Ministerial Staff

Questions (110)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

110. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans to introduce a reduction in the pay and pay scales for special advisers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12054/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

Discussions have taken place between public service employers and the Public Services Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions regarding the Government’s stated intention to reach agreement on securing the required overall savings of €1bn from the public service pay and pensions bill by 2015. Following intensive engagement between the parties, which was facilitated by the Labour Relations Commission (LRC), the LRC has developed and recommended a set of proposals for consideration and agreement. The stated intention of the Government is that these proposals when given effect will apply to all public servants including special advisors. The proposals which will involve inter alia a pay cut for special advisors are currently under consideration by all public servants and are available on the LRC website.

Action Plan for Jobs

Questions (111)

Nicky McFadden

Question:

111. Deputy Nicky McFadden asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if he has considered the Certified Public Accountants Ireland Entrepreneurship Report for 2012; his views on the recommendation to introduce a national skills register to allow employers to find the right persons with the required skills; the recommendation to introduce specific promotional and support programmes to address the low level of entrepreneurship amongst women; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12131/13]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

The Certified Public Accountants Ireland Entrepreneurship Report for 2012 was launched by the Taoiseach on 11 December 2012 and officials in my Department are currently examining the report in light of ongoing work on this issue at Department and EU level. The Deputy will be aware that my Department recently launched the Action Plan for Jobs 2013, which is a key element in rebuilding the economy and getting people back to work. This Plan has a specific section on driving entrepreneurship and start-up companies, and includes a commitment to publish a National Entrepreneurship Policy Statement.

To deliver on this commitment, a comprehensive work programme is being developed that will involve research and consultation with interested parties and relevant stakeholders and will include examination of the development of a national skills register. I will shortly be launching a public consultation as part of an assessment of the current environment for entrepreneurship activity. This focus on entrepreneurship is particularly timely given the work currently being undertaken to restructure the County Enterprise Boards and establish Local Enterprise Offices in Local Authorities to reform the system for delivery of support to start-ups and micro enterprises. The proposed National Entrepreneurship Policy Statement will complement this major reform programme, to ensure that the operating environment is more coherent, responsive and conducive to entrepreneurship.

Several Government Departments have a role to play in enhancing the entrepreneurial dynamic. Given the whole of Government approach to the Action Plan for Jobs, this is an ideal opportunity for a National Entrepreneurship Policy Statement to underpin the importance of entrepreneurship as an explicit policy priority for job creation. The Action Plan for Jobs also contains a commitment to implement a range of female entrepreneurship initiatives during 2013, as a follow-on from the programme for female entrepreneurs launched by Enterprise Ireland in 2012.

Imports Statistics

Questions (112)

Nicky McFadden

Question:

112. Deputy Nicky McFadden asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if he will provide information on imports from China in 2012 in relation to import value, details of the types of products being imported; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12146/13]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

There follows a table showing the value and categories of goods imported from China (including Hong Kong and Macao) in 2012.

Country- specific services import figures for 2012 will not be available until Q3 2013.

In 2011, the last year for which full year figures are available, the total value of imports of goods and services from China (including Hong Kong and Macao) was €3,039 million, while the total value of exports of goods and services to China (including Hong Kong and Macao) amounted to €4,774 million.

Goods Imports from China (including Hong Kong and Macao) 2012

Category

SITC Code

Year 2012

-

-

€000

Live animals other than animals of Division 03

00

10

Meat & meat preparations

01

4,190

Dairy products & birds’ eggs

02

0

Fish, crustaceans, molluscs and preparations thereof

03

462

Cereals & cereal preparations

04

685

Vegetables & fruit

05

11,012

Sugar, sugar preparation & honey

06

3,379

Coffee, tea cocoa, spices & manufactures thereof

07

3,293

Feeding stuff for animals (excl. unmilled cereals)

08

1,127

Miscellaneous edible products & preparations

09

2,163

Beverages

11

710

Tobacco & tobacco manufactures

12

13

Hides, skins & furskins, raw

21

38

Oil seeds & oleaginous fruits

22

400

Crude rubber (include synthetic & reclaimed)

23

335

Cork & wood

24

7,216

Pulp & waste paper

25

0

Textile fibres & their wastes

26

498

Crude fertilisers & minerals, excl. coal, petroleum etc.

