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Hogan, Phil

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Housing Grant Payments

Was asked: if he will provide a breakdown by county of funding provided for the housing aid for elderly persons scheme and the housing adaptation grant for people with a disability in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 201...More Button

Was asked: in view of the overall cut of 11% to his Department's 2013 budget, the reason his Department imposed a cut of 76% in funding for housing grants for elderly and disabled to Laois County Council; and...More Button

Priory Hall Development

Was asked: if he will support the residents of Priory Hall, Dublin, as a matter of priority.More Button

I am supportive of the Priory Hall residents and my Department is supporting the efforts of Dublin City Council in that regard. At my request, the Department has previously assisted the council, i...More Button

The resolution process in respect of the problems associated with this development which I understand is ongoing arose in the context of legal proceedings which were adjourned to afford relevant ...More Button

Dublin City Council is the designated authority with powers to enforce the statutory requirements arising under the Fire Safety Act, the Building Control Acts and the Planning and Development Act...More Button

In his usual flowery language the Deputy has sought to put responsibility where it is not. Surely he is not advocating that the Government should intervene in a court process. The matter is befor...More Button

Was asked: when he expects to receive a report from Mr. Justice Finnegan on all outstanding issues at Priory Hall, Dublin; his plans, if any, to meet Priory Hall residents as soon as the Finnegan resolution p...More Button

The resolution process in respect of this development, which I understand is on-going, arose in the context of legal proceedings which were adjourned to afford relevant parties the opportunity to w...More Button

Dublin City Council is the designated authority with powers to enforce the statutory requirements arising under the Fire Safety Act, the Building Control Acts and the Planning and Development Act...More Button

Priory Hall Development (Continued)

In the meantime, I have been very much involved with the Department in ensuring that Dublin City Council is supportive of the residents in their temporary accommodation as far as possible.More Button

They are not being ignored by me. I agree with the comments made by Deputy McGrath. There is certainly impatience and frustration on the part of the residents and that is understandable. They ha...More Button

Leader Programmes Funding

Was asked: the reason his Department has not approved any Leader projects since 29 January 2013; the amount of money left to approved projects under the Leader programme by 31 December 2013; and if he will ma...More Button

In late 2011, the European Commission approved a change in the maximum co-funding rate from 55% to 85% for axes 3 and 4 of Ireland’s rural development programme 2007-2013. Prior to this the axes 3...More Button

In this context the original project allocations given to each local development company, LDC, contracted to deliver the Leader elements of the rural development programme required readjustment. ...More Button

Until such time as this careful rebalancing exercise has been satisfactorily completed, it is not possible to be definitive regarding the remaining funding available for project commitments under...More Button

I agree with the figures mentioned. There is a requirement to look at the balance of funding now, arising from the big increase in the number of applications that have come in during the past few ...More Button

Was asked: the number of Leader projects of proposed grant level in excess of €150,000 awaiting approval in his Department broken down on a monthly basis of lodging with his Department; the reason for the del...More Button

Funding of €314 million is available under the rural development programme 2007-13 for allocation to qualifying projects up to the end of 2013. There are 35 local action groups, LAGs, contracted o...More Button

Of those under assessment, yes.More Button

I would like to think it is simple to approve every project, but that is not true of any project, whether under or over the level of €150,000. They must meet certain criteria and are subject to an...More Button

Was asked: the expected percentage of projects approved under the LEADER process that will not be completed and draw down any money under the programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I refer to the replies to Questions Nos. 77, 80 and 82 on today's order paper. Axes 3 4 (LEADER) of the Rural Development Programme 2007 – 2013 (RDP) , for which my Department has responsibility ...More Button

The rules of the RDP require a full assessment of the viability and sustainability of any project applying for RDP funding and each project must satisfy these requirements prior to receiving form...More Button

Was asked: the amount of project money approved to date under the LEADER programme; the total amount of money available under this programme for projects; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I refer to the reply to priority Question No. 77 on today’s order paper which sets out the position in this matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will outline in tabular form the amount of LEADER funding available, approved and paid out by each local partnership company; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In late 2011 the European Commission approved a change in the maximum co-funding rate from 55% to 85% for the Axes 3 and 4 elements (LEADER) of Ireland’s Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2007-2013...More Button

Was asked: the overall amount of Leader funding made available under the 2007 to 2013 for Gaeltacht areas; if he will advise on the amount of funding already approved and paid out; the steps being taken to ap...More Button

Meitheal Forbartha na Gaeltachta (MFG) was the Local Development Company contracted by my Department to deliver Axes 3 & 4 (LEADER) of the Rural Development Programme (RDP) in Gaeltacht Areas for...More Button

In late 2011 the European Commission approved a change in the maximum co-funding rate from 55% to 85% for the Axes 3 and 4 elements (LEADER) of Ireland’s Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2007-20...More Button

In this context the original project allocations given to each Local Development Company (LDC) contracted to deliver the LEADER elements of the RDP including MFG required readjustment.  My Depart...More Button

Leader Programmes Funding (Continued)

Unlike the Deputy, I did not cost people an additional €45 when they had to register their septic tanks. That is what happened to people in his constituency, the west and elsewhere when the Deputy...More Button

I hope the Deputy would agree that co-operation between the local development companies and the Department is quite good on these matters, and that the work of the local action groups, LAGs, in ass...More Button

