Pension Provisions

Questions (368)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

368. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform further to the passing of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Bill 2013, if it is still his view that former Taoisigh, Ministers, office holders and senior civil servants' pensions cannot be reduced on the basis that he considers such payments to be vested property rights. [8651/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

Actions undertaken in Ireland must be in accordance with constitutional/legislative requirements in this jurisdiction where a pension is generally taken to be deferred income and covered by the constitutional protections that apply to property. Against this background, proportionate reductions to existing public service pensions have been given effect through legislation passed by the Houses of the Oireachtas. The current situation regarding public service pensions is as follows:

- Public service pensioners (including retired politicians) in Ireland have had their pensions cut.

- The Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2010 provided for the Public Service Pension Reduction (PSPR). The PSPR, commencing 1 January 2011, imposed significant reductions on public service pensions in payment, using a progressively tiered set of bands and rates with a top rate of 12% on any public service pension amount over €60,000.

- I have, acting on foot of my concern about large public service pensions, amended the legislation to increase the top rate of PSPR to 20% on any public service pension amount over €100,000 (aside from other taxes and deductions). Initially the PSPR was imposed separately on each public service pension. However, following an amendment introduced in the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012, the PSPR will be imposed on the aggregated value of all public service pensions held by a person who has more than one such pension.

- Public service pay cuts under the FEMPI legislation, including those made by this Government, have impacted progressively so that higher earners have taken the hardest hit. These pay cuts have been fully reflected in the pensions of persons who retired from 1 March 2012 onward. The average pay cut imposed has been around 7%, but this extends to more than 20% for the highest earners, of whom senior officer holders are clearly one part.

- The new Single Public Service Pension Scheme will deliver pensions to future public servants on the basis of career-average earnings rather than final salary; this will impose (by comparison with pre-Single Scheme "final salary" norms) a particularly significant moderation in the level of pension awarded to higher paid public servants.

Public Procurement Regulations

Questions (369)

Joe McHugh

Question:

369. Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the envisaged impact of the public procurement process on the school supply sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8803/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

In July 2012, following a government decision to make eight of the National Procurement Service contracts mandatory, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform issued ‘Circular 06/12: Public Procurement (Framework Agreements)’. The purpose of this Circular is to inform public bodies of the mandatory requirement to utilise central contracts, put in place by the NPS, when procuring a range of commonly acquired goods and services. Such central arrangements are targeted at securing best value for money and facilitating contracting authorities to deliver services within their budgetary constraints.

The NPS is focused on developing centralised arrangements for the procurement of goods and services used commonly across the public service nationwide. The benefits arising from these central arrangements include: cash savings; administrative savings from reduced duplication of tendering; greater purchasing expertise; improved consistency and compliance with EU procurement regulations; and enhanced service levels. Surveys carried out into public bodies, which switched from using their own contracts to the NPS contracts, have indicated that savings of up to 50% can be achieved.

Prior to issuing tenders the NPS engages with its clients to ensure their requirements are met and that the most commonly bought items are included in the tender. Under the provision of Circular 06/12 it is however permissible for buyers to purchase goods and services from non-NPS suppliers if these goods and services are demonstrably cheaper.

However, where a public service body purchases such goods or services it will need to explain the rationale for not using the NPS arrangements and provide a value for money justification that takes account of the full costs incurred in managing its own procurement process.

Systems of internal control within public service bodies are to support compliance with the requirements of the circular. Public service bodies shall make available for review if requested by internal auditors, the Comptroller and Auditor General, the Local Government Audit Service or other duly appointed auditors, details of internal controls in place to ensure compliance, and details of goods and services, subject to the mandate, acquired other than under mandated NPS central frameworks and the associated value for money justification.

The NPS also has, as part of its education and development remit, an active programme to educate SMEs in how to participate effectively in the public service procurement process. To date the NPS has facilitated workshops and presented at seminars to over 3,500 SMEs nationwide.

In NPS competitions, the tender documents explicitly seek to encourage the participation of SMEs. A prime example of this is when the NPS decided to divide the office supplies contract into three individual lots for Stationery, ICT Consumables and Paper. This was to increase the possibility for SMEs to tender individually, or form consortia that could enter competitive bids to win this national contract.

Codex Ltd, an indigenous company, won the Stationery contract and are sourcing up to 60% of their products using 136 local agents and manufacturers. Furthermore, the ICT Consumables contract was also won by another Irish SME, Datapac Limited.

