Regional Aid

Questions (124)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

124. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the position regarding the inclusion of County Kerry in the map for future regional aid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15657/14]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

As stated in my reply to Parliamentary Question No. 86 of 27 March 2014, the Regional Aid Guidelines enable the State's industrial development agencies to pay grants, at enhanced rates, to businesses in order to support new investment and new employment in productive projects in Ireland's most disadvantaged regions. This helps the convergence of these regions with the more advantaged regions of the Union. All such grants come from the exchequer, i.e. there is no EU or other external funding.

During the Regional Aid Guideline process thus far, my Department has consulted relevant stakeholders including various Government Departments, the industrial development agencies, Údarás na Gaeltachta, Forfás, the Central Statistics Office, the Border Midland and Western Regional Assembly, the Southern and Eastern Regional Assembly, and the eight Regional Authorities.

It will not be possible to include all regions in the map. Instead, qualifying regions up to a maximum of 51.28% of the total population can be included. My officials have compiled the most up to date economic data for each region and county, including Kerry, in order to determine which areas will qualify for inclusion in a revised Regional Aid Map for Ireland. Relevant data includes comparative unemployment levels and GDP by county.

My Department has issued the proposed Regional Aid Map for Ireland to the Commission for consideration and approval. It would be inappropriate to disclose the contents of this submission until the Commission has finalised its consideration of the matter.

It is important to note that all of the Country, including those areas not entitled to Regional Aid, can qualify for other forms of State investment e.g. Research & Development Aid, SME Investment Aid, Training Aid, and Aid for Environmental protection etc.

Disability Act Employment Targets

Questions (125, 126)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

125. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Social Protection in view of the fact that persons with Down's syndrome are one of the most under-represented groups in the labour market, her plans to address this under-representation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15532/14]

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Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

126. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Social Protection her plans to promote the employment of persons with Down's syndrome and increase the number of persons with Down's syndrome in the labour market; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15533/14]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 125 and 126 together.

The Department provides a range of income and employment supports for people with disabilities - including those people with Down syndrome. In particular, the Department funds the nationwide EmployAbility service which provides the services of a job-coach for any person with a disability who wishes to avail of employment opportunities in the open labour market. Contact details for the local services are available on the Department's website. In addition, the Department also provides other employment supports, including the wage subsidy scheme and the workplace adaptation grant.

Jobseeker's Allowance Appeals

Question No. 128 withdrawn.

Questions (127)

Sandra McLellan

Question:

127. Deputy Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Social Protection when a decision will issue on a jobseeker's appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork who had an oral hearing on 3 March; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15453/14]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an oral hearing of the appeal of the person concerned took place on 3 March 2014 and that the Appeals Officer is now considering the appeal in the light of all of the evidence submitted, including that adduced at the oral hearing. The person concerned will be notified of the Appeals Officer's decision within the next two weeks.

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. 128 withdrawn.

Employment Support Services

Questions (129)

Eric J. Byrne

Question:

129. Deputy Eric Byrne asked the Minister for Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question No. 476 of 25 March 2014, if she will outline the budget allocation for each centre; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15459/14]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Department has contracted for the provision job club services with 46 contractors (local development companies/community organisations) to the value of €6 million for 2014. I do not intend to publish individual contract values as these are subject to negotiation with each contractor taking account of local circumstances. To publish these values might constrain the ability of the Department to negotiate best value for money in future years.

Domiciliary Care Allowance Applications

Questions (130)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

130. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Social Protection if a domiciliary care allowance will be granted to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15478/14]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

An application for domiciliary care allowance was received on 6 February 2014. The application was not allowed as it was considered that the child does not meet the eligibility criteria for the allowance. A decision letter issued to the customer on 1 April 2014 advising of this decision.

In the case of an application which is refused on medical grounds the applicant may submit additional information and/or ask for the decision to be reviewed or they may appeal the decision directly to the Social Welfare Appeals Office within twenty-one days.

Social Welfare Appeals Status

Questions (131)

Jack Wall

Question:

131. Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding an oral hearing in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15481/14]

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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 when 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.