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Hogan, Phil

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Water Services Provision

Was asked: if he will provide a county breakdown of the number of local authority staff engaged in water services; the future plans for those staff under Irish Water; and if he will make a statement on the ma...More Button

The independent assessment of the establishment of a public water utility undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2011 estimated that there were just over 4,000 whole-time equivalent staff directly...More Button

A fundamental underpinning of the water reform programme is to ensure that the skills and experience built up over many years in local authorities are put to the best use for the long-term benefi...More Button

A specific structure, the Irish Water consultative group, chaired by Mr. Kevin Foley of the Labour Relations Commission, was established last year to facilitate engagement between unions and mana...More Button

There are a number of questions. Ultimately, there will be an increase in employment relating to water provision. What we are seeking to do is to generate an efficient implementation programme th...More Button

I am not in a position to give the Deputy exact figures about the outcome of those discussions that are ongoing at the moment about who and how many will be seconded. I will inform the House or ...More Button

Progress is being made on service level agreements. They are not concluded yet. I expect we will go beyond 2017 in respect of the relationships between Irish Water and local government, but the...More Button

There is no public representation on the in-house management-union structure that is in place at the moment to work out these issues, but I envisage public representation on the board of Irish Wa...More Button

I do not agree with Deputy Cowen that it is appropriate to have public representation at the management-union talks that are ongoing under the chairmanship of Mr. Foley from the Labour Relations Co...More Button

Hundreds of people have expressed interest in secondment to Irish Water from local authorities. They must see career opportunities in Irish Water in the future, or they would not be interested i...More Button

Was asked: the level of funding provided by his Department to local authorities to maintain water services, including the National Drinking Water Monitoring Programme; and if he will outline the cost of the w...More Button

The overall strategy of investment in water services is to ensure that the timing and scale of investment facilitates economic and other development, achieves compliance with statutory requirements...More Button

  Question No. 30 answered with Question No. 6.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which provision has been made to meet in full domestic drinking water requirements in the short to medium term; if decisions have been made regarding sourcing of the extra supplies re...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which any evaluation has been done of the domestic and industrial water requirements on a regional basis throughout the country; the extent of the provision being made to meet such re...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 53 and 156 together.

  The overall strategy of investment in water services is to ensure that the timing and scale of investment facilitates econ...More Button

Local Government Reform

Was asked: in view of the new municipal districts proposed by the Local Boundary Commission, noting that some of these cover large geographical areas and in view of his stated intention to devolve further pow...More Button

I am confident that the new governance arrangements within counties will enable councillors to represent their constituents more effectively than under current arrangements. While the recommendati...More Button

Was asked: if a decision has been made on the powers that will be transferred from city and county managers to elected councillors; and when the relevant legislation will be drafted. More Button

The Action Programme for Effective Local Government - Putting People First, sets out Government decisions for a range of local government reform measures, including matters covered in Chapte...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which the traditional services provided by local authorities are likely to continue in the context of the reform of local government; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As indicated in the reply to Question No. 609 on 5 February 2013, The Action Programme for Effective Local Government, More Button

Local Government Reform (Continued)

The division of functions between county and district levels under the relevant legislation will be determined on the basis of what is most relevant to each level. Local matters will be dealt with...More Button

I subscribe to the general principle-----More Button

I have an idea what they are thinking. I will tell the Deputy what Sinn Féin was thinking in advance.More Button

I agree in principle with the Deputy that councillors will be covering a wider geographical area and we will have a look at resource supports to ensure that the people in local government are able ...More Button

The Deputy is making the case about the size of the areas. I draw his attention to the Sinn Féin submission to the local electoral area boundary committee, which proposed 123 local electoral are...More Button

I am disappointed at Deputy Stanley's negativity about a legislative proposal for local government reform which he has not seen yet.More Button

I will be delighted to deal with Deputy Stanley's amendments on Committee Stage. I will be very open with anyone who brings forward suggestions. I remind the Deputy that the local government syst...More Button

Water Charges Administration

Was asked: if he foresees a reduction in commercial water rates under Irish Water in view of the fact that the local authorities have been operating the polluter pays principle in relation to commercial water...More Button

The water sector reform implementation strategy, which is published on my Department’s website, is focused on ensuring that appropriate policy and legal frameworks are put in place for Irish Water ...More Button

The Government has decided to assign responsibility for the economic regulation of the water sector, including the setting of charges, to the Commission for Energy Regulation. It will be a matte...More Button