Consumer Protection

Questions (370)

Eoghan Murphy

Question:

370. Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a company (details supplied) charge €3.75 per bill for non direct debit payments of bills; if it is illegal to fine persons for choosing a particular method of payment where no financial justification is found for the charge; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8840/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

My Department’s consultation paper of September 2012 on Article 19 (Fees for the use of means of payment) and Article 22 (Additional payments) of Directive 2011/83/EU on Consumer Right gives details of payment charges applied by a number of traders, including the charge referred to in the details supplied by the Deputy.

Article 52(3) of Directive 2007/64/EC on Payment Services in the Internal Market states that a ‘payment service provider shall not prevent the payee from requesting a charge or from offering a reduction for the use of a given payment instrument.’ Article 52(3) gave Member States discretion to ‘forbid or limit the right to request charges taking into account the need to encourage competition and forbid the use of efficient payment instruments’. Ireland, in common with 12 other Member States including Germany and the United Kingdom, chose not to give effect to this option. Accordingly, it is not unlawful per se for traders in Ireland to impose charges on consumers for the use of a particular method of payment.

Article 19 of Directive 2011/83/EU provides that Member States ‘shall prohibit traders from charging consumers in respect of the use of a given means of payment, fees that exceed the cost borne by the trader for the use of such means.’ Though this Article does not prohibit payment charges as such, it aims to ensure that such charges reflect the real cost of payment instruments to the trader and are not used as a source of additional revenue.

Shortly after the adoption of the Directive, I stated my intention to give early effect to the provisions of Article 19 and Article 22. To this end, my Department issued the consultation paper on the implementation of the two Articles referred to above. One of the issues raised by the consultation has required my Department to seek legal advice from the Attorney General and the European Commission. Subject to the satisfactory resolution of the legal issue concerned, it remains my intention to give early effect to Articles 19 and 22.

Competition Authority Reports

Questions (371)

John Deasy

Question:

371. Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation when the Competition Authority’s study of Irish ports will be published. [8972/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

The Competition Authority's study of Irish Ports is expected to be published by Q3/4 of this year. A public consultation on the study was launched by the Competition Authority on 14 December 2012 and submissions were due in to the Authority by 8 February 2013. I am informed that the submissions received are currently being examined by the Authority.

Ministerial Appointments

Questions (372, 373, 374)

Shane Ross

Question:

372. Deputy Shane Ross asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the details of all appointments made by him to all State agencies, commercial bodies and all other appointments made by him since taking office, including the State owned banks and the judiciary. [8122/13]

View answer

Shane Ross

Question:

373. Deputy Shane Ross asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the details of the qualifications of all the appointees made by him to all State agencies, commercial bodies and all other appointments made by him since taking office including the State owned banks and judiciary for the appointments they have accepted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8140/13]

View answer

Shane Ross

Question:

374. Deputy Shane Ross asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the number of appointees and the percentage of appointments made by him to all State agencies, commercial bodies and all other appointments made by him since taking office including the State owned banks and the Judiciary that were subject to a public applications process. [8158/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 372 to 374, inclusive, together.

A breakdown by type and details of all appointments made by me to the State Agencies under the aegis of my Department since taking office, are listed in the tables.

Breakdown of the State Board appointments made since March 2011

Reappointments

17

Department Representatives

7

Social Partners

1

Nominated by other bodies in accordance with Legislation

7

Discretion of Minister – From among individuals who made application

15

Discretion of Minister- Other

8

Ex Officio

7

Staff Representatives

2

Details of the State Board appointments made since March 2011

Labour Relations Commission

Membership

Method of appointment

Date of appointment

Re-appointment

Expiry of contract

Fees per annum

Breege O'Donoghue, Chairperson

Ministerial- Nominated by the Government

01/04/2003

Yes 7/7/2012

06/07/2013

€20,520

Brendan McGinty

Ministerial -Nominated by IBEC

06/11/2000

Yes 7/7/2012

06/07/2013

€11,970

Fergus Whelan

Ministerial – Nominated by ICTU

05/07/2009

Yes 7/7/2012

06/07/2013

€11,970

Gerard Barry

Ministerial

01/04/2006

Yes7/7/2012

06/07/2013

€11,970

Iarla Duffy

Ministerial

05/07/2009

Yes 7/7/2012

06/07/2013

€11,970

John Hennessy

Ministerial -Nominated by IBEC

05/07/2009

Yes 7/7/2012

06/07/2013

€11,970

Peter McCloone

Ministerial – Nominated by ICTU

29/03/2000

Yes 7/7/2012

06/07/2013

€11,970

Forfás*

Membership

Method of appointment

Date of appointment

Re-appointment

Expiry of contract

Fees

Professor Mark Ferguson

Ex Officio (DG of SFI)

18/01/2012

No

06/01/2017

None

John Murphy

Ministerial -Dept Rep (Sec Gen)

18/01/2012

No

None

*The membership of the Forfas Board was reduced to an executive style board, with effect from 5th October 2012, to facilitate the integration of Forfas with the Department. The remaining Board members will continue in situ, to oversee the integration process.

