Early Childhood Care and Education Expenditure

Questions (562)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

562. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the estimated first and full year cost of increasing the ECCE capitation grant by 10%; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16343/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

ECCE capitation rates were increased by 7% in September 2018. The table below outlines the first and full year cost of increasing these rates by a further 10%, with effect from September 2019:

 

Current cost of ECCE 

(existing capitation rates)

Total cost with 10% Increase

Increase

First year cost

(Sept – Dec 2019)

€125m

€137.5m

€12.5m

Full year cost

€295.5m

€325m

€29.5m

The above costings are predicated on registrations on the scheme achieving targeted levels in the academic years 2019/20 & 2020/21. These targets are based upon current projections of future uptake on this demand led scheme. Costs in future years may rise as more children avail of the second ECCE year (currently 75% take up).

Affordable Childcare Scheme Expenditure

Questions (563)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

563. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the estimated first and full year cost of increasing the affordable childcare subsidy for children under three years of age by €1 per hour; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16344/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The National Childcare Scheme will provide a universal subsidy of 50c per hour, up to a maximum of 40 hours per week, for all families with children under 3 years using registered early learning and care.  The universal subsidy is also available to families with children over three years who have not yet qualified for the free preschool programme (ECCE).  The tables below show the cost of increasing the universal subsidy from 50c per hour to €1.50 per hour, i.e. increasing the subsidy rate by €1. 

Due to the interplay between the universal and income-related aspects of the scheme, the cost estimates are arrived at by:    

- establishing the number of families with children under three years old (or over three but not qualifying for ECCE) by income bracket (2016 data supplied by CSO),

- profiling these families by reference to the age of their children,

- estimating the proportion of children in each income bracket and age range using registered early learning and care,

- calculating estimated subsidy rates based on income levels and age profile and

- applying estimates of the average hours used by age group for term time and non-term time.

The application of the subsidy at the existing levels (50c universal and the current targeted subsidy levels) assumes a level of dynamic change in terms of the numbers of beneficiaries.  This change is used at a fixed level throughout the estimates. In other words, increased subsidies may create behavioural changes by families which is not factored into the estimates below, for example, more families than expected may move from unregistered early learning and care services to registered services to avail of the higher level of subsidisation.

It should also be noted that the increase in the universal subsidy would benefit many children under three years who are in receipt of income-related subsidies.  This is because these children would now all receive a subsidy of at least €1.50 or higher per hour. 

Nov-Dec Cost (2019)

Universal Rate

€1.50

Additional Cost per annum

€7.17m

Full year cost (2020)

Universal Rate

€1.50

Additional Cost per annum

€43m

Irish Language

Questions (564)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

564. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs her policy in relation to ensuring all children in English medium crèches receiving funding from the State are given an opportunity in circumstances in which the parents agree to come into contact with the Irish language; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16376/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

My Department committed to continuing to support services wishing to operate through the medium of Irish and I am conscious of the value of supporting the provision of services in the Irish language to children at an early age. I am also aware of the role pre-schools can play in promoting Irish as a living language. In this regard my Department has collaborated with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in agreeing a comprehensive set of actions under the 5 Year Action Plan for the Irish Language 2018-2022.

These actions are in support of the overarching 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030, and are designed to affirm the importance that early learning and care settings have in encouraging the development and revitalisation of the Irish language. 

The aim of these actions is to build on the existing measures, supports and partnerships in place in the area of Irish-medium early learning and care, and to further improve these supports and services.  

Furthermore, First 5, the recently published ten year Whole-of-Government Strategy for Babies, Young Children and their Families contains two actions specifically related to the provision of Irish language supports to the early learning and care sector, which are to:

- Introduce measures to ensure that children in Gaeltacht areas have access to Irish-medium ECL provision, and

- Develop mechanisms to provide Irish Language supports to ELC provision where there are high proportions of children who are learning through the medium of Irish.

Much is currently being done in my Department to ensure improved communication with Irish-speaking childcare services. For example, in respect of the forthcoming National Childcare Scheme, the website and parent application will be available in Irish. Irish-speaking support staff will be available to answer parental queries, and communications in relation to the Scheme will also be available in Irish.

Training and materials for the Access and Inclusion Model that helps children with a disability to participate in the ECCE scheme are available through Irish.  Inspections operated by Tusla and the Department of Education are available through Irish, as are mentoring services from Better Start.

Community Childcare Subvention Programme

Questions (565)

Hildegarde Naughton

Question:

565. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of children that have benefitted from the universal childcare subsidy since its introduction in August 2017 by county in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16434/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

As part of its plan to make childcare more affordable, my Department introduced a universal subvention payment from September 2017. The Community Childcare Subvention Universal (CCSU) subsidy, worth up to €20 per week per child, is available for all parents who are not in receipt of any other childcare subsidy for children aged from 6 months to the first eligible point of entry to the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme.

