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Hogan, Phil

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 754 Nbr. 3


Written Answers - Landowners Liability

Was asked: if he will clarify a matter (details supplied) regarding landowners liability; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The liability of a landowner in relation to a person engaging in a recreational activity on their land, if an accident were to occur, is governed by the provisions of the Occupiers Liability Act, 1...More Button

The Occupiers Liability Act, 1995 was introduced to address the question of the exposure of landowners to claims arising from injuries to recreational users and others including trespassers. The Ac...More Button

Written Answers - Planning Issues

Was asked: if he will address the situation whereby planning applications for an extension of time are being refused following on from previous grant of full planning permission due to a ...More Button

Was asked: the legislation or statutory instrument by which he proposes to grant exemption from planning to householders who have to upgrade their waste water systems in order to comply with the provisions of...More Button

Was asked: the EU directives or legislation, national legislation or statutory instrument by which he proposes to grant exemptions from environmental screening and environmental impact statements to household...More Button

Was asked: the legislation or statutory instrument by which he proposes to ensure that all householders no matter how small their site will be able to comply with the regulations under the Water Services (Ame...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 337 to 339, inclusive, together. More Button

I refer to the reply to Question Nos. 19 and 40 of 2 February 2012, which sets out the position in this matter.More Button

Was asked: if householders will have to comply with EN 12566-3 as part of their obligations [477]under the Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

The European standard EN 12566 is a suite of standards for wastewater treatment systems consisting of 7 parts of which parts 1, 3 and 4 are harmonised product standards. These standards set out the...More Button

If a septic tank or biological treatment unit has to be replaced, for whatever reason, then the new product should conform with the relevant harmonised European Product standard and meet the requir...More Button

There is no obligation under the Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012 to provide a specific type of on-site wastewater treatment unit.More Button

Written Answers - Rural Development

Was asked: if he will outline the administration spend with regard to the rural develop[458]ment programme in tabular form and a breakdown by company country wide; and if he will m...More Button

The following table outlines administration expenditure for the period 2009 to end December 2011 for each Local Development Company contracted to deliver Axes 3 and 4 Rural Development Programme (R...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 453 of 31 January 2012, if there will also be an increase in capping; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I assume the question refers to the €200,000 maximum grant aid currently allowable under the Rural Development Programme (RDP). Up until recently community projects could apply for grant aid ...More Button

State aid refers to any aid granted by a Member State which distorts or threatens to distort competition by favouring certain undertakings or goods. EU Member States are required, under State Aid ...More Button

In the original Rural Development Programme (RDP) document approved by the EC in July 2007 Ireland outlined that, as the aid to be granted under two of the Axis 3 measures of the RDP would not in a...More Button

Recently Ireland was notified by the EC that only DG Competition has the competence to judge whether or not state support can be deemed to be State Aid and that a State Aid notification in the cont...More Button

The notification process was not undertaken at the time of programme design and the EC now require Ireland to complete the notification process as soon as possible and obtain the necessary state ai...More Button

The documentation for the State Aid notification has been submitted through the relevant EU notification systems. As soon as my Department receives the Commission decision we will notify all Local...More Button

Question No. 349 answered with Question No. 305.More Button

Written Answers - Local Authority Charges

Was asked: if a person (details supplied) in County Dublin is entitled to a waiver of the household charge. More Button

Was asked: if persons (details supplied) in County Cork must pay the household charge; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will make provision for the payment of the household charge on an instalment basis at An Post local offices and other appropriate outlets in the interests of facilitating the widest possible ...More Button

Was asked: if a house is a protected structure, is the owner liable for the household charge; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 305, 312, 322 and 349 together.More Button

The Local Government (Household Charge) Act 2011 and the Local Government (Household Charge) Regulations 2012 provide the legislative basis for the household charge. The Act provides for a number o...More Button

The waivers which apply concern—More Button

There is a range of options available for persons to pay the household charge. An online system www.householdcharge.ie is in place in the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) to enable...More Button

A bureau is in place in the LGMA to administer the charge on a shared service/agency basis for all local authorities. In addition, all county/city councils have been requested to have arrangements...More Button

