Fuel Allowance Payments

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Ceisteanna (372, 386)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_372">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joe-McHugh.S.2002-09-12/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Joe-McHugh.S.2002-09-12/image/thumb" alt="Joe McHugh"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joe-McHugh.S.2002-09-12/">Joe McHugh</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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<i>Roinn</i>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Joe McHugh</h4><span class="question-start">Ceist:</span>
<p id="para_2515" class="">372. <strong>Deputy Joe McHugh</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Social Protection</strong> her views on providing extra support or exemptions for widows-widowers-elderly single people-persons who fall just short of retirement, in response to the increase in the price of coal introduced 1 May 2014, and in view of married couples requiring the same level of fuel and coal as a single dweller, and furthermore, on the grounds that married couples can share the cost of property tax and the upcoming water rates; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21198/14]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-372_386">Amharc ar fhreagra</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="question" id="pq_386">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Charlie McConalogue"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">Charlie McConalogue</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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<i>Roinn</i>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Charlie McConalogue</h4><span class="question-start">Ceist:</span>
<p id="para_2516" class="">386. <strong>Deputy Charlie McConalogue</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Social Protection</strong> if she will consider increasing the fuel allowance to take account of the recent increase in carbon tax; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21320/14]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-372_386">Amharc ar fhreagra</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-372_386">
<h3>Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_485">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/image/thumb" alt="Joan Burton"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/">Minister for Social Protection</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-13/372/speech/485/" data-share-text="Fuel Allowance Payments" title="Share speech #485 by Minister for Social Protection"><i>Roinn</i></a></div>

<p id="para_2517" class="">I propose to take Questions Nos. 372 and 386 together.</p>
<p id="para_2518" class=""> Some 410,000 customers have received the fuel allowance of €20 per week for 26 weeks from October to April, at an estimated cost of €208 million in 2014. The allowance is subject to a means test and is paid only to those who live alone or with certain exempted people. </p>
<p id="para_2519" class=""> The electricity or gas allowance of €35 per month is also paid to 410,000 customers at an estimated cost of €230 million in 2014. This allowance is subject to a means test for those aged under 70 and is also paid only to those who live alone or with certain exempted people.</p>
<p id="para_2520" class=""> In addition, a person living alone and in receipt of a pension, a widow’s, widower’s or surviving civil partner’s payment or a disability payment from the Department may be entitled to the living alone allowance of €7.70 per week. </p>
<p id="para_2521" class=""> Older people approaching pension age in receipt of long-term jobseeker’s allowance (15 months or more in payment) may be entitled to fuel allowance. If they are in receipt of a widow’s, widower’s or surviving civil partner’s payment or a disability payment they may be eligible for fuel allowance and household benefits subject to meeting the qualifying criteria for these schemes. I am not in a position to extend the criteria for these schemes or the current value of the allowances.</p>
<p id="para_2522" class=""> There is a cost associated with the consumption of fossil fuels to the detriment of our environment and solid fuels have the highest carbon content of all fossil fuels. Given the environmental impact, it is important that they be taxed accordingly so as to encourage people to use other cleaner fuels.</p>
<p id="para_2523" class=""> It is recognised in the Government’s Energy Affordability Strategy that the best way to tackle fuel poverty in the long term is to improve the energy efficiency of the dwelling. The Better Energy Warmer Homes scheme, administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, delivers a range of energy efficiency measures to low income households vulnerable to energy poverty. Measures available include draught proofing, attic insulation, lagging jackets for hot water tanks, low energy light bulbs and cavity wall insulation, and are free of charge to the customer.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Free Travel Scheme Review

Question No. 374 withdrawn.

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Ceisteanna (373)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_373">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joe-McHugh.S.2002-09-12/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Joe-McHugh.S.2002-09-12/image/thumb" alt="Joe McHugh"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joe-McHugh.S.2002-09-12/">Joe McHugh</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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<i>Roinn</i>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Joe McHugh</h4><span class="question-start">Ceist:</span>
<p id="para_2524" class="">373. <strong>Deputy Joe McHugh</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Social Protection</strong> when the current review of the free travel scheme will be completed; when the new scheme will be in operation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21199/14]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-373">Amharc ar fhreagra</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-373">
<h3>Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_486">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/image/thumb" alt="Joan Burton"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/">Minister for Social Protection</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-13/373/speech/486/" data-share-text="Free Travel Scheme Review" title="Share speech #486 by Minister for Social Protection"><i>Roinn</i></a></div>

