Question No. 114 answered with Question No. 101.

EU Directives

Question No. 116 answered with Question No. 96.

Question No. 117 answered with Question No. 103.

Questions (115)

Martin Ferris

Question:

115. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he is working with the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht on the implementation in March 2012 of a resolution of Dáil Éireann which called on the Government to engage actively with the European Commission to seek a resolution within the terms of the habitats Directive and to prepare and submit a national raised bog restoration plan to the Commission as a matter of urgency. [12814/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

My Department’s Environmental Compliance Unit provides a co-ordinating role with the European Commission in respect of all environmental infringement cases and liaises as necessary with other Departments and Agencies which have direct responsibility for managing individual cases, as well as with relevant business areas within my own Department. In that context, in respect of the specific infringement referred to (case reference number 2010/2161), my Department continues to engage closely with the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht , which has the lead role in resolving the outstanding elements of the case, to the satisfaction of the European Commission.

Question No. 116 answered with Question No. 96.
Question No. 117 answered with Question No. 103.

Water Supply

Questions (118)

Clare Daly

Question:

118. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the amount of funding that has been provided during his period in office for reducing unaccounted for water including all advertising; rainwater harvesting in public buildings including all advertising; and the establishment of Irish Water, all costs including the PWC report and advertising. [12783/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

Unaccounted for Water is the amount of water (generally expressed as a percentage) which enters a distribution system and which cannot be accounted for by legitimate use. Significant investment in recent years in water management systems and active leakage control has provided the platform for more intensive water mains repair and replacement contracts under the current Water Services Investment Programme, which will continue to be the main focus of capital investment in 2013.

Over €247 million has been spent on water conservation projects in the last decade with €39.9 million spent in 2011 and €39.25 million in 2012. The installation of rainwater harvesting systems on public buildings is a matter for the Office of Public Works. The cost of the PWC report on the establishment of the new public water utility was €179,584 including VAT. Certain costs associated with the water sector reform programme incurred by my Department, local authorities and the Commission for Energy Regulation will be funded by my Department from the Water Services Investment Programme in 2013.

Mountain Access Scheme

Questions (119)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

119. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government when it is intended to make the pilot scheme for access to hills and mountains fully operational; if he is satisfied that this is progressing satisfactorily; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12707/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

My Department is progressing a pilot Mountain Access Scheme at two locations, Mount Gable in Connemara and Carrauntuohill in Co. Kerry. There are 94 landholders associated with the pilot scheme at Mount Gable. The scope of the scheme at Carrauntuohill required review as it was not feasible to progress a pilot access scheme there in isolation from the rest of the MacGillcuddy Reeks. Subject to the consent of landowners and with community support, it is intended to expand that scheme to include an area of approximately 100 square km stretching from the Gap of Dunloe in the east to Glencar in the West. This comprises almost the entire MacGillicuddy Reeks. Discussions with landowners and other stakeholders are on-going.

Mountain access areas are by their nature sensitive habitats, and as such, great care must be taken to ensure that proposed developments do not generate negative consequences and lead to environmental degradation and habitat destruction. It is clear that some upland areas and mountains, and their unique ecosystems and habitats, are already suffering damage from recreational activity; a properly constructed and funded Mountain Access Scheme offers an opportunity to address these matters, while also generating significant potential for tourism and recreation related job creation and associated development opportunities, in rural areas.

A requirement of the proposed scheme is that participating landowners are protected against any potential claim arising from an accident or injury to a hill walker and while it has not proved possible to reach consensus on all aspects of the scheme to date, discussions with the farming organisations on the scope and scale of such protection are continuing.

Given the significant benefits that can accrue from an agreed community based Mountain Access Scheme, I am committed to ensuring that outstanding issues relating to its implementation on a national basis will be resolved as soon as possible.