Was asked: the safeguards in place to ensure that the criteria for inclusion in the list of category three and four unfinished housing estates are being applied consistently across all counties; and if he wil...More Button

Was asked: the appeals process available to residents, who feel that their estate has been wrongly overlooked for inclusion in the list of category three and four unfinished housing estates; and if he will ma...More Button

Was asked: the exception of estates (details supplied), the reason the rest of Clongriffin, Dublin 13, is not exempt from the household charge in view of the fact that no part of the estate is finished and th...More Button

Was asked: if he will outline the way those who live in unfinished housing estates and are not on the published list of unfinished estates and therefore are not exempted from the household charge can appeal t...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the non principal private residence charge on a property which is the only property owned by a person, and is unoccupied in view of the fact that this person is outside of th...More Button

The Local Government (Charges) Act 2009, as amended, broadened the revenue base of local authorities by introducing a charge on non-principal private residences. The charge is set at €200 and...More Button

The 2009 Act is structured from a starting position of a universal liability for the charge in respect of all residential property. Liability arises each year on a point-in-time basis, which is 31...More Button

In a situation where a person owns a property in which he or she does not live and his or her sole or main residence is another property, there may be a liability for the non-principal private resi...More Button

The Act places the charge under the care and management of the local authorities, and application in particular circumstances is a matter for the relevant local authority. Interpretation of the le...More Button

Was asked: the absence of official notification whether by electronic or hard copy by either the local authority or the online infrastructure of the NPPR payment system that a charge is due, if he will ensure...More Button

The Local Government (Charges) Act 2009, as amended, broadened the revenue base of local authorities through the introduction of the charge on non-principal private residences. The charge is set at...More Button

There is no legal obligation on local authorities to issue notifications, invoices or reminders. In practice, a number of measures are undertaken to assist collection of the charge. Nationwide a...More Button

It is intended that similar advertising will take place in the context of liability for the NPPR in 2012, including reminder notifications from the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) and loc...More Button

Was asked: the number of households who have registered for the €100 household charge to date in 2012 under the following headings (details supplied) and broken down by local authority areas in tabular f...More Button

The Local Government (Household Charge) Act 2011 and the Local Government (Household Charge) Regulations 2012 provide the legislative basis for the household charge. Under the legislation, an owne...More Button

The Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) is administering the household charge system on a shared service/agency basis for all county and city councils. I understand, from data provided by th...More Button

Question No. 322 answered with Question No. 305.More Button

Question No. 323 answered with Question No. 309.More Button

Was asked: if a person (details supplied) is liable for the full rate of the household charge; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I refer to the reply to Question No. 116 of 1 February, 2012, which sets out the position in this matter.More Button

Questions Nos. 334 and 335 answered with Question No. 332.More Button

Was asked: if he has given instructions to local authority managers to exercise discretion when collecting arrears for the non principal private residence charge for persons who genuinely cannot afford to pay...More Button

The Local Government (Charges) Act 2009, as amended, broadened the revenue base of local authorities by introducing a charge on non-principal private residences. The charge is set at €200 and...More Button

Under the Act, it is a function of a local authority to collect non-principal private residence charges and late payment fees due to it and all charges and late payment fees imposed and payable to ...More Button

My Department is currently engaged with the City and County Managers’ Association in the development of guidelines for local authorities in relation to the operation of the “care and manageme...More Button

Question No. 344 answered with Question No. 316.More Button

Was asked: the reason residents of an estate (details supplied) in County Galway are not entitled to a waiver from the household charge in view of the fact that it is an unfinished estate; and if he will make...More Button

As part of the process of preparing the National Housing Development Survey 2011, published by my Department in October 2011, local authorities provided details of all unfinished housing developmen...More Button

This categorisation formed the basis for the list of those unfinished developments eligible for a waiver on the annual household charge. Only households in developments in categories three and fou...More Button

Question No. 346 answered with Question No. 332.More Button

Was asked: if he will clarify a specific issue (details supplied) in regard to the €100 property tax. More Button

