Non-Principal Private Residence Charge Administration

Questions (187)

Finian McGrath

Question:

187. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he could explain why there are no waivers on fines for the NPPR, and if he is aware that many persons are suffering from high rates and cannot cope with the councils. [35647/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Local Government (Charges) Act 2009, as amended, broadened the revenue base of local authorities by introducing a charge on non-principal private residences. The Charge is set at €200 and liability for it falls, in the main, on owners of rental, holiday and vacant properties.

Under the Act, it is a function of a local authority to collect Non-Principal Private Residence Charges, and late payment fees due to it and all Charges and late payment fees imposed and payable to a local authority are under the care and management of the local authority concerned.

I have issued guidelines to local authorities in relation to the operation of the “care and management” provisions of the legislation in instances in which genuine hardship in having to discharge a liability in a single payment can be demonstrated. In such cases, local authorities may enter into payment arrangements for the discharge of outstanding liabilities in instalments over a specified period.

This year will be the final year of the operation of the Non-Principal Private Residence Charge. Since its introduction in 2009, the Charge has been an important source of revenue for local authorities and has funded the provision of vital local services.

Non-Principal Private Residence Charge Administration

Questions (188)

Finian McGrath

Question:

188. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding the local property tax. [35683/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

I understand that this question concerns the Non-Principal Private Residence Charge. The Local Government (Charges) Act 2009, as amended, broadened the revenue base of local authorities by introducing a charge on non-principal private residences. The Charge is set at €200 and liability for it falls, in the main, on owners of rental, holiday and vacant properties.

Section 6 of the 2009 Act, as amended, provides that the owner of a liable property who fails to pay the Charge, in addition to his or her being liable to pay the Charge, is liable to pay to the relevant local authority a €20 late payment fee in respect of each month or part of a month in which the Charge, any late payment fee, or any part of such Charge or fee, remains unpaid.

Under the Act, it is a function of a local authority to collect Non-Principal Private Residence Charges and late payment fees due to it and all Charges and late payment fees imposed and payable to a local authority are under the care and management of the local authority concerned. I have issued guidelines to local authorities in relation to the operation of the “care and management” provisions of the legislation in instances in which genuine hardship in having to discharge a liability in a single payment can be demonstrated.

This year will be the final year of the operation of the Non-Principal Private Residence Charge. Since its introduction in 2009, the Charge has been an important source of revenue for local authorities and has funded the provision of vital local services.

Septic Tank Inspections

Questions (189, 195)

Michael McGrath

Question:

189. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the position regarding the inspection of septic tanks where a person is registered under the scheme and if they are inspected by their local authority; if the grant is available under the scheme allowing for a person to connect to the mains where this is available in their area. [35576/13]

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Ciaran Lynch

Question:

195. Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the grant assistance available for the installation and maintenance of septic tanks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35807/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 189 and 195 together.

I refer to the reply to Questions 175 and 176 of 3 July 2013 which sets out the position in relation to the grants scheme for remediation of domestic waste water treatment systems. Full details, including eligibility criteria, are set down in the Domestic Wastewater Treatment Systems (Financial Assistance) Regulations 2013, a copy of which is available in the Oireachtas library.

Where an inspection reveals a problem with a treatment system, issues such as the nature of the problem and the extent of the risk to human health or the environment will inform selection of the most appropriate, pragmatic and cost-effective remediation works, including the possibility of connection to a nearby public sewer. 

Foreshore Licences Applications

Questions (190)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

190. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if an official from his Department will visit a sports facility (details supplied) in County Kerry to review its application; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35582/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

As indicated in the replies to Questions Nos. 489 of 22 May 2012 and 196 of 20 December 2012, this matter continues to be the subject of court proceedings and it is not appropriate for me to comment further. The position is unchanged.

