Visa Applications

Ceisteanna (190)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

190. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when a new application to join a spouse will be considered in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44592/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Parliamentary Question No. 587 of 11 September 2017 (copied below for reference).  I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that they have no record of a new visa application from the person referred to.

Reply to Parliamentary Question No. 587 of 11 September 2017.

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the visa application referred to was refused on 6 February 2017.  An appeal was subsequently made against this decision, and refused on 26 July 2017. This decision was communicated to the applicant.

No further applications have been made.  If one is made, the applicant should bear in mind the original refusal reasons communicated to them and be in a position to address them.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to  the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

In addition, applicants may themselves e-mail queries directly to INIS (visamail@justice.ie).

Immigration Policy

Ceisteanna (191)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

191. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the changes pending in relation to undocumented or long-time residents here that have been in this jurisdiction for a considerable time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44593/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The policy of the State remains that there are no plans to introduce a general regularisation scheme for those who are currently resident in the State without a valid residency permission, commonly referred to as “the undocumented”. Any such proposal could give rise to unpredictable and potentially very costly impacts across the full range of public and social services. Furthermore, significant implications for the operation of the Common Travel Area can arise, particularly, in the context of the UK withdrawing from the European Union. Any proposals in this regard would have to be very carefully considered.

Where the immigration authorities encounter a person in an undocumented situation, it is always open to each individual to present their case, on its individual merits, to the immigration authorities. All such cases would be carefully considered before a final decision is made, taking into account all the circumstances of the particular case.

Arising from recent jurisprudence in the Courts a Special Scheme for non-EEA Students which I recently announced was launched on 15 October 2018. The scheme applies to non-EEA persons currently resident in the State who commenced such residence lawfully under a student permission between 2005 and 2010. The scheme will permit qualifying persons to remain in the State with a right to work for 2 years initially, and, where applicants adhere to the terms of this interim permission, they will be granted a further permission to reside and work in the State for 12 months. This permission is renewable after 12 months subject to continued adherence to the conditions of the permission. Full details of the scheme are available on the INIS website.

Immigration Controls

Ceisteanna (192)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

192. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which immigration officers are visiting employers throughout the country with a view to identifying undocumented employees for deportation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44594/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I have been informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that immigration officers who are civilian staff within INIS do not carry out visits of the nature referred to by the Deputy.

The Deputy may be referring to immigration officers who are members of An Garda Síochána - usually as part of the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) - who carry out a range of immigration functions and enforce Deportation Orders issued by the Minister.

During the normal course of their duties members of An Garda Síochána may check individuals and premises where they have reason to believe that persons maybe in the State illegally or being employed illegally. Inspectors of the Workplace Relations Commission also have an important role in this area. Any persons found to be illegally in the State are referred to INIS for the formal procedures of consideration of whether to issue a deportation order or not in accordance with Section 3(6) of the immigration act. This is a detailed process with the person concerned having the opportunity to make representations and all aspects of each individual case is fully considered before a final decision is made.

Personal Injuries Commission

Ceisteanna (193)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

193. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the steps she has taken to ensure the implementation of the second and final report of the Personal Injuries Commission in relation to the insurance industry; the number of recommendations that have been implemented to date; the number that are in the process of implementation; the number that have not yet had progress made on them; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44308/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Government believes that it is important that consumers and businesses can obtain insurance cover at a reasonable and fair price.

The cost of insurance is an issue of concern for consumers, businesses and community groups.

The Minister for Finance established the Cost of Insurance Working Group in 2016 to examine the factors contributing to the increasing cost of insurance and identifying what measures can be introduced to help reduce this cost, while maintaining a financially stable insurance sector.

The Personal Injuries Commission was established following a recommendation in the Cost of Insurance Working Group Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance published in January 2017.

I was pleased to submit the Second and Final Report of the Personal Injuries Commission to Government on the 18th September 2018.  The publication of this Report now concludes the challenging work programme of the Personal Injuries Commission since its establishment in January 2017. 

The Report makes ten recommendations, the implementation of which will be a matter for each of the bodies responsible.  While the recommendations are not time-bound due to the nature of them, it is expected that they will be acted upon by the bodies responsible as soon as possible. 

