Brexit Issues

Ceisteanna (315, 317)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

315. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the degree to which the trade section of her Department continues to establish and expand trading interests both inside and outside the European Union with a view to minimising the negative impact of Brexit; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21466/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

317. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the degree to which she expects trade opportunities for Ireland to improve in the coming months and years for whatever reason; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21468/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 315 and 317 together.

With a small domestic market, further expansion in other markets is essential to our continued economic growth. Overall, export growth in Ireland in recent years has been exceptionally strong and exports continue to contribute positively to growth. According to CSO merchandise trade and balance of payments data, total exports have increased by 58 percent since 2012 to €283.7billion in 2017. The outlook for global economic growth is positive in the short term. According to the OECD March Interim Economic Outlook, the world economy will continue to strengthen over the next two years, with global GDP growth projected to reach almost 4 percent in both 2018 and 2019.

The Government is intensifying its efforts, domestically and internationally, to support companies with a view to mitigating potential negative impacts of Brexit. Government’s national enterprise policy 'Enterprise 2025 Renewed', published in March 2018, was developed specifically through the lens of Brexit, recent international tax developments, the pace of technological advances and changes being introduced under the current US administration. Enterprise 2025 prioritises embedding resilience in the enterprise base, enhancing productivity, delivering quality jobs, promoting collaboration between Irish and foreign owned companies and harnessing the potential of innovation and talent across all regions.

In the 'Building Stronger Business' report, my Department set out a strategy to minimise risks of Brexit and maximise opportunities across four pillars of helping companies to compete, innovate, trade and to negotiate the best outcome for business. It sets out the range of diagnostic, advisory and financial supports that are being made available to companies to help minimise Brexit impacts and target new opportunities. Dedicated measures were announced in Budget 2018, including a new €300 million Brexit loan scheme for businesses and a €25 million Brexit response loan scheme for the agrifood sector. This is in addition to supports for capital investment in the food industry and Bord Bia marketing and promotion activities, amounting to over €50 million in total. The fund of €116 billion announced in Project 2040 for capital investment over the next decade will also allow the State and its agencies to properly plan major infrastructure projects which can accelerate economic growth and mitigate the impact of Brexit.

The Government’s Trade Strategy, ‘Ireland Connected: Trading and Investing in a Dynamic World’, supports an extensive programme of Ministerial-led trade missions, as part of a major drive towards market diversification. This includes markets that are growing and have scale as well as markets where we are already well established but with potential for further growth. We aim by 2020 to increase indigenous exports by Enterprise Ireland supported companies, including food, to reach €26 billion, achieve 80% of indigenous export growth outside of the UK market and secure 900 new foreign direct investments.

Enterprise Ireland delivered an impressive programme of international trade events in 2017, giving Irish companies the opportunity to meet with potential buyers and network with key influencers in countries around the world. In total, 57 internationally focused trade events were organised by Enterprise Ireland in 2017 including ministerial-led trade missions to Canada, Singapore, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and a major trade programme as part of the State visit to Australia and New Zealand.

In relation to 2018, the programme of ministerial-led trade missions and events has been finalised and published by Enterprise Ireland. Several events have already taken place, including ministerial-led missions to the USA in January, and Mexico and Russia in February. Missions to EU markets will be a priority focus for the 2018 programme, together with missions to key markets where the EU has or is negotiating free trade agreements. As part of the St. Patrick’s Day “Promote Ireland” Programmes, Ministerial visits around the world are organised to ensure that we use this exposure to maximise the promotion of Ireland's trade, tourism and investment interests. The Government has signalled its ambition to further enhance its overseas networks through the Global Footprint 2025 initiative, which aims to double the impact of our overseas presence through an increase in our enterprise agency global footprint and Embassy network.

As well as the global efforts supported by our agencies, key to our success has been our commitment to trade liberalisation in order to open new markets for our indigenous sectors. The EU has successfully concluded a number of important trade agreements with trading partners and is in the process of negotiating or upgrading its agreements with many more. These existing EU Agreements and new trade deals will continue to be very important for Ireland. With a small domestic market, further expansion in other markets is essential to our continued economic growth. In this regard Ireland will continue to support the EU’s ambitious programme of negotiating new Free Trade Agreements opening new markets Irish Firm’s goods and services and increasing export and investment opportunities.

