Ministerial Advisers Remuneration

Questions (155, 156)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

155. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will provide details of all pay increases awarded to special advisers in her Department over the last two years. [18317/13]

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Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

156. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will provide in a tabular format a list of all her special advisers' pay and that of her Minister of State, to include each salary, name of employee above principal officer standard and scale salary rate; and if she will supply the total pay bill for all her special advisers for 2012 [18331/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

It is proposed to take Questions Nos. 155 and 156 together.

The names and salaries of the Special Advisors I have appointed in the Department of Social Protection are shown in the table.

Title

Name

Annual Salary

Press Advisor

Kathleen  Barrington

 €86,604 - €89,898

Press Advisor

Paul O’Brien

€80,051

Special Advisor

Edward Brophy

€127,796

Ms. Barrington was appointed in July 2011 on a salary of €80,051 per annum which was subsequently increased on a retrospective basis, to €86,604 (3rd point of the Principal Officer standard scale) on foot of a sanction from The Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform. In July 2012, she progressed to the next point on the pay scale. Ms. Barrington resigned in October 2012 and was replaced in December 2012 by Mr. O’Brien.

As Mr. Brophy was previously employed in the private sector on a salary package that was more than twice the highest point of the Principal Officer (standard) scale, I sought sanction from the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform for remuneration in excess of the applicable pay scale grade. A single point salary of €127,796 was sanctioned by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform effective from 29 July 2011. This represents a reduction of over one third in Mr. Brophy’s previous salary in the private sector. The total amount of salary paid in respect of my Special Advisors in 2012 amounted to €205,871. There is no Minister of State assigned to my Department.

By way of information I am attaching tables to show the salaries of the Special Advisors appointed by my predecessors during the period from 2008 to 2011. All salaries are on the appropriate standard payscales. Increases in September 2008 and reductions in January 2010 are as a result of the introduction of revised pay scales for all civil service grades. Any other increases in the tables below relate to the awarding of increments/review of allowance.

Minister Ó Cuív March 2010 to March 2011

Post

Name

2010

2011

Special Advisor

Padraig O’hUiginn

€92,672

€95,550

Press Advisor

Michelle Hoctor

€86,604

€86,604

Minister Hanafin May 2008 to March 2010

Post

Name

May 2008

Sept 2008

2009

2010

Special Advisor

Averil Power

€94,740

€97,109

€100,191

€92,672

Press Advisor

Geraldine Butler *

€71,814

€77,629

€81,540

€75,987

* Ms. Butler was a civil servant on secondment and received a higher duty allowance to Assistant Principal salary scale in respect of her role as Press Advisor.

State Bodies Establishment

Questions (157)

Niall Collins

Question:

157. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of new State bodies that have been established under the aegis of her Department since February, 2011; the number of such bodies subject to a sunset clause; the number of new public bodies currently being planned; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18343/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

No new State body has been established under the aegis of the Department of Social Protection since February 2011. There are no plans to establish any new public body at present.

Special Areas of Conservation Designation

Questions (158)

John O'Mahony

Question:

158. Deputy John O'Mahony asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht further to Parliamentary Questions No. 420 of 12 February 2013, the progress that has been made on this case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18057/13]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

As outlined in my reply to Question No. 420 of 12 February last, the individual referred to in the Deputy’s Question has applied to sell his interest in land within a site designated as a special area of conservation, under the voluntary bog purchase scheme administered by my Department. Contracts for sale have been signed by an official of my Department and these contracts, the deposit and, more recently, the outstanding balance of the purchase price have been forwarded to the Chief State Solicitor’s Office. I understand that the contracts for sale have recently been forwarded by the Chief State Solicitor’s Office to the vendor’s solicitor for execution.

Special Areas of Conservation Designation

Questions (159, 160)

Finian McGrath

Question:

159. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will provide an update on the progress of a reclassification of a bog (details supplied) in County Clare which was incorrectly classified in part as a raised bog; and if he will indicate the way and when this issue will be resolved in order for turf cutters to resume cutting turf on their bog. [18059/13]

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Finian McGrath

Question:

160. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will confirm that turf cutters on a bog (details supplied) in County Clare, who accept the temporary turf cutting compensation scheme being offered to them due to their unique situation, will in no way be construed as having accepted the cessation of the turf cutting compensation scheme in full and will be free to resume cutting turf on their bog once the matter of reclassification has been resolved. [18060/13]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 159 and 160 together.