CCSU registration/s by county (2017/2018 and 2018/2019) as at 29/03/2019

County Division

Number of unique CCSP services with CCSU registration/s

Number of unique CCSU children registered

Carlow

31

556

Cavan

44

886

Clare

75

1,159

Cork City

57

1,274

Cork County

173

4,571

Donegal

79

1,168

Dublin - Dublin City

266

6,841

Dublin - Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown

105

3,919

Dublin - Fingal

168

4,176

Dublin - South Dublin

137

3,505

Galway

176

3,332

Kerry

70

1,219

Kildare

105

2,644

Kilkenny

55

1,044

Laois

40

597

Leitrim

18

315

Limerick

75

1,906

Longford

22

317

Louth

67

1,228

Mayo

63

723

Meath

96

2,058

Monaghan

39

868

Offaly

36

508

Roscommon

37

620

Sligo

44

854

Tipperary

85

1,568

Waterford

50

864

Westmeath

40

825

Wexford

86

1,369

Wicklow

81

1,462

Total

2,391

52,025

Early Childhood Care and Education Data

Questions (566)

Hildegarde Naughton

Question:

566. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of children that have availed of the early childhood care and education scheme since September 2018 by county in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16435/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme is a free pre-school programme available to all children within the eligible age range. From September 2018, all children meeting the minimum age requirement of 2 years and 8 months will be eligible for a full two programme years. It provides children with a formal early learning experience prior to commencing primary school. The programme is provided three hours per day, five days per week, 38 weeks per year over two programme years.

ECCE contracted services and unique children registered by county (2018/2019) as at 29/03/2019 

County Division

Number of services in contract

Number of unique children registered

Carlow

50

1,311

Cavan

63

1,928

Clare

130

2,515

Cork City

78

2,470

Cork County

361

10,730

Donegal

135

3,293

Dublin - Dublin City

387

9,068

Dublin - Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown

180

4,491

Dublin - Fingal

308

7,839

Dublin - South Dublin

232

6,314

Galway

254

5,970

Kerry

124

2,956

Kildare

195

5,920

Kilkenny

94

2,151

Laois

77

2,205

Leitrim

31

708

Limerick

173

4,378

Longford

33

835

Louth

116

2,945

Mayo

124

2,816

Meath

193

5,406

Monaghan

60

1,287

Offaly

68

1,843

Roscommon

54

1,387

Sligo

65

1,341

Tipperary

160

3,543

Waterford

89

2,527

Westmeath

80

2,305

Wexford

135

3,603

Wicklow

160

3,522

Total

4,209

107,607

Childcare Costs

Questions (567)

Clare Daly

Question:

567. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 312 of 13 March 2019 and 1180 of 26 March 2019, the reason Tusla maintains that the national weekly costs for private providers of children’s residential services are set at €6,000 per placement per week when the most recent invitation to tender for these services (details supplied) advertises costs of up to €13,250 per placement per week. [16440/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, is responsible for the welfare and protection of children. This includes the provision of children's residential services for which Tusla requires to purchase services from private providers. The tendering for and purchase of residential placements from private providers is an operational matter for Tusla. I am referring the Deputy's question to Tusla for direct reply.

Youth Services Provision

Questions (568)

Denise Mitchell

Question:

568. Deputy Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the position regarding the implementation of the recommendations of the LGBTI+ youth strategy; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16539/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The LGBTI+ National Youth Strategy 2018 - 2020 was published on June 2018 and is a world first. It is a key commitment for the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) as part of the 2016 Programme for Partnership Government and is making a significant contribution towards the Government's broader commitment to continue to strive for the full inclusion of LGBTI+ people in Irish society. 

During the Strategy development process, DCYA engaged with a wide range of Government Departments and State Agencies in order to define the actions required to realise the Strategy's goals and objectives and ensure that they were developed in alignment with other key strategies and policies. A first annual report of cross government actions will be compiled in Q3 2019.

During the first year of implementation my own Department initiated actions to meet the objectives of the Strategy, including immediate provision of new and additional youth service provision to address gaps; a mapping of current LGBTI+ youth service provision at Education and Training Board (ETB) level; funding for 39 organisations across 16 counties for LGBTI+ Capacity Building initiatives and commencing a competition for young people up to the age of 24 to design a sticker for a wide range of organisations and businesses to use to declare their support for diversity, inclusion and visible representation of public support for LGBTI+. As part of goal 3, to develop research and data environment to better understand the lives of LGBTI+ young people, a tender to commission a landscape analysis of the existing research and data relevant to the Strategy was initiated and is currently under evaluation.