That is the programme the Deputy put in place when in government.More Button

The Deputy did things differently.More Button

The Deputy was very good; he was excellent. That is why the country is in the state it is in.More Button

We have 42 projects.More Button

If things had been so good, I would have inherited very few problems.More Button

I thank the Leas-Cheann Comhairle and I am glad he is in the Chair.More Button

The process is one that the Deputy put in place and that cannot be changed until the end of this programme period, which is the end of this year. I am considering all those issues in the context o...More Button

Mortgage to Rent Scheme

Was asked: his position regarding local authorities taking on houses with distressed mortgages, for example, a house worth €200,000 with a €400,000 mortgage which will not be paid, the council takes on a new ...More Button

Septic Tank Registration Scheme

Was asked: the number of septic tanks registered; the registration compliance rate broken down by county; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012 requires householders whose properties are served by on-site wastewater treatment systems to register their system with their local authority. As of 12 Marc...More Button

I am surprised that Deputy Cowen would not want to have a dedicated source of finance for the purpose of remediating septic tanks given that his party opposed this measure.More Button

Deputy Ó Cuív held public meetings around the country telling people not to register and not to pay. He then reversed engines after Christmas when he found there was a grant system. Through Deput...More Button

We will have sufficient grant assistance. We will not know the level of grant assistance required until the inspections start in July 2013. More Button

Provision has been made for this measure under the rural water programme. The Deputy cannot expect me to give him the estimate for 2014 in respect of whether money will be available next year. We...More Button

Is Deputy Cowen going to pay it? Is Fianna Fáil going to pay it?More Button

Who told them not to pay?More Button

Septic Tank Registration Scheme (Continued)

I have sufficient resources in the rural water programme to meet whatever grant applications are made arising from an inspection and remediation plan that meets the criteria I announced before Chri...More Button

Inspections have not been carried out as yet. It could be the case that none of them will fail. The Deputy asks me to provide money for a scheme. I am surprised that Deputy Cowen did not complim...More Button

I gave them a grant system. I always said there would be financial assistance-----More Button

The Leas-Cheann Comhairle knows that I always said that financial assistance would be available-----More Button

I know I disappointed the Deputy when he said-----More Button

I disappointed the Deputy enormously when I announced the grant scheme. If the household income is less than €50,000 then 80% of the costs up to a maximum of €4,000 will be available. If the hous...More Button

Deputy Cowen got it wrong too.More Button

Deputy Wallace was also someone who opposed the registration process in this scheme. I am sure he will acknowledge that the people of Wexford, 75% of whom have registered-----More Button

I am sure he will support me when I say that this is a very good response from the people of Wexford who ignored Deputy Wallace in the process. The inspections will be on a risk-based approach whi...More Button

Deputy Flanagan has troubles of his own.More Button

The plan has been approved by the Commission. It requires that a minimum of one thousand inspections are to be carried out by the Water Services Authority over the 12 month period commencing in Ju...More Button

I did.More Button

Common Agricultural Policy Negotiations

Was asked: his views on co-financing of rural development under CAP Pillar Two; the impact of Multi Annual Framework budget cuts to Pillar Two on rural development schemes here; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

The European Council agreement on the new multi-annual financial framework, MFF, is a good deal for Ireland and for Europe. The overall amount for the last MFF for 2007 to 2013 was €994 billion. ...More Button

The agreement provides some €373 billion funding for sustainable growth - natural resources, largely agriculture and fisheries - and it supports a continuing strong CAP. It will deliver some €1....More Button

The next stage is for the European Parliament to agree to the deal. In parallel with these discussions, the negotiation processes for the large range of regulatory instruments required to implem...More Button

Common Agricultural Policy Negotiations (Continued)

Deputy Ó Cuív got caught out.More Button

Deputy Ó Cuív was caught out.More Button

What a hypocrite. Deputy Ó Cuív travelled around the country and told people not to pay.More Button

What a hypocrite.More Button

The Deputy read a lot when he was in government.More Button

What did the Deputy do?More Button

The Deputy certainly read a lot but he achieved very little.More Button

The Deputy will have to take my word for it that I do read.More Button

I see.More Button

The Deputy should pay €45 back to the people he advised not to pay.More Button

The Deputy has taken €45 out of the pockets of those in Connacht-Ulster. Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan's people were involved in that as well.More Button

The Deputy-----More Button

He robbed them of €45 each.More Button

I regularly discuss these matters with my colleague, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Deputy Coveney. The negotiations between us on how the moneys agreed under the multi-annual ...More Button

Countries other than Ireland have a difficulty in agreeing on the funding. The British Government-----More Button

-----wants to pull out of the European Union because it is of the view that too much money is being spent on the programmes involved. It is going to hold a referendum on whether the county should ...More Button

No; it is not that much.More Button

Let us see what will be the outcome of the negotiations. The overall budget will be reduced from €960 billion to €930 billion.More Button

I am providing the Deputy with the global figures, in volume terms, that have been agreed under the MFF.More Button

Inflation was not taken into account on the previous occasion either.More Button

We are comparing like with like in the context of what Deputy Ó Cuív and the Government of which he was a member negotiated-----More Button

Only the Deputy is interested in inflation. I am using the same figure that has been used for the past seven years and comparing it with the figure his Government negotiated. We are comparing lik...More Button

