Public Sector Pensions Expenditure

Questions (168)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

168. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide in tabular form information on lump sum payments (details supplied) paid to retiring public sector workers between March 2011 and March 2013. [21589/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The information is being compiled and will be forwarded to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Departmental Bodies Reports

Questions (169)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

169. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will lay the latest annual report and accounts for the Irish Film Classification Office before the Houses of the Oireachtas. [20868/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Film Classification Office that its latest Annual Report will be submitted to my Department by end May 2013. The Report will be laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas as soon as possible thereafter.

Immigration Policy

Questions (170)

Niall Collins

Question:

170. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the total number of business visas issued by his Department in 2011, 2012 and to date in 2013 under the immigration investor and start up entrepreneurs programme; if he will name the individuals involved and their area of business; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20857/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Immigrant Investor Programme and the Start-up Entrepreneur Programme were opened for applications in April 2012. Since then, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service have received 27 applications for the Start-up Entrepreneur Programme and 10 Applications for the Immigrant Investor Programme. Fourteen applications have been approved under the Start-up Entrepreneur Programme, seven applications have been refused, one applicant gained an alternative status and the remainder are still under consideration. Three applications have been approved under the Immigrant Investor Programme and the remainder are still under consideration. It has been the long standing policy of the Department of Justice and Equality, under both my office and that of previous Ministers, to respect the privacy of individual migrants and not to divulge their personal details.

Insolvency Payments Scheme Eligibility

Questions (171)

Luke 'Ming' Flanagan

Question:

171. Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the provision that has been made within the Insolvency Service of Ireland rules for the foster care allowance which is paid out by the Health Service Executive; if the fostering care allowance should be excluded as income by lending institutions when calculating mortgage repayments (details supplied) in County Roscommon; his views on whether including such an allowance in mortgage repayments calculations is to put the welfare of fostered children in jeopardy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20875/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

Under the provisions of the Personal Insolvency Act 2012, all income received by an applicant for one of the three personal insolvency arrangements must be taken into account. Therefore foster care allowance will be taken into account when calculating the income of an applicant. However, the Insolvency Service of Ireland's Guidelines on a Reasonable Standard of Living and Reasonable Living Expenses make provision for special circumstances. Accordingly, an applicant with foster care responsibilities will have the costs associated with foster care included as part of their reasonable living expenses calculation.

Insolvency Service of Ireland Issues

Questions (172)

John Paul Phelan

Question:

172. Deputy John Paul Phelan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if an individual who is an authorised person by the Central Bank of Ireland to deal in financial services and who is qualified to deal in financial products by the grandfather arrangement of being fully operational before the year 2000, is eligible to practice as a personal insolvency practitioner under the terms of the new Act; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20886/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) will shortly publish Regulations under Section 161 of the Personal Insolvency Act 2012 in regard to the authorisation and regulation of personal insolvency practitioners (PIPs). The Regulations will set out the necessary criteria in relation to qualifications. The Insolvency Service will accept applications from individuals to become PIPs if they meet the eligibility requirements set out in the Regulations. It is likely that future practitioners will be solicitors, barristers, accountants and qualified financial advisors. In addition, there is a further option for individuals who hold a relevant qualification in the area of law, business or finance to make an application.

The applicant will also have to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Insolvency Service that they have the relevant knowledge and experience to become a practitioner. This will be done by completing a course of study and passing an exam on the law and practice generally, as it applies in the State relating to the insolvency of individuals, including the Personal Insolvency Act 2012.

An individual who is an authorised person by the Central Bank of Ireland to deal in financial services and who is qualified to deal in financial products by the grandfather arrangement of being fully operational before the year 2000, will not be eligible to practice as a personal insolvency practitioner, but it will, of course be open to such persons to apply in the same manner as other individuals to be licensed by the ISI to practice as PIPs.

Legislative Programme

Questions (173)

Áine Collins

Question:

173. Deputy Áine Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when he expects the Courts Bill 2013 to be fully enacted; his view on whether the enactment of this Bill will result in more staff being employed by the Courts Service; and if extra staff are being recruited if it will be throughout the country. [20907/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Courts Bill 2013 is currently before the Seanad and I hope to progress the Bill before the Oireachtas with a view to its enactment before the Summer recess. The purposes of the Bill are (i) to amend the in camera rule in order to introduce greater transparency in the administration of family and child care law by allowing press access to the courts in family and child care proceedings, subject to certain restrictions and prohibitions, and (ii) to increase the monetary jurisdiction limits of the Circuit and District Courts in civil proceedings.

There will be an impact on the Courts Service in terms of redistribution of work between court jurisdictions but the overall volume of cases is not expected to increase as a result of the Bill and no increase in staff is anticipated. The position will, however, be kept under review.

Visa Applications

Questions (174)

John O'Mahony

Question:

174. Deputy John O'Mahony asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when a decision will issue on an appeal for a visa in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20913/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I can advise the Deputy, that no appeal has been submitted to date. The person concerned has been contacted directly and intends to submit an appeal shortly. Once received the appeal will be considered and a decision made without delay.

Queries in relation to general immigration matters may be made directly to INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from INIS is, in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Traffic Regulations

Questions (175)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

175. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of heavy goods vehicles or any other vehicles that were brought to weigh bridges by the Garda Traffic Corps in the years 2010, 2011, 2012 and to date in 2013; the number of vehicles that were found to be overweight; his plans to increase the penalties for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20921/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I have requested a report from the Garda authorities on the matters raised by the Deputy. I will contact the Deputy directly when the report is to hand.

Garda Operations

Questions (176)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

176. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will report on Garda Operation Nascar; the number of persons arrested and charged to date; the number of successful convictions obtained to date; if this operation is still active; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20922/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am informed by the Garda authorities that Operation Nascar, which commenced in December 2011, is an ongoing operation targeting suspected fraudulent motor insurance claims. The investigation is focused on alleged offences within the meaning of deception as outlined under section 6 of the Criminal Justice (Theft & Fraud) Offences Act 2001. I am further informed that there has been three phases to the investigation to date with arrest operations in February, March and April 2013. Seventeen persons have been arrested under Operation Nascar to date. It is envisaged that once the investigation is complete a full consolidated file on all the arrests and investigative processes will be submitted to the Law Officers for directions.