Local Authority Funding

Questions (120, 125, 405, 416)

Brian Stanley

Question:

120. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide a breakdown in tabular form for each local authority indicating the allocation of funding in 2012 and 2013 for housing grants for elderly and disabled persons. [12819/13]

View answer

Micheál Martin

Question:

125. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the measures he is reviewing in respect of private housing grants; the timeframe for the changes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12684/13]

View answer

Barry Cowen

Question:

405. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide a breakdown by county of funding provided for the housing aid for elderly persons scheme and the housing adaptation grant for people with a disability in 2012 and 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12617/13]

View answer

Seán Fleming

Question:

416. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide in tabular form the allocation of funding to each local authority for 2012 and 2013 in respect of housing adaptation grants, housing aid for older people and mobility aids grants scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12930/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 120, 125, 405 and 416 together.

I am keenly aware of the challenges we face in delivering housing supports to a range of vulnerable households and groups. The difficulties facing the State’s finances and the necessity to reduce public expenditure to sustainable levels are impacting on capital programmes all across the public service. My Department’s housing programme is no exception. The level of capital funding available has decreased significantly in recent years along the lines highlighted in the Medium Term Exchequer Framework for Infrastructure and Capital Investment 2012-2016. Regrettably these steps are necessary to bring stability to the public finances. As a result, capital spending on housing programmes in 2013 is down on last year.

Reduced capital budgets inevitably give rise to difficult choices and decisions in allocating the available funding. This means balancing a dwindling capital budget across a range of important areas, and spreading those scarce resources in a way that meets the needs of those concerned as best we can. In addition to the Private House Grants, the capital budget needs to cover regeneration, improvements, energy retrofitting of the social housing stock and meeting the needs of older people and people in social housing with disabilities. For this I have allocated €167m in 2013.

This year I am allocating 12.4% of the housing budget, some €34.2 million, to the grant schemes compared to 13.2% in 2012. In allocating the available funding across all 34 city and county councils, I did so in as transparent and as fair a way as possible. In framing the 2013 allocations my Department wrote to each Local Authority requesting details of the numbers and value of grants where work had been approved to commence. Between them, local authorities reported contractual commitments in respect of approved grants totalling €18 million. Local authorities were always encouraged to maintain continuity in terms of approving and paying grants and commitments carried forward into the new financial year always had first call on the available funding. This year each authority was allocated the full amount of their contractual commitments. Only one local authority, Laois County Council, reported a zero commitment for grants approved. The balance of the available funding was allocated on the basis of each authority’s share of the new applications on hand in January 2013. I believe this is a fair way of apportioning the funding. I appreciate that this approach has resulted in lower than expected allocations for some authorities.

I accept that particular difficulties may arise in some local authorities in the course of 2013 and I have a contingency in place to deal with this. I have set aside a capital reserve of around €2 million and I will consider applications from local authorities for a supplementary allocation once the initial allocation has been exhausted. I am currently reviewing the structure of the scheme with a view to achieving more with the decreasing budget and ensuring that the maximum numbers of households are supported. My priority is to spread the benefits as widely as possible and to ensure fairness and value for money in the operation of the grant schemes. This will involve an in-depth analysis of relevant factors which impact on the demand for grants, the scope and extent of eligible works and the level of grant payments to individual applicants. My intention is that the new grant structure will apply from 2014 onwards.

The detailed information in relation to the combined Exchequer plus local authority own resources allocations for the years 2012 – 2013 is set out in the following table:

Local Authority

2012 Allocation

2013 Allocation

Carlow

€1,349,014

€747,078.97

Cavan

€1,625,000

€1,038,155.24

Clare

€1,445,000

€1,445,000.00

Cork

€6,250,364

€4,561,159.71

Donegal

€2,448,146

€827,280.49

D’Laoghaire/Rathdown

€1,110,602

€731,197.36

Fingal

€2,072,365

€1,588,467.61

Galway

€2,375,000

€1,644,386.59

Kerry

€3,257,865

€1,445,971.16

Kildare

€2,025,000

€2,025,000.00

Kilkenny

€1,867,500

€1,406,161.86

Laois

€1,084,827

€260,923.46

Leitrim

€576,305

€65,953.25

Limerick

€1,473,454

€1,473,455.00

Longford

€1,243,575

€687,674.34

Louth

€1,186,266

€1,103,144.70

Mayo

€2,575,216

€2,575,216.25

Meath

€997,208

€487,123.12

Monaghan

€1,152,172

€837,210.57

North Tipperary

€1,200,000

€425,757.37

Offaly

€1,125,000

€625,000.00

Roscommon

€1,009,251

€709,956.68

Sligo

€997,684

€276,983.80

South Dublin

€2,728,308

€1,213,986.05

South Tipperary

€3,111,713

€1,087,988.81

Waterford

€994,766

€414,024.05

Westmeath

€988,155

€435,722.48

Wexford

€2,566,772

€1,210,764.56

Wicklow

€954,794

€567,117.69

Cork City

€1,749,741

€1,749,741.25

Dublin City

€10,629,459

€4,932,319.56

Galway City

€928,352

€301,280.08

Limerick City

€1,525,000

€1,010,884.61

Waterford City

€740,282

€348,841.83

Sligo Borough Council

€385,844

(with Sligo Co Co figure for 2013) 

Local Authority Charges Application

Questions (121, 123)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

121. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government noting that self-declarations of the liability for the local property tax can be made in March 2013, with payments from July 2013 if there will be an impact on funds channelled to those local authorities that have a significant percentage of deferrals. [12816/13]

View answer

Seán Crowe

Question:

123. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the extra local government services that residents can expect to receive with the introduction of the local property tax; and the way he expects this tax to improve the delivery of local services. [12812/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 121 and 123 together.

Under section 157 of the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012, commencing in 2014, the Minister for Finance will pay into the Local Government Fund an amount equivalent to the Local Property Tax (LPT) paid into the Central Fund during that year. In 2013, the funds raised by the tax will accrue to the Exchequer. Should a disproportionate number of liable owners living in the functional area of a given local authority defer payment of the tax in 2014 or subsequent years under Part 12 of the 2012 Act, those deferrals will have a financial impact on that local authority. As the rate of deferral will not be known until individual homeowner LPT returns are made to the Office of the Revenue Commissioners by 28 May 2013, it is not possible to estimate the potential implications for any particular local authority.

As regard local authority services, I expect the Local Property Tax to have multiple benefits, including:

- A more sustainable and resilient system of funding for local authorities and therefore a sounder financial footing for the provision of essential local services;

- Greater local scope for financial decision making concerning service provision - in particular, the inclusion of the local variation mechanism from 2015 will further increase the autonomy of local authorities; and

- A strengthening of democracy at local level and a more active relationship between local authorities and local electorates – a stronger democratic relationship and clearer lines of accountability can only have a beneficial impact on service provision from the perspective of the service user.

Planning Issues

Question No. 123 answered with Question No. 121.

Questions (122)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

122. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the timeframe for the establishment of a planning regulator; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12681/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Government published its response to the recommendations of the Final Report of the Mahon Tribunal on 19 July 2012 including in respect of an independent planning regulator, to which it has agreed in principle. I also discussed this specific recommendation with the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht on 29 January 2013. In that context, I expect Government shortly to consider proposals, taking into account the views expressed by the members of the Joint Oireachtas Committee, on all of the planning recommendations in the Mahon Report.

Question No. 123 answered with Question No. 121.

Animal Breeding Regulations

Question No. 125 answered with Question No. 120.

Questions (124)

Luke 'Ming' Flanagan

Question:

124. Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the situation in rural Ireland where persons have had their sheep herds attacked by domestic dogs; if he will consider introducing legislation making microchipping compulsory for all dogs; if he will legislate to have dogs impounded while attacks are investigated as has recently been introduced in the UK; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6995/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

I do not propose at this point to introduce compulsory microchipping of all dogs; however, a number of recent developments have increased microchipping usage. The regulations I introduced in early 2012 under the Dog Breeding Establishments Act, 2010 stipulate that all dogs held in such establishments be microchipped once they reach 8 weeks of age or when a dog is moved from the establishment. This initiative will result in more and more dogs being microchipped over time. To be properly effective, the compulsory microchipping of dogs should be supported by the development of registration systems for all dogs. It would also be necessary to have the co-operation of the dog-owning public in updating such registrations where ownership changes. These are large projects which would involve a significant investment of time and funding, but they remain under consideration by local authorities and my Department.