I am comparing like with like.More Button

May I answer the question? The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and I will be in discussions and we will let the Deputy know the outcome in due course.More Button

Water Charges Introduction

Was asked: if he will detail the charging system that will be imposed on non-metered homes; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the current timeframe for the roll-out of water metering across the State; the total number of houses to be metered; the number of homes exempted from metering; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 81 and 91 together.More Button

The programme for Government and the memorandum of understanding with the European Union, the IMF and the European Central Bank provide for the introduction of domestic water charges. The Govern...More Button

There are, as reported in census 2011, approximately 1.35 million domestic properties connected to public water supplies in Ireland and the objective is to install meters in the maximum number of...More Button

The procurement processes for the metering programme are under way and it is expected that the installation of meter boxes and domestic water meters will begin in the middle of this year and will...More Button

The Government has also decided to assign responsibility for the economic regulation of the water sector, including the setting of charges, to the Commission for Energy Regulation. The primary r...More Button

I expect that by the end of 2014 approximately 50% of households will be metered. An estimated 300,000 households may not be metered initially owing to the high cost or technical difficulties.More Button

Yes. That is our estimate.More Button

That is high.More Button

I do know the source of the Deputy's figures. I can only go on what-----More Button

Yes.More Button

Water Charges Introduction (Continued)

I thank the Deputy. We estimate that 300,000 households may not be metered. We are currently carrying out a survey in Wexford - Deputy Mick Wallace may have been surveyed himself - involving 9,00...More Button

I will try to be helpful and get the information from Irish Water for the Deputy.More Button

To reply to Deputy Dessie Ellis, there will be assessed charges for people in apartment blocks which we will not get around to metering. In terms of some of the types of terraced properties Deputy...More Button

Many people expect the meters to be located on their private properties, which will not necessarily be the case; they may be located on the footpath or in a public space. We are working with the D...More Button

I accept that when we install meters, there may be leaks between where a metre is installed and the dwelling. We are looking to see how we can help customers financially in dealing with this mat...More Button

We continue to have a major water rehabilitation programme in the Dublin area and a significant amount of money will be spent on replacing the pipe network, which is an ongoing programme.More Button

Pyrite Panel Report Recommendations

Was asked: when he will bring forward legislation to facilitate the establishment of a pyrite levy fund as recommended by the report of the pyrite panel; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the timeframe for the implementation of pyrite resolution board legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 83 and 93 together.More Button

I attach a very high priority to preparing the necessary primary legislation to underpin the imposition of a levy on the quarrying and insurance sectors, in conjunction with the Office of the Att...More Button

The Department continues to engage in discussions with a number of financial institutions, facilitated by the Irish Banking Federation, with a view to securing a loan facility which the not-for-p...More Button

I have recently announced the establishment of the Pyrite Resolution Board and the appointment of Mr. John O’Connor, former chairman of An Bord Pleanála, as its chairman, together with three boar...More Button

I understand the Pyrite Resolution Board has had a number of meetings and has now commenced work on drawing up the precise scope of the remediation scheme, including eligibility criteria, procedu...More Button

Pyrite Panel Report Recommendations (Continued)

The Deputy is late for that question.More Button

I remind Deputies that this fund is a last resort. People must go through all the other processes initially if they have insurance. This fund will kick in only where people have no redress as con...More Button

I am not getting into a subjective argument about this.More Button

This issue has been hanging around for a while and the Government and I are anxious to do something about it as quickly as we possibly can. The Pyrite Resolution Board is working hard to ensure ...More Button

Local Government Reform

Was asked: the timeframe for the implementation of Putting People First; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Action Programme for Effective Local Government, Putting People First, which was published in October 2012, following Government approval, sets out Government decisions on a range of measures r...More Button

In order to meet that timeframe, work has been advancing quickly in a number of areas including in relation to local authority mergers in Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford; an independent review ...More Button

Comprehensive, wide-ranging and detailed legislation will be required to provide for the range of measures in the reform programme, and I am firmly committed to ensuring that it will be brought f...More Button

Was asked: in view of the recent visit by the the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe monitoring committee, his views on whether Ireland is in compliance with the European char...More Button

I am satisfied that Ireland is in compliance with the European Charter of Local Self-Government. In addition, the extensive measures in the Action Programme for Effective Local Government, ...More Button

Local and Community Development Programme Expenditure

Was asked: if he will outline a county breakdown of the local development budget; the total administration costs per local authority and the total county spend on each local authority; and if he will make a s...More Button

The objective of my   Department’s Local and Community Development Programme, or LCDP, is to tackle poverty and social exclusion, through partnership and constructive engagement betw...More Button

Local Authority Staff Issues

Was asked: the number of RAPID co-ordinators employed full time by local authorities on the RAPID programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

RAPID (Revitalising Areas by Planning, Investment and Development) covers urban areas designated as disadvantaged by reference to a range of socio-economic criteria including the levels of early sc...More Button

Was asked: the number of staff who have been lost by the four Dublin region local authorities each year for the past five years, in tabular form and per local authority; if he is satisfied that each of these ...More Button

The moratorium on recruitment and promotion in the public service was introduced in March 2009 in response to the financial crisis. My Department operates a delegated sanction from the Department o...More Button