I know that Deputy Pringle has a very detailed knowledge of this work arising from his former employment. It will be a matter for the Commission for Energy Regulation to assess charges and to exam...More Button

Water Charges Administration (Continued)

Will the Deputy clarify to what liberalisation he is referring?More Button

No. Water services will continue to remain the preserve of the public utility company, Irish Water. We have learned from the previous experience with Eircom and the difficulties its sale created ...More Button

Leader Programmes Funding

Was asked: the total revised amount of funding available under the LEADER programme for projects; the amount of this funding allocated to the integrated companies to date; the total commitments entered into b...More Button

The Leader elements of the rural development programme 2007 to 2013 commenced in February 2009 after a delay of more than two years, which reduced the time available to allocate funding to less tha...More Button

More than anyone else, the Deputy knows that we are in a difficult financial position. I do not expect to receive approval from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to allocate addition...More Button

I have already allocated an additional €19 million for the basic services measure and each of the Leader companies was told last December that no more money was available other than what had alread...More Button

The Government of which the Deputy was a member did not do it.More Button

Was asked: if, in the context of the recent LEADER programme funding allocations, his attention has been drawn to the disparity of the new allocation of moneys to Comhar na nOileain Teoranta for Connemara and...More Button

Was asked: if Gaeltacht areas will be prioritised in the review of LEADER funding in August to take account of the inability of LEADER applications to be processed for communities located in Gaeltacht areas d...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 39 and 64 together.More Button

My Department recently completed a full review of expenditure under the LEADER elements of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 in order to apportion the remaining funding among all the Loca...More Button

Was asked: the number of LEADER projects of more than €150,000 that are awaiting his approval; the date each project was submitted to his Department; the total value of the projects involved; and if he will m...More Button

Funding of approximately €370 million is available under the Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2007-2013 for allocation to qualifying projects up to the end of 2013. There are 35 Local Action Group...More Button

Was asked: the reason funding which was previously sanctioned by his Department is not being made available for a project (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I understand that the project referred to in the Question was approved by Donegal Local Development Company under the LEADER elements of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013. It was selected f...More Button

Rental Accommodation Scheme Administration

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the problem that many tenants are having finding suitable accommodation under the rental accommodation scheme following the completion of their original RAS contr...More Button

Water Meters Installation

Was asked: the schedule for the installation of water meters in the different local authority areas.More Button

Was asked: the number of sub-contractors that have been appointed to implement water metering roll-out; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if his Department has estimated the cost of fixing leakages that may be discovered in the course of the installation of water meters; and who will bear the cost of paying for the fixing of these le...More Button

Was asked: the estimated number of jobs from the roll-out of water metering; the estimated length of employment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 6, 7, 17 and 30 together.More Button

The programme for Government and the memorandum of understanding with the EU, the IMF and the ECB both provide for the introduction of domestic water charges. The Government considers that charg...More Button

The procurement process for the metering programme, which is being managed by Irish Water, is at an advanced stage. The criteria for the procurement process were developed by my Department, in c...More Button

I expect 1,600 jobs will be sustained through the national metering programme. The contracts for the installation programme have been prepared to ensure that 25% of the jobs generated will be fo...More Button

Irish Water recently announced that it has awarded a contract to Cork-based company Abtran to set up and run a customer support call centre for the service. The call centre will employ up to 100...More Button

Measures to address leakage will be complementary to the water metering programme. The Department, in consultation with Irish Water, is developing proposals for customer side leaks detected as a...More Button

Deputy Joe Higgins prefers to pick figures off the top of his head. The sum of €1,000 per family is way off the mark and he knows it. People are paying, through their taxes, for the treatment of ...More Button

Was asked: if he will outline the cost that will occur in relation to the installation of the water meters; if he will provide a detailed breakdown of the roll-out of the water meters including cost of instal...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide details of the companies that are installing the water meters in households; if they have any plans to replace the existing network at stages where leaks exist; and if he will ma...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 147 and 148 together.