In this regard, I have written to relevant Government colleagues, the Minister for Justice and Equality and the Minister for Health, and other organisations including Insurance Ireland – the representative body for the Irish general insurance, health insurance, life assurance, reinsurance and captive management sectors; the Garda Commissioner; The Law Society; The Council of the Bar of Ireland; and the Law Reform Commission, seeking co-operation in advancing the implementation of the recommendations relevant to them.

The Personal Injuries Commission has made a total of 14 recommendations across its two reports, which are aimed at positively impacting the overall Irish claims environment.

In parallel with the work on advancing the implementation of the 10 recommendations of the Second and Final Report of the Personal Injuries Commission, work is also progressing on implementing the 4 recommendations of the First Report of the Personal Injuries Commission.

The Second and Final Report of the Personal Injuries Commission provides an update on the implementation of these recommendations from the First Report.

As the Personal Injuries Commission was established following a recommendation in the Cost of Insurance Working Group Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance published in January 2017, it is intended that further progress on implementation will be monitored and published through the Cost of Insurance Working Group Quarterly Progress Reports published by my colleague Minister of State Michael D’Arcy.

I believe that the cumulative effects of the implementation of all the recommendations from the two reports of the Personal Injuries Commission, alongside the reports of the Cost of Insurance Working Group, should include increased stability in the pricing of insurance for consumers and businesses and improved availability of insurance generally.

Small and Medium Enterprises Supports

Ceisteanna (194)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

194. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the extent to which various sponsored funding remains available to small and medium enterprises; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44590/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

Enterprise Ireland (EI) provides sponsorships for a number of national and regional events such as conferences, seminars and awards for entrepreneurs and SMEs. Decisions on initiatives to be sponsored are made on a case by case basis where the business case for such sponsorships is aligned to the EI strategy of Building Scale and Expanding Reach. The sponsorships can vary by sector and type each year and every sponsorship application is evaluated and approved by an internal Enterprise Ireland Committee.

Applications for sponsorship funding from the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) are also considered on a case by case basis and must be aligned to the LEOs strategic objectives.

Export Controls

Ceisteanna (195, 196)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

195. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if military and dual-use items that transit through Ireland from other EU states en route to their final destination are subject to the same export controls as exports of military and dual-use items from Ireland; and if not, the controls that apply. [44317/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Clare Daly

Ceist:

196. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if military and dual-use items that transit through Ireland from non-EU states such as the United States of America en route to their final destination are subject to the same export controls as exports of military and dual-use items from Ireland; and if not, the controls that apply. [44318/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 195 and 196 together.

My Department is responsible for controls on the export of military items from Ireland. Under Irish law, military export licences must be sought in respect of the export from Ireland of military goods and technology, and any components thereof, listed in the EU Common Military List.

My Department is also responsible for licensing the export of dual-use items outside the EU pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No. 428/2009 setting up a Community regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items.

Military and dual-use items that transit through Ireland from other EU Member States, en route to their final destination, are subject to the export controls applicable in the Member State from where the goods are exported.

As regards military and dual-use items that transit through Ireland from non-EU Member States, such items would, in the first instance, be subject to the export controls in place in the country of export.

In addition, the transit of Dual-use goods from non-EU states would fall within the scope of Council Regulation 428/2009, and would require an Irish export licence.

Departmental Staff Data

Ceisteanna (197)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

197. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the breakdown of staff in her Department by grade. [44348/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

Staffing resources are an ongoing priority to ensure my Department’s continued ability to facilitate the wide mission and volume of work in a range of challenging policy areas. This will continue with ongoing day-to-day review of the appropriate staffing mix across my Department in response to known and probable priority areas.

My Department liaises directly with the Public Appointments Service (PAS) and Top-Level Appointments Committee (TLAC) in relation to the filling of posts.