Most recently, the EU–Canada Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) entered into force provisionally from the 21st September 2017. Irish companies may now take advantage of the all important provisions of CETA including the elimination of tariffs on almost all key exports, access to the Canadian procurement market, the easing of regulatory barriers and more transparent rules for market access. CETA presents new opportunities for Irish business and professionals to work and provide services in Canada.

On the 21st April 2018, the EU and Mexico reached an agreement in principle on a new trade agreement that will be part of the broader Global Agreement. The Agreement will provide a platform to increase Irish exports to Mexico where the current value is just over €2 billion per year with total imports of nearly half a billion euros per year. It will further remove industrial tariffs and important agricultural tariffs. This will be significant for Ireland’s important Agri-food sector especially for dairy, pork and poultry products. Ireland is a significant exporter to Mexico of powdered milk and milk derivatives but there are currently significant barriers both to increasing powdered milk exports and to commencing exports of fresh dairy produce. There are many exciting opportunities in Mexico for Irish businesses including manufacturing, automotive, engineering, telecommunications, ICT, aerospace, software and service and manufacturing technology. The Agreement will also open up public procurement markets to Irish businesses and remove technical barriers to trade which will reduce the costs of entry to the Mexican market.

The EU is continuing its negotiations with Mercosur and recently announced the successful conclusion of negotiations of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. The agri-food sector, in particular will see benefits from access to Japan’s highly valuable export market, with improved access for beef, pork, cheese and processed agricultural products. In addition the EU’s trade deal with Singapore is hoped to come into force by the end of the year.

During his September 2017 State of the Union address, the President of the European Parliament, Jean-Claude Juncker, proposed opening trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand. The draft negotiating mandates for Australia and New Zealand are currently being discussed by the Commission and Member States and I expect them to receive Ministerial signoff at the Trade Council of Ministers later this month.

Ireland will continue to support the EU’s ambitious programme of negotiating new FTA’s giving Irish firms expanded market access and a predictable trading environment in third countries. My Department has recently commissioned a study to examine the economic opportunities and impacts for Ireland arising from FTAs, both currently in place and in negotiation. The objective is to deepen our understanding of how Ireland can best take advantage of these opportunities, and ensure that our businesses are prepared to access new markets.

Economic Growth

Question No. 317 answered with Question No. 315.

Ceisteanna (316)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

316. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the extent to which her Department has identified specific targets for trade growth throughout the European Union having particular regard to the likely impact of Brexit; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21467/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

With a small domestic market, further expansion of our export sectors is essential to our continued and sustainable economic growth. Overall, export growth in Ireland in recent years has been exceptionally strong and exports continue to contribute positively to growth. According to CSO merchandise trade and balance of payments data, total exports have increased by 58 percent since 2012 to €283.7billion in 2017.

The Government’s Trade Strategy, ‘Ireland Connected: Trading and Investing in a Dynamic World’, supports an extensive programme of Ministerial-led trade missions, as part of a major drive towards market diversification. This includes markets that are growing and have scale as well as markets where we are already well established but with potential for further growth.

Within Ireland Connected, ambitious targets have been established for trade and investment. These include increasing our indigenous exports to reach €26 billion by 2020 - up by 26% from 2015, generating 30,000 more jobs in tourism by 2020 and €5 billion in overseas tourism revenues by 2025, and securing 900 new foreign direct investments in the period 2015-2019. Specifically, in relation to Brexit, the target is to intensify and diversify 80% of indigenous export growth to 2020 to be outside of the UK market and maintain exports of at least €7.5 billion to the UK.

In 2017, Enterprise Ireland launched its Eurozone Strategy as a key element of its supports to help companies diversify their export markets. In particular, it aims to increase exports to the Eurozone by €2bn per annum by 2020, equivalent to 50 percent increase. This would represent one of the most significant shifts in Enterprise Ireland supported client exports into the Eurozone and is particularly important in the context of Brexit.

More recently, Government’s Enterprise 2025 Renewed strategy published in March 2018 sets out targets for export growth and diversification within the indigenous exporting base, with ambitions to increase exports as a percentage of total sales of Irish owned companies from 52 percent to between 55 and 60 percent by 2020 and increase Enterprise Ireland client exports beyond UK markets from €14.1 billion to €17.4 billion by 2020. The strategy also targets a 50 percent increase in the number of FDI investments from non-US markets by 2020.