  In relation to the roll-out of the metering programme, the procurement process and measures to address leakage, I refer ...More Button

Water Meters Installation (Continued)

Plumbing jobs will be created under the water metering programme. We will also create more jobs through further investment in the water sector which the country is not in a position to afford at p...More Button

I do not subscribe to the Deputy's negative connotations in this matter. We have very important work to do in ensuring a plentiful supply of good quality water for job creation, investment and h...More Button

It might sound like pie in the sky to the Deputy that there will be a substantial amount of economic activity and job creation under this programme.More Button

Many people have been in touch with the Deputy, me and others in the last while about where to send curricula vitae, CVs, to get work. I hope that will continue and that people will be able to sen...More Button

With regard to the subcontractors' panel, the normal rule of the Department of Finance for subcontractors is that they must have a turnover of €1 million. I reduced the figure to €400,000 to all...More Button

I am conscious of what the Deputy has said about ensuring we get the Department of Social Protection to compile lists of all the people who are in need of employment and have the necessary old sk...More Button

The Construction Contracts Bill is an important one and being brought through the House by the Minister of State, Deputy Brian Hayes. I understand it is due to go through Committee Stage. I can g...More Button

As I said earlier regarding training programmes, we are working with the Department of Social Protection to ensure people who already have skills and are on the unemployment register, people who ...More Button

In response to Deputy Joe Higgins, the top-of-the-head figure of €1,000 per household is ridiculous.More Button

The Deputy was wrong about the local property tax figure and the bin charges figure in the past and he is wrong now.More Button

I am delighted to see that Deputy Stanley has done his sums.More Button

I will certainly convey the Deputy's suggestion on block metering to those involved in the implementation of this programme. I am sure they have thought of it already but in case they have not, I ...More Button

I do not know everything.More Button

I know Deputy Stanley has a lot of experience of these matters in Northern Ireland-----More Button

I am learning from him all the time with regard to the charges and what they provide in terms of public services in Northern Ireland. I am also learning that he is against all of that in the Repub...More Button

I say to Deputy Stanley that if he has queries or suggestions about implementation, he should write to the managing director of Irish Water, Mr. John Tierney, who will be in a position to take them...More Button

With regard to the turnover threshold of €400,000, I am not in a position to reduce that. It will be a matter for those who are under the threshold to liaise with others in the same business to ...More Button

Dormant Accounts Fund Administration

Was asked: the amount of money sanctioned from the Dormant Accounts Fund for projects in the past three years 2011, 2012 and 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Under the dormant accounts legislation, balances in dormant accounts with banks, building societies and An Post and the net encashment value of certain life assurance policies are paid into the Dor...More Button

I know that Deputy Ó Cuív is familiar with this reply from a previous occasion, so I will cut to the chase. From its establishment in April 2003 to the end of April 2013, transfers to the Dorman...More Button

I did not give the Deputy the history. I cut all of that out. I spared us all.More Button

I did cut it out.More Button

I gave the Deputy the figures.More Button

Due to decisions Deputy Ó Cuív made when he was a member of Government, it is part of the general Government debt, which has a ceiling set by the EU, the IMF and ECB. It is counted as part of our ...More Button

I have actually disbursed the moneys that I spoke about in my reply. I have approved and disbursed those funds. All of the money was spent - a total of €8.4 million in 2011 and €4.16 million in...More Button

I am not sure about prize bonds, but I will check that out for the Deputy. If there is a pot of gold there, I would be glad to avail of it. However, on the Dormant Accounts Fund, it is not a simp...More Button

I cannot make it available and the Deputy knows that.More Button

The Deputy knows that better than most, given the time he spent in government. He knows it must have the approval of the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, ...More Button

It cannot be done without the approval of the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. It is counted as part of the general Government debt and I am not in a posi...More Button

Was asked: when it is hoped to publish the next dormant accounts disbursement plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Disbursement Plan of 2009, put in place by the former Dormant Accounts Board, will be replaced later this year by a new disbursement scheme in accordance with the Dormant Accounts (Amendment) A...More Button

Pyrite Remediation Programme Issues

Was asked: the portion of the surplus held by the HomeBond fund, so far denied to householders with HomeBond structural guarantee and suffering major structural damage due to pyrite induced heave that will be...More Button

Was asked: the criteria that will be used to decide who will carry out remedial works on houses damaged by pyrite; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the role which will be played by HomeBond and HomeBond employees in the pyrite remediation works to be organised by Pyremco.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 9, 22 and 27 together.More Button

HomeBond is one of the construction stakeholders which has agreed to set up a not-for-profit entity to implement a programme of remediation in accordance with the pyrite remediation scheme drawn ...More Button

The PRB is in discussions with representatives of the stakeholders with a view to finalising its contribution to the pyrite remediation process. HomeBond’s contribution will take the form of pro...More Button

Detailed modalities that will provide for open and transparent processes, including the procurement of building services, are being discussed between the PRB and the representatives of the constr...More Button

