fact that there is an expectation that people with reasonable amounts of capital and property are in a position to use that capital, or to realise the value...More Button

In this regard, for Carer's Allowance, the first €20,000 of capital is fully disregarded; the next €10,000 assessed at €1 per thousand, the next €10,000 is assessed at €2 per thousand, with the r...More Button

In relation to Carer's Allowance, as the first €332.50 of gross weekly income for single people and the first €665 for couples is fully disregarded, and combined with a general disregard of €7.60...More Button

Any proposals to change the capital means assessment for means-tested social assistance schemes would have to be considered in the overall budgetary context.More Button

Living Wage

Was asked: the estimated full-year cost of moving all social welfare claimants, including pensioners, to a living wage.More Button

As the Deputy has clarified, this question relates to increasing the rates of all social welfare payments to meet the Minimum Essential Standard of Living (MESL).More Button

The MESL is an assessment, developed by the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice, of the minimum income needed to live and partake in the social and economic norms of everyday life for vario...More Button

The most recent report indicates that the welfare system already provides adequate supports for some household types (for example, families with young children in urban locations) but that there ...More Button

It should be noted that the MESL for welfare households assumes that households are eligible for a medical card and, as such, health and insurance costs are reduced accordingly. While the model ...More Button

Bringing weekly working age social welfare rates in line with the MESL would entail increasing the maximum personal rate to €250 and the Qualified Child Increase to €48.20 for children under 12 a...More Button

Bringing pension rates in line with the MESL would require an increase of €51.40 for pensioners living alone in rural areas. There would be no increase to the rate of payment for pensioner couple...More Button

The estimated cost of bringing working age and pension welfare payments to meet the Minimum Essential Standard of Living (MESL), as outlined above, is €2.9 billion. This costing is subject to chan...More Button

  Questions Nos. 504 and 505 answered with Question No. 492.More Button

Carer's Support Grant

Was asked: if the carer’s support grant will be increased; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Government acknowledges the crucial role that family carers play and is fully committed to supporting carers in that role. This commitment is recognised in both the Programme for Government an...More Button

The main income supports to carers provided by my Department are Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit, Domiciliary Care Allowance and the Carer’s Support Grant. Combined spending on all these paym...More Button

The Carer’s Support Grant is an annual payment of €1,700 a year for each care recipient and is paid in a single lump sum with no requirement to satisfy a means test. The Carer’s Support Grant is...More Button

Notwithstanding the substantial extra financial demands due to the COVID-19 crisis, I confirmed, on 4 June, that the Carer’s Support Grant would continue to be paid to carers this year at an esti...More Button

There have been calls from carers groups to increase the rate of the Carer’s Support Grant from €1,700 to €2,000. My Department has costed this proposal and the estimated additional full year co...More Button

I can assure the Deputy that I will continue to keep the range of supports provided by my Department under review. However, any changes to the current supports provided by this Department would ...More Button

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

Carer's Benefit

Was asked: her plans to extend eligibility for carer’s benefit to include those who are self-employed; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Self-employed workers who earn €5,000 or more in a contribution year are liable to pay social insurance contributions at the class S rate of 4%, subject to a minimum annual payment of €500. Such ...More Button

The issue of extending additional social insurance benefits to self-employed persons paying class S social insurance contributions was considered in the Actuarial Review of the Social Insurance F...More Button

The Review indicates that if access to certain additional benefits, including carer's benefit, was extended to self-employed contributors, the class S rate of social insurance contribution would ...More Button

Any proposal to extend social insurance entitlements to self-employed contributors would have to be considered in a budgetary context, taking account of the current economic circumstances and wit...More Button

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

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 519 of 22 September 2020, if a review of the carer’s benefit application will be carried out in view of information provided (details supplied); and if she wil...More Button

Carer's benefit (CARB) is a payment made to insured people who leave the workforce or reduce their working hours to care for a child or an adult in need of full-time care and attention. More Button

My Department received an application for CARB from the person concerned on 12 August 2020. Under the provisions of the legislation a person claiming CARB must be in remunerative full time employ...More Button

The evidence submitted in support of this application was examined and the deciding officer decided that this evidence did not indicate that this requirement was satisfied. The person concerned w...More Button

The person concerned requested a review of this decision. The outcome of the review is that the original decision is confirmed. On 17 September 2020 the person concerned was notified of this outc...More Button

