Carer's Allowance Appeals

Questions (438)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

438. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Social Protection when a decision will issue on a carer's allowance application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8727/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 16th August 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 7th February 2013 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.

Carer's Allowance Applications

Questions (439)

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

439. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason a person (details supplied) in County Mayo has been refused carer's allowance when the person being cared for had been assessed for carer's benefit as being in need of full-time care in August 2012 and has had no improvement in their condition; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8750/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

I confirm that the Department received an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question on the 23rd November 2012. The application was refused on medical grounds on the 7th February 2013 and the person concerned was notified of the decision.

The person being cared for had been found medically eligible for carer's benefit in August 2012. However medical eligibility does not automatically transfer across to a different scheme. Although the legislation in regard to medical eligibility for carer’s allowance is very similar to that of carer’s benefit, they are not identical. Section 179(4)(b) of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act, 2005 relating to carer's allowance is significant here. It states that "a relevant person shall be regarded as requiring full-time care and attention where the person has such a disability that he or she is likely to require full-time care and attention for at least 12 consecutive months”.

In carrying out the assessment of the case, the medical assessor considered all evidence presented and expressed an opinion based on findings. The medical assessor expressed the following opinion in regard to this case on the 4th December 2012: “While care recipient clearly needs additional care and attention, however based on all medical reports and evidence available to me at this time, I am of the opinion that the need for continuous care and attention does not comply with the criteria for eligibility for CA”. Taking all material into account, the deciding officer decided to disallow carer’s allowance.

Supplementary Welfare Allowance Eligibility

Question No. 441 withdrawn.

Questions (440)

Sandra McLellan

Question:

440. Deputy Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question No. 359 of 12 February 2013, if she will change the rule to allow persons on social welfare allowance to travel for medical treatment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8751/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

Supplementary welfare allowance (SWA) is not normally payable where a recipient is outside the State.

Recipients of SWA are advised to contact the officer dealing with their claim where there is a change in their circumstances which includes travel outside the State. I have no plans to change the conditions under which SWA is payable.

Question No. 441 withdrawn.

Pension Provisions

Questions (442)

Marcella Corcoran Kennedy

Question:

442. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Social Protection if there has been any agreement in relation to putting in place the provision of a gratuity or pension payment for retiring job club leaders; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8824/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

The Department has no agreements in place for the provision of a gratuity or pension payment for retiring job club leaders. The Department provides grant assistance to sponsors/contractors towards the cost of operating job clubs. The provision of pensions or gratuities and other employment related issues are matters for the sponsors/contractors as the employer.

Rent Supplement Scheme Applications

Questions Nos. 444 and 445 withdrawn.

Questions (443)

Patrick Nulty

Question:

443. Deputy Patrick Nulty asked the Minister for Social Protection if an application for rent supplement will be expedited in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15; the reason for the delay; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8871/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

The person concerned is in receipt of her full entitlement to rent supplement based on her household circumstances. The rent supplement claim was awarded on the 21st November 2012. All arrears have been issued directly to the bank account of the person concerned.

Questions Nos. 444 and 445 withdrawn.

Disability Allowance Appeals

Question No. 447 withdrawn

Questions (446)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

446. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question No 432 of the 5 of February 2013, if she will re-examine the case of an appeal in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8974/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

An application for disability allowance, by the person concerned, was disallowed by a Deciding Officer following an assessment by a Medical Advisor of the Department who was of the opinion that she was medically unsuitable for the allowance. The Deciding Officer’s decision, in this case, issued on 12th September 2011.

I am informed by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that there is no trace of an appeal against this decision by the person concerned.

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.

Question No. 447 withdrawn.

Carer's Allowance Applications

Questions (448)

John O'Mahony

Question:

448. Deputy John O'Mahony asked the Minister for Social Protection when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive a decision on their application for carer's allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8980/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

I confirm that the Department received an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question on the 2nd May 2012. A decision was made on the 6th February 2013 awarding the allowance. All arrears due issued by cheque on that date and the first weekly payment issued to the designated post office on the 7th February 2013.