Counselling Services Provision

Questions (569)

Joan Burton

Question:

569. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if continued funding by the school completion programme under Tusla of the school counsellor currently being provided to schools (details supplied) will be committed to; if this vital service for these DEIS schools will not be abolished; if she does not accept the view that such therapeutic services should be cancelled in view of the fact they may be provided by the HSE, as these HSE services are not available to schools in Dublin 15; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16621/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The School Completion Programme (SCP) continues to deliver a valuable service for some of our most vulnerable young people at risk of early school leaving.

It was established in 2002 and became a programme operating under the Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) programme in 2005. Responsibility for the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB) which included the SCP was transferred to my Department on its establishment in 2011. Operational responsibility for the SCP was transferred to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency on its establishment in 2014.

Currently, SCP receives annual funding of €24.7 million. My Department works with the Educational Welfare Service (EWS) of Tusla to ensure necessary resources are available to support this programme and to ensure staffing levels are sufficient to deliver a high quality service to those young people most at risk of early school leaving. 

From the Programme’s inception under the Department of Education and Skills up to €5,000 per annum was allowed for therapeutic supports for crisis or emergency needs as they arose for SCP participants. This recognised that many of the SCP participants experience adversity in their lives.

It should be noted that the SCP does not have a responsibility for funding school counsellors and therapeutic services.  The SCP funding for school counsellors and therapeutic services were to be provided only in emergency or crisis cases for SCP participants.

Tusla (EWS) has advised me that they have reviewed the SCP plans submitted by the SCP project which works in Ladyswell and Corduff National Schools and there is no record of the employment of a school counsellor in plans submitted to Tusla for 2018/19 or in previous years.

My Department continues to work with Tusla (EWS) to ensure necessary resources are available to support the SCP programme. In recognition of the need for a strong policy platform for educational welfare services, including the School Completion Programme, I have requested my officials to establish a Task Group to support the further development and integration of these services. The work of this group is near completion and I am eager to ensure that output will result in a clear blueprint for the development of the three strands of the EWS, including the SCP so that its reach, resources and impact are maximised in supporting young people at risk of early school leaving.

Children in Care

Questions (570)

Brendan Ryan

Question:

570. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs her views in relation to practices at a children’s residential centre (details supplied) in relation to the management of curfews and unapproved absences with reference to a person; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16623/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The Deputy may be aware that I am not in a position to comment on individual cases. 

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, have advised that all children and young people within children’s residential centres have a placement plan which incorporates the management of curfews and unapproved absences.

All centres must adhere to the Joint Protocol for the management of children missing in care operated by An Garda Síochána and the Child and Family Agency.

I can confirm that the centre to which the deputy refers is a voluntary organisation, providing children’s residential services.  As such the centre has a signed Service Level Agreement in place with Tusla.  The centre is also registered and inspected by the Tusla Registration and Inspection Service.

Construction Costs

Questions (571)

Clare Daly

Question:

571. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 186 of 21 February 2019, when a reply will be issued from the OPW. [16626/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I am advised by the Office of Public Works that the company referred to by the Deputy were paid €56.4m for the construction works, completed in September 2016, on the National Children Detention Facility Construction Project carried out on the Oberstown Campus. 

Since then approximately €950,000 has been paid in relation to the replacement of doors in the newly constructed residential units in Oberstown. The original doors were deemed unfit for purpose due to unforeseen issues, including wilful damage by young people.

Dog Licences

Questions (572)

Danny Healy-Rae

Question:

572. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if the waiver of dog licence fees for persons with autism and disabilities that use assistive dogs will be extended; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16064/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Rural)

Under the Control of Dogs Act 1986, all dog owners are required to have a dog licence, with some very limited exceptions.

The Control of Dogs Act 1986 and the Control of Dogs Regulations 1998 provide for licensing and muzzling exemptions in cases where assistance dogs are kept and wholly or mainly used for the purpose of guiding a blind person or a person whose eyesight is so defective that he/she is unable to find his/her way without guidance.  The legislation does not extend to any other matter relating to assistance dogs.

I understand that the formal definition of ‘disability’ is broad and as such, setting clear and effective limits to the range of dogs to be exempted is complicated.  There are currently no formal plans to amend the Control of Dogs Acts in respect of assistance dogs, however, I have now asked my officials to consider the matter and to report back to me.

