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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 3 May 2012

Vol. 764 No. 2

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 9, inclusive, answered orally.

Shared Ownership Scheme

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

10 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the degree to which the shared ownership mortgage scheme is continuing to develop with particular reference to the degree to which those who obtain such mortgages are penalised by way of increased value of rental part of the equity thereby resulting in a situation wherein people who were deemed eligible for such loans on the basis of their income have been penalised on the grounds of annual rental increase plus mortgage increase plus notice to the effect that purchase of the remaining equity must be effected within the term of the original loan; if his attention has been drawn to the concern and hardship now being caused in such cases; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22166/12]

Under the Shared Ownership scheme the rent charged on the local authority's equity in a shared ownership transaction is to cover the funding costs to the Housing Finance Agency which are based on borrowings at the prevailing interest rates. Any difference between the rent and prevailing interest rate is reflected in the capital outstanding on the property, i.e. if the rent charged in any period is greater than the prevailing mortgage interest due on the local authority's share the purchase price of the outstanding equity will be reduced accordingly.

Local authority mortgage holders — including those who purchased under shared ownership — also benefit from extremely keenly priced interest rates which generally run at around 0.5% lower than the best rates available in the market and currently stand at around 1.5% below average variable rates available in the market. This is a very substantial differential. To take account of the current housing market conditions, the Government's housing policy statement, published in June 2011, announced the standing down of all affordable housing schemes, including the shared ownership scheme, in the context of a full review of Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000. Any future changes to legislation governing affordable housing schemes, including shared ownership, will be informed by that review which will shortly commence.

Local Authority Housing

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

11 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the extent to which he is continuing to encourage the local authorities to return to the concept of providing a reasonable number of local authority houses in each local authority area throughout the country thereby reducing the extent of reliance on rent support as a means of augmenting the local authority housing programme; if particular attention can be paid to the total number of persons currently on local authority housing waiting lists; the annual recurring cost of rent support and the obvious benefit to the Exchequer of reducing such a liability in the traditional manner by providing local authority houses for rent and or purchase; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22167/12]

The Government's housing policy statement, published in June 2011, clearly identifies that the priority for Government will be to meet the most acute needs of households applying for social housing support. I am determined to ensure that the social housing programme is framed in a manner which optimises the delivery of social housing and the return for the resources invested. To achieve this it is essential that we tailor the use of available Exchequer supports to prevailing conditions and explore the full range of solutions to address housing needs.

The social housing capital budget has been reduced from €1.535 billion in 2008 to just over €333.7m this year. The financial parameters within which we will be operating for the coming years rule out a return to large capital funded construction programmes. Nevertheless, the Government is committed to responding more quickly and on a larger scale to social housing support needs through a variety of mechanisms, including through increased provision of social housing.

Delivery of social housing will be significantly facilitated through more flexible funding models such as the Rental Accommodation Scheme and leasing, but the Government is also committed to developing other funding mechanisms that will increase the supply of permanent new social housing. Such mechanisms will include options to purchase, build to lease and the sourcing of loan finance by approved housing bodies for construction and acquisition. There is also obvious potential, across a range of housing programmes, for the Government's objective of sourcing and providing suitable residential units for use as social housing to be aligned with the commercial objectives of the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA).

Water Services

Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Question:

12 Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide a detailed breakdown and timeframe for the cost of running Irish Water. [22119/12]

Willie O'Dea

Question:

15 Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the other State agencies that were reviewed in the independent internal assessment of agencies to take over Irish Water; the agencies that were requested to make and that made submissions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22085/12]

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

18 Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide a detailed cost for the establishment of Irish Water. [22123/12]

Niall Collins

Question:

57 Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will outline the role of NewERA in Irish Water; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21907/12]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 12, 15, 18 and 57 together.

The Programme for Government includes a proposal to establish Irish Water, a State-owned water company that will take over the water investment and maintenance programmes of the 34 city and county councils who act as water services authorities. The Programme of Financial Support for Ireland with the EU/IMF/ECB also requires the preparation of proposals for implementation of the recommendations of an independent assessment of the transfer of responsibility for water service provision to a water utility and that water charges would be introduced.

The Government decided in December 2011, based on the recommendations of the independent assessment undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers, to establish a public water utility company to take over the operational and capital delivery functions of local authorities in the water services area. The Government also decided that certain issues raised in the independent assessment in regard to whether Irish Water should be established as a new State Agency or whether the role of Irish Water should be assigned to an existing State Agency should be analysed further with a view to ensuring that existing resources and capabilities in the State sector were used to best effect. This approach is also in line with Government plans to support economic growth by eliminating waste and duplication in public spending through rationalising state agencies.

The further analysis was undertaken by a team comprising my Department and NewERA, in consultation with the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. The process involved an assessment of the capacity and capabilities of a number of State agencies from amongst those identified in the independent assessment as having the potential to incorporate a new water utility. It was not a tendering process culminating in the award of a contract. The process involved the making of detailed submissions and presentations by Bord na Móna and Bord Gáis Éireann based on identified capabilities required for the establishment and operation of Irish Water. The outcome of this analysis is that Irish Water should be established as an independent state owned company within the Bord Gáis Group. This was agreed by Government at its meeting on 17 April 2012. Irish Water will be a public utility, wholly owned by the State, with water services remaining in public ownership.

The initial transition strategy for the establishment of Irish Water as a public utility, as recommended in the independent assessment, envisages a staged approach involving local authorities acting as agents of Irish Water for a period with Irish Water taking over their operations on a phased basis from January 2015, and the full transfer of operations being completed by end 2017, at the earliest. A more detailed implementation strategy for Irish Water is now being developed to give further effect to the Government decision of 17 April. NewERA are participating in the steering group to develop this strategy.

A detailed breakdown for the cost of establishing and running Irish Water is not at present available. The Government has also decided that the Commission for Energy Regulation will be responsible for the independent regulation of Irish Water and that the Commission will be responsible for determining the cost of water services to the consumer. The finalisation of the implementation strategy will focus on implementation and transformation issues involved in the creation of the new public water utility and will recommend appropriate transitional arrangements. The strategy will also focus on maintaining the delivery of a critical public service during and following a restructuring process, and will give further clarity on the next steps that will be taken in this reform process.

Ministerial Appointments

Pearse Doherty

Question:

13 Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will explain the appointment of two special advisers to the Minister of State with responsibility for housing; and the roles they will be fulfilling. [22176/12]

In accordance with Section 11 of the Public Service Management Act 1997, and in line with the Instructions on Ministerial Appointments for the 31st Dáil, Ministers of State who regularly attend Cabinet are permitted to appoint two Special Advisers. In this regard, I have appointed Mr. Aidan Culhane as a Special Adviser and I am currently arranging for the appointment of a second Special Adviser.

In addition to my cabinet role, I have delegated responsibility for the substantial policies and programmes associated with the housing and physical planning functions of the Department, including implementation of the Government's Housing Policy Framework. Special Advisers assigned to me are required to perform any duties, which are assigned to them from time to time as appropriate to the position of Special Adviser as set out in Section 11 of the Public Service Management Act 1997. Their primary functions include the provision of advice and the monitoring, facilitation and provision of assistance in securing Government objectives that relate to the Department. They also assist in keeping me informed and advising me on a wide range of Government business, financial, political and media matters. Special Advisers are appointed to temporary, unestablished positions in the Civil Service and their term of office ceases on the date of expiration of my assignment as Minister of State to the Department.

Building Regulations

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

14 Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government when he was last briefed by Dublin City Council senior management in terms of all outstanding issues for Priory Hall residents. Dublin, including on the proposed resolution process chaired by retired Supreme Court Judge Joseph Finnegan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22186/12]

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

49 Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide a full update on his actions to urgently and fully resolve all outstanding legal, financial and housing for Priory Hall residents, Dublin; if he has been briefed on the proposed resolution process chaired by retired Supreme Court Judge Joseph Finnegan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22185/12]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 14 and 49 together.

I and my Department are being kept informed by Dublin City Council of developments with regard to the resolution of issues at Priory Hall. At my request, the Department has assisted the Council, in consultation with NAMA, in securing alternative temporary accommodation for many of the residents. My Department has made a contribution towards the costs necessarily incurred by Dublin City Council, in the context of a judgment of the High Court, in providing temporary accommodation for households evacuated from Priory Hall. Dublin City Council is the designated authority with powers to enforce the statutory requirements arising under the Fire Safety Act, the Building Control Acts and the Planning and Development Acts, all of which are at issue in relation to Priory Hall. The Council is also the designated Housing Authority under the Housing Acts.

My own responsibility as Minister is to ensure that appropriate statutory requirements, technical standards and administrative provisions are put in place under the various acts. This responsibility has been fulfilled and is not in dispute. While I sympathise with the residents who have been placed in a very difficult position, and wish to see their difficulties resolved as quickly as possible, I have no role in relation to enforcement activity or in relation to the direct provision of housing services. The appropriate statutory powers in this case rest with Dublin City Council and neither I nor the Department has a statutory function in relation to enforcement activity or in determining the provision of services in individual cases. It is important that I as Minister act appropriately and within the powers given to me, particularly in a case such as this which is already the subject of legal proceedings.

The recent adjournment of those legal proceedings for a period of three months to allow for a conciliation process chaired by Justice Finnegan provides an appropriate context for the parties concerned to work together towards identifying a way forward in relation to this complex problem. I would strongly encourage the financial institutions, the residents of Priory Hall and Dublin City Council to engage fully with this new process to give it every chance to succeed. It is important that all concerned now afford Mr. Justice Finnegan the opportunity to complete the task which he has been given. Dublin City Council has made commendable efforts to provide for the needs of residents to date and continues to work proactively on their behalf towards achieving the much needed resolution of the issues at Priory Hall.

Question No. 15 answered with Question No. 12.
Question No. 16 answered with Question No. 8.
Question No. 17 answered with Question No. 6.
Question No. 18 answered with Question No. 12.

Household Charge

Dessie Ellis

Question:

19 Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his plans to refund the household charge to residents of Priory Hall, Belmayne and pyrite contaminated housing who paid the charge and exempt them and residents of these houses who have not paid the charge but are liable. [22171/12]

As part of the process of preparing the National Housing Development Survey 2011, published by my Department in October 2011, local authorities provided details of all unfinished housing developments in their areas. Unfinished housing developments were divided into four categories as follows:

Category one, where the development is still being actively completed by the developer, or where no serious public safety issues exist;

Category two, where a receiver has been appointed;

Category three, where a receiver has not been appointed and the developer is still in place but effectively inactive; and

Category four, where the development has been effectively abandoned and is posing serious problems for residents.

Households in developments in categories three and four are eligible for the waiver from payment of the household charge. This list of developments in which households are eligible for the waiver in 2012 is set out under the Local Government (Household Charge) Regulations 2012. Priory Hall is included on the list of those estates within which residents qualify for a waiver in 2012. Any residents who may have inadvertently paid the Annual Household Charge can apply for a refund at www.householdcharge.ie.

The independent Pyrite Panel is due to submit its report to me in the near future. On receipt of the report I will give careful consideration to the content of the report and any recommendations it may contain in relation to the position of home owners whose homes are affected by pyrite. The identification of dwellings affected by pyrite is complex, and this issue can only be given full consideration following receipt of the Panel's report.

Question No. 20 answered with Question No. 6.
Question No. 21 answered with Question No. 8.

Local Authority Housing

Martin Ferris

Question:

22 Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his plans to deal with the need for improved insulation in local authority housing which are too old to be insulated up to current required standards using the current preferred methods. [22178/12]

In line with overall national policy which promotes a reduction in energy use, the enhancement of energy efficiency standards remains a priority within my Department's overall strategy for the improvement of local authority housing. Under the Department's Social Housing Investment Programme, local authorities are allocated capital funding each year in respect of a range of measures to improve the standard and overall quality of their social housing stock. The programme includes a retrofitting measure aimed at improving the energy efficiency of older apartments and houses by reducing heat loss through the fabric of the building and the installation of high-efficiency condensing boilers.

My Department provides a grant of up to €15,000 per dwelling, depending on the energy improvement achieved, for necessary works such as attic and wall insulation, the replacement of windows and external doors and the fitting of energy-efficient condensing boilers. Additional funding, to a maximum of €3,000, is available for other essential improvement works to the dwelling. While the objective is to improve the general standard of a local authority house and increase the Building Energy Rating (BER) to as high a level as possible, with C1 being the target figure, it may not be practicable to bring every dwelling to this standard, especially in the case of older stock. Exchequer grants are not payable in respect of the achievement of G or F ratings.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

23 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will clarify to local authorities the incomes which are treated as exempt when assessing housing need and to ensure that all forms of carer’s allowance and domiciliary care allowance regardless of method or route of payment are exempt and treated as such by the local authorities. [22182/12]

Household income is calculated in accordance with the Household Means Policy, issued in March 2011 under Regulation 17 of the Social Housing Assessment Regulations 2011. The Household Means Policy specifies that income from the carer's allowance and domiciliary care allowance is to be disregarded for the purposes of assessing income when assessing eligibility for social housing support. My Department will arrange for the issue of further guidance in this regard to ensure consistency of understanding and application across housing authorities.

Question No. 24 answered with Question No. 8.

Michael Colreavy

Question:

25 Deputy Michael Colreavy asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the provisions made as part of the national rent scheme to be implemented with the commencement of Section 31 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009. [22177/12]

Section 31 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009, when commenced, will replace existing enactments in relation to differential rent schemes. Regulations and guidelines for housing authorities to give effect to section 31 are currently in preparation in my Department. When these are made, section 31 will be commenced and authorities will have one year in which to put in place a differential rent scheme under the new provisions. While it is not the intention to introduce a national standardised differential rent scheme, the regulations to be made will more clearly set out the matters that may be included in a local rents scheme, including—

the level, type and sources of household income that may be assessed for rent purposes;

how dependents will be accounted for in calculating rent;

the manner in which the size, standard, etc., of any class or classes of dwellings are to be taken into account in determining rent, having regard to the market rent in respect of dwellings of similar size, standard, etc., in the administrative area concerned; and

procedures for rent reviews.

Waste Management

Pearse Doherty

Question:

26 Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide an update on the regulatory impact analysis of domestic waste collection; and when he will be in a position to submit final proposals in regulation of this industry to Government. [22127/12]

The Programme for Government contains a commitment to introduce competitive tendering for household waste collection, under which service providers would bid to provide waste collection services in a given area, for a given period of time and to a guaranteed level of service, a system otherwise known as ‘franchise-bidding.’ A public consultation designed to inform the policy development process concluded in September 2011. A large number of responses were received from a broad spectrum of interests. A consensus is not apparent and, on almost all of the relevant issues, a considerable breadth of opinion was expressed. All of the responses received, in addition to a summary document, are available on my Department’s website, www.environ.ie.

My Department is currently finalising a regulatory impact analysis to examine the costs, benefits and other impacts of options for change, and to inform how best to regulate the household waste collection market. The analysis has been informed by the outcomes of the public consultation process and by information subsequently provided by consultees, including relevant economic information. I intend to publish the regulatory impact analysis concerning the regulation of household waste collection subsequent to Government's consideration of the issues.

Household waste collection is a service of critical importance to every household in the country. My intention is to ensure that household waste collection is regulated so that, as a society, our collective welfare is maximised. I wish to see competitive, high quality, and efficient services provided to households in all areas of the country, and I wish to see the best possible environmental outcomes achieved. I expect to be in a position to finalise proposals for Government in relation to household waste collection in the coming weeks. All policy proposals, including franchise-bidding, will be carefully considered by Government and will take account of the full range of issues and perspectives, including our obligations under the Landfill Directive and the Waste Framework Directive, the impact on consumers and the industry of potential changes to market structures, competition issues and the matter of waivers for low income households.

Social and Affordable Housing

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

27 Deputy Jonathan O’Brien asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his plans to develop a strategy for dealing with almost 100,000 persons currently on the waiting lists for social housing. [22179/12]

The Government's housing policy statement, published in June 2011, clearly identifies that the priority for Government will be to meet the most acute needs of households applying for social housing support. I am determined to ensure that the social housing programme is framed in a manner which optimises the delivery of social housing and the return for the resources invested. To achieve this it is essential that we tailor the use of available Exchequer supports to prevailing conditions and explore the full range of solutions to address housing needs.

The social housing capital budget has reduced from €1.535 billion in 2008 to just over €333.7m this year, and the financial parameters within which we will be operating for the coming years rule out a return to large capital funded construction programmes. Nevertheless, the Government is committed to responding more quickly and on a larger scale to social housing support needs through a variety of mechanisms, including through increased provision of social housing.

Delivery of social housing will be significantly facilitated through more flexible funding models such as the Rental Accommodation Scheme and leasing, but the Government is also committed to developing other funding mechanisms that will increase the supply of permanent new social housing. Such mechanisms will include options to purchase, build to lease and the sourcing of loan finance by approved housing bodies for construction and acquisition. There is also obvious potential, across a range of housing programmes, for the Government's objective of sourcing and providing suitable residential units for use as social housing to be aligned with the commercial objectives of the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA).

Household Charge

Sean Fleming

Question:

28 Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will outline the ongoing communication campaign in relation to payment of the household charge; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22094/12]

The Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) is administering the household charge system on a shared service/agency basis for all county and city councils. The communication and advertising campaign is a matter for the LGMA and the county and city councils.

Following the 31 March payment deadline, national and local radio advertisements were undertaken to remind persons of their obligations under the household charge legislation. In particular, this campaign was aimed at reminding householders that late payment penalties applied after 31 March and that unpaid household charges and late payment penalties remain as a charge against the property concerned and will have to be discharged in the event of the transfer or sale of the property. In addition, local authorities are also taking other local initiatives to remind persons of their obligations under the legislation. Further local and national communications and advertising will be undertaken by the LGMA and local authorities as considered appropriate.

Property Tax

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

29 Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the steps he has taken in relation to the establishment of a property tax; the proposed type of tax involved; the timeline for its implementation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22113/12]

Micheál Martin

Question:

58 Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his views on the recent ESRI report on the way property charges should be applied; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21421/12]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 29 and 58 together.

An independently chaired Inter-Departmental expert Group has been established to consider the structures and modalities for an equitable valuation based property tax. The Economic and Social Research Institute has been engaged to assist the Group in its deliberations. The Group will complete its work and make recommendations to me shortly. Following consideration of the Group's recommendations, I will bring proposals to Government on the full property tax as soon as possible. It will then be a matter for the Government to decide on the structure and modalities of the full property tax.

Strategy on Homelessness

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

30 Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will commit to a target of providing 1,600 housing units for homeless persons this year and next year to help end long-term homelessness by the end of 2013; and his plans to achieve this target. [22174/12]

While the target set in the National Homeless Strategy 2008-2013, A Way Home, of ending long term homelessness was not met, progress in achieving this challenging ambition is a principal objective of national housing policy. Statutory responsibility in relation to the provision of accommodation and related services for homeless persons rests with the housing authorities. In this context a more devolved allocation-based system for the provision of accommodation-related funding to housing authorities is being put in place and will result in increased decision making at local level, in lieu of the existing individual project based arrangements. It strives to improve overall efficiency and value for money and will provide a more planned approach to the delivery locally and regionally of homeless services. The system has been put in place in the Dublin region since 1 January 2012 and it is to be extended nationally to the other regions by the end of 2012.

There is no single solution to increasing the level of social housing supply for the homeless, and maximising delivery will require flexible and diverse approaches. The initial emphasis in the Dublin region, where there is a greater concentration of those accessing homelessness services, will be on moving away from the current over reliance on emergency accommodation provision to a more permanent accommodation solution to be achieved through a number of measures including:

directly linking the provision of funding with specific targets and outcomes;

making better use of the existing available accommodation units in the local authorities and in the voluntary sector;

additional social housing provision through acquisitions and remedial works/upgrading of vacant local authority housing stock and a leasing programme;

ongoing engagement with NAMA to secure properties;

targeted use of the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS);

an enhanced role for the private rental sector; and

better co-ordination with the voluntary and cooperative housing sector.

The Programme for Government committed to reviewing the national homeless strategy and to implementing a housing led approach to homelessness. The draft of the review is being considered by my Department and it is intended shortly to present it to the Cross Departmental Team on Homelessness and the Homeless Consultative Committee for consultation. The review will take account of demands on existing housing and will assess how best to continue providing services in a manner consistent with the elimination of existing homelessness and to ensure more effective prevention strategies. On its conclusion, I will be indicating what I expect from housing authorities and other stakeholders in accelerating progress towards realising the ambition of eliminating involuntary long-term homelessness.

Question No. 31 answered with Question No. 8.

Household Charge

Billy Kelleher

Question:

32 Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of persons who have paid the household charge to date; his plans, if any, to compensate the local government fund for the shortfall in projected revenue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22097/12]

Dessie Ellis

Question:

34 Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of households that have paid the household charge; the number of these that are entitled to waivers; and the action he will take to meet the shortfall in the funding of local authorities. [22128/12]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 32 and 34 together.

The Local Government (Household Charge) Act 2011 provides the legislative basis for the household charge. Under the Act, an owner of a residential property on the liability date of 1 January 2012 is liable to pay the household charge, unless otherwise exempted or entitled to claim a waiver. The household charge is on a self-assessment basis and it is a matter for an owner of a residential property on the liability date to determine if he/she has a liability and, if so, to declare that liability and pay the household charge.

The Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) is administering the household charge system on a shared service/agency basis for all county and city councils. I understand, from data provided by the LGMA, that as of 30 April, 2012, a total of 931,446 declarations have been received for the household charge. 15,336 declarations have been received where a waiver from payment of the household charge has been claimed. I will be keeping the income being generated from the household charge under constant review and I and local authorities will take any necessary measures, as appropriate, in regard to compliance with the legislation.

National Drugs Strategy

Brian Stanley

Question:

33 Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide an update on the progress made in accessing funding for an organisation (details supplied). [22116/12]

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

47 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide an update on the funding situation of the three mainstream development workers funded under social inclusion in the canals area of Dublin. [22115/12]

Seán Crowe

Question:

53 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will reconsider his decision to withdraw his Department’s representative from the drug advisory group. [22118/12]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 33, 47 and 53 together.

As part of the Government's Comprehensive Review of Expenditure and the 2012 estimates process, difficult decisions had to be taken in relation to prioritising funding for core services in all programme areas. The funding estimate to support the mainstreamed drugs projects under my Department's Housing programme for 2012 was €100,000, compared with €400,000 in 2011. In view of this, my Department informed the relevant local authority that it would not be possible to continue funding the projects concerned throughout 2012. Pro rata funding will be provided to fund the projects concerned until end June 2012 in order to allow the projects and other bodies to explore alternative funding mechanisms and identify resources to deliver on the overall objectives of the projects beyond end June 2012.

More broadly, and in the context of a public funding provision of €260 million for drugs programmes across all Departments and agencies in 2011, my colleague, the Minister of State with responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy, is currently undertaking a review of the structures that underpin the National Drugs Strategy at local, regional and national level, including how the current funding structures can be improved or streamlined, particularly in relation to local and regional drugs task forces. The outcomes of this review are expected shortly and will clarify, inter alia, the position on the most appropriate funding mechanisms for community based drugs projects.

In relation to my Department's representation on the Drugs Advisory Group, this matter is being kept under review in the context of overall Departmental resources and priorities. In the meantime, my Department continues to facilitate full engagement with the Department of Health in relation to any relevant issues arising under the National Drugs Strategy.

Question No. 34 answered with Question No. 32.

Private Rented Accommodation

Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Question:

35 Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the planned reforms in the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Bill; and if a provision for a deposit retention scheme is being considered. [22175/12]

The Residential Tenancies Act 2004 regulates the tenant-landlord relationship in the private rented residential sector. My Department conducted a review of the Act in 2009 with a specific emphasis on whether the Act best supports the PRTB's key functions and on whether legislative amendments would support either the achievement of additional operational efficiencies by the PRTB in the delivery of those functions or the broader good working of the private rented sector. The drafting of the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Bill was approved by Government in July 2011 and the Bill is currently in preparation by the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel in collaboration with my Department.

Among the main issues that will be addressed by the amending legislation are—

a statutory objective of 6 months to be set for the issuing of determination orders arising out of dispute resolution applications;

the Board of the PRTB to be reduced from 15 to 12 members;

measures to address non-payment of rent by tenants during a dispute process, in particular to introduce scope for the legal termination of such a tenancy;

the separation of the governance and quasi-judicial functions of the Board;

the inclusion within the remit of the Residential Tenancies Act of segments of the voluntary and co-operative housing sector that most closely parallel its current remit.

