Written Answers.

The following are questions tabled by Members for written response and the ministerial replies as received on the day from the Departments [unrevised].
Questions Nos. 1 to 8, inclusive, answered orally.
Questions Nos. 9 to 73, inclusive, resubmitted.
Questions Nos. 74 to 77, inclusive, answered orally.

Private Rented Accommodation.

Catherine Byrne

Question:

78 Deputy Catherine Byrne asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs his views on both the large number of persons in receipt of rent supplement and the large sums of money being paid by his Department to landlords under this scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12459/08]

Rent supplement is administered on my behalf by the Health Service Executive (HSE), as part of the supplementary welfare allowance scheme. The tenant makes the application for rent supplement and the Department's relationship is with the tenant in all cases. Payment is made to the tenant in most cases, it is the property of the tenant in all cases and is specifically for the benefit of the tenant to assist them with their accommodation needs. In the minority of cases where payment is made direct to a landlord, this is done to facilitate the tenant.

Rent supplement has over the years developed beyond the original objective of providing short-term assistance with accommodation. A significant number of people have now come to rely on rent supplement for extended periods, including people on local authority housing lists. For this reason, the scheme has to be viewed in the context of overall housing policy, particularly in the case of long-term claimants.

In response to this situation, the Government has introduced new rental assistance arrangements which include the rental accommodation scheme (RAS). This gives local authorities specific responsibility for meeting the longer-term housing needs of people receiving rent supplement for 18 months or more, on a phased implementation basis. Housing authorities can meet the housing needs of these individuals through a range of approaches including the traditional range of social housing options, the voluntary housing sector and, in particular, a public/private partnership type rental accommodation scheme.

When the new rental assistance arrangements have been fully implemented it is expected that in excess of 30,000 individuals will have transferred from the rent supplement scheme to the local authorities under the rental accommodation scheme or other social housing schemes. This will enable the rent supplement scheme to revert to its original objective, namely that of a short term income support scheme.

I intend to keep the rent supplement scheme under review and my Department will be working closely with the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government in ensuring that RAS meets its objective of catering for those on long term rent supplementation while enabling rent supplement to return to its original role of a short-term income support.

Questions Nos. 79 to 82, inclusive, answered orally.
Question No. 83 answered with Question 79.

Social Welfare Benefits.

Liz McManus

Question:

84 Deputy Liz McManus asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the position regarding the commitment in the programme for Government to expand the free telephone rental scheme to providing free broadband for older people; his timeframe for implementation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10580/08]

The telephone allowance is a component of the household benefits package which also includes the electricity/gas allowance and free television licence schemes. The package is generally available to people living in the State, aged 66 years or over who are in receipt of a social welfare type payment or who satisfy a means test. It is also available to people aged under 66 who are in receipt of certain disability social welfare payments or carer's allowance. There are currently some 355,000 customers in receipt of household benefits at an annual cost of €317 million.

The primary objective of the telephone allowance scheme is to ensure access to help in an emergency and to provide an element of security. A secondary objective is to encourage social contact and to assist in the prevention of social isolation for those living alone.

The Department has endeavoured to meet the demands of deregulation, notably in the telecoms market, where it supports multiple providers within the fixed-line telephone business.

A restructuring of the telephone allowance to a cash value was undertaken in 2003 and this has facilitated the inclusion of additional providers in the scheme since July 2004. The scheme was further extended to include mobile phones in April 2007 as a result of improvements announced in Budget 2007. Since then, customers have the choice to either opt for a direct credit to a telephone company for their landline or a cash payment in respect of their mobile phone. This means that it is no longer necessary for a person to have a fixed line phone in order to benefit from the telephone allowance. There are currently some 15,000 customers availing of the mobile phone option.

In addition, the value of the telephone allowance was increased in line with general price increases in August 2007 from €296 per annum to €310.80 per annum.

The Programme for Government includes a commitment to extend the scheme further to incorporate broadband services for older people. However, where people access the internet using a landline, the tele phone allowance applies to their bill usage and will cover the cost of calls or internet usage up to the level of their allowance. My Department is currently examining how best to implement this commitment in cases where a landline does not exist and customers are not availing of their allowance in respect of a mobile phone.

Departmental Schemes.

Charlie O'Connor

Question:

85 Deputy Charlie O’Connor asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the ongoing action he will take to ensure that there is a high level of awareness among the public of all schemes administered by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11850/08]

The primary objective of my Department's information policy is to ensure that all citizens are made aware of the wide range of schemes and services available and that they are kept informed of changes and improvements as they occur.

The Department operates a network of approximately 130 local and branch offices throughout the country. Each Local Office has officers who are dedicated to providing information and are available to explain supports and services to people. This locally based service is supported by a central Information Unit which operates a LoCall information line (1890 66 22 44) which customers may call for information and guidance on their entitlements.

The Department produces a comprehensive range of information leaflets and booklets covering each social welfare payment or scheme which are available in a wide range of outlets, including Social Welfare Offices, Citizens Information Centres and Post Offices. Booklets are also available from the LoCall Leaflet Request Line 1890 20 23 25.

In addition, information on all our schemes and services is available on the Department's website, www.welfare.ie. Information leaflets can be downloaded from this site or a request can be made online for a booklet to be posted out.

A pro-active approach is taken in advertising schemes and services by using a mix of national and provincial media and through fact sheets, posters, direct mailshots and advertising on plasma screens in approximately 80 Credit Unions nationwide. Nationwide advertising campaigns are undertaken periodically to promote greater awareness of schemes or to highlight changes to particular schemes and services.

Presentations and talks are given by staff of the Department to various interest groups relevant to their needs. Staff also attend exhibitions and seminars throughout the country promoting information on social welfare rights and entitlements.

The Department works closely with voluntary and community organisations involved in an information giving role. A number of such organisations receive funding on an annual basis towards the cost of providing information on welfare rights and services for their target groups.

The Citizens Information Board, which comes under the aegis of my Department, is the national information agency with responsibility for supporting the provision of independent information and advice on the broad range of social services including social welfare services. Information is provided through Citizen Information Centres and other offices throughout the country, through a phone service which operates from 9am to 9pm Monday to Friday, and on the website at www.citizensinformation.ie.

I am satisfied that my Department is taking all necessary steps to ensure that people are made aware of their entitlements.

Social Welfare Code.

Leo Varadkar

Question:

86 Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the position in relation to the review process regarding new guidelines which was to be completed by 10 March 2008 on people returning to Ireland having being born here and other EU citizens coming to Ireland to seek the same social welfare benefits; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12132/08]

The requirement to be habitually resident in Ireland was introduced as a qualifying condition for certain social assistance schemes and child benefit with effect from 1 May 2004. The reason for the introduction of the habitual residence condition was to ensure that persons who have not worked in Ireland or who have not established habitual residence in Ireland cannot avail of assistance schemes or child benefit. The restriction is not based on citizenship, nationality or any other factor. The question of what is a person's "habitual residence" is decided in accordance with European Court of Justice case law, which sets out the grounds for assessing individual claims.

These grounds are now specified in Section 30 of the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2007. Each case received for a determination on the Habitual Residence Condition is dealt with in its own right and a decision is based on application of the guidelines to the particular individual circumstances of each case. Any applicant who disagrees with the decision of a Deciding Officer has the right to appeal to the Social Welfare Appeals Office.

EU legislation prohibits discrimination between nationals of EU member states in the context of freedom of movement of workers and their access to social security or social assistance entitlements. Therefore national legislation must not differentiate between Irish nationals and EU nationals in the application of the Habitual Residence Condition. Irish nationals returning to live here, on a permanent basis, should experience no difficulty in meeting the requirements of the Habitual Residence Condition.

The operation of the condition was reviewed by my Department in 2006 and the report of the Review was published on 1st February 2007. The full content of the Review may be accessed on the Department's website www.welfare.ie. The process undertaken to amend the existing guidelines, in the light of the report of the Review is now in its final stages.

Proposed Legislation.

Alan Shatter

Question:

87 Deputy Alan Shatter asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if he will introduce legislation to enable transgendered persons to obtain new birth certificates reflecting their new sexual identity in response to the High Court judgment delivered in proceedings taken against the State by a person (details supplied) which resulted in a High Court declaration that laws here are incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6347/08]

The case referred to by the Deputy concerns the rights of a person who has undergone gender reassignment surgery to recognition of her acquired gender. In particular, the person in question sought a declaration pursuant to section 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003 that the Civil Registration Act 2004 is incompatible with the provisions of Articles 8, 12 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights in failing to allow for a correction to the person's birth registration.

In a High Court judgement delivered on 19 October 2007, the judge indicated that he intended to issue a declaration of incompatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights. Section 5(3) of the European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003 provides that a copy of any order containing such a declaration be laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas within 21 sitting days of the date when the order is made.

The judge made his order at a hearing on 14 February 2008 and the perfected order was issued on 10 March 2008. The order of the court contains a declaration pursuant to Section 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003 that Sections 25, 63 and 64 of the Civil Registration Act 2004 are incompatible with the obligations of the State under the European Convention on Human Rights by reason of their failure to respect the private life of the Applicant as required by Article 8 of the Convention in that there are no provisions which would enable the acquired gender identity of the Applicant to be legally recognised in this jurisdiction. The judge also ordered that the execution of the judgment be stayed for a period of two months from the date of perfection of the order and, in the event of an appeal that execution be further stayed until the final determination of such appeal.

While the Deputy refers to the introduction of legislation to enable transgendered persons to obtain new birth certificates reflecting their new sexual identity, the judgment has implications for a wide range of legislative and policy areas including taxation, social welfare, pensions, family law, criminal law, equality, employment, sport, financial services, health, education and so on. As the judgment of the High Court is the subject of an appeal to the Supreme Court, it is not appropriate for me to comment further at this time.

I would, however, point out to the Deputy that Section 5(2) of the European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003 provides that a declaration of incompatibility does not affect the validity, continuing operation or enforcement of the existing law relating to civil registration.

Socio-Economic Review.

Seymour Crawford

Question:

88 Deputy Seymour Crawford asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs his views on the figures published by CORI Justice in the Socio Economic Review for 2008, entitled Planning for Progress and Fairness that show that more than 20% of all children here are at risk of poverty; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12128/08]

Enda Kenny

Question:

90 Deputy Enda Kenny asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs his views on figures published by CORI Justice in the Socio Economic review for 2008, entitled Planning For Progress and Fairness, that show 720,774 people, 17% of the population, have incomes less than the standard poverty line recognised by the European Commission and the UN; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12125/08]

Pat Breen

Question:

120 Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs his views on the annual Socio Economic review for 2008, entitled Planning for Progress and Fairness, published by CORI Justice, which showed that almost 750,000 people still live in households with incomes below the poverty line; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12124/08]

Enda Kenny

Question:

127 Deputy Enda Kenny asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs his views on the figures published by CORI Justice in the Socio Economic Review for 2008, entitled Planning for Progress and Fairness that show that 50% of all households at risk of poverty are headed by a person outside the labour force that is they are elderly, have a disability, are ill or have caring roles that prevent them from taking up a job; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12126/08]

Seymour Crawford

Question:

151 Deputy Seymour Crawford asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs his views on the figures published by CORI Justice in the Socio Economic Review for 2008, entitled Planning for Progress and Fairness that show that less than 15% of all households at risk of poverty are headed up by a person who is unemployed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12127/08]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 88, 90, 120, 127 and 151 together.

The CORI Justice annual socio-economic review published last week sets out a comprehensive and detailed analysis of developments in Ireland in recent years and the challenges Ireland faces to achieve a fairer society. I welcome the review and its contribution to shaping policy priorities to bring about a more inclusive society.

The review acknowledges the significant progress that has been made in lifting people out of poverty. The "poverty line" used in the review refers to the income threshold based on a percentage of average median income. This percentage is 60 per cent for the EU threshold. People with incomes below the 60 per cent threshold are regarded by the EU as being "at risk of poverty", relative to the prevailing living standards of the countries where they reside. Whether people "at risk" are actually in poverty depends on other factors such as degree to which their income is below the threshold, the duration of low income, employment participation, family responsibilities, disabilities, housing and access to other resources and services. A high proportion in this category in more developed and prosperous countries such as Ireland are not experiencing actual poverty.

For example, 60 per cent of median income for a family of two adults and two children in Ireland in 2004 (latest comparable figures available) was 17,802 euro. By comparison, this threshold was four times higher than that for Bulgaria which was 4,269 euro and significantly higher than that for a number of other EU countries. This means that many classified as "at risk of poverty" in Ireland have incomes and purchasing power that would put them well above the "at risk of poverty" threshold in many other EU countries. To provide a more balanced view of the situation the EU Commission now publishes a table giving the levels of the 60 percent threshold for all EU countries adjusted for purchasing power.

For the UN, the percentage of average median income used is 50 per cent. Using the latest EU SILC figures for 2006, 9.1 per cent overall were below the 50 per cent threshold, compared to 18.5 percent below the 60 per cent threshold.

The consistent poverty measure, developed by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), measures actual poverty and deprivation as compared to relative income. It is used in Ireland as the basis for setting objectives and targets and measuring progress under the national anti-poverty strategies and national action plans. .A person with income below 60 per cent of median income is regarded as being in consistent poverty if he or she also experiences deprivation in relation to two out of 11 items considered essential for a basic standard of living in Ireland. The importance and value of this type of measure is now recognised at EU level. Work is in progress to develop a clear and consistent basis for its application EU wide to complement the "at risk of poverty" measure in providing a more balanced and accurate analysis of the overall poverty situation.

There is, however, no acceptable level of poverty and tackling poverty and social exclusion remain key priorities for the Government. The degree of progress made in recent years, however, augurs well for what can be achieved in the future. For example, unemployment in the last quarter of 2007 at 4.5 per cent and long term unemployment at 1.2 per cent are among the lowest in the EU. Between 1997 and 2008 spending on social welfare increased from €5.7 billion to €17 billion. The impact of these changes has resulted, for example, on the basis the most recent information available, in the consistent poverty rate being reduced from 8.2 per cent in 2003, when the EU-SILC survey was first introduced, to 6.5 per cent in 2006.

Looking to the future, the overall goal of the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion (NAPinclusion) 2007-2016 and the social inclusion commitments in the National Development Plan is to reduce the number of persons experiencing consistent poverty to between 2 per cent and 4 per cent by 2012, with the aim of eliminating consistent poverty by 2016. Twelve high level strategic goals and over 150 detailed targets are designed to achieve this aim. They cover a range of services that includes early childhood development and care, education, health and long-term care, housing, income support, employment supports.

However, experience has shown that more effective outcomes can be achieved by an integrated approach that focuses on the multifaceted needs of people and by greater coordination of policies and programmes to meet those needs. The NAPinclusion addresses this challenge through adopting a lifecycle stage approach, in line with Towards 2016, with specific measurable goals set for each lifecycle group: children; people of working age; older people and people with disabilities; and their communities.

Ending child poverty is a particular priority. Budget 2008, for example, included €194 million improvements in income supports to combat child poverty focused on increases in the early childcare supplement and in child benefit. Further such improvements for families with children included increases in the family income supplement, in the back to school clothing and footwear allowance and the school meals scheme.

Employment is the main route of poverty. Most children in poverty or at risk of poverty are in households where parents are not in employment or in low income employment. A major priority in the strategies is to remove obstacles and disincentives to employment for those of working age such as access to education and training, income support, health, housing, transport, and lack of child care services through an integrated policy approach at both national and local levels. Provision for carers is also being significantly improved. These actions are specifically targeted at those of working age that are identified in the CORI review as being most vulnerable to poverty and social exclusion, including the working poor, lone parents and people with disabilities.

A further major priority is to ensure that older people, who are most dependent on income support, health and other relevant services, have an adequate standard of living and a good quality of life. Budget 2008 has taken the first step to fulfilling the Programme for Government commitment to achieving a pension of at least 300 euro per week by 2012 by increasing the State Pension (Contributory) by 14 euro a week to 223.30 euro and the State Pension (Non- Contributory) by 12 euro a week to 212 euro. Since 2002, the level of the State Pension (Contributory) has increased by over 147.30 euro to 223.30 euro. These measures have contributed to reducing consistent poverty among this group by almost a third from 3.1 per cent in 2005 to 2.2 per cent in 2006. The proportion of older people below the EU ‘at risk of poverty' threshold has also more than halved from 29.8 in 2003 per cent to 13.6 per cent in 2006.

My priority, in working with Government to deliver the NAP inclusion over the coming years, is to build on the significant and visible progress already made in reducing poverty. It will involve, in particular, delivering real improvements in living standards and well-being for the most vulnerable in our society and continued investment in a range of measures to bring about the fairer and more inclusive society to which we all aspire. Full account will be taken of CORI's analysis and recommendations in the further development of policies and programmes to achieve these goals.

Private Rented Accommodation.

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

89 Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if his attention has been drawn to the Central Statistics Office’s consumer price index detailed sub-indices report of February 2008 which indicates that rents have increased by 10.5% in 12 months; and when he will increase rent supplement limits to reflect this trend. [12187/08]

Rent supplement is administered on my behalf by the Health Service Executive (HSE) as part of the supplementary welfare allowance scheme. Rent supplement is subject to a limit on the amount of rent that an applicant may incur. Rent limits are set at levels that enable the different eligible household types to secure and retain basic suitable rented accommodation, having regard to the different rental market conditions that prevail in various parts of the State. The objective is to ensure that rent supplement is not paid in respect of overly expensive accommodation having regard to the size of the household. There are currently over 61,000 rent supplements in payment. Some 52,000 have been awarded since the current rent limits were set in January 2007. This suggests that the limits are set at reasonable levels at present.

Setting maximum rent limits higher than are justified by the open market would have a distorting effect on the rental market, leading to a more general rise in rent levels. This in turn would worsen the affordability of rental accommodation unnecessarily, with particular negative impact for those tenants on lower incomes, including people in low wage employment. Notwithstanding these limits, under existing arrangements the HSE may, in certain circumstances, exceed the rent limits. This discretionary power ensures that individuals with particular needs can be accommodated within the scheme and specifically protects against homelessness.

In January 2007 a review was completed of the maximum levels of rent which a person may incur and still be eligible to receive rent supplement. The purpose of the review was to inform the process of setting new limits, applicable from January 2007 until 30 June 2008. The review included consultation with the HSE, the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Central Statistics Office, the Private Residential Tenancies Board and voluntary agencies working in this area. This process ensures that the new rent limits reflect realistic market conditions throughout the country. Arising from the review, rent limits were adjusted upwards, from January 2007, for a number of household types in 14 counties at an annual cost of €13 million. I intend to have rent limits reviewed this year with a view to implementing any revision found to be necessary, from 1 July 2008. A consultative approach will be used to conduct this review.

Question No. 90 answered with Question No. 88.

Employment Support Services.

Sean Sherlock

Question:

91 Deputy Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the arrangements in place to assist carers to re-engage with the workforce or training or education after the death of the person they are caring for; and the way the income needs of long-term carers are met by his Department in these circumstances. [12200/08]

Persons in receipt of carer's allowance, carer's benefit and the respite care grant may engage in employment, self employment, training or education outside the home for up to 15 hours per week and still be considered to be providing full-time care and attention for the purposes of the schemes. This enables carers to retain an attachment to the labour market while they are caring if their circumstances allow. Those carers who avail of this facility are likely to remain in the workforce or in education or training when their caring role ceases.

Carer's allowance recipients who have ceased caring duties may be eligible to apply for the back to work allowance or back to education allowance schemes. The back to work allowance scheme enables social welfare customers to return to the workforce in either paid employment or self-employment and retain a proportion of their social welfare payment over a number of years.

The back to education allowance scheme is an educational opportunities scheme for social welfare customers who wish to return to education at either second or third level.

The objective of the scheme is to enhance the employability skills of vulnerable groups who are distant from the labour market. Participants in the scheme receive a standard weekly rate of payment equivalent to the relevant social welfare payment they were in receipt of prior to participation in the scheme.

Budget 2007 provided for significant structural reforms to introduce new arrangements whereby people in receipt of a social welfare payment, other than carer's allowance or benefit, who are also providing someone with full time care and attention, can retain their main welfare payment and receive another payment, depending on their means, the maximum of which will be equivalent to a half rate carer's allowance.

Similarly, people currently in receipt of a carer's allowance, who may have an underlying eligibility for another social welfare payment, can transfer to that other payment and continue to receive up to a half rate carer's allowance. The back to education allowance scheme is one of the payments which can be paid in addition to half-rate carer's allowance. Those in receipt of a social welfare payment in addition to a half-rate carer's allowance will continue to be supported by the Department with their primary payment when their caring role has ceased.

My Department addresses the income needs of long-term carers who are no longer in a caring role based on their individual circumstances. Some carers will return to the workforce and will no longer require income support, others may avail of some of the employment or educational supports offered by my Department. Older carers may be in receipt of a state pension from my Department and this payment will continue when caring ceases.

I will keep the supports for carers available from my Department under review in order to continue to improve the schemes and ensure that commitments in relation to income support are delivered.

Private Rented Accommodation.

Leo Varadkar

Question:

92 Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs his views on his Department putting in place a system to ensure that landlords to which his Department makes payments provide their PPS number; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12131/08]

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

117 Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if, in view of the failure of his Department to collect approximately €200,000 per year in tax from non-resident landlords who his Department pays rent supplements to directly, he will conduct a cost benefit analysis of introducing a paper-based system to collect this tax; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12189/08]

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

145 Deputy Ruairí Quinn asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the steps he is taking to improve co-operation between his Department, the Private Residential Tenancies Board, Revenue Commissioners and local authorities in relation to the effective and coordinated administration of rent supplement. [12179/08]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 92, 117 and 145 together.

Rent Supplement is administered on my behalf by the community welfare division of the Health Service Executive. The purpose of the rent supplement scheme is to provide short- term income support to eligible tenants living in private rented accommodation, whose means are insufficient to meet their accommodation costs and who do not have accommodation available to them from any other source.

The tenant makes the application for rent supplement and the Department's relationship is with the tenant in all cases. Payment is made to the tenant, it is the property of the tenant and is specifically for the benefit of the tenant to assist them with their accommodation needs. Approximately 20% of rent supplemented tenants have chosen to have rent supplement paid direct to their landlord. These arrangements are made at the request of the tenant and are usually a simple matter of personal budgetary/income management convenience for the tenant.

The Department is committed to effective co-operation with the Revenue Commissioners, the PRTB and also with the local authorities, in conjunction with the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. Details of rent supplemented tenancies have for many years been supplied to the Revenue Commissioners, in a format agreed with them, including details of payments made in respect of tenancies where landlords were resident outside the state. Details were also supplied in respect of rent supplement paid directly to non-resident landlords. Tax collection is of course the responsibility of the Revenue Commissioners and my department has no responsibility in this regard. Although the department does not have a facility to withhold tax from rent supplement paid directly to non-resident landlords, the Revenue Commissioners can use the data which we supply to them to check tax compliance in relation to all landlords whose tenancies are rent supplemented.

The Finance Act 2007 obliges the department to collect and supply the Revenue Commissioners with Landlord PPS or other Revenue Reference Number. The Department is endeavouring to find a solution that would allow it to meet these requirements. Issues, including legal and administrative issues, associated with the collection and recording of landlord PPS numbers on the Department's IT systems, are being examined. Liaison continues with the Revenue Commissioners in relation to all of these matters.

The Department supports the requirement that tenancies facilitated by rent supplement should be registered with the PRTB and is working co-operatively with the PRTB to achieve this. To that end my Department provides the PRTB with details of rent supplement payments to enable them identify tenancies that are not registered and take any follow-up action necessary.

I consider that the existing co-operation between the Department and the other government departments and agencies continue to produce positive and effective outcomes which have resulted in better housing solutions for long term rent supplement recipients and supports the local authority in meeting their responsibilities in relation to housing standards. It has also identified key groups of landlords whom both the Revenue Commissioners and PRTB can target with regards compliance with their respective legislation.

Social Welfare Fraud.

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

93 Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if he will confirm a current investigation by his Department which found that 2% of non-contributory State pensions were improperly claimed; if measures are in place in his Department to recover fraudulent claims; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12113/08]

A key objective of my Department's control strategy is to ensure that the right person is paid the right amount of money at the right time. As part of this strategy, my Department undertakes surveys of the levels of fraud and error to identify the types of claims which should be prioritised for review. The process involves a review of a random sample of cases, generally in the region of 1,000, to assess the underlying levels of fraud and error with action being taken by scheme managers to address the risks identified. When a survey is completed the results are extrapolated and are used to provide the overall fraud and error rate in terms of the percentage of cases affected and the percentage of annual expenditure in the scheme attributed to fraud and error.

A fraud and error survey of the State Pension (Non Contributory) scheme was recently completed to determine the level of fraud and error within that scheme. The State Pension (Non Contributory) scheme has a customer base of 97,000 pensioners and for the purpose of this survey 1,008 cases were reviewed. Cases were randomly selected to show representation across a range of parameters including region, gender, age, means etc. The result of the survey confirmed that the level of fraud was extremely low with only one case out of the 1008(0.1%) deemed to be fraudulent. An error rate of 1.9% was identified and mostly related to cases with means. The majority of these cases were reduced by €10 per week or less. The outcome of the survey confirms that the risk control policy in place for State Pension (Non Contributory) is working effectively.

All overpayments relating to fraudulent claims are actively pursued. In 2006 a new debt management strategy was developed for the Department to pursue the recovery of debt, to maximise recovery levels with due regard to value for money and with particular emphasis on recovery from people no longer dependent on social welfare payments.

I am committed to ensuring that social welfare payments are available to those who are entitled to them. I am also determined to ensure that abuse of the system is prevented and is dealt with effectively when detected. In this regard the control programme of my Department is carefully monitored and the various measures are continuously refined to ensure that they remain effective.

Child Support.

Michael D. Higgins

Question:

94 Deputy Michael D. Higgins asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the changes he will make to child income supports in view of the National Economic and Social Council report, Child Income Supports: The Case for a New Form of Targeting. [12208/08]

Paul Kehoe

Question:

102 Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if his Department is studying the recently published National Economic and Social Council research paper Ireland’s Child Income Supports: The Case for a New Form of Targeting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12123/08]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 94 and 102 together.

The principal child-centred income support is child benefit, payable in respect of children up to the age of 16 years and to age 19 in the case of children who are in full time education or suffering from a long-term disability. Payment is not affected by parental means or employment status.

The Department's other main child income supports are the qualified child increase, paid in addition to social welfare payments and family income supplement, paid to low-income employees working a specified minimum number of hours per fortnight and who have at least one qualified child.

The number of FIS recipients has substantially increased in recent years, from just over 12,000 at the end of December 2002 to the current figure of almost 23,000. My Department is currently undertaking a project to determine if, despite this increase in take up, there are significant numbers of qualifying families who have not yet availed of this payment. This project is expected to report later in 2008.

In addition, the early childcare supplement, paid by my department on behalf of the Office of the Minister for Children in respect of all children under 6 years of age who receive CB, also makes a significant contribution to recipient families.

For a number of years, government policy has been to invest additional resources in child benefit. This policy focus was driven, in part, by the recognition that the loss of qualified child increases by social welfare recipients on taking up employment could act as a disincentive to availing of work opportunities. In terms of tackling work disincentives, the shift towards child benefit has been significant. For example, in 1994 child benefit represented 29% of the total child income support payment for a four child family and is now 64%. In other words, a family will now only lose 36% of their child income support when a welfare recipient loses entitlement to a primary social welfare payment.

Under the terms of an earlier Social Partnership agreement the National Economic and Social Council was asked to examine the feasibility of merging the family income supplement with qualified child increase with a view to creating a single second tier child income support. This commitment to examining such a change was subsequently embodied in the current social partnership agreement ‘Towards 2016'. NESC commissioned John Sweeney to bring forward proposals for child income support and his research paper was received towards the end of 2007. NESC did not reach agreement on the proposals.

The broad objectives of child income support are to bring about an improvement in the relative overall position of families with children compared with single persons or childless couples and to alleviate child poverty. In considering future policy, it is important to keep in mind the multiple objectives behind the provision of such support and to maintain the correct balance between child benefit and more selective measures. Dr Sweeney's research paper will make an important contribution to this process.

Industrial Relations Issues.

Joe Costello

Question:

95 Deputy Joe Costello asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the current industrial relations issues affecting the transfer of staff from the Health Service Executive to his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12186/08]

The transfer of certain functions from the HSE to my Department is a major programme that has implications for important services and also affects, on a personal level, the staff delivering these services. Accordingly, the programme to implement the transfer is being managed in a careful and comprehensive manner.

In relation to the Industrial Relations considerations associated with this transfer, a specific industrial relations process has been put in place to manage this element of the transfer process. A Joint Liaison Group was established involving SIPTU, IMPACT, the HSE, the Department of Health and Children and my Department. My Department is also involved in discussions with the unions representing staff in the Department through the Departmental Council.

The Joint Liaison Group has met very intensively over the last six months. An independent chairman has been appointed to facilitate the negotiations. The relevant Departments including my own and the HSE are aiming to reach a collective agreement with the trade unions in relation to the transfer. There has been a productive and meaningful engagement by all the parties involved. While there has been progress on some issues during this process a number of issues remain to be resolved.

I am satisfied that the considerable level of consultation and engagement by my Department as well as the HSE and Department of Health & Children with the unions concerned will allow for all the issues of concern to be progressed.

Social Welfare Reviews.

Dinny McGinley

Question:

96 Deputy Dinny McGinley asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the number of welfare reviews of individuals carried out in the past five years; if these reviews are carried out on a regular and targeted basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12119/08]

The prevention of fraud and abuse of the social welfare system is an integral part of the day-to-day work of my Department. A key objective of my Department's control strategy is to ensure that we pay the right person the right amount of money at the right time.

Systematic risk analysis is a key element of the control strategy. This entails the identification, of areas of high risk of fraud and abuse in the schemes and putting in place appropriate measures to address them in a systematic way. The purpose of this approach is to ensure that review policies and activities are targeted on areas that pose a higher risk of fraud and abuse.

Reviews carried out in the past five years are detailed in the following table:

Year

Customer Reviews

Employer Reviews

Total

2003

312,233

7,561

319,794

2004

305,759

6,645

312,404

2005

323,629

5,699

329,328

2006

329,173

4,853

334,026

2007

341,078

4,763

345,841

Total

1,611,872

29,521

1,641,393

Controls are exercised at both the initial claim stage and at subsequent stages during the claim life-cycle. Over 600 staff at local, regional and national level are engaged on a full or part-time basis on work related to the control of fraud and abuse of the social welfare system.

I am committed to ensuring that social welfare payments are available to those who are entitled to them. In this regard the control programme of my Department is carefully monitored and the various measures are continuously refined to ensure that they remain effective.

Social Welfare Benefits.

Pat Rabbitte

Question:

97 Deputy Pat Rabbitte asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the progress to date in respect of the commitment in the programme for Government to examine the possibility of introducing a paternity benefit; the number of cross-departmental meetings that have been held; and when he expects the payment will be introduced. [12195/08]

Responsibility for questions relating to entitlement to paternity leave rests with the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform. The question of a social insurance funded payment for paternity leave would be contingent on an underlying entitlement to statutory parental leave.

Joanna Tuffy

Question:

98 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the timescale proposed for the completion of the pilot projects arising from the discussion paper Proposals for Supporting Lone Parents; and when he expects to be in a position to bring proposals to Government. [12211/08]

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

100 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if he will make amendments to the upcoming legislation affecting lone parent payments, in the wake of expressions of concern that the legislation will force single parents into work without providing adequate childcare. [12093/08]

Mary Upton

Question:

122 Deputy Mary Upton asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs when he will act on the proposals contained in Proposals for Supporting Lone Parents; and the way he will coordinate services and address poverty traps associated with some of the proposals. [12194/08]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 98, 100 and 122 together.

The Government discussion paper, "Proposals for Supporting Lone Parents," put forward proposals for the expanded availability and range of education and training opportunities for lone parents; the extension of the National Employment Action Plan to focus on lone parents; focused provision of childcare; improved information services for lone parents and the introduction of a new social assistance payment for low income families with young children. The paper also proposed the abolition of the cohabitation rule as a condition for receipt of the proposed social assistance payment.

Under the proposals, the contingency of lone parenthood would no longer exist. Instead, a new payment would be made to all parents (living alone or with a partner) with young children on low income. Issues such as the possible poverty traps caused by the initial income support proposals are currently being addressed within my Department.

As I have stated before, any proposed new payment can only be introduced when the necessary co-ordinated supports and services are put in place on the ground by other Departments and Agencies. This is why the Senior Officials Group on Social Inclusion has been tasked with bringing forward a plan on the key issues of childcare, education, training and activation measures.

The testing phase of the non-income measures contained in the discussion paper has ended and the outcome of the process is currently being considered in my Department. This will inform the further development of the proposals. I have asked that a number of issues be examined and I hope to bring the matter to the Cabinet Committee on Social Inclusion in the coming months.

Emmet Stagg

Question:

99 Deputy Emmet Stagg asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs his plans to extend entitlement to free travel. [12191/08]

Dan Neville

Question:

561 Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if he will make a statement on a matter (details supplied). [11591/08]

I propose to take Question Nos. 99 and 561 together.

The free travel scheme is available to all people living in the State aged 66 years or over. All carers in receipt of carer's allowance and carers of people in receipt of constant attendance or prescribed relative's allowance, regardless of their age, receive a free travel pass. It is also available to people under age 66 who are in receipt of certain disability type welfare payments, such as disability allowance, invalidity pension and blind person's pension. People resident in the State who are in receipt of a social security invalidity or disability payment from a country covered by EU Regulations, or from a country with which Ireland has a bilateral social security agreement, and who have been in receipt of this payment for at least 12 months, are also eligible for free travel.

The scheme provides free travel on the main public and private transport services for those eligible under the scheme. These include road, rail and ferry services provided by companies such as Bus Átha Cliath, Bus Éireann and Iarnród Éireann, as well as Luas and services provided by over 80 private transport operators.

The proposal to extend the free travel scheme to those aged under 66 with certain conditions who are not in receipt of a qualifying payment is one of a range of proposals made to extend the free travel scheme. Further extensions to the scheme could only be considered in a Budgetary context and taking account of the financial and other needs of those not covered by the existing arrangements.

Question No. 100 answered with Question No. 98.

David Stanton

Question:

101 Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if he will outline the work of the maintenance recovery unit of his Department; the number of cases dealt with by this unit in 2006 and 2007; the total amounts recovered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12214/08]

Mary Upton

Question:

138 Deputy Mary Upton asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the extent of compliance with determination orders issued by his Department to parents for the upkeep of their children; the cost in 2005, 2006 and 2007 of his Department’s activities in relation to unpaid maintenance; and the steps he is taking to improve compliance among parents and reduce costs to his Department. [12192/08]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 101 and 138 together.