Mandatory microchipping of all dogs will not in itself eliminate the problem of sheep worrying. The key to tackling this issue is responsible dog ownership. Dog owners should recognise the issues involved and their responsibilities to ensure that their dogs are controlled at all times, especially at night time and, most especially, before and during the lambing season. My Department is in dialogue with farming representatives regarding the promotion of such behaviour by dog owners. A dog warden may seize any dog and detain it in order to ascertain whether an offence is being , or has been , committed under the Control of Dogs Act, 1986. This facilitates a dog warden in ascertaining whether a dog has worried livestock, in which case the owner or any other person in charge of the dog is liable to be found guilty of an offence.

Question No. 125 answered with Question No. 120.

Local Government Reform

Questions (126)

Mick Wallace

Question:

126. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government in view of the recent visit by the the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe monitoring committee, his views on whether Ireland is in compliance with the European charter of local self-government; his plans to ensure that Ireland is compliant with the charter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12711/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

I am satisfied that Ireland is in compliance with the European Charter of Local Self-Government. In addition, the extensive measures in the Action Programme for Effective Local Government, which sets out Government decisions in relation to local government reform, will further enhance the quality of local government in Ireland.

Local Authority Funding

Questions (127)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

127. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the Local Government Fund allocation to each local authority in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12685/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

I presume the question relates to General Purpose Grants from the Local Government Fund. The information requested is set out in the table below. I am satisfied that the general purpose allocations provided for 2013, together with the income available from other sources, will enable local authorities to provide a reasonable level of services to their customers.