Enterprise Ireland

Membership

Method of Appointment

Date of appointment

Re-appointment

Expiry of contract

Fees

Amanda Pratt

Ministerial

10/10/2012

No

*see attached note

€11,970

Clare Dunne

Ministerial -Dept Rep (Asst Sec)

10/10/2012

No

*see attached note

None

Colum Horgan

Ministerial

15/10/2012

No

*see attached note

€11,970

Geoff Meagher

Ministerial

15/10/2012

No

*see attached note

€11,970

*In accordance with Section 9 of the Industrial Development Act, (Enterprise Ireland) 1998, on each anniversary of the establishment day (23rd July, 1998), two members of the Board (other than the chairperson and the chief executive officer) shall retire from office. The members to retire in any year shall be those who have been longest in office since their appointment.

InterTradeIreland

Membership

Method of Appointment

Date of appointment

Re-appointment

Expiry of contract

Fees

Thomas Hunter McGowan (CEO)

Nominated by Ministers North and South and approved by NSMC

23/07/2012

No

22/07/2017

None

Martin Cronin (Chair)

Nominated by Minister and approved by NSMC

13/12/2011

No

12/12/2015

€11,970

Brendan Butler

Nominated by Minister and approved by NSMC

12/12/2007

Yes 13/12/2011

12/12/2015

€7,695

Patricia McKeown

Nominated by Minister and approved by NSMC

12/12/2007

Yes 13/12/2011

12/12/2015

€7,695

Kevin Norton

Nominated by Minister and approved by NSMC

13/12/2011

No

12/12/2015

€7,695

Mairead Sorensen

Nominated by Minister and approved by NSMC

13/12/2011

No

12/12/2015

€7,695

John Corbett

Nominated by Minister and approved by NSMC

13/12/2011

No

12/12/2015

€7,695

Personal Injuries Assessment Board

Membership

Method of appointment

Date of appointment

Re-appointment

Expiry of contract

Fees

Breda Power

Ministerial -Dept Rep (Asst Sec)

26/10/2011

No

25/10/2016

None

Ann Fitzgerald

Ministerial

12/09/2006

08/09/2011

17/10/2012

None

Sean Murphy

Ministerial

20/12/2012

No

-

None

Martin Naughton

Statutory nomination by ICTU

05/04/2012

No

04/04/2017

€11,340

Dr. Fionnuala O'Loughlin

Ministerial

01/08/2012

No

31/07/2015

None

John Lynch

Ministerial

01/08/2012

No

31/07/2015

€11,340

Health and Safety Authority

Membership

Method of appointment

Date of appointment

Re-appointment

Expiry of contract

Fees

John Newham

Ministerial- Dept Rep (Principal Officer)

10/04/12

No

19/12/13

None

National Standards Authority of Ireland

Membership

Method of appointment

Date of appointment

Re-appointment

Expiry of contract

Fees

Terry Landers

Ministerial

06/03/2012

No

*see attached note

Waived

Barbara O'Leary

Ministerial

06/03/2012

No

*see attached note

None

Anne Clarke

Ministerial -Staff Rep by lot

14/04/2012

No

*see attached note

€7,695

Kieran Cox

Ministerial -Staff Rep by lot

14/04/2012

No

*see attached note

€7,695

Deirdre O’Hara

Ministerial

31/01/2013

No

see attached note

€7,695

Aedin Goggin

Ministerial

31/01/2013

No

see attached note

€7,695

Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA)

Membership

Method of appointment

Date of first appointment

Re-appointment

Expiry of contract

Fees

Mr Brendan Walsh

Chairperson

Ministerial Appointment

21/12/12

No

20/12/15

€11,970

Deirdre Behan

Ministerial - Nominated by the Revenue Commissioners in accordance with the Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Act 2003

03/01/12

No

02/01/15

None

Marie Daly

Ministerial - Nominated by IBEC in accordance with the Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Act 2003

03/01/06

Yes 3/1/2012

02/01/15

€7,695

Mairead Devine

Ministerial - Nominated by the Central Bank in accordance with the Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Act 2003

03/01/12

No

02/01/15

None

Sean Hawkshaw

Ministerial - Nominated by the Irish Association of Investment Managers in accordance with the Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Act 2003