The table shows the current breakdown of staff by grade:

Grade

Number

Minister

1

Minister Of State

1

Accountant Grade 1

12

Administrative Officer

23

Assistant Principal Officer

119

Assistant Secretary

8

Deputy Chairperson (A/Sec) Labour Court

4

Civilian Driver

4

Cleaner

12

CO

256

Chairperson (D/SEC) Labour court

1

Deputy Head Service Officer

4

Digital Forensics Specialist (PO - ODCE)

1

Enforcement Lawyer (PO - ODCE)

2

Director (ODCE)

1

Director (Construction Contracts)

1

Director General (WRC)

1

Enforcement Portfolio Manager (PO - ODCE)

2

Executive Officer

223

Examiner (Patents)

3

Head Service Officer

1

Higher Executive Officer

135

Legal Advisor (PO)

3

Legal Advisor (AP)

2

Member (PO) Labour Court

9

Ministers Special Advisor

2

Minister's PA

0

Minister's Personal secretary

0

Principal Officer

40

Principal Solicitor

0

Registrar of the Labour Court

1

Secretary General

1

Senior Examiner (patents)

1

Services Attendant

5

Services Officer

20

Solicitor

2

Statistician (AP)

1

Superintendent of Cleaners

1

Telephonist

2

Temporary Clerical Officer

7

Total

912

Arms Trade

Ceisteanna (198, 199)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

198. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation further to Parliamentary Question No. 15 of 18 October 2018, if she will clarify that obstacles to the implementation of a presumption of denial policy in regard to the export of arms to Saudi Arabia in the absence of EU sanctions are diplomatic rather than legal and that it is a measure that Ireland has the power to implement independently in the Saudi Arabian case, in view of the provisions of the EU common position in regard to exports to countries in which there is a risk that arms will be used in the commission of serious violations of international law. [44415/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Clare Daly

Ceist:

199. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation further to Parliamentary Question No. 15 of 18 October 2018, if her attention has been drawn to the first joint report of session 2017–19 issued by the UK Parliament's committees on arms export controls which recommended that the UK Government consider implementing a presumption of denial policy in regard to arms exports to countries which have not signed the arms trade treaty or that are on the UK's human rights priority list notwithstanding the fact that EU arms embargoes are not in place in regard to all such countries; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44416/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 198 and 199 together.

Ireland exports a small volume of goods which have a military classification per the EU Common Military List. Each application for an export licence in respect of such goods is subject to a stringent examination on a case-by-case basis. Each application is reviewed against the 8 risk assessment criteria set out in Article 2 of the European Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP defining common rules governing control of exports of military technology and equipment. The application is then reviewed against any EU Trade Sanctions that may be in place in respect of the destination country; for example, an arms embargo.

My Department also seeks observations from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in relation to foreign policy considerations that may be pertinent to each licence application. Observations from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade provide information on the end destination and the end user, in order to limit the risk of proliferation and the diversion of goods.

The "presumption of denial" is not a legal concept under Irish or EU law. My understanding is that the phrase originated in the US legal system.

Saudi Arabia is not currently subject to EU sanctions. EU sanctions, are a matter for my colleague, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, and his EU counterparts on the Foreign Affairs Council.

While there is no legal basis for a formal "presumption of denial" policy in Ireland and, as such a practice could be open to legal challenge, the cumulative effect of the rigorous assessment applied by my Department and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to all applications for military export licences could be seen as equating in terms of practical outcomes to such a presumption in respect of sensitive destinations such as Saudi Arabia.

Finally, while it is not appropriate for me to comment on proposals arising in other jurisdictions, I note that the proposals in question arose in the context of consideration of distinct foreign and trade policies for the UK outside the EU acquis, i.e. in a post-Brexit scenario.

Personal Injuries Commission

Ceisteanna (200)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

200. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if an implementation report with timelines for the recommendations of the Personal Injuries Commission in its second and final report will be published; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44454/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Government believes that it is important that consumers and businesses can obtain insurance cover at a reasonable and fair price.

The cost of insurance is an issue of concern for consumers, businesses and community groups.

The Minister for Finance established the Cost of Insurance Working Group in 2016 to examine the factors contributing to the increasing cost of insurance and identifying what measures can be introduced to help reduce this cost, while maintaining a financially stable insurance sector.

The Personal Injuries Commission was established following a recommendation in the Cost of Insurance Working Group Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance published in January 2017.

I was pleased to submit the Second and Final Report of the Personal Injuries Commission to Government on the 18th September 2018. The publication of this Report now concludes the challenging work programme of the Personal Injuries Commission since its establishment in January 2017.

The Report makes ten recommendations, the implementation of which will be a matter for each of the bodies responsible. While the recommendations are not time-bound due to the nature of them, it is expected that they will be acted upon by the bodies responsible as soon as possible.