  Question No. 416 answered with Question No. 120.More Button

Housing Adaptation Grants Funding

Was asked: the action he is taking to ensure that adequate funding is provided to local authorities to deal with the demand for the housing aid for older persons scheme, the mobility aids housing grant scheme...More Button

Was asked: the amount allocated to each local authority for housing adaptation grants respectively from 2008 to 2013 inclusive.More Button

Was asked: the total funding on an annual basis allocated to Cavan County Council for the housing adaptation grants scheme for older people and people with a disability schemes from 2008 to 2013 inclusive; th...More Button

Was asked: the total funding on a yearly basis allocated to Monaghan County Council for the housing adaptation grants scheme for older people and people with a disability schemes from 2008 to 2013 inclusive; ...More Button

Proposed Legislation

Was asked: when he expects to bring forward the foreshore and marine area development Bill, in order to ensure that ports and harbours are better positioned to plan their development into the future; and if h...More Button

Was asked: if he is concerned that the production of a climate change Bill that does not have carbon emission targets for both 2020 and 2050 may end up, under the EU 2009, costing the State €300 million in ca...More Button

In releasing the outline Heads of the Climate Action and Low-Carbon Development Bill on 26 February 2013, I made a statement in which I addressed greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, with a v...More Button

Social and Affordable Housing Provision

Was asked: if he will provide a county breakdown of the number of properties identified by the National Asset Management Agency for social housing provision; the number accepted as suitable by local authoriti...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide a breakdown by county of the number of properties identified by the National Asset Managment Agency for social housing provision; the number accepted as suitable by local authori...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide an update on his Department's pursuit of the use of social housing bonds to develop more permanent social housing units particularly those in public ownership.More Button

Household Charge Collection

Was asked: the compliance rate for household charge payments on a county basis; the total national figure; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Local Government (Household Charge) Act 2011 provides the legislative basis for the Household Charge. Under the Act, an owner of a residential property on the liability date is liable to pay th...More Button

  Question No. 91 answered with Question No. 81.More Button

Water Services Funding

Was asked: the funding provided for waste water treatment plants outside urban centres of more than 500 population since 1992 and the funding provided for the construction of sewer networks, long sea outfalls...More Button

The Water Services Investment Programme (WSIP) is a multi-annual investment plan for the provision of major water and sewerage schemes. The current plan, Water Services Investment Programme 2010...More Button

Child Care Services Provision

Was asked: if all community child care groups will have their premises exempt from payment of commercial rates; if so, the basis for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his plans to exempt registered private child care facilities from commercial rates on the basis of their educational function; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 96 and 116 together.

  I refer to the reply to Questions No. 443 and 444 of 26 February 2013. The position remains unchanged.More Button

Social and Affordable Housing Expenditure

Was asked: the number of local authorities that allow for a pro-rata change in the shared ownership rent subsidy during a current year in the event that a recipient household suffers financial difficulties un...More Button

Wind Energy Guidelines

Was asked: his views on whether the current guidelines for the installation of wind turbines are sufficiently robust; and his further views that the existing planning process promotes sustainable energy and p...More Button

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Was asked: the specific measures he will take to ensure that Ireland will not exceed emissions limits laid out under the EU effort sharing decision in 2015 as is projected in the EPA CCRP report (details supp...More Button

Was asked: his views on sectorial targets for climate change; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 101 and 114 together.More Button

I refer to the reply to Question No. 258 of 14 February 2013.More Button

In issuing the Review of National Climate Policy in November 2011, I announced that a three-pronged approach would be undertaken in order to develop the necessary policy mix to support an ambitio...More Button

Significant moves forward have been made under this third pillar of the policy development agenda. In the update on progress on the development of national climate policy and legislation which I ...More Button

The key sectors are energy/built environment, transport and agriculture. While near zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2050 should set the context for the energy/built environment and transpo...More Button

The objective is to finalise these sectoral roadmaps – including a reasonable period of public consultation in the fourth quarter of this year. These sectoral roadmaps are an essential first step...More Button

Local Authority Housing Waiting Lists

Was asked: if he will set out his plans to deal with a shortage of local authority housing; if he intendeds to address the issue of the 100,000 plus families on local authority housing lists in a planned fash...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide a breakdown on a Dáil constituency basis of the number of persons on social housing waiting lists, specifying numbers waiting five years and more and ten years and more.More Button

Was asked: if he will indicate by county or local authority the number of persons currently awaiting rehousing by the local authorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his proposals to address the housing need as expressed by the number of families currently on waiting lists of local authorities or in private rent supported accommodation; and if he will make a st...More Button

Pyrite Remediation Programme Issues

Was asked: if the services to be provided in the expenditure of up to €50 million in the pyrite resolution process will be decided by competitive tender.More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that during house surveys carried out to inspect damage caused by pyrite that non-pyrite related damage to houses and significant non-compliance with Bui...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 103 and 117 together.More Button

The Building Control Acts 1990 and 2007 provides a clear statutory framework for construction activity based on legal enforceable minimum standards as set out in the Building Regulations and in d...More Button

Enforcement of the Building Regulations is primarily the responsibility of the 37 local Building Control Authorities who have strong powers to serve enforcement notices for non-compliance or to i...More Button

Homeowners and indeed their public representatives should report any concerns about non-compliance with the Building Regulations to the local Building Control Authority.More Button

Remediation of defects is a matter for resolution between the parties concerned, namely the owner and the builder/developer and their insurers. In the event that a satisfactory resolution cannot...More Button

