Schools Building Projects Applications

Question No. 96 answered with Question No. 83.

Questions (95)

Patrick Nulty

Question:

95. Deputy Patrick Nulty asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will immediately review his decision not to proceed with the extension of a college (details supplied) in Dublin 15; and if he will meet with the board of management and or parents association to discuss this urgent matter. [21804/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The major building project for the school referred to by the Deputy is at an advanced stage of architectural planning. Due to competing demands on the Department's capital budget imposed by the need to prioritise the limited funding available for the provision of additional school accommodation to meet increasing demographic requirements it was not possible to include this project in the 5 year construction programme announced in March 2012.School building projects, including the project referred to by the Deputy, which have not been included in the five year construction programme, but which were previously initiated will continue to be progressed to final planning stages in anticipation of the possibility of further funds being available to the Department in the future.

Question No. 96 answered with Question No. 83.

Schools Building Projects Status

Questions (97)

Emmet Stagg

Question:

97. Deputy Emmet Stagg asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the contract has been signed for the completion of a school (details supplied) in County Kildare; if so, the name of the contractor; the date on which the contractor is to go on site to commence the works; and the date on which the contractor is to complete the required works. [21894/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the completion contractor, Townlink Construction Limited, commenced on site on the 7th May 2013 on the school building project to which the Deputy referred. Subject to no issues arising, the work is anticipated to be completed by the summer.

National Lottery Licence Sale

Questions (98)

Seán Kyne

Question:

98. Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will provide assurances that, in the context of the National Lottery Bill, the 6% margin on lottery sales for retailers will be protected and that awarding of the lottery licence to a new operator will not result in a diminution of the existing trading terms and conditions for local retailers. [21819/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

As the Deputy is aware, I announced in April 2012 that there will be a competition for the next National Lottery licence. It is envisaged that the competition will commence shortly.

I have advised retailer representative bodies that it is my intention to safeguard the existing rates of commission paid to retailers under the terms of the next licence. Section 27(2)(c) of the National Lottery Bill 2012 provides that the provisions of the licence governing rates of commission payable to retailers may not be amended.

I acknowledge the concerns of retailers and the importance to them of income from National Lottery sales, particularly in the current economic climate. I am also aware of the central role which retailers have played in the great success of the National Lottery since its inception. It is envisaged that retailers will continue to be central to the operation of the National Lottery over the 20 year term of the next licence. I am confident that there will be strong growth in National Lottery sales under the next licence with an alignment of interests between the next licence holder, retailers and the State, reaping benefits for all concerned.

Flood Relief Schemes Expenditure

Questions (99)

Andrew Doyle

Question:

99. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if payments or funding is available to landowners whose land and fields have been damaged by the River Slaney bursting its banks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21627/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The Office of Public Works (OPW) is not aware of any incidences of flooding on the River Slaney apart from the incidence last month in the environs of Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford. A full report on this flood event is being prepared by RPS Consulting and it will be considered in the context of the detailed consideration of the South-East Catchment Flood Risk Assessment & Management Study being undertaken at present.

A flood relief scheme for Enniscorthy and its environs is currently in preparation. The Enniscorthy flood relief scheme will be carried out in two phases by Wexford County Council with funding from the OPW. The Council is currently in the process of procuring engineering consultants and it is expected that the detailed design of the scheme will be completed in the Summer of next year.

There is no provision within the Vote of the OPW for the compensation of landowners affected by flooding.

Assistance under humanitarian aid provisions may be accessed through the Community Welfare Offices of the Department of Social Protection.

In addition, the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine operates an ‘early warning system’ whereby emergency assistance may be provided to farmers whose animals are experiencing serious animal welfare issues.

Garda Stations Refurbishment

Questions (100)

John McGuinness

Question:

100. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans in relation to the up keep and maintenance of the former Garda barracks, Ballyragget, County Kilkenny; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21756/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The former Ballyragget Garda Station is in the process of being formally handed over by the Garda authorities to the Commissioners of Public Works. Security and maintenance requirements (new locks, etc), pending a decision on the future of the property, are currently being assessed.

Proposed Legislation

Questions (101)

Dominic Hannigan

Question:

101. Deputy Dominic Hannigan asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation his plans for legislation that allows persons who invested in projects via crowd sourcing websites to receive equity for their investment like the Jobs Act which was introduced in the United States of America in 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21634/13]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

In its various forms, Crowdfunding allows entrepreneurs and SMEs to solicit capital from funders, using social networks and crowdfunding platforms to finance their businesses and projects. It appears to be affording real opportunities in the area of alternative finance for SMEs. Use of the mechanism appears to have seen substantial growth globally in the recent past and it is seen by many sponsors as a means of “democratising” access to funds and supply of capital and moving the model away from venture capitalists and angel investors.

However, as an industry, crowdfunding is in its infancy and financial returns on capital will dictate its overall success. Data is not yet readily available with which to analyse its impact.

I have no immediate plans to introduce legislation. The industry needs time to “find itself” and should not be over burdened by regulation before the required platforms have been given the time to grow and develop. I will keep the matter under review. It is certainly too early to provide a specific regulatory mechanism for the concept, but my officials, along with the Department of Finance will continue to monitor the issue.

I am also fully aware that crowdfunding is being discussed seriously within the European institutions and the OECD as an alternative for SME financing. We will continue to actively engage with the relevant Institutions in these deliberations and are fully committed to providing an appropriate policy response with regard to the emerging need to establish a European framework and ecosystem for best practices.