03/01/06

Yes 03/01/2012

02/01/15

€7,695

David Martin

Ministerial - Nominated by the Prescribed Accountancy Bodies in accordance with the Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Act 2003

03/01/06

Yes 03/01/2012

29/05/14

€7,695

Sylvia McNeece

Ministerial - Nominated by the Pensions Board in accordance with the Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Act 2003

03/01/12

No

02/01/15

None

Kevin O'Donovan

Ministerial - Nominated by the Prescribed Accountancy Bodies in accordance with the Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Act 2003

30/05/11

No

29/05/14

€7,695

Conor O'Mahony

Ministerial - Nominated by the Director of Corporate Enforcement in accordance with the Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Act 2003

01/03/12

No

20/01/14

None

Ms Bernadette McGrory-Farrell

Ministerial - Nominated by the Prescribed Accountancy Bodies in accordance with the Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Act 2003

03/01/13

No

02/01/2016

€7,695

Mr Paddy Keating

Ministerial - Nominated by ICTU in accordance with the Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Act 2003

03/01/13

No

02/01/2016

€7,695

Ms Helen Hall

Ex-Officio

Member

18/12/12

No

N/A

None payable

Ms Muireann O’Neill

Ministerial Appointment

01/09/12

No

02/09/2015

€7,695

Shannon Development

Membership

Method of appointment

Date of appointment

Re-appointment

Expiry of contract

Fees

Stephen Curran

Ministerial- Dept Rep (Principal Officer)

23/02/2012

No

April 2016

None

National Consumer Agency

Membership

Method of appointment

Date of appointment

Re-appointment

Expiry of contract

Fees

Stephen

Costello

Ministerial

01/05/2007

01/05/2012

30/04/2017

€20,520

Sean Murphy

Appointed by the Board (CEO of NCA9

18/10/2012

No

On appointment of CEO

None

Isolde Goggin

Ministerial – Competition Authority Rep (Chair of Competition Authority)

30/11/2011

No

*see attached note

None

Robin O'Sullivan

Ministerial

01/05/2007

06/05/2012

*see attached note

€11,970

Colleen Savage

Ministerial

06/05/2012

No

*see attached note

€11,970

Eugene Gallagher

Ministerial

06/05/2012

No

*see attached note

€11,970

Tina Leonard

Ministerial

31/01/2013

No

*see attached note

€11,970

* Section 10 of the Consumer Protection Act provides that on the anniversary of the establishment day of the Agency and on each subsequent anniversary of that day, two members of the Agency (other than the chairperson and the CEO) shall retire from office. The section further provides that a member of the Agency (other than the CEO) shall serve for not more than 10 consecutive years.

IDA Ireland

Membership

Method of appointment

Date of appointment

Re-appointment

Expiry of contract

Fees

Dermot Curran

Ministerial- Dept Rep (Asst Sec)

09/07/2012

No

December 2016

None

Alan W. Gray

Ministerial

25/01/2012

No

December 2016

Waived

Mary Campbell

Ministerial

23/05/2012

No

December 2016

€11,970

Peter Cassels

Ministerial

23/05/2012

No

December 2016

€11,970

Science Foundation Ireland

Membership

Method of appointment

Date of appointment

Re-appointment

Expiry of contract

Fees

Professor Mark Ferguson

Ex Officio (DG of SFI)

16/01/2012

No

*see attached note

None

Dermot Curran

Ministerial- Dept Rep (Asst Sec)

01/09/2012

No

*see attached note

None

Mary Doyle

Ministerial – Nominated by Minister for Education

05/12/2012

No

*see attached note

None

Dr. Rita Colwell

Ministerial

31/03/2008

Yes 26 July 2011

*see attached note

€11,970

Prof. Martina Newell-McGloughlin

Ministerial

25/07/2003

Yes 26 July 2011

July 2013

€11,970

Liam Madden

Ministerial

31/01/2013

No

see attached note

€11,970

*Section 9.3 of the 2003 Industrial Development (Science Foundation Ireland) Act 2003 determines that each year (on anniversary of formal establishment of SFI – 25th July 2003) that the two longest serving members of the Board shall retire from the Board with effect from July 24th each year. However, there is also a stipulation in the legislation that a member cannot serve more than ten years in succession.

Since coming to Office I have made 64 appointments to the State Boards under my aegis, 15 of which were made as a result of applications from the public. This represents 23.4% of total appointments. The Deputy should note that not all the 64 appointments were at my discretion. In many cases places on boards are allocated under legislation to Department Representatives, social partners, nominees of other Ministers, nominees of prescribed bodies and appointments on an Ex Officio basis.

