Ministerial Advisers Remuneration

Ceisteanna (255, 256)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

255. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if he will provide details of all pay increases awarded to special advisers in his Department over the last two years. [18314/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Mary Lou McDonald

Ceist:

256. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Health if he will provide in a tabular format a list of all his special advisers pay and that of his Minister of State, to include each salary, name of employee above principal officer standard scale salary rate; and if he will supply the total pay bill for all his special advisers for 2012. [18328/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 255 and 256 together.

There have been no salary increases for Special Advisers in my Department in the last two years.

The information in respect of pay for 2012 is detailed below:

Minister

Advisor

Wholetime Equivalent

Salary paid in 2012 €

James Reilly

Mark Costigan

1

92,352

-

Maureen Windle

0.66

51,253

-

Sean Faughnan

0.33 *

23,231

Róisín Shortall

Maev-Ann Wren

0.5

33,367

* At date of leaving.

Total pay bill for advisors for 2012 was €221,354 (including severance pay and refund of PRSI).

State Bodies Establishment

Ceisteanna (257)

Niall Collins

Ceist:

257. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Health the number of new State bodies that have been established under the aegis of his Department since February, 2011; the number of such bodies subject to a sunset clause; the number of new public bodies currently being planned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18341/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

No new statutory bodies have been established under the aegis of my Department since February, 2011. With regard to bodies currently being planned, the Government is embarking on a major health reform programme which will impact on the number of health agencies overall. The reform programme is a significant undertaking that requires careful planning and sequencing and the final number and shape of health bodies in the health system will be determined by the reform process.

Roads Maintenance Funding

Ceisteanna (258)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

258. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if Kerry County Council sought a specific grant to carry out restoration repair work to the surface of the road at the crossing at the Minish Gates on the N22 Killarney/Cork road in view of the fact that the surface of the crossing is extremely rough; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18210/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects is a matter for the National Roads Authority (NRA) under the Roads Acts 1993 to 2007 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.  The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects is a matter for the National Roads Authority (NRA) under the Roads Acts 1993 to 2007 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.  

Within its capital budget, the assessment and prioritisation of individual projects is a matter in the first instance for the NRA in accordance with Section 19 of the Roads Act.

 Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy’s question to the NRA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you don’t receive a reply within 10 working days.

Dublin Bus Services

Ceisteanna (259)

Dominic Hannigan

Ceist:

259. Deputy Dominic Hannigan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans for Dublin Bus to serve Kilcock, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18021/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The issue raised is a matter for Dublin Bus in conjunction with the National Transport Authority (NTA) and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the company for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.

Taxi Regulations

Ceisteanna (260)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

260. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will review the regulations governing wheelchair accessible taxis; if his attention has been drawn to the implications of these changes for persons with a physical disability, particularly in rural communities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18095/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The regulation of the taxi industry, including issues pertaining to vehicle age limit, is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the Public Transport Regulation Act, 2009. The NTA is the lead agency with responsibility for implementation of the recommendations of the Taxi Regulation Review Report 2011.

The NTA carried out a consultation on vehicle standards as part of the Taxi Regulation Review which gave rise to recommendations for strengthening vehicle standards.

Action 10 of the Review Report recommends retention of the 9 year vehicle age limit that applies at licence issue or renewal for all new vehicles entering the fleet. For existing vehicles in the fleet licensed prior to 1 January 2009, these can operate up to the 15th anniversary of each vehicle's first registration subject to 6-monthly NCT testing and NTA licence renewal assessment. In the circumstances, there is no change in the vehicle standards required for incumbent licence holders.

An upper age limit has been applied this year for all wheelchair accessible vehicles, along with all other taxis and hackneys. The rule states that all such vehicles exit the SPSV fleet on their 15th birthday. An upper age limit has been introduced for replacement vehicles entering the fleet, such vehicles must not have passed their 10th birthday which is in line and equitable with, all other taxis and hackneys.