National Broadband Plan Administration

Questions (573)

Dara Calleary

Question:

573. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development when the identification process for sites (details supplied) first commenced and was completed; the agencies and Departments that participated in this exercise; the location of each of the 300 sites by townland and county in tabular form; if the sites have been published; if not, the reason therefor; and the cost of undertaking this identification exercise. [16765/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Rural)

My Department is working closely with officials in the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment to prepare Local Authorities for the roll out of the National Broadband Plan (NBP).

The process the Deputy refers to is part of the NBP preparation. It began during the summer of 2018 and is ongoing. The sites were identified by the Local Authorities and will provide important broadband access for public use.  The list of sites were shared with the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Communication, Climate Action and Environment.

The availability and suitability of all sites has yet to be confirmed and, as such, I do not propose to make their locations publicly available at this time.

As the Deputy will appreciate, initiatives such as these are complex and care must be taken to ensure that property owners and local communities are given the time to consider, consult and to ask questions.

To date, no money has been spent on this process. 

Carer's Allowance Appeals

Questions (574)

Peter Fitzpatrick

Question:

574. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when a person (details supplied) will receive a response regarding the reassessment of their carer's allowance. [16442/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

Carer's allowance (CA) is a means-tested social assistance payment made to a person who is habitually resident in the State and who is providing full-time care and attention to a child or an adult who has such a disability that as a result they require that level of care.

If a person is in receipt of another social welfare payment in their own right (other than unemployment payments or supplementary welfare allowance) or being claimed as a qualified adult on their spouse/partner's payment, a half-rate carer's allowance may also be payable as long as all the normal conditions for receipt of CA are satisfied.

The person concerned was in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance (JA) as a qualified adult on her spouse's claim up to 27 June 2017. As a result CA was paid to her at half-rate. 

Following the cessation of her spouse's JA claim it has been decided that the person concerned is entitled to full rate CA from 29 June 2017.

Arrears for the period 29 June 2017 to 10 April 2019 will issue shortly.

The person concerned was notified on 4 April 2019 of this outcome and of her right of review and appeal.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Social Welfare Benefits Eligibility

Questions (575, 578)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

575. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated take-up in the first full year of extending carers and illness benefit to eligible self-employed class S PRSI contributors. [16040/19]

View answer

Billy Kelleher

Question:

578. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question No. 234 of 29 November 2018, the estimated cost of introducing the proposals in question in the first year; and the full year cost of extending these benefits to the self-employed. [16111/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 575 and 578 together.

The issue of extending additional social insurance benefits to the self-employed paying class S PRSI was considered in the Actuarial Review of the Social Insurance fund (SIF) as at 31 December 2015, which was published on 18 October 2017. The review, required by legislation, was carried out by independent consultants, KPMG. It examines the projected income and expenditure of the SIF over the course of the 55 year period from 2016 to 2071.

The Actuarial Review calculated the approximate first year cost in 2019. The table below shows the estimated cost of extending illness and carer's benefits to the self-employed in the first year and the estimated cost in a full year as follows -

Illness

Carer’s

2019 (Full year)

€54m

€3m

1st year

€43.2m

€2.4m

Latest Departmental estimates show that in the first full year of extension of illness and carer's benefit to the self-employed it is expected that there will be approximately 8,300 extra recipients of illness benefit and 400 extra recipients of carer's benefit at year end. These estimates assume the same incidence rate of illness/caring as for the general insured population.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Live Register Data

Questions (576)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

576. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason for the fall in the number of persons on the live register in County Kildare since January 2018; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16095/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

There are number of contributory factors leading to the fall in the number of persons on the Live Register in County Kildare since January 2018.  By way of background and context, the live register in Kildare has fallen from a total of 9,983 in January 2018, to a total of 8,095 in January 2019 – that is a decrease of 19%.  Looking across Kildare, the decrease in live register was 17% in Athy (South Kildare), 16% in Newbridge (Central Kildare) and was 24% in Maynooth (North Kildare).  The average decrease over the past 12 months of 19% is slightly ahead of the national decrease of c. 17% over the past twelve months.

The Kildare economy is quite diverse with continued growth in retail, warehousing, logistics, ICT, bio-pharma, agri-food, equine and the services sectors, in particular.

The proximity of Kildare to the Dublin City is likely to be a significant factor in the growth of these sectors and the decline of the live register and a decline that is higher than the national average.  To put it in context, the Greater Dublin Area, a region that comprises Dublin and counties Meath, Kildare and Wicklow accounts for approximately 40% of the population of the State; generates approximately 53% of Ireland’s GDP and generates  approximately 59% of Ireland’s personal income tax revenue and almost 67% of Ireland’s corporate tax revenue.  The population of this area continues to grow and this too is likely to generate additional economic activity and employment opportunities. 