In making such appointments I have had regard to the skills, expertise and experience of individuals, the balance of skills and attributes in terms of the overall composition of the board, the gender balance of the board and the availability and commitment of people to serve on the board. It would not be feasible given the number of appointments to provide qualifications of each appointee.

Work Permit Application Numbers

Questions (375)

Joe Higgins

Question:

375. Deputy Joe Higgins asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the number of work permits that have been issued to migrants working in the fishing industry since 2010. [8213/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

I understand that while my Department has not issued any permits in the last two years in respect of fishermen the Department issued six permits in 2010 and one permit in 2011 in respect of employment in the fishing industry. No such permits issued in 2012 or thus far in 2013.

Electricity Generation

Questions (376)

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

376. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in view of the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the British Government for the support of electricity generated by wind energy from the State, the plans in place to attract wind turbine manufacturing companies to set up new operations; the progress that has been made regarding same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8215/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

The recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation in the Energy Sector between my colleague Mr Pat Rabbitte, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, and Mr Edward Davey, the United Kingdom Secretary for Energy and Climate Change, is a very welcome development and provides the confidence and assurance to those in the wind energy sector that Ireland is open for business and is clearly a destination for investment.

The Memorandum of Understanding is an important step in a long process of attracting investment in this sector, and provides the scale necessary to attract elements of the wind energy supply chain to Ireland with subsequent additional employment opportunities. I have been informed by IDA Ireland that it is actively engaged with a number of overseas target companies in relation to establishing operations in Ireland. Many of the employment opportunities will be realised by local, Irish owned companies and IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland are working closely together to maximise the benefits and employment potential that is inherent in this opportunity.

Jobs Data

Questions (377)

Finian McGrath

Question:

377. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the number of jobs created and losses on the northside of Dublin in 2012-2013 and if there are any major job creation projects for the northside in 2013. [8268/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

Employment creation is a priority for Government. All job creation initiatives are set out in the Action Plan for Jobs 2012. This is a multi-annual process which has the objective of supporting the creation of 100,000 new jobs in the economy by 2016 and making Ireland the best small country in which to do business. The Action Plan is a whole of Government approach with a national focus across all regions and contains a comprehensive range of job creation initiatives.

The Table shows the number of full time jobs gained and lost in IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland on a county basis in 2012. IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland are not able to provide a figure on a northside of Dublin basis. In respect of the County and City Enterprise Boards (CEBs), the Table also shows the number of full time jobs gained and lost in CEB supported companies on the northside of Dublin, in 2012 (i.e. Dublin City and Fingal CEBs).

The Action Plan for Jobs 2013 is currently being finalised by my Department and will be published in the coming days. The various initiatives contained in the Plan will build on the Action Plan for Jobs 2012 and will be available, as appropriate, to businesses from the Northside of Dublin.

Table showing the number of full time jobs gained and lost in IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland (EI) and CEB supported companies in Dublin, in 2012

-

IDA

EI

CEBs (Dublin City and Fingal)

Data

2012

2012

2012

Dublin Full Time Jobs Created

6,389

4,097

391

Dublin Full Time Jobs Lost

3,059

3,415

270

Job Initiatives

Questions (378)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

378. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if he will detail, in tabular form, each of the initiatives announced by his Department to create employment; the date of the first announcement; the date when the initiative went operational; the budget set aside for the initiative; the total draw down to date for the initiative and the number of net jobs created by the initiative. [8367/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

Employment creation is a priority for Government. All job creation initiatives are set out in the Action Plan for Jobs 2012. This is a multi-annual process which has the objective of supporting the creation of 100,000 new jobs in the economy by 2016 and making Ireland the best small country in which to do business.

The Action Plan is a whole of Government approach with a national focus across all regions and contains a comprehensive range of job creation initiatives. These include legislation to reform statutory wage setting mechanisms, a reduction or freezing of charges levied on business by Government across a large range of Government Departments and agencies, the enactment of the Legal Service Bill which will place downward pressure on insurance costs, the €90m Microenterprise Loan Fund Scheme, the €450m Credit Guarantee Scheme, the €120m second call under Innovation Fund Ireland and the €150m Development Capital Scheme. The combined effect of initiatives such as these is to sustain existing jobs and to create new ones.