The purpose of the Maintenance Recovery Unit (MRU) is to recover some or all of the moneys being expended on social welfare payments for lone parents. In every case where a one-parent family payment is awarded, the Maintenance Recovery Unit seeks to trace the other parent (liable relative) in order to ascertain whether he or she is in a financial position to contribute towards the cost of one-parent family payment. This follow-up activity takes place as soon as possible after the award of payment.

The methods of assessment of the liable relative's ability to pay are specified in detail in my Department's Regulations. The assessment is based on net income and certain allowances are deducted. Certain categories of liable relative are not pursued due to personal circumstances or because they have low incomes.

All liable relatives assessed with maintenance liability are issued with a Determination Order setting out the amount of contribution assessed. Decisions on the amounts assessed can be appealed to the Social Welfare Appeals Office.

MRU pursue eligible liable relatives by issuing Determination Orders, first reminders, revised Determination Orders, final notices and submitting cases for court action (since 2001, 215 cases were referred for legal action). In addition older cases are reviewed to determine if there has been a change in the liable relative's circumstances.

Applicants for one-parent family payment are required to make ongoing efforts to look for adequate maintenance from their former spouses, or, in the case of unmarried applicants, the other parent of their child. Since 2001, one-parent family payment claimants are allowed to retain half of any maintenance received without reduction in their social welfare entitlements, as an incentive to seek support.

Where, following contact with the liable relative, there is no compliance with a Determination Order issued by my Department, the recipient of one-parent family payment is reminded of their obligation to seek maintenance in order for their payment to continue.

The following appendix gives details of cases dealt with by MRU and costs of MRU activity.

APPENDIX

Results of MRU Activity 2006-2007

Liable Relative

2006

2007

No Trace

2,228 (16%)

1,761 (15%)

On Social Welfare

2,208 (16%)

1,893 (16%)

Other — LR unknown/violent

2,341 (17%)

1,811 (16%)

Working—

No contribution due

4,599 (34%)

4,221 (37%)

Determination Order issued

2,187 (17%)

1,842 (16%)

Total

13,593

11,528

Savings arising from MRU Activity 2006-2007

2006

2007

Direct Cash Receipts

1,958,334.00

1,512,037.82

OFP Payments Disallowed/Reduced

18,366,941.00

not available

Cost of MRU Activity 2005-2007 (Wages, Overtime and Ancillary Costs)

2005

2006

2007

469,682

426,619

522,496

Question No. 102 answered with Question No. 94.

Private Rented Accommodation.

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

103 Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if, in view of the very slow impact of the rental accommodation scheme on the number of households in private rented accommodation claiming rent supplement for 18 months or longer, he will review as a priority the barriers to employment currently experienced under the qualifying criteria for rent supplement. [12188/08]

The programme for Government includes commitments to reduce long-term reliance on rent supplement. This is being done mainly by providing enhanced financial incentives for people taking up employment and by providing long-term housing solutions under the rental assistance scheme.

Significant changes to the means test were implemented in 2007 specifically to facilitate people returning to work. Where a person has additional income in excess of the standard weekly rate of supplementary welfare allowance, the first €75 of such additional income together with 25% of any additional income above €75 is disregarded for means assessment purposes.

This improvement in the assessment of means for those with income from employment, applies to all rent supplement recipients who are engaged in employment of less than 30 hours per week. It also applies to those returning to full-time employment and who are accepted as eligible for accommodation under the rental accommodation scheme (RAS). These measures ensure that those returning to work or participating in training schemes are better off as a result of taking up such an opportunity. It is estimated that the gross annual cost of this provision is of the order of €5.2 million.

Overall I consider that the current eligibility thresholds, income disregards and associated arrangements ensure that people have a financial incentive to take up employment opportunities. I intend to keep the rent supplement scheme under review and my Department will be working closely with the Department of the Environment Heritage and Local Government in ensuring that RAS meets its objective of catering for those on long term rent supplementation, while enabling rent supplement to return to its original role of a short-term income support.

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

104 Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the number of times in each of the past five years where rent supplement was refused or a claim suspended or cancelled because the accommodation was found to be unfit for habitation. [12181/08]

Róisín Shortall

Question:

546 Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the number of times in each of the past five years where rent supplement was refused or a claim suspended or cancelled due to the fact that the accommodation was found to be unfit for habitation. [12464/08]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 104 and 546 together.

The supplementary welfare allowance scheme, which includes rent supplement, is administered on my behalf by the Community Welfare division of the HSE. Enforcement of housing standards regulations is a matter for Local Authorities and the Community Welfare Service of the HSE is not qualified to undertake this work. However, under legislation introduced by my predecessor in October 2006 the Health Service Executive (HSE) can decide that a rent supplement may not be payable where it has been notified by a housing authority regarding the non-compliance with standards.

Where a notification is received from a housing authority in respect of an existing tenant, the Community Welfare Officer would discuss the situation with the tenant and take whatever action it decides is necessary in the best interests of the tenant. These arrangements are aimed at improving the standards of accommodation which rent supplement tenants occupy and support the local authority in meeting their responsibilities in relation to housing standards.

The most recent information available from the Health Service Executive (HSE) is that it has received 18 notifications of failure to meet housing standards since the new arrangements came into place in October 2006. 12 of these notifications were in respect of existing tenancies and all rent supplement claims have been terminated. 6 were in respect of tenancies which were not rent supplemented and rent supplement has not been paid in respect of these tenancies since notification was received.

Where the executive becomes aware of accommodation or blocks of accommodation which appears to it to be sub-standard, it notifies the local authority and it may advise prospective tenants at that premises that rent supplement will not be paid in respect of these tenancies. Details of new rent supplements are given to the PRTB in order to ensure that these tenancies are registered by landlords. Revenue generated from registration of additional tenancies will support the inspection of accommodation.

In addition details of rent supplement tenancies that are of more than 18 months duration are notified to local authorities every quarter. This information is primarily for the purpose of identifying rent supplement tenants for transfer to the Rental Accommodation Scheme. However local authorities inspect the accommodation concerned before accepting them on to RAS and this information sharing assists in enforcing standards.

Social Welfare Budget.

Arthur Morgan

Question:

105 Deputy Arthur Morgan asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if he has received a projection of the amount that may be needed to cope with rising unemployment. [12087/08]

Jim O'Keeffe

Question:

136 Deputy Jim O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if, in view of rising unemployment, he will bring forward a Supplementary Estimate on same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12106/08]

Arthur Morgan

Question:

142 Deputy Arthur Morgan asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs his views on a recent report which revealed Government officials believe that significant extra funds will be needed to meet the rising cost of unemployment benefit in the coming months. [12086/08]

Willie Penrose

Question:

144 Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if he is satisfied that the allocation for jobseeker’s allowance and jobseeker’s benefit for 2008 is sufficient to meet demand for the payment in view of the recent large increase in the live register; his intentions to introduce a supplementary estimate to cater for the increase; and the locations where he will make savings to cater for this supplementary estimate. [12196/08]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 105, 136, 142 and 144 together.

The Estimates allocation for jobseeker's allowance in 2008 is €1,019.8 million while the provision for jobseeker's benefit is €614.52 million. Expenditure on these schemes amounted to €875 million and €545.6 million respectively in 2007. This year's allocations are based on an underlying live register forecast of an average of 170,000 for the year. Live register forecasts are determined by the Department of Finance. Developments in relation to jobseeker's allowance and jobseeker's benefit will be closely monitored during the year in the context of the Government's framework for reporting on public expenditure.

Social welfare scheme expenditure is incurred almost entirely on payments to individual recipients based on pre-determined qualifying conditions and rates of payment. The expenditure, which is demand-led, is driven by a range of economic, social and demographic factors. The issue of a supplementary estimate will be considered if, and where, the need for such a measure arises.

Social Welfare Benefits.

Phil Hogan

Question:

106 Deputy Phil Hogan asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the number of people who received jobseeker’s benefit since January 2008; the number of people who received the payment for the same period in 2007; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12108/08]

Phil Hogan

Question:

129 Deputy Phil Hogan asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the number of people who received jobseeker’s allowance since January 2008; the number of people who received the payment for the same period in 2007; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12107/08]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 106 and 129 together.

At the beginning of January 2008, there were 90,063 people signing for Jobseeker's Allowance. The number has increased by 8,574 to 98,637 at 21st March 2008. The comparative figures for 2007 were 84,122 at the beginning of January increasing by 991 to 85,113 at 23rd March 2007.

At the beginning of January 2008, there were 70,647 people signing for Jobseeker's Benefit. The number has increased by 16,678 to 87,325 at 21st March 2008. The comparative figures for 2007 were 61,523 at the beginning of January increasing by 372 to 61,895 at 23rd March 2007.

The figures reflect a substantial increase in the number of people on the Live Register in the 12 months to 21 st March 2008. The increase in the numbers on Jobseeker's Benefit which is short-term in nature and based on paid PRSI contributions, was almost double that for the means-tested Jobseeker's Allowance.

My Department, through its Employment Support Services and in conjunction with other agencies, continues to assist persons on the Live Register to make the transition to work, education or relevant training. Under the National Employment Plan, people who are approaching 3 months on the Live Register are identified by my Department and referred to FÁS for interview with a view to job placement or offer of training. A significant measure available to eligible long-term unemployed people is my Department's Back to Work Allowance scheme which allows them to retain part of their social welfare payment for a period when they take up employment or self-employment.

Other measures include the Back to Education Allowance scheme, the Technical Assistance and Training grants and the PRSI Exemption Scheme. In addition, the Activation and Family Support Programme and the Second Chance Education Opportunities Scheme offer supports to social welfare customers and other disadvantaged persons to assist them in improving their employability and personal and family situations.

Social Welfare Fraud.

Dan Neville

Question:

107 Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs when his Department will undertake fraud and error surveys for 2008; the number of same that will take place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12130/08]

The prevention of fraud and abuse of the social welfare system is an integral part of the day-to-day work of my Department. A key objective of my Department's control strategy is to ensure that we pay the right person the right amount of money at the right time.

My Department includes surveys of the levels of fraud and error as part of its control strategy to identify the types of claims, which should be prioritised for review purposes. My Department is committed to undertaking two such surveys annually, to establish the levels of fraud and error arising.

The process involves Inspectors reviewing a random sample of claims to assess the underlying levels of fraud and error, action being taken by scheme managers to address the fraud and error risks identified and further surveys being undertaken using the first survey as a benchmark against which these further surveys can be measured.

The surveys are carried out in accordance with the criteria laid down by the C&AG for the successful implementation of baseline fraud and error surveys as follows:

1. All cases for inclusion in the survey must be selected randomly from the population of cases in payment at a specific time.

2. The sample size must be sufficiently large to yield reasonably reliable estimates.

3. The reviews should be carried out quickly

4. The results of the survey should be capable of being audited

5. Cases should be tested fully for all possible breaches of regulations.

6. The monetary values of any changes as a result of the review together with the monetary value of the sample should be captured so that the results can be extrapolated to draw conclusions about the estimated value of the loss.

When the survey is completed the results are extrapolated and are used to provide an estimate of the overall cost of fraud and error within the scheme.

Two surveys are planned for 2008. The first survey on the state pension contributory scheme will be undertaken in Quarter 2, 2008 and a second on jobseeker's allowance scheme is planned for Quarter 3.

National Carers Strategy.

Richard Bruton

Question:

108 Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the progress to date on the new national carers strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12102/08]

Richard Bruton

Question:

128 Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the number of meetings that have been held in relation to discussions on the new national carers strategy; the persons present at the meetings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12103/08]

Shane McEntee

Question:

146 Deputy Shane McEntee asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the completion date for the new national carers strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12104/08]

David Stanton

Question:

545 Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the number of times the national carers strategy working group has met to date; the composition of the group; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12223/08]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 108, 128, 146 and 545 together.

The development of a national carers' strategy is a key Government commitment in both the national partnership agreement "Towards 2016" and the Programme for Government. A working group, chaired by the Department of An Taoiseach, has begun work on developing the strategy.

My Department provides the secretariat to the working group which also includes representatives of the Departments of Finance, Health and Children and Enterprise, Trade and Employment as well as FÁS and the Health Service Executive. To date, the working group has held two meetings, one in February and the other in March. A list of those who attended the meetings is set out at the end of the reply. It is intended to hold the next meeting later this month.

Developing the strategy involves consultation with other Departments and Government agencies not represented on the working group. Yesterday, my Department hosted a consultation meeting with several organisations including the Equality Authority, Combat Poverty Agency, Citizen's Information Board, Pobal, the Family Support Agency, the National Economic and Social Council, the National Council on Ageing and Older People, the Office of the Revenue Commissioners, the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, the Department of Education and Science and the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform. A list of attendees is set out at the end of the reply.

"Towards 2016" commits the DSFA to hosting an annual consultation meeting of carer representative groups and relevant Departments and Agencies. Such a meeting was held on 23 January 2008. Representatives of 12 groups and 9 government departments and agencies attended. A list of attendees is set out at the end of the reply.

The theme was the National Carers' Strategy and groups were given an opportunity to comment on the draft terms of reference and to raise other issues considered relevant in the context of the strategy. Key issues were recognition for carers and their work, accessing suitable health services, income support (including pensions) and access to training and employment. Another meeting with carer groups will be held when the results of the public consultation process are available.

The commitment to the development of a National Carers' Strategy includes a commitment to appropriate consultation with the social partners. An update in relation to the strategy was provided to the social partners plenary session in February. It is intended that the first consultation meeting with the social partners will be held in April.

A request for submissions from the public was published in regional newspapers during the week beginning 3 March 2008 and in the national daily papers on Friday 7 March. It is also on the front page of my Department's website. Representative groups and the social partners have been advised of this process. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 18 April 2008. To date, 35 submissions have been received. It is intended to publish the strategy later this year.

Carers Consultation Meeting 23 January 2008 List of Attendees

Name

Organisation

Enda Egan

The Carers Association

Frank Goodwin

The Carers Association

Mary McMahon

Caring for Carers Ireland

Liam O’ Sullivan

Care Alliance Ireland

Mairead Hayes

Senior Citizen’s Parliament

Gráinne McGettrick

Alzheimer Society of Ireland

Deirdre Carroll

Inclusion Ireland

Stephen MacWhite

People with Disabilities in Ireland

Joan O’Donnell

Disability Federation of Ireland

Eamon Timmins

Age Action Ireland

Clare Cassells

Crosscare

Áine Uí Ghiollagáin

Cúram

Mary Sherry

Irish Farmers Association

Orlaigh Quinn (Chair)

Department of Social and Family Affairs

Dearbháil Nic Giolla Mhicíl

Department of Social and Family Affairs

Catherine Curley

Department of Social and Family Affairs

Caitríona O’Connor

Department of Social and Family Affairs

Denis Galvin

Department of Social and Family Affairs

Colin Byrne

Department of Social and Family Affairs

Alison Keogh

Department of Health and Children

Sinead Hanafin

Office of the Minister for Children

Deirdre Scully

Health Services Executive

John Fitzpatrick

Department of Finance

Patsy Purtill

Department of Finance

Denis Breen

Department of An Taoiseach

Anne Gale

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Caroline Savage

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Theresa Donohue

Department of Environment, Heritage & Local Government

Aisling Byrne

FÁS

National Carers' Strategy Working Group Meetings

List of Attendees

Organisation

Attendees 5 February 2008

Attendees 13 March 2008

Department of An Taoiseach

Mary Doyle (Chair) Denis Breen Tony Downes

Mary Doyle (Chair) Tony Downes

Department of Social and Family Affairs

Orlaigh Quinn Dearbháil Nic Giolla Mhicíl Caitríona O’Connor

Orlaigh Quinn Dearbháil Nic Giolla Mhicíl Caitríona O’Connor

Health Services Executive

Martin Rogan Deirdre Scully

Martin Rogan Deirdre Scully

FÁS

Ann Gilton

Ann Gilton

Department of Health and Children

Geraldine Fitzpatrick

Geraldine Fitzpatrick Dave Walsh

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Leo Sheedy

Leo Sheedy

Department of Finance

Patsy Purtill Fred Foster

Fred Foster

Consultation meeting with Government Departments and Bodies

Tuesday 1 April 2008

List of Attendees

Name

Organisation

Orlaigh Quinn (Chair)

Department of Social and Family Affairs

Dearbháil Nic Giolla Mhicíl

Department of Social and Family Affairs

Caitríona O’Connor

Department of Social and Family Affairs

Theresa O’Donoghue

Department of Environment, Heritage & Local Government

Trudy Duffy

Department of Education and Science

Mary Byrne

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Pauline Moreau

Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform

Mary Kelly

Office of the Revenue Commissioners

Brian D’Arcy

Equality Authority

Carol Baxter

Equality Authority

Geralyn McGarry

Citizen’s Information Board

Sharon Keane

Combat Poverty Agency

Christina O’Connor

Family Support Agency

Sinead Quill

National Council on Ageing and Older People

Vanessa Coffey

Pobal

Helen Johnston

National Economic and Social Council

Anne Marie McGauran

National Economic and Social Forum

Nuala Ward

Health Information and Quality Authority

Social Insurance.

Martin Ferris

Question:

109 Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the amount that will be lost from the social insurance fund if PRSI is cut to the levels promised in the programme for Government. [12088/08]

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

114 Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if the Government will proceed with its programme for Government promise to cut levels of PRSI. [12090/08]

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

143 Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs where he proposes to get the funds to pay rising unemployment costs if the social insurance fund can not meet the amount. [12091/08]

Martin Ferris

Question:

150 Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs his views on whether the Government’s promise in advance of the election in 2007 to slash PRSI rates was good policy. [12089/08]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 109, 114, 143 and 150 together.

Estimated costings were agreed between the Department of Social and Family Affairs and the Department of Finance in relation to the PRSI commitments in the Programme for Government. These suggest that, were the commitments to be implemented in full, the cost to the Social Insurance Fund (SIF) would be €645 million, in 2006 terms, in a full year. However, it should be noted that, if introduced as a package, the combination of measures will give rise to a compound effect with an estimated overall impact in the order of €685m based on figures supplied by the consultants who carried out the Actuarial Review of the Social Insurance Fund, 2005.

The Social Insurance Fund has sufficient resources to provide for the changes to the PRSI system and a rise in the number of benefit recipients. The effect over a five year period would be dependent on the sequencing of any changes to the PRSI rates. Obviously, however, decreasing contributions while the number of beneficiaries is rising will bring forward the time when exchequer subvention is required.

A key function of Government, accepting the role of the Exchequer as residual financier of the Fund, is to balance the need for contributions with liabilities — in an overall budgetary context; with any shortfall in the cost of benefits paid being, in the normal way, addressed by Exchequer subvention. If implemented, the Programme for Government proposals would not alter the fact that, between the Fund and the Exchequer, social insurance liabilities will be met. Their main effect would be to ease the cost of contributions on individual contributors and further strengthen the redistributive nature of the Fund.

Question No. 110 answered with Question No. 81.

Social Welfare Code.

Kathleen Lynch

Question:

111 Deputy Kathleen Lynch asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs when he expects to complete his Department’s technical review of the entire social welfare code to examine its compatibility with the Equal Status Act 2000. [12198/08]

The purpose of the review of the social welfare code, which is currently being undertaken in my Department, is to examine its compatibility with the Equal Status Act, 2000 (as amended). The review will examine all the schemes and services provided for both in social welfare legislation and the administrative schemes operated by the Department. It will identify any instances of direct or indirect discrimination, on any of the nine grounds under the Act that are not justified by a legitimate social policy objective or where the means of achieving that objective are either unnecessary or inappropriate.

A decision was taken that the review would take place in two phases. Phase 1 involved the undertaking of a scoping exercise to establish the most appropriate approach and methodology to carrying out the main review, which would be robust and verifiable. The results of Phase 1 then formed the basis of the terms of reference of the main review. A request for tender for Phase 2 of the work, involving the undertaking of the main review, issued in April 2007. Consultants were selected to carry out the work in July 2007, with work commencing in October 2007. The work is expected to be completed by early 2009.

Joan Burton

Question:

112 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if he will undertake a risk analysis of each welfare payment affected by the habitual residence condition to determine if the rule could be abolished for low-risk claim-types. [12206/08]

The habitual residence condition currently applies to the following schemes:

Jobseeker's allowance, one parent family payment, disability allowance, old age non-contributory pension, widow's non-contributory pension, guardian's non-contributory payment, carer's allowance, blind person's pension, child benefit and supplementary welfare allowance. It does not apply to exceptional or urgent needs payments under the supplementary welfare allowance scheme. The basic rationale for introducing the condition was that a person whose habitual residence is elsewhere should not be entitled to payment under these schemes on arrival in Ireland or if they have had no attachment to the work force since arrival in Ireland.

I presume the Deputy's reference to a "low-risk claim-type" is intended to mean the schemes which have had a low number of applications. To remove the condition from one of these schemes merely because there has been a low application rate would introduce an inconsistency in the above rationale which would be hard to justify. I have no intention of amending the habitual residence condition on this basis.

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

113 Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs his plans to improve entitlement in relation to the backdating of welfare payments; and if he will bring it into line with the four year rule that applies to claiming tax credits from the Revenue Commissioners. [12190/08]

The legislative provisions relating to late claims for social welfare benefits are set out in Section 241 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005, and in Regulations made under that section. These provisions set out the times within which a person must claim, the disqualifications which apply where a late claim is made, and the circumstances in which the time limits may be extended.

Since 1997 a number of improvements have been made to the provision relating to late claims for social welfare payments. For example, prior to 1997 arrears of state pension contributory claims were limited to either three months or six months before the date of claim. Regulations made in 2000 established a statutory basis for certain extra-statutory provisions which were applied in the case of late claims under certain schemes. All late claims are now determined in accordance with the legislation.

The legislation also provides for payment to be made on foot of late claims in the case of a range of other schemes for a period of 6 months prior to the date of claim, provided that there was good cause for the delay in claiming.

The legislation now also provides for relaxation of the restrictions on backdating late claims under all schemes apart from jobseeker's benefit, jobseeker's allowance and supplementary welfare allowance, and for further payment to be made, up to the level of full retrospection if the circumstances would warrant it, where:

the delay was due to incorrect information having been given by my Department, or

illness or a force majeure prevented a person from claiming earlier or,

the person is dependent on the arrears of payment to relieve financial hardship.

It is generally accepted that there is an obligation on people to claim their social welfare entitlements in time. However, cases will inevitably arise where they fail to do so and the legislative provisions are designed to cater for such situations. I am satisfied that the current provisions strike a reasonable balance between, on the one hand the need to exercise supervision and control of claims and, on the other hand, the need for appropriate recognition to be given to cases of genuine hardship or difficulty.

Question No. 114 answered with Question No. 109.

Social Welfare Fraud.

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

115 Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the number of fraudulent claims made by social welfare recipients over the past five years; if measures are in place in his Department to recover fraudulent claims; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12114/08]

The number of overpayments which are attributed to fraud for the five years from 2002 to 2006 are as follows.

Year

Number

2002

13,800

2003

16,700

2004

19,200

2005

16,000

2006

16,800

The figures for 2007 are not yet available.

Overpayments may be recovered in the following ways:

a single payment covering the full amount owed regular

periodic payments

deduction(s) from the customer's social welfare payment

by taking civil proceedings.

In 2006 a new debt management strategy was developed for the Department. The overall goal of this strategy is to actively pursue the recovery of debt to maximise recovery levels, with due regard to value for money and with particular emphasis on recovery from people no longer dependant on welfare payments. The objectives of the strategy are

To maximise the recovery of overpayments

To efficiently record, report and monitor the occurrence and recovery of overpayments

To fulfil statutory, accounting and reporting obligations

To conduct overpayment and debt management as efficiently as possible.

Implementation of the debt management strategy to date has consisted of:

A review of debt on the old computer system.

The introduction of the ODM computer system

The issue of guidelines setting out debt management procedures and defining the responsibilities of areas in relation to debt management and debt management procedures.

The restructuring of the Central Overpayments and Debt Management Unit

Ongoing work on the implementation of the debt management strategy includes the use of the new ODM system in all relevant areas of the Department by mid 2008, which will allow for Central Overpayments & Debt Management Unit to focus efficiently and effectively on its debt management role.

Anti-Poverty Strategy.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

116 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs his plans for the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Inclusion 2010. [12092/08]

The European Commission's proposal to designate 2010 as the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion is currently under consideration by the European Council and the European Parliament.

This proposal essentially arises from the decision of the European Council at Lisbon in March 2000 to invite Member States and the Commission to take steps to make a decisive impact on the eradication of poverty by 2010. Member States in response adopted national strategies designed to progressively achieve this objective. The EU Commission and the EU Social Protection Committee through the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) provided detailed guidance and supports for the process with a view to promoting a coordinated strategic approach across Member States.

The Commission's proposal for the designated year will build on these processes and is also intended to reaffirm and strengthen the political commitment of the European Union to eradicate poverty beyond 2010. The types of actions and activities envisaged include meetings, seminars and other events; informational and promotional campaigns; and surveys and studies at a national and European Union level.

Ireland welcomes and supports the Commission's proposal for the European Year in 2010. The National Action Plan for Social Inclusion 2007-2016 (NAPinclusion) underlines the continued importance and value of a strategic approach. This plan, together with the major social inclusion commitments in the National Development Plan, provide for a coordinated strategy to combat poverty and social exclusion well into the next decade.

The programmes and activities planned for 2010 under the EU Commission proposal should greatly assist in deepening understanding of the challenges to be faced in the coming decades, the policies and resources required to continue to make a decisive impact on poverty, the nature and extent of the progress achieved over the past decade and how that can be built on to match and, where possible, exceed that level of progress in the years ahead. The year will be marked, in particular, by the involvement of all relevant stakeholders, not least people experiencing poverty, in the process.

Ireland, therefore, will be fully supporting the proposal to designate 2010 as the European Year for Combating Poverty Social Exclusion at the Council of Ministers meeting which is to take place in June. Preliminary consideration is being given by the Office for Social Inclusion to the specific type of actions being proposed by the EU Commission for 2010. This also includes consideration of structures that would be appropriate for coordinating implementation and providing for the effective involvement of the social partners and other relevant stakeholders in the process.

Question No. 117 answered with Question 92.

Social Welfare Forms.

Seán Barrett

Question:

118 Deputy Seán Barrett asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if he will take the necessary steps to ensure that adequate stocks of important State benefit application forms, such as the household benefits package are maintained at the various outlets in order that stocks do not become exhausted, as many persons do not have access to electronic means of applying; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11139/08]

The Department produces a comprehensive range of information leaflets and application forms covering each social welfare payment or scheme. These are available in a wide range of outlets across the country, including all Social Welfare Local Offices and Branch Offices, Citizens Information Centres, Post Offices and in other organisations such as local community centres. Extra stocks are maintained in our stores to reduce the possibility of stocks running out. Application forms and information leaflets can be ordered directly, at any time, from our LoCall Leaflet Request Line at 1890 20 23 25.

The leaflet referred to by the Deputy has recently gone to print and will be distributed to all Social Welfare Local and Branch Offices, Citizens Information Centres and Post Offices, as well as being available in Department stores and for order from the LoCall Leaflet Request Line. The Household Benefits leaflet, along with all of my Departments application forms and leaflets, is available on my Department's website at www.welfare.ie. Application forms can be printed from the website for customers at a Citizens Information Centre.

There are 130 Social Welfare offices throughout the country where customers can obtain information and guidance. In some of my Department's local offices, staff dedicated to information provision duties are available to explain all our supports and services and to help and assist people in completing application forms and accessing their entitlements.

Employment Laws.

Bernard Allen

Question:

119 Deputy Bernard Allen asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the cooperation between social welfare inspectors and other agencies in relation to employers found in breach of employment laws; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12109/08]

The Department's inspectorate, appointed under Section 250 of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 2005 is responsible for ensuring that employers comply with their legal obligations in relation to Pay Related Social Insurance contributions. Employer compliance in this regard, is monitored by Inspectors conducting employer inspections. The nature of these inspections can vary; ranging from the straightforward, where compliance is fully in order, to the more complex where evidence of non compliance is obtained and an in-depth inspection is required. Over 4800 employer inspections were carried out in 2007.

Joint Inspection Units (JIU) comprising of personnel from both the Department of Social and Family Affairs (DSFA) and Revenue Inspectorates have been in operation for many years. These units were established countrywide, to combat Social Welfare Fraud and tax evasion i.e. to uncover instances of non compliance by employers with the PAYE/PRSI regulations and abuse of DSFA schemes.

A Service Level agreement between this Department and the Office of the Revenue Commissioners defines the administrative and operational arrangements under which these Units operate.

This joint cooperation, drawing as it does, on the expertise and experience of those involved in planning and conducting joint projects, has been beneficial in the detection of non compliance by errant employers and in the collection of any outstanding PRSI liabilities arising. In addition, the use of both DSFA and Revenue legislation has been most effective in this regard.

Legislation was introduced in the Social Welfare Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2004, to enable Social Welfare Inspectors verify that employers had entered into a contract with a Personal Retirement Savings Account (PRSA) provider in cases where the employer does not operate a pension scheme with retirement benefits for employees. Where in the course of employer inspection work, Social Welfare inspectors uncover evidence of non-compliance by employers in this regard, the Pensions Board is notified accordingly. Once notified the onus is on the Pensions Board to follow up and ensure compliance. Almost 1,500 PRSA enquiries were carried out in 2007, of which over 440 were referred to the Pensions Board.

In June 2006, arrangements were put in place between my Department and the Department of Enterprise Trade & Employment (DET&E) on the transfer of information regarding work permits. As part of this process, my inspectors notify DET&E of cases of suspected non compliance with Work Permit legislation which they identify in the course of their normal inspection work.

Toward 2016 provides for greater coordination between agencies in the area of employment law and employment rights, with a view to ensuring compliance in this area. The Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2007, includes a provision to enable the Department, the Revenue Commissioners and the National Employment Rights Authority (NERA) to exchange relevant information and undertake joint investigations. There have been ongoing exchanges of information between the three agencies and a number of joint investigations have already taken place. Inter agency co-operation of this nature can be particularly effective and the Department is committed to maintaining close working relationships with both the Revenue Commissioners and the National Employment Rights Authority (NERA).

Question No. 120 answered with Question No. 88.

Social Welfare Fraud.

John Perry

Question:

121 Deputy John Perry asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if he will confirm a current investigation by his Department which found that 4.7% of disability allowance paid to Irish claimants were fraudulent; if measures are in place in his Department to recover fraudulent claims; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12112/08]

The Department undertakes surveys of levels of fraud and error as part of its control strategy, to identify types of claims which should be prioritised for review purposes. The Department is committed to undertaking at least two such surveys annually and these are done in accordance with specific criteria laid down by the Comptroller and Auditor-General (C&AG).

The objective of the surveys is to identify the percentage of cases where the rate of social welfare payment is changed following review, as a result of fraud or error (whether by the claimant or by the Department), and to assess the total cost of overpayments as a percentage of scheme expenditure. When a survey is completed the results are extrapolated and are used to provide an overall fraud and error rate for the scheme in question.

A fraud and error survey for the Disability Allowance (DA) scheme was carried out in 2005, where Social Welfare Inspectors reviewed a random sample of 1,000 DA cases to assess the underlying levels of fraud and error. The result of this survey showed the level of fraud as being 2.3% of Disability Allowance expenditure. The level of 4.7% to which the Deputy refers is the level of error which was assessed in this survey.

A systematic review policy is in place for all DA customers. This policy is reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure it adequately caters for the control requirements of the scheme. The policy takes account of issues arising from the fraud and error survey, analysis of outcomes from various control projects and also from risk assessment processes.

If, as a result of control activity, an overpayment is identified, this is dealt with in accordance with Sections 334 to 343 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 and Regulations 242 to 249 of the Social Welfare (Consolidated Claims, Payments and Control) Regulations 2007, with a view to recovering the overpayment.

Question No. 122 answered with Question No. 98.
Question No. 123 answered with Question No. 79.

PPS Numbers.

Joe Costello

Question:

124 Deputy Joe Costello asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the action his Department has taken to improve the allocation of PPS numbers and any further proposals he may have in this area. [12185/08]

My Department assumed responsibility for the allocation of PPS Numbers in June 2000. Because the PPS Number is a unique identifier for access to services provided by Government Departments and other public bodies it is essential to have effective controls around the PPS Number registration process. Controls, which are evaluated on an ongoing basis, are exercised at both the initial allocation stage and at subsequent stages in the lifecycle of the number.

In the case of children born in Ireland a PPS Number is automatically issued. In other cases application must be made in person at one of the Department's network of Local Offices. PPS Numbers are issued following a controlled allocation procedure, involving;

a personal attendance at the office,

the completion of a written application form,

the submission of appropriate identity documents proving identity and address.

Proof and evidence of identity is a vital element of the allocation process.

In order to ensure that a person receives only one number and that the number is allocated on information that is accurate and verified, certain operational procedures are prescribed for local office personnel when dealing with applications. These operational guidelines are regularly revised and updated with the latest revision taking place in February 2008.

Other initiatives designed to improve the PPS Number registration process began in 2007 and it is hoped these will be completed by September 2008. In particular, a reduction in the number of PPS Number allocation centres from 128 to 28 will permit the concentration of expertise in document examination and authentication. Also an organisational review of the registration process is currently underway and should also be completed by September 2008. Tougher legislative measures introduced in the Social Welfare Act 2007, allowing the retention of proof of identity documentation, should also significantly enhance the Department's ability to detect and control identity fraud.

Social Welfare Offices.

Eamon Gilmore

Question:

125 Deputy Eamon Gilmore asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs his plans to extend the opening times of his Department’s front-line services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12202/08]

Under the current arrangements the majority of Social Welfare Local Offices are open to the public from 9.30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, including lunch hours. In 2004 opening hours were extended to include lunch times as provided for in the Department's Modernisation Action Plan under Sustaining Progress.

Social Welfare Branch Offices and some smaller Local Offices do not open during lunch hour as the number of staff in these offices is insufficient to provide a service during lunch time.

The most recent national independent customer survey, Consulting With Our Customers, carried out in 2005, indicated that 81% of customers who visited Local Offices were happy with the opening hours. Only 1% of the customers surveyed identified opening hours as an area that required improvement.

The Department has no immediate plans to further extend its front-line services opening times, although, the matter will be reviewed in the context of the Department's next Modernisation Action Programme.

Family Support Services.