I have recently established the Pyrite Resolution Board under the chairmanship of Mr. John O’Connor, former Chairman of An Bord Pleanála, to oversee and ensure the effective implementation of a p...More Button

Work is underway by the Pyrite Resolution Board on developing the scope and detail of a pyrite remediation scheme. Issues in relation to testing for pyritic heave, eligibility criteria for homeo...More Button

Traveller Accommodation

Was asked: the position regarding the recent underspend of €50 million by local authorities on Traveller accommodation in view of the latest European Commission report against racism and intolerance regarding...More Button

Dormant Accounts Fund Grants

Was asked: the details of the new schemes or programmes he intends to fund in 2013 out of the dormant accounts fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Disbursement Plan of 2009, put in place by the Dormant Accounts Board, will be replaced by a new disbursement scheme to be created in 2013 in accordance with the Dormant Accounts (Amendment) Ac...More Button

The legislation also provides for the preparations of an action plan each year following the making of a scheme. The plan, which will also be subject to consultation, must indicate the programmes...More Button

Environmental Regulations

Was asked: his plans to review regulations in relation to environmental impact assessments in view of the decision of a company (details supplied) to surrender its foreshore licence; and if he will make a sta...More Button

Was asked: the discussion that took place between his Department and a company (details supplied) that led to the company surrendering its foreshore licence to drill an exploratory well in Dublin Bay, includi...More Button

Forestry Sector

Was asked: if he has raised any concern with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine in relation to the effect the proposed sale of the forest crop could have on rural recreation; and if he will make a...More Button

I have not had discussions with the Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, or his Department in relation to the effect the proposed sale of the forest crop could have on rural recreation. M...More Button

RAPID Programme

Was asked: the latest date on which the national monitoring committee for the RAPID programme met; when its next meeting is scheduled; if he intends being present; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The National Monitoring Committee for the RAPID programme met on 6 October 2010. My Department last met with RAPID Chairs and Coordinators at a conference in February 2012 as part of an extensive c...More Button

Local Authority Boundaries

Was asked: when the local government boundary review will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I established a Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee on 15 November 2012 to review and make recommendations on the division of each council area, other than Cork City, into local electoral areas...More Button

Motor Tax Collection

Was asked: if he will provide an update on discussions taking place between the CCMA and his Department on the retention of some of motor tax funding in the Local Government Fund in order to maintain existing...More Button

I assume that the Question refers to general purpose grants from the Local Government Fund. The principal source of revenue for the Local Government Fund in 2013 is the proceeds of motor tax which ...More Button

My Department continues to work closely with the County and City Managers Association on all matters impacting on the local government sector, including funding issues.More Button

  Question No. 111 answered with Question No. 106.More Button

Building Regulations Application

Was asked: if he is satisfied that the housing units-apartments constructed during the past ten years comply with fire safety regulations.More Button

Since 1 June 1992, all new, extended or materially altered buildings must be built in compliance with the requirements of the Building Regulations. The requirements of the Building Regulations are ...More Button

Primary responsibility for compliance with the requirements of the Building Regulations rests with the designers, builders and owners of buildings. Implementation of enforcement measures is a mat...More Button

Neither I nor my Department have any function in relation to assessing, checking or testing compliance, or otherwise, of specific works or developments under the Building Control Acts or the Fire...More Button

My Department is currently engaged in a review of Part B/TGDB. The question of the appropriate future regulatory requirements for all buildings, including housing units, will be addressed as par...More Button

Water Quality Issues

Was asked: the extent to which he expects ground water quality to improve over the next five years with particular reference to upgrading of septic tanks, improvement to public sewerage treatment systems, inc...More Button

In accordance with the Water Framework Directive, groundwater is classified according to its chemical and quantitative status. The most recent EPA report Ireland’s Environment 2012 – An Assessme...More Button

EU Directives

Was asked: if he is working with the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht on the implementation in March 2012 of a resolution of Dáil Éireann which called on the Government to engage actively with the E...More Button

My Department’s Environmental Compliance Unit provides a co-ordinating role with the European Commission in respect of all environmental infringement cases and liaises as necessary with other Depar...More Button

  Question No. 116 answered with Question No. 96.More Button

  Question No. 117 answered with Question No. 103.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which his Department has yet to import any outstanding EU directives; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department is up to date on the transposition of all relevant EU Directives, apart from transposition of the complex and multi-faceted Industrial Emissions Directive 2010/75/EU, which was partia...More Button

Ireland topped the latest EU Internal Market Scoreboard (covering the latter half of 2012), which measures Member States’ success in transposing EU law into domestic legislation. During this peri...More Button

  Question No. 440 answered with Question No. 427.More Button

Water Supply

Was asked: the amount of funding that has been provided during his period in office for reducing unaccounted for water including all advertising; rainwater harvesting in public buildings including all adverti...More Button

Unaccounted for Water is the amount of water (generally expressed as a percentage) which enters a distribution system and which cannot be accounted for by legitimate use. Significant investment in ...More Button

Over €247 million has been spent on water conservation projects in the last decade with €39.9 million spent in 2011 and €39.25 million in 2012. The installation of rainwater harvesting systems on...More Button

Mountain Access Scheme

Was asked: when it is intended to make the pilot scheme for access to hills and mountains fully operational; if he is satisfied that this is progressing satisfactorily; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