In this regard, I have written to relevant Government colleagues, the Minister for Justice and Equality and the Minister for Health, and other organisations including the Garda Commissioner, Insurance Ireland, The Law Society, The Council of the Bar of Ireland and the Law Reform Commission, seeking co-operation in advancing the implementation of the recommendations relevant to them.

As the Personal Injuries Commission was established following a recommendation in the Cost of Insurance Working Group Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance published in January 2017, it is intended that progress on implementation will be monitored and published through the Cost of Insurance Working Group Quarterly Progress Reports published by my colleague Minister of State Michael D’Arcy.

IDA Ireland Site Visits

Ceisteanna (201)

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

201. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of IDA site visits by county in quarter 1, 2 and 3 of 2018, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44484/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

IDA Ireland continues to highlight the benefits of expanding or locating in all counties of Ireland to its client base. It is important to remember, however, that the final decision as to where to invest always rests with the company concerned. It is also the case that site visit activity does not necessarily reflect investment potential, as almost 70% of all new foreign direct investment comes from existing IDA client companies.

Site visits nevertheless do represent an important tool through which investors can be encouraged to invest in regional areas and the IDA always does its utmost to ensure that investors consider all potential locations when visiting Ireland.

The table below sets out the number of IDA Ireland site visits to each county in Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 of 2018. Figures for Quarter 3 of this year will be compiled by the end of October.

County

Q1 2018

Q2 2018

Dublin

69

72

Kildare

4

0

Meath 

1

3

Wicklow

0

1

Laois

4

2

Longford

0

0

Offaly

0

1

Westmeath 

3

9

Clare

4

3

Limerick

8

7

Tipperary

1

1

Cavan 

0

1

Louth 

6

6

Monaghan 

0

1

Donegal 

0

3

Leitrim 

2

3

Sligo 

5

3

Carlow

1

2

Kilkenny

0

2

Waterford

5

9

Wexford

0

1

Cork 

10

14

Kerry

0

5

Galway 

10

20

Mayo 

2

2

Roscommon

0

1

Total

135

172

 

Jobs Protection

Ceisteanna (202)

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

202. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the actions she has taken to protect jobs at a company (details supplied); the supports that have been put in place for employees that will be made redundant; if she has spoken with the management of the company regarding these job losses; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44485/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The announcement by the Authentic Food Company that it is to close down is very disappointing. The Government’s immediate concern is for those workers directly affected by this announcement in this very difficult time for them and their families. The Government will make every State support available to these employees.

My Department, through Enterprise Ireland (EI), has had a strong active engagement with the Authentic Food Company before, during and since they acquired their Dundalk facility. EI has supported the company with grant aid in the forms of Lean Transform, multiple Technical Feasibility Studies and an Innovation Partnership with Dundalk Institute of Technology. The EI Brexit Unit services were also made available to the company.

A total of 7 meetings between EI and the Authentic Food Company were held in 2017 and three meetings have taken place to date in 2018. In addition, as Mr Basran is based in the UK, two phone calls were held recently with Mr. Basran.

We will collectively, across Government, do our utmost to help these workers transition and find new employment opportunities. EI is also working with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection on an information day, which will take place on 1st November at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dundalk. This will highlight start-up supports and programmes available to former employees of the Authentic Food Company. Several large companies in the region have been invited to attend.

Notwithstanding this extremely disappointing news, it’s important to remember that the overall trend in terms of job creation in the region is positive. 2017, for example, was another record year for the State in terms of FDI and indigenous employment and investment, with continued strong employment growth reported so far in 2018.

Recent announcements for Louth include 400 jobs and a €325m investment by Wuxi in Dundalk in April; 70 jobs for Drogheda by PCI Pharma in April; an expansion by Almac at its Dundalk campus worth €34m in January; 250 roles by National Pen in Dundalk in December; and 300 jobs by Wasdell Group in Dundalk in November as part of a €30m investment.

There is every reason to be confident that we will find new investment and new opportunities for the employees of the Authentic Food Company.

Jobs Initiative

Ceisteanna (203)

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

203. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the date of the national jobs summit in November 2018. [44490/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Future Jobs summit will take place on the morning of the 22nd November 2018.

Future Jobs represents a new economic framework for Ireland aimed at strengthening our economic resilience to future potentially adverse economic developments and at positioning our people and our businesses to grasp future opportunities.