David Stanton

Question:

126 Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if he will outline the work of the Family Support Agency; the voluntary organisations that received counselling grants from the agency for each year since the agency was established; the amounts granted to each of these organisations; his plan to further strengthen and widen the work of the Family Support Agency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12213/08]

The Family Support Agency was established on 6 May 2003 by the then Minister for Social and Family Affairs and brings together programmes and services to support families introduced by the Government in recent years. Its mission is to promote family and community well being through the provision of appropriate supports and services to families. Funding for the Agency has increased from €17.28 million in 2003 to €39.38 million for 2008.The main functions of the Agency include:

The scheme of grants to voluntary organisations providing marriage, child and bereavement counselling and related services

The Family and Community Services Resource Centre (FRC) Programme

The Family Mediation Service

The number of voluntary organisations that have received counselling grants from the Family Support Agency has increased from 473 in 2003 to 561 in 2007, with total funding increasing from €6.7 million in 2003 to €9.9 million in 2007. Details of the individual organisations funded will be made available to the Deputy.

For the current year, over 600 applications for funding have been received by the Agency. 2008 will also be the first year where groups in receipt of more than €60,000 per annum will be eligible to receive multi-annual funding, thus giving large groups the opportunity to make more long-term plans to develop the invaluable service that they provide to thousands of people across the country.

The FRC programme, which currently supports 106 Centres, will also be expanded over the duration of the current National Development Plan. In addition, funding has been allocated for an additional worker in 100 Family Resource Centres between 2007 and 2013.

The Family Mediation Service has expanded to 16 centres nationwide with another centre being operated on a pilot basis. There are four full-time offices in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway with part-time offices situated in Athlone, Blanchardstown, Castlebar, Dundalk, Letterkenny, Marino, Portlaoise, Sligo, Tallaght, Tralee, Waterford and Wexford, as well as the pilot office in Ballymun.

Question No. 127 answered with Question No. 88.
Question No. 128 answered with Question No. 108.
Question No. 129 answered with Question No. 106.

Socio-Economic Review.

Dan Neville

Question:

130 Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs his views on the recommendations published by CORI Justice in the Socio Economic Review for 2008, entitled Planning for Progress and Fairness, of introducing measures to address child poverty and child care problems by increasing child benefit or increasing the early childhood supplement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12129/08]

In its Socio Economic Review for 2008 CORI Justice proposed that the issues of child poverty and childcare be addressed through substantial increases in child benefit and/or early childcare supplement.

Child benefit (CB) is a universal payment, paid in respect of children up to the age of 16 years. It continues to be paid in respect of children up to age 19 who are in full-time education, or who have a physical or mental disability.

Child benefit supports all children but delivers proportionately more assistance to those on low incomes and with larger families. While it is not intended primarily to meet childcare costs, the very substantial increases in benefit in recent years can make a significant contribution to meeting those costs.

Effective from April 2008, monthly rates of child benefit have increased to €166 in respect of each of the first two children and €203 in respect of the third and subsequent children. Monthly rates of child benefit have increased by €127.90 at the lower rate and €153.48 at the higher rate since 1997, increases of 335.7% and 309.9% respectively. This level of increase is unprecedented and is in line with the Government's objective of improving income for children generally.

Early childcare supplement which is the responsibility of my colleague, the Minister for Health and Children is payable in respect of all children under the age of 6 years who receive child benefit.

It came into effect on April 1st, 2006 at an annual payment of €1,000 per year. This amount was increased to €1,100 in Budget 2008. The question of further increases in child benefit will be considered in a budgetary context.

Social Welfare Code.

Róisín Shortall

Question:

131 Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the steps he has taken to ensure that his Department are not operating the habitual residence condition in an over-rigid fashion; and if he will undertake to publish his Department’s legal advice on the operation and application of the current criteria and any correspondence between his Department and the European Commission on this issue. [12183/08]

The requirement to be habitually resident in Ireland was introduced as a qualifying condition for certain social assistance schemes and child benefit with effect from 1 May 2004. It was introduced in the context of the Government's decision to open the Irish labour market to workers from the 10 new EU Member States, without the transitional limitations which were imposed at that time by most of the other Member States. The effect of the condition is that a person whose habitual residence is elsewhere would not normally be entitled to social welfare assistance or child benefit payments on arrival in Ireland.

Under Social Welfare legislation, decisions in relation to all aspects of claims are made by statutorily appointed Deciding Officers. Each case received for a determination on the Habitual Residence Condition is dealt with in its own right and a decision is based on application of the legislation and guidelines to the particular individual circumstances of each case. Decisions in relation to Supplementary Welfare Allowance are made by Community Welfare Officers in the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Any applicant who disagrees with the decision on a case has the right to request a review of that decision and/or appeal to the independent Social Welfare Appeals Office.

While decisions to the effect that applicants satisfy the habitual residence condition (HRC) can be made in the vast majority (over 90%) of cases at claim acceptance stage on the basis of answers given on the primary claim forms, complex cases are examined in more detail. Claims involving complex HRC issues are assessed and decided in all scheme areas within my Department by a small number of deciding officers who are experienced and fully familiar with the issues involved for each scheme in regard to HRC. I am satisfied that this arrangement contributes greatly to accuracy and consistency in the decision-making process.

Arising from a review of the operation of the habitual residence condition which was published in 2007, revised and expanded guidelines for claims decisions staff on the application of HRC are currently nearing completion, in consultation with management in the various scheme areas.

Following final clearance, the revised guidelines will be made available to all relevant staff and published on the Department's website www.welfare.ie . As an additional support, and to maintain standards of accuracy and consistency, on completion of the revised HRC guidelines, arrangements will be made to provide training and/or briefings as appropriate to decisions staff within my Department and within the Health Service Executive.

My Department consulted in the normal manner with the Attorney General's Office in the course of drafting the habitual residence legislation and subsequently when issues were raised regarding compliance with the EU legislation and other international convention commitments. This advice is subject to legal professional privilege. The substance of the advice has been fully reported in earlier Parliamentary Questions.

At a recent meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social and Family Affairs, dealing with the Habitual Residence Condition, officials from my Department indicated that, while advice from the office of the Attorney General was confidential, a note would be furnished, outlining the substance of that advice. That note was issued to the Committee and dealt with the position in relation to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. The European Commission initiated infringement proceedings in December 2004.

Following written and oral response by my Department and a full investigation of the matter, the Commission was satisfied that the HRC was being operated in conformity with the EU legislation and withdrew its infringement proceedings in April 2006. As this matter has also been dealt with in detail in previous Parliamentary Questions, and relevant issues have been fully explained at the Joint Committee meetings I have referred to, I see no need to publish the correspondence on this matter.

Combat Poverty Agency Reviews.

Pat Rabbitte

Question:

132 Deputy Pat Rabbitte asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the position regarding each of the reviews of the Combat Poverty Agency; and the outcome and main conclusions of those that are now finalised. [12197/08]

The reviews, in relation to the work of the Combat Poverty Agency, are at different stages of progression. The review of the Agency's Research Programme, initiated in May 2007 by the Agency and the Office for Social Inclusion of the Department, was carried out by Goodbody Economic Consultants. Its objectives were to

Assess the activities, output and outcomes of the research programme;

Review the programme's contribution to research on poverty;

Benchmark the Agency's research programme against best practice in the design and implementation of similar social research programmes in Ireland and internationally;

Advise on the future direction of the research programme, particularly with regard to the most effective allocation and optimum use of research resources, both within the Agency and in collaboration with other organisations.

The work was overseen by a steering committee comprising representatives of the Combat Poverty Agency, the Office for Social Inclusion, and relevant government departments, as well as Goodbody Economic Consultants. The review has now been completed and the final report has just recently been made available to my Department and to the Board of the Agency and is being currently considered.

In line with a commitment in Towards 2016, a review of the Combat Poverty Agency's programmes that facilitate the participation of the community and voluntary sector and people experiencing poverty in the policy-making process has been in progress over the period 2006 and 2007. Some aspects of that review remain to be considered further before it is finalised.

The review of the Combat Poverty Agency, which forms part of the Department's Value for Money and Policy Review Initiative programme for 2006-2008 commenced in December 2007. When completed, it will include recommendations on the future role and functions of the Agency.

Mr. Niall Callan, formerly Secretary General of the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, is the Chairperson of the Steering Committee. The membership of the Steering Committee, which is overseeing the task, comprises senior officials from my Department, other relevant government departments and the Combat Poverty Agency. I expect that this review will be completed in mid 2008.

Tax and Social Welfare Codes.

Joan Burton

Question:

133 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the progress that has been made in relation to the programme for Government promise to integrate the tax and social welfare systems fully to allow for more efficient data and money transfer mechanisms and provide for a fully integrated PPS system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12203/08]

The Department has taken a lead role over the years in developing and implementing identity management policies and procedures based on the use of the Personal Public Services (PPS) number. This number was previously known as the Revenue and Social Insurance (RSI) number. The name was changed to indicate the broadening of its role to one which supports delivery of a broader range of public services, but it is also still used for its original core purpose of providing a common identifier for the Revenue Commissioners and this Department.

As well as facilitating wider-scale exchange of information, the PPS number also has a role in the development of on-line services for individuals. The Department provides identity related services to a number of agencies in accordance with legislation. Building on these services, the Department constructed Public Service Identity (PSI) services to assist agencies in basic on-line identity management. The initial deployment of PSI services, through the Reach agency, supports the registration and authentication functions of the Revenue Commissioners PAYE on-line services.

The overall Government strategy is to realise the potential of the Information Society through innovation and modernisation of public services. As part of this, the Standard Authentication Framework Environment (SAFE) programme, co-chaired by the Department and the Department of Finance, builds on PSI Services to provide the basis for a consistent set of registration and authentication services for customer interaction with public services.

The Revenue Commissioners are also participating in this programme of work and the Department will continue to develop PSI and other relevant services in conjunction with them. The Department and the Revenue Commissioners are currently finalising a renewed Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations concerning co-operation and mutual assistance. The objective of the Memorandum is

to provide a basis for the continuance, enhancement and expansion of the existing administrative and operational arrangements

to better reflect the missions, modern operating realities and totality of the relationship between the two organisations

to recognise the growing interdependencies between the two organisations in achieving the delivery of services to the highest standard

to strengthen liaison structures with a view to monitoring service delivery and control aspects

While it had been planned to finalise the memorandum by the end of 2007, the work of completing the document is now drawing to a close and it is expected the memorandum will be finalised within the coming weeks.

The Department will continue to explore on the basis of the ongoing developments how greater data and money transfer efficiencies could be realised in the future.

Social Welfare Benefits.

Jim O'Keeffe

Question:

134 Deputy Jim O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if he will confirm the length of time social welfare payments will be valid for under the proposed new payment type scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12105/08]

The current range of payment options offered by my Department to customers includes payment at a local post office or to a bank or building society account; or certain credit unions that have been authorised by the banking and credit union regulators. Customers opt for a particular payment method having regard to their own personal circumstances. The Department is implementing a three year strategy to move from paper based payment instruments to payment using a social services card at post offices and electronic payments to financial institutions. The programme is being implemented on a phased basis to coincide with book renewal production schedules and as personalised payable order books expire.

Customers who collect their payment at a post office will present their Social Services Card and sign for their payment in the normal way. Payments can be collected up to 60 days after the due date in the case of pensioners and up to 100 days for child benefit recipients. Certain other customers have 20 days to collect their payment which is considered to be the optimum time for collection of a weekly means based payment. After these times the payments go out of date and are returned to the Department. Where a payment is not collected in time the Department can be contacted and a replacement payment made as appropriate.

The following grid sets out the collection periods for schemes administered by my Department.

Schemes

Electronic Information Transfer (EIT) Encashment Period

1 week

2/3 weeks

8/9 Weeks

11/12 Weeks

Payment Due Day

Weekly

State Pension Contributory

60 days

Friday

State Pension Transition

60 days

Friday

State Pension Non-Contributory

60 days

Friday

Pre-Retirement Allowance

20 days

Thursday

Illness Benefit

20 days

Variable

Invalidity Pension

60 days

Thursday

Occupational Injury Benefit

20 days

Variable

Disability Allowance

20 days

Wednesday

Widow/er’s Contributory Pension

60 days

Thursday

Widow/er’s Non-Contributory Pension

60 days

Thursday

Desterted Wife’s Benefit/Allowance

20 days

Thursday

One-Parent Family Payment

20 days

Thursday

Family Income Supplement

20 days

Thursday

Carers Allowance

60 days

Thursday

Supplementary Welfare Allowance

6 days

Thursday

Back to Work Allowance

6 days

Thursday

Blind Person’s Pension

60 days

Thursday

Job Seekers Benefit

7 days

Wednesday

Job Seekers Allowance

8 days

Tuesday

Smallholders

8 days

Tuesday

Farm Assist

6 days

Thursday

Monthly

Child Benefit

100 days

Monthly — 1st Tue

Mobile Phone (HHB)

60 days

Monthly — 1st Tue

Free Electricity — Group Scheme

60 days

Monthly — 1st Tue

Quarterly

Early Childcare Supplement

77 days

Quarterly

Kathleen Lynch

Question:

135 Deputy Kathleen Lynch asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the issues that emerged from the review of guardian’s payment; the way these are being worked through at present with other Departments; the main conclusions reached; and the changes to the scheme that will result from this review. [12199/08]

The Guardians' payment schemes allow for the provision of a weekly allowance to a guardian of a child who has either been orphaned or whose parents have deserted and failed to provide for the child. The review of the Guardian's payment within my Department commenced in late 2006 and involved a detailed analysis of a large sample of guardian's payment files.

Issues emerging from the review include the structure of the scheme, administration issues in relation to the application of criteria and the need for closer co-ordination with the Health Service Executive in relation to child protection issues. These issues are being progressed in my Department and with the relevant officials from the Department of Health & Children. I expect that proposals for improving the scheme will be forthcoming later this year.

Question No. 136 answered with Question No. 105.

Advocacy Service.

Eamon Gilmore

Question:

137 Deputy Eamon Gilmore asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if he is satisfied with the pace of delivery of the personal advocacy service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12201/08]

The introduction of a personal advocacy service is provided for in the Citizens Information Act, 2007. The service will assist individuals in identifying their needs, understanding their options and assist them in securing their entitlements to social services which include health, social welfare, education, family support, housing, taxation, citizenship, consumer matters, employment and training, equality, asylum and immigration.

The development of a Personal Advocacy Service remains a priority for my Department. An organisational structure has been developed by the Citizens Information Board to meet the needs of the Personal Advocacy Service. Discussions between my Department, the Department of Finance and the Citizens Information Board are ongoing in relation to these structures and the additional staffing resources required for the provision of the service. The post of Director of the Personal Advocacy Service was advertised in December 2007. The Board is currently working through the recruitment process and expect to make an appointment shortly.

It is envisaged that appropriate structures and staffing resources will be in place shortly and the new service is still on target to be up and running in 2008.

Question No. 138 answered with Question No. 101.

Social Welfare Code.

Emmet Stagg

Question:

139 Deputy Emmet Stagg asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the plans he has to improve the income disregard available to claimants on jobseeker’s allowance to bring it in line with the proposals for the parental payment contained in Proposals for Supporting Lone Parents. [12193/08]

The Government Discussion Paper on Proposals for Supporting Lone Parents put forward a proposal to introduce a new scheme, Parental Allowance, for all low income families with young children. It was envisaged that those in receipt of Parental Allowance would be able to earn up to €120 per week without affecting their payment and that 40% of the remainder would be assessed as means. It was also proposed that the entitlement to the new payment would continue up to an upper earnings threshold of €400 per week.

Prior to September 2007, the earnings disregards which applied to Jobseeker's Allowance were as follows:

Where a person had one or more qualified child dependant(s) and was working part of the week while claiming Jobseeker's Allowance, means were assessed as 60% of the average net weekly earnings.

Where a person had no qualified child dependants, €12.70 earnings for each day worked was disregarded from the average net weekly earnings, and 60% of the balance assessed against the weekly rate of Jobseeker's Allowance.

With effect from the end of September 2007, €20 earnings for each day worked, up to a maximum of €60 per week, are disregarded from the average net weekly earnings. These new arrangements replaced the previous arrangements including the distinction between persons with and without qualified children. There is no upper income threshold for entitlement. As a result of these changes, the position of all part-time workers in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance was significantly enhanced.

Any further improvement in the means testing arrangements for Jobseeker's Allowance would have to be considered in a Budgetary context.

Pension Provisions.

Brian O'Shea

Question:

140 Deputy Brian O’Shea asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the timescale proposed for the Green Paper process in relation to pension reform; and when he expects to be in a position to bring proposals to Government. [12210/08]

The Green Paper on Pensions was published on the 17th October 2007 and a major consultation process is now underway. Following the completion of the consultation process, a framework for long-term policy will be developed.

Pensions is one of the major issues the country must tackle for the future and any decision taken at this stage will impact on society for decades to come. Given the importance of the issue, I am anxious to ensure that the consultation process is as inclusive as possible and that people have ample time to study the Green Paper and to formulate their ideas and comments. Therefore, I intend to leave it open until the end of May 2008.

Once the consultation process is completed, work on developing the framework for future policy will commence. At this stage, it would be my intention to see this work completed and proposals submitted to the Government for consideration by the end of 2008.

Question No. 141 answered with Question No. 81.
Question No. 142 answered with Question No. 105.
Question No. 143 answered with Question No. 109.
Question No. 144 answered with Question No. 105.
Question No. 145 answered with Question No. 92.
Question No. 146 answered with Question No. 108.
Question No. 147 answered with Question No. 81.

Customer Service Performance.

Róisín Shortall

Question:

148 Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the steps he is taking to improve his Department’s application processing times and overall customer service performance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12184/08]

The Department is committed to providing a quality service to all its customers. This includes ensuring that applications are processed and that decisions on entitlement are made as quickly as possible. The staff and other resources available to the Department are regularly reviewed having regard to the workload arising and other competing demands. The available resources are then used to discharge the Department's obligations towards its customers and in implementing cost effective controls to prevent and detect fraud and abuse.

The Department's management services unit monitors available resources against workload on an ongoing basis with a view to ensuring optimum processing times for claims.

The processing of applications under any of the schemes operated by my Department can require the collection and assessment of a complex range of information in relation to a variety of factors including means, medical condition, domestic and EU contributions and other criteria.

This can involve medical assessments of applicants, the verification of information provided through visits by the social welfare inspectorate, correspondence and evidence from other EU jurisdictions, all of which add to the processing time required to ensure that the terms of the scheme are correctly administered. In addition the timescales in processing applications for some of the Department's schemes have been influenced by increases in the numbers of claims being submitted.

Measures introduced by the Department to address the efficiency of claim processing include the following:

The review of existing processes and procedures on an ongoing basis with the explicit objective of reducing delays in claim processing;

In situations where payment is being renewed priority is being given to these claims to ensure continuity of payment;

The review of ongoing staffing requirements in light of the increased volumes of claims in certain areas;

The judicious application of overtime working;

Where backlogs exist extra temporary staff have been recruited, where appropriate, to eliminate these;

The introduction of scanning technology in certain areas to update details directly from claim forms to computer systems.

These measures will, over time, lead to more efficient processing and reduce the number of claims on hand. The position is being closely monitored and kept under review by my Department.

Question No. 149 answered with Question No. 81.
Question No. 150 answered with Question No. 109.
Question No. 151 answered with Question No. 88.

Anti-Inflation Working Group.

Leo Varadkar

Question:

152 Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Taoiseach the date of the last meeting of the anti-inflation working group; when it will meet again; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11677/08]

Leo Varadkar

Question:

153 Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Taoiseach the recommendations made by the anti-inflation working group; if he will provide a progress report on the implementation of such recommendations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11678/08]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 152 and 153 together.

The Anti-Inflation Group, reconstituted under Towards 2016, has met four times since the ratification of the Agreement and the last formal meeting of the Group took place on 5 March, 2007. However, in the meantime, the regular meetings under Towards 2016 have enabled representatives of IBEC, ICTU and Departmental officials to monitor trends in inflation.

The Group has actively engaged with the Central Statistics Office, the Competition Authority, the National Consumer Agency and the Commission for Energy Regulation with a view to coordinating the fight against inflation on an informed basis.

The provisions relating to inflation in Towards 2016 provide a useful basis for cooperation and coordination in combating inflation and are reflected in the Government's ongoing and regular contacts with IBEC and ICTU where inflation is often pertinent to discussions on pay, industrial relations and workplace issues.

I can assure the House that the Government is committed to tackling inflation in a manner which will underpin sustainable growth and social partnership and that, in line with Section 5, paragraph 4.2 of Part Two of Towards 2016, the Government gives due consideration to any potential inflationary impacts when developing public policy.

Census 2006.

Richard Bruton

Question:

154 Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Taoiseach the number of persons classified by broad age category and by means of travel to school, college or work in each Dublin local authority and in Meath, Kildare and Wicklow in Census 2006. [11216/08]

The most up-to-date information available, as requested by the deputy, is taken from the Census 2006 and is contained in the following tables.

Students and school children aged 5 years and over usually resident and present in the state by county enumerated by broad age group and means of travel to school or college

Age group

Total

On foot

Bicycle

Bus, minibus or coach

Train, DART or LUAS

Motor cycle or scooter

Driver

Passenger

Lorry or van

Other means

Work mainly at or from home

Not stated

Dublin Co. and City

5 – 9

71,158

28,156

789

4,269

169

33,040

72

140

1,590

2,933

10 – 14

67,278

28,880

2,997

10,240

1,237

21,534

48

88

683

1,571

15 – 19

58,293

21,294

3,025

16,615

4,372

135

1,674

9,704

34

47

620

773

20 – 24

32,495

8,062

1,987

11,462

4,377

233

4,122

1,055

18

30

285

864

25 years and over

12,930

2,883

1,103

4,047

1,277

142

2,669

303

16

17

323

150

Total

242,154

89,275

9,901

46,633

11,432

510

8,465

65,636

188

322

3,501

6,291

Dublin

5 – 9

24,926

11,862

337

1,801

67

9,038

25

35

609

1,152

10 – 4

24,305

12,030

1,313

3,939

213

5,863

16

30

237

664

15 – 19

21,034

9,405

1,365

5,858

1,067

32

414

2,250

10

15

204

414

20 – 24

15,829

5,923

1,096

5,270

1,311

74

1,192

288

8

11

128

528

25 years and over

7,351

2,293

778

2,441

510

62

892

108

7

7

158

95

Total

93,445

41,513

4,889

19,309

3,168

168

2,498

17,547

66

98

1,336

2,853

Dublin-Belgard

5 – 9

17,674

6,947

108

998

13

8,360

15

43

410

780

10 – 14

16,272

7,747

500

2,384

33

5,029

14

15

146

404

15 – 19

13,252

5,282

589

4,134

263

44

449

2,189

7

13

127

155

20 – 24

4,790

352

257

2,475

236

66

982

217

6

6

53

140

25 years and over

1,703

142

92

620

80

27

591

67

1

3

60

20

Total

53,691

20,470

1,546

10,611

625

137

2,022

15,862

43

80

796

1,499

Dublin-Fingal

5 – 9

16,831

6,376

188

1,058

29

7,906

18

41

443

772

10 – 14

14,739

6,132

583

2,327

373

4,773

11

25

143

372

15 – 19

12,093

3,789

327

3,541

1,583

19

362

2,213

10

13

113

123

20 – 24

4,655

235

68

1,511

1,603

40

774

213

2

4

55

150

25 years and over

1,793

85

33

503

366

18

634

71

4

4

53

22

Total

50,111

16,617

1,199

8,940

3,954

77

1,770

15,176

45

87

807

1,439

Dún Laoire/Rathdown

5 – 9

11,727

2,971

156

412

60

7,736

14

21

128

229

10 – 14

11,962

2,971

601

1,590

618

5,869

7

18

157

131

15 – 19

11,914

2,818

744

3,082

1,459

40

449

3,052

7

6

176

81

20 – 24

7,221

1,552

566

2,206

1,227

53

1,174

337

2

9

49

46

25 years and over

2,083

363

200

483

321

35

552

57

4

3

52

13

Total

44,907

10,675

2,267

7,773

3,685

128

2,175

17,051

34

57

562

500

Kildare

5 – 9

14,486

3,425

106

2,135

7

8,055

6

22

346

384

10 – 14

12,447

3,849

410

2,490

19

5,337

24

10

121

187

15 – 19

9,690

2,995

243

2,724

563

27

316

2,632

8

5

91

86

20 – 24

3,442

908

92

876

586

18

625

190

5

5

60

77

25 years and over

1,160

224

52

174

126

7

477

48

1

1

34

16

Total

41,225

11,401

903

8,399

1,301

52

1,418

16,262

44

43

652

750

Meath

5 – 9

12,760

2,994

40

2,084

2

7,063

16

19

272

270

10 – 14

11,077

2,737

170

3,174

37

4,717

18

18

88

118

15 – 19

8,103

1,710

81

3,620

184

17

306

1,997

7

13

112

56

20 – 24

2,005

254

31

835

130

8

523

149

7

3

34

31

25 years and over

555

47

7

139

15

2

280

30

26

9

Total

34,500

7,742

329

9,852

368

27

1,109

13,956

48

53

532

484

Wicklow

5 – 9

8,926

2,056

27

769

12

5,622

14

13

195

218

10 – 14

8,547

2,396

117

1,822

200

3,693

12

8

179

120

15 – 19

6,860

1,646

56

2,457

589

32

336

1,614

5

4

72

49

20 – 24

2,081

233

30

594

461

11

526

129

1

3

47

46

25 years and over

762

97

10

134

107

6

334

33

4

2

22

13

Total

27,176

6,428

240

5,776

1,369

49

1,196

11,091

36

30

515

446

State

5 – 9

287,313

65,345

1,472

39,109

238

165,309

422

549

6,758

8,111

10 – 14

272,500

69,499

5,639

68,289

1,605

119,616

392

399

2,814

4,247

15 – 19

224,184

58,333

5,243

77,455

6,596

592

9,121

61,570

338

312

2,596

2,028

20 – 24

86,458

27,391

3,485

20,928

6,487

446

17,617

6,622

179

151

1,154

1,998

25 years and over

30,983

6,854

1,815

6,212

1,790

251

11,128

1,519

93

58

890

373

Total

901,438

227,422

17,654

211,993

16,716

1,289

37,866

354,636

1,424

1,469

14,212

16,757

Persons at work aged 15 years and over usually resident and present in the state by county enumerated by broad age group and means of travel to school or college

Age Group

Total

On foot

Bicycle

Bus, minibus or coach

Train, DART or LUAS

Motor cycle or scooter

Motor car Driver

Motor car Passenger

Lorry or van

Other means

Work mainly at or from home

Not stated

Dublin Co. and City

15 – 19

12,063

2,738

458

3,467

808

92

2,017

1,621

196

20

218

428

20 – 24

63,931

12,239

2,366

16,167

6,453

519

18,903

3,994

1,329

137

848

976

25 – 29

102,747

17,296

4,506

19,037

10,689

1,290

39,882

3,930

2,782

169

1,233

1,933

30 – 34

86,702

10,660

3,810

11,144

7,398

1,201

42,941

2,771

2,860

146

1,960

1,811

35 – 39

67,809

6,778

2,660

7,079

4,298

1,106

37,120

1,859

2,818

146

2,299

1,646

40 – 44

60,069

5,700

2,203

5,612

3,144

993

34,285

1,505

2,848

117

2,393

1,269

45 – 49

54,717

5,523

1,919

5,372

2,679

702

31,116

1,517

2,421

127

2,169

1,172

50 – 54

46,037

4,801

1,420

4,555

2,218

445

26,076

1,416

1,928

79

2,088

1,011

55 – 59

35,842

3,688

988

3,559

1,623

278

19,925

1,043

1,483

68

2,145

1,042

60 – 64

20,935

2,002

515

2,053

812

117

11,317

600

789

40

1,770

920

65 years and over

8,198

828

159

669

299

35

4,168

204

279

19

1,417

121

Total

559,050

72,253

21,004

78,714

40,421

6,778

267,750

20,460

19,733

1,068

18,540

12,329

Dublin

15 – 19

5,198

1,408

238

1,610

367

36

678

461

62

2

91

245

20 – 24

30,228

8,109

1,395

8,856

2,788

223

6,187

1,224

446

57

373

570

25 – 29

48,859

13,094

2,987

11,072

4,535

536

12,590

1,269

884

75

581

1,236

30 – 34

36,633

7,986

2,542

6,257

2,620

468

12,921

883

844

65

877

1,170

35 – 39

27,430

4,838

1,677

3,988

1,384

405

11,452

656

872

60

1,029

1,069

40 – 44

23,741

3,787

1,370

3,197

1,031

380

10,548

567

980

41

1,021

819

45 – 49

21,065

3,435

1,129

2,886

779

252

9,507

560

790

57

911

759

50 – 54

17,220

2,813

843

2,429

659

171

7,626

477

667

30

838

667

55 – 59

13,793

2,213

569

1,909

468

103

6,075

376

470

26

892

692

60 – 64

8,566

1,248

294

1,177

234

47

3,620

248

270

21

773

634

65 years and over

3,506

538

95

411

105

17

1,426

78

112

10

654

60

Total

236,239

49,469

13,139

43,792

14,970

2,638

82,630

6,799

6,397

444

8,040

7,921

Dublin-Belgard

15 – 19

3,232

603

101

942

125

32

673

538

52

6

60

100

20 – 24

13,922

1,423

414

3,419

583

140

5,868

1,206

436

34

212

187

25 – 29

19,717

1,313

582

3,293

677

354

11,072

1,065

857

33

231

240

30 – 34

17,206

801

479

1,971

349

308

11,044

680

904

28

413

229

35 – 39

14,122

617

364

1,346

199

290

9,280

474

832

29

483

208

40 – 44

12,669

662

334

1,075

140

244

8,365

372

785

22

481

189

45 – 49

12,125

815

310

1,171

161

184

7,792

384

715

25

405

163

50 – 54

10,759

789

246

1,057

143

102

6,804

399

579

18

469

153

55 – 59

8,400

604

180

858

91

71

5,199

290

483

19

453

152

60 – 64

4,343

276

86

405

46

22

2,722

143

219

6

324

94

65 years and over

1,373

96

20

98

9

4

822

39

66

1

202

16

Total

117,868

7,999

3,116

15,635

2,523

1,751

69,641

5,590

5,928

221

3,733

1,731

Dublin-Fingal

15 – 19

2,527

516

65

632

199

8

510

428

60

10

37

62

20 – 24

12,305

1,559

289

2,413

1,670

75

4,507

1,104

337

35

153

163

25 – 29

21,745

1,537

440

2,816

3,252

220

10,952

1,116

797

44

234

337

30 – 34

21,297

949

368

1,852

2,803

267

12,645

829

832

39

388

325

35 – 39

15,736

672

253

1,044

1,648

234

9,927

479

759

33

411

276

40 – 44

12,885

660

164

715

1,051

179

8,429

346

699

33

426

183

45 – 49

11,331

690

167

702

843

134

7,319

359

566

24

358

169

50 – 54

9,253

620

119

577

696

66

5,950

318

431

15

342

119

55 – 59

6,669

441

87

371

506

42

4,218

224

310

15

335

120

60 – 64

3,718

218

52

202

255

13

2,286

105

173

5

284

125

65 years and over

1,255

82

17

68

61

3

731

36

50

4

179

24

Total

118,721

7,944

2,021

11,392

12,984

1,241

67,474

5,344

5,014

257

3,147

1,903

Dún Laoire/Rathdown

15 – 19

1,106

211

54

283

117

16

156

194

22

2

30

21

20 – 24

7,476

1,148

268

1,479

1,412

81

2,341

460

110

11

110

56

25 – 29

12,426

1,352

497

1,856

2,225

180

5,268

480

244

17

187

120

30 – 34

11,566

924

421

1,064

1,626

158

6,331

379

280

14

282

87

35 – 39

10,521

651

366

701

1,067

177

6,461

250

355

24

376

93

40 – 44

10,774

591

335

625

922

190

6,943

220

384

21

465

78

45 – 49

10,196

583

313

613

896

132

6,498

214

350

21

495

81

50 – 54

8,805

579

212

492

720

106

5,696

222

251

16

439

72

55 – 59

6,980

430

152

421

558

62

4,433

153

220

8

465

78

60 – 64

4,308

260

83

269

277

35

2,689

104

127

8

389

67

65 years and over

2,064

112

27

92

124

11

1,189

51

51

4

382

21

Total

86,222

6,841

2,728

7,895

9,944

1,148

48,005

2,727

2,394

146

3,620

774

Kildare

15 – 19

2,243

421

35

276

62

22

590

656

74

7

57

43

20 – 24

9,547

1,417

205

895

573

61

4,497

1,108

457

37

202

95

25 – 29

13,643

1,363

232

773

933

86

7,903

959

918

40

271

165

30 – 34

14,337

882

217

554

925

120

9,268

602

1,116

40

454

159

35 – 39

12,635

757

179

328

640

147

8,312

417

1,082

29

615

129

40 – 44

10,942

748

118

270

474

102

7,282

328

912

24

578

106

45 – 49

9,417

695

127

309

359

64

6,223

330

747

18

446

99

50 – 54

7,716

611

96

244

258

38

5,064

246

561

15

495

88

55 – 59

5,675

511

80

158

142

18

3,468

190

448

15

554

91

60 – 64

3,106

274

61

80

49

8

1,762

82

253

13

428

96

65 years and over

1,084

113

22

18

9

1

498

32

74

3

286

28

Total

90,345

7,792

1,372

3,905

4,424

667

54,867

4,950

6,642

241

4,386

1,099

Meath

15 – 19

1,888

284

19

254

18

11

554

564

119

13

35

17

20 – 24

7,665

886

70

759

157

34

3,951

1,052

564

23

108

61

25 – 29

11,792

840

69

843

360

73

7,396

902

995

24

201

89

30 – 34

12,666

599

64

560

355

98

8,800

601

1,137

32

353

67

35 – 39

11,176

563

59

353

233

97

7,779

438

1,069

24

473

88

40 – 44

9,589

530

54

274

102

57

6,703

300

1,025

36

436

72

45 – 49

7,939

512

42

222

85

43

5,434

264

783

27

458

69

50 – 54

6,329

379

34

218

55

24

4,242

248

624

27

428

50

55 – 59

4,677

334

28

117

39

16

2,997

173

465

8

438

62

60 – 64

2,694

231

24

64

13

6

1,596

86

263

11

335

65

65 years and over

1,141

157

7

16

4

2

448

32

85

2

368

20

Total

77,556

5,315

470

3,680

1,421

461

49,900

4,660

7,129

227

3,633

660

Wicklow

15 – 19

1,198

231

12

155

52

9

357

265

59

2

32

24

20 – 24

5,424

785

59

516

380

43

2,560

608

285

21

101

66

25 – 29

8,055

739

69

446

640

72

4,776

532

499

21

171

90

30 – 34

8,166

582

54

275

535

75

5,227

390

633

20

271

104

35 – 39

7,497

513

54

212

411

84

4,864

255

640

25

353

86

40 – 44

7,293

501

49

181

331

77

4,778

215

646

35

406

74

45 – 49

6,251

523

48

153

266

46

3,963

199

530

28

411

84

50 – 54

5,150

466

35

154

257

41

3,157

168

403

15

401

53

55 – 59

4,066

396

29

106

209

20

2,386

122

313

16

384

85

60 – 64

2,367

226

20

53

99

10

1,324

80

169

14

311

61

65 years and over

938

101

7

23

25

3

418

25

46

3

268

19

Total

56,405

5,063

436

2,274

3,205

480

33,810

2,859

4,223

200

3,109

746

State

15 – 19

43,973

8,267

918

6,580

1,023

294

11,626

10,920

2,202

225

941

977

20 – 24

200,042

35,386

4,540

23,945

8,302

1,122

87,169

22,688

10,191

755

3,538

2,406

25 – 29

295,202

40,497

7,365

26,517

13,902

2,251

156,853

18,793

18,245

846

5,687

4,246

30 – 34

277,572

26,057

5,908

15,798

10,309

2,236

170,424

12,933

20,407

834

8,745

3,921

35 – 39

243,662

19,779

4,379

10,210

6,382

2,114

154,653

9,183

21,133

809

11,410

3,610

40 – 44

224,254

18,506

3,617

8,339

4,600

1,856

142,517

7,835

20,615

810

12,629

2,930

45 – 49

201,956

17,739

3,321

7,824

3,756

1,357

126,319

7,761

17,445

685

12,878

2,871

50 – 54

168,224

15,678

2,656

6,703

3,054

868

102,977

6,471

13,593

594

13,099

2,531

55 – 59

129,231

12,805

2,006

5,116

2,196

590

74,476

4,883

9,853

453

13,946

2,907

60 – 64

75,461

7,351

1,181

2,940

1,038

275

40,614

2,570

5,320

299

11,328

2,545

65 years and over

33,210

3,623

415

984

380

86

12,818

824

1,586

135

11,505

854

Total

1,892,787

205,688

36,306

114,956

54,942

13,049

1,080,446

104,861

140,590

6,445

105,706

29,798

Richard Bruton

Question:

155 Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Taoiseach the number of persons in Dublin classified by mode of transport used to travel to school college or work, distinguishing by distance travelled. [11217/08]

The most up to date information sought by the Deputy is in the following table drawn from Census 2006 data.