27

5,628

Metalliferous ores & metal scrap

28

140

Crude animal & vegetable materials nes

29

2,632

Coal, coke & briquettes

32

64

Petroleum, petroleum products & related materials

33

201

Gas, natural & manufactured

34

31

Fixed vegetable fats & oils

42

78

Animal or vegetable materials nes

43

72

Organic chemicals

51

75,882

Inorganic chemicals

52

2,207

Dyeing, tanning & colouring materials

53

2,555

Medical & pharmaceutical products

54

61,872

Essential oils, perfume materials; toilet & cleansing preps

55

10,670

Fertilisers (other than those of Division 27)

56

1

Plastics in primary forms

57

2,182

Plastics in non-primary forms

58

12,520

Chemical materials & products nes

59

8,391

Leather; leather manufactures nes; dressed furskins

61

6,768

Rubber manufactures nes

62

42,891

Cork & wood manufactures (excl. furniture)

63

31,635

Paper, paperboard & articles thereof

64

27,208

Textile yarn, fabrics, made-up articles & related products

65

37,901

Non-metallic mineral manufactures nes

66

37,774

Iron & steel

67

14,053

Non-ferrous metals

68

8,534

Manufactures of metals nes

69

88,789

Power generating machinery & equipment

71

26,316

Machinery specialised for particular industries

72

28,452

Metalworking machinery

73

2,706

General industrial machinery & equipment nes & parts nes

74

50,030

Office machines & automatic data processing machines

75

595,431

Telecommunications & sound equipment

76

285,041

Electrical machinery, apparatus & appliances nes & parts

77

216,151

Road vehicles (include. air-cushion vehicles)

78

13,422

Other transport equipment

79

3,983

Prefab buildings; plumbing & electrical fixtures & fittings

81

38,748

Furniture & parts thereof; bedding, cushions etc

82

73,401

Travel goods, handbags & similar containers

83

51,539

Articles of apparel; clothing accessories

84

440,334

Footwear

85

119,823

Professional, scientific & controlling apparatus nes

87

28,799

Photographic apparatus; optical goods; watches clocks

88

24,803

Miscellaneous manufactured articles nes

89

312,777

Special transactions and commodities not classified according to kind

93

465

Coin (other than gold coin), not being legal tender

96

36

Gold, non-monetary (excluding gold ores and concentrates)

97

60

All other commodities and transactions

99

31,607

-

Grand Total

2,860,134

Work Permit Criteria

Questions (113)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

113. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the reason a work permit is required in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12218/13]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

Under the Employment Permits Acts 2003 and 2006, non-EEA nationals are prohibited from employment within the State unless they have been granted an Employment Permit from my Department or are exempt from obtaining an employment permit on some other basis under the Act such as being permitted to work as part of their immigration status as determined by the Department of Justice and Equality. I understand that the person concerned does not currently hold an immigration status which includes permission to work and therefore requires an employment permit.

An application for an employment permit in respect of this person was received in my Department on 3 January 2013. My Department wrote to the employer on 12 February 2013 seeking additional information relating to this application. Some of the information sought has been provided and I understand that officials of my Department are in contact with the Employer’s accountants with a view to finalising these matters. When all of the above outstanding information has been received the application will then be given further consideration.

Invalidity Pension Appeals

Questions (114)

Robert Troy

Question:

114. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding an invalidity application in respect of a person (details supplied). [12040/13]

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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 12th March 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 1 March 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.

Illness Benefit Appeals

Question No. 116 withdrawn.

Questions (115)

Paudie Coffey

Question:

115. Deputy Paudie Coffey asked the Minister for Social Protection when a person (details supplied) in County Waterford will receive a decision on their application for illness benefit appeal; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12043/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was referred to an Appeals Officer on 24 January 2013, 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.

Question No. 116 withdrawn.

Child Benefit Payments

Question No. 118 withdrawn.

Questions (117)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

117. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of families that have voluntarily given up their child benefit payment either for financial or other reasons. [12088/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Department is only aware of two families that have voluntarily given up entitlement to child benefit by way of submitting a clear request that payment be discontinued. However, it may be possible that others have chosen not to respond to correspondence and have, by default, discontinued claiming child benefit.

Question No. 118 withdrawn.

Jobseeker's Allowance Applications

Questions (119)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

119. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will review the credit history of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 9; the reason this person was told that they had been signed off; the way in which this error came about in view of the fact that her Department were made aware of any changes to this person's circumstances; and the way this matter will be resolved and the credits backdated and restored. [12136/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The person concerned made a claim for jobseeker’s credits on 7 November 2011. His claim was automatically closed by the computer system from 15 July 2012 as he did not attend his Social Welfare Local Office to sign on in order to certify that he was still unemployed, despite being requested by letter to do so. Any documentation received from the person concerned after his claim was closed was held on file pending him submitting a new claim. I understand that the person concerned has attended his Local Office recently to re-open his credits claim. Any credits that are due to him will be applied when his claim is processed.