My Department is progressing a pilot Mountain Access Scheme at two locations, Mount Gable in Connemara and Carrauntuohill in Co. Kerry. There are 94 landholders associated with the pilot scheme at ...More Button

Mountain access areas are by their nature sensitive habitats, and as such, great care must be taken to ensure that proposed developments do not generate negative consequences and lead to environm...More Button

A requirement of the proposed scheme is that participating landowners are protected against any potential claim arising from an accident or injury to a hill walker and while it has not proved pos...More Button

Given the significant benefits that can accrue from an agreed community based Mountain Access Scheme, I am committed to ensuring that outstanding issues relating to its implementation on a nation...More Button

Local Authority Funding

Was asked: if he will provide a breakdown in tabular form for each local authority indicating the allocation of funding in 2012 and 2013 for housing grants for elderly and disabled persons.More Button

Was asked: the measures he is reviewing in respect of private housing grants; the timeframe for the changes; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will provide a breakdown by county of funding provided for the housing aid for elderly persons scheme and the housing adaptation grant for people with a disability in 2012 and 2013; and if he...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide in tabular form the allocation of funding to each local authority for 2012 and 2013 in respect of housing adaptation grants, housing aid for older people and mobility aids grants...More Button

Was asked: the Local Government Fund allocation to each local authority in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I presume the question relates to General Purpose Grants from the Local Government Fund. The information requested is set out in the table below. I am satisfied that the general purpose allocatio...More Button

Was asked: when the money collected for the household charge will be distributed to local authorities in view of the fact that it is a year since the charge was introduced and local authorities are yet to see...More Button

The Local Government (Household Charge) Act 2011 provides that income from the Household Charge is to be paid in to the Local Government Fund. I have generally disbursed Household Charge revenues t...More Button

Local Authority Charges Application

Was asked: noting that self-declarations of the liability for the local property tax can be made in March 2013, with payments from July 2013 if there will be an impact on funds channelled to those local autho...More Button

Was asked: the extra local government services that residents can expect to receive with the introduction of the local property tax; and the way he expects this tax to improve the delivery of local services.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 121 and 123 together.

  Under section 157 of the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012, commencing in 2014, the Minister for Finance will pay int...More Button

Planning Issues

Was asked: the timeframe for the establishment of a planning regulator; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if local authorities are obliged to follow the development contributions guidelines for planning authorities as issued by his Department.More Button

Was asked: if local authorities are obliged to follow the development contributions guidelines for planning authorities.More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 214 of 27 February 2013, if he will clarify the meaning of his statement that guidelines published by Dublin City Council are substantially in accordance with ...More Button

Animal Breeding Regulations

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the situation in rural Ireland where persons have had their sheep herds attacked by domestic dogs; if he will consider introducing legislation making microchippin...More Button

I do not propose at this point to introduce compulsory microchipping of all dogs; however, a number of recent developments have increased microchipping usage. The regulations I introduced in early ...More Button

Mandatory microchipping of all dogs will not in itself eliminate the problem of sheep worrying. The key to tackling this issue is responsible dog ownership. Dog owners should recognise the issues...More Button

  Question No. 125 answered with Question No. 120.More Button

Motor Tax Exemptions

Was asked: if he will consider introducing a special rate of motor tax for pre-2008 seven seat family vehicles similar to the commercial rate in view of the fact that these vehicles have large engines and com...More Button

Private vehicles registered prior to 2008 are charged motor tax on the basis of engine capacity with the rates graduating upwards as the engine size increases. Any reduction in motor tax rates for ...More Button

Water Meters Expenditure

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that one of the conditions for inclusion on the sub-contractor panel for water metering work is a minimum annual turnover of €400,000; his views on wheth...More Button

Was asked: the terms of reference used by the water metering system in choosing companies to be included on the panel for the installation of water meters; his views on whether the required €400,000 turnover ...More Button

Was asked: the terms of reference used by the water metering system in choosing companies to be included on the panel for the installation of water meters; his views on whether the required €400,000 turnover ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 390, 432 and 445 together.

  I refer to the reply to Question No. 219 of 27 February 2013, which sets out the position in relation to the procure...More Button

  Question No. 391 answered with Question No. 89.More Button

Roads Maintenance

Was asked: his plans to address the issue of road maintenance in Waterford city and county (details supplied); and the timeframe for same.More Button

The moratorium on recruitment and promotion in the public service was introduced in March 2009 in response to the financial crisis. My Department operates a delegated sanction from the Department o...More Button

Under section 159 of the Local Government Act 2001, each City and County Manager is responsible for staffing and organisational arrangements necessary for carrying out the functions of the local ...More Button

My Department examines all staffing sanction requests on a case by case basis having due regard to the continued delivery of key services in the context of staffing and budgetary constraints. In ...More Button

My Department works closely with Waterford City Council and Waterford County Council in relation to overall staffing requirements. No request has been received from Waterford City Council for roads...More Button

Constitutional Amendments

Was asked: if it will be possible to hold a referendum regarding changing the wording of the Constitution to allow the numbers of Deputies to be reduced by 20; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Government has no plans to hold a referendum on Article 16.2.2 of the Constitution to allow for TD numbers to be reduced by 20. The focus of the Government is on implementing the Programme for ...More Button