The Programme for Government 2011 also commits to the introduction of a deposit protection scheme and it is important that action in this regard is taken in the context of a strong evidence base. I have therefore asked the PRTB to commission cost benefit analysis-based research on such a scheme and to report back to me with recommendations. I understand that the PRTB has recently awarded the tender for this research and I expect that the Board will revert to me with detailed research and recommendations in the autumn.

Building Regulations

Clare Daly

Question:

36 Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government in view of the reported failure to comply with building regulations on fire safety in apartment buildings at Priory Hall and Belmayne, Dublin, if his attention has been drawn to similar non-compliance in other apartment buildings; and the action he will take to ensure fire safety in these buildings. [22168/12]

Local authorities have extensive powers of inspection and enforcement under current legislation and have used such powers on a number of occasions including the high profile case at Priory Hall. Concerns in relation to a number of developments are already in the public domain, and I have urged local authorities to continue to use all of the powers currently available to them to address issues of building standards compliance, including in relation to fire safety.

Social and Affordable Housing

Seán Crowe

Question:

37 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the rent scales and terms which he plans to be part of lease agreements with the National Asset Management Agency developers’ properties being used for social housing. [22172/12]

The units being advanced through NAMA will in general be provided through the Social Housing Leasing Initiative under the standard terms and conditions that apply. It is not possible at this stage to estimate the cost of leasing these properties. Lease costs are determined by negotiation using a standard discounted market price which may vary to reflect the circumstances of a particular case and the terms of the contractual agreement. I can say that the current average annual cost of units leased from the private or voluntary sector under the leasing scheme generally is approximately €7,400.

Appointments to State Boards

Mick Wallace

Question:

38 Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government in view of the report published on 25 April last by the Institute of Directors in Ireland which found that insufficient consideration is being given to the skills required when appointments are made to State boards, if he will outline the criteria and process by which new members, including the new chairperson, were selected and appointed to An Bord Pleanála in view of the fact that there is only one architect sitting on the appeals board and no member holds a professional qualification in conservation or urban design; if any of these new members were direct appointments made by him under section 106(1)(e) of the Planning and Development Act 2000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22161/12]

Mick Wallace

Question:

52 Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his views on the report by the Institute of Directors published on 25 April last which stated that a majority of its directors do not believe that the process of appointments to State boards is fair and transparent; if he will state whether the most recent appointments, including the new Chairperson, to An Bord Pleanála were made under section 106(1) or section 106(7) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 and if he will specify the criteria used in both the nomination and the appointment process; if he will name the organisations which participated in the nomination process if new members were appointed under section 106(1); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22162/12]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 38 and 52 together.

The Planning and Development Acts 2000-11 provide that the Board comprises a Chairperson and up to 9 ordinary members. The processes for the appointment of the Chair and ordinary Board Members are clearly and transparently set out under sections 105-107 of the Act and associated regulations.

In relation to the position of Chairperson, the appointment is made by Government from candidates selected by an independent statutory selection committee. The composition of this committee is set out under section 105 of the Act and, where a vacancy arises, the committee is required to select a maximum of three suitable candidates from among those who compete in a publicly advertised open competition. The selection committee established in accordance with the Act includes:

the President of the High Court

the Chairperson of An Taisce

the Cathaoirleach of the General Council of County Councils

the President of the Executive Council of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

Dr. Mary Kelly was appointed in May 2011 on foot of this process.

The appointment process for ordinary Board Members, set out under section 106 of the Act, provides that appointments are made by the Minister from nominees put forward by four representative panels of nominating bodies prescribed for this purpose. The organisations which make up these nominating panels are set out in Article 64 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 as amended. These bodies represent a wide range of interests so that potential appointees are drawn from a balanced group of people, with diverse backgrounds, who can reach a balanced view on the issues with which the Board is concerned. Each body in each panel was invited to nominate two candidates for consideration for appointment to the Board.

Arising from four recent appointments made by Minister Hogan, the Board will shortly comprise eight members including the Chair. In making these appointments cognisance was taken of the balance of skill sets and expertise required by Board members for the effective discharge of An Bord Pleanála's complex and wide ranging functions, as well as the balance of skill sets and qualifications held by existing Board members. None of the recent appointments was made under section 106(1)(e). I am satisfied that the current nomination and appointment process is fair and transparent.

Private Rented Accommodation

Sandra McLellan

Question:

39 Deputy Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will give details of his plans for reform of the rent supplement scheme when it comes under his Department’s control and any minimum standards he hopes to introduce. [22181/12]

The Government recently announced its decision in principle to support proposals to transfer responsibility for households in receipt of rent supplement, but with an established long-term social housing need, from the Department of Social Protection to the housing authorities. Housing authorities will provide this service using a new Housing Assistance Payment (HAP). This joint proposal, between the two Departments, reflects a commitment in the Programme for Government to review the operation of the rent supplement scheme due to concerns over the evolution of rent supplement from a short-term income support into a long-term housing support. It was also one of the key reforms announced in my Department's Housing Policy Statement in June 2011.

The detail of the proposed transfer and any standards or criteria to be introduced are in the process of being developed and agreed through an established Steering Group, chaired by my Department, and a number of specific working groups. It is hoped, however, that the proposals will deliver a number of benefits for householders, the State and housing authorities, including:

enabling job take-up by tenants who have been caught by poverty traps until now;

allowing local authorities more flexibility in assisting those in need of social housing support;

providing greater security of tenure for tenants, greater stability in the private rented market and contributing towards the creation of a higher quality, private rented sector through improved standards;

providing a more integrated and streamlined service for households seeking support from the State to meet housing costs;

delivering value for money for the taxpayer for the resources invested.

The proposed reform of the rent supplement scheme constitutes a major development in the provision of housing services and will require careful planning and consultation with interested parties. I hope to be in a position to announce further details of the new arrangements later in the year.

Foreshore Licences

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

40 Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide an update on his deliberations on a foreshore application in respect of a company (details supplied); and if at this stage he will consider a public inquiry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22163/12]

The application from Providence Resources for a foreshore licence in respect of site investigations and the drilling of an exploratory well off Dalkey is currently being assessed by the Marine Licence Vetting Committee. I will consider the recommendation of the Marine Licence Vetting Committee and my Department in due course in making a determination on the licence application. As indicated in reply to previous Questions on this matter, I do not consider that a public inquiry is warranted. Without prejudging my eventual determination of the current application, it is important to recognise that should the project progress to commercial exploitation it would be the subject of further formal applications for consents from the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, in the first instance, and then An Bord Pleanála under the Planning Acts, and a full lease or licence under the Foreshore Acts, all of which will require an Environmental Impact Assessment, including full public consultation and, where appropriate, oral hearing.

Private Rented Accommodation

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

41 Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his plans to ensure that rents being paid as part of the rental accommodation scheme are more regularly revised down to reflect market trends. [22180/12]

One of the main features of the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) is that local authorities, in sourcing accommodation for households, enter into contractual arrangements with private sector landlords to secure medium to long-term availability of rented accommodation. The level of rents payable under RAS is determined by negotiations between the landlord and the local authority, taking account of rent supplement levels and local market conditions. In negotiating with landlords to bring properties into RAS, local authorities obtain reductions on existing rents where possible. Guidance which has issued by my Department advises that a discount of at least eight per cent below market rent is recommended.

As part of their negotiation process, local authorities may agree, at their discretion, periodic rent reviews with landlords in line with the prevailing market conditions at the time. My Department has issued guidance to authorities advising them to ensure that rent reviews are undertaken where provided for and also advising authorities of the need to obtain value for money and have regard to local market conditions when entering into new agreements. The achievement of value for money is the primary focus of authorities when negotiating costs and other associated terms and conditions provided for in agreements under the Scheme. Information in relation to the value of savings made resulting from negotiated contracts entered into by individual local authorities is not available in my Department. A Value for Money and Policy Review has been carried out on the RAS which provides general information on discounts achieved based on a sample of local authorities. This study will be available shortly.

Building Regulations

Denis Naughten

Question:

42 Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his plans to revise building regulations to regulate the retro fitting of septic tanks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22188/12]

The design and installation of wastewater treatment systems for single houses is addressed in the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Code of Practice in respect of Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems Serving Single Houses (2009). On foot of a comprehensive review and public consultation, Part H (Drainage and Wastewater Disposal) of the Building Regulations and its accompanying Technical Guidance Document H (TGD H 2010) were amended in the latter half of 2010 to reflect the relevant parts of the EPA's Code of Practice.

The Technical Guidance Document H (TGD H 2010) further stipulates that the design and commissioning of wastewater treatment systems should be carried out and/or supervised by a suitably qualified person and that the owner of the building should be provided with sufficient, clear and comprehensive information on any continuing maintenance required to facilitate the effective operation of the system in order to protect human health and the environment. The Building Regulations normally apply to new dwellings and existing dwellings where a material change is being carried out. Where a service is being replaced, the requirements of the Building Regulations specific to the replacement apply. Repair or renewals works do not normally come within the scope of the Building Regulations.

In relation to the use of septic tanks in particular, TGD H 2010 states that "Septic Tanks must conform to I.S. EN 12566 Part 1 or 4 including their national annexes and comply with the EPA Code of Practice — Section 7." The national annexes were recently completed and published by the National Standards Authority of Ireland, in consultation with my Department and others. They set out clearly the performance required by septic tanks when used in Ireland, and tested in accordance with I.S. EN 12566 Parts 1 or 4. Given that the current regulations and related guidance already set out clearly the requirements in respect of septic tanks, I have no plans to further amend Part H of the Building Regulations.

Question No. 43 answered with Question No. 8.
Question No. 44 answered with Question No. 6.

Water and Sewerage Schemes

Denis Naughten

Question:

45 Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his plans to enhance the group sewerage scheme grant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22189/12]

The rate of grant available for Group Sewerage Schemes is €2,031.58 per house or 75% of the cost of the scheme, whichever is the lesser. I have accepted a proposal from the National Rural Water Services Committee, who have a role in advising me on rural water policy, that the rate of grant be reviewed during 2012. They will be examining this issue, taking into account, inter alia, the results of a pilot programme funded by my Department to test a range of small-scale wastewater collection and treatment systems under Irish conditions.

Planning Issues

Gerry Adams

Question:

46 Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his plans to encourage use of renewable energy by businesses by making a requirement for inclusion of some renewable energy source in industrial and large commercial planning applications. [22173/12]

My Department is aware that a number of planning authorities have incorporated Renewable Energy Strategies into their Development Plans, and a further number are in the process of so doing. The Sustainable Energy Association of Ireland (SEAI), as part of its brief to promote and assist the development of sustainable energy, hosted a number of regional wind energy workshops in 2010, targeted at local authority planners and other officials and stakeholders involved in the delivery of wind energy. At the workshops a number of stakeholders stated that they would welcome assistance in the preparation of more comprehensive Renewable Energy Strategies for their areas. Following this SEAI decided to prepare a methodology or template to act as a guide to assist local authorities in the preparation of renewable energy strategies. This will act as a guideline for local authorities when developing a Renewable Energy Strategy, including the matters to be taken into consideration and the information, resources and bodies that may be of assistance.

SEAI appointed consultants to assist in the preparation of the methodology, which is under way and it also set up a Project Steering Committee to input into its development. The committee includes representation from my Department, the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Irish Planning Institute, the City and County Managers Association, the Regional Authorities, EirGrid, ESB Networks, the Commission for Energy Regulation and the Dublin Institute of Technology.

My Department has also encouraged the provision of certain renewable technologies through the exempted development Regulations. The Planning and Development Regulations 2007, which came into effect from 28 February 2007, provide exemptions from planning permission requirements in respect of certain classes of micro-renewable technologies for use in the home i.e. solar panels and other micro-renewable technologies such as wind turbines, heat pumps and biomass, subject to certain conditions in each case. The Planning and Development Regulations 2008, which came into effect from 2 July 2008, provide exemptions from planning permission requirements in respect of certain classes of renewable technologies for use in industrial buildings, business premises and agricultural holdings, including combined heat and power, wind turbines, solar panels, heat pumps and biomass, subject to certain conditions in each case.

In relation to the Building Regulations, Part L — Conservation of Fuel and Energy for Buildings other than Dwellings is scheduled for review in the second half of 2012 and the first half of 2013. The review process will involve an industry stakeholder group review and a public consultation. The review process will also take account of the Recast Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) requirements to achieve nearly zero energy buildings where "the nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should be covered to a very significant extent by energy from renewable sources, including energy from renewable sources produced on-site or nearby;" for new public buildings by 2018 and for all new buildings by 2020.

Part L of the Regulations — Dwellings — requires renewable energy sources to provide a reasonable proportion of the energy consumption to meet the energy performance for new dwellings since 1 July 2008 (subject to a transition period). This will also be a factor to be taken into consideration in the review of Part L Buildings other than Dwellings. While I do not consider that it would be appropriate to require the inclusion of some renewable energy source in industrial and large commercial planning permissions by means of planning conditions, my Department will continue to pursue all appropriate measures to contribute to the achievement of national renewable energy targets.

Question No. 47 answered with Question No. 33.

Tax Code

Mattie McGrath

Question:

48 Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the measures he plans to introduce, if any, to assist the licensed Irish road hauliers who are struggling as a result of the price increases in motor tax; if he will consider eliminating motor tax for registered road hauliers and introduce a pay as you drive system of motor tax as used in Europe for road hauliers which could also generate revenue from foreign trucks coming here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17161/12]

I refer to the reply to Question No. 779 of 18 April, 2012 which sets out the position in this matter.

Question No. 49 answered with Question No. 14.

Water Services

John Halligan

Question:

50 Deputy John Halligan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will consider investing in the water infrastructure as both a water saving measure and a job creation measure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20887/12]

I refer to the replies to Question No. 106 of 2 May 2012 and Questions Nos. 8, 16, 21, 24, 31 and 43 on today's order paper which sets out the position in this matter.

Building Regulations

Arthur Spring

Question:

51 Deputy Arthur Spring asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government when he will appoint nominees to an independent professional conduct committee in view of the fact that legislation was introduced in the Building Control Act 2008 to provide for the establishment of a professional conduct committee on a statutory basis to deal with the registration and regulation of architects. [22187/12]

Arrangements for the appointment of the Chairperson and the nomination of the majority of non-architect members to the Professional Conduct Committee in line with Section 23 of the Building Control Act 2007 are currently in hand and I expect this matter to be finalised in the near future.

Question No. 52 answered with Question No. 38.
Question No. 53 answered with Question No. 33.

Local Government Reform

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

54 Deputy Jonathan O’Brien asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide an update on the report on the realignment of local government; and when same will be published. [22117/12]

In the context of ongoing work on the reform of local government, I am currently considering the key findings and recommendations provided to me by the Local Government/Local Development Alignment Steering Group, with a view to determining the arrangements that will deliver the maximum benefit for local communities and people. Building on a range of reforms already under way, I intend to bring policy proposals to Government in the near future.

Planning Issues

Catherine Murphy

Question:

55 Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he intends, specifically with regard to the recommendations of the final report of the Tribunal of Inquiry into Certain Planning Matters and Payments, Mahon tribunal, to appoint a politically independent planning regulator to place the national development plan and the national spatial strategy on a statutory footing to ensure that local authority councillors are required to explain their reasoning when directing county managers to grant planning applications against the advice of professional planners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22165/12]

The Government considered the findings of the Final Report of the Mahon Tribunal at its meeting on 27 March and agreed that the relevant Government Departments, working with associated agencies under their aegis, as appropriate, should consider as a matter of urgency the recommendations contained in the Report and revert to my Department with proposed actions to be taken on foot of the specific recommendations and a timeframe for their implementation, to enable Minister Hogan and me to report back to Government during May. In that context, my Department is currently examining the Report's relevant recommendations, including, inter alia, the recommendation for the establishment of an independent planning regulator, with a view to developing comprehensive responses to them.

Building Regulations

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

56 Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide an update on the progress in dealing with Priory Hall, Dublin and the making safe of unfinished estates. [22183/12]

Dublin City Council is the designated authority with powers to enforce the statutory requirements arising under the Fire Safety Act, the Building Control Acts and the Planning and Development Acts, all of which are at issue in relation to Priory Hall. The Council is also the designated Housing Authority under the Housing Acts. My responsibility as Minister is to ensure that appropriate statutory requirements, technical standards and administrative provisions are put in place under the various acts. This responsibility has been fulfilled and is not in dispute. I have no role in relation to enforcement activity or in relation to the direct provision of housing services.

The reply to question No. 162 of 1 March 2012 set out the position in relation to the inspection undertaken by the Housing Inspectorate of my Department following an application by the developer of the Priory Hall complex for floor Area compliance Certificates (FACCs) as introduced by section 72 of the 2004 Finance Act. Residents at Priory Hall and their representatives have at all times been advised of the clear division of responsibilities outlined above. The appropriate statutory powers in this case rest with Dublin City Council and neither I, as Minister, nor the Department has a statutory function in relation to enforcement activity or in determining the provision of services in individual cases.

Question No. 57 answered with Question No. 12.
Question No. 58 answered with Question No. 29.

Human Rights Issues

Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Question:

59 Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has raised the case of blind human rights activist Chen Guangcheng in discussions with his European partners; if he has individually or together with his European partners made representations to the Chinese authorities seeking reassurances in relation to the well being of Chen Guangcheng and his family; if he has further sought the release of this man from house arrest; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22466/12]

The case of Chen Guangcheng has been raised frequently by the European Union including at the EU-China human rights dialogue on 16 June 2011. Mr. Chen, a blind human rights defence lawyer was, until recently, being held under house arrest in Shandong Province in China. Currently, reports indicate that he escaped from house arrest last week, was at the US Embassy in Beijing for a number of days and was yesterday admitted to a medical facility in Beijing where he is receiving treatment.

Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Question:

60 Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has raised the case of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death in Pakistan under that country’s blasphemy law, either individually or collectively with his European partners seeking reassurances that she will not be executed and indeed made representations seeking her release; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22467/12]

The Government remains concerned about the case of Mrs. Asia Bibi. In November 2010 a Punjab court found Mrs. Bibi guilty of blasphemy, sentencing her to death by hanging. This is the first time that a woman has been sentenced to death in Pakistan under its blasphemy law. When the case came to the attention of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Ambassador accredited to Pakistan at the time called upon the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad to convey our concern at the conviction and sentence. He also expressed our disquiet at the nature of Pakistan's blasphemy law. Since that time, a number of representations have been made to the Embassy of Pakistan by senior officials in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Mrs. Bibi's case and Pakistan's blasphemy laws were discussed at length during bilateral political consultations in Dublin in 2011 which were held with the Pakistani Additional Foreign Secretary for Europe. In the course of these consultations our concerns about the conviction, sentence and the nature of Pakistan's blasphemy laws were again strongly expressed. At the European level, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton, has also expressed her concerns at the Bibi judgement and others like it, and called on Pakistan to respect human rights as guaranteed under international conventions to which it is a party.

The EU engages in regular dialogue with Pakistan on human rights and democratic principles, including religious discrimination. The EU has called on the Pakistani authorities, at the highest level, to adopt measures to protect individual and minority rights in line with its Constitution and with international human rights standards and conventions. The EU has made clear to the Government of Pakistan that under its constitutional and international requirements it has a responsibility to protect its citizens regardless of their faith.

Ireland attaches great importance to the fundamental human rights of freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief. We are well aware of the vulnerable situation of persons belonging to religious minorities in Pakistan and will continue to raise the case of Asia Bibi and others bilaterally with the Pakistan Government as well as through the framework and mechanisms of the European Union and the United Nations.

Diplomatic Representation

John Deasy

Question:

61 Deputy John Deasy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the position regarding the cost of running the Irish Embassy in Washington DC per annum. [22567/12]

The administrative costs associated with running the Embassy in Washington DC from 2008 to 2011 to date are provided below. This budget is considered to be the locally-devolved administrative (day-to-day) budget including local staff salaries but not salaries of diplomatic staff, which are a charge on the Headquarters budget. In line with overall Departmental cost-containment policies, the Mission constantly monitors its budget and the costs for 2011 are less than those incurred in the preceding years. Our Mission in Washington is actively engaged in representing and advancing Irish government policies in the United States and maintaining and further developing our excellent bilateral relationship with the United States, one of our most important relationships both politically and economically. US investment in Ireland continues to be crucial to our economy and the US friendship and support has been hugely important in the success of the peace process over many years.

The Embassy in Washington is putting an ever increasing focus on developing Ireland's bilateral economic relations, and trade and investment links and engaging with the US. The Embassy maintains strong relations with the US Administration and Congress on issues likely to affect Ireland's exports, inward investment and other key interests. The Embassy also promotes business and economic ties, for example this year through its promotion of the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) 2012 Dublin City of Science in the US and through the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between US Department Energy and the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources for co-operation in marine and hydrokinetic energy technologies.

The Embassy also provides frontline consular and passport services to Irish citizens. In conjunction with Ireland's friends on Capitol Hill and throughout the Irish-American community, it also seeks to identify and promote solutions on immigration issues as they affect Irish people and undocumented Irish migrants in particular. It engages with the Irish and Irish American communities and harnesses the resource they offer in assisting economic recovery. The Embassy also contributes to promoting Irish arts and culture in the US.

2008

2009

2010

2011

Administrative Costs for Embassy Washington

€1,170,402

€1,200,800

€1,236,780

€1,072,065

Departmental Staff

John Deasy

Question:

62 Deputy John Deasy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of public servants that retired in Waterford city and county since the beginning of the year and the number of those that have been retired by the State. [23008/12]

My Department does not have an office in County Waterford. There are no State agencies under the aegis of my Department.

State Banking Sector

Niall Collins

Question:

63 Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Finance the efforts that he intends taking to ensure that State supported banks engage in the Priory Hall conciliation process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22372/12]

As the Deputy will be aware, under the Relationship Frameworks, the banks are run on a commercial basis and I have no role in the day-to-day management or commercial decisions of the banks including matters relating to residential mortgage books. Nonetheless, the Government understands the severe difficulties that the residents of Priory Hall are facing. My Department has been in contact with the State supported banks regarding the resolution process set up under former Supreme Court Justice Finnegan. Banks have already indicated that they are open to engaging in this new process. However, what will be involved in the process has yet to be clarified.

Tax Code

Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Question:

64 Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Finance if he will expedite an application for a rebate of the universal social charge in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22295/12]

I have been advised by the Revenue Commissioners that they do not have sufficient details to process the claim and have contacted the person concerned in relation to the matter.

Tax Reliefs

Michael McGrath

Question:

65 Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if he intends to provide tax relief for persons who improve the energy efficiency in their home; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22306/12]

Section 13 of Finance Act 2011 provided for income tax relief at the standard rate for expenditure incurred by individuals on a range of works carried out to improve the energy efficiency of residential premises situated in the State. The underpinning legislation for the scheme was subject to Commencement Order. However, that legislation, on review, was found to have flaws and would have required amendment before it could be implemented.

As part of the announcement in the Jobs Initiative in May 2011, the Government undertook to provide further funding for the grants available under the Better Energy Homes scheme operated by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). Because of these circumstances, I decided to review the requirement for a co-existing tax incentive for similar works and, following this review, I decided not to proceed with the introduction of the tax relief scheme.

National Asset Management Agency

Joanna Tuffy

Question:

66 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Finance if Weston Aerodrome, County Dublin, is part of the portfolio of the National Asset Management Agency; the up to date position regarding plans by NAMA for this facility; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22374/12]

I am advised by NAMA that details relating to Weston Aerodrome, which is subject to enforcement action, are provided on its website, www.nama.ie. KPMG is the appointed receiver and the property is currently available for sale through the sales agent, Savills.

Joanna Tuffy

Question:

67 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Finance the up to date position regarding social dividend provisions in the legislation for the National Asset Management Agency and has anything been delivered under these provisions to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22375/12]

Taking account of its overriding commercial mandate as set out in Section 10 of the National Asset Management Agency Act 2009, NAMA has demonstrated its commitment and contribution to the achievement of wider social and economic policy objectives in line with Section 2 of the Act. This includes NAMA's policy to give first option to public bodies on the purchase of property which may be suitable for their purposes. NAMA also facilitates dialogue between its debtors/receivers and third parties which has enabled the latter to acquire suitable properties for civic, community and sporting purposes.

In December 2011, NAMA identified over 2,000 properties as being available for social housing, representing, potentially, one of the largest housing allocations made in the history of the State. The primary onus is now on local authorities and voluntary and co-operative housing bodies to match their needs against the units which have been identified as available by NAMA. The Deputy may be aware that NAMA also concluded the sale of 58 housing units in Sandyford, Co. Dublin to the Clúid Housing Association in 2011, marking the first time that stock controlled by NAMA was used for the delivery of permanent new social housing. Other such sales are in process.