Local Authority

2010  Local Government Fund GPG Allocation

2011  Local Government Fund GPG Allocation

2012 Original Local Government

Fund GPG

Allocation

2013  Local Government Fund GPG Allocation

Carlow County Council

11,331,276

10,128,725

8,532,829

8,560,762

Cavan County Council

18,245,262

16,549,414

14,200,854

14,123,740

Clare County Council

13,986,912

12,736,073

10,176,044

10,072,651

Cork County Council

48,353,652

42,689,885

33,495,626

32,048,612

Donegal County Council

38,913,388

36,345,399

30,945,838

30,840,363

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown

 County Council

34,624,434

31,522,005

25,780,316

24,772,291

Fingal County Council

29,799,877

26,267,018

20,455,071

19,619,590

Galway County Council

36,092,172

32,835,625

28,105,841

27,400,744

Kerry County Council

25,572,631

23,238,216

19,005,401

18,374,432

Kildare County Council

25,532,785

23,924,053

20,127,482

20,634,229

Kilkenny County Council

19,334,743

17,527,581

15,113,016

15,105,892

Laois County Council

16,823,589

15,143,352

13,189,788

13,070,064

Leitrim County Council

14,489,435

13,479,217

11,809,261

11,952,743

Limerick County Council

23,724,090

21,355,645

17,683,768

17,668,930

Longford County Council

13,856,743

12,849,645

11,252,795

11,488,728

Louth County Council

12,118,470

10,914,165

9,130,490

9,044,372

Mayo County Council

35,180,309

32,135,562

27,800,750

27,650,043

Meath County Council

27,377,684

25,553,557

21,684,996

21,251,612

Monaghan County Council

14,737,177

13,648,138

11,902,168

11,968,784

North Tipperary County Council

18,005,785

16,373,536

14,267,841

14,504,742

Offaly County Council

15,388,672

14,139,586

12,164,815

12,095,491

Roscommon County Council

20,110,463

18,490,254

15,967,965

15,828,208

Sligo County Council

16,356,043

15,314,229

13,553,783

13,584,307

South Dublin County Council

24,289,702

21,709,971

16,963,904

16,285,348

South Tipperary County Council

22,128,379

20,211,960

17,472,862

17,302,006

Waterford County Council

21,990,654

20,583,798

17,888,261

18,176,169

Westmeath County Council

20,003,602

18,494,866

16,016,846

16,055,537

Wexford County Council

20,755,993

19,259,881

16,229,752

15,912,433

Wicklow County Council

19,219,558

17,502,198

14,625,057

14,357,641

Cork City Council

25,014,462

22,940,522

17,265,785

16,612,544

Dublin City Council

88,769,969

78,722,867

54,805,761

52,613,531

Galway City Council

8,512,430

7,534,888

5,990,156

5,750,549

Limerick City Council

10,595,040

9,638,920

7,968,166

8,264,861

Waterford City Council

7,564,315

6,713,415

5,223,860

5,415,345

Clonmel Borough Council

3,115,507

2,785,896

2,353,114

2,235,458

Drogheda Borough Council

4,434,266

3,966,978

3,208,084

3,047,680

Kilkenny Borough Council

1,766,873

1,560,328

1,266,584

1,203,255

Sligo Borough Council

2,927,408

2,580,497

2,105,833

2,000,541

Wexford Borough Council

2,199,185

1,948,097

1,773,200

1,684,540

Arklow Town Council

1,587,276

1,455,760

1,264,178

1,200,969

Athlone Town Council

1,793,563

1,587,448

1,296,281

1,231,467

Athy Town Council

749,251

690,500

571,629

543,047

Ballina Town Council

1,580,583

1,445,712

1,273,025

1,209,373

Ballinasloe Town Council

878,744

793,526

679,194

645,234

Birr Town Council

780,485

704,969

621,693

590,609

Bray Town Council

4,284,234

3,831,912

3,303,940

3,138,743

Buncrana Town Council

913,089

804,777

701,776

666,687

Bundoran Town Council

559,962

493,613

425,621

404,340

Carlow Town Council

1,721,237

1,530,546

1,332,619

1,265,988

Carrickmacross Town Council

586,800

535,346

466,229

442,918

Carrick-on-Suir Town Council

1,139,383

1,047,814

905,503

860,228

Cashel Town Council

655,338

593,045

516,446

490,624

Castlebar Town Council

966,468

851,964

730,023

693,522

Castleblayney Town Council

469,170

419,775

361,631

343,549

Cavan Town Council

811,835

718,591

654,077

621,373

Clonakilty Town Council

588,921

521,171

474,381

450,662

Clones Town Council

570,359

524,434

464,307

441,092

Cobh Town Council

1,177,961

1,046,319

952,382

904,763

Dundalk Town Council

4,961,900

4,403,659

3,589,814

3,410,323

Dungarvan Town Council

966,575

852,052

708,731

673,294

Ennis Town Council

2,305,693

2,043,399

1,710,714

1,625,178

Enniscorthy Town Council

1,151,903

1,016,035

924,817

878,576

Fermoy Town Council

818,970

726,081

660,894

627,850

Kells Town Council

473,188

421,572

361,427

343,356

Killarney Town Council

1,778,486

1,603,506

1,317,649

1,251,767

Kilrush Town Council

620,402

559,419

485,747

461,460

Kinsale Town Council

391,048

344,812

313,856

298,163

Letterkenny Town Council

1,096,274

966,369

796,266

756,453

Listowel Town Council

748,119

665,706

562,011

533,911

Longford Town Council

1,148,502

1,012,428

873,855

830,162

Macroom Town Council

591,359

525,612

478,423

454,502

Mallow Town Council

1,068,192

951,776

866,327

823,011

Midleton Town Council

546,739

486,711

443,015

420,864

Monaghan Town Council

1,105,999

976,889

828,489

787,065

Naas Town Council

1,459,370

1,336,377

1,123,654

1,067,472

Navan Town Council

545,635

483,948

392,283

472,669

Nenagh Town Council

1,074,375

957,471

847,980

805,581

New Ross Town Council

953,252

857,575

780,583

741,554

Skibbereen Town Council

420,067

370,292

337,047

320,195