Future Jobs will focus on:

1. increasing enterprise productivity especially among Irish SMEs;

2. ensuring we develop the talents our economy needs;

3. enabling people, especially women to join the workforce; and

4. addressing the challenges of transitioning our people and businesses to new economic models such as the low carbon and digital economies.

The Future Jobs initiative will drive our development over the coming years as a resilient, innovative, and globally connected economy, capable of coping with technological and other transformational changes ahead.

My Department, in partnership with the Department of the Taoiseach, is leading this whole of Government effort to develop Future Jobs and is engaging in extensive consultation with stakeholders. The centrepiece of this consultation will be the Future Jobs Summit to which the Deputy's question refers. At this event Government will consult on an emerging programme of actions with a broad range of stakeholders before Future Jobs 2019 is launched early next year. I envisage that the summit will present an opportunity for stakeholders to engage with each other and with Government Ministers with a view to suggesting options for development under the Future Jobs initiative.

Departmental Budgets

Ceisteanna (204)

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

204. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the amount announced by her Department in budget 2019 towards doubling Ireland’s global footprint. [44491/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Expenditure Report 2019 set out the summary capital and current allocations for my Department in 2019.  The gross allocation of €950.2million for my Department in 2019 as set out in the Report represents an increase of 9.1% on the Department’s 2018 allocation of €871million and includes an increase in our capital funding from €555m to €620million in 2019 and also an increase in our current funding from €316million to €330.2million next year. The increase in our allocation  next year has allowed me to provide a further €8m in current funding to the Department  our Enterprise Agencies and Regulatory Bodies to enable them to enhance our Global Footprint and bolster the efforts to get Businesses Ready for Brexit.

Whilst the definitive 2019 allocations for the various Enterprise Agencies and Regulatory Bodies and the Department itself will only be determined as part of the Revised Estimates Volume process, it is my intention to increase Enterprise Ireland’s and IDA’s current funding in 2019 by €3m and 2m respectively. I also intend to provide a further €3m to the Department and its Regulatory Bodies. This additional funding will  allow us to increase our staffing resources and promotional activities in 2019 thereby enhancing our Global Footprint and our ability to assist businesses to diversify into new markets.

Departmental Funding

Ceisteanna (205)

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

205. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the amount allocated to the seed and venture capital fund in each year since established; and the number of approved applicants. [44492/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Enterprise Ireland Seed and Venture Capital Scheme (SVC) has been in operation since 1994 and there have been four distinct programme periods. These are 1994-1999, 2000-2006, 2007-2012 and 2013-2018. Across the programme phases, Enterprise Ireland has committed approximately €510 million, which, using a co-investment model, has raised a total of €1.19 billion in seed and venture capital funding since 1994. All funds are independently managed by private sector fund managers who make the decisions regarding investments.

The SVC programme operates by allocating funding to Enterprise Ireland to support the venture capital sector. EI then issues calls for applications for funding from venture capital funds across the programme period. Funds which are successful in obtaining investment from EI are then required to raise the additional funding required to operate their fund from private capital sources or other public sources of capital. EI’s contribution to any single fund is capped at 50%. The funds supported by the SVC programme make their investment decisions on a commercial basis. EI invests on a pari-passu basis, meaning the EI’s investments are on the same terms as private investors in the fund. Also, important to note is the fact that the costs to the State of EI’s intervention in the venture capital sector are offset by any returns from the investments undertaken by supported funds.

The table below breaks down the total amounts that have been allocated by Enterprise Ireland under the 4 programme periods to date, the total amounts invested under the scheme which includes those leveraged from other investors and the number of companies assisted.

Programme Period

Total Invested by Funds under the Scheme (€)

EI Allocation to Scheme (€)

Companies Assisted to date

1994-1999

129.3m

68m

177

2000-2006

366.3m

98m

152

2007-2012

491.4m

175m

335

2013-2018

204.4m

175m

76

The information in this table is accurate for each scheme from establishment until 30th June 2018.

It is important to note that the 2013-2018 programme is still making investments and we expect the total investment to be significantly higher once the investment period is finished.