I am also informed by NAMA that there is significant engagement between the Agency, the Department of Health and Children and the HSE to identify sites for Primary Health Care Centres and other step-down and community health care facilities. The Deputy may also be aware that NAMA has identified 11 sites as being potentially suitable for the location of the Government's planned National Children's Hospital and the Minister for Health and Children is on the public record as saying that he will look at these sites in this context and in the context of the Department's other pressing requirements.

NAMA further informs me that there has been a constructive engagement between the Agency and the Department of Education and Skills, which has already resulted in the identification and sale of lands for schools and to accommodate planned development by certain universities. This engagement is ongoing as is NAMA's interaction with other public bodies, including local authorities. The Agency also works to facilitate engagement between interested parties, including community and sporting organisations, and its debtors/receivers/sales agents and this has led to a number of positive outcomes for both parties.

Liquor Licences

John Deasy

Question:

68 Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Finance the number of licensed public houses that have had their licences revoked in Waterford city and county over the past five years. [22427/12]

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that they are responsible for the administration of the issue or renewal of Public House Licences. Revenue may only facilitate the issue of a Publican's licence where the appropriate certificate has been issued by a District or Circuit Court, and therefore do not have the authority to revoke a licence once issued. As the authority to revoke a Public House Licence rests with the District or Circuit Court the Revenue Commissioners do not record the numbers of revocations in any particular period.

Tax Collection

Tony McLoughlin

Question:

69 Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Finance the number of taxpayers in receipt of a Department of Social Protection pension who are due refunds and the amount of money to be refunded; and his views on whether all taxpayers in this category are made aware that they may be due outstanding overpayments. [22441/12]

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that approximately 20,000 taxpayers were originally notified by letter in January 2012 that they might have a potential refund of tax due for 2011, and that Revenue would automatically carry out a review. This process could not begin until the pay and tax deducted details in respect of 2011 were submitted by employers on the annual P35 form and processed by Revenue. Of these, the tax affairs of some 12,000 taxpayers have already been reviewed. To date, I am further advised that some €2 million has already been refunded to approximately 7,000 taxpayers and in the rest of these cases no refund of tax was actually due. A further programme of reviews will be run over the coming weeks for the remaining 8,000 taxpayers, once all of the information required by the Commissioners to carry out these reviews is available. In this regard, the 2011 form P35s are still awaited in some cases or are currently being processed in other cases.

I am further advised by the Revenue Commissioners that they have taken a number of steps to inform potential refund recipients. Firstly, as indicated earlier, any taxpayer who was potentially over-taxed on their DSP pension received a letter in late December 2011 explaining that Revenue would be reviewing their tax affairs for 2011 with a view to making any relevant refund for that year. Secondly, Revenue has, through its contacts with representative bodies acting for the elderly, continued to reinforce the message that anyone who feels that they may be due a refund should contact the Commissioners directly. Thirdly, Revenue has published extensive frequently asked questions on its website on the taxation of DSP pensions and addresses the issue of potential refunds within that. Taking all of these measures into account, as well as the direct contacts that Revenue staff has with DSP pension recipients through handling telephone contacts and public office visits and the extent of the publicity on the matter of pensioners and tax, I am satisfied that anyone who may be due a refund is aware of the steps they need to take to make a claim.

Banks Recapitalisation

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

70 Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Finance if the decision by EUROSTAT recently to consider the investment in AIB and Bank of Ireland and other covered institutions in 2011 as national debt will have long term repercussions under the fiscal compact treaty if passed, particularly in relation to achieving of the 60% debt/GDP ratio; if it will, when will these impacts arise and the magnitude of the extra payments each year that will arise as a result of this decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22451/12]

In July 2011 a net amount of €16.5 billion was injected into Irish financial institutions. At the time of the end-September Maastricht return, it was indicated publicly that a full examination of the deficit-impacting amount of this transfer would be made before the next notification. The outcome of this exercise is that of the €16.5 billion injected in June 2011, €5.8 billion is classified as a deficit-increasing capital transfer. This adds 3.7 per cent of GDP to the deficit for 2011 only. However, the full net recapitalisation of €16.5 billion in July 2011 was fully reflected in Ireland's forecast General Government Debt for end-2011 reported to Eurostat in September 2011. It is also included in the end-March 2012 Maastricht return in respect of the end-2011 debt position. The statistical reclassification from financial transaction to capital transfer affects the general government deficit only. Therefore there is no impact on our debt to GDP ratio as a result of this statistical reclassification.

Clare Daly

Question:

71 Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide an estimate of the financial loss to the State and taxpayer arising from the unsafe loan undertakings provided by solicitors to banks, made public by the National Asset Management Agency during March 2012. [22473/12]

I am advised by NAMA that the estimated value of downward adjustments applied to the consideration paid to banks in respect of the acquisition of loans as a result of security defects identified in legal due diligence is €477 million. Only a minor part of this relates to legal undertakings provided by solicitors. I understand that as a consequence of the defects identified during the legal due diligence, the valuation of the assets was reduced and a lesser amount was paid by NAMA. NAMA advise me that it does not expect to suffer a loss on these acquisitions arising from the solicitors undertakings.

National Asset Management Agency

Michael McGrath

Question:

72 Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance his views on the recent disposal by Irish Life investment managers of its stake in the National Asset Management Agency special purpose vehicle; the implications of this for the accounting treatment of the NAMA bonds in the general Government debt; his views on the operation of the special purpose vehicle; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22510/12]

The NAMA SPV was established with Eurostat approval and with Irish Life as one of the private owners. However, as Irish Life is now in public ownership, Eurostat attached a reservation to our Maastricht Returns in which it raised concerns about the private sector ownership of the NAMA SPV and consequently the treatment of NAMA for the purposes of calculating General Government Debt. I am advised that the sale of the Irish Life shareholding in the NAMA SPV to private investors has been agreed and it is anticipated that the transaction will be completed in the coming weeks. As a consequence, we expect that the General Government Debt treatment of the NAMA SPV will be unchanged.

Michael McGrath

Question:

73 Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number of properties that have been sold, that is, legally binding contracts in place by the National Asset Management Agency or by agents acting on behalf of NAMA and, of this number, if he will confirm the number and total value of such properties which were up for sale on the open market and publicly advertised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22511/12]

Michael McGrath

Question:

74 Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if the sale of all properties by or on behalf of the National Asset Management Agency are required to be put up for sale on the open market and publicly advertised. [22512/12]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 73 and 74 together.

I am informed by NAMA that other than for land which is under its direct control, NAMA itself does not sell property securing its loans. I am advised by NAMA that, up to end-March 2012, its debtors and receivers have completed 663 legally binding sales transactions of property located in Ireland, some of which relate to multiple properties such as apartment blocks, with a total value of €508 million. I am advised that the NAMA Board has issued guidelines to be followed by its debtors and receivers in terms of the disposal of assets, which require, wherever feasible, their sale on the open market and their public advertisement. I am advised by NAMA that this covers the vast majority of such sales.

International Agreements

Michael McGrath

Question:

75 Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if he will confirm whether he has a veto on the establishment of the European Stability Mechanism; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22513/12]

A Treaty to establish the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) has been agreed among euro area countries. This is an intergovernmental treaty that stands outside the EU Treaty framework. The ESM Treaty will enter into force when ratified by signatories whose subscriptions represent 90% of the total initial subscriptions. The target date for the Treaty entering into force is 1 July 2012. Ireland's subscription will be 1.5922% of the total initial subscription. The Government considers that it is strongly in Ireland's best interests for the ESM Treaty to enter into force as soon as possible.

Michael McGrath

Question:

76 Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if he will confirm the anticipated date that the European Financial Stability Facility will no longer accept new applications for funding and will be formally wound up. [22514/12]

The EFSF has been created as a temporary institution. The EFSF Framework agreement as amended provides that "Euro-area Member States which are potential Borrowers may only request and enter into Loan Facility Agreements up to 30 June 2013 (provided that Loans may be disbursed after this date under Loan Facility Agreements entered into prior to this date)." It also provides that EFSF guarantors shall only be required to issue a guarantee to facilitate the financing under Loan Facility Agreements entered into on or prior to 30 June 2013.

In accordance with its Articles of Association, the EFSF will be liquidated on the earliest date after 30 June 2013 on which there are no longer loans outstanding to a euro-area Member State and all Funding Instruments issued by EFSF and any reimbursement amounts due to Guarantors have been repaid in full. This means that after June 2013, EFSF would not enter into any new programmes but will continue the management and repayment of any outstanding debt and will close down once all outstanding debt has been repaid.

The Eurogroup's statement of 30 March 2012, provides that the ESM will be the main instrument to finance new programmes as from July 2012. The EFSF will, as a rule, only remain active in financing programmes that have started before that date. For a transitional period until mid-2013, it may engage in new programmes in order to ensure a full fresh lending capacity of EUR 500 billion for the ESM.

These arrangements form part of a number of initiatives. All these initiatives were made to improve the governance of the euro area through enhancements of the Stability and Growth Pact, the new macro-economic imbalances procedure, the Euro Plus Pact and the Fiscal Compact enshrined in the new Treaty on Stability, Cooperation and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union. Finally, robust firewalls have been established. This comprehensive strategy has paid off and led to a significant improvement of market conditions.

National Asset Management Agency

Michael McGrath

Question:

77 Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if he has any concerns that an agent, acting on behalf of the National Asset Management Agency has concluded a deal for the sale of a 450 acre landbank in County Cork (details supplied) without putting the landbank on the open market effectively excluding potential bidders from the process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22515/12]

In relation to the particular transaction to which the Deputy refers, NAMA has advised me that the sales agent was acting on behalf of the debtor and that a competitive sales process was undertaken. The debtor was not in liquidation. I understand from NAMA that the sale was managed and implemented on behalf of the debtor by a firm of professional sales agents. Following wide engagement with viable interested parties, a special purchaser emerged in respect of the entire holding of 450 acres at a price considerably in excess of that guided by the retained professionals. It was the considered advice of the sales agent that the offer from this purchaser would be accepted.

I further understand that NAMA, on receipt of this information, commissioned a second independent report by another professional firm, which agreed with the original guide price. On the basis of this independent valuation advice, which established that the price offered was 40% in excess of the 2 independent valuations and taking account of the fact that the offer was for the entire holding rather than for individual land plots within it, NAMA granted its approval to the debtor to proceed with the sale on the advised terms on the basis that this maximised the recovery for the taxpayer. I understand from NAMA that this site, like all sites, would have been advertised except that the special purchaser emerged offering 40% over the independent valuations of the site's worth.

Departmental Correspondence

Michael McGrath

Question:

78 Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the communications he has had with the German authorities in relation to the leaking of the European Commission’s economic adjustment programme for Ireland document; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22516/12]

I am assuming the Deputy is referring to the unfortunate and unacceptable leak which took place on February 29th this year. The document which leaked in February was the EU Commission Services Staff report on their assessment of the 5th review of Ireland's EU-IMF Programme of support. As a Commission document, the content of the staff report is the responsibility of the Commission staff, as is the publication of the report. This document was circulated to senior EU Finance Ministry officials in advance of the relevant EU Officials discussion that were to take place that week which is normal practice for all programme countries. The report which was published as scheduled the next day, March 1st, was substantially the same as that circulated for officials.

It is my understanding that Commission staff had appended to it the updated programme documents that were prepared following the 5th review — specifically — the Letter of Intent to the EU authorities, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the Memorandum on Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP), the Technical Memorandum of Understanding (TMU). These updated programme documents, along with the Letter of Intent to the IMF, had already been made publicly available shortly after being issued by the Minister for Finance, by being laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas, and placed on the Department of Finance website, on 14th February last.

On becoming aware of the leak, and the internal Commission process that they have in place, my officials raised our serious concerns with the Commission. I also contacted Commissioner Olli Rehn to express my disappointment regarding the leak and to enquire about steps taken to ensure confidentiality of documents in the future. The issue has also been raised at senior official level with the German authorities. We must nevertheless recognise that we remain in a Programme, and continue to rely on the support of the External Partners. In expressing our concern, we need also to continue working with our partners.

National Pensions Reserve Fund

Michael McGrath

Question:

79 Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the value of the discretionary portfolio including cash balances held by the National Pensions Reserve Fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22517/12]

I am informed by the National Treasury Management Agency, as Manager of the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF), that the provisional total value of the Fund at 30 March 2012 was €15.1 billion, and the value of the Discretionary Portfolio was €5.8 billion including cash balances of €0.9 billion. Final valuations of the Discretionary Portfolio and the Directed Portfolio as at 31 December 2011 will be provided in the NPRF Commission's Annual Report for 2011 which is expected to be published in July 2012.

Tax Yield

Michael McGrath

Question:

80 Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the revenue that will be raised by the carbon levy in respect of each product on which it is applied; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22518/12]

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the forecast for Carbon Tax 2012 and estimated VAT in respect of each category is as follows:

2012

Carbon Tax

Estimated VAT

€m

€m

Auto Diesel

130.63

3.00

Petrol

79.07

18.19

Aviation Gasoline

0.04

0.01

Fuel Oil

2.76

0.00

MGO

54.86

7.41

Kerosene

44.41

6.00

Auto LPG

0.20

0.05

LPG (Other)

3.94

0.53

Natural Gas

54.80

4.44

Total

370.70

39.62

The Carbon Tax figures shown are a breakdown of the Carbon Tax forecast for 2012. However, the VAT figures are estimates based on the expected Carbon receipts in each category. Please note that the VAT receipts are estimated, as the VAT returns do not require the yield from a particular sector or sub-sector of trade to be identified and the actual VAT yield for each category cannot therefore be determined.

Unsafe Loan Undertakings

Clare Daly

Question:

81 Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance if he will accept that unsafe loan undertakings provided by solicitors to banks, made public by the National Asset Management Agency during March 2010, are in reality property transactions to which principles of moral hazard apply. [22565/12]

I presume the Deputy is referring to information made public by NAMA in March 2012. I am advised by NAMA that the estimated value of downward adjustments applied to the consideration paid to banks in respect of the acquisition of loans as a result of security defects identified in legal due diligence is €477 million. I cannot comment on particular transactions, however, I am assured by NAMA that only a minor part of the adjustment to valuations related to legal undertakings provided by solicitors.

Clare Daly

Question:

82 Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance as the holder on behalf of Irish citizens of majority share holdings in Allied Irish Banks and the bank formerly known as Anglo Irish Bank and significant shareholding in the Bank of Ireland, the number of civil proceedings in respect of false loan undertakings provided by solicitors to these banks that have been initiated; the identities of defendants and the number of settlements if any. [22566/12]

As the Deputy will be aware, under the Relationship Frameworks, the Boards of the Banks are responsible for the day-to-day management and operation of the respective institutions including decisions regarding civil proceedings taken and I have no role in this matter. The question of whether an undertaking provided by a solicitor to a bank is ‘false' is a matter of determination by a court of law (with involvement of Gardaí and supervisory authorities if fraud is asserted) and AIB, Bank of Ireland and IBRC cannot therefore estimate the extent to which such findings will be arrived at by a court of law. The banks have confirmed that, in appropriate cases, solicitors who have not fulfilled their undertakings to them have been and will be pursued. The Deputy will appreciate that it would not be appropriate for the banks to name defendants in such cases.

Departmental Staff

John Deasy

Question:

83 Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Finance the number of public servants that retired in Waterford city and county since the beginning of the year and the number of those that have been retired by the State. [23007/12]

My Department does not have any office in Waterford city or county. However, I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that a total of thirteen staff retired from their offices in Waterford since 1 January 2012. Three of the thirteen staff had reached their normal course retirement age, nine of the staff availed of Cost Neutral Early Retirement and one retired on grounds of ill-health.

School Staffing

Seán Crowe

Question:

84 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will confirm the total number of teaching posts to be cut at schools (details supplied) in County Dublin; and if he will confirm the dates on which these posts will be lost to both schools. [22292/12]

Tom Fleming

Question:

105 Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 222 of 13 March 2012, if he will provide an update on same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22445/12]

John McGuinness

Question:

144 Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will confirm the situation regarding teacher numbers at a school (details supplied) in Dublin 24 following the appeal review recently completed by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22555/12]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 84, 105 and 144 together.

The Primary Staffing Appeals Board met on 18th and 19th April. A total of 367 schools submitted appeals to the Appeals Board. These appeals were considered in accordance with the appeals criteria set out in Department Staffing Circular 0007/2012. 205 schools had their appeals upheld by the Staffing Appeals Board. The Appeals Board took the following approach in dealing with the appeals from the 37 schools that were losing 3 or more posts:

Schools that were due to lose 3 or 4 posts will now lose a maximum of 2 posts in the 2012/13 school year. The loss of the remaining posts will be deferred to the subsequent school year.

Schools that were due to lose 5 or more posts will now lose a maximum of 3 posts in the 2012/13 school year. The loss of the remaining posts will be deferred to the subsequent school year.

A summary outcome of the appeals is now published on my Department's website. Individual schools have been notified of the outcome of their appeals. The next meeting of the Staffing Appeals Board is due to be held on 14 June 2012. The latest date for other schools to submit appeals is 1 June 2012. The final staffing position for all schools will ultimately not be known until the Autumn. At that stage the allocation process will be fully completed and all appeals to the Staffing Appeals Board will have been considered.

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

85 Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding an appeal in respect of a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22308/12]

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

86 Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills the outcome of an appeal in respect of a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22309/12]

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

87 Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills the outcome of an appeal in respect of a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22325/12]

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

88 Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on an appeal (details supplied) and the explanation given for the decision taken by the appeals board; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22326/12]

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

89 Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on an appeal (details supplied) and the explanation given by the Appeals Board for the decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22327/12]

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

90 Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills the outcome of an appeal (details supplied) and details of the explanation given by the appeals board for the decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22328/12]

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

91 Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on an appeal in respect of a school (details supplied) and the explanation given for the decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22329/12]

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

92 Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills the outcome of an appeal in respect of a school (details supplied) and the explanation given for the decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22332/12]

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

93 Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on an appeal in respect of a school (details supplied) and the explanation given for the decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22333/12]

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

95 Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding an appeal in respect of a school (details supplied); if he will provide an explanation for the decision given and details of the further information requested from the school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22337/12]

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

96 Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding an appeal in respect of a school (details supplied); if he will provide an explanation given for the decision and details of the further information requested from the school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22341/12]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 85 to 93, inclusive, and 95 and 96 together.

The Primary Staffing Appeals Board met on 18th and 19th April. A total of 367 schools submitted appeals to the Appeals Board. These appeals were considered in accordance with the appeals criteria set out in Department Staffing Circular 0007/2012. 205 schools had their appeals upheld by the Staffing Appeals Board. The Appeals Board took the following approach in dealing with the appeals from the 37 schools that were losing 3 or more posts:

Schools that were due to lose 3 or 4 posts will now lose a maximum of 2 posts in the 2012/13 school year. The loss of the remaining posts will be deferred to the subsequent school year.

Schools that were due to lose 5 or more posts will now lose a maximum of 3 posts in the 2012/13 school year. The loss of the remaining posts will be deferred to the subsequent school year.

A summary outcome of the appeals is now published on my Department's website. Individual schools have been notified of the outcome of their appeals. The next meeting of the Staffing Appeals Board is due to be held on 14 June 2012. The latest date for other schools to submit appeals is 1 June 2012. The final staffing position for all schools will ultimately not be known until the Autumn. At that stage the allocation process will be fully completed and all appeals to the Staffing Appeals Board will have been considered.

Languages Programme

Patrick Nulty

Question:

94 Deputy Patrick Nulty asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide an update on progress in implementing the Barcelona agreement on the teaching of modern languages; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22334/12]

Under the Barcelona Conclusions individual member states are invited to adopt the approaches set out in the Conclusions insofar as is appropriate to their particular national priorities, circumstances and resources. My Department fully accepts the desirability of this approach as an EU policy direction. This does not mean however that it is necessarily practicable in every Member state.

In Ireland, where there are two national languages, Irish and English, given recognition under the Constitution, both of these languages are taught at primary level. The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment is in the process of developing a language curriculum for infant classes which will inform future developments. The NCCA does not intend to compartmentalise children's language learning in terms of their experience with their first language (L1) and second language (L2) as is currently the case in the Primary School Curriculum. The language curriculum should provide a common structure for planning appropriate language experiences in all languages for all children in infant classes including those for whom English is an additional language. This is a new way of looking at language acquisition which will help children's learning in all languages taught at primary level and into the future at post-primary level.

Questions Nos. 95 and 96 answered with Question No. 85.

Higher Education Grants

Brendan Griffin

Question:

97 Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding entitlement to higher education grants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22359/12]

As the Deputy will be aware, I announced last December that the means test for student grants will be amended to take account of the value of certain capital assets as well as income for the 2013/14 academic year. A dedicated Capital Asset Test implementation group has been established. The group has been charged with bringing forward detailed implementation proposals on new means testing arrangements for student grants, to include the value of assets, for new applicants from the 2013/14 academic year. No decision has been taken on the treatment of farm or other business assets. In the circumstances, I am not in a position to say at this time what assets may be included. However, any proposals in this regard will require further Government agreement and necessitate legislative amendment.

School Staffing

Patrick Deering

Question:

98 Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a person (details supplied) is entitled to panel rights due to the number of days worked in primary schools since 2002; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22365/12]

The arrangements for panel access for fixed term (temporary), substitute and part-time teachers are set out in Department Circular 0012/2012 which is available on my Department's website. My Department has published on its website an indicative breakdown of the 1,769 applications that were received for these panels. My Department is now commencing the checking process in relation to these applications and when this process is completed individual teachers will be notified of the outcome of same. The panels set up in accordance with the arrangements set out in this circular will be used at a later stage in 2012 for appointments to full-time permanent teaching posts that are not otherwise required to facilitate the redeployment of surplus permanent and CID holding teachers.

Third Level Fees

Brendan Smith

Question:

99 Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on the continuation of the fee remissions schemes for the children of university staff; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22366/12]

Brendan Smith

Question:

100 Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Education and Skills the total cost of the fee remissions scheme in each university in each year for the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22367/12]

Brendan Smith

Question:

101 Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the fee remissions scheme for the children of university staff is being considered as part of the review of public service allowances being carried out by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22368/12]

Brendan Smith

Question:

102 Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Education and Skills the total number of young persons who are the children of university staff who benefitted from the fee remissions scheme in each year for the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22369/12]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 99 to 102, inclusive, together.

The fee remission scheme for family members of full time employees of universities is a historical one which was sought to be discontinued by Government in 1982. Following a claim on behalf of affected staff, the Labour Court issued a recommendation in May 1986 stating that arrangements for existing staff should continue. In making this recommendation the Labour Court stated that it had been influenced by the fact that concessions in the matter of fees were either expressed or implied terms of the conditions of employment of the staff concerned over many years. In relation to new staff the Labour Court recommended that all parties should enter into detailed discussions on the matter. Following this recommendation a Conciliation Conference took place in 1991 with agreement reached that while the fee remission scheme would apply to those employed prior to September 1992 it would not apply to staff recruited after that date.

Details in relation to the costs and the numbers who benefited under the scheme are not readily available in my Department. I have asked the Higher Education Authority to contact each institution concerned seeking such details and I will arrange to have same forwarded to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Schools Building Projects

Joanna Tuffy

Question:

103 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on the stage the planning for a new school building for a school (details supplied) is at and when is it expected construction of the building will commence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22385/12]

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that approval for a new 16 classroom primary school was recently announced on my Department's five year school building programme. Plans for this school are progressing and subject to securing the necessary local authority approvals this school should be ready to proceed to construction in 2013.

Higher Education Grants

Michael McGrath

Question:

104 Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a person can receive a maintenance grant in respect of a third level degree course when that person already holds a primary degree but did not avail of the grant in respect of their first degree. [22443/12]

To satisfy the terms and conditions of the student grant scheme in relation to progression, a student must be moving from year to year within a course having successfully completed the previous year or be transferring from one course to another where the award for the subsequent course is of a higher level than the previous course. The objective of this policy is to help as many students as possible to obtain one qualification at each level of study. Given the level of demand on the student grant budget from first time students and students that are progressing with their studies to a higher level, there are no plans at present to change the arrangements in place.

In the scenario presented by the Deputy, a student who already holds a Level 8 undergraduate qualification and intends to pursue a second undergraduate degree at the same level is not considered to be in progression and cannot be considered for funding, regardless of whether grant aid was made available to pursue the previous qualification. However, tax relief at the standard rate of tax may be claimed in respect of tuition fees paid for approved courses at approved colleges of higher education including approved undergraduate and postgraduate courses in EU Member States and in non-EU countries. Further information on this tax relief is available from the Revenue Commissioners.

