Departmental Staff Rehiring

Questions (223)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

223. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of retired civil or public servants who have been retained by his Department, since January 2013, on a short-term contract or consultancy basis where normal abatement rules do not apply. [35848/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

No retired civil or public servants were retained by my Department since January 2013 on a short term contract or consultancy basis where normal pension abatements rules have not been applied.

Haddington Road Agreement Savings

Questions (224)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

224. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide a yearly detailed breakdown of the sectoral measures, and accompanying savings, for the duration of the Haddington Road agreement applicable in his Department and-or non-commercial State sponsored bodies under the aegis of his Department. [35865/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The measures applying to the Justice Sector are set out in the Haddington Road Agreement in respect of An Garda Síochána and the Prison Service. As stated by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, the Agreement will facilitate a reduction of €1 billion in the public service pay and pensions bill by 2016. In relation to the Justice Sector, the savings arising have been incorporated in the revised estimates for 2013 and details for further years will be incorporated in the vote allocations in the context of the overall estimates process.

Overseas Missions

Questions (225)

Micheál Martin

Question:

225. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Defence his views on the triple lock system for Ireland's Defence Forces taking part in large missions abroad; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31466/13]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

The statutory authority for the despatch of contingents of the Permanent Defence Force for service overseas as part of an International Force is set out in Section 2 of the Defence (Amendment)(No. 2) Act, 1960 as amended by the Defence (Amendment) Act, 2006. This provision is commonly referred to as the “triple lock”. However, personnel may be deployed for training, for humanitarian operations and for other such reasons under the authority of the Government in accordance with the provisions of the Defence (Amendment) Act, 2006, which formalised arrangements in this regard. Ireland’s policy in regard to the “triple lock” was most recently underpinned by the adoption by the people of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. Ireland’s act of ratification of the Lisbon Treaty was reinforced by the associated national declaration which states “that the participation of contingents of the Irish Defence Forces in overseas operations, including those carried out under the European common security and defence policy requires (a) the authorisation of the operation by the Security Council or the General Assembly of the United Nations, (b) the agreement of the Irish Government, and (c) the approval of Dáil Éireann, in accordance with Irish law.”

The White Paper on Defence, which was published in 2000, has provided the policy framework for Defence for the past thirteen years. In the period since its publication there have been significant changes in the defence and security environment and the defence policy framework has continued to evolve. In this context, the Government decided that there is a requirement to prepare a new White Paper on Defence. This will provide the policy framework for Defence for the next decade.

A Green Paper on Defence was published yesterday. It will initiate a broad public consultative process, which will provide for members of the public and interest groups to input their views as part of the process of developing the new White Paper on Defence. In this context the Green Paper will engender discussion on all relevant matters including the triple lock. The Green Paper states “The approval procedures that govern the despatch of contingents of the Permanent Defence Force on overseas peace support operations, commonly known as the “triple lock”, comprise three requirements namely:

- the authorisation of the operation by the Security Council or General Assembly of the United Nations;

- a formal Government decision; and

- the approval of Dáil Éireann (There is no requirement for Dáil approval where, the international United Nations Force is unarmed, where the size of the Permanent Defence Force contingent does and will not exceed twelve members, or if the contingent is intended to replace in whole or in part or reinforce a contingent of the PDF serving outside of the State already serving as part of an International United Nations Force).

The legislative basis for the participation by the Permanent Defence Force in overseas peace support operations as part of an “International United Nations Force” was originally provided for by the Defence (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1960. The legal provisions were updated in 1993 to permit participation in Chapter VII of the UN Charter. UN mandated operations mounted under this Chapter are commonly known as “peace enforcement” operations), missions and again in 2006 to take account of developments in peace support including the UN’s increased reliance on regional organisations, such as the EU, NATO and the African Union (AU). The requirements of the “triple lock” were formally set out in Ireland’s national declaration associated with the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.

The requirement for a UN resolution as part of the “triple lock” reflects the central importance of the UN in granting legitimacy to peace support and crisis management missions. At the same time, it also constitutes a self imposed, legal constraint on the State’s sovereignty in making decisions about the use of its armed forces. This could prevent the State from participating in a peace support operation. In 2003, the EU led peace support mission EUFOR Concordia in Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, was welcomed in UN resolution 1371 in terms that did not conform to the requirements of the Defence Acts at that time. Accordingly, Ireland could not participate in the mission.

The benefits of a formal legislative requirement for UN authorisation must be weighed against the possibility that this constraint may lead to an inability to act on occasions where there is a pressing moral or security imperative and overwhelming international support to do so, but where UN sanction is not forthcoming, in circumstances where a veto is exercised by a permanent member of the Security Council acting in its own national interests. It is acknowledged that there is substantial public support for the triple lock mechanism and that, in practical terms, due to the size of our Defence Forces, the State only has a limited capacity to contribute to UN Missions. In real terms Ireland has, in the context of its size, punched above its weight and made a valuable, disproportionate contribution and, save for the example of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, has not been excluded from peace keeping engagements by the triple lock. On balance, the advantages of retaining the mechanism can be seen as outweighing the disadvantages. Having said that, it is an issue worthy of discussion in advance of the adoption of a new White Paper.

Green Paper on Defence

Questions (226)

Micheál Martin

Question:

226. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Defence his views on the Green Paper on Defence. [31467/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

Ireland’s first White Paper on Defence was published in 2000. In the intervening period there have been significant changes in the defence and security environment with the emergence of new and complex security challenges. In this context, the Government decided that there is a requirement to prepare a new White Paper on Defence. In order to ensure appropriate engagement in the formulation of the new White Paper on Defence, I initiated the preparation of a Green Paper on Defence. Following Government approval, I was very pleased to publish the Green Paper on Defence yesterday (Tuesday 16 July 2013).

