Garda Reserve

Questions (165)

Patrick Nulty

Question:

165. Deputy Patrick Nulty asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he is willing to hear appeals from members of the Garda Reserve who are unable to access recruitment procedures for An Garda Síochána due to age restrictions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42665/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The maximum recruitment age at which candidates may apply to join the Garda Síochána as a full time member is set by regulation at not more than 35 years and the question of appealing that upper age limit does not arise.

This upper age limit of 35 was set having regard to equality legislation and also took into account the following criteria:

- The cost of training.

- The need for recruits to serve for a sufficient period of time as full members of the service to recoup this cost.

- The operational requirements of the service in terms of having an age profile appropriate to the physical demands placed on full time members in the course of their duty.

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (166)

Seán Fleming

Question:

166. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Defence the reduction in public expenditure numbers that will be achieved in 2013 and 2014 from targeted redundancy and early retirement in his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43032/13]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

The staff of my Department comprises of civil servants and civilian employees. The early retirement options available to the staff of my Department are the Ill Health Retirement Scheme and the Cost Neutral Early Retirement Scheme. An employee with an on-going serious medical condition who has at least five years’ pensionable service may apply to retire on grounds of ill-health. Ill health retirement applications are considered initially by the Chief Medical Officer, who on receipt of an application from an officer, offers a medical opinion as to whether an individual is incapable on medical grounds of regular and effective service at the time of the application and whether the medical incapacity is likely to be permanent. Four applications for ill health retirement have been approved to date this year. A further three applications are on hand.

The Cost Neutral Early Retirement Scheme allows staff to retire before the normal retirement age but to have an off-setting actuarial reduction applied to their retirement benefits. There are currently no applications on hand under the Scheme.

Following the receipt of sanction from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, the Department has recently introduced a voluntary redundancy scheme targeted towards civilian employees (State Industrial Grades) arising from the rationalisation of the brigade structure in the Defence Forces and the reduced requirement for particular grades/skills in the civilian workforce. There are currently no applications on hand under the Scheme. It is not possible at this stage to predict the number of employees that will avail of this particular redundancy scheme between now and 2014.

Single Payment Scheme Payments

Questions (167)

John O'Mahony

Question:

167. Deputy John O'Mahony asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive their single farm payment; the reason for the delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42540/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

An application under the 2013 Single Payment Scheme was received from the person named in my Department on 11 April 2013.

Single Farm Payment Scheme 50% advance payments will commence on 16 October. Processing of the 2013 application of the person named has recently been finalised and I expect that payment will issue to the person named as soon as possible after that date.

There is no delay in this case as under EU legislation the 16th October is the earliest date on which advance payments under the Single Payment Scheme may issue.

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments

Questions (168)

Dara Calleary

Question:

168. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will have their agri-environment option scheme payment finalised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42546/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named was approved for participation in the Agri-Environment Options Scheme with effect from the 1st November 2010 and full payments have issued in respect of the 2010 and 2011 Scheme years.

Under the EU Regulations governing the Scheme and other area-based payment schemes, a comprehensive administrative check, including cross-checks with the Land Parcel Identification System, must be completed before any payment can issue. During these checks in respect of the 2012 Scheme year issues were identified in relation to the Natura action. These issues have now been resolved and officials in my Department are finalising the application of the person named with the intention of issuing payment as soon as possible.

Single Payment Scheme Payments

Questions (169)

Denis Naughten

Question:

169. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reasons for an overpayment (details supplied) in County Roscommon; when the person was first informed of the overpayment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42553/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The overpayment in this case initially arose as a result of a discrepancy on a previous year’s Single Farm Payment. Following an appeal by the person named the original decision was reversed. When attempting to refund the amount to the person named an additional payment mistakenly issued. This overpayment, including interest, of €1,461.88 was recouped from the 2013 Disadvantaged Area Scheme Payment of the person named. An official in my Department has contacted the person named regarding the matter and a letter explaining the position will also issue to the person named.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

Questions (170)

Dan Neville

Question:

170. Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will expedite a disadvantaged area payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42625/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

As processing of the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme application has recently been finalised, payment will issue shortly to the nominated bank account of the person named.