The Mid-East Regional Enterprise Plan has a well-established collaborative approach to create and maintain jobs involving the Chamber of Commerce, Third level institutes, private businesses, Enterprise Ireland, IDA, KWETB and my own Department.  Likewise, the Mid-East Regional Skills Forum provides a similar collaborative structure to enhance an understanding of employers' skills needs; and it aims to enhance the links with industry and education and training providers.  My Department is also represented on this group.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection continues to work with other Government Departments to implement the Pathways to Work Programme 2016-2020. Among a wide range of actions, we have increased the frequency and quality of engagement with registered Jobseekers; ensure that ‘work pays’ when people who are unemployed transition from welfare to employment; facilitate and advance recruitment levels from the Live Register; and operate the Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan.

Participation rates in the Community Employment Schemes in County Kildare is very strong and this offers an important mechanism for jobseekers to gain new skills while gaining valuable work experience assisting them in transitioning into full time employment.  Our activation programme is also enhanced by the contracted services provided by JobPath contractors (Turas Nua) and the Local Employment Service (LES) and Employability in County Kildare.

While it is difficult to highlight one specific reason for the fall in the live register over the past 12 months, these ongoing collective measures which build on actions from private enterprise, Government Departments and government supported agencies have collectively contributed to the on-going fall in the live register in Kildare.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Pensions Reform

Question No. 578 answered with Question No. 575.

Questions (577)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

577. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of the review of pensions affected by the 2012 contributory pensions changes; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16108/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

Since late September 2018, my Department has been examining the social insurance records of approximately 90,000 pensioners, born on or after 1 September 1946, who have a reduced rate State pension contributory entitlement based on post Budget 2012 rate-bands.  These payments are being reviewed under a new Total Contributions Approach (TCA) to pension calculation which includes provision for homecaring periods.

Wherever possible, reviews will be processed based on information already held by the Department. Where additional information is required about gap periods in a person's social insurance record, a written request will issue.  To date, over 36,900 requests for information have issued. 

Reviews commenced from 13 February 2019, the day after I signed the necessary regulations which, together with provisions in the Social Welfare, Pensions and Civil Registrations Act 2018, allow the increased payments to be made.  As at 2 April 2019, 13,915 reviews have been completed and outcomes issued.  Of these, 10,398 have resulted in an increase in payment and 3,517 continue to receive their existing rate. 

It will take a number of months to complete all the reviews due to the numbers involved and the individual nature of social insurance records.  Regardless of when a review is conducted, where an increase in payment is due, the person's rate of payment will be adjusted without delay and arrears paid backdated to 30 March 2018, or the pensioner’s 66th birthday if later.  Where a person's rate does not increase following a review, the person will continue to receive their existing rate of payment.  

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Question No. 578 answered with Question No. 575.

Social Welfare Benefits Eligibility

Questions (579)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

579. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question No. 233 of 29 November 2018, the estimated cost of introducing the proposal in the first year; and the full year cost of extending this benefit to the self-employed. [16112/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

In Budget 2019, I announced a new scheme which will provide a PRSI insurance based benefit to self-employed people who lose employment.  This measure will be introduced later this year and builds on other recent significant improvements for the self-employed such as access to invalidity pension and treatment benefits.  It is part of the Government’s aim of creating a supportive environment for entrepreneurship, including providing an income safety net to employees and self-employed alike.  

Applicants will have to satisfy the qualifying conditions for the new scheme including satisfying a PRSI contribution requirement.  The statutory conditions and requirements for the scheme are being worked through by officials at this time as part of the legislative process.

As with any new demand-led scheme it is difficult to estimate the numbers that will apply and qualify for the scheme. Factors such as labour market conditions and the prevailing economic conditions can affect the take-up of this scheme and as a consequence the costs. It is estimated that some 1,000 could benefit from the scheme in 2019 and approximately 6,500 could benefit at any point in time in a full year. It is intended that the scheme will be introduced in November 2019 with an estimated cost of approximately €2 million. The cost in 2020, which will be the first full year of the scheme, is estimated at approximately €31 million.

I trust that this information is of assistance to the Deputy.

Disability Allowance Applications

Questions (580)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

580. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a disability allowance application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16142/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

The person concerned submitted an application for disability allowance (DA) on 14 December 2018.  Their application, based upon all the evidence submitted, was disallowed on medical grounds as it was not found that this gentleman was substantially restricted in taking up employment.

The person concerned was notified in writing of this decision on 8 March 2019 and was also notified of their right to request a review of this decision or to appeal it to the independent Social Welfare Appeals Office (SWAO). No request for an appeal or review has been received.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the deputy.