Residency Permits

Questions (266)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

266. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will review the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49388/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I refer the Deputy to my response to Dáil Question No 171 of 25 October, 2012. The decision referred to in that question issued to the person concerned on the 25 October, 2012. The person referred to by the Deputy arrived in Ireland on 19 May, 2006 and as a consequence is ineligible for consideration under the 2004 Student Probationary Extension.

The person concerned has availed of the 'Timed Out' student transitional measure introduced under the New Regime for Students launched in January, 2011 as a concession to those students affected by the changes brought about by the New Regime. He would have been aware that the purpose of those measures was to facilitate students with an opportunity to secure an alternative immigration permission, namely an employment permit or a Green Card employment permit without being required to return to and apply from their country of origin. Persons who have not been able to avail of that opportunity are required to leave the State.

The person referred to by the Deputy has not secured alternative immigration permission and is therefore required to leave the State.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from INIS is, in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Residency Permits

Questions (267)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

267. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the procedure to be followed to regularise residency in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49389/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The person concerned has initiated Judicial Review proceedings in the High Court, challenging the decision of the Refugee Appeals Tribunal in his case. As these proceedings are ongoing, it would not be appropriate for me to comment further at this time.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Public Sector Pensions Expenditure

Questions (268)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

268. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide in tabular form the number of public servants in receipt of annual gross public sector pensions of between 0 to 10,000 euro, 10,001 to 20,000 euro, 20,001 to 30,000 euro, 30,001 to 40,000 euro, 40,001 to 50,000 euro, 50,001 to 60,000 euro, 60,001 to 70,000 euro, 70,001 to 80,000 euro, 80,000 to 90,000, 90,000 to 100,000 euro, 100,001 to 110,000 euro, 110,001 to 120,000 euro, 120,001 to 130,000 euro, 130,001 to 140,000 euro, 140,001 to 150,000 euro, 150,001 to 160,000 euro, 160,001 and above; and if these figures include local authorities, vocational educational committees, commercial semi State companies, non-commercial State agencies/bodies public sector retirees. [49828/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

My Department is responsible for the payment of pensions awarded to retired members of An Garda Síochána and their dependants along with retired solicitors of the Legal Aid Board and retired staff of the National Disability Authority. The following table sets out the numbers in receipt of pensions from my Department in the gross annual pension bands requested by the deputy.

Gross Annual Pension

Number

0 to 10,000

264

10,001 to 20,000

1012

20,001 to 30,000

7031

30,001 to 40,000

749

40,001 to 50,000

269

50,001 to 60,000

185

60,001 to 70,000

60

70,001 to 80,000

27

80,001 to 90,000

0

90,001 to 100,000

0

100,001 to 110,000

0

110,001 to 120,000

5

120,001 to 130,000

0

130,001 to 140,000

0

140,001 to 150,000

0

150,001 to 160,000

0

More than 160,000

0

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (269)

Seán Fleming

Question:

269. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Defence the gross and net additional expenditure savings that his Department is seeking to achieve in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49239/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

The Gross and Net Provision for Defence (Vote 36) up to 2012 and the scheduled provision for 2013 are set out in the following table:

Defence (Vote 36) – Gross & Net Provision 2010 to 2013

-

2010 €m

2011 €m

2012 €m

* 2013 €m

Gross Provision

756.4

727.0

688.4

685.6

Net Provision

705.6

678.7

647.0

644.6

* Gross Expenditure Ceiling as set out in the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure

Gross expenditure ceilings were set out in the Comprehensive Expenditure Report 2012-2014 and currently form the basis of the 2013 Estimates discussions which are ongoing. While the individual Vote expenditure ceilings will be announced on 5 December, the updated position in regard to the overall fiscal consolidation for 2013 will be published shortly by my colleague the Minister for Finance in the Medium-Term Fiscal Statement.

Arising from the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure, the Government’s decision to stabilise the strength of the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) at 9,500 personnel has resulted in sustainable savings as reflected in the figures above. In addition, there were savings achieved from the reductions in the number of Civilian Employees and Civil Servants.

Earlier this year, a major re-organisation of the Defence Forces was undertaken in order to maximise the operational capabilities of the PDF within the revised strength level. The organisational structures that were in place for a PDF strength of approximately 11,500 personnel were clearly outmoded and no longer fit for purpose. In July this year, I accepted the Chief of Staff and Secretary General’s recommendation regarding new PDF structures and announced the details. Implementation of these revised organisational structures is ongoing.

Measures to reduce costs and deliver greater efficiencies over the past three years have also included a further rationalisation and consolidation of the Defence property portfolio. Regarding the recent closure of the four military barracks - Clonmel, Cavan, Mullingar and Castlebar, military personnel occupied on security and support functions within these installations have been released for operational duties leading to a manpower efficiency gain of around €5 million p.a. In addition, there are direct cash savings of approximately €1.3m per annum arising from utilities, maintenance and security duty allowances in the four barracks.