Question No. 317 answered with Question No. 315.

Departmental Contracts Data

Ceisteanna (318)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

318. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the value of contracts for goods or services from companies (details supplied) since 2010. [20846/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

My Department had a number of contracts with HP inc in the period in question. The value of these are set out below. My Department did not have any other contracts with the companies in question since 2010.

Year

Amount

2010

€362,513.83

2011

€194,399.75

2012

€5,673.25

Enterprise Ireland Data

Ceisteanna (319)

John Deasy

Ceist:

319. Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of applications for the high potential start-up feasibility study grant that have been approved by county to date. [20973/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

HPSUs are companies which have the potential to develop an innovative product or service suitable for export, and which have the potential to create 10 jobs and €1m in sales within 3 to 4 years of establishment. In 2017 Enterprise Ireland supported 90 HPSUs with an equity investment.

Enterprise Ireland’s HPSU Team works with start-up companies to ensure that they can avail of suitable supports to enable them to realise their potential. One of the financial supports that is available to companies is the HPSU Feasibility Grant.

The HPSU Feasibility Grant assists a new start-up company or individual entrepreneur to examine the viability of a new export oriented business or proposition. The objective of the study is to provide the necessary information to enable the promoter to reach firm conclusions regarding the project's viability, and set out investor ready plans associated with developing and commercialising the product or service.

Table 1 presents the number of Enterprise Ireland clients who have received payment under the HPSU Feasibility Grant scheme, segregated by county.

Table 1: Number of Enterprise Ireland clients who have received payment under the HPSU Feasibility Grant scheme, segregated by county.

County

No of EI clients Paid HPSU Feasibility Grant

Carlow

6

Cavan

<5*

Clare

8

Cork

52

Donegal

5

Dublin

341

Galway

30

Kerry

11

Kildare

16

Kilkenny

7

Laois

6

Leitrim

<5*

Limerick

16

Longford

<5

Louth

11

Mayo

10

Meath

9

Monaghan

<5*

Offaly

<5*

Roscommon

<5*

Sligo

6

Tipperary North

5

Tipperary South

<5*

Waterford

8

Westmeath

6

Wexford

<5*

Wicklow

16

Grand Total

588

* In order to protect client confidentiality, exact numbers are not released for counties that have less than five approvals.

IDA Ireland Data

Ceisteanna (320)

Maurice Quinlivan

Ceist:

320. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of properties and the number of acres of land owned the IDA in each county; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20982/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The availability of an adequate supply of marketable serviced land and buildings in advance of demand is a key element in the IDA's ability to compete for mobile foreign direct investment. The availability of property solutions allows projects to commence at an earlier date by diminishing much of the difficulties associated with land acquisition, planning and construction. It is, therefore, an important means by which the IDA can encourage and attract new investors to Ireland, particularly to the regions.

I am informed that IDA Ireland owns 29 properties across the country. 13 of these are currently occupied by IDA clients with a further 16 properties available for occupation by prospective or existing clients.

The IDA uses hectares as its principal unit of land measurement and the Agency's property portfolio consists of approximately 4,400 hectares which is made up of business and technology parks, industrial estates and strategic sites. Of this, approximately 1,100 hectares of land is available for marketing and around 3,300 hectares of land is currently in use.

IDA Ireland does not collate data on land in use by county. However, it does hold data on land available for marketing in each county.

The following tables provide the latest figures respectively of all IDA Ireland land available for marketing and the number of IDA owned properties that are either occupied or marketable to clients:

Table A: Available IDA Owned Land by County

County

Town

Land Address

Hectares Available

County Carlow

Bagenalstown

Bagenalstown

0.1555

County Cavan

Cavan

Cavan B&T Park

9.05

County Cork

Youghal

Springfield Estate

1.87

County Cork

Youghal

Foxhole

1.0063

County Cork

Skibbereen

Poundlick Estate

3.86

County Cork

Kanturk

Mallow B & T Park

0.6831

County Cork

Kinsale

Rathhallikeen

0.1298

County Cork

Kanturk

Pulleen

2.47

County Cork

Fermoy

Rathealy

0.9407

County Cork

Cork City

Cork City Kilbarry B&T Park

57.53

County Cork

Carrigtohill

Carrigtohill B&T Park

11.08

County Cork

Charleville

Rathgoggan Estate

1.86

County Cork

Bantry

Drombrow

1.9627

County Cork

Bandon

Laragh Estate

1.37

County Cork

Cork City

Ringaskiddy

149.32

County Cork

Cork City

Cork B&T Park

0.42

County Cork

Cork City

Ringaskiddy Estate

0.2023

County Cork

Cork City

Rossa Ave

0.1152

County Cork

Millstreet

Millstreet IDA Estate

0.1133

County Cork

Fermoy

Fermoy B & T Park

6.05

County Cork

Carrigtohill East

Cork Carrigtohill East

53.1576

County Donegal

Ballyshannon

Ballyshannon

1.0672

County Donegal

Donegal/Tully/Clar/B

Lurganboy

0.872

County Donegal

Letterkenny

Knocknamona

1.35

County Donegal

Letterkenny/Manorcun

Letterkenny B & T Park

19.33

County Donegal

Letterkenny/Manorcun

Letterkenny Lisnenan 2

0.38

County Donegal

Letterkenny/Manorcun

Letterkenny B & T Park

2.6282

County Dublin

Dublin 24

Dublin 24 - Whitestown Ind Est

0.56

County Dublin

Dublin 11

Dublin 11 - Poppintree Ind. Est.

3.78

County Dublin

Blanchardstown

Cruiserath

27.1925

County Dublin

Blanchardstown

Blanchardstown B & T Park

10.4956

County Dublin

Dublin 12

Dubl 12 - Ballymount Ind. Est.

0.0249

County Dublin

Swords

Swords Bus. Park, Greenfields

2.04

County Dublin

Dublin 5

Belcamp - B & T Park

46.44

County Galway

Tuam

Tuam Business Park

1.4794

County Galway

Roundstone

Roundstone

1.42

County Galway

Mountbellew/Ballygar

Mountbellew Business Park

0.1979

County Galway

Gort

Gort Business Park

1.1217

County Galway

Glenamaddy

Glenamaddy Business Park

0.9105

County Galway

Galway City

Parkmore B&T Park (W&E)

