Work Permit Applications

Questions (90)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

90. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation when a review will be completed in respect of a work permit application in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23855/14]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

A notification of a decision to revoke the permit issued to the person named by the Deputy on 15 May 2014. In accordance with Section 16 (3) and Section 16(4) of the Employment Permits Act 2006, the decision to revoke the permit in question shall not take effect until the expiry of a 28 day period following the notification of the decision to revoke. This is in order to allow either the employer or the permit holder to seek a review of the decision, as provided for under S. 17 of the same Act. At this point no such request for a review of this decision has been received by my Department.

Small and Medium Enterprises Supports

Questions (91)

Seán Kyne

Question:

91. Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the assistance being provided by his Department and agencies under the remit of his Department to small and medium enterprises in establishing an online presence and trading online; if there are country or region specific strategies; and the number of businesses which have availed of the supports in the past three years. [23946/14]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

On behalf of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR), and as part of the Government's National Digital Strategy, the Local Enterprise Office Dublin City recently conducted an Online Training pilot scheme targeting small businesses in the Dublin area. The pilot consisted of two 'trials', each of which were successfully completed; one was completed at the end of 2013 and the second in Q1 2014. Each trial involved the allocation of 25 trading online vouchers in a competitive process. In total, 50 businesses were successful in receiving a voucher worth up to €2,500.

Applicant businesses were selected based on their project plan which included their expected growth in jobs and exports. The pilot scheme attracted businesses across a wide spectrum of activity including retail, wholesale, product and service providers.

The scheme is now being scaled up in preparation for the national rollout. DCENR is working closely with Enterprise Ireland and with the Local Enterprise Offices across the country on the rollout plan. It is expected that the plan to scale up the scheme will see 250 vouchers being made available initially in Dublin City and County, Cork City and County, Waterford, Kerry and Louth in the second phase of the pilot scheme. It is intended that the scheme will be rolled out nationally during the coming months, with a target to issue vouchers to 1,000 qualifying companies by the end of 2014.

The Deputy should note that the National Digital Research Centre (NDRC), which is funded by DCENR, supports digital entrepreneurship through its successful digital start-up programme and in transitioning late-stage research into commercial business opportunities. Following investment to date of over €25m by the State, the NDRC has set up over 140 ventures which have created more than 300 high value jobs.

Enterprise Ireland (EI) works with approximately 3,500 client companies. Through its Internet Marketing Unit (IMU), EI is focused on helping its export-focused clients across all sectors to exploit the Internet as a route to market and to assist them in developing a strategy that will shape how they do business online.

The IMU provides a range of services, including strategic guidance, workshops and seminars and funding support including funding for an e-Marketing Improvement Assignment. The Unit has also developed a questionnaire to help clients to establish a baseline of their Internet Marketing activity.

Jobseeker's Allowance Appeals

Questions (92)

Pat Breen

Question:

92. Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Social Protection when a decision on a jobseeker's allowance appeal will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23720/14]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 28th March 2014. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant Departmental papers and comments by the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought. When these have been received from the Department, the case in question will be referred to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral appeal hearing.

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.

Respite Care Grant Applications

Questions (93)

Jack Wall

Question:

93. Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason a person (details supplied) in County Kildare is not in receipt of a respite grant; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23729/14]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

Examination of my Department's computer records indicates that an application for the Respite Care Grant has not been received from the person concerned, to date. An application form, together with a covering letter outlining the conditions for payment of the Grant, was sent to the person concerned on 30th May.

Invalidity Pension Appeals

Questions (94)

Martin Heydon

Question:

94. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will expedite an appeal in relation to invalidity pension in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23734/14]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was referred to an Appeals Officer on 15th April 2014, who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing.

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.

Widow's Pension Eligibility

Questions (95)

Patrick O'Donovan

Question:

95. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason an unmarried cohabitating couple, who have worked and paid social insurance in the past, lived together and raised children together and were on disability allowance with qualified adult allowance and one of the couple then dies, the widow's or widower's contributory pension is not payable to the survivor and no claim can be made in respect of the qualified children of the relationship; if the refusal to make a payment in such circumstances amounts to discrimination against the bereaved partner and children on the basis of the martial status; her plans for change in this area; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23760/14]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

In order to qualify for a widow's, widower's or surviving civil partner's contributory pension, you must satisfy certain social insurance conditions and be a widow, widower or (since 1 January 2011) a surviving civil partner and not in a cohabiting relationship.

The contributions must have been paid on one of the social insurance records and all must have been made before the death of the spouse/civil partner.

Once in payment, the pension remains payable while the person remains widowed or a surviving civil partner. Section 124 (3) of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 2005, states that "a widow shall be disqualified from receiving a pension if and so long as he or she and any person are cohabiting as husband and wife".

The legal context governing relationships such as marriage is regulated by the Minister for Justice Equality & Law Reform. Where that legal context changes, the social welfare code is examined for appropriate changes, e.g. the scheme was introduced for widows on 1st January 1936; it was extended to widowers on 28th October 1994 and extended to surviving civil partners from 1st January 2011.

Entering into a marriage or civil partnership is, inter alia, a legal act, which confers both rights and obligations on both parties, which do not exist in law between co-habiting couples. Widows, widowers and surviving civil partners, who become bereaved, therefore, lose someone who had legal duties towards them, and the social welfare code recognises this by providing a pension to them, subject to certain conditions.

In terms of income support, social welfare will always provide a safety net for those who most need it. Supplementary welfare allowance, administered by the community welfare service of the Department, is a means tested weekly payment subject to certain terms and conditions, which provides a basic income support to eligible people whose means are insufficient to meet their needs.

Social Welfare Appeals Status

Questions (96)

Pat Breen

Question:

96. Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Social Protection when a decision on an illness benefit appeal will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Clare. [23787/14]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

I am informed by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that, an appeal was registered on 16th April 2014, and in accordance with the statutory requirements, the Appeals Office has contacted the appellant and asked her to set out the complete grounds of her appeal. On receipt of her response the relevant departmental papers will be requested from the Department of Social Protection and the appeal will then be referred in due course to an Appeals Officer for consideration.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister of Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to social welfare entitlements.

Carer's Allowance Appeals

Questions (97)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

97. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection the progress to date in determination of appeal for carer's allowance in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23830/14]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The department received an application for carer's allowance from the person in question on the 29th October 2013. The application was disallowed on the 22nd January 2014 on the grounds that the care recipient is not so disabled as to require full time care and attention as prescribed in regulations.

The person in question appealed this decision and submitted additional medical evidence in support of their application. However, following review by a deciding officer of all the evidence in this case, the decision to disallow has been confirmed. All the relevant papers in this case will be forwarded shortly to the Social Welfare Appeals Office for determination.