<p id="para_2525" class="">The current free travel scheme provides free travel on the main public and private transport services for those eligible under the scheme. These include road, rail and ferry services provided by companies such as Bus Átha Cliath, Bus Éireann and Iarnród Éireann, as well as Luas and services provided by almost 90 private transport operators. There are currently over 780,000 people in receipt of free travel. </p>
<p id="para_2526" class=""> Funding for the free travel scheme was capped by the previous Government as outlined in the National Recovery Plan 2011-2014. During this period it has not been possible to accept additional routes or providers within the scheme.</p>
<p id="para_2527" class=""> Given the increasing number of recipients and the funding pressures, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport and I established a working group with representatives from the two Departments, as well as the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the National Transport Authority to review the free travel scheme. The purpose of this review is to examine and report on the current operation and future development of the free travel scheme. The work of this group is expected to conclude shortly.</p>
<p id="para_2528" class=""> I appreciate the importance of the scheme and the value it provides to the hundreds of thousands of mostly elderly people who use it. I have no plans to introduce a new scheme.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="ak-summary">
<em> Question No. 374 withdrawn.</em>
</div>

Disability Allowance Appeals

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Ceisteanna (375)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_375">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Pat-Breen.D.2002-06-06/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Pat-Breen.D.2002-06-06/image/thumb" alt="Pat Breen"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Pat-Breen.D.2002-06-06/">Pat Breen</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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<i>Roinn</i>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Pat Breen</h4><span class="question-start">Ceist:</span>
<p id="para_2529" class="">375. <strong>Deputy Pat Breen</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Social Protection</strong> when a decision on a disability allowance appeal will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21207/14]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-375">Amharc ar fhreagra</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-375">
<h3>Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_487">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/image/thumb" alt="Joan Burton"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/">Minister for Social Protection</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-13/375/speech/487/" data-share-text="Disability Allowance Appeals" title="Share speech #487 by Minister for Social Protection"><i>Roinn</i></a></div>

<p id="para_2530" class="">The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 1st May 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.</p>
<p id="para_2531" class=""> 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.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Departmental Communications

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Ceisteanna (376)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_376">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Stephen-Donnelly.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Stephen-Donnelly.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Stephen Donnelly"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Stephen-Donnelly.D.2011-03-09/">Stephen Donnelly</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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<i>Roinn</i>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Stephen Donnelly</h4><span class="question-start">Ceist:</span>
<p id="para_2532" class="">376. <strong>Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Social Protection</strong> if any telephone calls in or out of her Department are being, or ever have been recorded; if so, if she will provide details of the systems used to record and store such calls; the cost to her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21240/14]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-376">Amharc ar fhreagra</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-376">
<h3>Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_488">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/image/thumb" alt="Joan Burton"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/">Minister for Social Protection</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-13/376/speech/488/" data-share-text="Departmental Communications" title="Share speech #488 by Minister for Social Protection"><i>Roinn</i></a></div>

<p id="para_2533" class="">In the past the Department did not routinely record telephone calls, with the exception of one sensitive area where callers are advised of the situation. </p>
<p id="para_2534" class=""> The call recording functionality in question is provided by the Department’s contracted supplier. Calls recorded are stored in a secure environment for 90 days and only a limited number of staff in the area concerned have access to the recordings.</p>
<p id="para_2535" class=""> The cost of this service, including the provisioning, recording and storage was €6,465.75 in 2013 and €3,762.50 to date in 2014.</p>
<p id="para_2536" class=""> In addition to the system outlined above, the Department assumed responsibility for the National Contact Centre (NCC) in January 2012 following the integration of employment and community services from FÁS. The NCC hosts the Jobs Ireland website, a recruitment website for jobseekers and employers. Employers and jobseekers contact the NCC for the purpose of posting job advertisements and applications.</p>
<p id="para_2537" class=""> All incoming calls to the NCC are recorded and all callers are informed that calls are recorded for quality and training purposes. The recording of the telephone calls in the NCC is done using the “Customer Interaction Centre (CIC)” product from Interaction Intelligence. The recordings are kept as data files on a local server located in the NCC. As the recording system is an integral part of the telephone system itself, there is no separate charge for this recording service.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Invalidity Pension Appeals

Question No. 378 withdrawn.

