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Coughlan, Mary

Tuesday, 3 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 Nbr. 4


Written Answers. - Local Authority Housing.

Was asked: if she will examine the Profile of Households Accommodated report by Dublin City Council which was published recently; the steps which will follow the conclusions reached in the report; and if she ...More Button

The report in question is a valuable piece of research carried out by the housing unit and Dublin City Council into the circumstances of households accommodated by the council in 2001. The report p...More Button

Studies of this type are also valuable in supplementing the data available from broader national surveys and enhance the capacity of policy makers at both local and national levels to address key i...More Button

Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

Was asked: if a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive the QAA of their spouse's contributory old age pension issued in their own name.More Button

It is necessary to write to both spouses with regard to providing a separate payment arrangement as requested by the Deputy. This is now being arranged and the position will be further examined whe...More Button

Was asked: if she will extend the living alone allowance to people who are in receipt of a British pension but who are living permanently here; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The living alone allowance, which amounts to €7.70 per week, is payable to people who are in receipt of certain social welfare type payments and who reside alone. It is not a payment in its ow...More Button

Was asked: if a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will get a refund on their dental costs from her Department in view of the fact that this person has sufficient stamps to qualify for dental treatment ...More Button

There is no record of a claim of dental benefit in this case. To benefit under the dental benefit scheme, patients must obtain treatment from a dentist who is operating the treatment benefit scheme...More Button

Some dentists, however, are imposing charges in breach of their contracts with my Department. Insured workers seeking treatment under the dental benefit scheme have been advised to check that thei...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: the percentage of her Department's fixed line budget which is allocated to her Department's largest telephone supplier.More Button

The proportion of voice and data fixed line budget which is allocated to my Department's main supplier is 92%. This is based on funds allocated for the current year.More Button

Written Answers. - Social Welfare Appeals.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will be called for an oral hearing to finalise an unemployment assistance appeal.More Button

The person concerned was in receipt of unemployment assistance since February 2000. Following a review of her entitlement her claim was disallowed from 26 June 2002 on the grounds that her means, d...More Button

She appealed this decision to the Social Welfare Appeals Office and an appeals officer has decided that an oral hearing is necessary. This is being arranged for the next occasion that an appeals of...More Button

Under social welfare legislation, decisions in relation to claims must be made by deciding officers and appeals officers. These officers are statutorily appointed and I have no role in regard to ma...More Button

Written Answers. - Official Language Equality.

Was asked: the additional costs which have arisen from the obligations on her Department in relation to the adoption by the Government in July 2002 of official language equality as one of the three new princi...More Button

My Department acknowledges the rights of our customers to service through Irish and efforts are being made to provide such a service and to make our customers aware that they are available to them....More Button

Providing quality customer service in Irish includes various elements such as the translation of forms and leaflets, facilitating the training of staff in spoken and written Irish and providing bil...More Button

The main areas where it is possible to identify costs in relation to Irish are in translation and training. Costs for translation of forms and leaflets have amounted to €12,150 since July 2002...More Button

Written Answers. - Dental Service.

Was asked: the progress which has been made in resolving the dispute between her Department and dentists over the operation of the dental treatment benefits scheme.More Button

Efforts to resolve the dispute between my Department and the Irish Dental Association have continued since the commencement of the association's action of advising dentists to impose increased char...More Button

In the absence of a resolution, my Department has ceased to accept claims from dentists who were not prepared to adhere to the contractual arrangements in early August. However, the scheme continue...More Button

My concern throughout this dispute is to ensure protection for insured workers seeking basic dental treatment under the scheme. Efforts to resolve the dispute are continuing, but so far it has not ...More Button

My officials are available for further discussion with the association to try and find a basis for resolution of the dispute and I am hopeful that such discussions can take place in the near future...More Button

Written Answers. - Employment Support Services.

Was asked: the changes which she plans to introduce in the back to work scheme in 2003.More Button

The numbers of people availing of the back to work allowance scheme have been falling steadily in recent years due to the continued buoyancy of the labour market and the low levels of long-term une...More Button

In the light of these studies and of current labour market conditions it has been decided to restructure the scheme to target those in most need in accessing the labour market, specifically the ver...More Button