Despite the reductions in funding, a key focus has been the prioritisation and maintenance of PDF operational capacity in order to ensure that the PDF retain the capacity to fulfil all roles assigned.

Departmental Bodies

Questions (270)

Niall Collins

Question:

270. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Defence if he will provide in a tabular form the total list of quasi-governmental organisations and agencies under his remit; if he will provide a list of quasi-governmental organisations and agencies under his remit that have been abolished since March 2011 or are scheduled to be abolished and the date on which they are due to be abolished; the date on which the body was created; the name of the body; the 2012 budget for the body; the number of employees of the body in 2012; the names of any outside consultants hired by the organisation since March 2011 and what future plans he has for the body. [49309/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

The State Boards under the aegis of the Department of Defence are the Civil Defence Board, the Army Pensions Board and the Board of Coiste an Asgard.

The information requested by the Deputy in relation to these Boards is set out below:

Agency

Date Created

Estimated date of Abolishment

Budget 2012

No of Staff

Civil Defence Board

7 May, 2003

31 December 2012

€5.585m

(Grant In Aid)

23

Army Pensions Board

1927

N/A

€103,000

1

Coiste an Asgard

16 February, 1987

31 December 2012

Nil

Nil

The Civil Defence Board is due to be abolished on 31 December 2012 following the enactment of the Civil Defence Repeal Bill. The Civil Defence function will be re-integrated into the Department of Defence as a Branch of the Department.

In December 2009, the previous Government announced that the National Sail Training Scheme, managed by Coiste an Asgard was to be discontinued. The Company has been inactive since. The winding-up process is well advanced and it is anticipated that the company will be in a position to close by the end of this year, following a final audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General.

The Army Pensions Board is an independent statutory body established under the Army Pensions Act, 1927. It consists of a Chairman, a doctor from the Army Medical Corps and a civilian doctor. The principal function of the Board is to investigate applications for pensions, allowances and gratuities arising from the death or disablement of members of the Defence Forces in the course of their military service. The Board determines the question of attributability to service; assesses the degree of disability in cases of disablement and reports its findings to the Minister for Defence. A civil servant of the Department of Defence is assigned to act as Secretary to the Board. There are no plans to abolish the Army Pensions Board.

No outside consultants have been hired by any of the agencies under the aegis of my Department since March, 2011.

Value for Money Reviews

Questions (271)

Gerald Nash

Question:

271. Deputy Gerald Nash asked the Minister for Defence when he will publish a value for money report he has received in relation to the Reserve Defence Force; if he will outline his vision for the future role of the RDF; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49348/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

The Value for Money Review of the Reserve Defence Force was completed and submitted to myself and the Secretary General of my Department last month. In advance of its publication, and in line with the guidelines and normal procedure for Value for Money Reviews, the responses to the recommendations are currently being developed. Until such time as these deliberations are finalised, I cannot comment on any aspect of future plans for the Reserve. Whilst I do not have a specific date for publication of the VFM Report, I anticipate that this will take place in the near future.

Public Sector Pensions Expenditure

Questions (272)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

272. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Defence if he will provide in tabular form the number of public servants in receipt of annual gross public sector pensions of between 0 to 10,000 euro, 10,001 to 20,000 euro, 20,001 to 30,000 euro, 30,001 to 40,000 euro, 40,001 to 50,000 euro, 50,001 to 60,000 euro, 60,001 to 70,000 euro, 70,001 to 80,000 euro, 80,000 to 90,000, 90,000 to 100,000 euro, 100,001 to 110,000 euro, 110,001 to 120,000 euro, 120,001 to 130,000 euro, 130,001 to 140,000 euro, 140,001 to 150,000 euro, 150,001 to 160,000 euro, 160,001 and above; and if these figures include local authorities, vocational educational committees, commercial semi State companies, non-commercial State agencies/bodies public sector retirees. [49822/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

The information requested is shown in tabular form beneath in relation to former members of the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) only. I understand that the requested information in respect of retired civil servants of the Department of Defence or retired civilian employees formerly employed with the PDF is being provided by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

Annual retirement pension, reflecting impact of Public Service Pension Reduction effective from 1 January 2011(where applicable)

(Annualised figures based on first 10 months of 2012)

Numbers

€10,000 or less

310

€10,001 to €20,000

7,198

€20,001 to €30,000

1,386

€30,001 to €40,000

482

€40,001 to €50,000

321

€50,001 to €60,000

42

€60,001 to €70,000

51

€70,001 to €80,000

0

€80,001 to €90,000

0

€90,001 to €100,000

6

In excess of €100,000

0

Total

9,796

Food Safety Authority Inspections

Questions (273)

Damien English

Question:

273. Deputy Damien English asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will provide in tabular form the total number of inspections for cracked or dirty/use by dates/sell by dates for eggs in 2009, 2010, 2011 and to date in 2012; the number of compliant inspections; the number of cases brought and the number of convictions as a result of these cases; the total cost of these inspections for each year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49358/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The table below sets out the total number of egg inspections carried out by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Departmental officials inspect retail and wholesale outlets for compliance with the European Communities (Marketing Standards for Eggs) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No 140 of 2009) and Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the hygiene of foodstuffs. Egg packing centres are inspected for labelling and grading requirements as well as compliance with hygiene requirements in accordance with European Communities Regulations.