I am confident that the PRB will ensure that the procedures put in place will adhere to best practice in terms of fair competition and will require compliance with standard procurement procedures...More Button

I share a lot of the concerns of Deputy Daly in regard to HomeBond. The fact it did not assist customers when they had problems with pyrite in their homes is disappointing. It is a private compan...More Button

However, when it came to pyrite it worked on the small print and did not come good in dealing with customers. It is a private company and I cannot confiscate its assets or money in its account. ...More Button

I was not legally obliged to do anything, but I set up the independent pyrite panel and established the facts, rather than going on top of the head remarks about the vast numbers of people involv...More Button

I set up the PRB to do things right. I have put people on the board who have expertise and credibility to make sure the job is done right. We have to set up a special purpose vehicle to draw down...More Button

I want to see those in the industry who are responsible for the problem sharing the responsibility of solving it on behalf of the people who, through no fault of their own, ended up with this pro...More Button

Was asked: his plans to deal with local authority built housing which is affected by pyrite such as some homes in Griffith Heights, Dublin 11 which are not covered by the Pyrite Report.More Button

Was asked: the position regarding redress by the pyrite board (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

One of the key recommendations of the report of the independent Pyrite Panel (July 2012) was the establishment of a Resolution Board to supervise the implementation of a pyrite remediation programm...More Button

Pyrite Remediation Programme Issues (Continued)

Any work carried out under the scheme will be certified by the Pyrite Remediation Board to ensure it meets the highest possible standards. Deputy Mick Wallace can be assured that the days of jobs ...More Button

Applications will be sought in July from persons who wish to participate in the scheme. The financial institutions are finalising the manner in which they can transfer their loan to the special ...More Button

Yes.More Button

  Written Answers follow Adjournment.More Button

Leader Programmes

The Leader elements of the rural development programme 2007-13 commenced in February 2009 after a delay of more than two years which reduced the time available to allocate funding to less than five...More Button

In this regard, in January 2012 my Department notified all local development companies, including Galway local development company, that the original allocations awarded in 2009 were no longer va...More Button

The second issue relates to the change in co-financing rates. During 2011 the European Commission approved a change in the maximum co-funding rate from 55% to 85% for the Leader elements of Irel...More Button

In January 2013, in the light of all the changes to the programme, it became necessary for me to carry out a comprehensive review of the level of commitments and expenditure across the various me...More Button

For the Galway local development companies - Galway Rural Development, Forum Connemara and Comhar na nOileán - this represented a decrease from their original allocation. The redistribution of a...More Button

I cannot be responsible for the Connacht Tribune.More Button

The rationale behind the alignment of community projects and local government is to reduce administrative costs and provide more money for front-line services and projects for individuals and commu...More Button

Leader Programmes (Continued)

That amounts to 30% of all moneys available. It is an enormous amount of money in administrative funding and I would love to see some of it diverted to ensure local development company projects in...More Button

Approximately 2,000 people are employed in the various programmes in the community sector. A total of 250 people are employed under the rural development programme. It is only the administrativ...More Button

I understand and accept the frustration of local development companies at the reduction in the rural development programme allocation, as the overall size of the programme has reduced by approxim...More Button

We have received approval from the European Union for the alignment of community development and local government to streamline our structures and maximise the opportunities for projects. We hav...More Button

Health Service Executive (Governance) Bill 2012: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage

  Debate resumed on amendment No. 2More Button

Finance (Local Property Tax Repeal) Bill 2013 [Private Members]: Second Stage (Resumed) (Continued)

What about the principle of the tax?More Button

Yes; I thought the Deputy was in favour of a united Ireland.More Button

The Deputy's party talks to him too.More Button

The Deputy was blaming Fianna Fáil a few minutes ago.More Button

If that individual is in receipt of mortgage interest supplement he would have been exempt from the charge last year.More Button

Those people are fortunate they are not living in Northern Ireland.More Button

He should go back to the ink bottle. Go back to the ink cartridges.More Button

The Deputy is a funny guy.More Button

As opposed to the united Ireland for the slow learners opposite.More Button

That is the first true statement the Deputy has made all night.More Button

I can assure the House that no one wants to pay taxes.More Button

I am sure that is a big surprise to Deputy Gerry Adams. One can table any motion one likes about abolishing taxes, but it is human nature that no one wants to pay taxes, least of all a new tax.More Button

The options are very limited when one is in a troika agreement and our economic sovereignty was ceded by our predecessors. It is not easy to ask the people for a further contribution to bail us ou...More Button

That is so-called socialism. Members opposite must be the only ones who call themselves socialists who do not want to impose taxes on property.More Button

Sinn Féin wishes to abolish taxes in this jurisdiction that it is prepared to stand over in the North of Ireland.