Persons usually resident and present in the State on Census Night in Dublin City and County, classified by means of travel to work, school or college and by distance travelled, 2006

Dublin City & County

Total

On foot

Bicycle

Bus, minibus or coach

Train, DART or LUAS

Motor cycle or scooter

Driver

Passenger

Lorry or van

Other means

Work mainly at or from home

Not stated

0 kilometres

5,686

2,800

43

43

22

7

492

81

38

9

2,050

101

1 kilometre

84,818

60,954

3,135

1,690

219

123

7,706

10,289

403

71

0

228

2 to 4 kilometres

166,040

47,146

12,085

22,394

4,069

996

43,917

33,017

1,816

211

0

389

5 to 9 kilometres

154,080

5,375

8,495

35,723

11,735

2,090

69,625

17,268

3,245

216

0

308

10 to 14 kilometres

98,722

0

2,563

21,129

12,745

1707

50,868

6,161

3,222

118

0

209

15 to 24 kilometres

72,770

0

693

13,007

10,194

1,158

40,836

3,648

2,969

96

0

169

25 to 49 kilometres

29,268

0

78

3,462

5,050

349

17,400

1,281

1,530

48

0

70

50 kilometres and over

6,413

0

0

594

558

41

4,204

333

560

89

0

34

Not stated

182,168

44,273

3,781

27,417

7,486

836

40,986

13,904

6,164

530

19,759

17,032

David Stanton

Question:

156 Deputy David Stanton asked the Taoiseach further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 188 of 4 March 2008 and 135 of 27 February 2008, if the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs is the Department responsible for the coordination of the enterprise audit to receive the uses of existing and redundant agricultural buildings and manufacturing plants in rural areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11218/08]

I am happy to inform the Deputy that arrangements for an enterprise audit to review the use of existing and redundant agricultural buildings and manufacturing plants in rural areas are currently being made.

The Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs will coordinate with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food being the Departments with the lead functions in these areas.

Legal Cases.

Kathleen Lynch

Question:

157 Deputy Kathleen Lynch asked the Taoiseach the number of legal cases the Attorney General’s Office are currently involved in with parents of children with special needs who have initiated legal proceedings against the State; the estimated legal cost of these actions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10256/08]

Kathleen Lynch

Question:

158 Deputy Kathleen Lynch asked the Taoiseach the costs charged to the Chief Solicitor's Office per year for the past five years in legal proceedings involving children with special needs who have taken legal action against the State; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10257/08]

Kathleen Lynch

Question:

159 Deputy Kathleen Lynch asked the Taoiseach the compensation or damages charged to the Chief Solicitor's Office as sanctioned by the Attorney General in legal settlements involving children with special needs who have taken legal action against the State for each year over the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10265/08]

Kathleen Lynch

Question:

160 Deputy Kathleen Lynch asked the Taoiseach the fees paid by the Chief Solicitor's Office as sanctioned by the Attorney General for each year over the past five years to psychologists and other expert witnesses in legal proceedings involving children with special needs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10316/08]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 157 to 160, inclusive, together.

In the Chief State Solicitor's Office there are files open in 83 legal proceedings involving children with special needs, but only a small number of these cases are currently being actively pursued in the Courts. It is impossible to estimate how much the legal costs will be of current cases as it depends on whether the case is settled, whether it proceeds to hearing, how the hearing might be conducted etc.

The overall costs for the Office for legal proceedings involving children with special needs from 2003 to 2007 are as follows:

Year

2003

635,507.27

2004

547,354.39

2005

445,958.93

2006

972,637.40

2007

287,403.68

Total

2,888,861.67

Compensation or damages are paid by individual Departments in respect of legal actions and, accordingly, no damages have been charged to the Chief State Solicitor's Office or the Attorney General's Office in legal proceedings involving children with special needs.

The Chief State Solicitor's Office has paid no fees to psychologists or other expert witnesses in legal proceedings involving children with special needs. The Department of Education and Science have commissioned psychologists to give them advice on educational intervention which is appropriate for children who are the subject of court proceedings and those expert witnesses may then be required to appear in Court. Costs and expenses for these experts employed by the Department of Education and Science for defence of cases are paid direct by that Department.

Commemorative Events.

Charlie O'Connor

Question:

161 Deputy Charlie O’Connor asked the Taoiseach his plans to set up an official annual famine commemoration; if his attention has been drawn to the public interest and support in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11829/08]

The introduction of an annual Famine Memorial Day has been addressed by officials and their recommendations are being considered. I am satisfied that an official recognition of the Famine should be arranged to complement the many community initiatives which take place in Ireland and abroad each year.

Departmental Facilities.

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

162 Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Taoiseach the number of car park spaces available nationally to those working in his Department and in the bodies and agencies under the aegis of his Department; the annual cost of car park spaces rented by his Department and the bodies and agencies under the aegis of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11895/08]

The information requested for the Deputy in terms of my Department and the bodies under its aegis is outlined below.

Department of the Taoiseach

There are 40 spaces allocated to staff of my Department. These are in the forecourt of Government Buildings and at a smaller site at the rear of Merrion Square. My Department does not rent any car parking spaces. There are also 3 dedicated visitor spaces and one space for disabled persons in the forecourt of Government Buildings. Arrangements are made for additional parking facilities in the forecourt for visitors when required.

The National Economic and Social Development Office

The National Economic and Social Development Office (NESDO) has 20 car spaces available to staff of NESDO and visitors to the office. In terms of the annual cost, rent is paid to the Office of Public Works (OPW) for the office accommodation, which includes the car spaces.

Central Statistics Office

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has 505 car spaces available nationally. The annual cost of 10 spaces rented by the CSO is €14,550. The breakdown for the number of car spaces available per location is as follows:

Ardee Road, Rathmines: 77 spaces available (this figure includes 3 spaces set aside for disabled drivers and 2 for visitors to the office and it also includes the renting of 6 outside spaces at an annual cost of €9,600).

Swords Office: 107 spaces allocated to the CSO in the Swords Business Campus.

Skehard Road, Mahon, Cork: 317 spaces available (this includes 5 disabled drivers and 4 visitor spaces).

QNHS Field Staff in two locations: 4 spaces rented at an annual cost of €4,950.

The Law Reform Commission

The Law Reform Commission have 15 parking spaces allocated to them by the owner of the building. The cost of the spaces is incorporated into the overall rent for the premises.

Official Engagements.

Pat Breen

Question:

163 Deputy Pat Breen asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his discussions with the US President, Mr George Bush in Washington recently; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11897/08]

In the course of my meeting with President Bush on St. Patrick's Day, we discussed matters relating to Northern Ireland including the forthcoming investment conference, a range of current international issues including the international economy and the position of the undocumented Irish in the US.

National Employment Survey.

Richard Bruton

Question:

164 Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Taoiseach if his attention has been drawn to the burden created for small employers of completing the national employment survey; and if he has proposals to reduce the compliance cost for employers of providing this information. [12072/08]

The National Employment Survey (NES) is an annual survey of employers and employees in both the public and private sectors, covering all sectors of the economy. The NES provides valuable information on the structure and distribution of employee earnings, and on the factors influencing earnings and employment conditions, to meet national and EU needs.

The CSO recognises that the survey imposes a burden, particularly on small employers when they are included in the survey. Steps have been taken and continue to be taken to keep this burden to a minimum. These include: the NES has an innovative survey approach which involves information being collected in respect of individual employees from both the employer and employee themselves. In total it has an annual sample of approximately 10,000 employers and 100,000 employees. However only employers with greater than 249 employees are included every year with a rotating systematic sample of smaller employers (employers with less than three employees are excluded from the survey entirely), depending on the size of the employer. For example, employers with between two and ten employees have a one in twenty chance of inclusion in the survey while employers with between nine and twenty employees have a one in ten chance of inclusion in the survey etc. Once an employer has been included in the survey, it is rotated out of the sample for subsequent years and is not included again until other employers in the same category have been sampled, except in certain limited circumstances. In addition, the CSO has been working in consultation with payroll software providers to reduce the burden of response on enterprises. These payroll companies have installed an optional CSO "module" on their payroll packages which will extract all the payroll data required for the NES (and the new quarterly Earnings, Hours and Employment Costs Survey or EHECS). This innovation will lead to a significant reduction in burden on those companies using the modules. The modules are currently been rolled out by the payroll companies and will be available for the NES from next year onwards.

Departmental Bodies.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

165 Deputy Ruairí Quinn asked the Taoiseach the name of every body, organisation and committee outside his Department, other than semi-State commercial companies, that have been established by and report to his Department, at any stage during the year 2007 and the first three months of 2008; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12304/08]

The National Economic and Social Development Office (NESDO) was established by the National Economic and Social Development Office Act, 2006. The provisions of the Act came into force on 1 January, 2007 by an Order made by the Taoiseach under the Act.

Departmental Travel.

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

166 Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Taoiseach if his Department has used helicopters for any purpose for each year since 2002 to date in 2008; the reason for such use; the suppliers of the helicopter; the dates and locations visited and distance travelled; the cost of same and persons carried; if quotations were sought for such trips; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12425/08]

I understand that my colleague Mr. Willie O'Dea T.D., the Minister for Defence is providing information relating to Ministerial use of Air Corps helicopters.

The only other use of helicopters by my Department was to facilitate my attendance and address to delegates at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in 2004 and 2007. Details of these trips, for which arrangements were put in place by Department of Foreign Affairs, are provided in the following table:

Location

Date

From

To

Reason for Travel

Supplier of helicopter

Persons travelling

Cost

January 2004

Zurich airport to Davos

Davos to Zurich Airport

World Economic Forum

Heli Link

Taoiseach David Feeney Joe Lennon Olive Melvin Mary Butler Security

11,419

January 2007

Zurich airport to Davos

Davos to Zurich Airport

World Economic Forum

Air Grischa

Taoiseach David Feeney Olive Melvin Security

5,501

Census 2006.

Richard Bruton

Question:

167 Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Taoiseach the number of schoolchildren and students and the number of workers aged 15 and over and in each case the percentage distribution classified by the means of travel to school and work respectively in each local authority ward of Dublin local authorities in 1996, 2002 and 2006. [12496/08]

The comparative information sought by the Deputy from Census 1996, 2002 and 2006 is in the following table.

Persons aged 5 years and over in All Dublin Electoral Divisions by means of travel to work, school or college, 2002