The bog referred to by the Deputy is one of Ireland’s 53 raised bog SACs and contains good examples of active and degraded raised bog habitat, transition mires and quaking bogs, and depressions on peat substrates of the rhynchosporion. These are all habitats that are afforded protection under the EU Habitats Directive. To conserve this site, it will be necessary to restrict turf-cutting and associated drainage activities that would have a detrimental effect on these habitats. However, the bog in question is unusual as a raised bog SAC, in that there are areas of cutover bog which do not contain protected habitats and are not hydrologically linked to the parts of the site that contain such habitats. In most raised bog SACs, turf-cutting may no longer take place because such cutting and conservation of the site are incompatible. The particular circumstances of the bog referred to in the Deputy's Questions may allow for a continuation of turf-cutting in some parts of the site in full compliance with the requirements of the Habitats Directive, and may also facilitate the conservation of the protected habitat through the relocation of turf-cutters away from sensitive areas of the site.

My officials have been engaging constructively with the turf-cutting community in the area, who have refrained from turf-cutting while such a solution is being put in place. Turf-cutters are availing of financial payments or the delivery of turf while this issue is being resolved, which I hope will be fully addressed through the National Raised Bog Management Plan and in time for the turf-cutting season of 2014.

Departmental Funding

Questions (161)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

161. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will provide an update on a project (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18088/13]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

An application for capital funding in the case referred to by the Deputy is currently being evaluated by my Department and I am hopeful that a response will be issued in the very near future.

An Coimisiún Logainmneacha

Questions (162, 163)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

162. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht cén uair a cheapfar Príomh-Oifigeach Logainmneacha nua, na cáilíocthaí gairmiúla a bhainfidh leis an bpost seo; agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh. [18159/13]

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Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

163. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta cé mhéid oifigeach gairmiúil logainmneacha atá fostaithe i mBrainse na Logainmneacha den Roinn agus an bhfuil i gceist an líon sin a choinneáil mar atá sé; agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh. [18160/13]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

Tógfaidh mé Ceisteanna Uimh. 162 agus 163 le chéile.

Ceapadh Príomhoifigeach Cúnta i mo Roinnse ar na mallaibh chun déileáil le réimse gníomhaíochtaí ó thaobh na Gaeilge de, lena n-áirítear na feidhmeanna a bhíodh ag an bPríomhoifigeach Logainmneacha. Faoi láthair, tá beirt Ardoifigeach Logainmneacha agus Oifigeach Logainmneacha amháin fostaithe sa Roinn agus iad ag plé le clár oibre ar leith. Níl aon phlean ann an líon oifigeach seo a laghdú amach anseo. Mar a thuigfidh an Teachta, tá mo Roinnse ag feidhmiú faoi réir an choisc ar earcaíocht san earnáil phoiblí.

Ministerial Advisers Remuneration

Questions (164, 165)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

164. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will provide details of all pay increases awarded to special advisors in his Department over the last two years. [18306/13]

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Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

165. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will provide in a tabular format a list of all his special advisors pay and that of his Minister of State, to include each salary, name of employee above principal officer standard scale salary rate; and if he will supply the total pay bill for all his special advisors for 2012 [18320/13]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 164 and 165 together.

As I have previously advised the House, I appointed Mr. James Kenny and Mr. Damien Garvey as my special advisors with effect from 7th June 2011 and 2nd April 2012 respectively. Both were appointed at the first point of the Principal Officer scale and are currently on the second point of that scale. No pay increases have been sought or awarded in either case. Details of current salaries and total pay for 2012 are set out as follows:

Name of special adviser

Current Salary

Pay in 2012

James Kenny*

€41,502

€38,462

Damien Garvey

€83,337

€57,639

Total

€124,839

€96,101

*As Mr. Kenny is in receipt of a public service pension, his salary has been abated to €41,502 per annum.