Pension Provisions

Questions (449)

Willie O'Dea

Question:

449. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Social Protection if there are alternative arrangements in place for those persons who can no longer avail of the transition pension; if she intends to implement an alternative scheme for those nearing retirement age; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8983/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

The State pension (transition) (SPT) is paid for a maximum of 12 months and is available to people who retire from work on reaching age 65 provided they satisfy the necessary PRSI contributions criteria and that they do not work for that one year between age 65 and 66.

The Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2011 provided for changes to State pension provision. SPT will cease to be paid from 2014 which will standardise the payment of pension at age 66. In addition, the age at which State pension (contributory) (SPC) will be payable will increase to 67 years from 2012 and to 68 years from 2028.

In December 2012, there were just under 14,400 SPT recipients compared to 312,300 recipients of SPC. Only 1,700 people, or 12% in all, were awarded SPT directly from employment while almost half were already in receipt of another social welfare payment.

A person who retires from work on reaching age 65 and who does not have sufficient PRSI contributions to qualify for SPT may apply for another social welfare payment, depending on their individual circumstances.

The abolition of SPT in 2014 removes the retirement condition which acts as an incentive to leave the workforce and has been widely criticised as a barrier to older people remaining in employment. The continued participation of older people in the labour market must be encouraged and facilitated to meet the challenge of an ageing society. Employees and employers need to be persuaded to change their attitudes to working longer. In the workplace, employers should try to retain older employees and create working conditions which make working longer both attractive and possible for the older worker. At present, my Department is working with other Departments and relevant State agencies who have a role to play in identifying and breaking down barriers to remaining in work past the age of 65.

The State pension is the bedrock of the Irish pension system. Raising State pension age and the abolition of SPT is a necessary step in ensuring the sustainability of pensions into the future and to address the challenges of changing demographics such as increasing life expectancy.

Planning Issues

Questions (450, 457)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

450. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he intends to continue considering a consent application made under a planning application that has been amended and altered and is, by the applicant's own admission, now subject to further planning approval. [9241/13]

View answer

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

457. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in view of the fact that he has undertaken to preserve the national monument Moore St., Dublin, under preservation order No.1 of 2007, if he will explain the basis upon which he can consider an application that seeks his consent to retain only the monument's buildings, that is, 40% of its protected area; the basis upon which the application, in seeking Ministerial consent, can simply ignore the protection afforded to the national monument as a protected structure and a national monument, by redrawing its boundary to facilitate the demolition of protected structures and outbuildings directly linked to the 1916 Rising and build on, over and under it.. [8641/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Arts)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 450 and 457 together.

Nos. 14 to 17 Moore Street are the subject of a Preservation Order under the National Monuments Acts. The effect of the Preservation Order is that any works affecting these properties require the consent of the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, under section 14 of the National Monuments Act 1930, as amended. The landowner’s application to my Department for consent to proposals that include the provision of a commemorative centre to the 1916 Rising and its Leaders on the national monument site is being examined.

As part of the consent process, the applicant was asked by my Department to submit an environmental impact statement in relation to the proposal. This is in accordance with the European Union (Environmental Impact Assessment of Proposed Demolition of National Monuments) Regulations 2012 which place additional responsibilities on landowners in respect of monuments protected under the National Monuments Acts.

The environmental impact statement was submitted to my Department on 25 January 2013 and is available for public consultation in the Department’s offices and at the offices of Dublin City Council. Interested parties have until Friday, I March 2013, to provide me, as Minister, with their comments on it. Having completed the prescribed consultation procedures, I will proceed as quickly as possible to undertake a formal environmental impact assessment and to make a decision on the consent application.