Electoral Division

Total

On foot

%

Bicycle

%

Bus, minibus or coach

%

Train, DART or LUAS

%

Motor-cycle or scooter

%

Car driver

%

Car passenger

%

Other

%

Not stated

%

Dublin City

001 Arran Quay A

955

398

41.7%

56

5.9%

199

20.8%

23

2.4%

8

0.8%

175

18.3%

39

4.1%

34

3.6%

23

2.4%

002 Arran Quay B

2123

891

42.0%

114

5.4%

368

17.3%

48

2.3%

30

1.4%

387

18.2%

68

3.2%

77

3.6%

140

6.6%

003 Arran Quay C

1897

967

51.0%

127

6.7%

333

17.6%

34

1.8%

12

0.6%

258

13.6%

27

1.4%

42

2.2%

97

5.1%

004 Arran Quay D

2153

756

35.1%

175

8.1%

475

22.1%

22

1.0%

34

1.6%

412

19.1%

107

5.0%

97

4.5%

75

3.5%

005 Arran Quay E

1797

637

35.4%

180

10.0%

345

19.2%

21

1.2%

13

0.7%

373

20.8%

68

3.8%

88

4.9%

72

4.0%

006 Ashtown A

4565

885

19.4%

210

4.6%

880

19.3%

57

1.2%

66

1.4%

1757

38.5%

506

11.1%

163

3.6%

41

0.9%

007 Ashtown B

1584

248

15.7%

102

6.4%

357

22.5%

17

1.1%

16

1.0%

579

36.6%

124

7.8%

88

5.6%

53

3.3%

008 Ayrfield

3876

635

16.4%

143

3.7%

778

20.1%

210

5.4%

60

1.5%

1322

34.1%

481

12.4%

190

4.9%

57

1.5%

009 Ballybough A

1869

760

40.7%

87

4.7%

381

20.4%

49

2.6%

17

0.9%

296

15.8%

96

5.1%

77

4.1%

106

5.7%

010 Ballybough B

1840

689

37.4%

113

6.1%

387

21.0%

44

2.4%

17

0.9%

269

14.6%

69

3.8%

95

5.2%

157

8.5%

011 Ballygall A

1910

465

24.3%

73

3.8%

445

23.3%

9

0.5%

31

1.6%

512

26.8%

252

13.2%

84

4.4%

39

2.0%

012 Ballygall B

950

174

18.3%

48

5.1%

219

23.1%

11

1.2%

13

1.4%

297

31.3%

86

9.1%

58

6.1%

44

4.6%

013 Ballygall C

2291

393

17.2%

107

4.7%

542

23.7%

18

0.8%

25

1.1%

817

35.7%

212

9.3%

107

4.7%

70

3.1%

014 Ballygall D

1503

296

19.7%

78

5.2%

322

21.4%

12

0.8%

26

1.7%

477

31.7%

185

12.3%

84

5.6%

23

1.5%

015 Ballymun A

1020

183

17.9%

30

2.9%

248

24.3%

4

0.4%

5

0.5%

207

20.3%

70

6.9%

50

4.9%

223

21.9%

016 Ballymun B

2289

752

32.9%

57

2.5%

550

24.0%

5

0.2%

17

0.7%

356

15.6%

196

8.6%

93

4.1%

263

11.5%

017 Ballymun C

3496

1090

31.2%

126

3.6%

771

22.1%

12

0.3%

37

1.1%

673

19.3%

274

7.8%

124

3.5%

389

11.1%

018 Ballymun D

2095

796

38.0%

41

2.0%

394

18.8%

6

0.3%

9

0.4%

285

13.6%

157

7.5%

74

3.5%

333

15.9%

019 Ballymun E

917

96

10.5%

61

6.7%

147

16.0%

5

0.5%

9

1.0%

381

41.5%

159

17.3%

45

4.9%

14

1.5%

020 Ballymun F

1708

191

11.2%

93

5.4%

348

20.4%

3

0.2%

31

1.8%

617

36.1%

312

18.3%

76

4.4%

37

2.2%

021 Beaumont A

1529

246

16.1%

103

6.7%

283

18.5%

17

1.1%

15

1.0%

601

39.3%

160

10.5%

86

5.6%

18

1.2%

022 Beaumont B

3608

664

18.4%

172

4.8%

755

20.9%

93

2.6%

57

1.6%

1371

38.0%

218

6.0%

154

4.3%

124

3.4%

023 Beaumont C

1774

301

17.0%

76

4.3%

414

23.3%

65

3.7%

13

0.7%

617

34.8%

197

11.1%

78

4.4%

13

0.7%

024 Beaumont D

2017

389

19.3%

110

5.5%

424

21.0%

40

2.0%

25

1.2%

677

33.6%

254

12.6%

77

3.8%

21

1.0%

025 Beaumont E

1516

242

16.0%

95

6.3%

386

25.5%

24

1.6%

28

1.8%

542

35.8%

127

8.4%

61

4.0%

11

0.7%

026 Beaumont F

2625

417

15.9%

152

5.8%

589

22.4%

57

2.2%

44

1.7%

972

37.0%

258

9.8%

106

4.0%

30

1.1%

027 Botanic A

1929

446

23.1%

119

6.2%

415

21.5%

14

0.7%

19

1.0%

619

32.1%

119

6.2%

70

3.6%

108

5.6%

028 Botanic B

2429

661

27.2%

117

4.8%

449

18.5%

53

2.2%

25

1.0%

685

28.2%

173

7.1%

99

4.1%

167

6.9%

029 Botanic C

1610

479

29.8%

100

6.2%

370

23.0%

37

2.3%

20

1.2%

370

23.0%

92

5.7%

58

3.6%

84

5.2%

030 Cabra East A

3861

887

23.0%

313

8.1%

955

24.7%

43

1.1%

30

0.8%

1077

27.9%

327

8.5%

175

4.5%

54

1.4%

031 Cabra East B

2108

615

29.2%

160

7.6%

459

21.8%

20

0.9%

32

1.5%

493

23.4%

169

8.0%

91

4.3%

69

3.3%

032 Cabra East C

2239

548

24.5%

167

7.5%

649

29.0%

24

1.1%

24

1.1%

472

21.1%

151

6.7%

97

4.3%

107

4.8%

033 Cabra West A

1016

325

32.0%

59

5.8%

204

20.1%

9

0.9%

16

1.6%

259

25.5%

77

7.6%

56

5.5%

11

1.1%

034 Cabra West B

1466

425

29.0%

81

5.5%

312

21.3%

15

1.0%

21

1.4%

353

24.1%

161

11.0%

74

5.0%

24

1.6%

035 Cabra West C

1813

483

26.6%

97

5.4%

410

22.6%

8

0.4%

26

1.4%

450

24.8%

160

8.8%

84

4.6%

95

5.2%

036 Cabra West D

1954

395

20.2%

144

7.4%

485

24.8%

19

1.0%

35

1.8%

555

28.4%

170

8.7%

78

4.0%

73

3.7%

Electoral Division

Total

On foot

%

Bicycle

%

Bus, minibus or coach

%

Train, DART or LUAS

%

Motor-cycle or scooter

%

Car driver

%

Car passenger

%

Other

%

Not stated

%

Dublin City—continued

037 Clontarf East A

1863

328

17.6%

95

5.1%

222

11.9%

338

18.1%

19

1.0%

591

31.7%

153

8.2%

80

4.3%

37

2.0%

038 Clontarf East B

4299

531

12.4%

250

5.8%

831

19.3%

224

5.2%

71

1.7%

1516

35.3%

620

14.4%

197

4.6%

59

1.4%

039 Clontarf East C

1956

355

18.1%

108

5.5%

239

12.2%

224

11.5%

21

1.1%

716

36.6%

185

9.5%

69

3.5%

39

2.0%

040 Clontarf East D

1753

181

10.3%

139

7.9%

266

15.2%

142

8.1%

22

1.3%

640

36.5%

267

15.2%

62

3.5%

34

1.9%

041 Clontarf East E

1004

140

13.9%

59

5.9%

116

11.6%

189

18.8%

10

1.0%

334

33.3%

89

8.9%

54

5.4%

13

1.3%

042 Clontarf West A

2228

309

13.9%

142

6.4%

315

14.1%

344

15.4%

24

1.1%

791

35.5%

201

9.0%

82

3.7%

20

0.9%

043 Clontarf West B

1544

354

22.9%

82

5.3%

353

22.9%

156

10.1%

22

1.4%

362

23.4%

112

7.3%

90

5.8%

13

0.8%

044 Clontarf West C

2408

300

12.5%

107

4.4%

511

21.2%

260

10.8%

35

1.5%

790

32.8%

257

10.7%

100

4.2%

48

2.0%

045 Clontarf West D

1402

361

25.7%

82

5.8%

378

27.0%

64

4.6%

19

1.4%

335

23.9%

54

3.9%

50

3.6%

59

4.2%

046 Clontarf West E

1444

364

25.2%

107

7.4%

316

21.9%

44

3.0%

15

1.0%

404

28.0%

79

5.5%

72

5.0%

43

3.0%

047 Drumcondra South A

2632

664

25.2%

179

6.8%

537

20.4%

56

2.1%

25

0.9%

680

25.8%

189

7.2%

181

6.9%

121

4.6%

048 Drumcondra South B

881

321

36.4%

49

5.6%

176

20.0%

24

2.7%

12

1.4%

185

21.0%

57

6.5%

32

3.6%

25

2.8%

049 Drumcondra South C

2378

623

26.2%

167

7.0%

437

18.4%

21

0.9%

17

0.7%

652

27.4%

114

4.8%

80

3.4%

267

11.2%

050 Edenmore

1516

386

25.5%

54

3.6%

293

19.3%

123

8.1%

11

0.7%

391

25.8%

138

9.1%

89

5.9%

31

2.0%

051 Finglas North A

2144

562

26.2%

78

3.6%

489

22.8%

2

0.1%

31

1.4%

488

22.8%

230

10.7%

81

3.8%

183

8.5%

052 Finglas North B

1664

460

27.6%

37

2.2%

351

21.1%

2

0.1%

24

1.4%

390

23.4%

200

12.0%

90

5.4%

110

6.6%

053 Finglas North C

1872

336

17.9%

85

4.5%

403

21.5%

12

0.6%

25

1.3%

662

35.4%

218

11.6%

82

4.4%

49

2.6%

054 Finglas South A

1410

382

27.1%

47

3.3%

344

24.4%

9

0.6%

16

1.1%

349

24.8%

124

8.8%

69

4.9%

70

5.0%

055 Finglas South B

2134

544

25.5%

80

3.7%

483

22.6%

12

0.6%

25

1.2%

600

28.1%

201

9.4%

93

4.4%

96

4.5%

056 Finglas South C

1626

478

29.4%

71

4.4%

377

23.2%

3

0.2%

18

1.1%

347

21.3%

152

9.3%

82

5.0%

98

6.0%

057 Finglas South D

1326

307

23.2%

56

4.2%

273

20.6%

3

0.2%

14

1.1%

380

28.7%

162

12.2%

72

5.4%

59

4.4%

058 Grace Park

4038

757

18.7%

301

7.5%

843

20.9%

76

1.9%

50

1.2%

1331

33.0%

432

10.7%

137

3.4%

111

2.7%

059 Grange A

5253

640

12.2%

138

2.6%

852

16.2%

475

9.0%

71

1.4%

1870

35.6%

838

16.0%

301

5.7%

68

1.3%

060 Grange B

1589

302

19.0%

78

4.9%

222

14.0%

216

13.6%

30

1.9%

451

28.4%

155

9.8%

79

5.0%

56

3.5%

061 Grange C

2383

495

20.8%

66

2.8%

236

9.9%

504

21.1%

28

1.2%

684

28.7%

179

7.5%

112

4.7%

79

3.3%

062 Grange D

3057

497

16.3%

66

2.2%

224

7.3%

747

24.4%

36

1.2%

968

31.7%

348

11.4%

132

4.3%

39

1.3%

063 Grange E

1897

311

16.4%

62

3.3%

258

13.6%

302

15.9%

20

1.1%

570

30.0%

237

12.5%

94

5.0%

43

2.3%

064 Harmonstown A

1866

402

21.5%

113

6.1%

415

22.2%

100

5.4%

34

1.8%

541

29.0%

146

7.8%

91

4.9%

24

1.3%

065 Harmonstown B

1443

286

19.8%

82

5.7%

194

13.4%

231

16.0%

19

1.3%

391

27.1%

132

9.1%

63

4.4%

45

3.1%

066 Inns Quay A

1630

640

39.3%

65

4.0%

298

18.3%

29

1.8%

12

0.7%

242

14.8%

50

3.1%

86

5.3%

208

12.8%

067 Inns Quay B

1837

784

42.7%

116

6.3%

388

21.1%

51

2.8%

10

0.5%

244

13.3%

54

2.9%

116

6.3%

74

4.0%

068 Inns Quay C

1489

805

54.1%

70

4.7%

211

14.2%

24

1.6%

14

0.9%

158

10.6%

36

2.4%

70

4.7%

101

6.8%

069 Kilmore A

1958

219

11.2%

91

4.6%

397

20.3%

19

1.0%

34

1.7%

684

34.9%

376

19.2%

98

5.0%

40

2.0%

070 Kilmore B

1677

560

33.4%

85

5.1%

354

21.1%

11

0.7%

17

1.0%

349

20.8%

158

9.4%

77

4.6%

66

3.9%

071 Kilmore C

861

252

29.3%

35

4.1%

209

24.3%

6

0.7%

12

1.4%

164

19.0%

98

11.4%

38

4.4%

47

5.5%

072 Kilmore D

1493

250

16.7%

66

4.4%

366

24.5%

26

1.7%

20

1.3%

461

30.9%

171

11.5%

78

5.2%

55

3.7%

073 Mountjoy A

1851

812

43.9%

41

2.2%

242

13.1%

53

2.9%

12

0.6%

203

11.0%

33

1.8%

118

6.4%

337

18.2%

074 Mountjoy B

1668

731

43.8%

69

4.1%

309

18.5%

43

2.6%

22

1.3%

128

7.7%

19

1.1%

91

5.5%

256

15.3%

Electoral Division

Total

On foot

%

Bicycle

%

Bus, minibus or coach

%

Train, DART or LUAS

%

Motor-cycle or scooter

%

Car driver

%

Car passenger

%

Other

%

Not stated

%

Dublin City—continued

075 North City

3219

1300

40.4%

90

2.8%

584

18.1%

125

3.9%

19

0.6%

339

10.5%

37

1.1%

126

3.9%

599

18.6%

076 North Dock A

834

253

30.3%

64

7.7%

233

27.9%

27

3.2%

4

0.5%

155

18.6%

34

4.1%

42

5.0%

22

2.6%

077 North Dock B

2214

686

31.0%

193

8.7%

351

15.9%

53

2.4%

20

0.9%

519

23.4%

137

6.2%

108

4.9%

147

6.6%

078 North Dock C

2548

1291

50.7%

97

3.8%

409

16.1%

128

5.0%

17

0.7%

301

11.8%

51

2.0%

83

3.3%

171

6.7%

079 Phoenix Park

920

172

18.7%

50

5.4%

264

28.7%

28

3.0%

21

2.3%

291

31.6%

50

5.4%

39

4.2%

5

0.5%

080 Priorswood A

1162

167

14.4%

40

3.4%

298

25.6%

13

1.1%

23

2.0%

388

33.4%

148

12.7%

66

5.7%

19

1.6%

081 Priorswood B

2022

661

32.7%

41

2.0%

525

26.0%

13

0.6%

21

1.0%

300

14.8%

168

8.3%

96

4.7%

197

9.7%

082 Priorswood C

2267

941

41.5%

48

2.1%

530

23.4%

6

0.3%

22

1.0%

280

12.4%

260

11.5%

82

3.6%

98

4.3%

083 Priorswood D

1723

429

24.9%

70

4.1%

404

23.4%

11

0.6%

22

1.3%

414

24.0%

178

10.3%

82

4.8%

113

6.6%

084 Priorswood E

1987

316

15.9%

74

3.7%

545

27.4%

26

1.3%

27

1.4%

617

31.1%

242

12.2%

111

5.6%

29

1.5%

085 Raheny-Foxfield

1757

231

13.1%

61

3.5%

165

9.4%

363

20.7%

19

1.1%

572

32.6%

238

13.5%

68

3.9%

40

2.3%

086 Raheny-Greendale

1510

346

22.9%

42

2.8%

116

7.7%

290

19.2%

16

1.1%

414

27.4%

116

7.7%

96

6.4%

74

4.9%

087 Raheny-St. Assam

2101

205

9.8%

69

3.3%

217

10.3%

412

19.6%

29

1.4%

764

36.4%

288

13.7%

86

4.1%

31

1.5%

088 Rotunda A

2789

1144

41.0%

111

4.0%

485

17.4%

78

2.8%

18

0.6%

286

10.3%

56

2.0%

111

4.0%

500

17.9%

089 Rotunda B

1123

500

44.5%

65

5.8%

220

19.6%

35

3.1%

7

0.6%

93

8.3%

25

2.2%

51

4.5%

127

11.3%

090 Whitehall A

2311

671

29.0%

89

3.9%

427

18.5%

19

0.8%

24

1.0%

692

29.9%

174

7.5%

82

3.5%

133

5.8%

091 Whitehall B

2387

543

22.7%

117

4.9%

573

24.0%

14

0.6%

28

1.2%

720

30.2%

191

8.0%

96

4.0%

105

4.4%

092 Whitehall C

1448

182

12.6%

74

5.1%

404

27.9%

8

0.6%

15

1.0%

489

33.8%

163

11.3%

66

4.6%

47

3.2%

093 Whitehall D

1502

342

22.8%

61

4.1%

381

25.4%

18

1.2%

16

1.1%

432

28.8%

135

9.0%

64

4.3%

53

3.5%

094 Chapelizod

1458

224

15.4%

56

3.8%

319

21.9%

5

0.3%

27

1.9%

621

42.6%

106

7.3%

68

4.7%

32

2.2%

095 Cherry Orchard A

765

95

12.4%

10

1.3%

317

41.4%

2

0.3%

2

0.3%

119

15.6%

85

11.1%

45

5.9%

90

11.8%

096 Carna

1646

435

26.4%

37

2.2%

418

25.4%

7

0.4%

32

1.9%

409

24.8%

188

11.4%

99

6.0%

21

1.3%

097 Cherry Orchard C

2321

731

31.5%

60

2.6%

720

31.0%

15

0.6%

30

1.3%

357

15.4%

282

12.1%

89

3.8%

37

1.6%

098 Crumlin A

2265

588

26.0%

127

5.6%

527

23.3%

6

0.3%

51

2.3%

583

25.7%

210

9.3%

144

6.4%

29

1.3%

099 Crumlin B

1842

460

25.0%

111

6.0%

427

23.2%

10

0.5%

39

2.1%

440

23.9%

178

9.7%

96

5.2%

81

4.4%

100 Crumlin C

1416

397

28.0%

125

8.8%

268

18.9%

5

0.4%

19

1.3%

354

25.0%

99

7.0%

70

4.9%

79

5.6%

101 Crumlin D

2427

633

26.1%

144

5.9%

529

21.8%

15

0.6%

43

1.8%

656

27.0%

223

9.2%

120

4.9%

64

2.6%

102 Crumlin E

1699

534

31.4%

102

6.0%

349

20.5%

4

0.2%

24

1.4%

405

23.8%

140

8.2%

80

4.7%

61

3.6%

103 Crumlin F

1809

451

24.9%

120

6.6%

371

20.5%

2

0.1%

25

1.4%

543

30.0%

182

10.1%

76

4.2%

39

2.2%

104 Decies

1701

532

31.3%

54

3.2%

415

24.4%

2

0.1%

42

2.5%

395

23.2%

138

8.1%

70

4.1%

53

3.1%

105 Drumfinn

2054

716

34.9%

70

3.4%

441

21.5%

3

0.1%

29

1.4%

492

24.0%

167

8.1%

98

4.8%

38

1.9%

106 Inchicore A

1193

242

20.3%

73

6.1%

313

26.2%

8

0.7%

25

2.1%

372

31.2%

86

7.2%

56

4.7%

18

1.5%

107 Inchicore B

1008

305

30.3%

47

4.7%

202

20.0%

2

0.2%

17

1.7%

262

26.0%

86

8.5%

49

4.9%

38

3.8%

108 Kilmainham A

1342

359

26.8%

65

4.8%

340

25.3%

8

0.6%

23

1.7%

335

25.0%

129

9.6%

73

5.4%

10

0.7%

109 Kilmainham B

774

140

18.1%

61

7.9%

238

30.7%

6

0.8%

16

2.1%

217

28.0%

57

7.4%

33

4.3%

6

0.8%

110 Kilmainham C

2397

593

24.7%

128

5.3%

658

27.5%

12

0.5%

36

1.5%

663

27.7%

160

6.7%

75

3.1%

72

3.0%

111 Kimmage A

1228

353

28.7%

74

6.0%

263

21.4%

5

0.4%

29

2.4%

304

24.8%

106

8.6%

60

4.9%

34

2.8%

112 Kimmage B

2175

603

27.7%

131

6.0%

433

19.9%

4

0.2%

52

2.4%

582

26.8%

216

9.9%

116

5.3%

38

1.7%

Electoral Division

Total

On foot

%

Bicycle

%

Bus, minibus or coach

%

Train, DART or LUAS

%

Motor-cycle or scooter

%

Car driver

%

Car passenger

%

Other

%

Not stated

%

Dublin City—continued

113 Kimmage C

2159

713

33.0%

230

10.7%

352

16.3%

14

0.6%

33

1.5%

587

27.2%

92

4.3%

94

4.4%

44

2.0%

114 Kimmage D

1619

410

25.3%

112

6.9%

340

21.0%

0

0.0%

31

1.9%

453

28.0%

158

9.8%

77

4.8%

38

2.3%

115 Kimmage E

2178

459

21.1%

154

7.1%

448

20.6%

9

0.4%

33

1.5%

705

32.4%

207

9.5%

119

5.5%

44

2.0%

116 Kylemore

1489

490

32.9%

52

3.5%

334

22.4%

5

0.3%

19

1.3%

325

21.8%

125

8.4%

105

7.1%

34

2.3%

117 Mansion House A

3099

1736

56.0%

94

3.0%

376

12.1%

151

4.9%

17

0.5%

368

11.9%

89

2.9%

144

4.6%

124

4.0%

118 Mansion House B

770

273

35.5%

26

3.4%

60

7.8%

20

2.6%

6

0.8%

133

17.3%

14

1.8%

52

6.8%

186

24.2%

119 Merchants Quay A

1241

660

53.2%

45

3.6%

201

16.2%

37

3.0%

12

1.0%

112

9.0%

31

2.5%

47

3.8%

96

7.7%

120 Merchants Quay B

2544

1447

56.9%

132

5.2%

406

16.0%

46

1.8%

16

0.6%

310

12.2%

47

1.8%

80

3.1%

60

2.4%

121 Merchants Quay C

1538

774

50.3%

83

5.4%

268

17.4%

20

1.3%

10

0.7%

220

14.3%

54

3.5%

64

4.2%

45

2.9%

122 Merchants Quay D

1331

530

39.8%

112

8.4%

148

11.1%

11

0.8%

17

1.3%

339

25.5%

44

3.3%

52

3.9%

78

5.9%

123 Merchants Quay E

1136

493

43.4%

113

9.9%

156

13.7%

13

1.1%

10

0.9%

200

17.6%

40

3.5%

37

3.3%

74

6.5%

124 Merchants Quay F

1178

478

40.6%

78

6.6%

252

21.4%

11

0.9%

16

1.4%

201

17.1%

54

4.6%

58

4.9%

30

2.5%

125 Pembroke East A

2766

1102

39.8%

244

8.8%

319

11.5%

80

2.9%

45

1.6%

632

22.8%

184

6.7%

133

4.8%

27

1.0%

126 Pembroke East B

2506

580

23.1%

145

5.8%

224

8.9%

210

8.4%

18

0.7%

739

29.5%

258

10.3%

103

4.1%

229

9.1%

127 Pembroke East C

2741

404

14.7%

168

6.1%

212

7.7%

380

13.9%

12

0.4%

1073

39.1%

366

13.4%

107

3.9%

19

0.7%

128 Pembroke East D

2762

595

21.5%

145

5.2%

486

17.6%

116

4.2%

21

0.8%

917

33.2%

240

8.7%

134

4.9%

108

3.9%

129 Pembroke East E

2398

515

21.5%

129

5.4%

265

11.1%

174

7.3%

21

0.9%

812

33.9%

214

8.9%

138

5.8%

130

5.4%

130 Pembroke West A

2182

822

37.7%

171

7.8%

202

9.3%

95

4.4%

20

0.9%

603

27.6%

149

6.8%

90

4.1%

30

1.4%

131 Pembroke West B

2334

519

22.2%

97

4.2%

289

12.4%

75

3.2%

15

0.6%

667

28.6%

101

4.3%

100

4.3%

471

20.2%

132 Pembroke West C

3085

1124

36.4%

160

5.2%

354

11.5%

65

2.1%

25

0.8%

796

25.8%

145

4.7%

218

7.1%

198

6.4%

133 Rathfarnham

3128

595

19.0%

334

10.7%

528

16.9%

12

0.4%

38

1.2%

1089

34.8%

327

10.5%

159

5.1%

46

1.5%

134 Rathmines East A

3343

1341

40.1%

287

8.6%

589

17.6%

43

1.3%

24

0.7%

733

21.9%

139

4.2%

136

4.1%

51

1.5%

135 Rathmines East B

3596

893

24.8%

296

8.2%

662

18.4%

22

0.6%

35

1.0%

1170

32.5%

253

7.0%

214

6.0%

51

1.4%

136 Rathmines East C

2665

748

28.1%

320

12.0%

355

13.3%

18

0.7%

29

1.1%

844

31.7%

227

8.5%

100

3.8%

24

0.9%

137 Rathmines East D

2277

848

37.2%

262

11.5%

393

17.3%

16

0.7%

27

1.2%

500

22.0%

99

4.3%

102

4.5%

30

1.3%

138 Rathmines West A

3652

1416

38.8%

353

9.7%

696

19.1%

37

1.0%

49

1.3%

779

21.3%

113

3.1%

109

3.0%

100

2.7%

139 Rathmines West B

2668

1154

43.3%

229

8.6%

535

20.1%

39

1.5%

33

1.2%

482

18.1%

81

3.0%

92

3.4%

23

0.9%

140 Rathmines West C

2034

653

32.1%

226

11.1%

350

17.2%

18

0.9%

25

1.2%

538

26.5%

108

5.3%

87

4.3%

29

1.4%

141 Rathmines West D

2399

672

28.0%

245

10.2%

473

19.7%

12

0.5%

41

1.7%

611

25.5%

177

7.4%

106

4.4%

62

2.6%

142 Rathmines West E

2705

589

21.8%

312

11.5%

611

22.6%

11

0.4%

45

1.7%

804

29.7%

177

6.5%

116

4.3%

40

1.5%

143 Rathmines West F

2254

754

33.5%

239

10.6%

437

19.4%

21

0.9%

37

1.6%

536

23.8%

105

4.7%

79

3.5%

46

2.0%

144 Royal Exchange A

2828

1186

41.9%

89

3.1%

364

12.9%

103

3.6%

20

0.7%

358

12.7%

48

1.7%

120

4.2%

540

19.1%

145 Royal Exchange B

1356

592

43.7%

38

2.8%

141

10.4%

29

2.1%

14

1.0%

251

18.5%

17

1.3%

74

5.5%

200

14.7%

146 St. Kevin’s

3396

1300

38.3%

171

5.0%

520

15.3%

82

2.4%

29

0.9%

544

16.0%

65

1.9%

158

4.7%

527

15.5%

147 South Dock

2800

1381

49.3%

149

5.3%

288

10.3%

134

4.8%

34

1.2%

569

20.3%

76

2.7%

108

3.9%

61

2.2%

148 Terenure A

2502

571

22.8%

283

11.3%

485

19.4%

8

0.3%

33

1.3%

815

32.6%

163

6.5%

103

4.1%

41

1.6%

149 Terenure B

2263

480

21.2%

225

9.9%

471

20.8%

9

0.4%

32

1.4%

740

32.7%

174

7.7%

105

4.6%

27

1.2%

150 Terenure C

1173

203

17.3%

93

7.9%

179

15.3%

2

0.2%

14

1.2%

500

42.6%

139

11.8%

37

3.2%

6

0.5%

151 Terenure D

558

102

18.3%

39

7.0%

80

14.3%

0

0.0%

10

1.8%

232

41.6%

70

12.5%

20

3.6%

5

0.9%

Electoral Division

Total

On foot

%

Bicycle

%

Bus, minibus or coach

%

Train, DART or LUAS

%

Motor-cycle or scooter

%

Car driver

%

Car passenger

%

Other

%

Not stated

%

Dublin City—continued

152 Ushers A

1147

344

30.0%

71

6.2%

314

27.4%

20

1.7%

20

1.7%

222

19.4%

42

3.7%

41

3.6%

73

6.4%

153 Ushers B

729

365

50.1%

35

4.8%

130

17.8%

17

2.3%

3

0.4%

119

16.3%

8

1.1%

30

4.1%

22

3.0%

154 Ushers C

1523

732

48.1%

58

3.8%

221

14.5%

15

1.0%

17

1.1%

208

13.7%

95

6.2%

63

4.1%

114

7.5%

155 Ushers D

1054

346

32.8%

102

9.7%

298

28.3%

11

1.0%

8

0.8%

167

15.8%

46

4.4%

55

5.2%

21

2.0%

156 Ushers E

1131

359

31.7%

76

6.7%

277

24.5%

2

0.2%

22

1.9%

198

17.5%

67

5.9%

53

4.7%

77

6.8%

157 Ushers F

1822

454

24.9%

143

7.8%

397

21.8%

15

0.8%

31

1.7%

508

27.9%

99

5.4%

73

4.0%

102

5.6%

158 Walkinstown A

1087

301

27.7%

46

4.2%

237

21.8%

2

0.2%

20

1.8%

319

29.3%

97

8.9%

45

4.1%

20

1.8%

159 Walkinstown B

1037

218

21.0%

55

5.3%

198

19.1%

1

0.1%

19

1.8%

358

34.5%

104

10.0%

77

7.4%

7

0.7%

160 Walkinstown C

1157

188

16.2%

66

5.7%

215

18.6%

2

0.2%

31

2.7%

417

36.0%

153

13.2%

65

5.6%

20

1.7%

161 Wood Quay A

1670

842

50.4%

63

3.8%

211

12.6%

21

1.3%

12

0.7%

269

16.1%

62

3.7%

85

5.1%

105

6.3%

162 Wood Quay B

2542

1128

44.4%

198

7.8%

438

17.2%

31

1.2%

42

1.7%

447

17.6%

116

4.6%

93

3.7%

49

1.9%

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown

001 Ballinteer-Broadford

2504

388

15.5%

103

26.5%

513

132.2%

6

1.5%

59

15.2%

1026

264.4%

288

74.2%

104

26.8%

17

4.4%

002 Ballinteer-Ludford

1583

240

15.2%

99

41.3%

283

117.9%

2

0.8%

39

16.3%

679

282.9%

165

68.8%

69

28.8%

7

2.9%

003 Ballinteer-Marley

2024

239

11.8%

136

56.9%

359

150.2%

3

1.3%

53

22.2%

876

366.5%

272

113.8%

74

31.0%

12

5.0%

004 Ballinteer-Meadowbroads

1108

150

13.5%

85

56.7%

175

116.7%

3

2.0%

24

16.0%

473

315.3%

126

84.0%

64

42.7%

8

5.3%

005 Ballinteer-Meadowmount

1257

243

19.3%

107

44.0%

210

86.4%

2

0.8%

33

13.6%

446

183.5%

125

51.4%

82

33.7%

9

3.7%

006 Ballinteer-Woodpark

3245

230

7.1%

167

72.6%

492

213.9%

6

2.6%

78

33.9%

1507

655.2%

623

270.9%

120

52.2%

22

9.6%

007 Ballybrack

2377

334

14.1%

78

23.4%

380

113.8%

163

48.8%

35

10.5%

864

258.7%

384

115.0%

130

38.9%

9

2.7%

008 Blackrock-Booterstown

2089

361

17.3%

111

30.7%

312

86.4%

172

47.6%

11

3.0%

881

244.0%

159

44.0%

68

18.8%

14

3.9%

009 Blackrock-Carysfort

3841

391

10.2%

158

40.4%

727

185.9%

170

43.5%

47

12.0%

1530

391.3%

647

165.5%

146

37.3%

25

6.4%

010 Blackrock-Central

2567

406

15.8%

161

39.7%

270

66.5%

278

68.5%

20

4.9%

942

232.0%

379

93.3%

94

23.2%

17

4.2%

011 Blackrock-Glenomena

1275

196

15.4%

86

43.9%

224

114.3%

31

15.8%

6

3.1%

460

234.7%

170

86.7%

39

19.9%

63

32.1%

012 Blackrock-Monkstown

2134

223

10.4%

73

32.7%

216

96.9%

380

170.4%

14

6.3%

865

387.9%

266

119.3%

88

39.5%

9

4.0%

013 Blackrock-Newpark

1528

252

16.5%

71

28.2%

203

80.6%

92

36.5%

20

7.9%

584

231.7%

236

93.7%

63

25.0%

7

2.8%

014 Blackrock-Seapoint

987

104

10.5%

29

27.9%

65

62.5%

297

285.6%

7

6.7%

296

284.6%

125

120.2%

54

51.9%

10

9.6%

015 Blackrock-Stradbrook

1501

217

14.5%

59

27.2%

239

110.1%

86

39.6%

31

14.3%

569

262.2%

230

106.0%

62

28.6%

8

3.7%

016 Blackrock-Templehill

1752

373

21.3%

99

26.5%

197

52.8%

290

77.7%

19

5.1%

484

129.8%

191

51.2%

96

25.7%

3

0.8%

017 Blackrock-Williamstown

1824

400

21.9%

64

16.0%

252

63.0%

167

41.8%

17

4.3%

629

157.3%

165

41.3%

104

26.0%

26

6.5%

018 Cabinteely-Granitefield

1544

218

14.1%

80

36.7%

200

91.7%

104

47.7%

23

10.6%

617

283.0%

220

100.9%

77

35.3%

5

2.3%

019 Cabinteely-Kilbogget

2128

401

18.8%

56

14.0%

423

105.5%

80

20.0%

40

10.0%

658

164.1%

322

80.3%

128

31.9%

20

5.0%

020 Cabinteely-Loughlinstown

1088

52

4.8%

16

30.8%

142

273.1%

40

76.9%

11

21.2%

577

1109.6%

185

355.8%

58

111.5%

7

13.5%

021 Cabinteely-Pottery

3288

339

10.3%

107

31.6%

545

160.8%

75

22.1%

35

10.3%

1273

375.5%

730

215.3%

143

42.2%

41

12.1%

022 Churchtown-Castle

712

124

17.4%

62

50.0%

91

73.4%

1

0.8%

17

13.7%

300

241.9%

72

58.1%

37

29.8%

8

6.5%

023 Churchtown-Landscape

740

60

8.1%

55

91.7%

71

118.3%

2

3.3%

18

30.0%

337

561.7%

162

270.0%

30

50.0%

5

8.3%

Electoral Division

Total

On foot

%

Bicycle

%

Bus, minibus or coach

%

Train, DART or LUAS

%

Motor-cycle or scooter

%

Car driver

%

Car passenger

%

Other

%

Not stated

%

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown—continued

024 Churchtown-Nutgrove

2103

359

17.1%

186

51.8%

393

109.5%

9

2.5%

52

14.5%

714

198.9%

273

76.0%

101

28.1%

16

4.5%

025 Churchtown-Orwell

1177

126

10.7%

124

98.4%

140

111.1%

1

0.8%

18

14.3%

459

364.3%

223

177.0%

73

57.9%

13

10.3%

026 Churchtown-Woodlawn

847

67

7.9%

67

100.0%

122

182.1%

2

3.0%

16

23.9%

377

562.7%

155

231.3%

40

59.7%

1

1.5%

027 Clonskeagh-Belfield

1810

1004

55.5%

152

15.1%

229

22.8%

7

0.7%

8

0.8%

275

27.4%

99

9.9%

25

2.5%

11

1.1%

028 Clonskeagh-Farranboley

918

158

17.2%

93

58.9%

183

115.8%

4

2.5%

9

5.7%

334

211.4%

89

56.3%

43

27.2%

5

3.2%

029 Clonskeagh-Milltown

1315

212

16.1%

143

67.5%

170

80.2%

6

2.8%

15

7.1%

535

252.4%

187

88.2%

38

17.9%

9

4.2%

030 Clonskeagh-Roebuck

1200

175

14.6%

85

48.6%

153

87.4%

8

4.6%

16

9.1%

452

258.3%

258

147.4%

46

26.3%

7

4.0%

031 Clonskeagh-Windy Arbour

1520

265

17.4%

163

61.5%

254

95.8%

6

2.3%

25

9.4%

559

210.9%

181

68.3%

62

23.4%

5

1.9%

032 Dalkey-Avondale

911

86

9.4%

26

30.2%

73

84.9%

126

146.5%

14

16.3%

362

420.9%

179

208.1%

43

50.0%

2

2.3%

033 Dalkey-Bullock

1054

127

12.0%

26

20.5%

37

29.1%

227

178.7%

13

10.2%

386

303.9%

166

130.7%

63

49.6%

9

7.1%

034 Dalkey-Coliemore

846

100

11.8%

13

13.0%

26

26.0%

252

252.0%

11

11.0%

279

279.0%

104

104.0%

55

55.0%

6

6.0%

035 Dalkey Hill

911

73

8.0%

16

21.9%

15

20.5%

241

330.1%

9

12.3%

357

489.0%

128

175.3%

57

78.1%

15

20.5%

036 Dalkey Upper

1409

108

7.7%

33

30.6%

43

39.8%

378

350.0%

15

13.9%

495

458.3%

261

241.7%

68

63.0%

8

7.4%

037 Dundrum-Balally

3578

628

17.6%

197

31.4%

505

80.4%

32

5.1%

69

11.0%

1445

230.1%

507

80.7%

175

27.9%

20

3.2%

038 Dundrum-Kilmacud

1645

220

13.4%

105

47.7%

224

101.8%

11

5.0%

16

7.3%

724

329.1%

263

119.5%

78

35.5%

4

1.8%

039 Dundrum-Sandyford

3645

456

12.5%

214

46.9%

527

115.6%

26

5.7%

82

18.0%

1421

311.6%

631

138.4%

270

59.2%

18

3.9%

040 Dundrum-Sweetmount

1259

144

11.4%

102

70.8%

184

127.8%

5

3.5%

21

14.6%

551

382.6%

180

125.0%

67

46.5%

5

3.5%

041 Dundrum-Taney

1829

314

17.2%

164

52.2%

251

79.9%

7

2.2%

41

13.1%

672

214.0%

303

96.5%

74

23.6%

3

1.0%

042 Dún Laoghaire-East Central

1455

291

20.0%

28

9.6%

130

44.7%

336

115.5%

18

6.2%

394

135.4%

92

31.6%

122

41.9%

44

15.1%

043 Dún Laoghaire-Glasthule

1579

267

16.9%

57

21.3%

108

40.4%

386

144.6%

13

4.9%

457

171.2%

183

68.5%

86

32.2%

22

8.2%

044 Dún Laoghaire-Glenageary

1280

181

14.1%

50

27.6%

131

72.4%

196

108.3%

13

7.2%

405

223.8%

218

120.4%

81

44.8%

5

2.8%

045 Dún Laoghaire-Monkstown Farm

1217

221

18.2%

50

22.6%

229

103.6%

77

34.8%

13

5.9%

398

180.1%

157

71.0%

57

25.8%

15

6.8%

046 Dún Laoghaire-Mount Town

958

263

27.5%

39

14.8%

128

48.7%

70

26.6%

11

4.2%

230

87.5%

157

59.7%

47

17.9%

13

4.9%

047 Dún Laoghaire-Sallynoggin East

1995

366

18.3%

85

23.2%

208

56.8%

236

64.5%

24

6.6%

603

164.8%

278

76.0%

167

45.6%

28

7.7%

048 Dún Laoghaire-Sallynoggin South

745

113

15.2%

40

35.4%

116

102.7%

40

35.4%

13

11.5%

248

219.5%

129

114.2%

43

38.1%

3

2.7%

049 Dún Laoghaire-Sallynoggin West

1248

243

19.5%

51

21.0%

154

63.4%

74

30.5%

22

9.1%

396

163.0%

210

86.4%

71

29.2%

27

11.1%

050 Dún Laoghaire-Sandycove

2345

231

9.9%

55

23.8%

64

27.7%

567

245.5%

21

9.1%

779

337.2%

453

196.1%

150

64.9%

25

10.8%

051 Dún Laoghaire-Salthill

1076

132

12.3%

24

18.2%

68

51.5%

290

219.7%

15

11.4%

364

275.8%

112

84.8%

60

45.5%

11

8.3%

052 Dún Laoghaire-West Central

1116

235

21.1%

27

11.5%

163

69.4%

212

90.2%

11

4.7%

251

106.8%

104

44.3%

82

34.9%

31

13.2%

053 Foxrock-Beechpark

1109

110

9.9%

35

31.8%

239

217.3%

18

16.4%

13

11.8%

449

408.2%

200

181.8%

44

40.0%

1

0.9%

054 Foxrock-Carrickmines

4265

374

8.8%

77

20.6%

757

202.4%

36

9.6%

46

12.3%

1795

479.9%

986

263.6%

161

43.0%

33

8.8%

055 Foxrock-Deans Grange

1721

312

18.1%

58

18.6%

388

124.4%

23

7.4%

16

5.1%

652

209.0%

201

64.4%

64

20.5%

7

2.2%

Electoral Division

Total

On foot

%

Bicycle

%

Bus, minibus or coach

%

Train, DART or LUAS

%

Motor-cycle or scooter

%

Car driver

%

Car passenger

%

Other

%

Not stated

%

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown—continued

056 Foxrock-Torquay

894

59

6.6%

22

37.3%

220

372.9%

7

11.9%

7

11.9%

376

637.3%

154

261.0%

42

71.2%

7

11.9%

057 Glencullen

7045

270

3.8%

152

56.3%

1047

387.8%

47

17.4%

88

32.6%

3338

1236.3%

1620

600.0%

418

154.8%

65

24.1%

058 Killiney North

2370

141

5.9%

50

35.5%

143

101.4%

427

302.8%

29

20.6%

903

640.4%

496

351.8%

135

95.7%

46

32.6%

059 Killiney South

4738

708

14.9%

102

14.4%

751

106.1%

545

77.0%

66

9.3%

1436

202.8%

810

114.4%

250

35.3%

70

9.9%

060 Shankill-Rathmichael

2961

256

8.6%

25

9.8%

338

132.0%

296

115.6%

38

14.8%

1154

450.8%

615

240.2%

205

80.1%

34

13.3%

061 Shankill-Rathsallagh

2239

282

12.6%

30

10.6%

306

108.5%

420

148.9%

32

11.3%

659

233.7%

386

136.9%

117

41.5%

7

2.5%

062 Shankill-Shanganagh

3823

318

8.3%

44

13.8%

411

129.2%

706

222.0%

45

14.2%

1420

446.5%

680

213.8%

177

55.7%

22

6.9%

063 Stillorgan-Deerpark

1887

354

18.8%

108

30.5%

305

86.2%

12

3.4%

20

5.6%

751

212.1%

253

71.5%

67

18.9%

17

4.8%

064 Stillorgan-Kilmacud

2648

408

15.4%

150

36.8%

486

119.1%

15

3.7%

35

8.6%

1099

269.4%

339

83.1%

103

25.2%

13

3.2%

065 Stillorgan-Leopardstown

1510

93

6.2%

47

50.5%

430

462.4%

13

14.0%

10

10.8%

594

638.7%

252

271.0%

62

66.7%

9

9.7%

066 Stillorgan-Merville

1894

252

13.3%

85

33.7%

398

157.9%

8

3.2%

24

9.5%

734

291.3%

264

104.8%

71

28.2%

58

23.0%

067 Stillorgan-Mount Merrion

1612

299

18.5%

82

27.4%

330

110.4%

5

1.7%

8

2.7%

594

198.7%

230

76.9%

53

17.7%

11

3.7%

068 Stillorgan-Priory

1241

133

10.7%

43

32.3%

237

178.2%

31

23.3%

13

9.8%

506

380.5%

209

157.1%

46

34.6%

23

17.3%

069 Tibradden

574

102

17.8%

6

5.9%

36

35.3%

1

1.0%

8

7.8%

151

148.0%

109

106.9%

147

144.1%

14

13.7%

Fingal

001 Airport

306

7

2.3%

6

2.0%

17

5.6%

4

1.3%

1

0.3%

98

32.0%

8

2.6%

16

5.2%

149

48.7%

002 Balbriggan Rural

3189

516

16.2%

59

1.9%

410

12.9%

309

9.7%

11

0.3%

1106

34.7%

518

16.2%

214

6.7%

46

1.4%

003 Balbriggan Urban

4334

961

22.2%

106

2.4%

409

9.4%

657

15.2%

26

0.6%

1483

34.2%

412

9.5%

245

5.7%

35

0.8%

004 Baldoyle

4283

768

17.9%

138

3.2%

266

6.2%

840

19.6%

42

1.0%

1421

33.2%

492

11.5%

227

5.3%

89

2.1%

005 Balgriffin

363

36

9.9%

8

2.2%

35

9.6%

13

3.6%

3

0.8%

132

36.4%

93

25.6%

34

9.4%

9

2.5%

006 Ballyboghil

582

43

7.4%

5

0.9%

61

10.5%

14

2.4%

6

1.0%

240

41.2%

132

22.7%

73

12.5%

8

1.4%

007 Balscadden

401

12

3.0%

5

1.2%

44

11.0%

24

6.0%

4

1.0%

169

42.1%

89

22.2%

53

13.2%

1

0.2%

008 Blanchardstown-Abbotstown

1448

198

13.7%

27

1.9%

262

18.1%

35

2.4%

27

1.9%

501

34.6%

220

15.2%

107

7.4%

71

4.9%

009 Blanchardstown-Blakestown

17990

2849

15.8%

324

1.8%

2660

14.8%

609

3.4%

290

1.6%

7865

43.7%

2203

12.2%

879

4.9%

311

1.7%

010 Blanchardstown-Coolmine

6284

1698

27.0%

130

2.1%

1079

17.2%

131

2.1%

89

1.4%

1879

29.9%

644

10.2%

317

5.0%

317

5.0%

011 Blanchardstown-Corduff

2926

848

29.0%

80

2.7%

627

21.4%

23

0.8%

54

1.8%

779

26.6%

323

11.0%

145

5.0%

47

1.6%

012 Blanchardstown-Delwood

3552

631

17.8%

83

2.3%

498

14.0%

388

10.9%

43

1.2%

1445

40.7%

313

8.8%

119

3.4%

32

0.9%

013 Blanchardstown-Mulhuddart

1248

331

26.5%

20

1.6%

264

21.2%

12

1.0%

21

1.7%

404

32.4%

139

11.1%

46

3.7%

11

0.9%

014 Blanchardstown-Roselawn

1478

247

16.7%

40

2.7%

275

18.6%

115

7.8%

19

1.3%

562

38.0%

141

9.5%

72

4.9%

7

0.5%

015 Blanchardstown-Tyrrelstown

1018

314

30.8%

14

1.4%

287

28.2%

5

0.5%

6

0.6%

178

17.5%

155

15.2%

50

4.9%

9

0.9%

016 Castleknock-Knockmaroon

11374

1569

13.8%

308

2.7%

1270

11.2%

868

7.6%

135

1.2%

5079

44.7%

1623

14.3%

429

3.8%

93

0.8%

Electoral Division

Total

On foot

%

Bicycle

%

Bus, minibus or coach

%

Train, DART or LUAS

%

Motor-cycle or scooter

%

Car driver

%

Car passenger

%

Other

%

Not stated

%

Fingal—continued

017 Castleknock-Park

3472

310

8.9%

75

2.2%

728

21.0%

69

2.0%

31

0.9%

1494

43.0%

608

17.5%

97

2.8%

60

1.7%

018 Clonmethan

396

27

6.8%

7

1.8%

54

13.6%

0

0.0%

2

0.5%

164

41.4%

76

19.2%

49

12.4%

17

4.3%

019 Donabate

3967

314

7.9%

38

1.0%

315

7.9%

751

18.9%

51

1.3%

1651

41.6%

523

13.2%

231

5.8%

93

2.3%

020 Dubber

510

37

7.3%

7

1.4%

66

12.9%

1

0.2%

4

0.8%

181

35.5%

73

14.3%

40

7.8%

101

19.8%

021 Garristown

794

56

7.1%

5

0.6%

135

17.0%

0

0.0%

3

0.4%

339

42.7%

145

18.3%

109

13.7%

2

0.3%

022 Hollywood

649

25

3.9%

5

0.8%

116

17.9%

18

2.8%

7

1.1%

262

40.4%

121

18.6%

87

13.4%

8

1.2%

023 Holmpatrick

2353

228

9.7%

55

2.3%

191

8.1%

390

16.6%

13

0.6%

806

34.3%

469

19.9%

191

8.1%

10

0.4%

024 Howth

5602

548

9.8%

49

0.9%

418

7.5%

1071

19.1%

29

0.5%

2188

39.1%

907

16.2%

311

5.6%

81

1.4%

025 Kilsallaghan

1355

132

9.7%

14

1.0%

207

15.3%

6

0.4%

6

0.4%

529

39.0%

280

20.7%

137

10.1%

44

3.2%

026 Kinsaley

2523

137

5.4%

32

1.3%

459

18.2%

96

3.8%

25

1.0%

1030

40.8%

523

20.7%

168

6.7%

53

2.1%

027 Lucan North

204

17

8.3%

4

2.0%

13

6.4%

12

5.9%

2

1.0%

99

48.5%

36

17.6%

20

9.8%

1

0.5%

028 Lusk

2800

315

11.3%

40

1.4%

472

16.9%

264

9.4%

24

0.9%

1036

37.0%

360

12.9%

229

8.2%

60

2.1%

029 Malahide East

3649

411

11.3%

24

0.7%

334

9.2%

650

17.8%

12

0.3%

1468

40.2%

551

15.1%

166

4.5%

33

0.9%

030 Malahide West

4468

412

9.2%

41

0.9%

644

14.4%

662

14.8%

27

0.6%

1703

38.1%

776

17.4%

175

3.9%

28

0.6%

031 Portmarnock North

3909

806

20.6%

32

0.8%

457

11.7%

554

14.2%

27

0.7%

1452

37.1%

366

9.4%

179

4.6%

36

0.9%

032 Portmarnock South

2396

443

18.5%

25

1.0%

270

11.3%

368

15.4%

14

0.6%

907

37.9%

200

8.3%

116

4.8%

53

2.2%

033 Rush

4599

580

12.6%

130

2.8%

575

12.5%

452

9.8%

33

0.7%

1642

35.7%

682

14.8%

401

8.7%

104

2.3%

034 Skerries

5150

1116

21.7%

109

2.1%

300

5.8%

993

19.3%

34

0.7%

1812

35.2%

446

8.7%

276

5.4%

64

1.2%

035 Sutton

4271

564

13.2%

107

2.5%

315

7.4%

1074

25.1%

33

0.8%

1507

35.3%

454

10.6%

189

4.4%

28

0.7%

036 Swords-Forrest

7574

1813

23.9%

150

2.0%

1170

15.4%

58

0.8%

62

0.8%

3047

40.2%

817

10.8%

354

4.7%

103

1.4%

037 Swords-Glasmore

5337

1148

21.5%

84

1.6%

958

18.0%

57

1.1%

53

1.0%

2004

37.5%

676

12.7%

288

5.4%

69

1.3%

038 Swords-Lissenhall

4664

689

14.8%

78

1.7%

626

13.4%

126

2.7%

58

1.2%

2000

42.9%

729

15.6%

236

5.1%

122

2.6%

039 Swords-Seatown

3559

464

13.0%

47

1.3%

474

13.3%

229

6.4%

26

0.7%

1400

39.3%

677

19.0%

185

5.2%

57

1.6%

040 Swords Village

1779

440

24.7%

37

2.1%

358

20.1%

21

1.2%

13

0.7%

596

33.5%

165

9.3%

96

5.4%

53

3.0%

041 The Ward

848

25

2.9%

5

0.6%

95

11.2%

6

0.7%

13

1.5%

415

48.9%

200

23.6%

80

9.4%

9

1.1%

042 Turnapin

1267

51

4.0%

43

3.4%

364

28.7%

2

0.2%

15

1.2%

479

37.8%

224

17.7%

61

4.8%

28

2.2%

South Dublin

001 Ballinascorney

447

26

5.8%

5

1.1%

46

10.3%

0

0.0%

8

1.8%

185

41.4%

82

18.3%

61

13.6%

34

7.6%

002 Ballyboden

3975

723

18.2%

205

5.2%

499

12.6%

6

0.2%

65

1.6%

1708

43.0%

574

14.4%

167

4.2%

28

0.7%

003 Bohernabreena

2694

376

14.0%

41

1.5%

324

12.0%

2

0.1%

64

2.4%

1161

43.1%

436

16.2%

225

8.4%

65

2.4%

004 Clondalkin-Ballymount

1508

287

19.0%

28

1.9%

254

16.8%

3

0.2%

25

1.7%

606

40.2%

186

12.3%

84

5.6%

35

2.3%

005 Clondalkin-Cappaghmore

1086

306

28.2%

20

1.8%

274

25.2%

11

1.0%

11

1.0%

253

23.3%

90

8.3%

64

5.9%

57

5.2%

006 Clondalkin-Dunawley

7238

1663

23.0%

171

2.4%

1282

17.7%

22

0.3%

158

2.2%

2349

32.5%

1015

14.0%

435

6.0%

143

2.0%

007 Clondalkin-Monastery

6698

1134

16.9%

179

2.7%

1193

17.8%

15

0.2%

111

1.7%

2718

40.6%

928

13.9%

344

5.1%

76

1.1%

008 Clondalkin-Moorfield

4169

1102

26.4%

89

2.1%

897

21.5%

32

0.8%

83

2.0%

1106

26.5%

565

13.6%

215

5.2%

80

1.9%

009 Clondalkin-Rowlagh

2866

850

29.7%

54

1.9%

704

24.6%

5

0.2%

30

1.0%

698

24.4%

264

9.2%

149

5.2%

112

3.9%

Electoral Division

Total

On foot

%

Bicycle

%

Bus, minibus or coach

%

Train, DART or LUAS

%

Motor-cycle or scooter

%

Car driver

%

Car passenger

%

Other

%

Not stated

%

South Dublin—continued

010 Clondalkin Village

6027

1329

22.1%

181

3.0%

889

14.8%

12

0.2%

111

1.8%

2297

38.1%

716

11.9%

324

5.4%

168

2.8%

011 Edmondstown

4046

478

11.8%

202

5.0%

613

15.2%

8

0.2%

101

2.5%

1710

42.3%

705

17.4%

200

4.9%

29

0.7%

012 Firhouse-Ballycullen

4976

583

11.7%

219

4.4%

501

10.1%

5

0.1%

104

2.1%

2427

48.8%

887

17.8%

211

4.2%

39

0.8%

013 Firhouse-Knocklyon

3344

529

15.8%

249

7.4%

579

17.3%

5

0.1%

61

1.8%

1423

42.6%

354

10.6%

126

3.8%

18

0.5%

014 Firhouse Village

6578

988

15.0%

251

3.8%

919

14.0%

6

0.1%

148

2.2%

2906

44.2%

880

13.4%

411

6.2%

69

1.0%

015 Lucan-Esker

15256

973

6.4%

202

1.3%

2396

15.7%

37

0.2%

229

1.5%

8245

54.0%

2292

15.0%

761

5.0%

121

0.8%

016 Lucan Heights

4050

826

20.4%

85

2.1%

790

19.5%

4

0.1%

41

1.0%

1635

40.4%

439

10.8%

174

4.3%

56

1.4%

017 Lucan-St. Helen’s

5341

915

17.1%

81

1.5%

985

18.4%

10

0.2%

62

1.2%

2171

40.6%

763

14.3%

302

5.7%

52

1.0%

018 Newcastle

1483

173

11.7%

16

1.1%

186

12.5%

45

3.0%

16

1.1%

619

41.7%

248

16.7%

171

11.5%

9

0.6%

019 Palmerston Village

2434

411

16.9%

53

2.2%

649

26.7%

7

0.3%

45

1.8%

911

37.4%

190

7.8%

135

5.5%

33

1.4%

020 Palmerston West

5703

1215

21.3%

92

1.6%

1468

25.7%

4

0.1%

96

1.7%

1530

26.8%

655

11.5%

540

9.5%

103

1.8%

021 Rathcoole

2295

426

18.6%

16

0.7%

321

14.0%

3

0.1%

26

1.1%

1035

45.1%

290

12.6%

157

6.8%

21

0.9%

022 Rathfarnham-Ballyroan

1649

181

11.0%

117

7.1%

268

16.3%

3

0.2%

27

1.6%

721

43.7%

248

15.0%

80

4.9%

4

0.2%

023 Rathfarnham-Butterfield

2005

230

11.5%

163

8.1%

281

14.0%

5

0.2%

35

1.7%

935

46.6%

253

12.6%

92

4.6%

11

0.5%

024 Rathfarnham-Hermitage

3331

503

15.1%

258

7.7%

493

14.8%

4

0.1%

61

1.8%

1422

42.7%

477

14.3%

100

3.0%

13

0.4%

025 Rathfarnham-St. Enda’s

3006