Question No. 105 answered with Question No. 84.

Schools Building Projects

Billy Timmins

Question:

106 Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22457/12]

The major building project for the school referred to by the Deputy was included in the five year construction programme and is listed to proceed to construction in 2015/2016. The building project is at an advanced stage of architectural planning. The design team are currently working on completing the stage 2(b) submission which will then be submitted to my Department for review. For the purposes of the 5 Year construction programme new school building projects as well as major extensions have been prioritised on the basis of meeting demographic needs in areas where such needs have been identified.

Due to the financial constraints imposed by the need to prioritise the funding available each year for the provision of school accommodation to meet the increasing demographic requirements it has not been possible to advance all projects to construction concurrently. In the meantime, for works that are of a very urgent nature, it is open to the school authorities to consider if the works in question might qualify for funding under my Department's Emergency Works Scheme. An emergency is deemed to be a situation which poses an immediate risk to health, life, property or the environment which is sudden, unforeseen and requires immediate action and, in the case of a school, if not corrected would prevent the school or part thereof from opening. Details of the Scheme, together with an application form for grant assistance, can be accessed on my Department's website at www.education.ie.

Catherine Murphy

Question:

107 Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the date on which the newly constructed school (details supplied) in County Kildare will open; the reason for the delay in same; the leases that are in place for the current prefabs; the amount that has been allocated for renting prefabs in this school in 2012; if additional posts have been scheduled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22458/12]

The project to which the deputy refers is close to completion. However, there are a number of technical issues which need to be resolved before the building can be handed over to the school authority. It is anticipated that these issues will be resolved in the coming weeks. There is currently only one small prefab leased by the school and the rent is €2,878.20 (VAT incl.) per annum. The staffing levels at the school will remain the same for the 2012/2013 academic year.

School Transport

Arthur Spring

Question:

108 Deputy Arthur Spring asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the students of a primary school (details supplied) are not entitled to automatic enrolment to the nearest secondary school; if the students are entitled to be provided rural school transport to the nearest secondary school to which the students are entitled to enrol; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22474/12]

Arthur Spring

Question:

109 Deputy Arthur Spring asked the Minister for Education and Skills for the purpose of establishing automatic qualification for rural school transport, if he will identify the nearest qualifying secondary school to a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22475/12]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 108 and 109 together.

From the commencement of the 2012/13 school year, the use of the Catchment Boundary Area (CB) System as a means of determining eligibility will cease for all pupils newly entering post primary school. This means that from the 2012/13 school year, school transport eligibility for all pupils newly entering a post primary school will be determined by reference to the distance they reside from their nearest post-primary education centre having regard to ethos and language. This change was announced as part of Budget 2011 but is not being introduced until the 2012/13 school year in order to allow parents of children newly entering post primary school ample time to consider their school choice options, taking account of the revised school transport eligibility arrangements.

At post primary level, the evidence is, as set out in the Value for Money Review of the School Transport Schemes, that the majority of children are attending their nearest post primary school/centre. The changes to the Post Primary School Transport Scheme will be applied equitably on a national basis. Eligibility for post primary school transport is determined from where pupils reside and not from where they attend primary school.

Pension Provisions

John McGuinness

Question:

110 Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Education and Skills if an application for early retirement and lump sum will be expedited and approved in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22508/12]

Pension schemes generally make provision for the payment of benefit where a member retires because of a medical condition the nature of which makes him/her incapable of discharging the duties of the occupation and is likely to be permanent. Retirement on ill health grounds is a major decision that impacts both on the scheme member and the organisation. The award of pension in such circumstances must be grounded on a detailed assessment of the medical evidence in the case. To this end, the opinion/recommendation of an appropriately qualified medical adviser must be obtained. In this connection, where pension benefits are funded from monies provided directly or indirectly by the Oireachtas, the Minister has directed that the services of an Occupational Physician must be used by the organisation when assessing a scheme member's application for ill health retirement pension benefit.

The Occupational Physician, reviews the medical evidence, may conduct a medical examination of the member and then makes a recommendation outlining whether or not the member is incapable by reason of infirmity of mind or body of discharging his or her duties in the occupation and also whether or not that infirmity is likely to be permanent. The position in relation to the application for ill health retirement benefit by the person to whom the Deputy refers is that the assessment has been carried out and it has been determined that the person in question is not incapable by reason of infirmity of mind or body of discharging his/her duties. The person to whom the Deputy refers has been fully informed by the Pension Unit of my Department of the procedures in respect of ill health retirement applications and provided with information regarding the appeal process.

Departmental Staff

Seán Crowe

Question:

111 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of staff employed in his Department; the number of these employees in receipt of salaries of more than €200,000, more than €150,000, more than €100,000 and more than €80,000 and their job titles. [22519/12]

The table attached details the number of staff employed in my Department by salary band and job title at the end of 2011. As of end December 2011, the number of staff employed in my Department, including staffing of the Inspectorate and of the National Educational Psychological Service, was 1,251 whole time equivalents (WTE). The number of staff at the end of March 2012 was 1,216 WTE.

PQ 22519/12 — DES STAFF BY SALARY BAND AT 31 DECEMBER 2011

Grade Equivalent to each Salary Band

Less than €80k

981

€80k-€100k

240

Advisory Counsel Grade 111Asst Chief Inspector Post PrimaryAsst Principal HigherDistrict Inspector PrimaryDistrict Inspector Post Primary EducationDivisional Inspector PrimarySenior Inspector Post PrimaryEngineer Grade 1 CivilInspector and Senior Inspector (Guidance and Psychological)Manager EducationPost Primary InspectorPrincipal Officer and Principal Higher ScaleProfessional Accountant Grade 1Project Planner Quantity SurveyorRegional DirectorSenior ArchitectStatistician

€100k-€150k

28

Asst Chief Inspector Post PrimaryAppeals OfficerAssistant SecretaryDeputy Chief InspectorManager EducationPrincipal Officer HigherRegional Director (NEPS)

€150k-€200k

2

Chief Inspector EducationSecretary General Education and Skills

€200k +

0

N/A

Total

1,251

Departmental Expenditure

Seán Crowe

Question:

112 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills the average amount paid for travel and subsistence on an annual basis; the details of the types of expenses staff may recoup; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22520/12]

Seán Crowe

Question:

113 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide a detailed breakdown of the money spent on home and foreign travel. [22521/12]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 112 and 113 together.

An analysis of payments made in respect of travel and subsistence in my Department during 2011 shows an average payment of €461 per claimant for Foreign Travel and €1,718 per claimant for Domestic Travel. The payment of Travel and Subsistence by officers within my Department in connection with official business is made in accordance with Department of Finance Circular 11/82 and such expenses are paid only in respect of necessary absence from headquarters. Officers are required to ensure that subsistence and other expenses are kept to a minimum, including using public transport as a preferred method of travel and where meals are provided, including in-flight provision, deductions are made accordingly. Evidence of all expenses, e.g. receipts, must also be submitted with each claim.

Travel and subsistence expenditure incurred during travel generally relates to subsistence, mileage, public transport, tolls/car parking fees. It can also include reimbursement in relation to visa and inoculation expenditure where required for foreign travel. The table provides a breakdown of expenditure during 2011 on domestic and foreign travel by category.

Expense Paid

Subhead A.2 Domestic Travel Dept Staff (Incl. Inspectorate)

Subhead A2. Foreign Travel (Incl. EU and International Travel)

A.9 NEPS Domestic Travel

Subsistence

466,146.76

46,113.25

157,206.54

Mileage

704,433.23

3,358.93

395,085.32

Hotel Accommodation

1,739.50

38,786.96

Flights

678.89

29,810.86

1,621.66

Taxis

18,647.75

6,331.76

463.75

Public Tranpsort

81,470.97

5,123.43

13,057.99

Tolls/Carparking

7,885.49

7,468.19

747.53

Car Hire

725.00

Other Misc Fees*

1,618.9

1,281,002.59

139,337.28

568,182.79

Seán Crowe

Question:

114 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide a detailed breakdown of the type of events paid for under entertainment expenses. [22522/12]

I attach a breakdown outlining details of expenditure from my Department's administrative budget subhead A3.1 (Official Entertainment) in 2011:

Cost Centre:

Payment:

Description:

Higher Education PRS

€314.00

Lunch hosted by Tánaiste (Mary Coughlan)

Minister

€89.00

Credit Card Charge — Hotel Meeting — Tánaiste (Mary Coughlan)

Minister

€70.00

Hotel Accommodation — Tánaiste (Mary Coughlan)

Minister

€82.80

Credit Card Charge — Hotel Meeting — Tánaiste (Mary Coughlan)

Minister

€64.16

Reception for Mr. Patrick Scott

Minister

€48.33

Lunch with the Indian Ambassador

Minister

€296.75

Dinner on the retirement of Dr. John Hegarty Provost of Trinity College

Minister

€349.90

Dinner for Tom Jago and guests

Minister

€149.00

Lunch with the Chinese Ambassador

Minister

€136.82

Lunch in recognition of Dr. Kenneth Milne’s contribution to the Irish Education System

Minister

€1,017.22

Credit Card bill (including Accommodation costs and Dinners)

Minister

€2.54

Credit Card Charges

Minister

€30.00

Credit Card Charges

Minister

€106.70

Miscellaneous meeting refreshment costs — Minister

Minister of State

€108.75

Lunch for the members of the SOLAS Implementation Group

Minister of State

€63.95

Gift

Minister of State

€31.00

Credit Card Charges

Minister of State

€31.00

Credit Card Charges

Minister of State

€30.00

Credit Card Charges

Secretary General

€19.25

Refreshments for Meeting with HEA

Total

€3,041.17

Seán Crowe

Question:

115 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide a figure for the amount of money spent on uniforms and the type of uniforms bought by his Department. [22523/12]

The total expenditure on uniforms by my Department in 2011 was €4,174.27. This expenditure is in respect of uniforms (including a footwear allowance) for my Department's service officers.

Seán Crowe

Question:

116 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason there has been a 10% increase in the cost of postal and telecommunication services. [22524/12]

The overall allocation for postal and telecommunications services in my Department for 2012 is €2.64 million. This funding is provided in my Department's Administrative Budget, subhead A4. The 2012 allocation represents an increase of approximately 10% over actual expenditure in 2011. The reason for the increased provision in 2012 is twofold:

a) Some flexibility is required in relation to the cost of postal services due to the fact that the volume of materials posted to schools can fluctuate significantly from year to year.

b) The 2012 allocation also includes, for the first time, funding for the postal and telecommunications cost of a number of regional offices. Prior to 2012 the administrative costs of the regional offices in question were provided for in a separate subhead which has now been discontinued and the funding has been allocated instead to a number of other subheads including subhead A4.

Seán Crowe

Question:

117 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason there has been a 43% increase in office premises expenses; and the efforts being made to make offices more energy efficient. [22525/12]

The allocation for my Department's office premises expenses for 2012 is €2.34 million. The funding is provided in my Department's Administrative Budget, subhead A6. The 2012 allocation for subhead A6 represents an increase of approximately 43% over actual expenditure in 2011 (€1.635 million). The reasons for this level of provision in 2012 are as follows:

a) An allocation of some €0.4 million has been provided to allow essential building works to be carried out in my Department's premises in Athlone, Dublin and Tullamore.

b) Additional funding of some €0.138 million has been allocated to provide for the cost of security services in my Department's Marlborough Street premises. The additional funding for 2012 is required in order to provide for the cost of this service for a full year. Prior to June 2011 the Office of Public Works met the cost of security services in Marlborough St.

c) The 2012 allocation also includes some €0.171 million to meet the office premises expenses of a number of regional offices. Prior to 2012 the administrative costs of the regional offices in question were provided for in a separate subhead which has now been discontinued and the funding has been allocated instead to a number of other subheads including subhead A6.

Officals in my Department engage with the Office of Public Works an ongoing basis and in relation to energy efficiency matters.

Seán Crowe

Question:

118 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills the consultancy services and value for money reviews that have been paid for by his Department; and the way their findings have been implemented. [22526/12]

The information requested is being compiled at present and will be forwarded to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Psychological Service

Seán Crowe

Question:

119 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide a breakdown on the provision of psychological services at primary and post-primary level. [22527/12]

As the Deputy will be aware all primary and post-primary schools have access to psychological assessments either directly through the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) or through the Scheme for Commissioning Psychological Assessments (SCPA). Schools that do not currently have NEPS psychologists assigned to them may avail of the SCPA, whereby the school can have an assessment carried out by a member of the panel of private psychologists approved and paid for by NEPS.

In addition to psychological assessment NEPS provides assistance to all schools and school communities that experience critical incidents regardless of whether or not they have a NEPS psychologist assigned to them and processes applications for Reasonable Accommodation in Certificate Examinations, on behalf of the state Examinations Commission,. NEPS also provides a service to children with visual impairment irrespective of the school which they attend. The main focus of NEPS is on early intervention with pupils and staff in schools in order to maximise pupil potential, to combat school failure and to avoid acute crises for children and young people.

In common with many other psychological services and best international practice, NEPS has adopted a consultative model of service. The focus is on empowering teachers to intervene effectively with pupils whose needs range from mild to severe and transient to enduring. Psychologists use a problem solving and solution focused consultative approach to maximize positive outcomes for these pupils. NEPS encourages schools to use a continuum based assessment and intervention process whereby each school takes responsibility for initial assessment, educational planning and remedial intervention for pupils with learning, emotional or behavioural difficulties. Teachers may consult their NEPS psychologist should they need to at this stage in the process. Only in the event of a failure to make reasonable progress, in spite of the school's best efforts in consultation with NEPS, will the psychologist become involved with an individual child for intensive intervention.

NEPS has a regional structure with some 23 offices nationwide providing service to schools where NEPS psychologists individually would normally be assigned to a mix of both Primary and Post-Primary schools in the immediate catchment area. In December 2011, with a complement of some 173 staff, NEPS psychologists provided direct service to 86% of primary schools (representing 91% of pupils) and 93% of post-primary schools (representing 94% of pupils) nationally. As previously stated the remaining schools received assessment services under the SCPA. Overall expenditure on the Service amounted to €17.63m (€14.92m staff pay, SCPA €0.57m and €2.1m on N/Pay costs).

Departmental Expenditure

Seán Crowe

Question:

120 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide additional information detailing the amount that was spent in preparation for Ireland’s Presidency of the EU. [22528/12]

A9 is a new subhead for 2012 to cover costs to my Department of our Presidency of the EU in 2013. The provision of €175,000 is made up of €137,000 for pay costs and €38,000 for non-pay costs. The pay provision is for additional full time and part-time staff for the Presidency, including two interns who are to take up duty in the Irish Permanent Representation in Brussels from July of this year and will be reporting to the Education Attaché. No expenditure has been incurred from this pay provision to date. The non-pay costs are mainly for Presidency-related foreign travel, associated with attendance at preparatory meetings with the Commission, Council Secretariat, Presidency Trio colleagues and other stakeholders, on which expenditure of some €7,000 has been incurred to date.

Seán Crowe

Question:

121 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills the changes resulting from the implementation of the qualifications and assurances Bill likely to lead to a reduction in current expenditure and the projected saving when the Bill is implemented. [22529/12]

The National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI), the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC), and the Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) had a combined exchequer outturn for current expenditure of €12.935m in 2008, when the decision to amalgamate those agencies into a single qualifications and quality assurance body was announced. Their 2011 exchequer outturn for current expenditure amounted to €6.918m, a reduction since 2008 of 46.5%. Closer co-operation and sharing of resources in preparation for amalgamation has been one of the factors that has enabled the agencies absorb the reduced exchequer allocation.

The increase in the 2012 allocation for current expenditure over and above the outturn for 2011 is to meet unavoidable once-off costs arising from the amalgamation, in particular relating to accommodation and ICT. Overall, the annual savings directly attributable to amalgamation are expected to be in the order of €1 million. Some of these savings have already taken place, for example through the appointment of a single Chief Executive Officer for all of the agencies concerned, and further significant savings are being achieved through shared accommodation and corporate services.

School Transport

Seán Crowe

Question:

122 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of subsidised bus routes that have been cut to make the 1% savings in transport services. [22530/12]

A number of changes to the School Transport Schemes were introduced from the 2011/12 school year and derived from recommendations contained in the Value for Money review of the School Transport Scheme. As a consequence of the combined changes a number of services were withdrawn in respect of the 2011/12 school year. In such cases, families of eligible children may still apply for the remote area transport grant. These changes form part of the overall requirement to deliver savings of €17 million on the school transport budget by 2014. Similarly, the reduction in the School Transport Allocation for 2012 does not refer solely to a cut in the number of school transport services but rather is part of these savings and efficiency measures.

Departmental Expenditure

Seán Crowe

Question:

123 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills the international activities and conferences funded by his Department. [22531/12]

Funding is provided from my Department's Subhead B.3 to support the following activities:

The costs of Ireland's participation in the education and training related work of the OECD and the Council of Europe.

A financial contribution to the College of Europe, including scholarships for Irish students.

Scholarships for Irish students and for the expenses involved in Ireland's participation in the European University Institute.

Support for Irish participation in the World Schools Debating Championships and in the International Mathematical Olympiads.

The hosting in Ireland of international educational conferences. In 2011 this included the Asia-Europe Classroom Network Conference (AEC-NET) and the General Assembly of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA).

UNESCO Contribution

Seán Crowe

Question:

124 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills the nationality, age profile and gender of the students and teachers who benefitted from the UNESCO contribution and international exchanges; and the schools with pupils who benefitted from the scheme. [22532/12]

The purpose of UNESCO contribution in subhead B.4 is to meet the costs arising from Ireland's membership of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, by way of the payment of a membership contribution. The subhead also provides for international exchange programmes.

The Teacher Exchanges programme for second-level teachers

France:

2 Irish teachers visited second-level schools in France under the French/Irish Professional Visit Scheme for 2011/12. Both were female. 18 teachers from France visited second-level schools in Ireland; the personal details of these teachers are not available as they make a direct application to the French Cultural Services in Paris.

Foreign Language Assistant Scheme 2011/12

Foreign Language Assistants are undergraduates or recent graduates who study modern languages. A total of 110 assistants come to second-level schools in Ireland each year under bilateral cultural agreements. They receive a monthly allowance from my Department. The most recent intake was 60 French, 30 German, 2 Austrian, 12 Spanish and 6 Italian. The Foreign Language Assistants are selected by the cultural services in their own countries. Irish undergraduates serve as Language Assistants in these countries. They receive monthly allowances from the host countries. A breakdown by age or gender is not readily available.

Postgraduate scholarships

My Department also funds a one-year reciprocal postgraduate scholarship scheme for international students. To date, the purpose has been to meet the terms of international agreements and educational exchange agreements with Ireland's international partners. Ireland has concluded cultural agreements with Belgium, Czech Republic, China, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, and Spain. Ireland also has educational exchanges with Australia, Chile, Japan, Hungary, Switzerland and Turkey.

11 postgraduate scholarships were offered annually to non-EEA countries and 23 postgraduate scholarships to EU countries but take-up varied year by year. Last year, 5 scholarships in total were awarded to Chinese, Mexican and Japanese students.

From 2012, this programme is being amended in line with this Government's International Education Strategy 2010- 2015, with the purpose of more effectively using the scholarships as a means to promote Ireland as a centre for international education in high-growth markets.

Research Funding

Seán Crowe

Question:

125 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide information on the research and development activities and EU pilot projects provided by funding (details supplied). [22533/12]

The B.5 subhead, entitled "Research and Development Activities" has two components.

1. Research and development.

2. EU projects.

1. Research and development. The purpose of the Research and Development subhead (B5.1) is to fund individual researchers and research institutes for specific educational research projects. A Departmental Research and Development Committee assesses applications for funding, reviews progress of research projects supported by the Committee, and considers means for dissemination of results obtained. Expenditure totalling €150,823.22 was incurred in 2011. This included funding for two research projects:

Valuing Visibility: an exploration of how sexual orientation issues arise and are addressed in post-primary schools.

Action Research project to develop a religious education curriculum for delivery in Community National Schools. The project commenced in July 2008 and it is envisaged that the project will continue until a religious education programme has been developed for all classes from junior infants to sixth class.

2. EU projects. The main purpose of this provision is to make a national contribution towards the administrative costs of the national agency which administers the EU Lifelong Learning Programme in Ireland, which is Léargas, the Exchange Bureau. The Lifelong Learning Programme 2007-2013 (LLP) comprises four sub-programmes supporting cross-border mobility, networking and sharing of best practice. Erasmus deals with mobility activities for those participating in third level education.

Leonardo daVinci is the vocational education and training action. It funds mobility and project activities for trainers and trainees. Funding under this action is available to public and private bodies and institutions involved in vocational education and training.

Grundtvig covers activities by adult trainers and learners. Comenius deals with activities by schools, teachers and pupils.

Under the Lifelong Learning Programme, the European Commission provides funding to beneficiaries and project promoters and partners. This funding is administered by the national agencies in the member states in the case of decentralised actions and by the Commission in the case of centralised actions. Expenditure from this subhead on EU projects relates to the administrative costs of Léargas in running the Lifelong Learning Programme, rather than to the costs of the programme itself which are fully funded by the Commission. There is no co-funding requirement.

Inservice Training

Seán Crowe

Question:

126 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills the in-career development and training provided to teachers in the first, second and further education sectors; the average time spent by teachers in career development and the training provided by parents and school management involved at first and second levels. [22534/12]

In 2011 there were 130,679 training places provided by my Department funded support services for teachers. This figure includes the primary and post primary sector. Each year Vocational Education Committees (VEC) are allocated funding for the delivery of a Continuing Professional Development programme for Youthreach, Senior Traveller Training Centre (STTC) and Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) staff. The most recent returns from VECs indicate that 44,636 training hours were provided.

The amount of time a teacher spends on in-service varies in accordance with school and Departmental priorities and the availability of resources. Current priorities include Project Maths and literacy and numeracy. My Department also provides funding to the Management Bodies and the National Parent Councils for the provision of training to parents and Boards of Management. In 2011 there were 1,486 training places provided in both Primary and Post Primary sectors. There will be an increase in the number of participants in 2012 given that there are new Boards of Management in place at primary level.

School Curriculum

Seán Crowe

Question:

127 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills the provision, if any, that has been made for the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment to implement reform of the junior certificate curriculum. [22535/12]

The NCCA's 2012 allocation reflects an increase of €.077m (8%) on the 2011 outturn which my Department considers sufficient to allow the Council to continue to fulfil its statutory obligations as laid out in the Education Act 1998. A core element of its work for 2012 is to continue to support Junior Cycle reform. It is important to note that reform will be introduced on a phased basis. The reform will commence for students beginning junior cycle in September 2014 and the first examination of the reformed Junior Certificate will be in 2017.

National Drugs Strategy

Seán Crowe

Question:

128 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide a breakdown of the six projects funded under the drugs task force areas and his plans to expand the scheme. [22536/12]

There are six projects in Local Drugs Task Force areas which receive allocations from subhead B8 of my Department's Vote. Four of the projects are administered by the VECs in Dublin City, Dublin County (2) and Dun Laoghaire; my Department also provides each VEC with an allocation towards administration costs. The remaining two projects are administered directly by my Department. The attached table shows details of the allocations provided to the six projects in 2011 and 2012.

A review of the six projects was carried out in 2011. As a result of the review, four of the projects have received allocations in 2012 similar to their allocations in 2011. Two of the projects have had their 2011 allocations reduced by 10%. These projects involve outside facilitators delivering the substance use aspect of the Social, Personal and Health Education curriculum in schools. Following the review, it was considered that, in line with best practice guidelines issued to schools by my Department, the classroom teacher is the best placed professional to work consistently with students on the SPHE programme. There are no plans to extend funding to other projects under subhead B8 of my Department's Vote.

Projects Receiving Allocations under Subhead B8, Vote 26.