The Enterprise Development agencies are at the forefront of implementing the Action Plan for Jobs and continue to ensure that enterprises can maximise their contribution to economic recovery and jobs growth. In 2012, 6,570 net new jobs were created in IDA Ireland client companies and 2012 was the agency’s third consecutive year of growth in net employment. IDA’s client base now employs 152,785 people, a level last recorded before the global financial crisis began in 2008. 2012 saw the creation of 3,338 net new jobs in companies supported by Enterprise Ireland (EI), the highest net new jobs figure since 2006. The County and City Enterprise Boards (CEBs) created 417 net new jobs in 2012.

The Government published on 1 February 2013, the fourth and final quarterly progress report under the Action Plan for Jobs 2012. This Report shows that 249 - or 92% - out of the 270 measures committed to be implemented in 2012 by all 15 Government Departments and 36 Agencies under the Action Plan for Jobs, have been delivered.

I am currently finalising the Action Plan for Jobs 2013, which will be published in the coming days.

Employment Rights

Questions (379)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

379. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the rights and obligations of employers towards their subcontractors in the event of a change of title or demotion; if he intends to bring forward legislation in relation to the protection of workers in subcontracting companies who have worked for a long period of time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8587/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

The normal protections of employment legislation apply to any given situation in the employer employee relationship. Compliance with the statutory obligations set out under Irish employment law regarding employees’ statutory rights is the responsibility of the employees’ employer. Where a company subcontracts some or all of its business to another company, the subcontracting arrangement does not give rise to any transfer of statutory obligations regarding the employees’ of the subcontracting company. Disputes in relation to the statutory employment rights of the subcontractors’ employees fall to be addressed by the subcontracting company.

Where disputes cannot be resolved in the workplace, complaints in respect of an employers’ non-compliance with employees’ statutory employment rights can be made using the complaint form available at www.workplacerelations.ie.

I trust that this information will be of assistance to you. Further information on employees’ statutory employment rights or general information in relation to submitting a complaint may be obtained from the Workplace Relations Customer Service Unit at 1890 80 80 90.

I have no plans to bring forward additional legislation on this issue.

IDA Portfolio

Questions (380)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

380. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation further to Parliamentary Question No. 102 of 6 February 2013, if he will detail the reduction in the number of leases held by the Industrial Development Agency for each year since 2009 to which the agency is the lessor; the number of leases surrendered due to business failure and the number of leases renewed for each year; and if he will outline any other reason for the reduction in the total number of leases. [8631/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

I am informed by IDA Ireland that at the end of 2009, the total number of occupied property leases held by IDA Ireland to which the agency was lessor was 70. By the end of 2012 that figure stood at 50. The tabular statement shows the number of such leases held by IDA Ireland in each year of the four years 2009 to 2012.

I am informed by IDA Ireland the number of leases not renewed because of companies going out of business was 3 from 2009. There are a number of other reasons which account for the reduction in the number of leases held by IDA since 2009. For example, companies had short-term leases that facilitated storage only and once the storage was no longer required the lease was terminated; companies moved or consolidated their operations into alternative units; and, IDA Ireland sold a number of units or exited the Head Lease.

Table showing the Total Number of Buildings Occupied leases held by IDA Ireland for each year from 2009 to 2012 in which the Agency is the Lessor

Year End

Total Number of Buildings Occupied Leases

2009

70

2010

56

2011

54

2012

50

Regional Aid

Questions (381, 382, 383, 384)

Arthur Spring

Question:

381. Deputy Arthur Spring asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the total amount of regional aid money given to the Border Regional Authority for start-up of small, medium and large businesses during the present regional aid map 2007-2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8661/13]

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Arthur Spring

Question:

382. Deputy Arthur Spring asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the total amount of regional aid money given to the West Regional Authority for start-up of small, medium and large businesses during the present regional aid map 2007-2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8662/13]

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Arthur Spring

Question:

383. Deputy Arthur Spring asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the total amount of regional aid money given to the Midlands Regional Authority for start-up of small, medium and large businesses during the present regional aid map 2007-2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8663/13]

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Arthur Spring

Question:

384. Deputy Arthur Spring asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the total amount of regional aid money given to the Mid-East Regional Authority for start-up of small, medium and large businesses during the present regional aid map 2007-2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8664/13]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 381 to 384, inclusive, together.

Regional Aid, also known as investment aid, is paid in the form of grants by the industrial development agencies to businesses in order to support new investment and new employment in productive projects. Such aid must be in accordance with the Regional Aid Map 2007-13 approved by the European Commission. This Map was drawn up in accordance with the Commission’s Regional Aid Guidelines 2007-2013. The eligible regions and applicable aid rates in Ireland for the 7 year period are set out in the Irish map which is available on my Departments website, and attached at the end of this answer. The questions posed by the Deputy require a significant volume of information to be gathered and collated. It has not been possible to collate the information within the timeframe given. Consequently, my Department will provide the information to the Deputy as soon as possible in written format.