Due to a clerical error, this review letter did indicate the incorrect caree name. I can confirm that an amended letter has now issued to the person concerned. More Button

The letter from the employer, referred to by the Deputy, suggests that the person concerned actually works 24 hours per week. It is important to understand that there is a distinction between ...More Button

The person concerned has been advised to apply for Carer's Allowance which is not a contribution based scheme. More Button

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

Domiciliary Care Allowance

Was asked: if eligibility for domiciliary care allowance will be extended to children residing in hospitals; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) is a payment made in respect of a child with a severe disability who requires additional care and attention. It is payable to the person providing for the child's ...More Button

Pension Provisions

Was asked: if she will provide a report on proposals to enact a pension for family carers in recognition of their invaluable contribution to society; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Programme for Government “Our Shared Future” includes a commitment to examine options for a pension solution for carers, the majority of whom are women, particularly those of incapacitated chil...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the public policy and social issues in relation to funding a sustainable and adequate State pension system are complex. As a consequence, the Programme for Government com...More Button

In the meantime, the current situation is that through the award of credited contributions, normally known as credits, the social insurance system gives significant recognition to time spent cari...More Button

In addition, all carers, including those who do not qualify for a payment or for credits, may qualify for the Homemaker scheme. The scheme, which was introduced with effect from 1994, is designe...More Button

When the Interim Total Contributions Approach (also known as T12) was introduced in 2018, it included provision for the HomeCaring Periods Scheme which fundamentally changed the entitlement of ma...More Button

Since April 2019 all new State (Contributory) Pension applications are assessed under all possible rate calculation methods, including the Yearly Average and Interim Total Contributions Approach,...More Button

It should be noted that if a person does not satisfy those conditions, they may qualify for the means-tested State Pension (Non-Contributory), the maximum rate of which is over 95% that of the ma...More Button

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

Was asked: the status of the pension increase due to workers (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that I am unable to comment or intervene on issues relating to a particular pension scheme. More Button

My Department has no role in setting the level of pension increases received by members of occupational pension schemes. Pension increases are entirely a matter for the scheme trustees and the s...More Button

Trustees of occupational pension schemes have duties and responsibilities under the Pensions Act 1990, as amended, under trust law and under other relevant legislation. The duties of pension sch...More Button

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

Community Employment Schemes

Was asked: the position regarding community employment participants that are over 55 years of age; the maximum number of years they can be on the scheme; and the variation that may apply to those that entered...More Button

Was asked: the position with regard to the combined community employment procedures manual 2016 which states that persons over 55 years of age may stay employed on a community employment scheme for up to six ...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding a statement currently on the Citizens' Information website which states that persons employed on a scheme prior to July 2017 can stay on the previously existing eligibility r...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 513, 516 and 517 together.More Button

The Community Employment (CE) Scheme is an active labour market programme designed to provide eligible long-term unemployed people and other disadvantaged persons with an opportunity to engage in...More Button

In 2017 the new conditions and qualifying criteria were introduced and a saver clause was provided for the existing clients: ‘Participants who commenced on CE prior to 3rd July 2017 will be ent...More Button

In response to the query relating to the Part Time Job option, the saver clause that was introduced allowed participants who commenced under that option to continue on CE for a maximum of 3 conse...More Button

The 2017 saver clause does not allow those affected to continue to participate on CE for six years consecutively. The same continuous limitation of three years continues to apply to all CE parti...More Button

In response to the query on the statement on the Citizens Information website which relates to the saver clause, the saver clause allowed existing CE participants to remain on CE for up to a maxi...More Button

Was asked: the position in relation to the implementation of the Labour Court recommendation that community employment supervisors should be entitled to a pension or gratuity; and if she will make a statement...More Button

Was asked: her views regarding the implementation of the Labour Court recommendation that community employment supervisors should be entitled to a pension or gratuity; and if she will make a statement on the ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 515 and 524 together.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, Community Employment (CE) supervisors and assistant supervisors have been seeking for several years, through their union representatives, the allocation of Exchequer ...More Button

CE sponsoring authorities are the legal employers of their CE supervisors, CE assistant supervisors and CE participants; the Department’s role continues to be that of CE funder.More Button

This issue was examined by a Community Sector High Level Forum, chaired by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. A number of Departments, including my own Department, were represented...More Button