  Regarding the household charge, to Deputy Brian Stanley’s cred...More Button

I must compliment Deputy Mary Lou McDonald as she said that at least people should pay the property tax as it was the law of the land.More Button

I am surprised the other so-called socialists, Deputies Joe Higgins and Richard Boyd Barrett, are not in the Chamber. In the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council area 90.53% of those liable for...More Button

Sinn Féin is out of sync with the electorate. In spite of their personal financial difficulties, the people have rejected the Sinn Féin campaign and have instead registered for the household charg...More Button

These are the people who want to make a real contribution in a modest way towards getting us out of the financial difficulties in which we find ourselves. These are the real patriots who want to r...More Button

I expect the local property tax to have multiple benefits, including providing a more sustainable and resilient system of funding for local government. Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil want to impose mor...More Button

They do not want to broaden the base, including income tax. Sinn Féin and other socialists should not be hypocritical. In opposing the local property tax they are leading unfortunate low-paid ind...More Button

Westminster is a bit like the troika.More Button

You would want to watch that one, Gerry.More Button

Stay away from the banks.More Button

Sure the Deputy does not want property tax.More Button

The Deputy does not want a property tax.More Button

Nonsense.More Button

We are taxing them.More Button

Tiocfaidh ár lá.More Button

Wastewater Treatment

Was asked: the number of waste water treatment inspectors appointed to date; the total number of inspectors expected to be appointed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of inspections on waste water treatment systems carried out to date; the total number of inspections expected in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of septic tank assistance grants distributed to date; the estimated number of grants to be distributed in 2013; the estimated average grant; the estimated total cost; and if he will make...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 10, 18 and 25 together.

  The Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012 assigns responsibility to the Environmental Protection Agency to make a Nationa...More Button

Local Authority Staff Numbers

Was asked: in view of the fact that the local authorities have reduced their staff from 37,243 in 2008 to 28,268, if he will outline in tabular form the local authorities from which these reductions took plac...More Button

The moratorium on Public Service posts was introduced in 2009 and my Department operates a delegated sanction for its implementation in relation to local authorities. Under section 159 of the Local...More Button

Rural Development Policy

Was asked: the new initiatives taken by him to assist rural development; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My colleague, Minister Coveney and I established the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas (CEDRA) in September 2012 and tasked it to investigate the opportunities and challenges f...More Button

Was asked: if his Department is the lead Department responsible for rural development; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: when it is intended that CEDRA will report to him; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 47 and 58 together.

  Responsibility for various aspects of rural development rests with a number of Departments. The Department of Agriculture, ...More Button

Local Authority Housing Provision

Was asked: the number of vacant local authority homes here on average at any one time; the current average turn around time for vacant local authority homes including the fastest and slowest figure; and the s...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide funding to local authorities to build specific instance houses in rural areas to accommodate families in rural communities acknowledging that they are a very cost effective way o...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which it is expected to increase local authority housing stock in line with the local authority housing waiting lists in the next three years excluding any provisions in respect of vo...More Button

Was asked: the number of housing units likely to be constructed for or provided directly by local authorities or voluntary housing agencies in the course of the next four years; the extent to which this is in...More Button

Local Authority Funding

Was asked: if he is satisfied that funding for local Government is on a sustainable footing in view of the overall near 40% reduction in the sum allocated to the Local Government Fund in the past five years a...More Button

The traditional model of local authority funding has been through a combination of central and local resources; General Purpose Grants and other Grants and Subsidies provided by Government are comp...More Button

The Household Charge, introduced in 2012, has made an important contribution to the Local Government Fund. The €131m revenue raised by the Charge so far has funded vital local services and has be...More Button

The local government funding model will change considerably in 2014. Under the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012, commencing in 2014 the Minister for Finance will pay into the Local Governmen...More Button

I expect the Local Property Tax to have multiple benefits, including a more sustainable and resilient system of funding for local authorities and therefore a sounder financial footing for the pro...More Button

An important purpose of the changes to the funding of the local authorities has been to place the local government sector on a more sustainable financial footing. The concept of financial sustain...More Button