Templemore Town Council

633,782

576,386

505,123

479,867

Thurles Town Council

963,441

865,088

729,707

693,222

Tipperary Town Council

829,034

745,880

630,993

599,444

Tralee Town Council

3,056,595

2,694,458

2,188,225

2,078,813

Trim Town Council

549,878

491,118

426,006

404,706

Tullamore Town Council

1,235,028

1,089,931

924,856

878,613

Westport Town Council

800,324

705,501

611,929

581,332

Wicklow Town Council

1,557,309

1,391,457

1,202,037

1,141,936

Youghal Town Council

1,090,968

965,305

878,642

834,709

Totals

€870,000,000

€790,000,000

€651,000,000

€640,000,000

Tourism Industry Issues

Questions (128)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

128. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Taoiseach further to the statements by the Irish Hotels Federation criticising both the detail of statistics collected by the Central Statistics Office in respect of tourist behaviour, and the tardiness of the production of visitor statistics with 2011 just now being published, if there are plans to improve the timeliness and detail of these statistics; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12637/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

It may be helpful to clarify for the Deputy that CSO tourism statistics for 2011 were in all cases published in 2011 and 2012, and that it would be inaccurate to suggest that CSO visitor statistics for 2011 have only now been published. Currently, the CSO produces three sets of statistics on Tourism. The first, Overseas Travel, which is published on a monthly basis (based on a three month rolling average), is based on the Country of Residence Survey (CRS) and provides estimates of the residency of tourists, i.e. where tourists to Ireland are coming from. This is important information in helping to determine the key markets for tourists coming to Ireland and also helps to identify new and emerging markets. Data for the period November 2012 to January 2013 was published on 27th February.

The second data source is based on the Passenger Card Inquiry (PCI) and gathers important information on the profile and expenditure of tourists coming to Ireland and Irish residents holidaying abroad. For example, in respect of tourists coming to Ireland, it highlights the mode of travel into the country, the route, residency, the reason for the journey, the type of accommodation used, the average duration of stay and most importantly expenditure.

Both the CRS and PCI are frontier surveys, conducted at point of entry Air and Sea ports. The Tourism & Travel release in respect of 2011 was published in September of last year. The 2012 Annual Tourism & Travel release will be published before the end of this month. Thereafter, data will be published quarterly. The third source of data on Tourism is the Household Travel Survey, which is a postal survey of Irish households and this covers domestic trips within Ireland by Irish residents and also provides additional information on international travel by Irish residents. The 2011 Household Travel Survey was published on 11 October of last year and results in respect of 2012 will be published before the end of May. After this data is released, data will be published on a quarterly basis.

By any measure, these represent a comprehensive set of surveys to measure the industry, both in respect of domestic, inward and outbound tourism. The CSO has been engaged with the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport in examining new data needs and will be publishing new additional data (at a national level) in respect of key markets (France/Germany/Italy/Australia and New Zealand) in terms of numbers of trips, the reason for the journey, average duration, reason by area of residence and expenditure. We will also introduce new tables showing expenditure cross classified by reason and by residence and trips by reason and by area of residence. This additional new detail will be published later this month.

The Country of Residence Survey (CRS) has a sample size of 426,000 per annum. The Passenger Card Inquiry (PCI) has a sample size of approximately 184,000 per annum. The Household Travel Survey samples in excess of 55,000 households per annum. By international standards these sample sizes are extremely large. The UK International Passenger Survey (the UK equivalent of the CRS and PCI) has a sample size smaller than that of Ireland, at 304,000, despite the difference in population.

It can be noted that the domain of Tourism statistics is subject to EU regulation. The benefit of this regulatory framework is that it ensures a range of comparable statistics on Tourism across EU member states. The range and detail of information published by the CSO exceeds that required by EU regulation. However, it will never be the case that the CSO, whose remit is official statistics, will provide information to meet all demands. In the case of Tourism statistics, Failte Ireland also carries out their own surveys and research including the Survey of Overseas Travellers, the Visitor Attitudes Survey and surveys of accommodation providers, which give further detail on aspects such as visitors’ motivation for holidaying in Ireland, activities undertaken, destinations visited and accommodation used. Such information complements the data produced by the CSO. The CSO is always open to engagement with users of its statistics regarding data needs.