Question No. 379 answered with Question No. 358.

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Ceisteanna (377)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_377">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Martin-Heydon.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Martin-Heydon.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Martin Heydon"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Martin-Heydon.D.2011-03-09/">Martin Heydon</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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<i>Roinn</i>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Martin Heydon</h4><span class="question-start">Ceist:</span>
<p id="para_2538" class="">377. <strong>Deputy Martin Heydon</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Social Protection</strong> if an appeal in respect of invalidity pension in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare will be expedited; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21244/14]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-377">Amharc ar fhreagra</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-377">
<h3>Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_489">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/image/thumb" alt="Joan Burton"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/">Minister for Social Protection</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-13/377/speech/489/" data-share-text="Invalidity Pension Appeals" title="Share speech #489 by Minister for Social Protection"><i>Roinn</i></a></div>

<p id="para_2539" class="">I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an Appeals Officer, having fully considered all of the available evidence, has decided to allow the appeal of the person concerned by way of a summary decision. The person concerned has been notified of the Appeals Officer’s decision.</p>
<p id="para_2540" class=""> 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.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="ak-summary">
<em> Question No. 378 withdrawn.</em>
</div>
<div class="ak-summary">
<em> Question No. 379 answered with Question No. 358.</em>
</div>

Community Employment Schemes Review

Question No. 381 answered with Question No. 348.

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Ceisteanna (380)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_380">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Heather-Humphreys.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Heather-Humphreys.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Heather Humphreys"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Heather-Humphreys.D.2011-03-09/">Heather Humphreys</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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<i>Roinn</i>
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</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Heather Humphreys</h4><span class="question-start">Ceist:</span>
<p id="para_2541" class="">380. <strong>Deputy Heather Humphreys</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Social Protection</strong> if she plans to transfer community employment to Pobal from her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21278/14]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-380">Amharc ar fhreagra</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-380">
<h3>Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)</h3>
</div><div class="speech brief" id="spk_490">
<div class="c-avatar -debate -short">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/image/thumb" alt="Joan Burton"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/">Minister for Social Protection</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-13/380/speech/490/" data-share-text="Community Employment Schemes Review" title="Share speech #490 by Minister for Social Protection"><i>Roinn</i></a></div>

<p id="para_2542" class="">The management and administration of Community Employment and Job Initiative Programmes is under on-going consideration by the Department. No decision has been made to date.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="ak-summary">
<em> Question No. 381 answered with Question No. 348.</em>
</div>

Domiciliary Care Allowance Appeals

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Ceisteanna (382)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_382">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Noel-Coonan.S.2002-09-12/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Noel-Coonan.S.2002-09-12/image/thumb" alt="Noel Coonan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Noel-Coonan.S.2002-09-12/">Noel Coonan</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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<i>Roinn</i>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Noel Coonan</h4><span class="question-start">Ceist:</span>
<p id="para_2543" class="">382. <strong>Deputy Noel Coonan</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Social Protection</strong> when a domiciliary care allowance appeal will be finalised in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21305/14]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-382">Amharc ar fhreagra</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-382">
<h3>Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_491">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/image/thumb" alt="Joan Burton"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/">Minister for Social Protection</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-13/382/speech/491/" data-share-text="Domiciliary Care Allowance Appeals" title="Share speech #491 by Minister for Social Protection"><i>Roinn</i></a></div>

<p id="para_2544" class="">An application for domiciliary care allowance (DCA) was received from the person concerned on the 21st March 2014. This application has been forwarded to one of the Department’s Medical Assessors for their medical opinion. Upon receipt of this opinion, a decision will be made and notified to the person concerned. It can currently take 10 weeks to process an application for DCA.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Community Services Programme

Question No. 384 withdrawn.