I assume the Question is referring to the household charge.More Button

The Local Government (Household Charge) Act 2011 and the Local Government (Household Charge) Regulations 2012 provide the legislative basis for the household charge.More Button

The Act places the household charge under the care and management of the local authorities, and application in particular circumstances is a matter for the relevant local authority. Interpretation...More Button

Section 2 of the Act sets out the meaning of “residential property” for the purposes of the Act. In particular, section 2(2)(d) of the Act provides that a building that is wholly used as a dwellin...More Button

Written Answers - Water Services

Was asked: his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding water meters; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Programme for Government provides for the introduction of a fair funding model to deliver clean and reliable water. The Memorandum of Understanding with the EU, the IMF and the ECB also ...More Button

To meet these commitments, the Government intends initiating a universal water metering programme in advance of the introduction of domestic water charges. This will facilitate moving to a charging...More Button

Written Answers - Social and Affordable Housing

Was asked: if he is considering altering the rules around the claw back for those who purchased houses in recent years under the terms of some social housing schemes; if so, the timeframe he has in mind; and ...More Button

Was asked: the pilot mortgage to rent scheme currently under way with an organisation (details supplied), if he will confirm the number of units involved in this scheme; the participating bank in the scheme; ...More Button

Was asked: if an application from Kilkenny County Council for funding to refurbish the Newpark Close, Kilkenny housing scheme will be expedited and approved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: his views on the many different formulas for calculating persons’ eligibility for housing; his further views that it is wrong that Dublin City Council has one system which is completely diffe...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Bodies

Was asked: if he will issue a specific document (details supplied). More Button

The Local Government Audit Service is responsible for external audits of local authorities and gives an audit opinion on the annual financial statement as prepared by an authority. The auditor, wh...More Button

Written Answers - Waste Management

Was asked: if he is currently preparing new guidelines or a code of conduct for local authorities for waste collection and disposal especially in the context of the privatisation of services; if he will indic...More Button

The Programme for Government contains a commitment to introduce competitive tendering for household waste collection, under which service providers would bid to provide waste collection serv...More Button

A public consultation designed to inform the policy development process concluded in September 2011. A large number of responses were received from a broad spectrum of interests. As one might expec...More Button

I expect to be in a position to submit final proposals in relation to household waste collection to Government by Easter this year. All policy proposals will be carefully considered by Government a...More Button

Was asked: if he has been briefed by Dublin City Council on the recent transfer of waste collection services from Dublin City Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will confirm that the transfer of domestic waste collection by Dublin City Council to a company (details supplied) was in compliance with the EU tendering process; his views that there was no...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 316 and 344 together.More Button

I am aware of Dublin City Council’s transfer of household waste collection services to a private sector partner and the issues arising for customers. However, the operational and legal impl...More Button

Was asked: when a decision will be made on the future of the Poolbeg Incinerator, Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

In accordance with the provisions of the Waste Management Acts, the preparation and adoption of a waste management plan, including in respect of infrastructure provision, is the statutory responsib...More Button

While I understand that the parties to the contract in respect of the Poolbeg facility are in a period of review, the project is being advanced by Dublin City Council, acting on behalf of the four ...More Button

Written Answers - Social Welfare Code

Was asked: if he will consider compiling a list of landlords who are willing to take part in the rental accommodation scheme in each council area; if he will consider starting a campaign to publicise RAS and ...More Button

Written Answers - Urban Renewal Schemes

Was asked: the status of Ballymun Shopping Centre, Dublin, which was to be replaced as part of the regeneration project; the progress made in this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Hazardous Waste

Was asked: the reason the southern part of Haulbowline Island and other polluted parts of the island will not be covered by the steering group’s Environmental Protection Agency licence application; and ...More Button

Was asked: his plans for the polluted parts of Haulbowline Island outside of the eastern tip; and when these plans will be implemented. More Button

Was asked: if studies have been undertaken on pollution seepage from sites other than the eastern tip into other parts of Haulbowline Island. More Button