26.75

County Galway

Ballygar

Ballygar Site

3.4398

County Galway

Ballinasloe

Ballinasloe B&T Park

8.88

County Galway

Tuam

Tuam Science & Technology Park

9.92

County Galway

Galway City

Oranmore Science & Tech Park

26.78

County Galway

Athenry

Athenry

92.4351

County Kerry

Killorglin

Farrantoreen

0.74

County Kerry

Killarney

Killarney B&T Park

1.14

County Kerry

Tralee

Acq c.1.0Ha Tralee

1

County Kildare

Newbridge

Newbridge Business Park

2.9339

County Kilkenny

Kilkenny

Purcellsinch Ind. Park

3.95

County Kilkenny

Kilkenny/Bennetsbrid

Kilkenny B&T Park

13.4

County Kilkenny

Belview

Belview

22.8

County Laois

Portlaoise

Portlaoise B&T Park

9.62

County Leitrim

Carrick-On-Shannon

Carrick-On-Shannon B & T Park

6.4

County Leitrim

Carrick-On-Shannon

Carrick-On-Shannon

0.1845

County Leitrim

Drumshanbo

Drumshanbo

0.2238

County Leitrim

Manorhamilton

Manorhamilton

0.9264

County Leitrim

Manorhamilton

Carrickleitrim

0.4208

County Leitrim

Mohill

Mohill

2.0693

County Limerick

Limerick

The National Technology Park

64.72

County Limerick

Limerick

Raheen Business Park

53.86

County Longford

Longford

Aghafad

2.0272

County Longford

Longford

Longford Industrial Estate

1.0176

County Louth

Greenore

Greenore

0.0272

County Louth

Dundalk

Dundalk Finnabair B&T Park

5.74

County Louth

Dundalk/Ravensdale

Dundalk Mullagharlin East

12.8

County Louth

Dundalk

Dundalk Mullagharlin

44.175

County Louth

Drogheda

Drogheda B&T Park

22.53

County Mayo

Ballina

Ballina Business Park

0.6

County Mayo

Bangor Erris

Bango Erris Industrial Park

0.607

County Mayo

Castlebar

Castlebar B&T Park

3.0897

County Mayo

Foxford

Foxford Business Park

0.6798

County Mayo

Ballina

Ballina

10.6141

County Meath

Navan Boyerstown Bro

Navan B&T Park

24.21

County Monaghan

Monaghan

Monaghan Business Park

7.53

County Offaly

Tullamore

Tullamore Industrial Estate

0.3541

County Offaly

Tullamore

Tullamore B&T Park

8

County Offaly

Clara

Clara

0.4872

County Roscommon

Roscommon

Roscommon B&T Park

4.63

County Roscommon

Castlerea

Station Rd

1.1735

County Sligo

Sligo

Cleveragh Business Park

0.3035

County Sligo

Easkey

Easkey Business Park

0.0611

County Sligo

Sligo

Finisklin B & T Park

10.97

County Sligo

Sligo

Sligo - Oakfield Site

31.3186

County Tipperary

Tipperary

Knockanrawley

2.08

County Tipperary

Clonmel

Clonmel Bus Park

20.071

County Waterford

Waterford

Waterford Industrial Estate

5.19

County Waterford

Waterford

Waterford B&T Park

23.88

County Waterford

Dungarvan

Dungarvan B & T Park

11.5675

County Westmeath

Mullingar

Clonmore Ind. Est.

6.8

County Westmeath

Athlone

Athlone B&T Park Garrycastle

11.3647

County Westmeath

Athlone

Garrankesh Estate

0.0926

County Westmeath

Mullingar

Mullingar B&T Park

22.5

County Wexford

Wexford

Wexford B&T Park

3.14

County Wexford

Wexford

Wexford Whitemills

0.066

County Wexford

Enniscorthy

Moyne Upper

0.39

County Wicklow

Arklow

Arklow Kilbride

0.1197

County Wicklow

Greystones

Greystones B&T Park

17.93

County Wicklow

Arklow

Arklow B&T Park

14.56

Table B: IDA Owned Properties by County

County

Occupied

Marketable

Total

Carlow

0

0

0

Cavan

0

0

0

Clare

0

0

0

Cork

0

3

3

Donegal

0

0

0

Dublin

3

0

3

Galway

3

2

5

Kerry

3

3

6

Kildare

0

0

0

Kilkenny

0

0

0

Laois

0

0

0

Leitrim

0

0

0

Limerick

0

0

0

Longford

0

0

0

Louth

0

0

0

Mayo

1

1

2

Meath

0

0

0

Monaghan

0

0

0

Offaly

1

0

1

Roscommon

0

0

0

Sligo

1

1

2

Tipperary

0

1

1

Waterford

0

3

3

Westmeath

1

1

2

Wexford

0

0

0

Wicklow

0

1

1

Total

13

16

29

Brexit Supports

Ceisteanna (321)

Maurice Quinlivan

Ceist:

321. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of applications that have been received to date for loans under the Brexit loan scheme; the number of these that have been granted; the value of loans approved to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20997/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Brexit Loan Scheme provides affordable working capital to eligible businesses with up to 499 employees that are or will be Brexit impacted and meet the scheme criteria. Participating finance providers are the Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank with Allied Irish Bank following in June.

The scheme features a two-stage application process. First, businesses must apply to the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) to confirm their eligibility for the scheme. This initial application process requires businesses to use guidelines provided on the SBCI website to determine if they are eligible, and if so, to complete the eligibility form. As part of the process, businesses must submit a business plan, demonstrating the means by which they intend to innovate, change or adapt to meet the challenges posed by Brexit. The SBCI assesses these applications and successful applicants receive an eligibility reference number.

Successful applicants can then apply for a loan under the scheme with one of the participating finance providers using their eligibility reference number. Approval of loans are subject to the finance providers own credit policies and procedures.

The Scheme was launched on 28 March, and it is too early yet for businesses to have completed both application processes. Metrics detailing the uptake of the scheme will be available at the end of Quarter 2, 2018.