Enterprise Ireland Funding

Ceisteanna (206)

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

206. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the amount allocated to regional innovation and technology clusters programme for SMEs by and in each year since established; and the number of approved applicants in tabular form. [44493/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

In Budget 2019 I announced an additional €2.75m to Enterprise Ireland for the creation of new ‘Regional Innovation and Technology Clusters’ via the Institutes of Technology, building their facilities, expertise and supportive capabilities as drivers of global enterprises in and across the regions. This will support SME productivity and innovation, entrepreneurship and start-ups through inter-institutional collaboration across technologies, industries, sectors and skills, linked to future areas of potential.

Regional Innovation and Technology Clusters will see a further scaling of the capability of the Institutes of Technology (IoTs), in a planned, internationally ambitious way, that creates centres of excellence for both generating high-levels of entrepreneurship and spin-outs in the regions and also as key activators in supporting firm-level innovation, productivity, scaling and internationalisation.

This will support the national drive towards transforming the enterprise potential and performance in all regions, closing the gap in the regional productivity and providing quality and rewarding employment over the coming decades.

This programme has just been announced as part of a package of supports in Budget 2019 to drive regional development, and work is commencing to scope out the details of this initiative. There are therefore no approval numbers to report for this programme.

Science Foundation Ireland Data

Ceisteanna (207)

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

207. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the amount allocated to the strategic partnership programme for SFI in each year since it was established; and the number of approved applicants in tabular form. [44494/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The number of awards and budget allocation by year for the SFI Strategic Partnership Programme are shown in the below table. The awards are multi-annual in nature (i.e. the projects awarded in 2014 can involve funding in 2015 and 2016 etc.).

YEAR

No. of Awards

Total funding €

2014

3

2,386,145.30

2015

3

10,325,710.58

2016

5

11,077,846.50

2017

3

6,189,705.50

Departmental Schemes

Ceisteanna (208)

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

208. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the amount allocated to the retail online scheme in 2019. [44497/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

Retail is the largest private sector employer in the country, and supports jobs in every city, town and village in the country. Digitalisation has increased the scope for competition in the sector, and online retailing has grown rapidly in Ireland.

As Chair of the Retail Consultation Forum I am committed to supporting the needs of the retail sector in developing their online capability and enhancing their competitiveness. In 2017, data from the CSO showed that while 66% of Irish enterprises in the Wholesale and Retail Sector reported having a website or homepage, only 28% were able to facilitate online ordering. All businesses, regardless of size or sector, in today’s competitive environment must ensure to build their digital online capability.

The Retail Consultation Forum enables key issues affecting the retail sector to be discussed, with a view to identifying practical actions which could be taken by Government, or by industry itself, to support sustainable job growth in the sector. The new pilot Online Retail Scheme, administered by Enterprise Ireland for my Department, is a result of the work of the Forum's Working Group on the Digital Economy. My Department has worked closely with the Forum over the past two years to develop this scheme in line with the needs of the sector.

The pilot Scheme was launched in September with a fund of up to €625,000, which was later doubled to €1.25m as part of Budget 2019. The Online Retail Scheme will support retail businesses of 20 employees or more who are ready to strategically grow their online capability, under the areas of research, strategy development, implementation and training. The first call under the Scheme which will provide funding of up to €625,000 opened on the 24th October. The amount allocated to the scheme in 2019 is €1.25m.

The full details of the Scheme are published on the Enterprise Ireland website.

Foreign Direct Investment

Ceisteanna (209)

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

209. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the actions being taken to ensure Ireland is an attractive place for foreign direct investment to locate in following a report (details supplied) showing that total foreign direct investment here fell sharply in the first six months of 2018. [44498/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

Improving Ireland’s competitiveness is a key priority for this Government.  We are working hard to consolidate this country's traditional strengths in terms of talent, productivity and export competitiveness. 

The reduction in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the report that the Deputy is referring to concerns the movement of cash assets following the enactment of the US Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in late 2017.  While it is likely that US Firms have repatriated large amounts of cash and cash equivalents, there has been no discernible impact on the real operations of the foreign affiliates of US multinationals based here in terms of employment and value added from these repatriations.

Ireland’s overall competitiveness performance remains positive. The World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report 2018, published on 17 October 2018, ranks Ireland as the 23rd most competitive economy out of 140 countries. Ireland maintains its global competitiveness position from last year and continues to be the 8th most competitive economy in the Euro area and the 11th most competitive economy in the European Union. The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report currently ranks Ireland as the 17th most competitive out of 190 economies.