385

12.8%

213

7.1%

460

15.3%

1

0.0%

70

2.3%

1307

43.5%

432

14.4%

126

4.2%

12

0.4%

026 Rathfarnham Village

2120

255

12.0%

194

9.2%

313

14.8%

2

0.1%

40

1.9%

950

44.8%

284

13.4%

64

3.0%

18

0.8%

027 Saggart

947

63

6.7%

12

1.3%

96

10.1%

3

0.3%

12

1.3%

432

45.6%

199

21.0%

100

10.6%

30

3.2%

028 Tallaght-Avonbeg

995

225

22.6%

28

2.8%

195

19.6%

0

0.0%

17

1.7%

311

31.3%

98

9.8%

60

6.0%

61

6.1%

029 Tallaght-Belgard

1479

323

21.8%

34

2.3%

231

15.6%

2

0.1%

24

1.6%

599

40.5%

178

12.0%

80

5.4%

8

0.5%

030 Tallaght-Fettercairn

4127

1101

26.7%

51

1.2%

842

20.4%

2

0.0%

59

1.4%

894

21.7%

525

12.7%

191

4.6%

462

11.2%

031 Tallaght-Glenview

991

156

15.7%

31

3.1%

192

19.4%

1

0.1%

14

1.4%

352

35.5%

102

10.3%

53

5.3%

90

9.1%

032 Tallaght-Jobstown

6478

1370

21.1%

67

1.0%

1281

19.8%

6

0.1%

128

2.0%

2046

31.6%

851

13.1%

367

5.7%

362

5.6%

033 Tallaght-Killinardan

2905

1030

35.5%

35

1.2%

596

20.5%

0

0.0%

37

1.3%

570

19.6%

306

10.5%

157

5.4%

174

6.0%

034 Tallaght-Kilnamanagh

4100

746

18.2%

114

2.8%

873

21.3%

4

0.1%

89

2.2%

1528

37.3%

438

10.7%

239

5.8%

69

1.7%

035 Tallaght-Kiltipper

3715

1100

29.6%

92

2.5%

619

16.7%

4

0.1%

62

1.7%

1084

29.2%

451

12.1%

207

5.6%

96

2.6%

036 Tallaght-Kingswood

3253

612

18.8%

81

2.5%

672

20.7%

3

0.1%

85

2.6%

1161

35.7%

399

12.3%

187

5.7%

53

1.6%

037 Tallaght-Millbrook

2646

532

20.1%

71

2.7%

486

18.4%

0

0.0%

46

1.7%

1026

38.8%

296

11.2%

160

6.0%

29

1.1%

038 Tallaght-Oldbawn

3309

812

24.5%

75

2.3%

522

15.8%

4

0.1%

50

1.5%

1264

38.2%

330

10.0%

215

6.5%

37

1.1%

039 Tallaght-Springfield

5230

1517

29.0%

77

1.5%

848

16.2%

5

0.1%

68

1.3%

1772

33.9%

392

7.5%

287

5.5%

264

5.0%

016 Lucan Heights

4050

826

20.4%

85

2.1%

790

19.5%

4

0.1%

41

1.0%

1635

40.4%

439

10.8%

174

4.3%

56

1.4%

017 Lucan-St. Helen’s

5341

915

17.1%

81

1.5%

985

18.4%

10

0.2%

62

1.2%

2171

40.6%

763

14.3%

302

5.7%

52

1.0%

018 Newcastle

1483

173

11.7%

16

1.1%

186

12.5%

45

3.0%

16

1.1%

619

41.7%

248

16.7%

171

11.5%

9

0.6%

019 Palmerston Village

2434

411

16.9%

53

2.2%

649

26.7%

7

0.3%

45

1.8%

911

37.4%

190

7.8%

135

5.5%

33

1.4%

020 Palmerston West

5703

1215

21.3%

92

1.6%

1468

25.7%

4

0.1%

96

1.7%

1530

26.8%

655

11.5%

540

9.5%

103

1.8%

021 Rathcoole

2295

426

18.6%

16

0.7%

321

14.0%

3

0.1%

26

1.1%

1035

45.1%

290

12.6%

157

6.8%

21

0.9%

022 Rathfarnham-Ballyroan

1649

181

11.0%

117

7.1%

268

16.3%

3

0.2%

27

1.6%

721

43.7%

248

15.0%

80

4.9%

4

0.2%

Electoral Division

Total

On foot

%

Bicycle

%

Bus, minibus or coach

%

Train, DART or LUAS

%

Motor-cycle or scooter

%

Car driver

%

Car passenger

%

Other

%

Not stated

%

South Dublin—continued

023 Rathfarnham-Butterfield

2005

230

11.5%

163

8.1%

281

14.0%

5

0.2%

35

1.7%

935

46.6%

253

12.6%

92

4.6%

11

0.5%

024 Rathfarnham-Hermitage

3331

503

15.1%

258

7.7%

493

14.8%

4

0.1%

61

1.8%

1422

42.7%

477

14.3%

100

3.0%

13

0.4%

025 Rathfarnham-St. Enda’s

3006

385

12.8%

213

7.1%

460

15.3%

1

0.0%

70

2.3%

1307

43.5%

432

14.4%

126

4.2%

12

0.4%

026 Rathfarnham Village

2120

255

12.0%

194

9.2%

313

14.8%

2

0.1%

40

1.9%

950

44.8%

284

13.4%

64

3.0%

18

0.8%

027 Saggart

947

63

6.7%

12

1.3%

96

10.1%

3

0.3%

12

1.3%

432

45.6%

199

21.0%

100

10.6%

30

3.2%

028 Tallaght-Avonbeg

995

225

22.6%

28

2.8%

195

19.6%

0

0.0%

17

1.7%

311

31.3%

98

9.8%

60

6.0%

61

6.1%

029 Tallaght-Belgard

1479

323

21.8%

34

2.3%

231

15.6%

2

0.1%

24

1.6%

599

40.5%

178

12.0%

80

5.4%

8

0.5%

030 Tallaght-Fettercairn

4127

1101

26.7%

51

1.2%

842

20.4%

2

0.0%

59

1.4%

894

21.7%

525

12.7%

191

4.6%

462

11.2%

031 Tallaght-Glenview

991

156

15.7%

31

3.1%

192

19.4%

1

0.1%

14

1.4%

352

35.5%

102

10.3%

53

5.3%

90

9.1%

032 Tallaght-Jobstown

6478

1370

21.1%

67

1.0%

1281

19.8%

6

0.1%

128

2.0%

2046

31.6%

851

13.1%

367

5.7%

362

5.6%

033 Tallaght-Killinardan

2905

1030

35.5%

35

1.2%

596

20.5%

0

0.0%

37

1.3%

570

19.6%

306

10.5%

157

5.4%

174

6.0%

034 Tallaght-Kilnamanagh

4100

746

18.2%

114

2.8%

873

21.3%

4

0.1%

89

2.2%

1528

37.3%

438

10.7%

239

5.8%

69

1.7%

035 Tallaght-Kiltipper

3715

1100

29.6%

92

2.5%

619

16.7%

4

0.1%

62

1.7%

1084

29.2%

451

12.1%

207

5.6%

96

2.6%

036 Tallaght-Kingswood

3253

612

18.8%

81

2.5%

672

20.7%

3

0.1%

85

2.6%

1161

35.7%

399

12.3%

187

5.7%

53

1.6%

037 Tallaght-Millbrook

2646

532

20.1%

71

2.7%

486

18.4%

0

0.0%

46

1.7%

1026

38.8%

296

11.2%

160

6.0%

29

1.1%

038 Tallaght-Oldbawn

3309

812

24.5%

75

2.3%

522

15.8%

4

0.1%

50

1.5%

1264

38.2%

330

10.0%

215

6.5%

37

1.1%

039 Tallaght-Springfield

5230

1517

29.0%

77

1.5%

848

16.2%

5

0.1%

68

1.3%

1772

33.9%

392

7.5%

287

5.5%

264

5.0%

040 Tallaght-Tymon

3782

844

22.3%

128

3.4%

755

20.0%

1

0.0%

74

2.0%

1279

33.8%

371

9.8%

259

6.8%

71

1.9%

041 Templeogue-Cypress

2237

365

16.3%

144

6.4%

415

18.6%

4

0.2%

42

1.9%

981

43.9%

187

8.4%

77

3.4%

22

1.0%

042 Templeogue-Kimmage Manor

2969

433

14.6%

219

7.4%

463

15.6%

9

0.3%

41

1.4%

1339

45.1%

330

11.1%

107

3.6%

28

0.9%

043 Templeogue-Limekiln

2595

369

14.2%

130

5.0%

443

17.1%

4

0.2%

56

2.2%

1050

40.5%

365

14.1%

143

5.5%

35

1.3%

044 Templeogue-Orwell

1924

298

15.5%

112

5.8%

320

16.6%

3

0.2%

26

1.4%

826

42.9%

251

13.0%

78

4.1%

10

0.5%

045 Templeogue-Osprey

2150

379

17.6%

105

4.9%

423

19.7%

5

0.2%

27

1.3%

834

38.8%

266

12.4%

82

3.8%

29

1.3%

046 Templeogue Village

937

147

15.7%

68

7.3%

169

18.0%

0

0.0%

11

1.2%

380

40.6%

106

11.3%

55

5.9%

1

0.1%

047 Terenure-Cherryfield

1314

202

15.4%

82

6.2%

230

17.5%

0

0.0%

35

2.7%

464

35.3%

198

15.1%

79

6.0%

24

1.8%

048 Terenure-Greentrees

1690

152

9.0%

123

7.3%

275

16.3%

5

0.3%

32

1.9%

696

41.2%

291

17.2%

100

5.9%

16

0.9%

049 Terenure-St. James

1769

250

14.1%

88

5.0%

319

18.0%

3

0.2%

38

2.1%

742

41.9%

180

10.2%

119

6.7%

30

1.7%

Totals

754058

159110

21.1%

31888

4.2%

127106

16.9%

31580

4.2%

10017

1.3%

249915

33.1%

85431

11.3%

37560

5.0%

21451

2.8%

Legislation on Gambling.

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

168 Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance the legislation and regulation in place to protect children and adolescents from gambling at race tracks and betting shops; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11425/08]

Section 23 (1) of the Betting Act, 1931 prohibits licensed bookmakers from engaging in a betting transaction with a person under the age of eighteen years whether such person is acting on their own behalf or as an agent for another person. This law is applicable to race tracks and betting shops.

The Totalisator Act, 1929 provides that the Minister for Finance can grant licences to set up, maintain and work totalisators. Such licences have been granted to Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) and Bord na gCon.

Individuals under the age of eighteen are not prohibited from using the Tote under the Totalisator Act, 1929. However, HRI and Bord na gCon, which are agencies of the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism, as operators of the Tote, have pointed out that the Tote primarily operates in the controlled environment of the racecourse, where children are typically accompanied by adults. Furthermore, they are not aware of any evidence to suggest that use of the Tote by people under the age of eighteen is problematic.

Tax Code.

Michael McGrath

Question:

169 Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance his views on a proposal regarding fuel for motor vehicles (details supplied). [11525/08]

There is no proposal by the European Commission to further harmonise VAT in relation to petrol or diesel.

There is a proposal for a Council Directive amending the Energy Tax Directive regarding tax treatment of motor fuel for commercial purposes and the co-ordination of taxation of unleaded petrol and gas oil used as motor fuel. This proposal, published in March 2007, is aimed at tackling distortions of competition in the haulage markets which stem from wide variations in excise rates across Member States.

The Commission notes that such variations lead to fuel tourism whereby drivers, particularly in the haulage sector, will travel across borders to take advantage of cheaper fuel prices due to lower national taxes and the Commission highlights the negative environmental impact from such behaviour. In response, the Commission considers the best response is to raise the minimum rate for diesel from 2012 (and petrol from 2014). Some increase in the minimum rate for diesel has already been agreed from 2010 under the EU Energy Tax Directive (2003/96/EC) of October 2003. The planned increases together with the current EU minima and Irish rates are illustrated as follows:

EU Minimum Excise on Petrol/Diesel

Already agreed under the Energy Tax Directive

New Rates proposed under the current Commission Proposal

1 Jan 2004

1 Jan 2010

1 Jan 2012

1 Jan 2014

Current Irish Rate

Unleaded Petrol (€ per 1,000 litres)

359

359

359

380

443

Diesel (€ per 1,000 litres)

302

330

359

380

368

Most Member States including Ireland welcomed the motive behind the Commission's proposal on environmental grounds. The actual impact of the changes proposed, from an Irish perspective, are minimalist and would only require a 1.2 cent increase in our national diesel rates by 2014. Some Member States are seeking greater flexibility with respect to the timelines in the proposal. Discussions are ongoing in this regard. Many of the new Member States either have an issue with raising the minimum rates or the fact that the transitional periods proposed by the Commission are not sufficiently accommodating. This is largely a function of the low excise rates in the Accession countries.

Pension Provisions.

Michael D'Arcy

Question:

170 Deputy Michael D’Arcy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance if he or his Department met to discuss the pension entitlements of staff at RTÉ; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that RTÉ management has informed the RTÉ trade union group that it is not possible to introduce a model Public Service defined benefit pension scheme due to restrictions imposed by his Department; if his Department has imposed such restrictions; if RTÉ is the only body in the Public Service sphere so excluded; if his further attention has been drawn to the fact that there are three types of pension scheme operated by RTÉ; if he is satisfied that appropriate approval has been given for the establishment of all three schemes, including the special scheme set up for a limited number of undefined employees; the criteria for membership of the special pension scheme established by RTÉ for certain employees; and the precise membership of the scheme. [11212/08]

I would like to start by clarifying that neither I, nor my Department are party to the discussions which take place within RTE on pension matters. Furthermore, neither I nor my Department would be aware of, or make any input to such discussions, which are between the Company as employer and its staff.

The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources is responsible in the first instance for matters relating to RTÉ and his Department deals directly with the Company on such issues. The Broadcasting Authority Act 1960 (as amended by the Broadcasting Act 2001) provides that pension schemes and arrangements for officers of RTÉ must be approved by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources with the consent or concurrence of the Minister for Finance. These provisions are similar to the standard provisions which are generally used in legislation governing State Bodies.

My general role under the legislation is to receive for assessment and consent, specific proposals which have already been examined in the first instance by the Department primarily concerned. Normally, proposals received in this way will have been discussed and agreed within the State Body prior to their transmission to the Minister of the relevant parent Department. My role is to consider and assess any public service implications of the proposals. My Department does not engage directly or indirectly in the internal processes within the State Body which lead to the generation of such proposals although in the exercise of my role, it is occasionally necessary for my officials to attend meetings between a particular State Body and its parent Department for the purposes of clarification on points of detail.

Tax Code.

James Bannon

Question:

171 Deputy James Bannon asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance the reason a person (details supplied) in County Longford was not granted tax relief on a contribution to a PRSA which has been refused on a technicality, as the contribution was made before the deadline but the building society was unable to provide a receipt as their printer was broken, resulting in same not being submitted to the tax office before the 31 October 2007 deadline; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11246/08]

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that in order for tax relief on contributions to a Personal Retirement Savings Account (PRSA) to be given in a previous tax year a claim by the taxpayer must be made on or before the relevant return filing date for that previous tax year. This claim may be made without the immediate production of the relevant certificate from the PRSA provider.

In this case, the person in question sought to claim tax relief for 2006 in respect of a PRSA contribution of €15,000 paid on 30 October 2007. The closing date for such an election was 31 October 2007 (the filing date for 2006) but this person's election is recorded as received by Revenue on 8 January 2008. Accordingly, the requested tax relief for 2006 cannot be given. Subject to the normal qualifying conditions, tax relief would appear to be available for the 2007 tax year on €14,299 (being 20% of declared income) and the balance of €701 may be carried forward and treated as a qualifying contribution for the next year, and where necessary, for succeeding years.

Olivia Mitchell

Question:

172 Deputy Olivia Mitchell asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance the steps he has taken, or proposes, to ensure money taken on his behalf by airlines is returned if the tax is not incurred due to cancellation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11277/08]

Since the £5 travel tax was abolished in Budget 2000 there have been no Irish Government taxes levied on flights into, out of or within Ireland.

I understand that the National Consumer Agency is currently pursuing the issue of airline-generated charges and other such fees directly with a number of airline companies.

PAYE Sector.

Joan Burton

Question:

173 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance if he will set out, according to the most recently available figures, the number of PAYE workers, the number of PAYE workers earning less than €10,000, the number of PAYE workers earning less than €20,000, the number of PAYE workers earning less than €30,000, the number of PAYE workers earning €35,400 or less, the number of PAYE workers earning less than €40,000, the number of PAYE workers earning less than €38,000, the number of PAYE workers earning less than €50,000, the number of PAYE workers earning €50,000 or more, the number of PAYE workers, being married and the only breadwinner, earning between €35,400 and €44,400, and the number of PAYE workers, being a single or a widowed parent, earning between €35,400 and €39,400. [11283/08]

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the information requested, estimated by reference to the income tax year 2008, is as follows:

All PAYE income earners Income Tax Year 2008

Gross Income

Numbers

€0 – €9,999

346,500

€0 – €19,999

687,600

€0 – €29,999

1,038,700

€0 – €35,400

1,210,800

€0 – €37,999

1,284,500

€0 – €39,999

1,338,100

€0 – €49,999

1,557,700

Over €50,000

540,900

Total

2,098,600

PAYE — Married One Earning Income Tax Year 2008

Gross Income

Numbers

€35,400 – €44,400

45,800

PAYE — Single and Widowed parents Income Tax Year 2008

Gross Income

Numbers

€35,400 – €39,400

8,000

The figures are estimates from the Revenue tax-forecasting model using actual data for the year 2004 adjusted as necessary for income and employment growth for the year in question. They are, therefore, provisional and likely to be revised.

It should be noted that a married couple who has elected or has been deemed to have elected for joint assessment is counted as one tax unit. Figures in the table are rounded to the nearest hundred and any apparent discrepancies in totals are due to this.

Garda Stations.

John O'Mahony

Question:

174 Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance the status of an application for the refurbishment or replacement of a Garda station (details supplied) in County Mayo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11310/08]

The Office of Public Works carry out refurbishment works to Garda Stations in accordance with a prioritised list provided by the Garda Authorities. The proposed refurbishment is currently rated at No. 75 on the priority list.

The Office of Public Works is undertaking approximately twenty five refurbishment/ maintenance projects this year. The proposed refurbishment of the Garda Station will be advanced in accordance with it's rating on the priority list.

Tax Code.

Jimmy Deenihan

Question:

175 Deputy Jimmy Deenihan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance when a person (details supplied) in County Kerry will receive payment of a tax rebate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11316/08]

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that a repayment in respect of the named person has been processed and a cheque was issued on 19 March 2008.

Vehicle Registration Offices.

Charles Flanagan

Question:

176 Deputy Charles Flanagan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance the steps he proposes to take to ensure a service to the people of the midlands in view of the sudden and unexpected closure of the Vehicle Registration Office in Portlaoise; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11349/08]

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that as part of its modernisation programme, Revenue has invested heavily in the provision of internet-based services. The Revenue On-Line Service (ROS) has been widely acknowledged as a major success both from a technological and customer service point ofview.

Revenue adds to the range of services available on ROS on an ongoing basis and during 2003 vehicle registration was added to the suite of on-line services. These new on-line facilities have greatly reduced the demand for service at vehicle registration offices. An increasing number of motor dealers now register new vehicles on-line themselves (currently approximately 95% of such registrations nationally are on-line) in preference to using the facilities at vehicle registration offices. In addition, a valuation enquiry facility has been made available on the Revenue website, allowing customers to obtain vehicle registration tax quotations on second hand vehicles on-line.

The Revenue Commissioners reviewed the implications of these changes and, having regard to the reduction in service demand, decided to close a number of smaller vehicle registration offices and consolidate the service in adjacent offices. Opening hours have also been reduced in some other offices.

Vehicle registration facilities ceased in Portlaoise with effect from 28 March 2008. The Kilkenny Revenue District provides a call in service (including VRT service) for taxpayers living in Counties Carlow, Kilkenny and Laois. This service is available Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 5:00pm. The District also provides a VRT service on Wednesday and Thursday each week from 9:00am to 12:45 in Carlow. In addition the Westmeath/Offaly Revenue District provide a VRT service at their Tullamore office Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 4.00 pm. VRT services are also available at VROs nationwide, details of which are available on the Revenue website.

New procedures have been introduced which simplify and speed up the registration process for used vehicles. These new procedures eliminate the necessity to physically examine all such vehicles, as had been the case previously. The new arrangements also provide a facility for customers to register vehicles by post without the need to bring their vehicles to a Revenue office. These initiatives have greatly assisted the successful consolidation of vehicle registration services into the larger centres.

Based on service demands, the alternatives available and the need for Revenue to make effective use of resources, it is not proposed to re-introduce vehicle registration services at Portlaoise. A small number of staff were involved in vehicle registration work at Portlaoise. These staff remain in Co. Laois working on alternative Revenue functions.

Departmental Expenditure.

Joe McHugh

Question:

177 Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance if he will clarify the Exchequer contribution of €580 million to the Northern administration; the purpose for which it will be used; the joint action plan in place to ensure this funding will be spent in a strategic manner for the mutual benefit of both jurisdictions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11387/08]

In the context of the negotiations to restore the Northern Ireland Executive, in March 2007, the Irish Government agreed to make available €580 million as part of a joint investment initiative with the British Government to stimulate long-term sustainable economic growth in Northern Ireland. Our contribution will be focused towards the building of a dual carriageway standard road from the Border to Derry and Donegal. In late 2007, cross-border management structures for this project were agreed under the North South Ministerial Council, and work is now under way on the Route Corridor Study for the road. This will be one of the most significant projects ever undertaken on a cross-border basis and is crucial to the future development of the North West region and the border counties.

Relocation of Seanad.

Mary Upton

Question:

178 Deputy Mary Upton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance if he will confirm that Seanad Éireann will not be moving to the Natural History Museum for the duration of the renovation of Leinster House; when he expects renovation works to begin on the Natural History Museum; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11447/08]

I can confirm that the Natural History Museum will not be used to accommodate Seanad Éireann during the renovation works to Leinster House. Subject to obtaining suitable tenders and obtaining the necessary approvals such as planning permissions and fire certificates, it is expected that a contractor will be appointed to commence works on the Natural History Museum by August 2009.

Schools Building Projects.

Joanna Tuffy

Question:

179 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance the position in relation to the proposed construction of a new school (details supplied) in County Cork; if the Office of Public Works has carried out an examination of a site at Ringcurran, Kinsale, County Cork, which has been proposed by Cork County Council as a suitable location for the new school; if so, if the OPW’s report is positively disposed toward this site; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11460/08]

The Office of Public Works in Ireland acts as an agent for the Department of Education & Science in the acquisition of sites for schools. A Technical Assessment of the site has been completed; a Report will be forwarded to the Department of Education and Science in a matter of days for their further instruction.

Tax Code.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

180 Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance if, in repaying tax to PAYE taxpayers the Revenue Commissioners provide only for such payments to be made into bank accounts, requiring persons who do not hold bank accounts to open them for the sole purpose of receiving the repayment; if repayments can be made in other forms not requiring bank accounts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11517/08]

Brian Hayes

Question:

183 Deputy Brian Hayes asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance the options available through the Revenue Commissioners for a person who is obtaining a tax rebate; if it is the case that all tax rebate cheques issued by the Revenue Commissioners are crossed, in order that the only way the moneys can be cashed is to an existing bank account; the procedures in place for persons who do not have a bank account and are entitled to a tax rebate; the location where they are able to have this cheque lodged when it is crossed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11617/08]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 180 and 183 together.

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that a person receiving a repayment of PAYE or Corporation Tax has the option of having it paid by cheque or direct to their bankaccount.

In the case of VAT, repayments to registered traders are made direct to bank accounts and repayments to persons who are not registered for VAT are made by cheque.

In the case of the other taxes, repayments are made by cheque. However, proposals are well advanced to provide a facility for repayment direct to bank accounts for some of thesetaxes.

For security reasons and to prevent fraudulent encashment, all cheques issued by the Revenue Commissioners are crossed "Account Payee".

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the arrangements in place do not normally give rise to difficulties for tax payers entitled to repayment.

Joe Costello

Question:

181 Deputy Joe Costello asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance if there is a mechanism whereby third level colleges and colleges of further education can avail of tax incentives for the provision of student accommodation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11574/08]

Section 50 of the Finance Act 1999 provided for a scheme of tax relief for rented residential accommodation for third level students. The relief provided for a deduction of 100% of the construction, conversion or refurbishment expenditure, which may be off-set against all Irish rental income, whether derived from the premises in question or from other lettings.

The purpose of the relief was to increase the supply of quality accommodation for third level students and the scheme has been very successful in this respect. However, a report on tax relief for student accommodation carried out by Indecon Economic Consultants and published by my Department in February 2006 as part of Volume 1 of the Review of Property-based Tax Incentive Schemes, indicated, among other things, that there were concerns about over-supply of accommodation in the student accommodation sector. Following this review, a number of property-based tax incentive schemes were discontinued, including the tax incentive scheme for student accommodation.

This scheme had been due to terminate on 31 December 2004 but Finance Act 2006 extended the deadline to 31 July 2008 for pipeline projects (where a planning application has been received by the planning authority by 31 December 2004) and work to the value of 15 per cent of actual construction, conversion or refurbishment cost had been carried out by 31 December 2006. 75 per cent of capital expenditure incurred in the year 2007 and 50 per cent of capital expenditure incurred in the period 1 January to 31 July 2008 can qualify for relief. I have no plans at this time to introduce another tax incentive for the provision of student accommodation.

Áine Brady

Question:

182 Deputy Áine Brady asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance the tax incentives available for wind turbine energy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11605/08]

In relation to the tax incentives currently available for wind turbine energy, the Business Expansion Scheme (BES) provides an incentive, in the form of tax relief, for individuals to invest in companies which carry on qualifying activities, services and trades, including the trade of manufacturing. The generation of electricity, including electricity generated by wind turbines, is a qualifying trade under the BES manufacturing provisions. This scheme currently runs until 31 December 2013.

In addition, tax relief in the form of capital allowances is available where capital expenditure is incurred on the provision of plant and machinery that is used in the carrying on of a trade. In general, the cost of providing a wind turbine would qualify for capital allowances. Capital allowances for plant and machinery are given over an 8-year period at an annual rate of 12.5% of the allowable expenditure and can be used to reduce the taxable income of the trade.

The Renewable Energy Generation scheme, which provided relief from corporation tax for corporate investment in certain renewable energy projects (including projects based on wind power technology) was extended to 31 December 2011 by section 51 of the Finance Act 2007, subject to State-aid clearance from the EU Commission. This scheme has not yet re-commenced due to issues relating to the application for State-aid approval which are under consideration by my colleague the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

Question No. 183 answered with Question No. 180.

Disabled Drivers.

Finian McGrath

Question:

184 Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance if there is flexibility in the medical criteria for a person (details supplied) in County Roscommon to receive a primary medical certificate under the Disabled Drivers (Tax Concessions) Regulations 1994; and if not his views on expanding the criteria that are used to determine eligibility. [11621/08]

The initial application for a Primary Medical Certificate under the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Regulations 1994, is made to the Senior Medical Officer of the relevant local Health Service Executive administrative area.

If the Primary Medical Certificate has been refused in this case, the named person may appeal the refusal to the Medical Board of Appeal, National Rehabilitation Hospital, Rochestown Avenue, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. I would point out that the Medical Board of Appeal is independent in the exercise of its functions.

As the Deputy will be aware there was an interdepartmental review of the scheme. Some 12,500 people benefited under the scheme in 2007 at an overall estimated cost of €74 million. Any changes to the scheme would have to be considered in the context of the annual Budget.

Capital Appraisal Guidelines.

Richard Bruton

Question:

185 Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance if the capital appraisal guidelines used by Government Departments in assessing major infrastructure projects include an assessment of the cost of the carbon dioxide emissions associated with the project; and if so the price assumed for a tonne of carbon dioxide in this assessment. [11628/08]

Under the Guidelines for the Appraisal and Management of Capital Expenditure Proposals in the Public Sector all capital investment costing more than €30m should be subject to detailed Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA). The current CBA best practice guidelines outline that external costs and benefits such as carbon dioxide emissions should be included where they are a significant project outcome and where they can be valued on the basis of a reliable, well established methodology; where they cannot be given a monetary value external costs and benefits are to be fully assessed in the cost-benefit report to ensure their full consideration in the decision-making process.

To assist Government Departments and other public bodies, and to develop a standardised approach to this issue, an Interdepartmental Working Group on reflecting the cost of Carbon Emissions in Cost Benefit Analysis, chaired by the Central Expenditure Evaluation Unit in my Department, has been established to consider the appropriate means of treating environmental emissions, in particular CO2 aspects, in cost benefit analysis of major infrastructure projects. The Group was established in November 2007 and it has one year to complete its review of this issue.

Road Network.

Leo Varadkar

Question:

186 Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance if he will report on the poor condition of Chesterfield Avenue in the Phoenix Park; when he will re-instate it; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11681/08]

A decision on a Planning Application for the major renewal of Chesterfield Avenue is expected shortly. This scheme consists of a complete upgrade of the Avenue, including provision of a permanent roundabout at Mountjoy junction and more pedestrian friendly zones in the Dublin Zoo and Parkgate Street areas. Chesterfield Avenue is monitored on an ongoing basis for surface damage and minor repairs have, in fact, just recently been completed.

Michael Ring

Question:

187 Deputy Michael Ring asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance if he will ascertain from the Office of Public Works when a footbridge (details supplied) will be repaired and upgraded as promised. [11696/08]

The bridge referred to is included in OPW's 2008 maintenance programme and it will be attended to during this year subject to suitable weather conditions.

Flood Relief.

Michael Ring

Question:

188 Deputy Michael Ring asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance if the Office of Public Works will make a contribution to resolve a serious and ongoing flooding problem for persons (details supplied) in County Mayo. [11759/08]

The Office of Public Works have no responsibility for maintenance of the river or the access road in the area concerned. However, the Office of Public Works is willing to assist with technical advice and guidance in this matter and will consider making a financial contribution on social / humanitarian grounds if a viable, cost effective solution can be found.

To this end, Officials from the OPW met with Officials from Mayo Co. Council, together with an elected member of Mayo Co. Council last year and a possible solution was identified. The Office of Public Works and Mayo Co. Council are examining whether this solution can be implemented in a cost effective manner.

Theatre Licences.

Pat Rabbitte

Question:

189 Deputy Pat Rabbitte asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance if theatre licences are still granted by the customs service; the number of licences issued in each of the past three years, in Dublin and countrywide; if they are monitored; and if so, the person by whom they are monitored; if the Garda Síochána are consulted before a licence is granted or renewed; and if he is satisfied with the present system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11763/08]

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that Theatre Licences continue to be issued by Revenue offices throughout the country.

The number of such licences granted, or were in existence, in each of the past three years are as follows (normally Theatre Licences run from 1 October to the following 30 September):

2006

2007

2008 (to date)

Dublin

36

35

57

Rest of Country

40

41

44

Each Theatre Licence application is subjected to individual scrutiny which includes a requirement to ensure that the applicant is (a) the holder of a current licence under S.51 Public Health (Amendment) Act 1890 issued by the District Court (i.e. premises or portion thereof is licensed as a place of entertainment) and (b) holds a current Tax Clearance Certificate. An Garda Síochána is not required to be consulted prior to the issue of a Theatre Licence.

The enforcement of compliance with alcohol licences, including Theatre Licences, is a matter for An Garda Síochána. As the Deputy will be aware the Government Alcohol Advisory Group has been established by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform to consider key aspects of the law governing the sale and consumption of alcohol.

Tax Code.

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

190 Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 150 of 12 February 2008, the measures in place to track the temporary importation of vehicles; when a person, previously established outside the State, is considered to be established here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11796/08]

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that Section 135 (a) of the Finance Act 1992 permits a European or other foreign registered vehicle which is temporarily brought into the State by a person established outside the State to be exempted from the requirement to register for vehicle registration tax purposes for a period normally not exceeding 12 months from the date upon which the vehicle concerned was brought into the State. Temporary exemptions are allowable for vehicles brought into in the State by visitors, tourists and foreign workers.

Statutory Instrument No. 60 of 1993 prescribes the criteria for eligibility for the granting of temporary exemption from the requirement to be registered for VRT purposes in the State.

There is no requirement for vehicles imported under temporary exemption provisions to be presented to the Revenue Commissioners to avail of the relief. Details of these vehicles are therefore not captured by Revenue or held in the vehicle registration system. When a vehicle fails to meet the conditions for temporary exemption, e.g. the temporary status no longer applies, the onus is on the person availing of the exemption to remove the vehicle from the State or present it for registration.

As part of their enforcement activity, Revenue mobile units and the Garda Siochana monitor Irish and foreign registered vehicles on our roads and examine documents relating to ownership, registration and the importation of foreign registered vehicles to ensure that they are still eligible for temporary exemption from registration. The documentation must be kept with the vehicle when it is in use in the State and be made available to Revenue officials when requested.