Department of Education and Skills

Local Drugs Task Force Area

Project

Administered by

2011 Allocation

2012 Allocation

North Inner City

Salesian Youth Enterprises

City of Dublin Youth Services Board, under City of Dublin VEC

€52,041

€52,040

Blanchardstown

Blanchardstown Early School Leavers Project

County Dublin VEC

€59,677

€59,670

Ballyfermot

Familiscope

D/Education and Skills

€67,402

€67,400

Dublin North East

Rehabilitation and Support Programme (RASP)

D/Education and Skills

€138,847

€138,840

Tallaght

Killinarden Drug Primary Prevention

County Dublin VEC

€64,426

€57,980

Dun Laoghaire

Drug Education and Training

Dun Laoghaire VEC

€16,000

€14,400

Disadvantaged Status

Seán Crowe

Question:

129 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will list the projects and schemes that have failed to access funding under educational disadvantage schemes. [22537/12]

There were no projects or schemes that failed to access funding under educational disadvantage schemes administered by my Department in 2011 or 2012. The 1% decrease alluded to in the Deputy's question refers to the allocation for B10 Educational Disadvantage (Dormant Accounts Funding) in 2012, of €1.6 million. This allocation is some €13,000 or 0.81% less than the outturn under B10 Educational Disadvantage (Dormant Accounts Funding) in 2011, but is sufficient to cover existing commitments. There are currently three Educational Disadvantaged Schemes administered by my Department, namely:

1. Scheme to enable DEIS Schools in Limerick City to open after school hours;

2. Access Programmes in the Institutes of Technology;

3. Pre-Schools Education Initiative- Equality and Diversity Training.

All of the above schemes will conclude in 2012, once all the approved funding has been drawn down by recipients.

Residential Institutions Redress Scheme

Seán Crowe

Question:

130 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of persons who have availed of the residential institutions redress scheme; their ages, gender and country of residence; if he will provide an exact figure paid to the survivors of abuse and a breakdown of money paid to the legal profession and advocacy groups. [22538/12]

At the end of December 2011 the Redress Board had accepted 15,404 applications of which 14,855 had been processed resulting in 13,915 awards. A total of €866.58m was paid out in awards and €166.34m was paid in legal and associated costs. The Board's annual report provides a more detailed breakdown of the legal payments to solicitors in any one year. At end 2011, the Redress Board had a further 1,474 late submissions to be considered.

At the end of 2011, further expenditure associated with the Indemnity Agreement amounted to €9.6 in respect of court awards, settlements and associated costs. I have provided a breakdown of the age profile, gender profile and country of residence.

Up to the end of 2011, a total of approximately €2.79 million in funding was provided by my Department to Irish based groups representing survivors of institutional abuse. In the same period, just over €5.14 million was paid to the Survivor Outreach Services based in the UK. In addition to this, approximately €36,000 was paid in miscellaneous expenditure, primarily to groups who were not in receipt of regular annual funding from my Department but who would have been involved in various meetings with Government in the context of redress related issues.

Note:

All figures provided are up to 31st December 2011

Reports on Age, Gender and Country of Residence are based on the 15,341 cases which had been registered on the Case Management System by the 31st December 2011. 63 cases had not yet been registered due to insufficient information provided.

1. Total Number of Applications Received — 15,404.

2. Breakdown of applications by decade of birth:

Age Group

Number of Apps

Percentage

Prior to 1920

99

0.65%

1920-1929

776

5.06%

1930-1939

2,896

18.88%

1940-1949

4,374

28.51%

1950-1959

4,066

26.50%

1960-1969

2,012

13.12%

1970-1979

911

5.94%

1980-

196

1.28%

No DOB Provided

11

0.07%

Total

15,341

100.00%

5. Breakdown of applications by country of residence

Country of Residence

Total Applications Received

% of Total Received

Ireland

9,227

60.15%

Great Britain

5,093

33.20%

USA

327

2.13%

Australia

321

2.09%

Northern Ireland

137

0.89%

Canada

101

0.66%

Spain

32

0.21%

New Zealand

21

0.14%

Germany

18

0.12%

The Netherlands

15

0.10%

France

9

0.06%

Sweden

6

0.04%

Denmark

5

0.03%

South Africa

4

0.03%

Channel Islands

3

0.02%

Belgium

2

0.01%

Italy

3

0.02%

Portugal

2

0.01%

Austria

1

0.01%

China

1

0.01%

Cyprus

1

0.01%

Finland

1

0.01%

Malta

1

0.01%

Morocco

1

0.01%

Nigeria

1

0.01%

Norway

1

0.01%

Republic of Panama

1

0.01%

Sri Lanka

1

0.01%

Thailand

1

0.01%

The Philippines

1

0.01%

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

1

0.01%

West Indies

1

0.01%

Zimbabwe

1

0.01%

Total

15,341

100.00%

6. Breakdown of applications by gender

Gender

Number

Percentage

Male

9,212

60.05%

Female

6,129

39.95%

Total

15,341

100.00%

Good Friday Agreement

Seán Crowe

Question:

131 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will list the initiatives in the field of education that have benefitted from North South cooperation funding and the names of schools where children who have benefitted from the George Mitchell Scholarship Fund Act 2011 have attended. [22539/12]

Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement there are four designated areas of cooperation in the area of education; special education needs, educational underachievement, teacher mobility and school, youth and teachers exchanges. My Department funds a number of initiatives in these four areas. A list of projects currently funded is attached as Appendix A for the deputy's information. In relation to the George Mitchell Scholarship Programme, this programme provides third level scholarships to enable US university graduates to pursue a year of study at institutions of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland. A list of the third level institutions which George Mitchell scholars have attended is attached as Appendix B.

North South Co-operation Unit Projects and Programmes Funding 2012

Name

Source of Funding

Other Source(s) of Funding

Republic of Ireland

Northern Ireland and USA

School, Youth and Teachers

Cinemagic

Dept. Education and Skills

— Dept. of Culture, Arts and Leisure NI— Northern Ireland Screen

Civic Link

Dept. Education and Skills

N/A*

Dissolving Boundaries

Dept. Education and Skills

Dept. Education Northern Ireland

European Studies Project

Dept. Education and Skills

Dept. Education Northern Ireland

History Teachers Association of Ireland (HTAI) Visit to Belfast

Dept. Education and Skills (NSCU and Teacher Education Section)

N/A

Irish Science Olympiad

Dept. Education and Skills

Dept. Education Northern Ireland

Maths Week Ireland

Dept. Education and Skills

Dept. Education Northern Ireland

Coordinating Training Tool (for English as an additional language and integration)

Dept. Education and Skills

N/A

Pushkin Prizes

Dept. Education and Skills

Dept. Education Northern Ireland

North South Ministerial Council Working Groups (Literacy Conference)

Dept. Education and Skills

Dept. Education Northern Ireland

3rd Level

Dare to be Digital

Dept. Education and Skills

Belfast City Council

Glór na nGael

Dept. Education and Skills

N/A

SCoTENS Teacher Education Conference

Dept. Education and Skills

— Dept. Education Northern Ireland— Dept. of Employment and Learning NI

Universities Ireland

Dept. Education and Skills

Dept. of Employment and Learning NI

Washington Ireland Programme

Dept. Education and Skills

Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister Northern Ireland

Other

Centre for Cross Border Studies

Dept. Education and Skills

N/A

Table 2

Breakdown of George Mitchell Scholars by Institution and Programme

Year

Scholars

Institutions

Programme

2001

12

Dublin City University

Financial and Industrial Mathematics

National University of Ireland Galway

International Law and Human Rights

National University of Ireland Galway

Culture and Colonialism

National University of Ireland Maynooth

Medieval Irish History

Queen’s University Belfast

Irish Studies

Queens University Belfast

Human Rights and Law

Trinity College Dublin

Peace Studies

Trinity College Dublin

Multimedia Systems

University College Cork

English

University College Dublin

Mathematical Studies

University of Limerick

Peace and Developmental Studies

University of Ulster

Biomedical Sciences

2002

12

Dublin City University

International Relations

Queen’s University Belfast

Classics

Queen’s University Belfast

Comparative Ethnic Conflict

Trinity College Dublin

Ethnic and Racial Studies

Trinity College Dublin

Anglo-Irish Literature

University College Cork

Government

University College Cork

Applied Social Studies

University College Dublin

Computer Science

University College Dublin

Politics

University of Limerick

Peace and Development studies

University of Limerick

International Relations

University of Ulster

Biotechnology

2003

12

Dublin City University

Political Communications

NUI Galway

Human Rights Law

NUI Galway

International Human Rights Law

NUI Maynooth

Geography

Queen’s University Belfast

Human Rights Law

Queen’s University Belfast

Creative Writing

Trinity College Dublin

Community Health

Trinity College Dublin

History of Art

University College Dublin

Anglo-Irish Literature

University College Dublin

Anglo-Irish Literature

University of Ulster

Peace and Conflict Studies

University of Ulster

Political Communications and Public Affairs

2004

11

National University of Ireland Galway

Health Promotion

National University of Ireland Galway and Queens University Belfast

Human Rights Law

Queen’s University Belfast

Comparative Ethnic Conflict

Queen’s University Belfast

Human Rights and Criminal Justice

Trinity College Dublin

Irish Theatre and Film

Trinity College Dublin

International Peace Studies

University College Cork

Economic Science

University College Cork

International Relations

University College Dublin

Anglo-Irish literature

University College Dublin

Equality Studies

University of Limerick

International Studies

2005

12

Dublin City University

International Relations

National University of Ireland Galway

Economic Policy Evaluation

National University of Ireland Galway

Zoology

Queen’s University Belfast

Comparative Ethnic Conflict

Queen’s University Belfast

Comparative Ethnic Conflict

Trinity College Dublin

Civil Engineering

Trinity College Dublin

Drama Studies

University College Dublin

Equality Studies

University College Dublin

Politics

University of Limerick

International Studies

University of Limerick

International Studies

University of Ulster

Peace and Conflict Studies

2006

11

Dublin City University

International Security and Conflict Studies

National University of Ireland Galway

Economic Policy Evaluation

Queen’s University Belfast

Music Composition

Queen’s University Belfast

Comparative Ethnic Conflict

Trinity College Dublin

Ecumenics

Trinity College Dublin

Fire Engineering

University College Cork

Applied Science

University College Dublin

Equality Studies

University of Limerick

Biomedical Engineering

University of Ulster

Peace and conflict studies

University of Ulster

Irish History and politics

2007

11

Dublin City University

Journalism

Dublin City University

International Security and Conflict Studies

National University of Ireland Galway

Biomedical Science

National University of Ireland Galway and Queens University Belfast

Human Rights and Criminal Justice

Queen’s University Belfast

International Politics

Trinity College Dublin

International Peace Studies

Trinity College Dublin

Creative Writing

University College Dublin

Anglo-Irish Literature

University of Limerick

Peace and Development Studies

University of Limerick

International Studies

University of Ulster

Peace and Conflict Studies

2008

12

Dublin City University

International Security and Conflict Studies

National University of Ireland Galway

International Human Rights Law

National University of Ireland Maynooth

Musicology

Queen’s University Belfast

Ethnic Conflict

Queen’s University Belfast

Theory, culture and identity

Trinity College Dublin

Applied Social Research

Trinity College Dublin

Environmental Science

University College Cork

Contemporary Migration/Diaspora studies

University College Cork

Politics

University College Dublin

Meteorology

University College Dublin

Development Studies

University College Dublin

Cultural Policy and Arts management

2009

12

National University of Ireland Galway

Public Advocacy and Activism

University College Dublin

Sociology

Queen’s University Belfast

Human Rights

Trinity College Dublin

Environmental Science

University College Dublin

Neuroscience

University of Ulster

Peace Studies

National University of Ireland Maynooth

Anthropology and Development

Dublin City University

Political Communication

Dublin City University

Development Studies

Trinity College Dublin

Creative Writing

Queen’s University Belfast

Violence, Terrorism and Security

University College Cork

Mobile Networking and Computing

2010

12

Trinity College Dublin

Masters in Neuroscience

University College Cork

Public Health

University of Limerick

Music Therapy

Queen’s University Belfast

Masters in Environmental Science

Queen’s University Belfast and National University of Ireland Galway

Masters in Human Rights Law

National University of Ireland Maynooth

Immunology and Global Health

Trinity College Dublin

Playwriting

Queen’s University Belfast

Rural Development

National University of Ireland Galway

Masters in Gender, Globalization and Development

University College Dublin

Equality Studies

Trinity College Dublin

Mathematical Physics

National University of Ireland Galway

International Human Rights Law

2011

9

University College Dublin

Global Health

University of Ulster

Peace and Conflict Studies

Dublin City University

International Security and Conflict Studies

NUI Galway

Political Science and Sociology

University of Limerick

Sociology

University College Dublin

Public Health

NUI Galway

Writing

Queen’s University Belfast

Violence Terrorism and Security

NUI Maynooth

Military History and Strategic Studies

2012

12

NUI Galway

Economic Policy Evaluation

NUI Maynooth

Equalty and Social Activism

Queen’s University Belfast

Corporate Governance

Dublin City University

Intercultural Studies

University College Dublin

Anglo-Irish Lit and Drama

University College Dublin

Development Practice

Trinity College Dublin

Gender and Women’s Studies

University of Ulster

Human Rights Law

University of Ulster

Health Communication

NUI Galway

Theatre

Queen’s University Belfast

Human Geography

Trinity College Dublin

Theatre and Performance

Total

138

Computerisation Programme

Seán Crowe

Question:

132 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide a list of schools that are currently waiting for the upgrading to the school broadband service; and the percentage of the amount paid on wages to those persons employed to upgrade the school broadband scheme. [22540/12]

Under the Schools Broadband Programme services are secured by my Department on behalf of schools through a public tendering process. All schools wishing to avail of broadband under the Programme are currently in receipt of the best available connections within resources. As the Deputy will be aware, broadband capacity can vary due to geographical location. However, since the commencement of the Schools Broadband Programme there has been a significant increase in bandwidth capacity. This is due to improved bandwidth speeds being made available to schools and the substantial reduction in the number of schools who are connected via satellite. Schools are only offered satellite connections where no alternative was offered during the procurement process.

The schools Broadband Programme has been re-tendered and an evaluation of responses is currently taking place. New contracts for the supply of services will be awarded shortly. It is expected that under the new contracts there will be further increases in the overall availability of bandwidth provided to schools within the current budget.

In 2011 €3m was paid to internet service providers. Information regarding the element of the broadband contracts which relates to providers' wage costs is not available. In addition to the current broadband scheme, the Government has approved the roll out of 100Mbit/s broadband to all post primary schools. This is a joint initiative between this Department and the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. The national roll-out will be completed over three stages with 203 schools being connected by September 2012, a further 200 being connected next year and the remaining 250 schools being connected in 2014.

Under the agreed arrangements, the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources will provide the capital investment and current costs for each school for the year of installation and also for the first calendar year. My Department will pay the current costs for connectivity thereafter which is estimated at €8.1m. For this year, this Department will pay €1.2m which is the current costs for the 78 schools that were in the pilot project and this amount is included in the 2012 Estimate for my Department.

Teachers’ Remuneration

Seán Crowe

Question:

133 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide a breakdown of teachers’ wages under basic pay scales, 1-25; the amount spent on substitution/supervision and those involved in the part-time teaching schemes for special needs and disadvantaged children and adults. [22541/12]

Teachers in Primary Schools are paid salary in accordance with the Common Basic Salary Scale. This scale ranges from €30,904 to €59,359 for those whose first appointment was prior to 1st January 2011 (full details in Circular 04/2010). For those Primary Teachers whose first appointment was on or after 1st January 2011, the salary scale ranges from €27,814 to €53,423 (full details in Circular 40/2011). The cost of the Supervision and Substitution scheme in 2011 was €61.2m including Employers PRSI. The amount spent on part-time teaching schemes for special needs in 2011 was €20.83 million.

Capitation Grants

Seán Crowe

Question:

134 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the reduction in school capitation grants has resulted in the loss of caretaker or secretarial services. [22542/12]

As the Deputy is aware Budget 2012 provided for a 2% reduction in the funding for capitation and related grants to primary and second level schools in both 2012 and 2013 and a further 1% in 2014 and 2015. Due to my decision of 21st February last, to retain posts from previous disadvantage schemes in DEIS Band 1 and Band 2 primary schools, it was necessary to generate alternative savings within the primary education budget. This has been achieved by bringing forward to this year 1.5% of the 2% reduction in overall capitation funding originally scheduled for 2013.

The Boards of Management of schools are responsible for the employment of school secretaries and caretakers and it is a matter for each school to determine the level of secretarial and caretaking needs required for the school. Funding to cater for these needs is made available from my Department under two separate schemes. One is the 1978/79 scheme under which my Department meets the full cost of salary and the school secretaries are paid directly through my Department's payroll. The 1978/79 scheme is being phased out as posts become vacant and no new posts are being created. The 1978/79 scheme has been superseded by a more extensive capitation grant scheme towards the funding of ancillary services in schools. While these specific ancillary services grants were not reduced in Budget 2011 the overall capitation funding available to schools was reduced.

The Deputy will be aware that Circular 0040/2009 provides that capitation funding paid to schools for general running costs and funding provided for caretaking and secretarial services may be regarded as a common grant from which the Board of Management can allocate according to its own priorities. I cannot provide specific information on the effect, if any, the reduction in capitation funding to schools has had on the provision of secretarial and caretaking services. However, my Department has not received any communication from schools that would indicate any reduction is such services.

School Accommodation

Seán Crowe

Question:

135 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will list the temporary school premises being rented by his Department. [22543/12]

Seán Crowe

Question:

139 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will list the temporary post-primary school accommodation rented by his Department. [22547/12]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 135 and 139 together.

The amount spent on renting temporary accommodation at primary and post-primary level, including — but not limited to — prefabricated accommodation has reduced in recent years as outlined below:

Year

€m

2012

€29.3m (allocation)

2011

€28.9m

2010

€29.3m

2009

€39m

As the Deputy is aware I announced an initiative to replace rented prefabs in schools in March of this year. Almost 200 schools were offered an opportunity to replace rented prefabs with permanent accommodation. A total of €35 million has been allocated for this initiative in 2012. Approximately 80 schools have now been given approval to proceed with the replacement of their rented prefabs at a cost of €14m and the remaining 110 schools will be finalised in the coming weeks. This new initiative will provide additional savings on the rental of prefabs in these schools in the coming years.

Details of school accommodation currently being rented by primary and post-primary schools is outlined on a county by county basis in the following table. Please note that one prefab unit may consist of one or more classrooms and/or ancillary accommodation.

Listing of Temporary Accommodation : Primary and Post Primary-May 2012

Roll No.

School Name

Town/ Townland

County

Desc. of rental

No. of Prefab Units

04077I

St Brigids NS

Tullow

Carlow

Prefab

1

11135K

St Mary’s NS

Bagenalstown

Carlow

Prefab

1

16080N

St Phadraig Naofa

Tullow

Carlow

Prefab

2

17501Q

Bennekerry NS

Bennekerry

Carlow

Prefab

2

17514C

Clonegal NS

Clonegal

Carlow

Prefab

1

17994T

SN Fhoirtcheim

Muinebeag

Carlow

Prefab

2

20295K

Carlow Educate Tog

Graiguecullen

Carlow

Building and Land

20370V

Saplings School

Carlow

Carlow

Building and Prefab

1

61140K

St. Leo’s College

Dublin Road

Carlow

Prefab

6

08453H

Crubany NS

Crubany

Cavan

Prefab

2

08490N

St Clare’s PS

Ardmhuire

Cavan

Prefab

3

16057S

Convent of Mercy NS

Belturbet

Cavan

Prefab

2

16083T

St Mary’s NS

Virginia

Cavan

Prefab

8

16959M

Curravagh NS

Glangevlin

Cavan

Prefab

1

17326B

St Felim’s NS

Farnham St

Cavan

Prefab

1

17625L

Knocktemple NS

Virginia

Cavan

Prefab

1

18857O

Carrigabruise NS

Virginia

Cavan

Prefab

1

19439B

Holy Family NS

Cootehill

Cavan

Building

19608V

St Kilian’s NS

Mullagh

Cavan

Prefab

8

19871N

Scoil Naomh Padraig

Blackloin

Cavan

Prefab

1

70380I

Breifne College

Cavan

Prefab

4

04919H

St John’s NS

Cratloe

Clare

Prefab

2

14111L

Cross NS

Kilrush

Clare

Prefab

1

14757N

Scoil na Mainstreach

Quin

Clare

Prefab

1

15301V

Kildysart NS

Ennis

Clare

Prefab

2

16186G

Inch NS

Ennis

Clare

Prefab

1

16677C

CBS Bunscoil Inis Senior School

Ennis

Clare

Prefab

5

16908S

Sixmilebridge NS

Sixmilebridge

Clare

Prefab

4

16946D

Parteen NS

Parteen

Clare

Prefab

2

17583V

Knockanean NS

Knockanean

Clare

Prefab

5

18639E

Ballynacally NS

Ennis

Clare

Prefab

1

19274S

St. Conaire’s NS

Shannon

Clare

Prefab

3

19849U

GS Donncha Rua

Sionna

Clare

Prefab

4

19999Q

GS Uí Choimín

Cill Rois

Clare

Building

20041C

St. Senan’s Conv

Kilrush

Clare

Prefab

3

20075T

St. Mochulla’s NS

Tulla

Clare

Prefab

1

20086B

Ennis Educate Together NS

Ennis

Clare

Land and Prefabs

9

20312H

Raheen Wood Steiner NS

Tuamgraney

Clare

Buildings

20313J

Mol an Oige NS

Ennistymon

Clare

Land and Prefabs

6

70840Q

Ennistymon VEC

Ennistymon

Clare

Prefab

2

01272O

Glandore NS

Glandore

Cork

Prefab

1

02114B

Ballygiblin NS

Mitchelstown

Cork

Prefab

1

04118T

Bishop Ahern NS

Leamlara

Cork

Prefab

1

07242M

Cloghroe NS

Cloghroe

Cork

Prefab

4

10047I

Macroom Convent NS (St Joseph’s)

Macroom

Cork

Prefab

5

10523O

Fermoy Adair NS

Fermoy

Cork

Prefab

1

10724B

South Abbey NS

Youghal

Cork

Building

11992I

Whitegate Mixed NS

Midleton

Cork

Prefab

2

12004A

Mallon No1 NS

Mallow

Cork

Prefab

1

12041G

St. John the Baptist, Midleton NS

Midleton

Cork

Prefab

2

12446J

Glenahulla NS

Cork

Prefab

1

12447L

Baltydaniel NS

Mallow

Cork

Prefab

1

12473M

Scoil Mhuire na nGrós (Greenmount Monastery NS)

Green Street

Cork

Prefab

5

12505W

Kilbarry NS

Macroom

Cork

Prefab

1

13234W

Cloughduv NS

Crookstown

Cork

Prefab

2

13375R

Scoil Bhríde

Bandon

Cork

Prefab

3

13450F

Rushbrooke NS

Cobh

Cork

Prefab

8

13512B

Scoil Mhuire Lourdes

Carrigaline

Cork

Prefab

4

13728B

Castletownshend NS

Skibbereen

Cork

Prefab

2

13779S

Dromahane NS

Mallow

Cork

Prefab

2

13828F

St. Columba’s Boys NS

Douglas

Cork

Building

13889C

Shanbally NS

Ringaskiddy

Cork

Prefab

1

13976U

St Matthias National School

Ballydehob

Cork

Prefab

1

14052V

St Colmans BNS

Kanturk

Cork

Prefab

1

14839P

Clondrohid NS

Macroom

Cork

Prefab

2

15165Q

Ballintotas NS

Castlemartyr

Cork

Prefab

2

15484J

SN an Chroí Naofa

Glounthaune

Cork

Prefab

5

15594Q

Grange NS

Fermoy

Cork

Prefab

3

15646J

Coomhala NS

Bantry

Cork

Prefab

1

15701O

Bartlemy NS

Fermoy

Cork

Prefab

1

15781P

Ballintemple NS

Ballintemple

Cork

Prefab

1

15792U

SN Naomh Micheál

White’s Cross

Cork

Prefab

1

16087E

Kealkil NS

Bantry

Cork

Prefab

2

16271U

Watergrasshill NS

Watergrasshill

Cork

Prefab

3

16339F

St Joseph’s NS

The Mardyke

Cork

Prefab

2

17011W

St Mochomóg’s NS

Bantry

Cork

Prefab

1

17103E

Scoil Chlochair Mhuire

Carrigtwohill

Cork

Prefab

2

17112F

Ballyhea NS

Charleville

Cork

Prefab

1

17152R

Knockskeagh NS

Clonakilty

Cork

Prefab

1

17168J

SN Inis Eoghain

Innishannon

Cork

Prefab

1

17281F

Togher NS

Dunmanway

Cork

Prefab

1

17297U

St Fergal’s NS

Killeagh

Cork

Prefab

2

17360B

SN Mhuire

Mallow Rd

Cork

Prefab

2

17505B

Brooklodge NS

Glanmire

Cork

Prefab

1

17533G

Rahan NS

Mallow

Cork

Prefab

4

17600S

Scartleigh NS

Midleton

Cork

Prefab

5

17609N

Rathcormac NS

Rathcormac

Cork

Prefab

1

17639W

CBS PS

Mitchelstown

Cork

Prefab

3

17667E

Whitechurch NS

Whitechurch

Cork

Prefab

2

17804L

SN Cnoc Na Manach

Minane Bridge

Cork

Prefab

1

17823P

Glantane NS

Mallow

Cork

Prefab

1

17972J

Killmurry NS

Lissarda

Cork

Prefab

1

17993R

Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál (B) (Glasheen BNS)