IDA Ireland

Ceisteanna (322, 323)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

322. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the reason the newly built IDA advanced factory in Castlebar remains empty; and the steps she has taken and is planning to take to find a tenant for the factory and to bring jobs to Castlebar. [21069/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

323. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of IDA visits that have taken place to the newly built IDA advanced factory in Castlebar, County Mayo; and the work the IDA is undertaking to bring jobs to Castlebar. [21070/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 322 and 323 together.

IDA Ireland’s primary regional development goal, as set out in its current strategy, is to increase investment by 30% to 40% in every region of Ireland. An important way for the Agency to deliver on this goal is to help potential overseas investors in the regions find suitable commercial property. With that aim in mind, the IDA launched its Regional Property Programme (RPP) in 2015 to ensure a better supply of commercial properties suitable for investment outside Dublin.

As well as upgrading existing buildings and acquiring strategic sites suitable for foreign direct investment (FDI), the RPP includes the construction of nine advance facilities around the country. Two such facilities were constructed and completed in Athlone and Waterford in 2014 and early 2015. Further buildings were completed last year, including in Castlebar. The facility in the town is now being actively marketed to potential investors by the Agency. Whilst there have been two site visits to County Mayo as of the first quarter of 2018, data on IDA Ireland site visits is collated on a county-by-county basis only. Information on the number of site visits to specific locations in individual counties is therefore unavailable.

It is the case that the overall FDI trends in Mayo are positive, with 16 IDA supported companies employing 4,462 people in the County. In the last two years, two notable successes have been the Coca-Cola Company announcing an investment of €26 million in its Ballina operations and Fort Wayne Metals Ireland announcing a €10 million expansion of its production operations in Castlebar. The County experienced a 26% increase in FDI related employment from 2012 to 2017 and the IDA is working hard to create further employment opportunities there.

Departmental Staff Data

Ceisteanna (324)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

324. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of staff in her Department assigned solely or primarily to work on North-South issues; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21257/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Unit of my Department that leads on North-South issues is situated within the Innovation & Investment Division. That Unit’s primary responsibility, when it comes to North-South issues, is optimising cross-border enterprise collaboration, mainly through support of and engagement with InterTrade Ireland. Notwithstanding that there is a specific Unit with designated responsibility for this area, all teams across the Department, including Brexit Unit, have cognisance of North-South issues insofar as they relate to their respective policy areas.

The following table sets out the staff who have north south issues as part of their responsibilities:

Grade

No.

Principal Officer

1

Assistant Principal Officer

1

Higher Executive Officer

1

Clerical Officer

1

Total

4

Workplace Relations Commission

Ceisteanna (325)

Mick Barry

Ceist:

325. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 200 and 201 of 1 May 2018, the amount of wages recovered in regard to the 281 Marine Survey Office inspections; the category of payments, for example, basic pay, holiday pay, sick pay and overtime; and the amount recovered in each of the years 2016, 2017 and to date in 2018. [21374/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

Under the Atypical Worker Scheme introduced in February 2016 for non-EEA workers engaged on certain Irish-registered fishing vessels, workers are entitled to a minimum weekly payment amounting to 39 hours at the National Minimum hourly rate of pay. Under employment law generally these workers are entitled to public holiday, annual leave and other benefits.

The 281 inspections referred to in the replies of 1 May 2018 relate to inspections undertaken by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) across the 186 vessels which come within the remit of the Atypical Scheme.

The WRC has completed and closed off their current investigations in relation to 114 of these vessels, of which 48 employed non-EEA fishers under the terms of the Atypical Worker Permission Scheme. In the case of 6 of this 48, the WRC detected contraventions involving unpaid wages and to date €7,984 has been secured for those employees. Of this, €6,990 related to illegal deductions, €561 for failure to pay the National Minimum Wage and €433 for holiday entitlements. These amounts were secured in 2017.

The work of the WRC is continuing in relation to open cases on the remainder of the 186 vessels within the scheme in relation to undertaking inspections and enquiries, working with owners to address contraventions and, where relevant, securing any unpaid wages due to employees. Proceedings are taken against vessel owners who fail to engage or to address contraventions.