In 2007, Revenue mobile units challenged and investigated 15,417 vehicles in the State. Of these, 10,325 satisfied Revenue officials that the registration status was in order at that particular time and no further action was necessary. 2,313 vehicles were registered for VRT purposes as a direct consequence of these investigations. Enforcement activity also resulted in prosecutions, seizures, exportation and scrappage of vehicles and indeed in the granting of temporary or permanent exemptions depending on the circumstances of the case.

A person, previously established outside the State, who avails of a temporary exemption, may decide to set up permanent residence here. An application for permanent relief from VRT should then be made to Revenue. Where the application is successful, the person will register the vehicle free of VRT.

In this regard, Section 134 of the Finance Act 1992 provides for permanent relief from the payment of VRT on the registration of a vehicle which is the personal property of a private individual being brought into the State as part of transfer of residence. (Permanent reliefs are also available in other cases, e.g. for vehicles acquired as part of an inheritance or for vehicles transferred into the State under diplomatic arrangements).

Statutory Instrument No. 59 of 1993 sets out the conditions governing the registration of vehicles under the above section.

Departmental Facilities.

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

191 Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance the number of car park spaces available nationally to those working in his Department and in the bodies and agencies under the aegis of his Department; the annual cost of car park spaces rented by his Department and the bodies and agencies under the aegis of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11890/08]

Given the range of Government Departments, Offices and Agencies under my aegis and the geographical spread of car parking facilities, it has not been possible to collate all the requested information in the time available. I can, however, advise the Deputy that in relation to my own Department there are just under 280 car parking spaces available to staff. The majority of these are attached to state owned property, with 48 car parking spaces incurring an annual rental cost in the region of €150,000.

Available information in relation to bodies under the aegis of my Department is provided in the following table. Any outstanding information will be forwarded to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Name of Body

No of car parking spaces available

Annual Rental Cost of carparking spaces

Presidents Establishment

20

*

State Laboratory

55

*

Office of the Controller and Auditor General

38

*

National Treasury Management Agency, National Pensions Reserve Fund, State Claims Agency and National Development Finance Agency

74

259,000

Office of the Ombudsman

25

87,500

Financial Services Ombudsman’s Bureau

5 (3 rented spaces)

9,680

Valuation Office

68

97,393

Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland

338

*State owned.

Vehicle Registration Tax.

Ned O'Keeffe

Question:

192 Deputy Edward O’Keeffe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance if a person (details supplied) in County Waterford who purchased a green car in 2007 will be granted a tax exemption. [11989/08]

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the vehicle in question has a hybrid engine (petrol/electric) and as a result there was a 50% VRT reduction granted on the first registration of the vehicle. The vehicle was first registered by the dealer on 8 January 2007 and, as the first registered owner of the vehicle, the dealer was granted the reduction in VRT as per Finance Act 1992, Section 135C.

The person in question (details supplied) purchased the vehicle on 12 June 2007 from the dealer at which time all reductions in VRT relating to its engine type had been granted.

Garda Stations.

Michael Creed

Question:

193 Deputy Michael Creed asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance if a contractor has been appointed for the construction of a proposed new Garda station (details supplied) in County Cork; if not, when he will do so; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12052/08]

It is expected that a contract for the construction of the new Garda Station will be awarded shortly.

Garda Ombudsman Commission.

Michael D'Arcy

Question:

194 Deputy Michael D’Arcy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance his views on whether, conditions imposed by his Department in sanctions approving the recruitment of officers for statutory agencies or commissions operating under the aegis of other Departments should be rigidly adhered to and particularly so as the sanctions underpin the statutory Ministerial consent; if his attention has been drawn to the breach of such sanction in the case of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission notified to the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform recently following a response to a Freedom of Information request; the action he proposes to take to make the GSOC accountable for its actions and to comply with sanction approvals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12058/08]

The filling of sanctioned vacancies within independent agencies is essentially a matter for those agencies — while sanction is required in order to fill posts, it is not a function of the Minister for Finance to require an organisation with statutory independence to ensure that all of its sanctioned posts are filled to the maximum extent of the authorised level at all times. Management has discretion to fill sanctioned posts according to its business needs so as to ensure that such decisions reflect the most up to date business requirements. In this instance, there is nothing to indicate that the GSOC have breached any element of the relevant sanction.

Michael D'Arcy

Question:

195 Deputy Michael D’Arcy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance his views, having regard to the centrally agreed arrangements for the Dublin Central Applications Facility and specifically the transfer schedule for assignment of volunteers which obliged personnel officers to work to ensure that transfers take place within four weeks of the officer being informed by the Public Appointments Service that the transfer is to take place and the exceptional further extension for a maximum of another four weeks by agreement, on whether these arrangements should be complied with in full and in a timely manner to progress Government decentralisation policy and in the event of non-compliance specifically in the case of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission relating to the position of head of corporate affairs, the action he will to take to ensure full compliance and accountability; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12060/08]

Michael D'Arcy

Question:

196 Deputy Michael D’Arcy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance if a practice to interview Public Appointments Service applicants or assignees under the Dublin central applications facility arrangements for positions in the GSOC was the subject of agreement with his Department; if his Department has made it clear to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission that it does not have a veto on appointments under the Dublin CAF arrangements; his views on whether any office, including the GSOC, should comply in full with the procedures laid down by the Dublin CAF arrangements as agreed centrally with the unions and not seek to frustrate Government policy on decentralisation on spurious grounds; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12068/08]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 195 and 196 together.

Across the public service, recruitment and promotion practices generally are being managed in a way which facilitates the achievement of the Decentralisation Programme in an efficient manner. The primary mechanism for placing Civil Servants whose posts are due to decentralise but who themselves wish to remain in Dublin is by way of bilateral transfer. As staff who have applied to decentralise continue to be transferred into decentralising organisations, the posts they vacate become available to those wishing to remain in Dublin.

The objective of the Dublin Arrangements is to provide to the Public Appointments Service (PAS) details of staff who wish to remain in Dublin at each grade level so that a proportion of vacancies arising in Dublin based posts may be filled by those staff. The Arrangements seek to balance the need to facilitate the effective achievement of the decentralisation programme with the business needs of departments and offices and the aspirations of staff to be placed in appropriate posts in Dublin. To achieve this, they allow for prioritisation at certain times of staff in organisations who have an immediate need to be placed in Dublin posts due to the timing of the relocation of their current department or office. While the aim is to ensure that transfers take place within 4-8 weeks, in many instances I understand that the actual transfer date is the subject of bilateral discussion and agreement between the organisations involved.

Under the Dublin Arrangements, the PAS circulates as much detail as possible in relation to the post to be filled to persons in the appropriate grades in the organisations participating in the arrangements at that time. Further information is of course made available to individual applicants by the receiving organisation as required. Once the closing date for expressions of interest in the post has passed, the post due to be filled is offered by the PAS to the most senior volunteer. Consequently, the issue of a potential receiving Department or Office having a veto over an applicant does not arise.

My understanding from the Office of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) and the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform is that the GSOC wished to review all aspects of organisational staffing both current and prospective, to cater for the long-term needs and structure of the office. In that context, following the advertisement of the post to Dublin based staff, that office advised my Department that the filling of the post of Head of Corporate Services was postponed pending a review of the posts at senior level in the GSOC. I understand that this review is ongoing.

It is intended that the Dublin Arrangements will continue over the full transition phase of the Programme and I can confirm that my department is monitoring them in co-operation with Departments and the relevant unions to ensure that they are operating efficiently.

Tax Code.

Richard Bruton

Question:

197 Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance his views on a claim (details supplied) that the Revenue Commissioners have not fulfilled their obligations as outlined in a reasoned opinion of the European Commission. [12073/08]

The reasoned opinion which the Deputy refers to was received in January 2007 and it made reference to Sections 71 and 73 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997. These provisions relate to the tax treatment of the income arising on an Irish resident from UK sources. The European Commission took the view that these provisions were contrary to the obligations under Article 56EC and Article 40EEA and it directed Ireland to take the necessary measures to comply with the reasoned opinion.

The Commission was subsequently notified that provisions would be included in the 2008 Finance Bill which would address the issues raised. This was done and Section 18 Finance Act 2008 deals with the matter.

Tom Hayes

Question:

198 Deputy Tom Hayes asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance if trade union subscriptions are credited at source for PAYE workers, or if they need to claim this money back themselves. [12158/08]

PAYE workers may claim an income tax allowance in respect of their membership subscription to a registered Trade Union. The amount of the allowance in 2008 is €350 at the standard rate of tax, which is equivalent to a tax credit of €70. This credit, when claimed, is included in the individual's annual certificate of tax credits. Where the tax credit has not been claimed up to now, an individual may claim, in 2008, for each of the tax years 2004 to 2007, inclusive.

Full details on how to claim the credit are available on the Revenue Commissioners' website atwww.revenue.ie. There is a variety of self service options available, including claiming on-line or by text message. The Revenue Commissioners can also be contacted on the relevant regional PAYE LoCall number or by calling to the local Revenue office.

Jack Wall

Question:

199 Deputy Jack Wall asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance if a retired person's total income from investments and pension is such that all such income is less than the person's tax allowances, if the person has tax liability in such an instance (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12221/08]

The position is that it is a general principle of taxation that, as far as possible, income from all sources should be subject to taxation. This includes income received in the form of a social welfare pension and investment income. However, I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that, based on the limited information supplied, it would appear that the taxpayer's tax credits are sufficient to offset any liability to income tax on his social welfare pension and his income from Irish shares.

Where an individual is in receipt of dividends and other distributions from an Irish resident company, such investment income is liable to dividend withholding tax (DWT) at the standard rate (currently 20%). Such income cannot be paid to an Irish resident individual without deduction of DWT unless the individual is permanently and totally incapacitated from maintaining himself or herself. However, an Irish resident individual who is not liable to income tax, may make a claim for a refund of DWT deducted. Claims should be submitted to an individual's local Revenue office. All refund claims should be accompanied by original dividend vouchers and/or any subsidiary tax certificates.

Deposit interest retention tax (DIRT) is deducted from Irish deposit interest income. Regardless of the amount of tax credits available to a taxpayer, an individual is not entitled to a repayment of DIRT or to have deposit interest paid without deduction of DIRT unless:

the individual or his/her spouse is 65 years of age or over, or

is permanently incapacitated, and

his/her total income (including the gross DIRT income) is less than the relevant income tax exemption limit, or the individual's tax credits exceed his/her tax liability.

It is understood from the details supplied that the taxpayer does not satisfy these conditions.

On reaching the age of 65 and provided the taxpayer's total income for the year is below the annual exemption limit, (currently €20,000 for a single individual aged over 65 and €40,000 for a married couple, one of whom is aged over 65, with increases for qualifying dependent children), the taxpayer may apply directly to his or her financial institution to have interest arising on the investment account payable without deduction of DIRT. The application is made by completion of Form DE1, available from financial institutions, Citizens' Information Centres, Revenue offices, the Revenue website,www.revenue.ie, or by phoning LoCall 1890 306 706.

Flood Relief.

Sean Sherlock

Question:

200 Deputy Seán Sherlock asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance the start date for the proposed Fermoy flood relief scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12243/08]

The Office of Public Works expects to issue final contract documents for the Civil Engineering Contract on the Fermoy North flood relief scheme to the successful applicants from the pre-qualification process in the next few days. This will allow completed tenders to be received in the middle of May. Once the tenders have been examined and a tender report has been received, OPW expect to be in a position to issue a Letter of Intent to a successful civil engineering contractor by the end of June. This would allow construction works to commence within a matter of weeks afterwards.

OPW plan to commence the detailed design of the remaining phases of the overall Fermoy flood relief scheme shortly. There is a very strong commitment to completing all phases of the scheme as quickly as possible and OPW has been greatly encouraged by the strong support shown by Fermoy Town Council and the local population. The recent flooding in January was a stark reminder of the current threat from flooding in the town without a scheme in place.

Sean Sherlock

Question:

201 Deputy Seán Sherlock asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance if he will clarify plans for the proposed lowering of the weir in Fermoy, County Cork; if a timetable has been established for the work; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12244/08]

I am advised by the Office of Public Works that they have no proposals to lower the weir in Fermoy. The OPW intend to implement a flood relief scheme in Fermoy but this does not require lowering of the weir.

Architectural Heritage.

Mary Upton

Question:

202 Deputy Mary Upton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance the status of the proposed redevelopment of the General Post Office on O’Connell Street; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12260/08]

The Office of Public Works is currently evaluating the potential uses and possible architectural interventions which might be appropriate for the building in the context of the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising.

It is expected that these proposals will be brought to Cabinet in the near future.

Departmental Bodies.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

203 Deputy Ruairí Quinn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance the name of every body, organisation and committee outside his Department, other than semi-State commercial companies, that have been established by and report to his Department, at any stage during the year 2007 and the first three months of 2008; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12299/08]

The information requested by the Deputy is outlined in the following table. Bodies etc. outside the Department of Finance, established by and reporting to the Department between 1 January 2007 and 31 March 2008.

Name of Body

Year established

Advisory Forum on Financial Legislation

2007

NDP Central Monitoring Committee

2007

NDP High Level Group

2007

NDP High Level Strategic Communications Group

2008

The Commission on Taxation

2008

Flood Relief.

Charles Flanagan

Question:

204 Deputy Charles Flanagan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance the position regarding the alleviation of flooding in Portarlington, County Laois, with particular reference to the proposal by the Office of Public Works, in conjunction with the county councils of Counties Laois and Offaly, in respect of the town centre flood alleviation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12406/08]

A report investigating the flood risk and examining possible flood alleviation measures for Portarlington has been completed for Laois and Offaly County Councils in association with the Office of Public Works. OPW is planning to meet with Laois County Council officials within the next few weeks to discuss how matters might be progressed further.

Departmental Transport.

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

205 Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance if his Department has used helicopters for any purpose for each year since 2002 to date in 2008; the reason for such use; the suppliers of the helicopter; the dates and locations visited and distance travelled; the cost of same and persons carried; if quotations were sought for such trips; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12420/08]

My Department has not used helicopters for any purpose in the period in question.

Flood Relief.

Brian O'Shea

Question:

206 Deputy Brian O’Shea asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance the funding provided in the 2008 estimate of expenditure of his Department in the matter of carrying out necessary remedial works to prevent flooding on the Waterford/Tramore road; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12458/08]

The Office of Public Works will consider funding Waterford City Council to carry out works on the Tramore Road, where it is considered appropriate on economic, social and environmental grounds to do so. Funding for any works will be from existing resources.

Health Service Staff.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

207 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health and Children her views on the implications of the Health Service Executive recruitment freeze for the implementation of the national drugs strategy for which she has responsibility; if her attention has been drawn to the fact that the HSE recruitment freeze is preventing the HSE in Limerick from progressing the introduction of an under 18 multi-disciplinary team, which was approved under the 2007 HSE corporate plan, to provide child-centred, comprehensive treatment to young people presenting with serious drug problems; her views on whether the delay and failure to recruit staff for this essential service is unacceptable in view of the gravity of the drugs crisis; if she has had discussions with the HSE on the matter; and if she will urge them to take steps to rectify the situation and ensure the development of the service without further delay. [11420/08]

The Deputy's question relates to the management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have this matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Smoking Ban.

Kathleen Lynch

Question:

208 Deputy Kathleen Lynch asked the Minister for Health and Children if she has plans to ban smoking in cars in which children under 16 are being transported in view of the fact that passive smoking is particularly harmful to children and evidence which shows that passive smoke can reach high levels in motor cars; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11432/08]

I have no proposals to introduce a ban on smoking in cars in which children under 16 years of age are being transported but I will keep the matter under review. The harmful effects of exposure to cigarette smoke are well known as is the fact that such exposure is particularly dangerous in enclosed spaces (including motor cars). Parents and others with responsibility for the welfare of children have a particular responsibility to ensure that such exposure does not take place.

Health Services.

Dan Neville

Question:

209 Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will ensure that persons (details supplied) in County Limerick will receive speech and language therapy services. [11560/08]

As part of the Multi-Annual Investment Programme 2006-2009 under the Disability Strategy, the Government provided the Health Service Executive with an additional €75m in both 2006 and 2007. This funding included monies to provide new and enhanced services for people with disabilities, to implement Part 2 of the Disability Act 2005, which came into effect on June 1st 2007 for the under 5s and also for the continuation of the implementation of the transfer of persons with intellectual disability from psychiatric hospitals and other inappropriate placements.

The Government is also honouring its promise in relation to the Multi-Annual Investment Programme for people with disabilities, with a further €50m investment which was announced in the 2008 Budget.

The Deputy's specific question relates to the management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have these matters investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Mental Health Services.

Dan Neville

Question:

210 Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Health and Children the amount of money raised from the sale of psychiatric lands and buildings since January 2006; the amount of this that was retained by her Department; the amount that was reinvested into the development of mental health services in view of the fact that A Vision for Change has been adopted as official Government policy and the Government made a commitment to reinvest all money realised from the sale of such assets into mental health services; the reason all money was not invested in mental health services; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11588/08]

Dan Neville

Question:

312 Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Health and Children the psychiatric lands and buildings that have been disposed of since January 2006; the amount of money raised from the sale of these assets; the amount of this surrendered to the Department of Finance; the amount of this reinvested into the development of mental health services in view of the fact that A Vision for Change has been adopted as Government policy and that the Government made a commitment to reinvest all money realised from the sale of such assets into mental health services; the reason all money was not invested in mental health services; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11590/08]

Bernard Allen

Question:

382 Deputy Bernard Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children the amount raised from the sale of psychiatric lands and buildings since A Vision for Change was published in January 2006; the amount of the money raised that was surrendered to the Department of Finance on a yearly basis; and the amount of this money that was reclaimed from the Exchequer in order to fund developments in the mental health sector. [11913/08]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 210, 312 and 382 together.

‘A Vision for Change' the Report of the Expert Group on Mental Health Policy, which was launched in January 2006, has been accepted by Government as the basis for the future development of our mental health services. The Report recommends inter alia that a plan to bring about the closure of all psychiatric hospitals should be drawn up and implemented, and that the resources released by these closures should be protected for reinvestment in the mental health service. The Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney has made it clear to the HSE in the context of their Service Plan for 2008, that there can be no question of diverting capital or development funds to meet expenditure pressures arising in relation to core services.

The identification and disposal of assets which may be in excess of known HSE requirements is the responsibility of the HSE National Director of Estates. The Executive, therefore, is the appropriate body to consider the particular matter raised by the Deputy. My Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have the matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Food Labelling.

Rory O'Hanlon

Question:

211 Deputy Rory O’Hanlon asked the Minister for Health and Children when it is intended to bring in legislation for the labelling of food; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11610/08]

Legislation on the labelling, presentation and advertising of foodstuffs is contained in the European Communities (Labelling, Presentation and Advertising of Foodstuffs) Regulations 2002 to 2007. These regulations apply to the labelling of pre-packaged foodstuffs for sale to the ultimate consumer or for supply to mass caterers.

The principle underlying food labelling is that the purchaser must not be misled. This legislation has helped to ensure that the consumer is provided with the information required to make healthy consumption choices.

Services for People with Disabilities.

Finian McGrath

Question:

212 Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will assist persons (details supplied). [11620/08]

As part of the Multi-Annual Investment Programme 2006-2009 under the Disability Strategy, the Government provided the Health Service Executive with an additional €75m in both 2006 and 2007. This funding included monies to provide new and enhanced services for people with disabilities, to implement Part 2 of the Disability Act 2005, which came into effect on June 1st 2007 for the under 5's and also for the continuation of the implementation of the transfer of persons with intellectual disability from psychiatric hospitals and other inappropriate placements.

The Government is also honouring its promise in relation to the Multi-Annual Investment Programme for people with disabilities, with a further €50m investment which was announced in the 2008 Budget.

The Deputy's specific question relates to the management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have these matters investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Pharmacy Regulations.

James Bannon

Question:

213 Deputy James Bannon asked the Minister for Health and Children the plans she will put in place to provide guidelines to protect patient safety in relation to Internet pharmacies; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11721/08]

I am aware of concerns regarding the online sale of medicinal products. Such sales do not have any requirement for the type of consultation and safety precautions which normally accompany the sale of a medicinal product. There are also concerns in regard to the quality of products sold in this manner due to the high level of counterfeit products.

Anyone purchasing medicinal products via the Internet would normally have such products delivered by post. It is an offence in this country to supply prescription only medicines by mail order. The Irish Medicines Board is responsible for investigating breaches of the medicines legislation in Ireland and the Board works closely with the Revenue Commissioners to enforce these provisions.

The Board monitors the activities of online website suppliers, a great number of which pose as pharmacies, and takes action against such websites where possible. However the difficulties associated with policing the Internet in general also apply to online sales of medicinal products. The vast majority of internet pharmacies are based outside Ireland and this poses challenges in the area of enforcement. The Board works in partnership with medicines enforcement agencies in Europe and elsewhere and has in the past taken action to stop the supply of medicinal products by online pharmacies based outside Ireland.

Hospitals Building Programme.

Pat Breen

Question:

214 Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will report on the funding allocated for the phase one development of Ennis General Hospital; the amount of funding allocated to date; if extra funding will be provided for the project as a result of inflation increases; if her attention has been drawn to the plans to divert moneys allocated to Ennis General Hospital to another project in the country; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11879/08]

Pat Breen

Question:

375 Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Health and Children further to Parliamentary Question No. 253 of 11 March 2008, if she will report on the funding allocated to date for the phase one development of Ennis General Hospital; if extra funding will be provided for the project as a result of inflationary increases; if her attention has been drawn to the plans to divert moneys allocated to this project to another project in the country; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11880/08]

Joe Carey

Question:

433 Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will re-affirm her post-election commitment to the people of County Clare with regard to the €39 million redevelopment of Ennis General Hospital and the continued delivery of consultant delivered accident and emergency services on a 24 hour per day and seven day a week basis; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12240/08]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 214, 375 and 433 together.

The provision of services and the allocation of funding at the Mid Western Hospital, Ennis, and across the Mid West Region in general is the responsibility of the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Significant developments to enhance the services at the Mid Western Regional Hospital, Ennis have taken place of the past few years. A €39m capital development project was approved for Ennis General Hospital in 2006.

In drawing up its Capital Plan the Health Service Executive is required to prioritise the capital infrastructure projects to be progressed within its overall capital funding allocation under the National Development Plan 2007-2013, taking account of the NDP targets for division of capital investment between the Acute and Primary, Community & Continuing Care pillars. The HSE has submitted a draft Capital Plan to my Department for consideration and approval in the normal way which sets out the HSE's proposed short and longer term priorities and commitments. Consultation on this draft Capital Plan is ongoing between the HSE, the Department of Finance and my Department. The HSE has undertaken to provide additional clarification on its proposed capital developments and is currently engaged in this process.

Health Service Allowances.

Phil Hogan

Question:

215 Deputy Phil Hogan asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will approve the arrears of domiciliary care allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12172/08]

The Deputy's question relates to the management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have this case investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Health Service Staff.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

216 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of the additional development posts that are to be drugs treatment and rehabilitation posts pursuant to the new Health Service Executive employment ceiling set up by her Department. [12225/08]

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

258 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health and Children if the employment control circular issued by the Health Service Executive on 8 January 2008, and referred to by her in her response to Parliamentary Question No. 215 on 11 March 2008, has a similar effect to the recruitment freeze and in particular, if it is preventing the HSE in Limerick from progressing the introduction of an under 18 multi-disciplinary team, which was approved under the 2007 HSE corporate plan, to provide child-centred, comprehensive treatment to young people presenting with serious drug problems. [11421/08]

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

259 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health and Children further to Parliamentary Question No. 215 of 11 March 2008, if posts identified as necessary during 2007 and not filled as a result of the recruitment freeze may be deemed to be posts falling vacant from 1 January 2008. [11422/08]

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

427 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of additional development posts that are to be drugs treatment and rehabilitation posts pursuant to the new Health Service Executive employment ceiling set by the Department of Finance; and the breakdown of these posts in terms of function and location. [12226/08]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 216, 258, 259 and 427 together.

The following are the development posts agreed as part of the Budget Day package for 2008. The Budget Day package does not specifically provide for drug treatment and rehabilitation posts.

Service

No. of Development posts to be filled in 2008

Older People

100

Palliative Care

50

Disability

710

Cancer

90

Population Health

100

Total

1,050

I wish to advise the Deputy that the Health Service Executive Circular 01/2008 sets out the HSE Employment Control Framework for 2008 and is aimed at ensuring that health services are delivered in accordance with the provisions of the 2008 National Service Plan and within the funding provided by Government. The Employment Control Framework provides for the filling of vacancies arising in 2008, the filling of approved and funded service development posts not filled at the end of 2007 and new service developments in 2008.

The Deputy may wish to note that an employment ceiling for the health service of 112,560 whole time equivalents has been sanctioned by the Department of Finance for 2008.

In relation to Parliamentary Question No. 215, concerning the progression of the introduction of an under 18 multi-disciplinary team in Limerick, I wish to advise the Deputy that this question was referred to the HSE for direct reply. In this regard, I understand that the HSE will be issuing a reply to the Deputy shortly.

Health Services.

Niall Collins

Question:

217 Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Health and Children if funding will be made available for a project (detail supplied) in County Limerick. [11203/08]

Operational responsibility for the management and delivery of health and personal social services was assigned to the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Therefore, the Executive is the appropriate body to consider the particular matter raised by the Deputy. My Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have the matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Andrew Doyle

Question:

218 Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Health and Children the progress in relation to the new health centres for Newtownmountkennedy and Rathdrum. [11207/08]

The Primary Care Strategy aims to increase health service capacity through the development of services in the community to give people direct access to integrated multi-disciplinary teams of general practitioners, nurses, home helps, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and others.

It has been estimated that up to 95% of people's health and social services needs can be properly met within a primary care setting and the establishment of new Primary Care Teams can contribute greatly to enhancing community based health services.

The provision of the appropriate infrastructure to facilitate the delivery of primary care services is being considered by the HSE, having regard to a number of factors. These include the type and configuration of the services involved, the mixed public/private nature of our health system, the suitability of existing infrastructure and the capital requirements of the health services generally over the coming years. I understand that in December 2007 the HSE sought expressions of interest from the private sector for the provision of the Primary Care Team infrastructure, with the HSE proposing to enter into fixed term leases with such providers.

As the Health Service Executive has the operational and funding responsibility for Primary Care services, it is the appropriate body to consider the particular matter raised by the Deputy. My Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have this matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Hospital Accommodation.

Damien English

Question:

219 Deputy Damien English asked the Minister for Health and Children when a person (details supplied) in County Meath will be offered a long term stay bed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11208/08]

Operational responsibility for the management and delivery of health and personal social services was assigned to the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Therefore, the Executive is the appropriate body to consider the particular case raised by the Deputy. My Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have the matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Community Care.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

220 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health and Children the reason a house (details supplied) in Dublin 6W has not received the required funding to ensure that they can extend their current community house from being a five day facility to a seven day centre; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11209/08]

As part of the Multi-Annual Investment Programme 2006-2009 under the Disability Strategy, the Government provided the Health Service Executive with an additional €75m in both 2006 and 2007. This funding included monies to provide new and enhanced services for people with disabilities, to implement Part 2 of the Disability Act 2005, which came into effect on June 1st 2007 for the under 5s and also for the continuation of the implementation of the transfer of persons with intellectual disability from psychiatric hospitals and other inappropriate placements.

The Government is also honouring its promise in relation to the Multi-Annual Investment Programme for people with disabilities, with a further €50m investment which was announced in the 2008 Budget.

The Deputy's specific question relates to the management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have these matters investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Services for People with Disabilities.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

221 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health and Children the steps she will take to ensure that a person (details supplied) in Dublin 12 receives the care and support they need. [11210/08]

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

222 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health and Children the options the family of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 12 have to ensure they receive the continuity of care and support they need. [11211/08]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 221 and 222 together.

As part of the Multi-Annual Investment Programme 2006-2009 under the Disability Strategy, the Government provided the Health Service Executive with an additional €75m in both 2006 and 2007. This funding included monies to provide new and enhanced services for people with disabilities, to implement Part 2 of the Disability Act 2005, which came into effect on June 1st 2007 for the under 5s and also for the continuation of the implementation of the transfer of persons with intellectual disability from psychiatric hospitals and other inappropriate placements.

The Government is also honouring its promise in relation to the Multi-Annual Investment Programme for people with disabilities, with a further €50m investment which was announced in the 2008 Budget.

The Deputy's specific questions relate to the management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have these matters investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Hospital Services.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

223 Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health and Children if it is the case that angiogram equipment is sitting unused in Waterford Hospital; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11213/08]

Operational responsibility for the management and delivery of health and personal social services is a matter for the Health Service Executive and funding for all health services has been provided as part of its overall Vote. Therefore, the Executive is the appropriate body to consider the particular issue raised by the Deputy. My Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have the matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

224 Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health and Children the amount spent annually by the Health Service Executive on taxis to transport patients between Waterford Hospital and St. James’s Hospital; if this amount can be broken down by hospital department and by whether the patient was going to St James’s for treatment or for diagnostics; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11214/08]

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

225 Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health and Children if her attention has been drawn to cases in which a patient awaiting transfer to Waterford Hospital after undergoing treatment or diagnostics in St. James’s Hospital has been forced to remain at St. James’s for several days because the Health Service Executive was unable to arrange transport to coincide with the availability of a bed for the patient in Waterford; if she will ensure that procedures are put in place to better coordinate the transfer of patients from one hospital to another; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11215/08]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 224 and 225 together.

Operational responsibility for the management and delivery of health and personal social services is a matter for the Health Service Executive and funding for all health services has been provided as part of its overall Vote. Therefore, the Executive is the appropriate body to consider the particular issues raised by the Deputy. My Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have the matters investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Joe McHugh

Question:

226 Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Health and Children the source of funding for radiotherapy services nationally for the periods 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007; the details of funding for each radiotherapy centre for these years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11223/08]

Operational responsibility for the management and delivery of health and personal social services is a matter for the Health Service Executive and funding for all health services has been provided as part of its overall vote. Therefore, the Executive is the appropriate body to consider the particular question raised by the Deputy. My Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy in relation to the matter raised.

Joe McHugh

Question:

227 Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Health and Children the amount of revenue raised since the introduction of Euro car parks to Letterkenny General Hospital; the amount that has gone back to the Health Service Executive; the amount that has benefited the hospital; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11225/08]

Operational responsibility for the management and delivery of health and personal social services was assigned to the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004 and funding for all health services has been provided as part of its overall vote. Therefore, the Executive is the appropriate body to consider the particular issue raised by the Deputy. My Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have the matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Medical Cards.

Pat Breen

Question:

228 Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Health and Children if medical cards will be made available to carers; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11232/08]

The assessment of eligibility to medical cards is statutorily a matter for the Health Service Executive (HSE) and, with the exception of persons aged over 70 who have an automatic entitlement to a medical card, is determined following an examination of the means of the applicant and his/her dependants. Under Section 45 of the Health Act, 1970 medical cards are provided for persons who, in the opinion of the HSE, are unable without undue hardship to arrange general practitioner medical and surgical services for themselves and their dependants.

In assessing eligibility, the HSE uses guidelines based on people's means, which includes their income, certain allowable outgoings and the effect of other factors which may impact on people's ability to meet the cost of GP services. There are also a number of income sources, including the Carer's Allowance, which are disregarded in assessing an applicant's income. Furthermore, people whose sole source of income is from social welfare or HSE allowances and benefits are allowed a medical card.

My Department is currently reviewing all legislation relating to eligibility for health and personal social services with a view to making the system as fair and transparent as possible. As part of this exercise, a review of the eligibility criteria for medical cards in the context of financial, medical and social need is being undertaken and is expected to be completed by autumn 2008.

Care of the Elderly.

Pat Breen

Question:

229 Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will provide extra funding for additional home help hours to facilitate a two week respite break for home carers; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11233/08]

The Home Help service nationally is a well established and successful component of this Government's strategy to provide a range of services to enable older people to remain in their own homes and communities for as long as possible. In this context, and in order to address increasing demands in the specific area of Home Helps in recent years, approximately €56 million additional funding has been provided for service improvements over the three years 2006-8. This has enabled the provision of 11.3 million Home Help hours by the Health Service Executive (HSE) in 2006 and 11.7 million hours in 2007.

Budget 2008 provided significant additional current funding of €22 million to cover a range of new community-based initiatives for Older People. This includes a sum of €5 million for this year towards 200,000 extra Home Help hours.

This will bring the expected number of Home Help hours nationally to some 11.98 million in 2008. Bearing in mind all the circumstances, I am satisfied that the prioritised funding made available this year will assist the HSE in meeting increasing demands on its Home Help service.

An extra €3.6m has also been provided, arising from the recent Budget, to enhance DayCare/Respite services in 2008. The HSE has allocated €1.1m of this for an additional 345 Day Care places, bringing the total number of such places nationally to around 21,640 by year end. A sum of €2.5m is being made available by the Executive to benefit 1,245 new Respite Care clients in the current year.

I will of course, in conjunction with the HSE, continue to monitor the delivery of these various new services to ensure that provision is maximised across the country.

Pharmacy Regulations.

Finian McGrath

Question:

230 Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will resolve a matter (details supplied). [11237/08]

Mary Upton

Question:

366 Deputy Mary Upton asked the Minister for Health and Children the reason that only retail pharmacists are being reviewed in relation to the cuts in dispensing fees by the independent body established to assess an interim, fair community pharmacy dispensing fee; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11833/08]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 230 and 366 together.

The reduction in the wholesale mark-up paid on the price of drugs and medicines under the GMS and community drugs schemes is part of a process aimed at reforming all aspects of the drugs supply chain from the manufacturer to the patient. The existing wholesale mark-up in the range of 15% to 17.6% is neither reasonable nor sustainable. The Government supports the HSE's decision to pay an 8% mark-up from 1 March, and 7% from 1 January 2009 which will be applied by reducing the reimbursement price paid to community pharmacy contractors from those dates.

In response to demands from community pharmacists to address the alleged impact of the new wholesale pricing arrangements on GMS dependent pharmacies in particular, the HSE has offered a voluntary interim contract with a flat rate dispensing fee of not less than €5 for all dispensing made on the GMS and community drug schemes.

I have established an Independent Body to assess an interim, fair community pharmacy dispensing fee of at least €5 to be paid for the medical card scheme, the DPS and other community drug schemes. This Body is being chaired by Seán Dorgan, former Head of IDA Ireland. It has been asked to make its recommendations by the end of May 2008.