Ministerial Appointments

Questions (451, 452, 453)

Shane Ross

Question:

451. Deputy Shane Ross asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht 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. [8113/13]

View answer

Shane Ross

Question:

452. Deputy Shane Ross asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht 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. [8131/13]

View answer

Shane Ross

Question:

453. Deputy Shane Ross asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht 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. [8149/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Arts)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 451 to 453, inclusive, together.

The table below sets out details of all appointments made to the Boards of the bodies funded from my Department's Vote Group in the period in question. I am satisfied that all Board members are suitably qualified to carry out the duties required of them.

Total Number of Board members

% of board members which can be appointed by the Minister

Board members appointed since March 2011

Date of appointment

Term of Office

Appointments subject to public applications process?

Arts Council - 13

100%

Éimear O'Connor

Ciarán Walsh

Mark O'Regan

John Fanning

13/09/2011

13/09/2011

13/09/2011

07/10/2011

5 years

Yes

Heritage Council - 16

100%

Ciara Breathnach

Kieran O’Conor

Ted Creedon

Catherine Heaney

Fidelma Mullane

Michael Parsons

All appointments made on 25/01/2012

4 years – (current term of office expires on 25/01/2016)

Yes

National Concert Hall - 15

100%

Kieran Tobin (Chair)

Dearbhla Collins

John McGrane

Laurie Cearr

Gina Menzies

Bruce Arnold

Margaret Ryan

Ray Bates

Alma Hynes

Artemis Kent

Deborah Kelleher

Peter McEvoy

Pat Heneghan

Rachel Holstead

Patricia Slavin

Chair appointed on 30/08/2011

All other appointments made on 11/07/2011

5 years

Yes

National Gallery of Ireland - 17

58%

Fred Krehbiel

08/06/2011

5 years

N/A – appointment was underway prior to the introduction of the public applications process.

Crawford Art Gallery - 8

100%

John R. Bowen (Chair)

Sheila Maguire

Noel O'Keefe

Úna Feely

Jim Corr

Tim Brosnan

Tim Lucey

All appointments made in December 2011

2 years

N/A board members were reappointed pro tem during the public service reform process.

Chester Beatty Library - 11

25%

Patricia Donlon

Declan Downey

P Donlon appointed in November 2011

D Downey appointed in May 2012

5 years

Yes

National Archives Advisory Council - 12

100%

Paul Rousse

Mary McAuliffe

Both appointments made on 03/02/2012

5 years

Process in place but no applications received following advertisement.

Irish Manuscripts Commission – 20

(including 1 ex-officio vacancy)

85%

James McGuire (Chair)

Nicholas Canny

David Dickson

David Edwards

Chris Flynn

Greta Jones

James Kelly

Michael Kennedy

Máire Mac Conghail

John McCafferty

Aileen McClintock

Deirdre McMahon

Donal Moore

Thomas O'Connor

Dáibhí Ó Cróinín

Ruan O'Donnell

Mary O'Dowd

Jane Ohlmeyer

Fiona Ross

All appointments made in November 2011

The commission's term of office will expire on 28/02/2013.

N/A – the commissioners were reappointed pro tem during the public service reform process.

Údarás na Gaeltachta – 11

(1 vacancy)

*Four of the appointees were nominated by local authorities under the terms of the relevant legislation. The nomination of another local authority has yet to be ratified.

100%

Anna Ní Ghallachair (Chair)

Dairíona Nic Con Iomaire

Pádraig Ó hAinifín

Fiachra Ó Céilleachair

Eunan Mac Cuinneagáin

Micheál Ó Scanaill

Séamus Cosaí Mac Gearailt

Seán Ó Cuireán

Seosamh Ó Laoi

Ian Mac Aindriú

Cathal Seoighe

All appointments made on 20/11/12.

