Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Questions (162)

Barry Cowen

Question:

162. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide in tabular form a breakdown by county of the numbers of recipients of the senior alert scheme in 2011, 2012 and to date in 2013; the number of groups used to distribute the programme in 2011, 2012 and to date in 2013; the amount of money spent in 2011, 2012 and earmarked for 2013 and 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45289/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

My Department manages the Seniors Alert Scheme which encourages and assists the community's support for older people by means of a community-based grant scheme to improve the security of people over 65 years of age. The Scheme is administered by local community and voluntary groups with the support of my Department.

The aim of the Seniors Alert Scheme is to support independent living for those over 65 who live alone or with a person who is also over 65 years of age and of limited means. A key element of the Scheme is the provision of funding for a socially monitored alarm which supports this independence.

The tabular information requested in regard to the number of groups used to distribute the programme in 2011, 2012 and to date in 2013; the amount of money spent in 2011, 2012 and to date in 2013 on a county by county basis is available on my Department's website: http://www.environ.ie/en/Publications/Community/SeniorsAlert/FileDownLoad,26536,en.xls.

The following table outlines the expenditure and the overall number of beneficiaries from 2011 to date:

Year

Expenditure

Beneficiaries

2011

€2.43 m

7,910

2012

€2.52 m

9,142

2013 to date

€1.9m

8,439

The funding allocated to the Seniors Alert Scheme in 2013 is €2.35m, and I expect the full allocation to be spent by year end. This provision has been maintained in the Budget 2014. The numbers of recipients of the senior alert scheme on a county basis is not readily available from my Department; the information requested is being compiled and will be forwarded to the Deputy as soon as possible.