Regional Aid Map 2007-2013 – IRELAND (as reviewed by Commission Decision

N130/2010 – Official Journal c 226/5 21.8.2010)

BORDER, MIDLANDS and WEST REGION

Large Firms

Period

2007-2010

2011-2013

Aid Rate

(Gross Grant Equivalent)

30%

15%

Medium Firms

Period

2007-2010

2011-2013

Aid Rate

(Gross Grant Equivalent)

40%

25%

Small Firms

Period

2007- 2010

2011-2013

Aid Rate

(Gross Grant Equivalent)

50%

35%

SOUTHERN & EASTERN REGION

LARGE FIRMS

Area

Period

Aid Rate

(Gross Grant Equivalent)

South East sub-Region

(Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Waterford, South Tipperary) and designated islands 1

2007-2013

10%

Mid West

(Clare, Limerick, North Tipperary 2)

2007-2013

10%

Kerry,

Cork (entire county)

2007-2008

10%

2009-2013

0%

1. Bear, Cleire, Dursey, Heir, Long, Sherkin, Whiddy

2. As a result of Commission Decision N 130/2010, large investment aid for investment projects with eligible expenditure exceeding €25 million is once again permitted for these three counties. Prior to the decision, such aid had only been allowed up until the end of 2008.

Medium Firms

Area

Period

Aid Rate

(Gross Grant Equivalent)

South East sub-Region

(Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Waterford, South Tipperary) and designated islands

2007 - 2013

20%

Mid West

(Clare, Limerick, North Tipperary)

2007 - 2013

20%

Kerry,

Cork Urban Regeneration Area

2007 - 2013

20% 3

Cork (apart from Urban Regeneration Area)

2007-2008

20%

2009-2013

0%

Small Firms

Area

Period

Aid Rate

(Gross Grant Equivalent)

South East sub-Region

(Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Waterford, South Tipperary) and designated islands

2007-2013

30%

Mid-West

(Clare, Limerick, North Tipperary)

2007 - 2013

30%

Kerry,

Cork Urban Regeneration Area

2007 - 2013

30% 3

Cork (apart from Urban Regeneration Area)

2007-2008

30%

2009-2013

0%

Lower aid rates apply to Large Investment Projects (i. e. > €50 million)

3. From 2009-2013 no aid may be awarded in these counties for investment projects with eligible expenditure exceeding EUR 25 million

Media Mergers

Questions (385)

Willie Penrose

Question:

385. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation when the necessary legislation will be brought forward to implement the recommendations of the advisory group on the media mergers which was published in January 2009 and in this context since the Government approved the draft heads of the Bill in July 2012, which indicated that the responsibility for carrying out the public interest test would transfer to the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources; if he will now give a definitive date for the publication of the Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8811/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

Work on drafting the Consumer and Competition Bill is on-going and the Bill is included in the “A list” in the Government’s current Legislative Programme. In addition to giving effect to the recommendations of the Advisory Group on Media Mergers, the Bill will, inter alia, merge the National Consumer Agency and the Competition Authority, update and reform competition law on foot of a review of the operation and implementation of the Competition Act 2002, and introduce enabling provisions for a code of practice for the grocery goods sector.

Job Creation Data

Questions (386, 387)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

386. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if he will provide a yearly breakdown of the new jobs created in County Donegal by the Industrial Development Agency over the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8815/13]

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Charlie McConalogue

Question:

387. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if he will provide a yearly breakdown of the number of Industrial Development Agency sponsored visits to County Donegal over the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8816/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 386 and 387 together.

I am informed by IDA that in the 5 year period 2008 to 2012 there were a total of 13 sponsored site visits by potential investors to Co. Donegal. In the same period, IDA Ireland’s client companies created 739 new jobs in Donegal. At present, there are 14 IDA Ireland client companies in Co. Donegal employing 2,228 people of which 178 are part time positions. Details of the number of site visits and new jobs created in each of the years 2008 to 2012 are set out in the following tabular statements.

Donegal’s industry base is transforming from the clothing and textile industry to high tech, high skill activity. IDA Ireland is actively encouraging new investment in Donegal in knowledge based industries and is actively promoting Donegal as a successful location for high-end manufacturing mainly to companies in the medical technologies sector. In October last KeyedIn Solutions announced its plans to establish a software development centre in Letterkenny with the creation of 20 highly skilled jobs over three years.