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Ceisteanna (383)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_383">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Robert-Troy.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Robert-Troy.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Robert Troy"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Robert-Troy.D.2011-03-09/">Robert Troy</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="social-share">
<a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-13/383/question/383/" data-share-text="Community Services Programme" title="Share question #383 by Robert Troy">
<i>Roinn</i>
</a>
</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Robert Troy</h4><span class="question-start">Ceist:</span>
<p id="para_2545" class="">383. <strong>Deputy Robert Troy</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Social Protection</strong> the position regarding Pobal funding in respect of an organisation (details supplied). [21309/14]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-383">Amharc ar fhreagra</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-383">
<h3>Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_492">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/image/thumb" alt="Joan Burton"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/">Minister for Social Protection</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-13/383/speech/492/" data-share-text="Community Services Programme" title="Share speech #492 by Minister for Social Protection"><i>Roinn</i></a></div>

<p id="para_2546" class="">The community services programme (CSP) is designed to address gaps in service delivery and disadvantage and to ensure that community facilities are utilised. The programme is funded by the Department with day-to-day management of contracts undertaken by Pobal. Contract holders must deliver tangible services that are capable of generating non-public revenues from their operations by way of charging fees, sales and/or fundraising and other public funds. The programme is not intended to represent full-funding for any operation. Some €45 million has been provided for the programme in 2014.</p>
<p id="para_2547" class=""> Each contract holder is responsible for their own budgets, income, financial and other liabilities. Contracts are generally offered on a three-year cycle based on a business plan or similar submitted by the company. Continued funding is subject to satisfactory compliance with the programme’s operational requirements, financial position of the company, continued eligibility of the company and service, progress on delivery of the stated objectives in the business plan, and an assessment of a business plan for the following three year contact cycle. A regular review process is undertaken to ensure compliance with contract obligations, audit issues, continuing capacity of the organisation to manage public funds, the need for and quality of service delivery, sustainability, and value for money.</p>
<p id="para_2548" class=""> This company mentioned by the Deputy is involved in the provision of a range of services for older people in Mullingar. The company receives a funding contribution to employ a full time manager post and three and a half full-time equivalent posts valued at €98,616 pa. The operations were reviewed as part of a re-contracting process undertaken by Pobal in respect of proposed activities for the period 2014-16. The process involved the submission of business plans by the company and an evaluation of performance by Pobal before recommendations were made to the Department. The business plan submitted by the company was considered weak and did not articulate the need for the service or the value to be gained from the expenditure of public funds. Contrary to the requirements of the programme, the company’s business plan was predicated on near full reliant on CSP to fund its activities. The company is unable to generate sufficient income to fund overhead and activity costs</p>
<p id="para_2549" class=""> In the circumstances, the Department considered that the expenditure of public funds could no longer be justified. The company was advised of the outcome of the evaluation of the business plan. Pobal staff met with this company on the 5th of March to give feedback on why the decision was made. While the company was also given the opportunity to lodge a review of the decision, they have not done so to date. The contract with the programme is due to conclude at the end of June 2014.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="ak-summary">
<em> Question No. 384 withdrawn.</em>
</div>

Disability Allowance Eligibility

Question No. 386 answered with Question No. 372.

Questions Nos. 387 and 388 answered with Question No. 358.

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Ceisteanna (385)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_385">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Jim-Daly.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Jim-Daly.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Jim Daly"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Jim-Daly.D.2011-03-09/">Jim Daly</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="social-share">
<a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-13/385/question/385/" data-share-text="Disability Allowance Eligibility" title="Share question #385 by Jim Daly">
<i>Roinn</i>
</a>
</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Jim Daly</h4><span class="question-start">Ceist:</span>
<p id="para_2550" class="">385. <strong>Deputy Jim Daly</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Social Protection</strong> the position regarding an application for disability allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork; the reasons their payment is a reduced rate; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21317/14]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-385">Amharc ar fhreagra</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-385">
<h3>Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_493">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/image/thumb" alt="Joan Burton"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/">Minister for Social Protection</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-13/385/speech/493/" data-share-text="Disability Allowance Eligibility" title="Share speech #493 by Minister for Social Protection"><i>Roinn</i></a></div>

<p id="para_2551" class="">The deciding officer is awaiting a report from the social welfare investigator in order to determine the weekly means of the person concerned. The investigator has confirmed that the report will be forwarded as a matter of urgency.</p>
<p id="para_2552" class=""> A decision on the person’s application will be given on receipt of the social welfare investigator’s report and the person will be notified directly of the outcome.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="ak-summary">
<em> Question No. 386 answered with Question No. 372.</em>
</div>
<div class="ak-summary">
<em> Questions Nos. 387 and 388 answered with Question No. 358.</em>
</div>