Homeless Persons Data

Questions (191)

Joe Higgins

Question:

191. Deputy Joe Higgins asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of persons reported as homeless to local authorities in the first and second quarters of 2013; the way this figure compares with previous quarterly statistics; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35712/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

Traditionally it has been difficult to quantify the number of homeless persons on an on-going basis; this is in part a consequence of the volatility within this cohort of housing need. However, during the course of 2013 the Pathway Accommodation & Support System (PASS), which commenced operation in Dublin in 2011, is being extended nationally. When PASS is fully implemented nationally it will provide good quality, timely, data which will allow housing authorities to report in relation to the on-going extent and the dynamics of homelessness as it is addressed.

In advance of the full implementation of PASS the most complete set of data available in relation to homelessness nationally is the Central Statistics Office’s special Census report, Homeless Persons in Ireland, which was published on 6 September 2012. This report indicated that a total of 65 individuals were sleeping rough on Census night, 10 April 2011, while identifying a further 3,743 people as housed in accommodation defined as emergency, transitional or long-term. Of the total of 3,808 individuals included in the report, almost 60% were in long-term or transitional housing arrangements.

Local Government Elections

Questions (192)

Andrew Doyle

Question:

192. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if a person who was elected to a local authority, as a member of a registered political party, subsequently resigns from the said party but later goes on to resign from the local authority, if the vacancy should be filled by either co-option by the party under whose banner he or she was elected, or through a nomination of the member who has resigned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35677/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

Section 19(3) of the Local Government Act 2001 prescribes that a casual vacancy on a local authority is to be filled by the co-option of a person to fill the vacancy, subject to such person being nominated by the same registered political party who nominated for election or co-option the member who caused the casual vacancy, or where the person causing the casual vacancy was a non-party candidate at his or her election to the local authority, the vacancy is to be filled by the co-option by the local authority of a person to fill the vacancy in accordance with such requirements and procedures as may be set out in its standing orders, except in circumstances where paragraphs (c) or (d) or (e) of section 19 (1) of the Act apply.

Paragraph (c) of section 19(1) of the Act relates to Article 25 (procedures after nomination), Article 28 (death of a candidate) and Article 124 (person elected for more than one local electoral area) of the Local Elections Regulations 1995, paragraph (d) relates to circumstances prescribed in regulations made under section 27 of the Local Government Act 2001, under which regulations have not been made; and paragraph (e) relates to section 15 (1) of the Local Elections (Petitions and Disqualifications) Act 1974 , dealing with an order of the court relating to a petition declaring that a person was not duly elected as a member of a local authority or was not qualified for membership of a local authority or that the whole or part of a local election was void.

Local Government Elections

Questions (193)

Andrew Doyle

Question:

193. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 182 of 26 June 2013, if a person is permitted under current electoral law to run for a position on a County or City Council in two or more local electoral areas of the same local authority during the 2014 Local Elections; if a person who is elected to the same local authority for two or more local electoral areas, the way a vacancy should be filled for the area they choose not to represent [35678/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The position regarding standing for election in more than one electoral area of the same local authority is set out in the reply to Question Number 182 of 26 June 2013. Article 124 (2) of the Local Elections Regulations 1995 provides that where a person, who has been elected as a member of the same local authority for two or more electoral areas, chooses, or is deemed to have chosen, to represent a particular local electoral area, the person shall be deemed not to have been elected for any other local electoral area of the said local authority. The consequential vacancy or vacancies in the membership of the local authority are to be regarded as casual vacancies occurring on the day on which the newly-elected members come into office, and are to be filled in accordance with the provisions of section 19 of the Local Government Act 2001.

Water and Sewerage Schemes Status

Question No. 195 answered with Question No. 189.

Questions (194)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

194. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government when he intends to approve the Donegal Bay wastewater group B contract to go to construction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35786/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Donegal Group B Sewerage Scheme (Bundoran, Convoy, Glencolmcille and Killybegs) is included in my Department’s Water Services Investment Programme 2010 – 2013 as a scheme to start during the lifetime of the Programme. I have recently approved Donegal County Council’s tender documents for the scheme, which will allow the council to advertise for tenders for the contract.

Question No. 195 answered with Question No. 189.