Enterprise Ireland Funding

Ceisteanna (326)

Maurice Quinlivan

Ceist:

326. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the amount of funding allocated to Enterprise Ireland’s Market Discovery Fund; the number of applications for this grant to date; the number of applications granted; the funding granted to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21413/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

Enterprise Ireland believes that the best way for Irish companies to withstand current global economic challenges is by diversifying their export footprint. One of the new supports that Enterprise Ireland has introduced to encourage companies to enter new markets is the Market Discovery Fund.

Launched in January 2018, the Market Discovery Fund aims to encourage companies to expand into new markets by helping with the costs of researching viable and sustainable market entry strategies.

The Fund provides support towards both internal and external costs incurred by companies when researching new markets for products and services. Eligible companies can receive support when they are looking at a new geographic market for an existing product/service, or when looking at exporting a new product/service to a market that they already do business in.

The Market Discovery Fund is available across three levels:

- Level 1: Grant up to €35K

- Level 2: Grant greater than €35K but less than €75K

- Level 3: Grant greater than €75K but less than €150K

The maximum funding is 50% of eligible expenditure up to a maximum grant of €150,000. Eligible expenditure includes, but is not limited to, salary support, consultancy costs, trade fair costs and foreign travel.

The Market Discovery Fund has been open for applications for a number of weeks. To date, nine Market Discovery Grants have been approved. Applications can be at various stages of informal discussion before they are formally received and approved, so it is not possible to give a meaningful number in this regard

Enterprise Ireland only report on funding that has been drawn down, and as the Fund is newly launched no companies have reached this stage to date.

EU Directives

Ceisteanna (327)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

327. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if she will request that the EU cultural and energy directorates maintain the exemption (details supplied) afforded to all stage lighting equipment from legislations which would prohibit their manufacturing and sale. [21422/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation is responsible for the implementation of the Ecodesign Directive and associated Implementing Measures into Irish law.

The European Commission is working on a single lighting regulation under the Ecodesign Directive framework. The proposed regulation is intended to replace the existing Ecodesign Lighting Regulations 244/2009, 245/2009 and 1194/2012.

The EU regulatory process to develop the proposal is ongoing and involves significant stakeholder consultation. Exemptions for several specialist lighting applications, including stage lighting, and how best to define these exemptions without creating loopholes to the regulation, are being considered by the EU as part of this process.

It is expected that the regulation will be adopted by the EU Commission towards the end of 2018.

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation is fully aware of the concerns raised in relation to changes to the status of exemptions for specialist lighting applications. The Department continues to monitor the progress of the draft regulation and is represented at meetings between the European Commission and Member States on the proposal.

State Claims Agency Data

Ceisteanna (328)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

328. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the number of cases related to medical negligence that the State Claims Agency resolved through mediation; the number that were resolved after a court case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20959/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The management of clinical indemnity and general insurance claims has been delegated to the State Claims Agency under Section 9 of the National Treasury Management (Amendment) Act 2000. The Agency has a statutory mandate to investigate and manage these claims to completion. It has provided the following information to my Department in respect of claims settled following court cases or by mediation since 2014 as this is when the reporting under the National Incident Management System (NIMS) went live.

The Agency has stated that 98% of all cases managed by it are resolved without the need for a contested court hearing.

These tables show claims which have been concluded / finalised by the Agency on behalf of healthcare enterprises. They include claims directly related to clinical care and other related general claims (e.g. psychological claims arising from clinical care treatment).

The Agency defines case conclusion date as the date the case has reached its outcome whereby damages have been agreed, either through settlement discussions or court award etc. The issue of costs can be outstanding.

Claim finalised date means the date on which the claim has been finalised, i.e. all financials have been agreed (but not necessarily paid). There may be outstanding payments to be processed.

Since 2014, there were 40 claims resulting from clinical care that have been fully finalised by way of a court ruling (court award or case dismissed).

Year of Date Claim Finalised

Total

2014

7

2015

11

2016

9

2017

11

2018

2

Grand Total

40

The Agency has concluded 122 cases where mediation has taken place since 2014. Some of these claims have yet to be fully finalised as there may be outstanding payments to be agreed / processed.