It is important to remember that a real indication of Ireland’s competitiveness is our ongoing strong employment growth across sectors and regions. In this regard, the impressive performance of clients supported by the enterprise agencies in winning exports, market share and job creation in the face of intense global competition is to be commended. The IDA has also made significant progress in diversifying their portfolio of client companies that invest here. There were, for example, 111 new name investments in 2017, an increase of 12% compared to 2016 which saw 99 new name investments. These figures reflect the competitiveness of the environment in which to do business in Ireland.

The Government is nevertheless conscious of the need to remain as competitive as possible. It is therefore taking steps to ensure the economy is resilient to deal with competitiveness challenges and to build further on the progress that has been made. IDA Ireland, for its part, builds relationships with investors in order to aid their understanding of Ireland's enterprise environment and provide them with the assistance needed to overcome administrative obstacles. The Agency also maintains a direct relationship with investors and provides assistance as companies grow and diversify their Irish operations. 

Work Permits Eligibility

Ceisteanna (210)

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

210. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation her views on a case regarding the refusal to issue an employment permit to a person (details supplied); and the ruling issued. [44499/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

Following the court proceedings in relation the application for an employment permit of the person concerned, my officials have reviewed the application and an employment permit has now been granted.

My officials having examined the Judges ruling, have reviewed and amended operational procedures to ensure they are now fully compliant with the judgement.

Departmental Budgets

Ceisteanna (211)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

211. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the breakdown of the €251,945,000 capital allocation in jobs and enterprise development (details supplied) within her Department for 2019 by specific project; the projects that will be commenced and completed in 2019, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44511/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Expenditure Report 2019 which accompanied the Budget 2019 Statement by my colleague the Minister for Finance set out my Department’s summary capital expenditure ceiling for next year. The proposed gross allocation of €950.2million for my Department in 2019, as set out in the Report, includes an increase in our capital funding from €555m to €620million in 2019. This represents an increase of 11.7% on Capital from 2018.

The capital allocation of €251.945million referred to by the Deputy relates to the 2019 allocation for my Department’s Jobs and Enterprise Development Programme. The 2019 allocation represents an increase of 10.9% on the 2018 allocation of €227.2m for this Programme.

Whilst the definitive 2019 capital allocations for each of the Subheads in the Department’s Jobs and Enterprise Development Programme will only be determined as part of the Revised Estimates Process, the additional funding being provided in Budget 2019 will enable me to increase the funding for Jobs and Enterprise Development, including through providing

- the initial funding to launch the new €300m Future Growth Loan scheme which addresses a specific lack of availability of finance to businesses, particularly SMEs, of loan terms longer than 5-7 years;

- €1m in additional funding for Intertrade Ireland which will enable it to meet the growing demand from businesses in border regions in its existing programmes, develop initiatives and support firms affected by Brexit;

- €5m in additional funding to the Local Enterprise Offices to enable them to expand the range of supports to indigenous enterprises across the various sectors, including through the provision of a new customs training programme for all businesses, exporters and importers, to be rolled out in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland;

- €10m in additional funding for the IDA's Regional Property Programme;

- €2.75m in funding to support a Regional Innovation and Technology Clusters Programme targeted at SMEs thereby building enterprise capability across the regions

The provision of this additional capital funding demonstrates the Government’s determination to continue to support businesses through delivering jobs and enterprise development in all regions of the country in these challenging times.

Departmental Budgets

Ceisteanna (212)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

212. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the breakdown of the €368,055,000 capital allocation in innovation (details supplied) within her Department for 2019 by specific project; the projects that will be commenced and completed in 2019, in tabular from; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44512/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Expenditure Report 2019 which accompanied the Budget 2019 Statement by my colleague the Minister for Finance set out my Department’s summary capital expenditure ceiling for next year. The proposed gross allocation of €950.2million for my Department in 2019, as set out in the Report, includes an increase in our capital funding from €555m to €620million in 2019. This represents an increase of 11.7% in Capital from 2018.

The capital allocation of €368.055million referred to by the Deputy relates to the 2019 allocation for my Department’s Innovation Programme. The 2019 allocation represents an increase of 12.28% on the 2018 allocation of €327.8m for this Programme.