Local Authority Housing Maintenance

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the conditions being experienced by many low paid or unemployed private rental tenants especially in Dublin's inner city as highlighted by reports from the RIAI a...More Button

Local Government Reform Expenditure

Was asked: the estimated total amount of savings from the abolition of town councils; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Government’s Action Programme for Effective Local Government indicated that it would be reasonable to project a target for overall savings in the range €15 to €20 million per annum ...More Button

  Question No. 17 answered with Question No. 6.More Button

  Question No. 18 answered with Question No. 10.More Button

Was asked: the estimated total cost of new councillor numbers in Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The total cost of allowances for additional councillors in the Dublin local authorities is currently estimated to be around €1.5 million per annum. This additional cost will arise from reducing th...More Button

Proposed Legislation

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the progress made in introducing legislation to put in place a funding mechanism for the repairs needed to pyrite affected housing here.More Button

Following Government approval of the general scheme of a Pyrite Remediation Bill work is now under way, as a matter of urgency, on developing the Bill and it is my intention that it will be publish...More Button

Rural Development Programme Funding

Was asked: the discussions he has had to date with the EU and with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine in relation to the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine (DAFM) is the Managing Authority for the Rural Development Programme, and is in ongoing discussions with the European Commission on the 2014-2020 Prog...More Button

The Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) which provides the financial allocation for each fund and Member State has yet to be approved by the European Parliament.  The European Council has agree...More Button

Discussions on CAP Reform, led by my colleague the Minister, Deputy Coveney, at EU level, continue in trialogues between the European Council, Parliament and Commission.  This includes the Rural ...More Button

For the period 2014-2020 the Rural Development Fund will form part of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), including the Social Fund, Regional Development Fund and Cohesion Fund a...More Button

Leader Programmes Administration

Was asked: the percentage of project commitments that will have been made by the end of this year under the LEADER programme that he expects to be completed by the latest date to draw down EU funds under the ...More Button

The LEADER elements of the Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2007 – 2013 commenced in February 2009 after a delay of more than two years which reduced the time available to allocate funding to less...More Button

My Department has notified all LDCs that it will review the level of commitments in late August to ensure that no company is failing to commit the monies that I have made available to them. My De...More Button

  Question No. 22 answered with Question No. 9.More Button

Departmental Funding

Was asked: the channel that will manage any future EU community led local development funding and LEADER funding; and if the proposed alignment of local government will impact on this.More Button

Significant matters regarding EU Community-led Local Development funding and LEADER funding for the 2014-20 period are yet to be agreed, including the value of funding and the regulations governing...More Button

Waste Management Regulations

Was asked: if there is legislation preventing local authorities from negotiating contracts, similar to those in the Six Counties, whereby waste collection companies would pay local authorities for the recycla...More Button

A Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) published by my Department in July 2012 considered the introduction of franchise bidding by local authorities for household waste collection. This approach has be...More Button

  Question No. 25 answered with Question No. 10.More Button

Rural Recreation Promotion

Was asked: if he intends to introduce legislation in relation to countryside access; his view on the recent legislation introduced in the House by Deputy Dowds; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

An expert group established by the then Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs to examine and make recommendations on “the Legal Issues of Land Access for Recreational Use” and issues ...More Button

My Department continues to work with stakeholders through Comhairle na Tuaithe and is currently negotiating the implementation of a National Indemnity Scheme which will indemnify private landowne...More Button

  Question No. 27 answered with Question No. 9.More Button

Was asked: if Comhairle na Tuaithe has made any recommendation in relation to legislating for countryside access; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Comhairle Na Tuaithe, was established in January 2004 to address the three priority issues of:More Button

- Access to the countryside More Button

- Developing a countryside codeMore Button

- Developing the National Countryside Recreation Strategy (published in 2006).More Button

Through Comhairle Na Tuaithe (CNaT), a set of agreed parameters to facilitate access to the countryside for recreational users were set out. The then Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht ...More Button

Regeneration Projects Status

Was asked: the plans he has developed for the revitalisation of town centres; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Water and Sewerage Scheme Grants

Was asked: his plans to enhance the group sewerage scheme grant; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I refer to the reply to Question No. 642 of 11 June 2013, which outlines the position on this matter.More Button

Priory Hall Development

Was asked: the date on which Mr. Justice Finnegan will furnish his report to him on all outstanding issues connected with Priory Hall, Dublin; and if he will confirm that his Department will continue to provi...More Button

The resolution process in respect of the problems associated with the development at Priory Hall, which I understand is on-going, arose in the context of legal proceedings which were adjourned to a...More Button