Local Authority Housing Provision

Was asked: if he will provide a list of all properties purchased since 2003 for the purpose of providing homelessness accommodation by local authorities; if the property is occupied or currently vacant; the p...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide a list of all properties purchased since 2005 by local authorities; if the property is occupied or currently vacant; the price paid and the intended purpose of the purchased prop...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide a list of all properties purchased since 2005 by Dublin City Council; if the property is occupied or currently vacant; the price paid and the intended purpose of the purchased pr...More Button

Was asked: his plans for measures to ensure that local authorities properly draw down funding allocated to them to provide for the needs of local people to whom they are responsible, especially in the case of...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide a breakdown based on local authority area of the current average turnaround time for local authority housing that has become vacant; the current number of vacant public housing u...More Button

Fire Service Issues

Was asked: if his Department has completed its consideration of a formal sanction in consultation with Dublin City Council for the recruitment of 28 positions in Dublin Fire Brigade and the decision he reached.More Button

The moratorium on recruitment and promotion in the public service was introduced in March 2009 in response to the financial crisis. My Department operates a delegated sanction from the Department o...More Button

Under section 159 of the Local Government Act 2001, each City and County Manager is responsible for staffing and organisational arrangements necessary for carrying out the functions of the local ...More Button

My Department examines all staffing sanction requests on a case by case basis having due regard to the continued delivery of key services in the context of staffing and budgetary constraints. In ...More Button

My Department works closely with Dublin City Council in relation to the Council’s overall staffing requirements and, in February 2013 sanctioned 28 Emergency Services Controller positions.More Button

Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: the costs of providing hardware and software to his home and the home of Ministers of State in his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the costs of providing telephone in the homes of Ministers and Ministers of State in his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the cost of telephones and ICT provided to constituency offices, including monthly telephone bills of Ministers and Ministers of State in his Department since March 2011; and if he will make a stat...More Button

Was asked: if any additional costs other than telephones, ICT and monthly telephone bills are being paid to constituency office by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of mobile telephones in use by him, Ministers of State and politically appointed staff; the total costs of the mobile telephones since March 2011; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 398 to 402, inclusive, together.

The information requested is set out in the following table.

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Was asked: the cost of drivers of each vehicle assigned to him and Ministers of State in his Department since March 2011; the mileage and other costs claimed in respect of each since March 2011; the overall y...More Button

In line with Government policy, I do not use a State car. My Department has employed two civilian drivers since May 2011 for driving duties in my own car in line with approved arrangements, and the...More Button

Was asked: the number of credit cards issued to staff and Ministers in his Department; the total costs of each card since March 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department has issued credit cards to the 8 office holders listed below. The Table also sets out the total amount spent on each credit card since March 2011.   

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  Question No. 405 answered with Question No. 120.More Button

Non-Principal Private Residence Charge Collection

Was asked: the position regarding the non-principal private residence payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 9.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 liabi...More Button

The provision of information to potentially liable owners was regarded as an important element in the introduction of the Non Principal Private Residence Charge in 2009 and in subsequent years. T...More Button

Under the Act, it is a function of a local authority to collect the Non Principal Private Residence Charge and late payment fees due to it, and all Charges and late payment fees imposed and payab...More Button

Mortgage Arrears Rate

Was asked: if he has carried out an impact assessment on the potential effect on the numbers in mortgage distress if water charges are introduced.More Button

The Programme for Government and the Memorandum of Understanding with the EU, the IMF and the ECB provide for the introduction of domestic water charges. It is not intended that domestic water char...More Button

The Water Services Bill 2013, which completed its passage through the Dáil last week, will assign the necessary powers to allow Irish Water to undertake the metering programme. The Bill also assi...More Button

Affordability measures will be addressed by my Department and the Department s of Social Protection and Public Expenditure and Reform, in consultation with the CER, Irish Water and other stakehol...More Button

In addition, Irish Water will be required to have a range of options in place to assist householders who have difficulties in paying their bills. For example, a wide range of flexible payment opt...More Button

European Parliament Elections Issues

Was asked: if he will specify the timeframe for the re-drawing of the European Parliament constituencies; if his new regional authorities, as outlined in Putting People first, will form the basis for future E...More Button

There is a need to adjust the distribution of seats in the European Parliament to take account of the accession of Croatia this year. This is done on the initiative of the European Parliament which...More Button

In the event that the number of MEPs to be elected to represent Ireland is reduced it will be necessary to review and revise the constituency arrangement. This can be addressed once decisions are...More Button

Water and Sewerage Schemes Status

Was asked: the position regarding a proposed sewage scheme (details supplied) in County Donegal.More Button

The Gweedore Sewerage Scheme is included in my Department’s Water Services Investment Programme 2010 - 2013 as a scheme to commence construction during the lifetime of the Programme. My Department...More Button

Water and Sewerage Schemes Provision

Was asked: in view of his plans to extend the Ringsend waste water plant, Dublin, if he will ensure that appropriate assessments are carried out to ensure the protection of fishing jobs in the area.More Button

Dublin City Council’s proposal for the Ringsend Waste Water Treatment Plant Upgrade is included in my Department’s Water Services Investment Programme, 2010 – 2013 as a scheme to start during the l...More Button

Matters relating to planning applications, permits, licences and authorisations are matters for the relevant statutory regulators such as An Bord Pleanála and the Environmental Protection Agency.More Button