Glasheen

Cork

Prefab

3

18000W

Scoil Mhuire Naofa

Carrigtwohill

Cork

Prefab

3

18128C

Scoil Mhuire NS

Mallow

Cork

Prefab

1

18217B

Scoil Padre Pio

Churchfield

Cork

Prefab

2

18246I

Ballymoney NS

Ballineen

Cork

Prefab

1

18279A

Carrigaline No3 NS

Carrigaline

Cork

Prefab

2

18377A

St Joseph’s NS

Fermoy

Cork

Prefab

1

18428O

Bailenóra NS

Tobar an Iarla

Cork

Prefab

3

18468D

St Mary’s NS

Drimoleague

Cork

Prefab

1

18483W

School of the Divine Child

Ballintemple

Cork

Prefab

2

18497K

Scoil Inse Ratha

Little Island

Cork

Prefab

2

18535P

St John’s GNS

Carrigaline

Cork

Prefab

6

19256Q

Scoil Ghobnatan

Mallow

Cork

Prefab

1

19351K

Cill Chriodain

Ladysbridge

Cork

Prefab

3

19381T

Rathmore NS

Skibereen

Cork

Prefab

1

19404F

Scoil Mhuire SN

Ballyhooly

Cork

Prefab

2

19415K

Scoil an Athar Tadhg

Carraig na bhFear

Cork

Prefab

5

19557H

Caheragh NS

Drimoleague

Cork

Prefab

1

19637F

Scoil Fhionnbarra

Béal Athan Ghaorthaidh

Cork

Prefab

2

19760E

Scoil Triest

Glanmire

Cork

Prefab

3

19761G

St Peter’s NS

Dungourney

Cork

Prefab

1

19801P

Drimoleague Junior School

Drimoleague

Cork

Prefab

2

19839R

GS Ui Riordain

Baile an Chollaigh

Cork

Building, Land and Prefabs

6

19851H

GS de Hide

Fermoy

Cork

Building

19881Q

GS Charraig Uí Leighin

Carraig Uí Leighin

Cork

Prefab

6

19906G

Cork School Project NS

Grattan St

Cork

Prefab

1

19909M

GS Pheig Sayers

New Mallow Rd

Cork

Building

19978I

Maulatrahane Central NS

Skibereen

Cork

Prefab

1

19993E

GS an Ghoirt Alainn

Gort Alainn

Cork

Land

20006A

GS Chloch na gCoillte

Cloch nagCoillte

Cork

Building

20025E

GS Droichead na Banndan

Droichead na Banndan

Cork

Building

20049S

Ringaskiddy Lower Harbour NS

Ringaskiddy

Cork

Prefab

3

20074R

St Gabriel’s Spec School

Bishopstown

Cork

Building

20106E

Scoil Niocláis

Cork

Cork

Prefab

17

20107G

Gaelscoil Mhainistir na Corann

Mainistir na Corann

Cork

Buildings and Prefabs

7

20151J

Gaelscoil Mhuscrai

An Bhlarna

Cork

Building and Land

20182U

St Enda’s NS

Dunmanway

Cork

Prefab

1

20204E

Kilworth National School

Killworth

Cork

Prefab

1

20222G

Scoil Chuil-Aodha/Barr dInse

Maghcromtha

Cork

Prefab

1

20239A

Gaelscoil Ui Drisceoil

Rathchuanna, GleannMaglair

Cork

Building

20265B

Gaelscoil Chionn tSaile

Kinsale

Cork

Land and Prefabs

3

20310D

Carrigaline Ed Tog NS

Mountain Rd

Cork

Buildings

20336V

Midleton Educate Together NS

Midleton

Cork

Building

20354A

Cara Jnr School

Glanmire

Cork

Building

3

62050O

The Hamilton High School

Bandon

Cork

Prefab

2

62170B

Sacred Heart Sec School

Clonakilty

Cork

Prefab

1

62421A

Presentation Sec School

Mitchelstown

Cork

Prefab

1

62460K

St Francis College

Rochestown

Cork

Prefab

4

62730N

St Patricks College

Gardiners Hill

Cork

Prefab

1

91499E

Kinsale Community School

Kinsale

Cork

Prefab

1

07143K

Monreagh NS

Lifford

Donegal

Prefab

1

11843O

Niall Mor NS

Killybegs

Donegal

Prefab

1

12077E

Scoil Naomh Fiachra

Letterkenny

Donegal

Prefab

4

13755E

Gartan NS

Chruchill

Donegal

Prefab

1

16672P

Lurgybrack NS

Letterkenny

Donegal

Prefab

1

16821G

St Patricks GNS

Carndonagh

Donegal

Prefab

1

16903I

Faugher NS

Duntanaghy

Donegal

Building

17721H

Scoil Treasa Naofa

Lifford

Donegal

Prefab

1

17728V

SN Talamh na Coitle

Letterkenny

Donegal

Prefab

1

18052S

Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal

Letterkenny

Donegal

Prefab

1

18520C

Scoil Phadraig

Clonmany

Donegal

Prefab

1

18625Q

Scoil Cholmcille

Letterkenny

Donegal

Prefab

2

18737E

Scoil Bhride

Leifear

Donegal

Prefab

1

19313C

Glenswilly NS

Letterkenny

Donegal

Prefab

3

19343L

SN Dhubhthaigh

Letterkenny

Donegal

Prefab

1

19724A

Little Angels Special School

Letterkenny

Donegal

Prefab

1

19927O

Scoil Mhuire

Stranorlar

Donegal

Prefab

4

19967D

Scoil Iosagain

Buncrana

Donegal

Prefab

6

19971R

Gaelscoil Adhamhnain

Letterkenny

Donegal

Prefab

2

20097G

Gaelscoil Bhun Chranncha

Bhun Chranncha

Donegal

Building

20144M

Gaelscoil Chois Feabhaill

Bun an Phobail

Donegal

Building and Land

20167B

Gaelscoil Eirne

Baile Átha Seanaidh

Donegal

Building and Land

20235P

Letterkenny Educate Together

Letterkenny

Donegal

Prefab

12

62830R

St. Eunan’s College

Letterkenny

Donegal

Prefab

4

71140Q

Crana College

Letterkenny

Donegal

Prefab

3

76081F

Colaiste Ailigh

Letterkenny

Donegal

Prefab

5

76107U

Gaelcholaiste Bhun Cranncha

Letterkenny

Donegal

Building

00752A

Central Model Senior Mixed NS

Marlborough St

Dublin

Prefab

1

01170G

Naul National School

Naul

Dublin

Prefab

3

01795A

Central Model Infants School

Marlborough St

Dublin

Prefab

3

03359N

Ballyroan Boys NS

Rathfarnham

Dublin

Prefab

1

06200O

St Mary’s BNS

Boosterstown

Dublin

Prefab

1

07546J

Our Lady of Lourdes NS

Inchicore

Dublin

Prefab

7

11583O

St. Andrew’s NS

Malahide

Dublin

Building

12014D

St Andrew’s NS

Lucan

Dublin

Prefab

3

14180H

Holmpatrick NS

Skerries

Dublin

Prefab

1

16333Q

St. Patricks JNS

Skerries

Dublin

Prefab

2

16461C

St Finian’s NS

Newcastle Lyons

Dublin

Prefab

4

16675V

Mulhuddart NS

Tyrrelstown

Dublin

Prefab

6

16860Q

Corpus Christi NS

Drumcondra

Dublin

Prefab

1

16972E

SS Peter and Paul JNS

Balbriggan

Dublin

Prefab

3

17055T

Scoil Naomh Mhuire

Saggart

Dublin

Prefab

4

17083B

Scoil Mhuire gan Smal

Dublin 8

Dublin

Prefab

1

17472M

Hedgestown NS

Lusk

Dublin

Prefab

1

17559B

St. Mary’s NS

Garristown

Dublin

Prefab

1

17569E

St Oliver Plunkett NS

Balbriggan

Dublin

Prefab

2

17691E

Lusk NS

Lusk

Dublin

Prefab

1

17912O

St John Boscos SBS

Navan Rd

Dublin

Prefab

5

17953F

Edmondstown NS

Rathfarnham

Dublin

Prefab

1

17961E

Lusk NS

Lusk

Dublin

Prefab

15

17977T

Scoil Aine

Raheny

Dublin

Prefab

1

17978V

Naiscoil Ide

Raheny

Dublin

Prefab

2

18046A

Scoil Bhríde BNS

Blanchardstown

Dublin

Prefab

3

18047C

Scoil Bhride GNS

Blanchardstown

Dublin

Prefab

4

18210K

St Michaels House Special School

Baldoyle

Dublin

Prefab

8

18386B

Marist NS

Crumlin

Dublin

Prefab

2

18411U

St Marys NS

Tallaght

Dublin

Prefab

3

18412W

Scoil Phadraic C

Donabate

Dublin

Prefab

1

18632N

SN Eoin Bosco

Navan Rd

Dublin

Prefab

1

18671A

St Michaels House

Rathgar

Dublin

Building

18763F

St Michaels Special NS

Ballymun Rd

Dublin

Prefab

3

18778S

St. Mochta’s NS

Clonsilla

Dublin

Prefab

7

18815V

Our Lady of Lourds

Dun Laogharie

Dublin

Prefab

1

18976W

St Colmcilles BNS

Swords

Dublin

Prefab

5

19066L

Loreto Primary

Dalkey

Dublin

Prefab

1

19220S

Scoil Ide

Clondalkin

Dublin

Prefab

2

19221U

Scoil Aine

Clondalkin

Dublin

Prefab

3

19259W

St. Patricks GNS

Foxrock

Dublin

Prefab

1

19281P

Mater Special School

James Joyce St

Dublin

Building

19374W

Our Lady’s Grove NS

Goatstown

Dublin

Prefab

4

19390U

St. Marks SNS

Tallaght

Dublin

Prefab

1

19435Q

St Francis Xavier JNS

Castleknock

Dublin

Prefab

5

19472W

St Marks JNS

Tallaght

Dublin

Prefab

5

19509T / 19510E

Talbot SNS

Clondalkin

Dublin

Prefab

3

19515O

St. Teresa’s NS

Balbriggan

Dublin

Prefab

4

19535U

St Cronan’s SNS

Swords

Dublin

Prefab

5

19545A

St Patricks JNS

Blanchardstown

Dublin

Prefab

1

19574H

Divine Word NS

Rathfarnham

Dublin

Prefab

2

19594N

St Pauls Youth Encounter Project

Finglas

Dublin

Building

19601H

St Philip the Apostle JNS

Clonsilla

Dublin

Prefab

1

19605P

Scoil Mhuire JNS

Blakestown

Dublin

Prefab

1

19624T

St Catherine’s NS

Rush

Dublin

Prefab

3

19625V

Scoil Realt na Mara

Skerries

Dublin

Prefab

3

19628E

St Fiachras SNS

Beaumount

Dublin

Prefab

3

19636D

St Patricks SNS

Blanchardstown

Dublin

Prefab

5

19652B

Sacred Heart NS

Tallaght

Dublin

Prefab

1

19660A

Rush NS

Rush

Dublin

Prefab

4

19662E

St Michael’s Primary School

Ballyfermot

Dublin

Prefab

1

19676P

Scoil Aine Naofa

Lucan

Dublin

Prefab

2

19705T

Catherine McAuley NS

19 Lr Baggot St.

Dublin

Building

19757P

St Michaels Special NS

Skerries

Dublin

Prefab

1

19782O

St Brigids JNS

Tallaght

Dublin

Prefab

5

19817H

Scoil Mhuire

Lucan

Dublin

Prefab

4

19834H

St Aidans NS

Brookfield

Dublin

Prefab

4

19877C

Holy Family SNS

Swords

Dublin

Prefab

2

19878E

Holy Rosary PS

Firhouse

Dublin

Prefab

9

19907I

Gaelscoil Mologa

Charleville Road

Dublin

Prefab

1

19926M

Gaelscoil Cholaiste Mhuire

Bac 1

Dublin

Building and Land

19935N

Scoil Eoin Abacus

Kilbarrack

Dublin

Building

19949B

Muslim NS

Clonskeagh

Dublin

Prefab

1

19991A

Ghaelscoil na Camoige

Clondalkin

Dublin

Building

20012S

Griffith Barracks Multi D School

South Circular Rd

Dublin

Prefab

2

20021T

Henrietta St School

8 Henrietta St

Dublin

Building

20028K

Setanta Special School

Stillorgan

Dublin

Prefab

4

20035H

St. Gabriels NS

Cowper St

Dublin

Prefab

1

20043G

Gaelscoil Chnoc liamhna

Cnoc Liamhna

Dublin

Prefab

1

20047O

Gaelscoil Bharra

Cabra

Dublin

Land and Prefabs

2

20103V

John Scottus NS

47/49 Northumberland Rd

Dublin

Building

20139T

Inchicore NS

Inchicore

Dublin

Prefab

3

20152L

North Dublin Muslim School

Navan Road

Dublin

Building and Prefabs

3

20168D

Glasnevin Educate Together NS

Glasnevin

Dublin

Prefab

2

20190T

Holy Trinity NS

Leopardstown

Dublin

Prefab

15

20220C

Gs Ui hEarcain

Glasanaon Road Finglas

Dublin

Building

20223I

Gaelscoil Eiscir Riada

Leamhcan

Dublin

Building and Prefabs

2

20304I

St Francis of Assisi

Belmayne

Dublin

Land and Prefab

1

20308Q

Belmayne ETNS

Belmayne

Dublin

Land and Prefab

1

20334R

Gaelscoil Ros Eo

Rush

Dublin

Land and Prefabs

3

20348F

Hollywell ETNS

Swords

Dublin

Prefab

5

20372C

ABA Facility (Saplings)

Rathfarnham

Dublin

Building

20378O

St Kevins (Abacus Unit)

Kilnamanagh

Dublin

Building

20381D

Red Door Learning Centre

Monkstown

Dublin

Building

60092U

Clonkeen College

Blackrock

Dublin

Prefab

3

60343T

St Josephs Sec School

Rush

Dublin

Prefab

3

60370W

St Fintan’s High School

Sutton

Dublin

Prefab

1

60450U

Coláiste Mhuire

Bothar Rath Tó

Dublin

Building

70010V

Balbriggan Community College

Balbriggan

Dublin

Prefab

2

70230M

Killester College

Collins Avenue

Dublin

Prefab

1

76062B

Castleknock Community College

Castleknock

Dublin

Prefab

2

76085N

Gaelcholaiste Reachrann

Donaghmede

Dublin

Prefab

4

76130P

Luttrellstown Community College

Luttrellstown

Dublin

Prefab

7

81002K

Mount Temple Comprehensive School

Malahide Road

Dublin

Prefab

3

03607G

Leitrim NS

Loughrea

Galway

Prefab

1

04506F

Oranmore BNS

Oranmore

Galway

Prefab

7

05754G

SN Chreachmhaoil

Craughwell

Galway

Prefab

3

07551C

Ballinderreen NS

Kilcolgan

Galway

Prefab

2

09833W

Lettergesh NS

Renvyle

Galway

Prefab

1

10095T

Scoil Naomh Treasa

Ahascragh

Galway

Prefab

1

11675T

Annagh BNS

Tuam

Galway

Prefab

2

12954F

Scoil Bhride

Turloughmore

Galway

Prefab

2

13208V

Convent Primary School

Gort

Galway

Prefab

2

13365O

Scoil Mhuire

Oranmore

Galway

Prefab

6

13856K

St James’ NS

Bushypark

Galway

Prefab

4

13914V

SN Sheosaimh

Bearna

Galway

Prefab

1

15228O

Corgary NS

Mountbellew

Galway

Prefab

1

16293H

Kilrickle NS

Loughrea

Galway

Prefab

1

16804G

SN Chlair na Gaillimhe

Baile Clar na Gaillimhe

Galway

Prefab

2

17444H

Scoil Seosaimh NS

Athenry

Galway

Prefab

2

17613E

Scoil Chaitriona Naofa

Ballinasloe

Galway

Prefab

2

17668G

Scoil na bhForbacha

Spiddal

Galway

Prefab

1

17759J

Scoil Bhride

Castlebar

Galway

Prefab

1

17782E

Scoil Bhride

Shantalla

Galway

Prefab

6

17807R

Cahergal NS

Tuam

Galway

Prefab

2

18089S

Scoil Mhuire an Gharran

Oranmore

Galway

Prefab

1

18112K

Scoil Eanna

Loughrea

Galway

Land and Prefabs

3

19544V

Kilchreest NS

Loughrea

Galway

Prefab

2

19567K

St Anne’s School

Merlin Park

Galway

Building

19803T

Scoil Sheamais Naofa

Bearna

Galway

Prefab

1

19965W

Scoil Mhuire

Clarinbridge

Galway

Prefab

2

19994G

GS Mhic Amhlaigh

Bothar na gCeapach, Cnoc na Cathrach

Galway

Prefab

3

19996K

St Brendan’s NS

Portumna

Galway

Prefab

2

19998O

GS De hIde

Oranmore

Galway

Building, Land and Prefabs

10

20000L

Galway Educate Together

Newcastle

Galway

Prefab

2

20042E

Scoil an Chroi Naofa Ballinasloe

Ballinasloe

Galway

Prefab

7

20061I

GS Iarfhlatha

Tuam

Galway

Building

20070J

Rosedale School

Renmore

Galway

Prefab

7

20123E

Gaelscoil Riabhach

Baile Locha Riach

Galway

Land and Prefabs

4

20199O

Oughterard NS

Oughterard

Galway

Prefab

1

20211B

Claregalway ETNS

Claregalway

Galway

Building, Land and Prefabs

2

20237T

Gaelscoil Riada

Athenry

Galway

Building and Prefabs

7

20264W

GS na bhFili

Gort Inse Guaire

Galway

Building

20326S

Kilcolgan Educate Together

Kilcolgan

Galway

Building, Land and Prefabs

3

20328W

St Teresa’s Sp School

Ballinasloe

Galway

Building

20350P

Merlin Woods Primary School

Doughiska Road

Galway

Land

20371A

Abalta School

Galway

Galway

Building

62870G

Presentation College

Athenry

Galway

Prefab

10

62880J

St Joseph’s College

Ballinasloe

Galway

Prefab

1

62960H

St Joseph’s Patrician College

Nuns Island

Galway

Building

71330V

Colaiste na Coirbe

Bothar Thuama

Galway

Building and Prefabs

3

02849C

Kenmare BNS

Kenmare

Kerry

Prefab

1

03132I

Sliabh A’Mhadra NS

Ballyduff

Kerry

Prefab

1

04062S

Listowel Convent PS

Listowel

Kerry

Prefab

1

07841L

Kilgobnet N S

Kilarney

Kerry

Prefab

1

08320L

St Clare’s GNS

Kenmare

Kerry

Prefab

1

09708T

Scoil Mhuire

Knocknagoshel

Kerry

Prefab

1

13615L

Scoil Eoin

Tralee

Kerry

Prefab

1

15592M

Scoil Cheann Tra

Tralee

Kerry

Prefab

1

16217O

Scoil Bhreac Chluain

Annascaul

Kerry

Prefab

1

16898S

SN Breandan Naofa

Tralee

Kerry

Prefab

1

17915U

Freastogail Mhuire Mixed NS

Abbeydorney

Kerry

Prefab

1

18247K

CBS Tralee

Tralee

Kerry

Prefab

8

18702I

Spa NS

Tralee

Kerry

Prefab

1

19448C

Scoil Realt na Mara

Tuosist

Kerry

Prefab

1

19487M

Holy Cross Mercy NS

Killarney

Kerry

Prefab

1

19512I

St Oliver’s NS

Killarney

Kerry

Prefab

7

19547E

St Francis Spec School

Beaufort

Kerry

Prefab

1

19986H

Scoil Naomh Eoin Baiste

Tralee

Kerry

Building

20013U

GS Lios Tuathail

Listowel

Kerry

Prefab

1

20158A

Tralee ETNS

Oakpark, Tralee

Kerry

Building and Land

61410N

Presentation Secondary School

Miltown

Kerry

Prefab

1

08099P

St. Laurences N S

Sallins

Kildare

Prefab

2

09414C

St Laurence’s N S

Athy

Kildare

Prefab

2

12747A

Scoil na Mainistream De La Salle

Kildare

Kildare

Prefab

1

15040T

Mercy Convent Primary School

Naas

Kildare

Prefab

6

15599D

St. Brigid’s Primary School

Kildare Town

Kildare

Prefab

1

15957D

St. Patrick’s Boys Primary School

Rathangan

Kildare

Prefab

1

16706G

St Joseph B.N.S

Kilcock

Kildare

Prefab

5

16707I

St Peter’s BNS

Monasterevin

Kildare

Prefab

3

16845U

St Mochuo’s N S

Naas

Kildare

Prefab

4

17254C

St Corbans

Naas

Kildare

Prefab

4

17674B

St Anne’s NS

Kill

Kildare

Prefab

1

17968S

Two Mile House NS

Naas

Kildare

Prefab

3

18018S

Scoil Bhride NS

Rathangan

Kildare

Prefab

4

18288B

Scoil Mhichil Naofa

Athy

Kildare

Prefab

14

18449W

St. Conleth’s NS

Carbury

Kildare

Prefab

6

18515J

Scoil an Lenbh Iosa

Naas

Kildare

Prefab

1

18644U

Straffan NS

Straffan

Kildare

Prefab

1

18988G

St. Raphaels SS

Celbridge

Kildare

Prefab

3

19675N

Scoil Bhride

Kilcullen

Kildare

Prefab

4

19796C

Scoil Phadraig

Clane

Kildare

Prefab

2

20058T

Gaelscoil Ui Fhiaich

Maigh Nuad

Kildare

Prefab

9

20114D

Scoil Bhride

Naas

Kildare

Prefab

3

20257C

St Patrick’s NS

Celbridge

Kildare

Building

00788V

Lisdowney NS

Ballyragget

Kilkenny

Prefab

1

01300Q

St Michael’s NS

Danesfort

Kilkenny

Prefab

1

15632V

St Joseph’s GNS

Kilmacow

Kilkenny

Prefab

1

16140F

Skeaghvasteen NS

Skeaghvasteen

Kilkenny

Prefab

1

16875G

St Patricks NS

Kilmacow

Kilkenny

Prefab

1

17093E

St Brendans NS

Ballyfoyle

Kilkenny

Prefab

1

17108O

St Johns Junior NS

Michael St

Kilkenny

Prefab

1

18660S

St Nicholas NS

Windgap

Kilkenny

Prefab

1

19344N

St Aidans NS

Kilmanagh

Kilkenny

Prefab

1

19626A

St Canices Co-Ed NS

Kilkenny

Kilkenny

Prefab

2

19856R

Gaelscoil Osraí

Kilkenny

Kilkenny

Prefab

5

20132F

High Support Special School

Callan Road

Kilkenny

Building

20380B

Jonah Special School

Slieverue

Kilkenny

Building

01556F

Scoil Bhride NS

Ballyroan

Laois

Prefab

1

07183W

St Josephs GNS

Mountmellick

Laois

Prefab

2

07636K

St Fintan BNS

Mountrath

Laois

Prefab

1

12231L

Rushall NS

Portlaoise

Laois

Prefab

1

13741Q

Rath NS

Portlaoise

Laois

Prefab

1

14838N

Maryboro NS

Portlaoise

Laois

Prefab

1

15446B

Gaelscoil Thromaire

Mountrath

Laois

Prefab

1

15556I

Presentation Convent Primary School

Portarlington

Laois

Prefab

1

17064U

St Patrick’s NS

Ballylinan

Laois

Prefab

3

17557U

St Abbans NS

Mageney

Laois

Prefab

2

17617M

Scoil Chomhghain Naofa

Killeshin

Laois

Building and Prefabs

2

18150S

Scoil an Fraoich Mhoir

Portlaoise

Laois

Prefab

3

18547W

Faolan Naofa NS

Portlaoise

Laois

Prefab

1

18828H

St Pauls Primary

Portlaoise

Laois

Prefab

5

19747M

Scoil Bhride NS

Portlaoise

Laois

Prefab

9

20224K

Gaelscoil an tSli Dala

Buirios Mor Osrai

Laois

Prefab

2

20347D

Portlaoise Educate Together NS

Portlaoise

Laois

Building

16474L

St. Mary’s NS

Carrigallen

Leitrim

Prefab

1

17233R

St Clare’s NS

Manorhamilton

Leitrim

Prefab

1

19423J

St. Patrick’s NS

Drumshambo

Leitrim

Prefab

2

20212D

Gaelscoil Liatroma

Cora Droma Ruisc

Leitrim

Land

20260O

Gaelscoil Chluainin

Cluainin Ui Ruairc

Leitrim

Building

02007A

Cronagh National School Rathleale

Rathkeale

Limerick

Prefab

1

06539H

Knockea NS

Ballyneety

Limerick

Prefab

1

07857D

Killinure NS

Brittas, Boher

Limerick

Prefab

1

09296W

Our Ladys Abbey NS

Adare

Limerick

Prefab

1

11422N

Mahoonagh

Castlemahon

Limerick

Prefab

1

16264A

St Marys Boys National School

Abbeyfeale

Limerick

Prefab

3

16443A

Scoil Phádraig Naofa Buachaillí

Dublin Road

Limerick

Prefab

1

16508C

Ahane NS

Lisnagry

Limerick

Prefab

1

16712B

Scoil Naomh Iosaf

Adare

Limerick

Prefab

1

17937H

Monaleen NS

Castletroy

Limerick

Prefab

1

18161A

Castleconnell NS

Castleconnell

Limerick

Prefab

2

18177P

St Annes Primary

Rathkeale

Limerick

Prefab

3

18426K

Scoil Ide Naofa

Ballagh

Limerick

Prefab

1

18653V

St Josephs BNS

Rathkeale

Limerick

Prefab

1

18692I

Catherine McAuley School. (SS)