I am supportive of the Priory Hall residents and my Department is supporting the efforts of Dublin City Council on their behalf, and has previously assisted the Council, in consultation with NAMA...More Button

Wind Energy Guidelines

Was asked: if he will set out in detail the process through which a company such as a particular company (details supplied) would establish an offshore wind farm in the foreshore, as is currently proposed for...More Button

Housing Issues

Was asked: if he will set out the objectives with specific targets in respect of the implementation of a comprehensive capital housing programme with particular reference to the need to meet the requirements ...More Button

Was asked: if he has met with the Department of Social Protection in relation to the development of a dedicated pathway as suggested by Focus Ireland to provide sufficient support to those under 25 years livi...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he has quantified the local authority housing requirements in each local authority area by reference to the number of the housing applicants recorded by each authority; if he in...More Button

Social and Affordable Housing Provision

Was asked: the new initiatives taken by him to tackle the problems in areas of high deprivation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

While a number of Government Departments have initiatives to tackle problems in areas of high deprivation, my Department focuses in particular on community and housing issues. My Department’s Comm...More Button

Was asked: his plans to aid local authorities in developing new more independent housing structures which could seek financing for the provision of social housing in a similar fashion to voluntary housing bod...More Button

Homeless Persons Supports

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the recent report from Dublin Region Homeless Agency on the number of persons sleeping rough in the city; his plans to address the growth in these numbers and to ...More Button

Fire Service Issues

Was asked: if he will outline in tabular form the funding his Department allocated to each local authority for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and to date in 2013 for their respective fire service.More Button

The provision of a fire service in its functional area, including the establishment and maintenance of a fire brigade, the assessment of fire cover needs, the provision of a premises and the making...More Button

Was asked: if an adequate risk assessment has been done for the Keeping Communities Safe document; the reason local fire authorities are not being merged into one overseeing body; and if he will make a statem...More Button

I have recently published Keeping Communities Safe (KCS) as national policy for the future direction of fire services in Ireland. The document was prepared by the National Directorate ...More Button

Irish Water Expenditure

Was asked: if he will provide a detailed breakdown of the cost of establishing Irish Water, including wages, contracting out services and programme spending.More Button

Property Taxation Application

Was asked: the way he expects local authorities to cover the cost of the local property tax on their social housing stock; and if he will issue a directive that local authority rents should not be raised as a...More Button

Rent Supplement Scheme Administration

Was asked: if, in advance of the transfer of the administration of the rental supplement scheme to local authorities, he has consulted with the Department of Social Protection on the issue of allowing local a...More Button

RAPID Programme

Was asked: the number of RAPID AITs that have full time co-ordinators; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the names of the chairs of the RAPID area implementation teams; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 49 and 57 together.

  The information requested in the question is being up-to-dated by my Department. I will arrange for the compiled data to b...More Button

Was asked: if he intends winding up the RAPID programme; if not, the actions he will take to ensure this programme delivers on its aims; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The RAPID programme aims to ensure that priority attention is given to tackling the spatial concentration of poverty and social exclusion in RAPID areas nationally. The programme has made substant...More Button

Building Regulations Amendments

Was asked: his plans to revise building regulations to regulate the retrofitting of septic tanks; the plans, if any, he has to introduce a grant for upgrading of septic tanks; and if he will make a statement ...More Button

The Building Regulations normally apply to new dwellings and to existing dwellings where a material change is being carried out. Where a service is being replaced then the requirements of the buil...More Button

National Spatial Strategy

Was asked: the progress he has made on the creation of a new national spatial strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Rental Accommodation Scheme Expenditure

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that Dublin City Council has confirmed to councillors that it is spending €1.5 million more per year on the rental accommodation scheme than is given to ...More Button

Local Authority Housing Issues

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the recent call by NABCO and ICSH for investment in social housing which would support jobs; and if he is considering any proposals to undertake an investment pac...More Button

Was asked: if he will include social clauses for the long-term unemployed in any projects under the aegis of his Department announced as part of the extra €150 million in capital expenditure for 2013 and 2014...More Button

Electoral Divisions Report

Was asked: the status of the report on the Constituency Commission produced in June 2012 recommending no changes to electoral boundaries for European Parliament elections; in view of a decision taken at Europ...More Button

Constituencies for European Parliament elections were most recently reported on in the 2012 Constituency Commission Report, where no change to the existing arrangement of European Parliament consti...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 ar...More Button