Was asked: his priorities to meet in full the requests as set out by the various local authorities in the context of group water schemes; if he has sought or received submissions in this regard; and if he wil...More Button

Was asked: the total funding available through his Department to meet the requests in respect of both group water and sewage schemes including small schemes; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 442 and 443 together. More Button

Responsibility for the administration of the Rural Water Programme, which includes group water schemes, group sewerage schemes and small public water and sewerage schemes, has been devolved to lo...More Button

The selection and approval of individual scheme proposals for advancement and funding under the programme, within the overall priorities set by my Department and subject to the block grant alloca...More Button

The block grant allocations provided by my Department to the water services authorities are based, in the first instance, on the requests for funding received from the water services authorities ...More Button

Decisions on the block grant allocations for each authority under the programme in 2013 will be made as soon as possible following examination of the requests for funding that have been received ...More Button

A provision of €35 million is available under the programme this year towards group water schemes, group sewerage schemes and small public water and sewerage schemes.More Button

Security of the Elderly

Was asked: if funding will be made available to enable senior alert schemes to provide carbon monoxide alarms to the disabled and the elderly; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Seniors Alert Scheme provides grant assistance towards the purchase and installation of equipment to enable older persons, without sufficient means, to continue to live securely in their homes ...More Button

Homelessness Strategy

Was asked: if he is satisfied that he has the most up-to-date information on homelessness; the sources of this information for the homelessness policy statement; the funding available to bring to an end long-...More Button

Was asked: his views on whether the development of sustainable, permanent social housing owned by local authorities is an important part of the drive to end long term homelessness.More Button

Local Authority Housing Rents

Was asked: if he will make a commitment to local authority tenants that their rents will not increase or other services be cut as a result of the levying of the property tax on local authority properties.More Button

Pyrite Remediation Programme Implementation

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the removal of pyrite from affected homes; the numbers that have successfully been completed in targets for 2013; and when the remediation scheme proposed will be op...More Button

In December, 2012 the Government approved the imposition of a levy on the quarrying and insurance sectors as a mechanism to fund a pyrite remediation scheme. Primary legislation is required to unde...More Button

The Government also approved the establishment of a Pyrite Resolution Board and I have previously announced its establishment under the Chairmanship of Mr. John O’Connor, former Chairman of An Bo...More Button

My Department is also engaging in discussions with a number of financial institutions facilitated by the Irish Banking Federation with a view to securing a loan facility which the not-for-profit ...More Button

Pyrite remediation works have been completed on a number of social housing projects and in a number of other cases they are at the early stages of investigation and testing. Extensive remediation...More Button

The report of the Pyrite Panel indicated that 1,100 private dwellings had been or were in the process of being remediated at March, 2012. I understand remediation works, funded under various form...More Button

Unfinished Housing Developments

Was asked: if he will provide an update on works to an estate (details supplied) in County Longford including the specific works that have been carried out; the timetable for future works; and any additional ...More Button

Community Development Initiatives

Was asked: the measures he is taking to ensure better community relations between the Traveller and settled communities, particularly in areas which have experienced difficulties with this in the past.More Button

Housing Statistics

Was asked: the number of publicly owned social housing units that were delivered in 2011 and 2012, respectively; and the targets for same in 2013.More Button

Local Authority Housing Maintenance

Was asked: the measures he is undertaking to ensure an improved system of social housing maintenance in local authorities with faster reaction times to serious maintenance issues and less stop gap measures to...More Button

Was asked: if following approval for Phase 3 of the Mullaghmatt remedial works scheme, Monaghan town, and the expected commencement of construction work mid-year, if urgent consideration will be given to the ...More Button

Dublin City Development Plan

Was asked: if he will establish the new north fringe urban district as a strategic development zone to provide a statutory underpinning for the work of Dublin City Council and Fingal planning staff, to ensure...More Button

Urban Renewal Schemes

Was asked: if he will offer assistance towards urban renewal to towns or villages in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he has had dialogue with the local authorities in the context of town centre urban renewal-regeneration; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Electronic Voting Machines

Was asked: the total realised for the saledisposal of the electronic voting equipment which he inherited from his predecessor; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the total all in costs including manufacture, storage and security of the electronic voting equipment; the extent of any ongoing costs; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 435 and 436 together.

  A total sum of €69,403.25 was received by the State, in 2012, in respect of the completion of the contract for the recov...More Button

  Question No. 437 answered with Question No. 434.More Button

Water Pollution

Was asked: the extent to which he expects to be in a position to fund ground water pollution alleviation measures in the current year; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I refer to the reply to Question No. 440 of 26 February 2013 which sets out the position in relation to the grant scheme for septic tanks.More Button

The priorities in my Department’s Water Services Investment Programme include the provision of works required to comply with Water Framework Directive requirements, to improve sewage treatment an...More Button

Water and Air Pollution

Was asked: the total number of reported instances of water or air pollution in each of the past four years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

With regard to detection of air pollution, ambient air quality monitoring and assessment in Ireland is carried out in accordance with the requirements of Directive 2008/50/EC on ambient air quality...More Button

  Question No. 445 answered with Question No. 390.More Button

Local Authority Development Schemes

Was asked: if there are any plans in place to reduce the level of development contribution charges which Wicklow County Council currently has in place; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button


 

 

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