The purpose of the Green Paper is to inform and encourage members of the public and other interested parties to consider and submit their views. The Green Paper provides a comprehensive overview of our current defence policy framework and sets out an assessment of the defence and security environment. It does not aim to be prescriptive rather it seeks to encourage active consideration of defence matters and to elicit views as to how we should address domestic, regional and global defence and security challenges in the coming years. In this context there are a range of issues that must be considered including: future capacity requirements, if changes in the roles assigned to the Defence Forces are required and how we should prioritise scarce resources. To assist in this regard, the Green Paper sets out a number of focused policy questions for consideration and to guide submissions. The Green Paper also sets out how members of the public and other interested parties can submit their views and I am confident that this will better inform the development of the new White Paper on Defence.

Departmental Staff Rehiring

Questions (227)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

227. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Defence the number of retired civil or public servants who have been retained by his Department, since January 2013, on a short-term contract or consultancy basis where normal abatement rules do not apply. [35841/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

No retired civil or public servants have been retained by my Department since January 2013 on a short term contract or on a consultancy basis.

Haddington Road Agreement Savings

Questions (228)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

228. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Defence if he will provide a yearly detailed breakdown of the sectoral measures, and accompanying savings, for the duration of the Haddington Road agreement applicable in his Department and-or non-commercial State sponsored bodies under the aegis of his Department. [35858/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

The measures applying to the Defence Forces are as set out in the Defence Sector Collective Agreement, Appendix 2 of the Public Service Stability Agreement 2013 – 2016 - The Haddington Road Agreement. The projected savings of €9.8m per annum to be achieved by 2015 are as follows:

-

Projected Saving in 2013

(Half Year)

Projected Saving in 2014

Projected Saving in 2015

Projected Saving to 01 July 2016

(Half Year)

Incorporation of duties attracting Technical Group 1 pay into standard duties for new enlisted personnel

€23,580

€47,160

€94,320

€70,740

Flat rating SDA and related payments at standard weekday rate

€875,000

€1,750,000

€1,750,000

€875,000

10% Reduction in certain Defence Force Allowances

€1,795,000

€3,590,000

€3,590.000

€1,795,000

Elimination of Border Duty Allowance for Officers

€61,000

€122,000

€122,000

€61,000

Voluntary buyout of Border Duty Allowance for enlisted personnel.

€500,000

€1,000,000

€2,000,000

€1,250,000

Elimination of Special Instructors Allowance for Officers.

€133,500

€267,000

€267,000

€267,000

Implementation of additional incremental points in pay scales for new enlisted personnel post 01 July 2013

€0

€613,967

€1,642,095

€1,465,917

10% Reduction in rate for paid training of RDF members

€175,000

€350,000

€350,000

€175,000

Total

€3,563,080

(Half Year)

€7,740,127

€9,815,415

€5,959,657

(Half Year)

These savings are in addition to centrally agreed pay adjustments in respect of increments and related measures. The Deputy is requested to note that the savings set out in the table are projections and actual savings under some of the measures are difficult to accurately determine.

As stated by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the Haddington Road Agreement will facilitate a reduction of €1 billion in the public service pay and pensions bill by 2016. In relation to my Department, the savings arising under The Haddington Road Agreement have been incorporated in the Departments revised estimate for 2013, and further details for 2014 and 2015 will be incorporated in the vote allocation in the context of the overall estimates process.

Agriculture Schemes Payments

Questions (229)

Joe Higgins

Question:

229. Deputy Joe Higgins asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a person (details supplied) in County Cavan will receive his or her REP scheme, single payment, disadvantaged area scheme payment and grassland sheep payment for 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35712/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The processing of the 2012 Single Payment Scheme application for the person named has recently been finalised by my Department with payment due to issue shortly in respect of Single Payment Scheme, Disadvantaged Areas Scheme and REPS. Payments under the 2012 Grassland Sheep Scheme are in respect of breeding ewes as declared on the December 2011 sheep census, as the person named declared no breeding ewes on their census, therefore, no payment is due to the applicant under this scheme.

Single Payment Scheme Applications

Questions (230)

Michael Moynihan

Question:

230. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when single farm payment 2012 will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35565/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The herd-number in question was transferred to the person named from her late husband on 13 February 2012. While the person named submitted a Single Payment Scheme application under the 2012 scheme year, she did not submit an application to transfer the Single Payment entitlements from her late husband. Following contact made by officials from my Department, a late Transfer of Entitlements application was submitted on 22 April 2013 and was accepted on force majeure grounds. Additional documentation was subsequently requested from the applicant. The requested documentation was submitted, which enabled my Department to complete the transfer of payment entitlements. Payment under the 2012 Single Payment Scheme will now issue shortly to the person named.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Applications

Questions (231)

Tom Fleming

Question:

231. Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will expedite a disadvantaged area scheme appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35594/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, the holdings of eligible applicants were required to have met a minimum stocking density of 0.15 livestock units for a retention period of six consecutive months, in addition to maintaining an annual average of 0.15 livestock units calculated over the twelve months of the scheme year. As the holding concerned has not satisfied the minimum stocking density requirements of the Scheme, no payment was made in respect of the 2012 Scheme. The person named sought a review of this decision. As the outcome of the review was to uphold the original decision, the person named has been advised of her right of appeal to the independent Agriculture Appeals Office.