Grocery Industry Competition

Questions (129)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

129. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Taoiseach the total number of persons in employment here in the retail grocery sector; if he will provide a breakdown of figures available to show the number of persons employed in foreign owned retail chains; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12923/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

The exact information requested by the Deputy is not available. The Annual Services Inquiry (ASI) provides a breakdown of the retail sector by Nationality of Ownership (excluding motor vehicles and motorcycles) for enterprises which have 20 or more "persons engaged in employment". The latest year for which data has been published is 2010. The ASI collects information from enterprises in different services sectors as classified by the standard European classification of economic activity (NACE Rev2). The NACE classification contains no direct equivalent classification "retail grocery sector". The closest equivalent for which data is available is NACE sector 47 which covers the retail trade. Table 1 below shows the breakdown of persons engaged in the retail trade by Nationality of Ownership for each year from 2008 to 2010.

Table 1: Persons Engaged (Number) in enterprises with 20 or more persons engaged, by NACE Rev 2 Sector, Nationality of Ownership and Year

Nace Rev 2

-

2008

2009

2010

Retail Trade (47)

Irish

101427

85639

78585

Non-Irish

43574

47953

51029

The ASI does not collect information on the Nationality of Ownership for enterprises with less than 20 persons engaged. However, estimates are available for the total number of persons engaged in these enterprises and this information is presented in table 2.

Table 2: Persons Engaged (Number) in enterprises with 20 or less persons engaged, by NACE Rev 2 Sector and Year

Nace Rev 2

-

2008

2009

2010

Retail Trade (47)

Under 10

55092

53588

52783

-

10-19

31618

29048

28931

The following should be noted when analysing the figures provided above. The figures provided are on a “person engaged in employment” basis and not on an employee basis. The definitions used are:

1. Persons engaged, includes employees, proprietors and family members.

2. For Information on Nace Rev 2 see the following link.

http://www.cso.ie/en/surveysandmethodology/classifications/classificationofindustrialactivity/

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (130)

Robert Troy

Question:

130. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Taoiseach the costs of providing hardware and software to his home and the home of junior Ministers in his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12374/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

The cost of providing hardware and software to my home was €571.95 in respect of a PC. There was no cost incurred in the provision of hardware or software to the homes of Ministers of State in my Department.

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (131)

Robert Troy

Question:

131. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Taoiseach the costs of providing telephone in the homes of Ministers and junior Ministers in his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12392/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

My Department does not provide telephones in my home or in the homes of Ministers of State in my Department.

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (132)

Robert Troy

Question:

132. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Taoiseach the cost of telephones and ICT provided to the constituency offices including monthly phone bills of Ministers and junior Ministers in his Department since March 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12411/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

ICT equipment for constituency offices was supplied from existing pre-used stock. The cost of telephones provided to the constituency offices including monthly phone bills of Ministers of State since March 2011 is €22,959.

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (133)

Robert Troy

Question:

133. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Taoiseach if any additional costs other than telephones, ICT and monthly phone bills are being paid to constituency offices by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12429/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

All standard printing in constituency offices is covered by a central Managed Print Services contract which my Department has in place for all standard printing in the Department. The cost of printing on all printers located in constituency offices under this contract is approximately €200 per month. My Department also pays the cost of incidental expenses, travel and subsistence, as well as some office equipment and office supplies for my Constituency Office and the Government Chief Whip's Constituency Office. The costs incurred under these headings from March 2011 to the end of February 2013 was €11,203.

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (134)

Robert Troy

Question:

134. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Taoiseach the number of mobile phones in use by him, junior Ministers and politically appointed staff; the total costs of the mobile phones since March 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12447/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

The number of mobile phones in use by myself, Junior Ministers and politically appointed staff is 26. The total costs of the mobile phones since March 2011 is €49,993.