Asbourne Ave

Limerick

Prefab

1

18991S

John F. Kennedy Memorial School

Ennis Road

Limerick

Prefab

2

19336O

St Pauls NS

Dooradoyle

Limerick

Prefab

10

19475F

St Brigids NS

Singland

Limerick

Prefab

2

19956V

Gaelscoil Sairseal

Sraid an Droichid

Limerick

Buildings

20148U

Gaelscoil Chaladh an Treoigh

Moin a Lin

Limerick

Building, Land and Prefabs

8

20175A

Limerick East Educate Together NS

Mungret

Limerick

Building and Prefabs

2

20181S

Gaelscoil an Raithin

Tuar an Daill

Limerick

Building, Land and Prefabs

5

20185D

St Marys Boys National School

Island Road

Limerick

Prefab

2

20311F

Redhills NS

Patrickswell

Limerick

Prefab

4

76101I

Gaelscholaiste Luimnigh

Meal Sior Anrai

Limerick

Building

00860D

Forgney NS

Ballymahon

Longford

Land

19429V

St. Christopher’s Special School

Longford

Longford

Building

20083S

Gaelscoil Longfoirt

Fearann ui Dhuagain

Longford

Land

20124G

St Marys NS

Edgeworthstown

Longford

Building and Prefabs

5

20128O

St Matthews NS

Ballymahon

Longford

Prefab

4

00851C

Presentation Primary School

Drogheda

Louth

Prefab

1

01434O

St Colmcilles NS

Togher

Louth

Prefab

2

01553W

Louth NS

Dundalk

Louth

Prefab

1

01554B

Ballapousta NS

Drogheda

Louth

Prefab

3

08052M

Scoil Mhuire Fatima

Drogheda

Louth

Building and Prefabs

2

14069P

Dun Dealgan NS

Dundalk

Louth

Prefab

1

14651U

Castletown GNS

Dundalk

Louth

Prefab

1

15259C

St Malachys Girls Sch

Dundalk

Louth

Prefab

3

16208N

Termonfeckin Mixed NS

Drogheda

Louth

Prefab

2

17059E

Iosaif na mBraithre

Droich

Louth

Prefab

1

17195M

CBS Primary Dundalk

Dundalk

Louth

Prefab

3

17856H

Scoil Naomh Mhuire

Donore

Louth (see Meath for file)

Prefab

1

17865I

St Mary’s BNS

Drogheda

Louth

Prefab

2

17949D

SN Padraig Naofa

Drogheda

Louth

Prefab

3

17965M

SN Bhride

Omeath

Louth

Prefab

1

18098T

Scoil N Bhride C

Drogheda

Louth

Prefab

2

18101F

Rampark NS

Dundalk

Louth

Prefab

1

18148I

Scoil Bhride Lann Leire

Dunleer

Louth

Prefab

2

18504E

St Malachys Boys

Dundalk

Louth

Prefab

2

18635T

St Buite’s NS

Dunleer

Louth

Prefab

2

19215C

SN Ard Mhuire

Drogheda

Louth

Prefab

5

19223B

SN Padraig Naofa

Drogheda

Louth

Prefab

2

19479N

Rathmullen NS

Drogheda

Louth

Prefab

9

19673J

St Josephs NS

Dundalk

Louth

Prefab

7

19678T

St Pauls Senior NS

Drogheda

Louth

Prefab

5

20171P

Ardee Educate Together NS

Ardee

Louth

Building, Land and Prefabs

3

20259G

St Francis NS

Blackrock

Louth

Building and Prefabs

5

20339E

Realt na Mara School

Dundalk

Louth

Prefab

1

20349H

Scoil Oilibheir Naofa

Drogheda

Louth

Land and Prefabs

4

20374G

ABA Facility

Drogheda

Louth

Building

63870L

Drogheda Grammar School

Drogheda

Louth

Prefab

1

63900R

St Vincents Secondary School

Dundalk

Louth

Prefab

1

71770D

O’Fiaich College

Dundalk

Louth

Building

91441T

Ardee Community College

Ardee

Louth

Prefab

1

04796R

Brackloon NS

Westport

Mayo

Prefab

3

07054L

Scoil Naomh Bríd

Ballina

Mayo

Prefab

4

11725I

Behymore NS

Ballina

Mayo

Prefab

4

12206M

SN Padraig

Knockmore, Ballina

Mayo

Prefab

1

13659I

Bekan NS

Claremorris

Mayo

Prefab

1

13667H

St. Josephs NS

Ballina

Mayo

Prefab

2

13758K

Templemary NS

Killala

Mayo

Prefab

1

13945J

Eskeragh NS

Bellalorick, Ballina

Mayo

Prefab

1

14400S

Richmond NS

Crossmolina

Mayo

Prefab

1

15539I

St Johns NS

Claremorris

Mayo

Prefab

1

15555G

Breaffy NS

Ballina

Mayo

Prefab

1

16122D

Scoil Mhuire

Claremorris

Mayo

Prefab

1

16170O

Cloghans NS

Knockmore, Ballina

Mayo

Prefab

1

16173U

Kinaffe Ns

Swinford

Mayo

Prefab

1

16283E

Pullathomas National School

Ballina

Mayo

Prefab

1

16904K

Lankill NS

Liscarney

Mayo

Prefab

1

16911H

Lahardane NS

Ballina

Mayo

Prefab

1

17082W

SN Chomain Naofa

Roundfort

Mayo

Prefab

1

17209U

Caoneal NS

Ballina

Mayo

Prefab

1

18070U

Muire Gan Smal

Claremorris

Mayo

Prefab

3

18145C

St Tiernans NS

Ballyhaunis

Mayo

Prefab

1

19375B

St Brid’s Spec NS

Castlebar

Mayo

Prefab

3

19402B

Ballyvary Central NS

Castlebar

Mayo

Prefab

2

19451O

Holy Family NS

Newport

Mayo

Prefab

1

19972T

GS Uileog de Burca

Mhuiris

Mayo

Prefab

7

20084U

Scoil na gCeithre Maol

Beal an Atha

Mayo

Building

20142I

Scoil Iosa

Ballyhaunis

Mayo

Prefab

2

20230F

Scoil Phadraig

Westport

Mayo

Prefab

2

64570E

Our Lady’s Sec School

Belmullet

Mayo

Prefab

5

64690O

Scoil Mhuire and Padraig

Swinford

Mayo

Building

00883P

St Annes

Navan

Meath

Prefab

1

01309L

St Patricks NS

Navan

Meath

Prefab

1

02905J

SN Naomh Padraig

Baconstown

Meath

Prefab

1

04210H

St Josephs NS (Kilmessan Mxd NS)

Kilmessan

Meath

Prefab

2

05630L

St Michaels NS Trim

Trim

Meath

Prefab

1

11039O

Kilbeg NS

Carlonstown, Kells

Meath

Prefab

1

15104T

Scoil Bhride

Navan

Meath

Prefab

2

16100Q

St Josephs Mercy P.S

Navan

Meath

Prefab

6

16549Q

Scoil Naoimh Pio

Beauparc

Meath

Prefab

1

17520U

Robinstown NS

Navan

Meath

Prefab

2

17623H

O’Growney NS

Athboy

Meath

Prefab

4

17705J

Whitecross Primary School

Julianstown

Meath

Prefab

7

17821L

St Marys, Enfield

Enfield

Meath

Prefab

13

17839H

Duleek BNS

Duleek

Meath

Prefab

2

17840P

Scoil Bhainin Naofa/Duleek GNS

Duleek

Meath

Prefab

2

18106P

Lismullen NS

Navan

Meath

Prefab

3

18132Q

Scoil Mhuire

Kells

Meath

Prefab

1

18448U

Rathbeggan NS

Dunshaughlin

Meath

Prefab

1

18762D

Realt na Mara BNS

Donacarney

Meath

Prefab

3

18767N

Realt na Mara GNS

Mornington

Meath

Prefab

10

19560T

Saint Marys Special School

Navan

Meath

Prefab

2

19768U

St Marys NS

Asbourne

Meath

Prefab

1

20032B

Dunboyne Junior School

Dunboyne

Meath

Prefab

5

20051F

Gaelscoil na Boinne

Trim

Meath

Building

20082Q

Gaelscoil Thulach na nOg

Dun Buinne

Meath

Building and Prefab

1

20164S

Navan Educate Together NS

Navan

Meath

Building and Prefabs

4

20191V

St Peters National School, Church Of Ireland

Dunboyne

Meath

Prefab

7

20200T

Ratoath Senior NS

Ratoath

Meath

Prefab

2

20352T

Ard Ri Community NS

Navan

Meath

Building

20379Q

Stepping Stones Special School

Kilcloon

Meath

Building

20382F

Gaelscoil na Mí

Ashbourne

Meath

Building

91508C

Boyne Community School

Trim

Meath

Prefab

1

15142E

Donaghmoyne NS

Carrickmacross

Monaghan

Prefab

1

16769H

Latnamard NS

Smithboro

Monaghan

Prefab

1

16923O

SN iorball Sionnaigh

An Bhoth

Monaghan

Prefab

1

16954C

St Michaels NS

Castlehare

Monaghan

Prefab

1

17099Q

St. Josephs NS

Carrickmacross

Monaghan

Prefab

3

17686I

Scoil Mhuire BNS

Castleblaney

Monaghan

Prefab

2

19936P

Gaelscoil Ultain

An Cnoc

Monaghan

Prefab

2

20055N

GS Eois

Lios Darach

Monaghan

Building

20327U

Gaelscoil Lorgan

15 Cloverhill

Monaghan

Building

72170H

Ballybay Community School

Ballybay

Monaghan

Prefab

4

07949I

Oxmantown NS

Birr

Offaly

Prefab

1

17637S

St Joseph’s NS

Tullamore

Offaly

Prefab

1

17827A

St Patrick’s NS

Portarlington

Offaly

Prefab

4

18057F

Scoil Mhuire NS

Tullamore

Offaly

Prefab

1

18364O

Scoil Muire Banrion

Edenderry

Offaly

Prefab

1

18406E

St Francis BNS

Clara

Offaly

Prefab

1

18797W

SN Naomh Iosef

Tullamore

Offaly

Prefab

2

20099K

Offaly School of Special Education

Tullamore

Offaly

Building

20267F

Scoil Bhride PS

Edenderry

Offaly

Land and Prefabs

6

20332N

Gaelscoil Eadan Doire

Edenderry

Offaly

Buildings

65582Q

St. Mary’s Secondary School

Edenderry

Offaly

Prefab

4

65620V

Sacred Heart School

Tullamore

Offaly

Prefab

2

14356S

Lisaniskey NS

Donamon

Roscommon

Prefab

1

16816N

Attyrory NS

Ballinaloe

Roscommon

Prefab

1

17266J

St. Mary’s NS

Ballinagore

Roscommon

Prefab

1

18395C

Cloonakilla NS

Athlone

Roscommon

Prefab

1

19789F

St. Michaels School

Castlerea

Roscommon

Building

1

20126K

GS De hIde

Galway Rd

Roscommon

Building

1

65100S

Scoil Mhuire

Strokestown

Roscommon

Prefab

2

04487E

Achonry NS

Tubbercurry

Sligo

Prefab

1

14636B

Scoil Naomh Eanna

Carraroe

Sligo

Prefab

1

18053U

Sooey NS

via Boyle

Sligo

Prefab

1

18298E

Culfadda NS

Ballymote

Sligo

Prefab

1

18334F

Knockminna

Ballymote

Sligo

Prefab

1

18575E

Scoil Naomh Molaise

Grange

Sligo

Prefab

4

18979F

Scoil Ursula

Strandhill Rd

Sligo

Prefab

2

20044I

Gaelscoil Chnoc Na Re

Baile Ui Dhugain

Sligo

Building, Land and Prefabs

7

00590A

Borrisoleigh BNS

Thurles

Tipperary

Prefab

1

01594N

Scoil Eoin Naofa

Roscrea

Tipperary

Prefab

2

09190G

Boher NS

Ballina

Tipperary

Prefab

1

10120P

Our Lady of Mercy NS

Cahir

Tipperary

Prefab

2

11872V

Presentation Primary School

Carrick-on-Suir

Tipperary

Prefab

3

12540B

Clonmore NS

Templemore

Tipperary

Prefab

1

16077B

Ardfinnan NS

Clonmel

Tipperary

Prefab

1

16211C

Scoil Mochaomhog Naofa

Thurles

Tipperary

Prefab

1

16276H

Carrig NS

Nenagh

Tipperary

Prefab

2

17779P

Powerstown NS

Clonmel

Tipperary

Prefab

4

18062V

Grange NS

Clonmel

Tipperary

Prefab

2

18345K

Scoil Iosef Naofa

Roscrea

Tipperary

Prefab

4

18716T

Cahir BNS

Cahir

Tipperary

Prefab

3

19230V

Scoil Chormaic

Cashel

Tipperary

Building and Prefabs

5

19615S

Scoil Aonghusa

Cashel

Tipperary

Building

20085W

GS Charraig Na Siuire

Carrick-on-Suir

Tipperary

Building and Prefabs

7

72400V

Comeragh College

Clonmel

Tipperary

Building

14686

Jonah Project ABA school

via Waterford

Waterford

Building

01395H

Aglish National School

Cappoquin

Waterford

Prefab

1

17159I

Garranbane NS

Dungarvan

Waterford

Prefab

1

17525H

Light of Christ School

Dunmore East

Waterford

Prefab

1

17535K

S.N. Fionnabhair (Fenor NS)

Fenor

Waterford

Prefab

4

18094L

Scoil Mhuire

Dungarvan

Waterford

Prefab

2

18235D

St Marys BNS

Ferrybank

Waterford

Prefab

3

19108B

St Martins Special School

Ballytrunkle Road

Waterford

Prefab

2

19885B

Gaelscoil Philib Barun

Tra Mhor

Waterford

Prefab

4

20050D

Gaelscoil na nDeise

Bothar Grasta De

Waterford

Land

20143K

Waterpark National School

Park Road

Waterford

Prefab

1

20160K

Waterford Educate Together NS

Tycor

Waterford

Building

20170N

Bunscoil Chill Mhic Thomaisin

Kilmacthomas

Waterford

Prefab

4

64922J

Stella Maris Sec School

Tramore

Waterford

Prefab

4

64923L

CBS Secondary School

Tramore

Waterford

Prefab

6

64970U

Presentation Secondary School

Cannon Street

Waterford

Prefab

4

68078U

Gaelcholáiste Phort Láirge

Bothar Kilbarry

Waterford

Building and Land

91509E

Blackwater Community School

Lismore

Waterford

Prefab

1

05916G

St Annes Ns Tyrrellspass

Tyrrellspass

Westmeath

Prefab

1

14603J

Convent Primary School

Rochfortbridge

Westmeath

Prefab

2

17025K

The Downs NS

Mullingar

Westmeath

Prefab

1

17102C

Cluain Buinne

Athlone

Westmeath

Prefab

1

17327D

Curraghmore NS

Mullingar

Westmeath

Prefab

6

17903N

Cornamaddy NS

Athlone

Westmeath

Prefab

1

18262G

SN Lochan a’Bhealaigh

Mullingar

Westmeath

Prefab

1

18405C

St Paul’s NS

Athlone

Westmeath

Prefab

1

18505G

St Clares NS

Athlone

Westmeath

Prefab

2

18640M

St Josephs NS

Killucan

Westmeath

Prefab

4

18864L

Coosan NS

Athlone

Westmeath

Prefab

3

19848S

St Etchens NS

Kinnegad NS

Westmeath

Prefab

3

20063M

Scoil an Chlochair

Kilbeggan

Westmeath

Prefab

2

20073P

St Marys NS

Athlone

Westmeath

Prefab

1

20238V

GS an Choillin

Mullingar

Westmeath

Building, Land and Prefabs

5

20373E

ABA School (Saplings)

Mullingar

Westmeath

Building

03633H

Our Lady of Lourdes NS

Bunclody

Wexford

Prefab

3

05070W

Scoil Chroi Ro Naofa

Enniscorthy

Wexford

Prefab

4

08221J

St Senans Primary

Enniscorthy

Wexford

Prefab

14

11986N

Mercy National School

Kennedy Park

Wexford

Prefab

3

16409A

St Marys NS

Gorey

Wexford

Prefab

1

16605A

Kilrane NS

Rosslare Harbour

Wexford

Prefab

2

16828U

Oylegate NS

Enniscorthy

Wexford

Prefab

2

17450C

Poulfour NS

New Ross

Wexford

Prefab

1

17610V

Scoil Baile Fada

Gorey

Wexford

Prefab

1

17768K

Castletown NS

Gorey

Wexford

Prefab

2

17800D

Bree NS

Enniscorthy

Wexford

Prefab

2

17841R

Scoil Mhuire

Enniscorthy

Wexford

Prefab

1

17913Q

Our Lady of Fatima NS

Barntown

Wexford

Prefab

3

18280I

St Josephs Boys Primary

Gorey

Wexford

Prefab

2

18336J

Boolavogue NS

Enniscorthy

Wexford

Prefab

1

18558E

Piercestown NS

Drinagh

Wexford

Prefab

2

19240B

St. Patrick’s Special School

Enniscorthy

Wexford

Buildings

6

20003R

St Aidans Primary

Enniscorthy

Wexford

Prefab

10

20057R

GS Inis Córthaidh

Inis Corthaidh

Wexford

Prefab

8

20333P

Wexford ETNS

Wexford

Wexford

Building

63640R

CBS Wexford

Wexford

Wexford

Prefab

1

68080H

Meanscoil Gharman

Enniscorthy

Wexford

Building

01782O

SN Padraig

Arklow

Wicklow

Prefab

1

11372B

Scoil Mhuire Realt Na Mara

Brittas Bay

Wicklow

Prefab

1

12529N

St Saviour’s NS

Rathdrum

Wicklow

Prefab

1

13932A

St Michaels GNS

Arklow

Wicklow

Prefab

1

14398L

Glebe NS

Wicklow Town

Wicklow

Prefab

3

16573N

St Brigid’s NS

Greystones

Wicklow

Prefab

4

16634H

St Laurence O’Toole’s NS

Roundwood

Wicklow

Prefab

1

16874E

St Joseph’s GNS

Rathnew

Wicklow

Prefab

1

17181B

St Joseph’s NS

Arklow

Wicklow

Prefab

10

17826V

Na Coroine Mhuire Mixed

Ashford

Wicklow

Prefab

2

18365Q

Kilmacanogue NS

Bray

Wicklow

Prefab

1

18502A

Talbotstown NS

Kiltegan

Wicklow

Prefab

2

18962L

St Ernan’s BNS

Rathnew

Wicklow

Prefab

1

19522L

St Catherine’s Spec School

Newcastle

Wicklow

Building and Prefabs

6

19573F

St Laurence’s NS

Greystones

Wicklow

Prefab

1

19734D

St Francis’s NS

Newcastle

Wicklow

Prefab

2

20045K

Gaelscoil Chill Mhantain

Rath Naoi

Wicklow

Prefab

10

20080M

GS An Inbhir Mhoir

An t-Inbhear Mor

Wicklow

Building and Land

20178G

Wicklow ETNS

The Murragh

Wicklow

Building

20242M

Blessington ETNS

Blessington

Wicklow

Building

20243O

GS Na Lochanna

Kilmalum

Wicklow

Land

70740M

Arklow Community College

Arklow

Wicklow

Prefab

2

70790E

Colaiste Bhride

Carnew

Wicklow

Prefab

5

76106S

Gaelcholaiste na Mara

Wicklow Town

Wicklow

Building and Land

Pension Provisions

Seán Crowe

Question:

136 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide a breakdown of the teachers and their salary grades who availed of pension payments under the national school teachers’ superannuation scheme. [22544/12]

Seán Crowe

Question:

138 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide a percentage breakdown of the teacher grades that availed of pension payments under the secondary teachers’ superannuation scheme. [22546/12]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 136 and 138 together.

The number of retired teachers in receipt of pension benefit under the Primary School Teachers Pension Scheme is in excess of 13,000. The number of retired teachers in receipt of pension benefit under the Secondary, Community and Comprehensive School Teachers Pension Scheme is in excess of 9,500.

The Pension Unit of my Department is currently compiling detailed statistical data on the number of teachers who retired in the period up to February 2012. When compiled, this data will be published on my Department's website.

School Staffing

Seán Crowe

Question:

137 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of teaching posts that have been cut as a result of the 2% reduction in spending for second level teaching salaries and the percentage of this budget that is paid to teachers teaching within the private school sector. [22545/12]

This Government has protected education as much as it can. Far greater reductions in expenditure and in the number of public servants are being made in other sectors relative to those in schools. But there are limits to the level of expenditure on education and the number of teaching posts we can afford.

The Budget 2012 measures in relation to the post-primary sector are set out in the documentation that was published by my Department last December. This envisages a net overall reduction of about 450 posts at post-primary level between the current school year and the 2012/13 school year. This net reduction in posts takes account of the impact of the budget measures, demographics and the budget decision to shelter all the DEIS post-primary schools through a reduced staffing schedule of 18.25:1.

The final overall staffing position for all schools at post primary level will ultimately not be known until the Autumn. At that stage the allocation process will be fully completed and any appeals to the Staffing Appeal Board will have been considered.

Question No. 138 answered with Question No. 136.
Question No. 139 answered with Question No. 135.

Third Level Progression

Seán Crowe

Question:

140 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide figures for the numbers of students who dropped out of third level education as a result of a cut or decrease resulting in the higher education grants scheme, the VEC’s scholarship scheme, the third level maintenance grants scheme for trainees and the maintenance grants scheme for PLC students. [22548/12]

The HEA is responsible for the collection of data on student progression. The most recent report by the HEA entitled ‘A study of Progression in Higher Education', published in October 2010, is available on the HEA website.

The proportion of new entrants in 2007/08 who were not present one year later was 15% on average across all sectors and NFQ Levels.

However, the Deputy will appreciate that a number of factors influence progression in higher education, and the study shows that prior educational attainment is a significant factor. My Department does not collect data in relation to the impact of reductions in the student grant on retention rates in further and higher education.

In the context of the current economic circumstances, difficult choices have been made by the Government to control public expenditure and to ensure sustainability. Despite the difficult circumstances in our public finances, my priority as Minister for Education and Skills is to preserve access, to the greatest extent possible, for the most disadvantaged students to further and higher education.

It is worth emphasising that 41% of all undergraduate students currently receive a grant and pay no student contributions. In addition, the Student Assistance Fund will continue to be made available through the access offices of third-level institutions to assist students in exceptional financial need.

