Mortgage Interest Relief Application

Questions (196)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

196. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of persons to whom her Department is paying mortgage interest supplement; the minimum mortgage interest supplement amount per month paid to a person; the maximum mortgage interest supplement amount per month paid to a person; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41282/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

Mortgage interest supplement provides short-term income support to eligible people who are unable to meet their mortgage interest repayments in respect of a house which is their sole place of residence. There are currently approximately 11,300 mortgage interest supplement recipients for which the Government has provided almost €41.8 million in 2013. The Department is compiling the information in respect of the minimum and maximum monthly amounts paid under the scheme and will shortly forward this information to the Deputy.

Farm Assist Scheme Appeals

Question No. 198 withdrawn.

Questions (197)

Heather Humphreys

Question:

197. Deputy Heather Humphreys asked the Minister for Social Protection when a decision will issue on a farm assist appeal in respect of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41329/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that the appeal from the person concerned was referred to an Appeals Officer who has decided to convene an oral hearing in this case. Every effort will be made to hear the case as quickly as possible and the appellant will be informed as soon as arrangements for the oral hearing have been made. The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to social welfare entitlements.

Question No. 198 withdrawn.

Consultancy Contracts Expenditure

Questions (199)

Billy Timmins

Question:

199. Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Social Protection the consultants, if any, she has contracted since 1 January 2013 to advise on the possible sale of any assets; the current situation; the advice given and the terms and cost of the contract; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41550/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

No consultants have been contracted by me or my Department, since 1 January 2013, to advise on the possible sale of any assets.

Consultancy Contracts Expenditure

Questions (200)

Billy Timmins

Question:

200. Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the consultants, if any, he has contracted since 1 January 2013 to advise on the possible sale of any assets; the current situation; the advice given and the terms and cost of the contract; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41538/13]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

My Department has not engaged any consultants for the purposes outlined by the Deputy.

Garda Investigations

Questions (201)

Clare Daly

Question:

201. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if there has been any investigation by Irish authorities regarding the dealings of a former prominent senior executive editor in Irish media circles (details supplied). [41403/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

Any criminal investigation such as the one referred to in this case by the Deputy is a matter for An Garda Síochána and not one in which my Department or I, as Minister, have a role.

Renewable Energy Generation Targets

Questions (202)

Regina Doherty

Question:

202. Deputy Regina Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the timescale for a new national renewable energy programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41488/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

The development of renewable energy is at the heart of this Government's energy policy. A long term perspective is key to achieving this objective. To this end, my Department’s Strategy for Renewable Energy, published in May 2012, sets out key strategic goals for the various renewable energy sectors in the period to 2020. This strategy complements and builds on the momentum that has developed from the implementation of the measures set out in the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP). Article 22 of the Renewables Directive, 2009/28/EC requires Member States to submit a report to the European Commission on progress in the promotion and use of energy from renewable sources by 31 December 2011 and every two years thereafter. Ireland's second progress report on the NREAP is therefore due by the end of this year and work on this is currently underway.

Consultancy Contracts Expenditure

Questions (203)

Billy Timmins

Question:

203. Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the consultants, if any, he has contracted since 1 January 2013 to advise on the possible sale of any assets; the current situation; the advice given and the terms and cost of the contract; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41540/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

I have not contracted with any consultants on the possible sale of any assets. NewERA is leading on the advice to Government with regard to the sale of State assets and, in that context, are engaging advisers as required.

Non-Principal Private Residence Charge Yield

Questions (204)

Michael McGrath

Question:

204. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the yield that would be achieved from retaining the non-principal private residence tax in 2014 at €200 for properties valued at up to €200,000 and €300 for properties valued in excess of €200,000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41365/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Local Government (Charges) Act 2009 broadened the revenue base of local authorities by introducing a charge on non-principal private residences. The self-assessed charge is set at €200 per annum and liability for it falls, in the main, on owners of rental, holiday and vacant properties. The Non Principal Private Residence Charge is not related to the value of a property. As such, I am not aware of the number of properties which are valued in excess of €200,000 and which are liable for the charge. I am therefore unable to estimate the financial benefit of increasing the Charge for properties valued above a €200,000 threshold.

I understand that the Non Principal Private Residence Charge has raised €75.7m in respect of 2012 liabilities to date, a portion of which has been collected in 2013. 2013 will be the final year of the operation of the Charge. The Local Property Tax has been introduced on a half year basis this year and accordingly 50% of the Tax is payable in 2013. From 2014, the Tax will operate on a full year basis.