As part of this process a detailed scoping exercise was carried out with input from the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service (IGEES) on the potential costs of providing Exchequer supp...More Button

In its findings, the High-level Group stated that while CE supervisors and assistant supervisors represented only a very small part of the wider community and voluntary sector, any explicit provi...More Button

At this point, I wish to acknowledge the valuable and dedicated service that CE supervisors provide in running CE schemes delivering local based community services while providing a valuable tra...More Button

The current position is that officials from my Department, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Unions are in ongoing discussions on the matter. The funding of any potential pens...More Button

  Questions Nos. 516 and 517 answered with Question No. 513.More Button

Back to Work Enterprise Allowance Scheme

Was asked: if payments to those on the back-to-work enterprise allowance scheme will be extended for the period in which those on the scheme were not allowed to trade during the lock down earlier in 2020.More Button

The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) scheme offers support for people who are long-term unemployed and who are interested in self-employment as a route to entering the labour market. The ...More Button

All participants of the BTWEA will be in a position to receive their full period of entitlement of 24 months. This includes anyone who contacted my Department to temporarily suspend their allowa...More Button

I trust this clarifies the position.More Button

State Pension (Contributory)

Was asked: if a State (contributory) pension will be approved for a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person concerned reached pension age on 22 June 2020 and applied for their State pension (contributory) on 24 July 2020. They were awarded the maximum rate of pension with effect from their 66...More Button

State Pension (Non-Contributory)

Was asked: if a means test relative to a claim for a State (non-contributory) pension for a person (details supplied) will be reassessed.More Button

State pension non-contributory is a means-tested payment for people aged 66 and over, habitually residing in the State, who do not qualify for a state pension contributory, or who only qualify for ...More Button

For the purposes of the means-test, it is necessary at the outset for applicants to provide full details of any income(s), assets, savings and investments they hold. Following the award of pensio...More Button

The person concerned had been in receipt of state pension non-contributory since 30 March 2012. Following notification to the Department that their spouse had commenced employment, the person’s p...More Button

The person concerned was notified of this revised decision on 22 June 2020, together with the reason for the decision and their right, if dissatisfied with the decision, to request a review, or t...More Button

To date, there is no record of an appeal being received from the person concerned. This Parliamentary Question will be taken as a request for review. A Deciding Office will review the person’s en...More Button

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

Social Welfare Eligibility

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

The person in question is in receipt of invalidity pension. An application for the national fuel scheme (fuel allowance) was received from him on 04 September 2020 and he has been assessed as elig...More Button

EU Directives

Was asked: 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 fi...More Button

There are no costs to my Department to date for fines for non-transposition of EU Directives into Irish law.

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

Was asked: 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 fin...More Button

I can confirm that there are no such cases or associated fines relating to the Department of Rural and Community Development.More Button

Jobseeker's Benefit

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 547 of 22 September 2020, if this jobseeker’s benefit application will be approved with effect from 30 March 2020, in view of the fact the application meets th...More Button

According to the records of my Department, the person concerned has been awarded a Jobseeker's Benefit payment from 01/09/2020. A decision will be made on her application prior to 01/09/2020 in du...More Button

Departmental Data

Was asked: the number of young persons under 25 years of age in receipt of jobseeker’s allowance, jobseeker’s benefit and signing for credits, respectively by county in tabular form. More Button

Was asked: the number of young persons aged between 25 years and under 30 years in receipt of jobseeker’s allowance, jobseeker’s benefit and signing for credits, respectively by county in tabular form. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 529 and 531 together.

  The information requested by the Deputy in respect of the number of young persons under 25 years and between 25 and 30 ye...More Button

Was asked: the number of young persons under 25 years of age in receipt of jobseeker’s allowance, jobseeker’s benefit and signing for credits, respectively for 12 months or more by county in tabular form. More Button

Was asked: the number of young persons aged between 25 years and under 30 years in receipt of jobseeker’s allowance, jobseeker’s benefit and signing for credits, respectively for 12 months or more, by county ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 530 and 532 together.