Non-Presence Rates for New Entrants by Sector and NFQ Level (2008/09)

Sector

Level

Most Common Points Attained

% Not Present

Institutes of Technology

Level 6

250-300

25%

Level 7

250-300

26%

Level 8

300-350

16%

L8 3 yr duration

300-350

16%

L8 4 yr duration

300-350

16%

L8 4+ yr duration

450-500

10%

All New Entrants

300-350

22%

Universities

Level 8

400-450

9%

L8 3 yr duration

350-400

10%

L8 4 yr duration

450-500

9%

L8 4+ yr duration

550-600

3%

Other Colleges

Level 8

450-500

4%

L8 3 yr duration

450-500

2%

L8 4 yr duration

400-450

7%

All Institutions

Level 8

350-400

11%

All Institutions

All New Entrants

350-400

15%

Question No. 141 withdrawn.

State Agencies

Seán Crowe

Question:

142 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills the FÁS personnel who are paid an annual wage of €80,000 or more. [22551/12]

There are 49 FÁS staff currently in receipt of salaries in excess of €80,000 per annum as follows:

Table

Grade 1

1 (equivalent to Secretary General)

Grade 3

3 (equivalent to Assistant Secretary)

Grade 4

13 (equivalent to PO)

Grade 6

32 (equivalent to AP)

Total

49

FÁS Training Programmes

Seán Crowe

Question:

143 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of persons who benefitted from FÁS training and supports from 2010 onwards. [22552/12]

FÁS funds its training from a mixture of funding provided by the Exchequer and the National Training Fund. The table attached sets out the amounts allocated for FÁS training for the three years 2010 to 2012.

In 2010, 89,500 training places were provided on FÁS training programmes; this includes the Technical Employment Support Grant.

In 2011, according to the provisional outturn, 95,989 training places were provided on FÁS training programmes. This includes the Technical Employment Support Grant.

In 2012 up to 81,500 FÁS training places are being provided which included 6,500 under the new Labour Market Education and Training Programme. This excludes the Technical Employment Support Grant which is now under the remit of the Department of Social Protection.

Funding

2012 Estimate

2011 Outturn

2010 Outturn

€’000

€’000

€’000

Exchequer

23,057

40,267

16,324

NTF

295,860

271,955

343,908

Total

318,917

312,222

360,232

Question No. 144 answered with Question No. 85.

Departmental Staff

John Deasy

Question:

145 Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of public servants that retired in Waterford city and county since the beginning of the year and the number of those that have been retired by the State. [23005/12]

The number of teachers who retired from primary and secondary schools in the months of January and February 2012 is 1166. The compulsory retirement age where applicable is generally attained at the end of the school year in which the teacher reaches age 65 years. Accordingly, no compulsory retirements are included in this figure. Information is not available on a regional basis. The Pension Unit of my Department is currently compiling detailed statistical data on teacher retirements for the months of January and February 2012. This information will be published on my Department's website.

Historical Sites

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

146 Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if it is intended to provide all year tours and guides at Pearse’s cottage Rosmuc, County Galway, in 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22453/12]

Pearse's Cottage, Rosmuc is open to visitors between Easter and end of August each year and on weekends only until end September. Preparations for commemoration of 2016 are ongoing and consideration will be given to Pearse's Cottage in that context. However it is improbable that visitor numbers, particularly in winter months, would warrant extending the extent of guide service currently provided.

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

147 Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if it is intended to provide sign boards at Pearse’s cottage in order that visitors who call during the closed season can get information on the significance of the site; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22454/12]

Information panels will be developed for Pearse's Cottage to address the issue of interpretation during the closed season.

Retirement Age

Olivia Mitchell

Question:

148 Deputy Olivia Mitchell asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on requests from public servants to allow them to postpone retirement beyond the current 65 years cut off; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22324/12]

Staff who joined the Civil Service prior to 1 April 2004 are required under current legislation to retire at the maximum retirement age which is 65 years of age. Staff who joined the Civil Service after 1 April 2004 and are classed as new entrants, as defined in section 2 of the Public Service Superannuation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2004, are not required to retire at 65 as the maximum retirement age was removed under this Act. There are changes proposed, which will change the retirement age for all civil and public servants in the new Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme) and Remuneration Bill 2011. However, these changes will only apply to new entrants from a specific future date. In addition we are required under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding with the EU/ECB/IMF to reduce numbers in the Public Service. Allowing staff to stay beyond age 65 would significantly impact on our ability to reduce the overall numbers in the Public Service as retirement has been the primary driver in reducing numbers.

Flood Relief

Catherine Murphy

Question:

149 Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if the Office of Public Works has the necessary funding available to address the severe flooding events that persist in the area of Alasty, Killeenmore and Turnings, near Straffan in County Kildare, where many homes, businesses, roads and the Dublin-Cork rail-line are impacted downstream of Johnstown and the M7 motorway; if there are initiatives that can be undertaken in the short-term to provide relief; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22400/12]

Kildare County Council prepared a Pre-Feasibility Report in relation to the provision of a flood relief scheme for the Lower Morrell River, which includes the Alasty, Killeenmore and Turnings area, near Straffan, earlier this year. Following discussions with Office of Public Works officials, it was agreed that the council should apply to the OPW for funding to undertake a full feasibility and cost benefit analysis for the scheme. The council submitted a formal application to the OPW last month and a decision will made shortly in this regard. The viability or cost of possible mitigation measures is not known at this stage.

Kildare County Council, in consultation with the OPW, has investigated the possibility of carrying out interim flood relief works to alleviate flooding in the area but the council has not been able to identify an engineering solution which was economically viable and environmentally sustainable. The OPW understands however that the council will undertake a programme of light maintenance works on the channel later this year, which should help the situation.

Public Sector Staff

John Deasy

Question:

150 Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of public servants that retired in Waterford city and county since the beginning of the year and the number of those that have been retired by the State. [22428/12]

My Department does not have any offices in Waterford city or county. Questions in relation to such offices should be put to the relevant Department.

An Coimisinéir Teanga

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

151 D’fhiafraigh Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Caiteachais Phoiblí agus Athchóirithe cén uair a bheidh athbhreithniú déanta aige ar na moltai atá curtha ar aghaidh ag an Roinn Coimirce Sóisialaí chuige agus a ndearnadh tagairt dóibh i bhfreagra ar cheist pharlaiminte Uimhir 117 an 26ú Aibreán 2012; agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh. [22429/12]

Tá mo Roinn ag déanamh breithnithe ar mholtaí an Choimisinéara Teanga maidir leis an Roinn Coimirce Sóisialaí agus déanfaidh mo Roinn cinneadh i leith an chur chuige cuí sna míonna atá amach romhainn.

My Department is considering the recommendations made by the Language Commissioner to the Department of Social Protection and will be deciding on the most appropriate approach in the coming months.

Credit Guarantee Scheme

Patrick Nulty

Question:

152 Deputy Patrick Nulty asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if he will provide an update on his plans to implement the credit guarantee scheme to support small and medium enterprises; when the scheme will come into effect; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22355/12]

I published the Credit Guarantee Bill on Tuesday 3rd April, and I will be progressing this legislation through the various stages in the Oireachtas over the coming weeks. In terms of timelines, the Government hopes to enact the legislation by the end of May. Following the enactment of the legislation, it is envisaged that the Scheme will be going live shortly thereafter. A contractor was selected in February to operate the scheme, a Maynooth based company called Capita Asset Services Ltd, following a public tendering process.

The Scheme is intended to address two distinct barriers to lending; inadequacy of collateral (Pillar 1) and inadequacy of understanding of the novelty of a business model, market, sector or technology (Pillar 2). It will be exclusively targeted to address these particular market failures. Commercially viable, well performing micro, small and medium enterprises that have a solid business plan and a defined market for their products or services, thereby demonstrating their ability to repay the loan are the target of the scheme.

This Scheme will support new lending, encourage investment and company growth, save jobs and facilitate the creation of new jobs, and will boost trade. Term loans, other instruments with term loan-like structures, performance bonds and invoice finance will be covered by the Scheme. The minimum permissible loan value will be €10,000 and the maximum will be €1,000,000. Use of the Scheme is focussed on facilitating additional new lending, with refinancing of existing debt explicitly excluded.

The Scheme will facilitate up to €150 million of additional lending per annum. The benefits forecast to arise from this intervention in each year of operation, on the basis of each tranche of €150m of additional lending to SMEs, include:

Over 1,300 jobs created.

Over €25m of exchequer benefits in tax revenues and welfare cost savings.

Participation in the Scheme is open to all lending institutions who are able to satisfy a series of accreditation criteria focused on regulatory status and compliance, relevant SME lending activities, capacity to undertake additional lending and a commitment to behavioural change leading to greater innovation in SME lending. The accreditation process will be managed by the Operator.

Copyright Law

Brendan Griffin

Question:

153 Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation his views on a matter regarding copyright (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22398/12]

I wish to acknowledge the concerns that have been expressed by your constituent regarding the introduction of the European Union (Copyright and Related Rights) Regulations 2012 which were signed into law on 29 February, 2012. However, I would like to explain that this legislative measure concerning injunctions against intermediaries has been introduced to clarify the situation that arose following a High Court Judgment in the case of EMI and others -v- UPC. This judgment held that by reason of provisions of the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000, an injunction is not available in cases of transient communications, and that Ireland did not comply with EU law. As you will appreciate, non-compliance with EU law is a very serious matter.

I am satisfied that the High Court now has significant guidance in the implementation of the legislative measure which has been introduced arising from the underpinning EU Directives, as interpreted by the recent Court of Justice of the European Union case law, to ensure that any remedy provided will uphold the following principles:

Freedom to conduct a business enjoyed by operators such as ISPs;

The absolute requirement that an ISP cannot be required to carry out general monitoring on the information it carries on its network;

Any measures must be fair and proportionate and not be unnecessarily complicated or costly;

The fundamental rights of an ISPs' customers must be respected, namely their right to protection of their personal data and their freedom to receive or impart information.

I would like to point out that I am determined to ensure that Ireland will be a premier location where innovation can flourish and where innovation is facilitated by our copyright laws. In this regard, I am committed to reviewing and updating the Copyright legislation currently in place in order to strike the right balance between encouraging innovation and protecting creativity.

In this context, please note that the Copyright Review Committee published a wide-ranging Consultation Paper on 29 February, 2012 which examines the current Copyright legislative framework to identify any areas of the legislation that might be deemed to create barriers to innovation. The Consultation Paper is a discussion document which sets out issues and concerns which were expressed to the Committee in submissions from a broad spectrum of interested parties on foot of an initial consultation process held during the summer of 2011 (in the region of 100 submissions were received during the initial consultation process).

The fundamental aim of this Paper is to begin the process of sketching reforms to Irish copyright law to further innovation without denying protection to those who need copyright law to innovate. I would specifically refer to Chapter 6 of the Review Committee's Consultation Paper which is concerned with intermediaries and it is stated that "One of the main questions for the present Review is whether the copyright balance between rights-holders and intermediaries now requires further amendment, in particular to incentivise innovation." If any interested party has any concerns in this regard, I would suggest that they engage with this review process.

Industrial Development

John Deasy

Question:

154 Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the number of Industrial Development Agency site visits in Waterford city and county by the IDA since the 500 job losses at Talk Talk in 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22435/12]

I am informed by IDA Ireland that in the seven month period since the announcement of the closure of Talk Talk in September 2011 there have been 12 IDA sponsored site visits by potential investors to Waterford city and county. There were a total of 11 such visits to Waterford in each of 2010 and 2011. Following on from the Talk Talk closure announcement, I directed that a report be prepared to investigate the particular issues affecting Waterford City and its hinterland and to outline a list of actions to be taken over the short and medium/long term to seek to address those issues. I launched the South East Employment Action Plan, which contains specific actions to address the specific unemployment problems affecting the South East, on 2nd December last and it is my intention to meet regularly with a forum representing the agencies and stakeholders to progress the implementation of the Plan.

The reality is that the structural challenges that the South East region faces have built up over many years and will not be reversed with a simple set of actions. What is required is to build a stronger enterprise base in the region as a whole. The Action Plan identifies many actions that can help deliver on that ambition of having a stronger local enterprise base, but this will achieve only so much. There are challenges for all agencies in the region to help build up the region's competitive advantage and then to promote it in a coordinated manner. In fact, one of the key issues that no single agency or Government Department can hope to address is the issue of the overall coherence of the region's "value proposition" to investors from home or abroad. What has arisen again and again in consultation with all the relevant stakeholders and agencies in the region is the need for greater co-ordination of effort from all those with an interest in improving the enterprise potential of the region.

In the case of IDA site visits, a company is generally shown three or four locations within a Gateway Economic Region that can meet its requirements. The South East Employment Action Plan includes a commitment by the agencies to assign a clear priority to the South East region. In selecting locations to market to client companies, IDA Ireland will endeavour to include locations which have been affected by closures/job losses. Whilst IDA Ireland seeks to influence the selection of a location, the final decision on where to visit and where to locate is taken in all cases by the investor. Meanwhile, we must not lose sight of the fact that at present there are 31 IDA Ireland client companies employing 5,196 people in Waterford city and county.

Public Sector Staff

John Deasy

Question:

155 Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the number of public servants that retired in Waterford city and county since the beginning of the year and the number of those that have been retired by the State. [23010/12]

In the period 1st January 2012 to date, 43 people retired from my Department, none of whom resided in Waterford City or County Waterford at the time of retirement. Of the 43, 19 were at minimum retirement age, 3 were compulsory retirements and 21 were early retirements. I have asked the agencies under the remit of my Department to respond directly to the Deputy in the matter.

Social Welfare Appeals

Jack Wall

Question:

156 Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding an appeal against the decision to refuse an application for carer’s allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22290/12]

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 10th January 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant Departmental papers and comments by or on behalf of the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought. These papers were received in the Social Welfare Appeals Office on 15th February 2012 and the case will be referred to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing. The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions on social welfare entitlements.

Redundancy Payments

Jack Wall

Question:

157 Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding an application for statutory redundancy in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22302/12]

A redundancy lump sum claim in respect of the person concerned was received on 5 March 2012. It is expected that the claim will be finalised in the coming weeks.

Question No. 158 withdrawn.

Paschal Donohoe

Question:

159 Deputy Paschal Donohoe asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding a redundancy claim in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 11; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22307/12]

A redundancy lump sum claim in respect of the person concerned was received on 31 August 2011. Redundancy lump sum claims received in July 2011 are currently being processed.

Social Welfare Benefits

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

160 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection if and when carer’s allowance will be paid in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22342/12]

I confirm that the Department is in receipt of an application for carer's allowance from the person in question. On completion of the necessary investigations relating to all aspects of his case a decision will be made and the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

161 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection the entitlement to old age pension in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22343/12]

A person aged 65 years, who has retired from insurable employment, and who satisfies certain qualifying conditions, may be eligible for a State pension (transition). The person concerned has reached the age of eligibility for State pension (transition) and a claim form has been sent to him. On receipt of the completed claim form, his entitlement to pension and any backdating will be fully examined and he will be notified of the outcome without delay.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

162 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection the entitlement to old age pension in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22344/12]

The person concerned has reached the age of eligibility for State pension (contributory) and a claim form has been sent to her. On receipt of the completed claim form, her entitlement to pension will be fully examined and she will be notified of the outcome without delay.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

163 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection if and when payment of disability allowance will issue in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22345/12]

I confirm that an application for disability allowance has been received from the person concerned. The application has been referred to a Social Welfare Investigator for a means investigation. A decision on her entitlement to disability allowance will be made on receipt of the Social Welfare Investigator's report and the person will be notified directly of the outcome.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

164 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection if and when payment for invalidity pension will issue in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22346/12]

Invalidity pension is a payment for people who are permanently incapable of work because of illness or incapacity and who satisfy the contribution conditions. The person concerned attended for a medical assessment with a medical assessor of my Department. On the basis of this assessment, the medical assessor was of the opinion that the person concerned was not eligible for invalidity pension as he does not satisfy the medical criteria. The application for invalidity pension was, accordingly, disallowed by a deciding officer. The applicant was notified of this decision on 8 October 2011 and was advised of his right to request a review of the decision and also of his right to lodge an appeal with the social welfare appeals office. To date no further written correspondence has been received from the person concerned.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

165 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection if and when payment will issue in respect of an application for carer’s allowance in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22348/12]

I confirm that the Department is in receipt of an application for carer's allowance from the person in question. On completion of the necessary investigations relating to all aspects of her case a decision will be made and the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome.

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

166 Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding a carer’s allowance application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo; if she will expedite the application; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22354/12]

I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for carer's allowance from the person in question. On completion of the necessary investigations relating to all aspects of her case a decision will be made and the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome.

Willie Penrose

Question:

167 Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding an application for domiciliary care allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22357/12]

There is no record of an application for domiciliary care allowance having been received from the person concerned.

Social Welfare Appeals

Pat Breen

Question:

168 Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding an application for invalidity pension in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22381/12]

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that the invalidity pension claim of the person concerned was disallowed following an assessment by a Medical Assessor who expressed the opinion that she was medically unsuitable for the allowance. An appeal was registered on 28 March 2012 and in accordance with the statutory procedures the relevant department papers and the comments of the Deciding Officer on the matter raised in the appeal have been sought. In that context, an assessment by another Medical Assessor will be carried out. The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions on social welfare entitlements.

Social Welfare Offices

Joanna Tuffy

Question:

169 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Social Protection if there are plans to open a second social welfare office in Lucan; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22382/12]

There are no plans at present to open a second social welfare office in Lucan. Jobseeker claims for people living in the Lucan area are administered by the Social Welfare Local Office in Clondalkin. Signing-on for the majority of jobseekers occurs once in a 4-week period. However, to avoid the necessity for people in Lucan to travel to Clondalkin, the Department opened a signing centre in Lucan village.

That signing centre was initially open 2 days per month. However, with the increasing numbers claiming Jobseeker's payments, this was increased to 4 days and subsequently to 5 days per month since July 2010. The Department will continue to keep the arrangements for serving the Lucan area under review, in consultation with the Office of Public Works, which is responsible for the acquisition of all accommodation requirements for the Department.

Social Welfare Benefits

Jack Wall

Question:

170 Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding an application for rent allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22394/12]

The person concerned was requested to provide information necessary to assess entitlement. This information was received on 23 April 2012. The person concerned will be advised of decision within 5 working days.

Question No. 171 withdrawn.

Social Welfare Code

Tom Fleming

Question:

172 Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will continue with the payment of domiciliary care allowance to the parents of children with autism; her views that this is a payment to assist children who need extra care; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22409/12]

Domiciliary care allowance (DCA) was originally introduced in the early 1970's in recognition of the extra care and attention provided by parents of children with a severe disability, who are cared for in their own home. The qualifying conditions for the scheme require that the child is under 16 years of age and has a disability so severe that it requires care and attention and/or supervision substantially in excess of another child of the same age. This care and attention must be given by another person, effectively full-time, so that the child can deal with the activities of daily living. The child must be likely to require this level of care and attention for at least 12 months.

Eligibility for the DCA is not based primarily on the medical or psychological condition, but on the resulting lack of function of body or mind necessitating the degree of extra care and attention required. Each application is assessed on an individual basis taking account of the evidence submitted and no specific condition or disability rules a child in or out of qualifying for the allowance. It is important to point out that applications for children with autism are processed in exactly the same manner as applications for children with other types of disability.

Prior to the transfer of the DCA scheme from the HSE in 2009, an expert medical group examined the scheme and made recommendations on how it should operate within the Department. These recommendations included the need for a review process and the minimum term that should apply to such reviews. A review policy is an integral part of all social welfare schemes and is necessary to ensure that payments continue to be made only to those customers who meet the qualifying conditions.

DCA cases are routinely reviewed to ensure that all the conditions for receipt of the payment continue to be met. Cases are reviewed based on either (i) a scheduled review on the recommendation of the medical assessor when the claim is initially processed or (ii) on information received about a change of circumstances which potentially affects the continued entitlement of a case already in payment.

Scheduled reviews, on the recommendation of the medical assessor, are based on the prognosis of the child's disability and how their care needs may change over time. Customers who are reviewed are asked to provide relevant up-to-date medical evidence and details of the additional care needs of their child versus a child of the same age who doesn't have their disability. This information is assessed by a medical advisor and a decision is made based on the medical opinion they provide. Where payment is stopped as a result of a review, the customer is invited to submit any further information they may wish to have considered and that information is further examined and/or they may appeal the decision directly to the Social Welfare Appeals Office.

Community Employment Schemes

Jack Wall

Question:

173 Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Social Protection if a person (details supplied) in County Laois has an entitlement to a further discretionary year on the community employment scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22410/12]

The person will complete 4 years on Community Employment in August 2012, and therefore after this date is no longer eligible to participate under the rules governing the programme. The person concerned should contact his local Employment Services Office to discuss other options that may be available to him.

Pension Provisions

Jack Wall

Question:

174 Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Social Protection her views on a submission (details supplied) regarding State pensions; her plans to address the issues raised; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22417/12]

I understand that the person in question has been in touch with my Department on a number of occasions and that a reply has issued to her on the queries raised by her which are similar to those raised here in this question. I also answered a parliamentary question on April 18th 2012 in relation to issues raised. I would again like to take this opportunity to outline why changes have to be made to pension provision. Social structures in Ireland are changing rapidly and the structures of our social support need to change to accommodate this.

The decision to make changes to State pension provision was taken in a budgetary context together with the changing demographics in Ireland and the fact that people are living longer and healthier lives. The number of people over age 65 is projected to treble by mid-century, by which time it is also expected that there will be less than 2 people of working age to every person aged 65 or over (compared to 6 today) with the associated increased in expenditure on State Pensions. It is for these reasons that State pension provision has to change and the change to the rate bands is one of the measures planned which aims to increase the sustainability of the Irish pension system. Ireland is facing the same challenges other countries are facing and has taking similar steps.

Considerable consultation has taken place in relation to the State pension including a Green Paper on Pensions which was published in 2007 followed by a national consultation. Furthermore I have commissioned the OECD to review the long term pension policy in Ireland. A core principle of sustainable social protection systems in advanced economies is that citizens receive benefits in proportion to their contributions.

Recognising that the State pension contributory is a very valuable benefit, it is important to ensure that those qualifying have made a sustained contribution to the Social Insurance Fund over their working lives thereby ensuring equity in the social welfare system. This has always been part of our pensions system and changes to State pension contributory provision which were announced in Budget 2012 put an increased emphasis on this. Recipients of the State pension contributory who have contributed more will receive a more generous pension. For example, currently a person with an average of between 20 and 47 PRSI contributions per year over their working life receives a weekly State pension contributory of only €4.50 less than a person with a yearly average of 48 or more PRSI contributions. This is neither fair nor equitable.

To address this, a change to the rate bands was one of the reform measures announced in Budget 2012. The rate of State pension contributory paid to new applicants will be proportionate to the rate band appropriate to the average number of contributions paid. Those who have fewer contributions will receive a lower rate of pension. Furthermore, the principle that the amount of pension paid should reflect the PRSI contributions paid over a working life needs to be adhered to if we are to be able to fund pensions into the future. By aligning the rate of pension paid with the number of contributions paid ensures that those who contribute more during a working life benefit more in retirement than those with lesser contributions. This is fair and equitable and puts us on a more financially sustainable track.

With effect from September 2012, the rate band of between 20 and 47 (24 and 47 for State pension transition) yearly average contributions will be replaced with new rate bands of between:

40 and 47 yearly average contributions,

30 and 39 yearly average contribution, and

20 and 29 yearly average contributions.

Therefore, the rate of State pension transition or State pension contributory paid to new applicants will be more appropriate to the average number of contributions paid over a working life. Those who have fewer contributions will receive a lower rate of pension. The maximum rate is unchanged as is the rate for those with yearly average contributions of between 40 and 47. While existing pension recipients are unaffected, the changes proposed will apply to new claimants from September 2012.

The total contributions approach, due to be implemented in 2020 and referred to in the question, will mean that the rate of pension payment made will be directly related to contributions made over a working life. The changes to rate bands due to commence in September 2012 goes somewhat towards this process. However, the averaging system, which is currently used will remain in place until the total contributions approach is implemented in full in 2020.

The homemaker scheme referred to, makes qualification for the State pension contributory easier for those who take time out of the workforce for caring duties. The scheme was introduced in and took effect from 1994. The scheme allows up to 20 years spent caring for children under 12 years of age or incapacitated adults to be disregarded when a person's social insurance record is being averaged for pension purposes. This scheme can be more beneficial to women as they are mo