Year of Date Case Concluded

Total

2014

17

2015

11

2016

36

2017

41

2018

17

Grand Total

122

Transport Support Scheme

Ceisteanna (329)

Willie O'Dea

Ceist:

329. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Health his plans to establish a new scheme in relation to the motorised transport grant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20963/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Deputy will be familiar with the background to the closure of both the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant schemes in February 2013. Since the closure of the Mobility Allowance, the Government has directed that the Health Service Executive should continue to pay an equivalent monthly payment of up to €208.50 per month to the 4,133 people in receipt of the Mobility Allowance, on an interim basis, pending the establishment of a new Transport Support Scheme.

The Government decided that the detailed preparatory work required for a new Transport Support Scheme and associated statutory provisions should be progressed by the Minister for Health. The Programme for a Partnership Government acknowledges the ongoing drafting of primary legislation for a new Transport Support Scheme to assist those with a disability to meet their mobility costs. The Health (Transport Support) Bill is on the list of priority legislation for publication in the Spring/Summer session 2018. I can confirm that work on the policy proposals for the new Scheme is at an advanced stage. The proposals seek to ensure that:

- There is a firm statutory basis to the Scheme's operation;

- There is transparency and equity in the eligibility criteria attaching to the Scheme;

- Resources are targeted at those with greatest needs; and

- The Scheme is capable of being costed and is affordable on its introduction and on an ongoing basis.

My colleague, the Minister for Health and I recently brought a proposal to Government for a Transport Support Payment Scheme. Following consideration of the proposal by Government, it was agreed that we withdraw the Memorandum and to revert back with a revised proposal to reflect the discussion in due course.

With regard to the Motorised Transport Grant, this scheme operated as a means-tested grant to assist persons with severe disabilities with the purchase or adaptation of a car, where that car was essential to retain employment. The maximum Motorised Transport Grant, which was payable once in any three year period, was €5,020. Following the closure of the scheme in February 2013, no further Motorised Transport Grants have been payable.

It is important to note that the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers scheme operated by the Revenue Commissioners, remains in place. This scheme provides VRT and VAT relief, an exemption from road tax and a fuel grant to drivers and passengers with a disability, who qualify under the relevant criteria set out in governing regulations made by the Minister for Finance. Specifically adapted vehicles driven by persons with a disability are also exempt from payment of tolls on national roads and toll bridges. Transport Infrastructure Ireland has responsibility for this particular scheme.

There are improvements in access to a range of transport support schemes available to persons with disabilities in the State and on-going work is being carried out by Government Departments, agencies and transport providers to further improve access to public transport services. Under the National Disability Inclusion Strategy, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has responsibility for the continued development of accessibility and availability of public transport for people with a disability.

State Claims Agency

Ceisteanna (330)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

330. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health if he will instruct the State Claims Agency to take a similar approach to cases involving damage by a drug (details supplied) [20793/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I cannot comment on individual cases or matters that are the subject of litigation but can provide background information on this litigation and clarify matters that are already in the public domain.

As of 9 May 2018, legal proceedings against the Minister, the Health Services Executive and GlaxoSmithKline Biological SA have been initiated by seventy individuals. The plaintiffs allege personal injury in which they claim the development of narcolepsy resulted from the administration of the H1N1 pandemic vaccine. The management of the cases transferred to the State Claims Agency (SCA) on 15 October 2013 when the Taoiseach signed the National Treasury Management Agency (Delegation of Claims Management Functions) (Amendment) Order 2013.

I have been informed by the Agency that the cases are before the courts in relation to the management of discovery in the lead case. It would not be appropriate for a Minister to interfere in the courts case management of these claims which are delegated to the SCA for management.

With regard to the broader issue, I am continuing to engage with the Minister for Justice and the Minister for Finance on what further improvements can be made to the legal framework governing the management of medical negligence cases.

Patient Transport

Ceisteanna (331)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

331. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the protocols for transporting patients between two facilities (details supplied); if it is standard practice for residents in this rehabilitation facility to have to cover the cost of specialised transport, for example, wheelchair accessible taxis to and from hospital follow-up appointments when the person is an inpatient receiving rehabilitative treatment; his views on whether it is acceptable for patients such as this to have to cover these transport costs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20795/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service issue, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (332)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

332. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of a hospital appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20797/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.

The National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, January 2014, has been developed to ensure that all administrative, managerial and clinical staff follow an agreed national minimum standard for the management and administration of waiting lists for scheduled care. This policy, which has been adopted by the HSE, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists.

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.