Was asked: when the decision to exclude the southern part of Haulbowline Island from the Environmental Protection Agency licence application process was taken; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if the decision to exclude the southern part of Haulbowline Island from the Environmental Protection Agency licence application was his decision or made by the steering group; if he will make a dec...More Button

Was asked: if the decision to exclude the southern part of Haulbowline Island from the Environmental Protection Agency licence application process was discussed by the steering group or subgroups before and a...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 324 to 329, inclusive, together.More Button

There is an unauthorised hazardous waste site (known as the East Tip) within the site of the defunct steel works at Haulbowline, County Cork. Irish Ispat, the last company to operate the steel wor...More Button

In 2003 the State, acting through my Department in a co-ordinating role, took over custody of the site from the liquidator as mandated by Government. The mandate required my Department to, inter a...More Button

Following a complaint relating to the failure to ensure that the site was covered by a waste permit, the European Commission sought information from the Irish authorities on 7 May 2009 through the ...More Button

Following Government consideration, my colleague the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Mr. Simon Coveney TD, on 27 June 2011 announced the establishment of a Steering Group to oversee ...More Button

In so far as the South Tip is concerned, the waste in that location was deposited in the 1960’s and, therefore, is not covered by waste legislation licensing requirements. However, Cork Coun...More Button

Written Answers - Water Charges

Was asked: the prices charged to domestic and to business consumers for water in each county or local authority district here; if he will explain the variation in prices; if there exists or is in development ...More Button

In 1998, the then Government approved a Water Pricing Policy which required the local authorities to recover the cost of providing water services from non-domestic users of these services. Detaile...More Button

On 16 January 2012, I commenced a public consultation on the Government’s proposals for reform of water services delivery in Ireland, including metering and water charges, seeking views from ...More Button

Written Answers - Services for People with Disabilities

Was asked: if he has given approval to Monaghan County Council and a housing association (details supplied) to move to the next stage in the development of a group home for women with physical and sensory dis...More Button

Written Answers - Local Authority Staff

Was asked: if he will provide a detailed breakdown of the number of local authority workers who have availed of the Croke Park early retirement scheme including their grade and the local authority for whom th...More Button

Was asked: the number of staff within local government seeking to avail of the early retirement scheme by their local authority and grade. More Button

Was asked: the number of staff that have availed of the early retirement scheme across local authorities in County Donegal. More Button

Was asked: the number of local authority staff who have availed of the Croke Park early retirement scheme from the north west area of Dublin City Council. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 332, 334, 335 and 346 together. More Button

My Department is collecting data on retirement figures from local authorities on a fortnightly basis at present. Based on the most recent figures, a total of 120 local authority employees have ret...More Button

A breakdown by local authority of the numbers who have retired or notified their intention to do so is provided in table 1 below. A breakdown by grade of the numbers that have retired is provided ...More Button

Written Answers - Local Authority Housing

Was asked: the grant schemes or other schemes available to local authority tenants to fully insulate their homes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will outline the current terms of the tenant purchase scheme including the [481]eligibility criteria; the closing date for participation in this scheme; if a new s...More Button

Written Answers - Litter Pollution

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 20 of 20 October 2011, the amount made available under the anti-litter awareness grant scheme for 2012; the amount expended under this scheme in 2011; and if h...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 20 of 20 October 2011, regarding the €1 million funding available under the anti-litter awareness grant scheme in 2011, the number of submissions received...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 341 and 342 together. More Button

As stated in the previous reply referred to, under the Litter Pollution Acts 1997 to 2009 it is the function of local authorities to provide the primary response to littering. My Department’...More Button

The Anti-Litter Awareness Grant Scheme, which is administered by my Department, allows local authorities the opportunity to apply for grant funding for suitable projects such as adopt a road scheme...More Button

34 submissions were received from local authorities in respect of the €1 million funding which was made available in 2011 under the scheme and a total of €985,218 was paid out in grant as...More Button

Details of the individual payments to local authorities for adopt a road projects in 2011 are set out in the table:More Button

Funding for the Anti Litter Awareness Grant Scheme is provided from the Environment Fund and the 2012 Environment Fund allocations are currently being finalised. Local authorities will then be inv...More Button