NAMA Social Housing Provision

Was asked: if he will provide an update in the delivery of the National Asset Management Agency social housing; the cost to date to the State; and the amount it is estimated that the return of each unit will ...More Button

Was asked: the number of units from the National Asset Management Agency housing stock that have been taken under control by local authorities; and the number that are occupied at this moment in time.More Button

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

Property Taxation Exemptions

Was asked: the reason his Department refused to add four unfinished estates in County Wexford (details supplied) to its list of unfinished housing estates to be exempt from the local property tax; and if he w...More Button

Irish Water Funding

Was asked: the other sources of funding that are available to Irish Water apart from the National Pensions Reserve Fund, public Exchequer and borrowing on the commercial market; and the way it will access thi...More Button

Dormant Accounts Fund Deposits

Was asked: the net inflow of funds from dormant accounts in the years 2011, 2012 and to date in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Under the Dormant Accounts legislation, balances on dormant accounts with banks, building societies and An Post and the...More Button

  Question No. 67 answered with Question No. 61.More Button

Non-Principal Private Residence Charge Administration

Was asked: whether the non-principal private residence tax is payable for 2013; if it will continue, and when it will end; whether it is payable in respect of the same properties for which the local property ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 137 and 140 together.More Button

The Local Property Tax is being introduced on a half year basis this year and accordingly 50% of the Tax is payable in 2013. The Local Property Tax and Non Principal Private Residence Charge oper...More Button

Leader Programmes Expenditure

Was asked: the amount of money that remains for sanctioning in respect of projects under the Leader programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

During 2011, the European Commission approved a change in the maximum co-funding rate from 55% to 85% for the LEADER elements of Ireland’s Rural Development Programme but only for expenditure incur...More Button

To date, the Local Development Companies (LDCs) have committed €228 million on projects and spent €54 million of administration/ animation (€42 million of this on administration). Up to €74 milli...More Button

Departmental Reports

Was asked: if he will set out the value for money reports and the focused policy assessments carried out within his Department since March 2011; the actions that have been taken to implement such reports; and...More Button

My Department has concluded a number of Value-for-Money and Policy Reviews since March 2011, namely:

- Value for Money Review of the CLÁR and RAPID Leveraged Expenditure Approach. A...More Button

Parking Charges

Was asked: if local authorities can apply parking charges to privately owned car parks in retail parks; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

A local authority has powers to make bye-laws for or in relation to the use, operation, protection, regulation or management of any land, services or any other matter provided by or under the contr...More Button

Tenant Purchase Scheme Applications

Was asked: if he will extend the 30 June deadline for tenants to purchase their local authority home under the 2011 scheme to allow more tenants to avail of this scheme's favourable terms.More Button

Pyrite Resolution Board Remit

Was asked: the reasons County Donegal is not included in the pyrite resolution board; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The independent Pyrite Panel, which I established in September 2011, undertook a desktop study, in conjunction with stakeholder consultation, to establish certain facts in relation to the potential...More Button

Planning Issues

Was asked: if quarries which are currently operational will continue to operate during the substitute consent process contained within the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010; and if he will make a ...More Button

Fire Service

Was asked: if he is satisfied regarding the adequacy of structures of the fire services part-time and whole-time throughout the country; if any particular weaknesses exist which might affect the ability of th...More Button

I refer to the reply to Question No. 153 of 2 May 2013, which sets out the position in relation to this matter.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which the cost-cutting requirements he inherited are affecting the quality and capacity of emergency services such as the fire services; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I refer to the reply to Question No 606 of 5 February 2013 which sets out the position in this matter.More Button

Housing Adaptation Grants Funding

Was asked: the extent to which the various local authorities have received adequate provision to meet the disabled person's housing adaption grant requirements in 2013; the numbers awaiting approval throughou...More Button

Local Authority Housing Mortgages

Was asked: when it is expected that legislation to improve the shared ownership mortgage scheme will occur with particular reference to the need to facilitate those who find themselves unemployed and the need...More Button

Waste Water Treatment Issues

Was asked: the number of reported incidents of pollution that have arisen from the malfunction or inadequacy of municipal waste water treatment plants; the action taken or pending arising therefrom on a count...More Button

The Environmental Protection Agency is the statutory body responsible for the supervision of wastewater discharges from local authority wastewater treatment plants. The Agency is also the statutor...More Button

Rented Dwellings Register

Was asked: the total number of landlords registered in each of the years 2004 to date in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button