New vehicle standards, not retrospectively applied to incumbent operators, have been in place for replacement vehicles since the 1st of January 2012. Single side access is not mandated. Indeed, two-sided access was never mandated either. The new standards allow for certain modern "rear entry" vehicles that would previously not have been capable of being licensed.

Road Projects

Ceisteanna (261)

Finian McGrath

Ceist:

261. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if there are plans in place to provide funding for the continued upgrade of the N16/A4 route; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18200/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects is a matter for the National Roads Authority (NRA) under the Roads Acts 1993 to 2007 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.  The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects is a matter for the National Roads Authority (NRA) under the Roads Acts 1993 to 2007 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.  

Within its capital budget, the assessment and prioritisation of individual projects is a matter in the first instance for the NRA in accordance with Section 19 of the Roads Act.

 Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy’s question to the NRA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you don’t receive a reply within 10 working days.

Ministerial Advisers Remuneration

Ceisteanna (262, 263)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

262. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide details of all pay increases awarded to special advisers in his Department over the last two years. [18318/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Mary Lou McDonald

Ceist:

263. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide in a tabular format a list of all his special advisers' pay and that of his Minister of State, to include each salary, name of employee above principal officer standard scale salary rate; and if he will supply the total pay bill for all his special advisers for 2012. [18332/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 262 and 263 together.

The details of the special advisors in my Department and their pay in 2012 and 2013 is set out in the table below:

Name

Position

Salary in 2012

Salary in 2013

Brian Murphy

Special Advisor

€ 105,837

€ 105,837

Nick Miller

Press Advisor

€ 83,337

€ 86,604

Total

-

€189,174

€ 192,441

There are two special advisers appointed in my Department, Mr Brian Murphy and Mr Nick Miller.

The remuneration of Mr Brian Murphy, who is my Special Advisor, is set at the single point indicated. This was granted on an exceptional basis as he came from a position in the private sector in which he was considerably better paid than now.

Mr Miller is on the incremental Principal Officer salary scale.  He moved to the third point of this scale in March 2013.

As the Deputy will be aware, had the Croke Park II proposals been put in place, increments would have been frozen and both would have incurred a substantial pay cut this year as they earn more than €65,000. The Deputy's party actively campaign for a No vote.

Departmental Bodies

Ceisteanna (264)

Niall Collins

Ceist:

264. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of new State bodies that have been established under the aegis of his Department since February, 2011; the number of such bodies subject to a sunset clause; the number of new public bodies currently being planned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18344/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

On 31st December 2012, the assets and business of Shannon Airport were transferred from the Dublin Airport Authority to the Shannon Airport Authority (SAA) to allow for the future merger of SAA with a restructured Shannon Development.  It is planned to form a new integrated Shannon entity in public ownership at which point SAA will cease to exist as will Shannon Development. There have not been any other new bodies established under this Department's responsibility in the period since February 2011. 

In addition, a number of Public Bodies have been merged. Dublin Tourism has been merged with its parent body  - Fáilte Ireland. Coaching Ireland has been subsumed into the Irish Sports Council. The Government decided in May 2012 that Shannon Development’s tourism functions should transfer to Fáilte Ireland and this process is underway.

Dundalk Port Company was merged with Dublin Port Company on 12 July 2011.  Tralee and Fenit Harbour Authority transferred to the control of Kerry County Council with effect from 1 October 2011.  Baltimore and Skibbereen Harbour and Kinsale Harbour transferred to the control of Cork County Council, while Arklow Harbour transferred to the control of Wicklow County Council, with effect from 1st January 2012. The  Board of Harbour Commissioners ceased to exist in each case. The current intention is that the last remaining harbour under the auspices of my Department, Bantry Bay, will be transferred to a more appropriate governance framework over the course of the next year.

Further to the above, there are a number of agencies under the aegis of my Department that are planned to be merged or restructured under the Government's agency rationalisation programme. Details of these can be found on the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform's website http://per.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/Rationalisation-Details.pdf.