Such inspections take place in conjunction with inspections for compliance with other EU Regulations and therefore data on the cost of egg inspections for the years in question is not readily available.

Although none of the inspections uncovered non-compliances warranting legal proceedings, in all cases of non-compliance, the eggs were removed from sale and disposed of on site or sent for rendering.

Year

Total Inspections

Unsatisfactory

Compliant Inspections

2009

2029

92

1937

2010

2257

126

2131

2011

2216

97

2119

2012 to 30/06/12

1105

17

1088

Single Payment Scheme Payments

Questions (274)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

274. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will give a county breakdown of single farm payment figures; if he will state the number of farmers in each county in receipt of these payments; if he considers the current distribution system of SFP's to be fair; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49113/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The data requested by the Deputy is currently being compiled by my Department and a detailed response will issue directly when this is completed.

On the question of fairness, the current payment system is based on entitlements established as a result of production levels in the 2000-2002 reference period, and the farming profile has undergone minimal change in the meantime. I have acknowledged that these historical references are no longer tenable. However, while I am prepared to consider a limited move away from this model, the Commission’s proposals for a flat-rate payment go too far and too fast. Therefore my main focus in the CAP reform negotiations is on securing a more measured approach that will limit the gains and losses to Irish farmers, and ensure that the direct payments system continues to provide the foundation for the achievement of the ambitious targets that have been set for the development of the sector.

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments

Questions (275)

Dara Calleary

Question:

275. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a person (details supplied) in County Sligo may expect their 2011 agri-environment option scheme payment to be finalised; the reason for the delay in processing and paying out the outstanding element of their application; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49161/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named was approved for participation in the 2011 Agri-Environment Options Scheme with effect from the 1st September 2011.

Under the EU Regulations governing the Scheme and other area-based payment schemes, a comprehensive administrative check, including cross-checks with the Land Parcel Identification System, must be completed before any payment can issue. The person named was selected for a ground inspection which took place on 1 May 2012. During this inspection, areas of non-compliance with the terms and condition of the scheme were noted in relation to the Species Rich Grassland option which will result in a penalty being imposed. A letter issued to the person named outlining the nature of the penalty and the appeal options. To date, no appeal has been received by officials in my Department. Accordingly the application will be processed for payment as soon as possible.

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (276)

Noel Harrington

Question:

276. Deputy Noel Harrington asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the savings achieved in his Department following the recent change in the DVO in Darrara Clonakilty, County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49170/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

There is an ongoing programme of reviews of the efficiency and cost effectiveness of service delivery across a range of functions performed by my Department. Following on from the demand for new services and the availability of existing resources in the region, I have decided to consolidate the administrative services that the Department currently provides from the Regional Office in Clonakilty. These services will in future be delivered from the Regional Office in Cork city.

The remaining services provided by veterinary and technical staff will continue to be provided from the Clonakilty Office which is being relocated to the Department’s Seafood Centre at Clogheen. Staff members who have provided the back-up clerical and administrative functions in the Darrara Office will be transferred to the Marine Division of the Department at Clogheen and will be assigned to new Marine related duties so that there will be no net reduction in the total number of staff working for the Department in Clonakilty. As regards non pay savings, these will be realised during 2013 once my Department’s Clonakilty based activities have been consolidated at Clogheen.

Live Exports

Questions (277, 278, 279)

Noel Harrington

Question:

277. Deputy Noel Harrington asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding plans to reopen live cattle exports to Egypt; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49171/12]

View answer

Noel Harrington

Question:

278. Deputy Noel Harrington asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding plans to reopen live cattle exports to Libya; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49172/12]

View answer

Noel Harrington

Question:

279. Deputy Noel Harrington asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding plans to reopen live cattle exports to Lebanon; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49173/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 277 to 279, inclusive, together.

The following table sets out the current position as regards the markets to which the questions refer.

Country

Type of market

Egypt

Open to fattening cattle under 20 months and slaughter cattle under 30 months

Lebanon

Open to Breeding /fattening and slaughter cattle under 36 months

Libya

Open to fattening and slaughter male cattle under 24 months – increase in age limit to 30 months is being pursued.

The question of when trade will resume to these countries is dependent on a number of factors, including commercial factors such as price and demand and the availability and cost of suitable sea transport. No boats from Ireland are currently approved for such export, but I am hopeful that this position will change in the near future.