I propose to take Questions Nos. 552 and 553 together.
Since mid-2017, a range of charging options have been operated, which encourage householders to reduce and separate their waste, and provides flexibility to waste collectors to develop various service-price offerings that suit different household circumstances. Mandatory per kilogramme 'pay by weight' charging was not introduced. A Price Monitoring Group (PMG) was established in mid-2017 to monitor the on-going cost of residential waste collection to homeowners across Ireland as the ‘flat-rate structure’ was being phased out. While fluctuations in prices and service offerings have been observed, the overall trend has been relative price stability.
My Department has engaged with relevant stakeholders, including representative organisations such as Family Carer’s Ireland, Age Action, the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, the Irish Wheelchair Association, Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland and public bodies such as the National Disability Authority, the HSE and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection , in an effort to see how best to provide a financial support to persons with long-term incontinence with respect to the disposal of medical incontinence wear.
Notwithstanding the complex issues at play, which are understandable given the sensitive nature of the medical data in question, I would like assure the Deputy that I continue to be committed to addressing this issue.