Rent Supplement Scheme Applications

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Ceisteanna (389)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_389">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/image/thumb" alt="Bernard Durkan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">Bernard Durkan</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="social-share">
<a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-13/389/question/389/" data-share-text="Rent Supplement Scheme Applications" title="Share question #389 by Bernard Durkan">
<i>Roinn</i>
</a>
</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Bernard Durkan</h4><span class="question-start">Ceist:</span>
<p id="para_2553" class="">389. <strong>Deputy Bernard J. Durkan</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Social Protection</strong> if and when rent allowance will be paid in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Meath; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21344/14]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-389">Amharc ar fhreagra</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-389">
<h3>Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_494">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/image/thumb" alt="Joan Burton"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/">Minister for Social Protection</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-13/389/speech/494/" data-share-text="Rent Supplement Scheme Applications" title="Share speech #494 by Minister for Social Protection"><i>Roinn</i></a></div>

<p id="para_2554" class="">The client concerned is advised to make application for rent supplement to the Meath/ Westmeath Rents Unit if he is wishing to move to the Slane area. The application should be forwarded to the following address; <em>Meath/ Westmeath Rents Unit, Department of Social Protection, ORS Building, Marlinstown Business Park, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath</em>.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Departmental Offices

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Ceisteanna (390)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_390">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/image/thumb" alt="Bernard Durkan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">Bernard Durkan</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="social-share">
<a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-13/390/question/390/" data-share-text="Departmental Offices" title="Share question #390 by Bernard Durkan">
<i>Roinn</i>
</a>
</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Bernard Durkan</h4><span class="question-start">Ceist:</span>
<p id="para_2555" class="">390. <strong>Deputy Bernard J. Durkan</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Social Protection</strong> if she will ensure that the necessary resources are made available to ensure quick and efficient administration of counter services with particular reference to north Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21345/14]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-390">Amharc ar fhreagra</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-390">
<h3>Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_495">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/image/thumb" alt="Joan Burton"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/">Minister for Social Protection</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-13/390/speech/495/" data-share-text="Departmental Offices" title="Share speech #495 by Minister for Social Protection"><i>Roinn</i></a></div>

<p id="para_2556" class="">The Department of Social Protection delivers services to customers in North Kildare via a Social Welfare Branch Office located in Maynooth. Branch Offices are run by Branch Managers who are contracted by the Department to deliver its services in locations where the Department does not have an Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Local Office. </p>
<p id="para_2557" class=""> The Department is committed to the provision of suitable and accessible public offices that ensures privacy and comply with occupational health and safety standards and which facilitate access for customers with disabilities and others with specific needs<strong>.</strong></p>
<p id="para_2558" class=""> This commitment to the delivery of quality customer services also applies to Branch Offices and the Department maintains on-going liaison with these offices to ensure that suitable facilities are maintained in order to ensure delivery of appropriate levels of service to customers at all times.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Carer's Benefit Applications

Questions Nos. 392 and 393 withdrawn.

Question No. 394 answered with Question No. 358.

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Ceisteanna (391)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_391">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Michael-Ring.D.1994-06-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Michael-Ring.D.1994-06-09/image/thumb" alt="Michael Ring"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Michael-Ring.D.1994-06-09/">Michael Ring</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="social-share">
<a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-13/391/question/391/" data-share-text="Carer's Benefit Applications" title="Share question #391 by Michael Ring">
<i>Roinn</i>
</a>
</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Michael Ring</h4><span class="question-start">Ceist:</span>
<p id="para_2559" class="">391. <strong>Deputy Michael Ring</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Social Protection</strong> when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive a decision regarding their carer's benefit application; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21388/14]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-391">Amharc ar fhreagra</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-391">
<h3>Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)</h3>
</div><div class="speech brief" id="spk_496">
<div class="c-avatar -debate -short">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/image/thumb" alt="Joan Burton"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/ga/members/member/Joan-Burton.D.1992-12-14/">Minister for Social Protection</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/debates/question/2014-05-13/391/speech/496/" data-share-text="Carer's Benefit Applications" title="Share speech #496 by Minister for Social Protection"><i>Roinn</i></a></div>

<p id="para_2560" class="">I confirm that the Department received an application for carer’s benefit from the person in question on 24 February 2014. The person concerned has been awarded Carer’s Benefit. She was notified of this decision on 23 April 2014, with her first payment including arrears issuing on 1 May 2014.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="ak-summary">
<em> Questions Nos. 392 and 393 withdrawn.</em>
</div>
<div class="ak-summary">
<em> Question No. 394 answered with Question No. 358.</em>
</div>