Based on its consideration of submissions received and its own independent evaluation, the Body will recommend an appropriate dispensing fee that would, in its view, represent a fair and reasonable price to be paid for the pharmaceutical service currently being provided by community pharmacists to the HSE under the GMS and community drug schemes. If approved by Government, it will be backdated to the date from which any individual community pharmacist may choose to avail of the HSE's offer.

Accordingly, each community pharmacist will have three options: to avail of the interim contract as recently offered by the HSE; to accept the interim contract upon the report of the Independent Body; or to stay with the existing retail fee structure until the agreement of a substantive new contract.

I believe this provides all concerned with a reasonable way to make the transition to a fair and transparent method of payment for present services and, I hope, greatly developed pharmacy services in the near future.

While a number of community pharmacies have indicated their intention to withdraw services under their contracts with the HSE, I understand that no contractor has formally withdrawn their services at this point. There are no changes planned to the operation of the GMS and community drugs schemes and all patients continue to receive their entitlements in the usual way.

Foreign Adoptions.

Finian McGrath

Question:

231 Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health and Children the Health Service Executive’s position on a matter (details supplied). [11238/08]

Adoption is a service for children who are in need of a permanent home. My Department and I are of the view that intercountry adoption should be child centred, that is, in all stages of the process the child's interests must be paramount. As such, there are a number of statutory procedures regulating intercountry adoption. All prospective adoptive parents must be assessed initially by the HSE or a registered adoption society. Where applicants are recommended as eligible and suitable the application is sent to the Adoption Board for its consideration. The Adoption Board are the statutory body with responsibility for the issuing of declarations of eligibility and suitability under the Adoption Act, 1991.

Each application/applicant is considered individually on their own merits. The Framework used to assess applicants was developed with a wide range of stakeholders including practitioners, academics and adoptive parents. The Framework provides that prospective adoptive parents are assessed against five standards for intercountry adoption. The focus of the assessment is on the capacity and preparedness of the applicants to meet the child's needs and their capability to meet the long-term challenges. These standards include, inter alia, the capacity to fulfil all of the parental duties over the lifetime of the child; the capacity to promote and support the child's development and well-being; the capacity to safeguard and support the child's welfare; and to provide the necessary health, social, education and other interventions for the child. Further details regarding the Framework for Intercountry Adoption Assessment can be provided to the Deputy, if required.

Legislative Programme.

Catherine Byrne

Question:

232 Deputy Catherine Byrne asked the Minister for Health and Children the stage the Nurses and Midwives Bill is at; when it will be published; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11284/08]

The General Scheme of the new Nurses and Midwives Bill has been drafted. The Government gave approval for the Draft General Scheme of the Bill to be published as part of the public consultation process which commenced on 30 November 2007. Over 200 written submissions were received by my Department. These are now being examined and will inform the future development of the Bill and the Regulatory Impact Analysis which is also being undertaken.

The purpose of the Bill is to modernise the regulatory framework for nurses and midwives and to enhance patient safety and the protection of the public. The Bill is consistent with the Government's commitment to strengthen and expand the provisions for the statutory regulation of health professionals.

Hospital Services.

Joe Costello

Question:

233 Deputy Joe Costello asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will retain the breast cancer care service in Sligo General Hospital; if she will make Sligo General Hospital a centre of excellence; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11288/08]

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has designated University College Hospital Galway and Limerick Regional Hospital as the two cancer centres in the Managed Cancer Control Network for the HSE Western Region, which includes Sligo. The designation of cancer centres aims to ensure that patients receive the highest quality care while at the same time allowing local access to services, where appropriate.

Where diagnosis and treatment planning is directed and managed by multi-disciplinary teams based at the cancer centres, then much of the treatment (other than surgery) can be delivered in local hospitals, such as Sligo General Hospital. In this context, chemotherapy and support services will continue to be delivered locally. Cancer day care units, including at Sligo General Hospital, will continue to have an important role in delivering services to patients as close to home as possible.

The decisions of the HSE in relation to four managed cancer control networks and eight cancer centres will be implemented on a managed and phased basis. Professor Tom Keane, Director of the HSE's National Cancer Control Programme, is currently engaging in detailed planning to facilitate the orderly phased transfer of services between locations.

Health Services.

Frank Feighan

Question:

234 Deputy Frank Feighan asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will ensure or give an undertaking to a person (details supplied) in County Roscommon that their next appointment for surgery in St. James Hospital, gynaecology department will be kept. [11293/08]

Operational responsibility for the management and delivery of health and personal social services is a matter for the Health Service Executive and funding for all health services has been provided as part of its overall Vote. Therefore, the Executive is the appropriate body to consider the particular case raised by the Deputy. My Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have the matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Sean Sherlock

Question:

235 Deputy Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will expedite an appointment for assessment by the Asperger’s syndrome specialist team in Cork for a person (details supplied) who is experiencing learning difficulties; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11297/08]

As part of the Multi-Annual Investment Programme 2006-2009 under the Disability Strategy, the Government provided the Health Service Executive with an additional €75m in both 2006 and 2007. This funding included monies to provide new and enhanced services for people with disabilities, to implement Part 2 of the Disability Act 2005, which came into effect on June 1st 2007 for the under 5's and also for the continuation of the implementation of the transfer of persons with intellectual disability from psychiatric hospitals and other inappropriate placements.

The Government is also honouring its promise in relation to the Multi-Annual Investment Programme for people with disabilities, with a further €50m investment which was announced in the 2008 Budget.

The Deputy's specific question relates to the management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have these matters investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Grant Payments.

Paul Connaughton

Question:

236 Deputy Paul Connaughton asked the Minister for Health and Children the position regarding an application for a grant towards the purchase of a digital hearing aid by a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11307/08]

The Community Audiology Service of the HSE provides hearing aids to eligible adults with medical cards. The question of the criteria for allocation of digital hearing aids is a matter for the HSE.

The Deputy's question relates to the funding, management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have this matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Medical Cards.

James Reilly

Question:

237 Deputy James Reilly asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of full medical cards issued in 2007; the number of full medical cards issued per county; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11311/08]

James Reilly

Question:

238 Deputy James Reilly asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of general practitioner visit cards issued in 2007; the number of GP visit cards issued per county; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11312/08]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 237 and 238 together.

Details of the numbers of medical card and GP visit card holders are provided to my Department each month by the Health Service Executive (HSE). The figures are provided on a net basis showing the balance after new cards have been issued and other cards, as appropriate, have been deleted from the Executive's database, e.g. following a review of a person's circumstances. The table shows the national number of medical cards and GP visit cards at 31st December, 2006 and at 31st December, 2007.

31st December 2006

31st December 2007

Net Change

Medical Cards

1,221,695

1,276,178

+ 54,483

GP Visit Cards

51,760

75,589

+ 23,829

The HSE has the operational and funding responsibility for the granting of medical cards and GP Visit Cards. It collates medical card and GP Visit Card data by county, age and gender. Therefore, my Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to address the other matters raised and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Services for People with Disabilities.

Sean Sherlock

Question:

239 Deputy Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Health and Children the breakdown nationally of the number awaiting assessment for suspected autism related conditions; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11317/08]

The Deputy's specific question relates to the management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have these matters investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Health Services.

Tom McEllistrim

Question:

240 Deputy Thomas McEllistrim asked the Minister for Health and Children when the Health Service Executive will allocate funding for a dedicated, modern maternity unit at Kerry General Hospital. [11324/08]

Operational responsibility for the management and delivery of health and personal social services is a matter for the Health Service Executive and funding for all health services has been provided as part of its overall Vote. Therefore, the Executive is the appropriate body to consider the particular issue raised by the Deputy. My Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have the matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Bernard Allen

Question:

241 Deputy Bernard Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will investigate the situation of a person (details supplied) in County Cork who has been refused a replacement artificial leg despite the fact that their present one is badly fitting and is causing injuries. [11325/08]

Bernard Allen

Question:

242 Deputy Bernard Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children when an appointment will be given to a person (details supplied) in County Cork. [11326/08]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 241 and 242 together.

Operational responsibility for the management and delivery of health and personal social services is a matter for the Health Service Executive and funding for all health services has been provided as part of its overall Vote. Therefore, the Executive is the appropriate body to consider the particular case raised by the Deputy. My Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have the matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Tom McEllistrim

Question:

243 Deputy Thomas McEllistrim asked the Minister for Health and Children when the Health Service Executive will provide the funding in order that proper aftercare can be given to new mothers and their babies when they are discharged into the community. [11329/08]

The Deputy's question relates to the funding, management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have this matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Child Care Services.

Joe Carey

Question:

244 Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Health and Children the capital funding and grants available for the development of private child-care facilities in rural areas; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11333/08]

As the Deputy will be aware, I have responsibility for the National Childcare Investment Programme 2006 — 2010 (NCIP), which will invest €575 million over 5 years, with €358 million of this in capital grant aid for childcare services.

The NCIP came into effect in January 2006, and aims to provide a proactive response to the development of quality childcare supports and services, which are grounded in an understanding of local needs. It is building on the success of the Equal Opportunities Childcare Programme 2000 — 2006 (EOCP) and has a target of creating 50,000 new childcare places, supported by capital grant aid. Services eligible for support include those providing care for babies, full-day care, part-time, sessional playschool and other pre-school places, school age childcare including "wrap around" childcare places, and childminding. Special consideration is given to supporting services which provide a range of these services.

Eligibility for capital grant funding under the NCIP is assessed under a number of criteria; chiefly the nature and extent of the need locally for the service proposed, the applicant's capacity to deliver the project proposed and value for money. To comply with the criteria, services, including playschool and other pre-school services, are expected to operate for minimum periods per day. All proposals are expected to demonstrate how they will increase the supply of quality childcare and community-based projects are expected to demonstrate a focus on disadvantage. The maximum capital grants available to private childcare providers under the scheme, for the building or expansion of childcare facilities, are €100,000 per facility (subject to a maximum of 75% of the total cost) and a maximum of €500,000 for multiple services in different catchment areas.

The NCIP also provides capital grant aid to childminders provided they are notified to the Health Service Executive where so required under the Child Care (Pre-School Services) Regulations 2006, or are voluntarily notified to their City and County Childcare Committee (CCCs). Funding of up to €5,000 per full-time equivalent childminding place can be applied for to undertake necessary renovative work or to purchase equipment related to the service. In addition, a small Childminding Grant of up to €630 for the purchase of smaller scale equipment is administered directly by the CCCs. This grant was recently reviewed by my Office and I am pleased to advise that it has been increased to a maximum of €1,000. These measures recognise the fact that for many parents childminders continue to be the preferred option for childcare. This is particularly relevant in rural areas where there may be insufficient numbers of children in an area to sustain a centre-based childcare service.

To apply for NCIP funding applicants should contact their local CCC which will provide advice and assistance in the completion of applications.

Health Services.

Denis Naughten

Question:

245 Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health and Children further to Parliamentary Question No. 245 of 31 October 2007, when her Minister of State will visit the facilities concerned; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11347/08]

My Office is currently in discussions with the Organisation referred to by the Deputy in Parliamentary Question No. 245 of 31st October, 2007 and I look forward to visiting the facilities concerned during the present Dáil term.

Dan Neville

Question:

246 Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will make a statement on a matter (details supplied). [11355/08]

The Deputy's question relates to the management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have this case investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Child Care Services.

Denis Naughten

Question:

247 Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health and Children further to Parliamentary Question No. 133 of 13 November 2007, if a decision has been made on the request for a review by the group concerned; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11364/08]

As the Deputy will be aware, I have responsibility for the National Childcare Investment Programme 2006 — 2010 (NCIP) which will invest €575 million over 5 years.

I understand from enquiries I have made that the service in question applied for interim NCIP staffing funding of €4,800 which was declined last September as their application had not demonstrated sufficient ability to efficiently manage and sustain the service from September 2007 and therefore did not meet the requirements of the NCIP interim support scheme. Subsequently the service requested a review of this decision which was upheld in December 2007 as sufficient evidence of financial sustainability had not been submitted. The service was notified of this decision on 4 January 2008.

The interim support scheme under the NCIP was introduced pending the introduction of the Community Childcare Subvention Scheme (CCSS) in January 2007, to facilitate services which were unable to meet the contractual deadline of December 2006 which applied to the previous support scheme, operated under the EU co-funded Equal Opportunities Investment Programme 2000-2006 (EOCP). The service should contact its local County Childcare Committee should it wish to apply for funding under the CCSS.

Hospital Services.

Darragh O'Brien

Question:

248 Deputy Darragh O’Brien asked the Minister for Health and Children the reason patients with haemochromatosis who visit Beaumont Hospital regularly for venesection are being charged €60 per procedure when the same procedure undertaken in St. James’s Hospital, Dublin is available free of charge; if there are plans to remove this charge in Beaumont; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11365/08]

In relation to the issue of charges for venesection services in Beaumont Hospital, my Department contacted the Health Service Executive in July last year requesting a review of current charging practices and variances in treatment provision in all hospital locations in order that there would be a standardised approach across the hospital sector.

My Department contacted the HSE again in February 2008 expressing concern that it appeared that vensesection services were still being provided in an inconsistent manner amongst hospitals and requesting that the issue be addressed as soon as possible. As soon as I receive a reply from the HSE on this matter I will revert to the Deputy.

Health Services.

Charlie O'Connor

Question:

249 Deputy Charlie O’Connor asked the Minister for Health and Children if her attention has been drawn to the fact that a helpline (details supplied) in Dublin 24 for teenagers who are feeling suicidal, is coming under increasing pressure to meet funding needs; if she will provide assurances that this organisation, working out of Tallaght, will be assisted; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11381/08]

Operational responsibility for the management and delivery of health and personal social services was assigned to the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004 and funding for all health services has been provided as part of its overall vote. The Executive, therefore, is the appropriate body to consider the particular matter raised by the Deputy. My Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have the matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Joe McHugh

Question:

250 Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will provide a progress report between northern and southern administrations regarding a proposed satellite radiotherapy centre for the north-west; the time frame towards implementation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11388/08]

Niall Collins

Question:

254 Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of patients from County Donegal who utilised the cancer services of Belfast City Hospital in 2007; and the funding provided by her Department towards the development of the Belfast City Hospital cancer treatment facility. [11409/08]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 250 and 254 together.

The Government decided in July 2005 that the best option for improving geographic access for patients in the North West to radiation oncology services is to (i) facilitate access to Belfast City Hospital and (ii) progress consideration of a joint venture for the provision of oncology services in the medium term to patients in the North West from a satellite centre in the North West linked to Belfast City Hospital.

Cancer patients in the North West requiring radiation oncology treatment are referred to either St. Luke's Hospital Dublin or to University College Hospital Galway. A Service Level Agreement has also been in place since 2006 between the Health Service Executive, Belfast City Hospital Trust and Altnagelvin Area Hospital for the referral of radiation oncology patients from Donegal to Belfast City Hospital.

I met with Minister Michael McGimpsey of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Northern Ireland on 28 November last. We discussed the potential for further cross-border collaboration in relation to cancer care, and specifically, provision of a satellite centre for radiation oncology in the North West, linked to Belfast City Hospital. We agreed that this issue would be progressed by both of our Departments in the context of our ongoing assessment of the feasibility of greater cross-border co-operation in health and social care.

The specific questions raised by the Deputy in relation to the referral of patients from County Donegal to Belfast City Hospital and the funding for same relate to the management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the HSE under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to respond directly to the Deputy in this regard.

Mental Health Services.

Dan Neville

Question:

251 Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of psychiatric patients the Health Service Executive has sent to unaccredited facilities; the location of these facilities; the amount of money spent on their care in these facilities; her views on whether it is acceptable to send patients to facilities that are not accredited and are not inspected by the Mental Health Commission; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11393/08]

Operational responsibility for the management and delivery of health and personal social services was assigned to the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004 and funding for all health services has been provided as part of its overall vote. The Executive, therefore, is the appropriate body to consider the particular matter raised by the Deputy. My Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have the matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Health Services.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

252 Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health and Children when a reply will issue from the Health Service Executive to Parliamentary Question No. 223 of 12 February 2008. [11395/08]

The Health Service Executive has advised that a reply issued to the Deputy on the 27th March 2008.

Health Service Staff.

Michael Creed

Question:

253 Deputy Michael Creed asked the Minister for Health and Children if her attention has been drawn to the difficulty which persons on leave of absence or career break from the Health Service Executive are having in terms of being re-employed after their period of leave expires, the fact that many are being asked to wait up to a period of 12 months thereafter before being re-employed and the difficulty this poses for the persons involved; if she will confirm their priority status in respect of vacancies that may arise; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11404/08]

As the Deputy will be aware the Health Service Executive (HSE) has a responsibility to deliver services in accordance with the provisions of the 2008 National Service Plan and within the financial allocation to the HSE and the Government approved employment ceiling. The HSE has advised that the replacement of staff is an issue for decision by local management having regard to service priorities and allocated budgets. The HSE has a policy of prioritising the filling of frontline posts to enable the delivery of services to patients and clients.

The Deputy may wish to note that it is a condition of the career break scheme that if a suitable vacancy does not exist at the date of the termination of the career break an employee is guaranteed re-employment within twelve months. In accordance with the provisions of HSE HR Circular 01/2008 ‘HSE Employment Control Framework — filling of vacancies and new service development posts from the start of 2008' staff returning from career break should be afforded priority in the filling of vacancies arising after 1st January 2008.

Question No. 254 answered with Question No. 250.

Health Services.

Finian McGrath

Question:

255 Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will support the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15. [11416/08]

Operational responsibility for the management and delivery of health and personal social services, including ambulance services, is a matter for the Health Service Executive and funding for all health services has been provided as part of its overall Vote. Therefore, the Executive is the appropriate body to consider the particular case raised by the Deputy. My Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have the matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Services for People with Disabilities.

Finian McGrath

Question:

256 Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health and Children the position regarding the case of a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath. [11417/08]

As part of the Multi-Annual Investment Programme 2006-2009 under the Disability Strategy, the Government provided the Health Service Executive with an additional €75m in both 2006 and 2007. This funding included monies to provide new and enhanced services for people with disabilities, to implement Part 2 of the Disability Act 2005, which came into effect on June 1st 2007 for the under 5's and also for the continuation of the implementation of the transfer of persons with intellectual disability from psychiatric hospitals and other inappropriate placements.

The Government is also honouring its promise in relation to the Multi-Annual Investment Programme for people with disabilities, with a further €50m investment which was announced in the 2008 Budget.

The Deputy's specific question relates to the management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have these matters investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Finian McGrath

Question:

257 Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health and Children the position regarding a group (details supplied). [11418/08]

As part of the Multi-Annual Investment Programme 2006-2009 under the Disability Strategy, the Government provided the Health Service Executive with an additional €75m in both 2006 and 2007. This funding included monies to provide new and enhanced services for people with disabilities, to implement Part 2 of the Disability Act 2005, which came into effect on June 1st 2007 for the under 5's and also for the continuation of the implementation of the transfer of persons with intellectual disability from psychiatric hospitals and other inappropriate placements.

The Government is also honouring its promise in relation to the Multi-Annual Investment Programme for people with disabilities, with a further €50m investment which was announced in the 2008 Budget.

The Deputy's specific question relates to the management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have these matters investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Question Nos. 258 and 259 answered with Question No. 216.

Medical Cards.

Áine Brady

Question:

260 Deputy Áine Brady asked the Minister for Health and Children the guidelines in place for medical centres and general practitioners which allow or facilitate medical cards to be used with them (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11427/08]

Under the Health Act, 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) has the responsibility to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. This includes responsibility for arrangements to ensure appropriate service delivery for General Medical Services (GMS) Scheme (medical card and GP visit card) patients.

Services under the GMS Scheme are provided by general practitioners (GPs) holding contracts with the HSE. The terms of these contracts were agreed on foot of negotiations with the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO). Under the terms agreed, contracts are made available where the HSE decides, after consultation with the IMO, that there is a need for a service having regard to a range of factors, including whether the needs of the population in the area are met by the services already available. The agreement also provides that the number of persons on a GP's patient panel may not exceed 2,000, save in exceptional circumstances. Not all GPs hold GMS contracts, as they may not qualify or wish to provide services under the Scheme.

When a person qualifies for a medical card or GP visit card, he/she accesses services by choosing a GP from a list of local GPs who have been contracted to provide services under the GMS Scheme. The person will be assigned to the GP he/she has chosen from the list subject to the GP's acceptance and his/her total patient list being within the agreed limit. If a person is unsuccessful in locating a GP who is able to take on additional patients, the HSE may in certain circumstances assign an eligible patient to a medical practitioner's list.

The arrangements for the provision of publicly funded GP services, including those provided under the GMS Scheme, are under review. I regard the existing arrangements in relation to access by GPs to public contracts as unnecessarily restrictive and it is my wish that new contractual arrangements for the provision of publicly-funded GP services should ensure that HSE contracts are open to all suitably qualified and equipped doctors.

As aspects of the Deputy's question relate to the management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive, my Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have this matter addressed and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Services for People with Disabilities.

Martin Ferris

Question:

261 Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Health and Children the funding her Department has given to a group (details supplied) over the past five years on an annual basis. [11434/08]

As part of the Multi-Annual Investment Programme 2006-2009 under the Disability Strategy, the Government provided the Health Service Executive with an additional €75m in both 2006 and 2007. This funding included monies to provide new and enhanced services for people with disabilities, to implement Part 2 of the Disability Act 2005, which came into effect on June 1st 2007 for the under 5's and also for the continuation of the implementation of the transfer of persons with intellectual disability from psychiatric hospitals and other inappropriate placements.

The Government is also honouring its promise in relation to the Multi-Annual Investment Programme for people with disabilities, with a further €50m investment which was announced in the 2008 Budget.

The Deputy's specific question relates to the management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have these matters investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Health Services.

Martin Ferris

Question:

262 Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Health and Children the funding her Department has given to a group (details supplied) over the past five years on an annual basis. [11435/08]

Operational responsibility for the management and delivery of health and personal social services was assigned to the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004 and funding for all health services has been provided as part of its overall vote. The Executive, therefore, is the appropriate body to consider the particular matter raised by the Deputy. My Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have the matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Patient Statistics.

Sean Sherlock

Question:

263 Deputy Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of victims of strokes under the age of 40 between the years 2005 to date in 2008; if she has taken measures to highlight this issue; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11442/08]

The Deputy's question relates to the funding, management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have this matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Health Service Staff.

Sean Sherlock

Question:

264 Deputy Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Health and Children if her attention has been drawn to the plans by ambulance personnel to strike across the State; the measure she is putting in place to address their concerns; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11444/08]

I am aware that strike notice had been issued by SIPTU, the staff representative body for the grades of Paramedics, Advanced Paramedics, LEMT and Emergency Medical Controllers within the National Ambulance Service. Since serving this notice, I understand that a series of intensive discussions were undertaken between management and members of the relevant staff representative bodies. I am pleased to report that, as a result of these talks, an agreement was reached by both parties on Friday, 28 March 2008, and, as a result, the threat of strike action referred to by the Deputy has now been averted.

Health Services.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

265 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health and Children if her attention has been drawn to the fact that a unit (details supplied) in Dublin 8 has not received funding from the Health Service Executive since August 2007; the reason this has been the case; and when funding will be made available to this crucial service. [11446/08]

The Deputy's question relates to the management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have this matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Infection Control.

Bernard Allen

Question:

266 Deputy Bernard Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will publish a draft report produced by the Working Group of the Strategy for the Control of Anti-Microbial Resistance in Ireland National Committee which is advocating a radical check-up of building standards in hospitals here to deal with the prevalence of deadly health care associated infections. [11471/08]

I am informed by the Health Service Executive that it has recently produced a document for internal consultation on the subject of the built environment and infection control. I understand that the internal consultation process is now complete but the final guidance will not be available until late April or early May 2008.

Computerisation Programme.

Bernard Allen

Question:

267 Deputy Bernard Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will make a statement on the procedures being followed by her Department in updating the security of its computer systems and data in all its offices following the recent theft of data containing the personal details of 170,000 Irish blood donors. [11472/08]

My Department's computer systems are protected against a range of threats through the use of industry standard firewalls, security software and authentication devices and also use the government network infrastructure for external connectivity. An incident reporting system is in place to monitor amongst other things, potential security threats.

Procedures are in place requiring staff to adhere to an acceptable usage policy that outlines best practice in computer usage and security issues. As part of the 2008 business plan, a comprehensive review of these guidelines is under way. My Department has also examined data security as part the review announced by An Tánaiste in November 2007 and will be fully implementing procedures to protect the confidentiality of personal data as outlined in the review.

My Department is currently evaluating tender responses for the provision of security products, including encryption, in relation to the protection of Departmental data on portable and fixed devices and expects to go to the market in the near future for further products to enhance the security of the infrastructure.

Hospital Services.

Bernard Allen

Question:

268 Deputy Bernard Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children the rent being charged to those private hospitals which will be collocated on Health Service Executive sites on a contract basis. [11473/08]

Bernard Allen

Question:

269 Deputy Bernard Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children the rent being charged to the private operators of collocation hospitals. [11474/08]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 268 and 269 together.

The establishment of private hospitals on the grounds of public hospitals is conducted through a competitive dialogue process. As this procurement process is still ongoing with regard to some sites the information requested is commercially sensitive and cannot be disclosed at this time. There will be no rental income to the Public Hospital on the co located hospital site until the co located hospital is operational. The Health Service Executive has confirmed that the rental income to hospitals must exceed the current commercial value of the land and represent value for money.

Patient Statistics.

Bernard Allen

Question:

270 Deputy Bernard Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children the rates of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis here from 1990 to date in 2008. [11475/08]

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) monitors rates of Tuberculosis in Ireland on an on-going basis. Prior to 1998, cases of multidrug resistance to TB were not recorded.

According to data provided by the HPSC, cases of multidrug resistance to TB in Ireland between 1998 and 2007 were as shown in the following table.

Year

Cases

1998

0

1999

2

2000

2

2001

2

2002

0

2003

1

2004

2

2005

3

2006

3 (provisional)

2007

4 (provisional)

Health Service Staff.

Bernard Allen

Question:

271 Deputy Bernard Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children if she proposes to review the ongoing pharmacological training received by doctors in view of two separate studies which found that older patients were receiving inappropriate medications. [11476/08]

I am aware of the studies referred to by the Deputy and I note the concerns expressed. I view safe prescribing by doctors and the avoidance of inappropriate medication of patients as an extremely important matter and accordingly I have asked the Chief Medical Officer in my Department to bring these concerns to the attention of the relevant undergraduate and postgraduate training bodies.

Accident and Emergency Services.

Bernard Allen

Question:

272 Deputy Bernard Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will make a statement on the progress to date of the implementation of the recommendations made by the Emergency Department Task Force Report to set a date for the introduction of a maximum six hour wait time on arrival to admission or discharge. [11477/08]

The Emergency Department Task Force Report was commissioned by the Health Service Executive and published in June 2007. The Report set out a series of recommendations for action to improve service delivery and included a particular emphasis on the introduction of waiting time targets for patients attending emergency departments. The report also described a range of initiatives which would enable hospitals to comply with these targets.

Significant additional resources have been provided to address the problems which manifest in Emergency Departments. Among the developments which have taken place in line with the recommendations of the Task Force Report are

additional public and private Long Stay Beds,

additional Home Care Packages and Home Help Hours,

major capital developments in emergency departments and the provision of Acute Medical Assessment Units.

Hospital in the Home Service in the greater Dublin area.

Community Intervention Teams in Cork, Limerick and Dublin.

Rapid assessment clinics to support the catchment population of the Mater hospital.

Expansion of the GP out of hours services in North Dublin.

In terms of waiting times, a revised target of 12 hours waiting from decision to admit was introduced in October 2007. This built on an initial maximum target waiting time of 24 hours. The HSE is also committed to monitoring and reporting on the total length of time patients spend in Emergency Departments, whether they are admitted or not. A number of hospitals have commenced reporting this information and the HSE expects to be in a position to publish data on up to 18 hospitals in the next few months.

The HSE is also working closely with those hospitals which are experiencing difficulties in meeting waiting time targets. The focus is on improving and streamlining hospital processes and patient pathways to ensure that care is provided in a more timely, appropriate and efficient manner. Targeted initiatives include:

setting up consultant led Clinical Decision Units and Acute Short Stay Units with a dedicated number of beds,

integrated discharge planning implemented on a 7 day basis, including nurse facilitated discharges,

updating the bed management system and processes with a focus on improved discharge planning,

reducing inappropriate referrals from GPs to Emergency Departments,

reducing admissions with the duty medical registrar deciding on admissions,

standardising assessment processes,

enhancing diagnostic capacity.

These initiatives which I have described are designed, inter alia, to free up capacity during 2008, to allow for more timely admissions from Emergency Departments and further movement towards a lower target of 6 hours waiting from decision to admit in line with the recommendation of the Task Force report.

Irish Blood Transfusion Service.

Bernard Allen

Question:

273 Deputy Bernard Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will make a statement on the situation regarding the provision of a modern centre for the Irish Blood Transfusion Service at Cork as promised almost eight years ago. [11478/08]

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) has sought capital funding to build a new blood transfusion centre in Cork. The IBTS has carried out an assessment of the need for this centre in accordance with the Department of Finance's Guidelines for the Appraisal and Management of Capital Expenditure Proposals in the Public Sector. It has also submitted a report to me, prepared by a Focus Group, which was chaired by the Chief Executive of the IBTS.

I have met the Chairperson and some members of the Board and have informed them that I intend to bring a Memorandum to Government on the issue shortly.

Health Services.

Bernard Allen

Question:

274 Deputy Bernard Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will make a statement on recent comments by a person (details supplied) that more than 1,000 people die or acquire significant disability every year as a result of stroke because they do not get access to advanced clot busting therapy. [11479/08]

The Deputy's question relates to the funding, management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have this matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

John O'Mahony

Question:

275 Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Minister for Health and Children her plans to set up a stroke register similar to that of cardiac surgery, coronary care and cancer registries; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11482/08]

The Deputy's question relates to the funding, management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have this matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

John O'Mahony

Question:

276 Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Minister for Health and Children the progress made in implementing the recommendations made by the Council on Stroke, The Irish Heart Foundation and presented to the Government in 2000; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11483/08]

John O'Mahony

Question:

277 Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Minister for Health and Children her plans to increase the number of dedicated stroke units in hospitals here; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11484/08]

John O'Mahony

Question:

278 Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Minister for Health and Children her plans to develop a dedicated structured service for stroke patients in the community; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11485/08]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 276 to 278, inclusive, together.

In September last year Minister Harney established a Cardiovascular Health Policy Group to draw up a new policy framework for the development of all aspects of cardiovascular health, including stroke. The Group is scheduled to report in May 2008. The work of the Group will, inter alia, be informed by the report of the Irish Heart Foundation's Council on Stroke and a national audit of stroke services carried out by the Irish Heart Foundation with funding from my Department. The results of this audit will be published shortly.

Current service availability and plans for development of stroke services are matters which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. Accordingly, my Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have these matters investigated and to have replies issued directly to the Deputies.

Health Service Allowances.

James Bannon

Question:

279 Deputy James Bannon asked the Minister for Health and Children if Health Service Executive managers receive an annual bonus for treating more patients in a given year than the previous one; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11490/08]

A number of senior administrative personnel in The Health Service Executive are eligible for an annual Performance-related Award under a Scheme recommended by The Review Body on Higher Remuneration.

The Board of The HSE is responsible for the operation of the Scheme which is based on the setting of individual sets of stretch objectives on an annual basis linked to key result areas and performance review. Stretch objectives are specific to the individual post holder, focused and measurable. They go beyond the normal requirement of the job and are consistent with the overall HSE Corporate Plan and annual Service Plan.

The detail of an individual HSE manager's annual stretch objectives is a matter for the HSE and I have forwarded your inquiry to the HSE for direct reply.

Health Service Staff.

James Bannon

Question:

280 Deputy James Bannon asked the Minister for Health and Children if the sanctioned posts for therapists have been abolished in response to her Department’s circular of 8 January 2008, which indicates that vacant posts are not to be filled unless another post is abolished; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11491/08]

I wish to advise the Deputy that the circular to which he is referring is the Health Service Executive Circular 01/2008. This circular sets out the HSE Employment Control Framework for 2008 and is aimed at ensuring that health services are delivered in accordance with the provisions of the 2008 National Service Plan and within the funding provided by Government.

The Employment Control Framework provides for the filling of vacancies arising in 2008, the filling of approved and funded service development posts not filled at the end of 2007 and new service developments in 2008.

James Bannon

Question:

281 Deputy James Bannon asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of sanctioned posts, analysed by job title and grade, that have been abolished since September 2007 when the recruitment freeze was introduced; the reason these posts have been abolished in view of the long waiting list to see those medical professionals; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11492/08]

Almost 130,000 people work full-time or part-time in our public health services. In recent years, the Government's ongoing high level of investment in health has achieved and maintained significant increases in the numbers of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals employed in the public health services. The Government has also invested heavily in the education and training of such personnel in order to secure a good supply of graduates to provide for the healthcare needs of the population into the future.

Subject to overall parameters set by Government, the Health Service Executive has the responsibility for determining the composition of its staffing complement. In that regard, it is a matter for the Executive to manage and deploy its human resources to best meet the requirements of its Annual Service Plan for the delivery of health and personal social services to the public. The Executive is the appropriate body to consider the matter raised by the Deputy. My Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to have the matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

Cancer Screening Programme.

Niall Collins

Question:

282 Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Health and Children the position regarding the roll-out of BreastCheck in the mid west region; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11493/08]

BreastCheck commenced roll-out in the Western Region last May and in the Southern region last October. I officially opened the BreastCheck clinical static units in Galway and Cork last December. The expansion of the BreastCheck programme to the Southern region covers counties Limerick, Kerry, Cork, Waterford and Tipperary South Riding. The expansion of the BreastCheck programme to the West covers counties Clare, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo and Tipperary North Riding. The screening sequence for roll out to individual counties will be dictated by BreastCheck's operational considerations such as maximising uptake, most efficient use of mobile and static units and radiographic personnel. The programme is designed to offer repeat screening within an interval of 21-27 months.

An additional €26.7 million capital funding was provided for the construction of the two new clinical static units, eight additional mobile units and the provision of state of the art digital equipment. A total of €15 million additional revenue funding has been allocated to cater for national roll-out of the programme. The full complement of 111 staff for roll-out has been approved and recruitment is under way.

Health Services.

Brian Hayes

Question:

283 Deputy Brian Hayes asked the Minister for Health and Children the average waiting times in the Health Service Executive health centres throughout Dublin for speech and language services for children, in each year over the past five years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11498/08]