5 years for all members except for Micheál Ó Scanaill and the Meath County Council nominee, Cathal Seoighe, who were both appointed for a two year term, which expires on 19/11/14

Yes

Turf Cutting Compensation Scheme

Questions (454)

Paul Connaughton

Question:

454. Deputy Paul J. Connaughton asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if it is possible for a person who is in receipt of turf cutting compensation to bequeath that income to another person in the event of their death before the full term of compensation is completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8185/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Arts)

Under the cessation of turf cutting compensation scheme, applicants will enter into a legal agreement with me, as Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. A provision has been included in the legal agreement which provides that the agreement is assignable on the death of the applicant by way of will or rules on intestacy.

Shooting Rights

Questions (455)

Patrick O'Donovan

Question:

455. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if a club (details supplied) in County Mayo can obtain maps of the areas which are included in the shooting rights that it has leased for the past 32 years; if he will provide maps of the actual rights; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8216/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Arts)

My Department does not hold maps in relation to the legal title of shooting rights which are vested in the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Departmental Bodies

Questions (456)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

456. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht further to Parliamentary Question No. 110 of 7 February 2013, if any of the board members of the four bodies under the aegis of his Department gift their annual fee back to the State. [8272/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Arts)

The term of the Irish Film Board ended on 16 January 2013 and the new board, when constituted, will operate pro bono.

With regard to the other three boards referred to by the Deputy, I am advised that, to date, three members have decided to gift their fees back to the State.

Question No. 457 answered with Question No. 450.

Fisheries Protection

Questions (458)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

458. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the way he plans to increase the number of wild salmon available for high value angling in lakes and rivers; and his views on whether netting in rivers is a problem in this regard. [8061/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

I am advised by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) that over the past number of years Ireland has been at the forefront of efforts to conserve and protect salmon, which also ensures the continued availability of salmon stock for economic exploitation. Actions have included the closure of the mixed stock drift net fishery, the closure of individual rivers and catchments to exploitation where salmon production is shown to have fallen below their conservation limit, together with a significant investment programme in salmon habitat restoration. It is my intention that the continued focus on conservation based management and investment in habitat restoration will help to restore salmon stocks to their historic levels.

Since 2007 Ireland has managed salmon stocks on an individual river-by-river basis, with exploitation of salmon only permitted where salmon in that catchment are above their conservation limit. In a situation where a catchment has a surplus of salmon available for exploitation, the available surplus may be allocated between the commercial fishery and recreational anglers, based on the analysis of local stakeholders and the decision of local management following recommendations from the local Fishery District Committee.

As rivers with surpluses have been identified on an individual river basis by the Standing Scientific Committee for Salmon, following careful analysis of a wide range of data, I am confident that draft netting of part of the surplus of salmon for a particular river does not pose a problem to the sustainability of the stock.

Ministerial Appointments

Questions (459, 460, 461)

Shane Ross

Question:

459. Deputy Shane Ross asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources 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. [8115/13]

View answer

Shane Ross

Question:

460. Deputy Shane Ross asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources 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. [8133/13]

View answer

Shane Ross

Question:

461. Deputy Shane Ross asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources 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. [8151/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 459 to 461, inclusive, together.

I wish to advise the Deputy that for the past two years I have, on the Department’s website, invited Expressions of Interest from persons wishing to be considered for appointment to vacancies on State Boards under the aegis of my Department. In both years, this information has been used to inform decisions for appointments to State Boards. I have recently advertised on the website of my Department for persons interested in such appointments during 2013.

In the case of public bodies established by Statute, the maximum, and sometimes minimum, number of persons that may be appointed to the Board is generally set out in the relevant legislation. The table below details all the positions on State Boards under the aegis of my Department which have been filled since 9th March 2011. All of the appointments have been made in light of the objectives of the organisation and on the basis of appointees having the necessary competencies, expertise and experience to contribute effectively to the work of the particular boards, whilst also taking into consideration the legislative requirements where applicable.

Appointments to State owned banks and the judiciary do not come under the remit of my Department.

