Disability Support Services Issues

Questions (269)

Billy Timmins

Question:

269. Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the reduction in funding to disability services (details supplied) in County Wicklow; if his attention has been drawn to the impact this is having on the provisions of services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41528/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services, including disability services. The HSE either directly provides or contracts disability agencies such as Sunbeam House Services to provide a range of disability services through service level arrangements.

The HSE and Sunbeam House Services work in close collaboration with regard to the funding and delivery of services to people with an intellectual disability. As a voluntary agency, Sunbeam House Services are obliged to work within the resources available to them and in that regard have introduced significant efficiencies over recent years to remain within budget. Sunbeam House Services has confirmed that there have been no other cuts in services across any of the current day, residential or respite services.

The Haddington Road Agreement (HRA) sets out measures relating to productivity, cost extraction and reform which together intends to achieve a required pay bill reduction of €150m identified in the HSE Service Plan 2013. The agreement provides a framework and opportunities for managers within the health services, including agencies such as Sunbeam House Services, to reduce their costs associated with agency and overtime and a wide range of other pay costs, particularly through measures such as additional working hours and revised rates in respect of overtime.

The HSE is engaged in ongoing consultation with Sunbeam House Services and monitoring meetings take place on a regular basis. The HSE is aware of the significant challenges in the years ahead and will endeavour to ensure that all of the resources available for specialist disability services are used in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

In relation to the specific queries raised by the Deputy, as these are service issues they have been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Services for People with Disabilities

Questions (270)

Billy Timmins

Question:

270. Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Health if he will ensure that the funding provided for disability services in budget 2014 will be ring fenced and protected at 2013 levels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41529/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The level of funding available for the health budget and the extent of the savings required in the health sector are being considered as part of the estimates and budgetary process for 2014 which is currently underway. Pending completion of the national estimates, budgetary and service planning process for 2014 it is not possible to predict the service levels to be provided next year for the disability sector.

Hospitals Funding

Questions (271)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

271. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health if it is now the case that the expected savings in 2014 from the measures contained in the Health (Amendment) Act 2013 in relation to the increased charges for private patients in public hospitals is €30 million and the full year effect €45 million instead of the €120 million originally outlined during the Health (Amendment) Bill 2013 debate in Dáil Éireann; for the reason for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41532/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Health (Amendment) Act, 2013 (No. 31 of 2013) provides for the introduction of a single private in-patient charge for all private patients, including those accommodated in public beds. The charges set out in the Act have been set at a level intended to raise an additional €30 million in hospital revenue in 2014. As I outlined when the Act was being debated in the Dáil, as a result of discussions between my Department and the private insurance industry during the Act's passage through the Oireachtas, in order to agree a phasing-in of the charges for all private in-patients, including those who occupy public beds, I decided to implement the charges from 1 January 2014 at a rate calculated to raise an additional €30 million in 2014.

Hospitals Funding

Questions (272)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

272. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health the savings that would be realised if measures were introduced which saved 3% of the total hospital budget; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41533/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

In relation to the specific query raised by the Deputy, as this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Consultancy Contracts Expenditure

Questions (273)

Billy Timmins

Question:

273. Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Health 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. [41546/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I have not contracted any consultants since 1 January 2013 to advise on the possible sale of any assets.

Sports Funding

Questions (274)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

274. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on a pre-budget submission on behalf of Irish Sport that €1 per person in addition to the funding be channelled into a specific fund to be used exclusively to create employment and fund participation programmes; the €3 million being directed to job creation with the remaining €1.5 million being used to fund relevant and targeted programmes to get more people physically active; it is estimated that a minimum €1.5 million of this overall investment will go back to the Revenue through PRSI, PAYE, USC, BAT; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41308/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I am aware of the proposals presented by the Federation of Irish Sport in their pre-budget submission on behalf of Irish sport. Government investment in sport supports a large number of jobs around the country and any proposals regarding further job creation are to be welcomed. The Deputy will be aware that decisions regarding funding for sport will be determined as part of the ongoing Budget 2014 process.

Alcohol Advertising

Questions (275)

Patrick Nulty

Question:

275. Deputy Patrick Nulty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has met the alcohol industry or individual alcohol producing companies with regard to prohibiting sponsorship of sporting or cultural events since taking office; and if so, the number of meetings that have taken place and with whom. [41325/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Deputy will be aware that the proposals with regard to prohibiting sponsorship of sporting events were presented by the Minister of State at the Department of Health, Alex White. Following on from the proposals made by the Minister of State I have had one meeting with drinks industry groups and have had no meetings with any individual alcohol producing company. On the 17 of January 2013, I met with the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) at their request.  I also met with Alcohol Action Ireland, the organisation for alcohol-related issues, on 25 July 2013 at their request. In addition I have had several engagements with sporting bodies and the arts and culture festival sectors who have expressed their concerns about an end to sponsorship and impact it could have on sports, arts and culture. In addition, my colleague, the Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring also met with one organisation, MEAS (Mature Enjoyment of Alcohol in Society) at their request on 8 November 2012 in relation to their work.

Road Projects Status

Questions (276)

Dominic Hannigan

Question:

276. Deputy Dominic Hannigan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position regarding the Slane bypass; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41376/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects is a matter for the National Roads Authority (NRA) under the Roads Acts 1993 to 2007 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned. Within its capital budget, the assessment and prioritisation of individual projects is a matter in the first instance for the NRA in accordance with Section 19 of the Roads Act. Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy’s question to the NRA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days