Whilst the definitive 2019 capital allocations for each of the Subheads in the Department’s Innovation Programme will only be determined as part of the Revised Estimates Process, as outlined in the context of Budget 2019 I propose that the additional funding will enable me to increase the funding for Innovation, including through

- The provision of €20million to roll out Phase one of Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund;

- The provision of an additional €2.75million in capital monies to meet the full year cost of European Southern Observatory membership;

- The provision of an additional €10million in capital funding to meet the full year cost of the new PhD/Research Masters Programme;

- The provision of an additional €500k in capital funding to support our membership of the European Space Agency

- The provision of additional €5million in capital to support the renewal of six SFI world-class research centres,

- The provision of an additional €1million in capital for SFI’s Strategic Partnership Programme;

- The provision of an additional €1million in funding to support the development of the Tyndall Institute

The provision of this additional capital funding demonstrates the Government’s commitment to supporting business to enable them to innovate and compete in a global marketplace and thereby helping to position Ireland as a Global Innovation Leader.

Disabilities Assessments

Ceisteanna (213)

Kathleen Funchion

Ceist:

213. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Health the amount spent on the hiring of private psychologists for the assessment of needs in south and north County Tipperary since 2008; and the average waiting time for assessment in early intervention therapies for ASD for the same time period. [44263/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities. 

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Respite Care Services Data

Ceisteanna (214)

Kathleen Funchion

Ceist:

214. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Health the adult respite available in County Kilkenny; and the number of persons accessing this respite service. [44264/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities. 

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Respite Care Services Provision

Ceisteanna (215)

Kathleen Funchion

Ceist:

215. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Health if a service (details supplied) in County Kilkenny provides adult respite both day and overnight. [44265/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities. 

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Disability Support Services Provision

Ceisteanna (216, 250)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

216. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health when he plans to introduce personal or individualised budgets for children with severe disabilities in order that they can choose the services they require from various service providers rather than been tied to one service provider; when the report from the taskforce on individualised budgets will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44483/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

250. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health when it is planned to introduce personal or individualised budgets for children with severe disabilities in order that they can chose the services they require from various service providers rather than been tied to one service provider; when the report from the task force on individualised budgets will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44385/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 216 and 250 together.

I wish to draw the Deputy's attention to the report of the Task Force on Personalised Budgets, which I published on 17 July 2018. The report is available on the Department of Health website. The report sets out how personalised budgets could work as a funding mechanism for people with a disability, providing them with greater choice and control over the services and supports they receive.

The Task Force, having reviewed the national and international research evidence and consulted with service users and their families, recommended that the Department of Health and the HSE should establish demonstration projects to test the delivery of personalised budgets with a view to identifying the best approach to the wider roll-out of these payment models following the initial demonstration phase.

My colleague the Minister for Health has given his full support to the Report’s recommendations and the Government has approved the development of these demonstration projects to test the models identified in the Report of the Taskforce, as outlined in the Task Force recommendation. Work has already begun on a number of actions and funding of €1.3 million has been secured from the Department of Health budget for the set up and administration costs of demonstration projects.

The Department of Health, NDA and the HSE are in the process of designing demonstration projects, as recommended by the Task Force on Personalised Budgets. Selection criteria for inclusion in the demonstration projects have not yet been finalised. The Department’s website will be kept updated with information on the roll out of the demonstration projects as it becomes available.

The introduction of personalised budgets represents a fundamental shift in the delivery of services for people with disabilities and presents very significant operational and procedural challenges to the HSE and service providers as it has done in other jurisdictions.

In light of these challenges, the Task Force has, from the outset, narrowed its focus to HSE funded disability services for adults with the intention that learnings from this cohort can inform the future roll-out of personalised budgets. The Task Force Report highlights the breadth of issues to be addressed in the initial demonstration sites and the substantial preparatory work needed.

I am satisfied that the preferred option is to continue with demonstration projects focussed on adult services in the first instance.

Home Help Service Data

Ceisteanna (217, 218)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

217. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the estimated full year cost of providing 2,000 extra homecare packages; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44238/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Peter Burke

Ceist:

218. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health the estimated full year cost of providing one million additional home help hours; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44239/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 217 and 218 together.

As these are a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.