IDA’s commitment to delivering business to Letterkenny and Sligo in the North West Region continues in line with IDA’s strategy ‘Horizon 2020’. Also, in line with “Horizon 2020 ,” IDA works with corporate and local management in existing client companies to improve competitiveness and efficiencies, enhance their use of technology, up-skill employees, engage in RD&I and develop their business processes so as to ensure the maintenance of the existing jobs provided by these companies in Ireland.

IDA prioritises the marketing of its Gateway locations within each Region as the locations of critical mass and highlights the opportunities provided by other locations on an opportunistic basis, which are within commuting distances of these Gateways.

Another primary focus for IDA Ireland in Donegal is the designated linked Gateway of Letterkenny/Derry. This focus involves developing stronger economic links with Invest Northern Ireland, which includes initiatives like the North West Business & Technology Zone (NWBTZ). The NWBTZ is aimed at promoting the linked Gateway of Letterkenny/Derry in line with the NI Regional Development Strategy 2025.

I am mindful of the concerns that have been expressed to me by Deputies on all sides of the House about the relatively low level of site visits to certain regional locations. I have, accordingly, raised this matter with the CEO of IDA Ireland with a view to exploring what further initiatives can be taken to influence potential investors to invest in such locations.

Table showing the number of new jobs created in IDA Ireland Client Companies in County Donegal in each of the years 2008 to 2012

Employment

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Number of New Jobs created

67

63

152

271

186

Table showing the number of IDA sponsored site visits to County Donegal in each of the years 2008 to 2012

Year

Site Visits

2012

1

2011

2

2010

4

2009

3

2008

3

Carer's Allowance Payments

Questions (388)

Joe McHugh

Question:

388. Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Social Protection the supports that are provided to carers who do not live in the home of the persons for whom they care; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8169/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The same supports are provided to carers regardless of their residence with just one difference. Since April 2012 those in receipt of a carer’s payment are not entitled to household benefits in their own right. For those who do reside with the person being cared for, the person is likely to already have an entitlement of their own to household benefits. Approximately 31,000 carers receive a household benefits package.

My Department provides a number of supports to carers. The two main weekly income support payments are the means tested carer’s allowance (including half-rate carer’s allowance) and the PRSI based carer’s benefit. In addition to either of these payments, non-resident carers continue to be entitled to the annual respite care grant and free travel.

In general, to qualify for carer’s allowance or carer’s benefit, the carer must live with the person being cared for. However, where the carer is not resident with the person they are caring for, the circumstances may still be suitable to allow them to provide full time care and attention. In these cases, there must be a system of communication between the carer’s residence and that of the care recipient such as telephone or an alarm type system. The care recipient must not already be receiving full time care and attention within his or her own residence from another person.

Expenditure on carers has increased significantly in recent years. In 2013 it is estimated to be €776 million compared with an estimated outturn of €771 million in 2012. The expenditure on carers in 2012 included: €509 million on carer’s allowance; €24 million on carer’s benefit; €135 million on the respite care grant; and €103 million on domiciliary care allowance.

There are over 52,000 people in receipt of carer’s allowance. Of these, over 23,000 are getting half-rate carer’s allowance in addition to another social welfare payment. There are approximately 1,700 people in receipt of carer’s benefit.

The income disregard and means test for carers is the most generous within the social welfare system. A couple under 66 with two children, earning a joint annual income of up to €35,400 can qualify for maximum payment carer’s allowance which such a couple earning €59,300 will still qualify for the minimum rate and may also qualify for the household benefits package. A person receiving the carer’s allowance is also entitled to a free travel pass.

The annual respite care grant is paid automatically to those in receipt of carer’s allowance, carer’s benefit and domiciliary care allowance in June of each year. The grant is not means tested and is also available to those people who are not in receipt of a one of the above payments but are providing full time care and attention to a person who needs this care.

Disability Allowance Eligibility

Questions (389)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

389. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding determination of eligibility for disability allowance in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8070/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The person concerned applied for disability allowance on 20 March 2012. The application, based upon the evidence submitted, was refused on medical grounds and the person was notified in writing of this decision on 29 June 2012.

The person submitted further medical evidence in support of his claim and a review of his application is underway. Once a decision is made on this review, the person in question will be notified of the outcome.

Disability Allowance Applications

Questions (390)

Pat Deering

Question:

390. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Social Protection when a person (details supplied) in County Carlow will receive a decision on their application for disability; and if she will expedite the matter. [8089/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

An application for disability allowance was received from the person concerned on 7 January 2013. On completion of the necessary investigations on all aspects of the claim a decision will be made and the person will be notified directly of the outcome in due course.