  The information requested by the Deputy in respect of the number of young persons under 25 years and between 25 and 30 ye...More Button

  Question No. 531 answered with Question No. 529.More Button

  Question No. 532 answered with Question No. 530.More Button

Jobseeker's Payments

Was asked: the measures she will take in budget 2021 to implement the commitment in the programme for Government to improve jobseeker supports for persons under 24 years of age; and if she will make a stateme...More Button

The Programme for Government has committed to improve jobseekers supports for people aged under 24 over the lifetime of this Government. Under the July Stimulus package my Department, along with t...More Button

Free Travel Scheme

Was asked: the details of the road passenger transport operators based in counties Cavan, Monaghan, Westmeath, Leitrim and Longford that received payment from her Department in respect of the carriage of free...More Button

The Free Scheme is currently available to all people living in the State aged 66 years or over, to carers and to customers under 66 who are in receipt of certain disability type payments. There ar...More Button

Social Welfare Inspections

Was asked: her views on whether social welfare inspectors should be able to enter the homes of local authority tenants to carry out unannounced inspections; her further views on whether the home is private an...More Button

Social Welfare Inspectors are appointed under Section 250 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 (as amended). They are required to investigate and report on customer’s claims and confirm th...More Button

As part of their investigations, an inspector's remit also includes the combating of fraud and abuse of the Department's schemes. Inspectors may need to make notified or un-notified home visits. ...More Button

Social Welfare Inspectors only enter a private home if invited. There is no statutory power of entry unlike a workplace. If an inspector is refused entry to a private home they may request that ...More Button

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

Social Welfare Benefits

Was asked: if the Christmas bonus for those in receipt of social welfare will be paid this year; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Christmas Bonus payment is made to long-term social welfare recipients, such as pensioners, carers, people with disabilities, lone parents and long-term unemployed people who rely wholly or mai...More Button

Personal Public Service Numbers

Was asked: the status of applications (details supplied) for PPSNs; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I can confirm that my Department has allocated Personal Public Service Numbers (PPSNs) to the two individuals referred to by the Deputy and letters advising of their PPSNs issued on 5th October 20...More Button

Was asked: when a PPS number will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Galway in view of the fact they made the application some months ago.More Button

I can confirm that my Department has allocated a Personal Public Service Number (PPSN) to the individual referred to by the Deputy. A letter issued to the person concerned on 5th October 2020 with...More Button

Departmental Contracts

Was asked: 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 he...More Button

My Department does not engage a third-party company to conduct online or social media monitoring or to provide reports on social media coverage of the Department.

  I hope this ...More Button

Was asked: 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 he...More Button

My Department has not engaged any company or other organisation to carry out the work described during the period in question.More Button

Departmental Staff

Was asked: 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 ...More Button

The table below shows the number of staff and sick leave days in my Department between March and September, by month, in 2019 and to date in 2020.

More Button

Was asked: 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 ...More Button

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 Servic...More Button

Community Development Projects

Was asked: the amount of emergency funding provided to community projects since March 2020, by name of the project, sector and type of funding in tabular form.More Button

Was asked: the amount of emergency funding provided to social inclusion projects since March 2020, in tabular form.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 808 and 809 together.

  I understand that the emergency funding referred toby the Deputy relates to the COVID 19 Stability Fund which provided up...More Button

Rural Regeneration and Development Fund

Was asked: the amount of the €1 billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund that has been drawn down; and if she will provide the commitment in each year to date in tabular form.More Button

Was asked: the amount of the €1 billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund that has been committed for 2021.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 810 and 811 together.

  Arising from the first and second calls under this scheme, 63 Category 1 projects have been approved for funding of €131 ...More Button

Town and Village Renewal Scheme

Was asked: when decisions will be made under the town and village accelerated measures round 3 scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

This year’s Town and Village Renewal Scheme has been tailored to assist our rural towns and villages to respond to the challenges presented by COVID-19.

  In addition to the usua...More Button

LEADER Programmes

Was asked: 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.More Button

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

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-20...More Button

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 currentl...More Button

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 ne...More Button

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...More Button

Was asked: 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.More Button

Was asked: 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.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 815 and 816 together.More Button

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

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...More Button

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, int...More Button

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 Depar...More Button

Was asked: 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 s...More Button

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 ensuri...More Button

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 P...More Button

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 outcom...More Button


 

 

www.Oireachtas.ie

Houses of the Oireachtas Service, Leinster House, Dublin 2. Ph: +353 1 618 3000

- Government Website - Privacy Policy - Accessibility - Copyright and Re-Use