Thursday, 12 July 2012

Questions (47)

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

46 Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Finance if he intends to establish a fund to assist business owners whose properties were affected by the recent flooding in the Cork region; the amount of money to be allocated to this purpose and the way in which it will be administered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34051/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Finance)

As Minister for Finance I do not have a role in determining whether or not such a fund should be set up. However, I am in discussion with my Ministerial colleagues with a view to determining what reliefs could be made available.

In addition, the Office of Public Works has been allocated funding for the provision and management of flood alleviation works and for the assessment and planning for flood risk.

My colleague the Minister for Social Protection also has two schemes in place that, subject to certain criteria being satisfied, can assist households who have been the victims of flooding. These schemes are called "Exceptional Needs Payments" and "Urgent Needs Payments".

Under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme, the Department of Social Protection can make a single payment to help meet essential, once off, exceptional expenditure, which a person could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income. These payments are known as "Exceptional Needs Payments".

In addition to the payment of Exceptional Needs Payments, Supplementary Welfare Allowance legislation provides for assistance in the form of an urgent needs payment. In certain circumstances, this payment can be made to persons who would not normally be entitled to Supplementary Welfare Allowance. Examples of situations where such assistance may be provided would be in the aftermath of flooding or a domestic fire where the immediate needs, such as food, clothing fuel, household goods and perhaps shelter of the people affected may be met by an urgent needs payment in cash or in kind.