Body

Appointee

Date Appointed

An Post

Mr Donal Connell CEO (ex officio)

Mr James Wrynn

Mr Paul Henry

Mr Noel Adamson (worker director)

Mr Patrick Compton (worker director reappointed)

Mr Thomas Devlin (worker director reappointed)

Mr William Mooney (worker director)

Ms Martina O’Connell (worker director)

Mr William Scally

Ms Lorraine Tormey

14/08/2011

15/09/2011

15/09/2011

01/11/2012

01/11/2012

01/11/2012

01/11/2012

01/11/2012

11/12/2012

01/01/2013

Bord na Móna

 

Ms Denise Cronin

Mr. John Horgan (Chairperson)

Mr Gerard O’Donoghue

Ms Elaine Treacy

Mr Barry Walsh

15/09/2011

24/04/2012 (as a Director) 27/09/2012 (as Chairperson)

02/10/2012

17/07/2012

16/10/2012

Bord Gais Eireann

Mr Finbarr Kennelly

11/12/2012

EirGrid

Dr Gary Healy

Ms Regina Moran

Mr Liam O’Halloran

Ms Bride Rosney

Ms Doireann Barry

15/09/2011

15/09/2011

15/09/2011

15/09/2011

22/12/2011

ESB

Mr Lochlann Quinn (Chairman – reappointed)

Mr Pat O’Doherty (CEO ex officio)

Ms Noreen Wright

Mr Seamus Mallon (reappointed)

Ms Anne Butler

21/01/2013

09/01/2013

28/06/2011

03/05/2011

13/11/2012

Irish National Petroleum Corporation (INPC)

Mr Sean Fitzgerald (reappointed)

Mr Vincent Caffrey (reappointed)

Ms Aoife MacEvilly (reappointed)

Mr Aidan Donnelly – Chairperson (reappointed)

01/06/2011

01/06/2011

18/07/2012

18/07/2012

National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA)

Ms Aoife MacEvilly

Mr Pat Meehan CEO (ex officio) (reappointed)

11/04/2011

01/01/2013

TG4

Mr. Micheál Seoighe

Ms. Mairad Ní Cheoinín

Mr. Joe Connolly

Mr. Des Geraghty

Ms. Andra Ní alaithe

Ms Mairead Nic Suibhne

Ms. Michelle Ní Chróinín

Siún Ní Raghallaigh (Chairperson)

17/04/2012

17/04/2012

17/04/2012

17/04/2012

17/04/2012

17/04/2012

17/04/2012

17/04/2012

Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI)

Ms Julie O’Neill

Mr. Edgar Morgenroth

Mr. Michael Conlon

Ms. Anne Farrell

Mr. Declan Waugh

Ms. Michelle Green

Mr. Brian Carroll  (reappointed)

Mr. Brendan Halligan (re-appointed) (Chairperson)

Dr Brian Motherway CEO (ex officio)

15/09/2011

24/04/2012

15/09/2011 (but resigned on 21/08/2012)

24/04/2012

29/05/2012

29/05/2012

26/06/2012

01/10/2012

01/05/2012

Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA)

Mr. Paul Holden

Mr. Seamus Ratigan

Mr Leonard Donnelly (Chairperson - reappointed)

29/05/2012

29/05/2012

24/11/12012

Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi)

Mr. Ronan O’Reilly (Chairperson)

Ms. Anne Butler

Mr. Robin Simpson

Dr. Enda Howley

Dr. Denis Kelliher

Ms. Marion Coy

Mr. Justin Gleeson

Ms Sandra Ryan 

Mr. Padraic Jordan

Mr. Oliver Hickey

Mr Noel Ward

22/05/2012

22/05/2012 (but resigned on 25/10/2012)

22/05/2012

22/05/2012

22/05/2012

22/05/2012

22/05/2012

22/05/201222/05/2012

19/06/2012

21/12/2012

The Mining Board

Mr Michael Neary (reappointed)

17/11/2011