Disability Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (235)

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

235. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when an application for a disability allowance by a person (details supplied) will be processed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3113/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

I confirm that my department received an application for disability allowance from this lady on 21 November 2018. On completion of the necessary investigations on all aspects of the claim a decision will be made and the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome.

The processing time for individual disability allowance claims may vary in accordance with their relative complexity in terms of the three main qualifying criteria, the person’s circumstances and the information they provide in support of their claim.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (236)

James Browne

Ceist:

236. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the position regarding a carer’s allowance application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3121/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

I confirm that my department received an application for carer’s allowance (CA) from the person concerned on 9 October 2018. 

The application was awarded to the person concerned on 16 January 2019 with effect from 11 October 2018. The first payment will issue to his nominated bank account on 24 January 2019. 

Arrears of allowance due from 11 October 2018 to 23 January 2019 will also issue on 24 January 2019.

The person concerned was notified on 16 January 2019 of this decision, the reason for it and of his right of review and appeal.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy. 

Farm Assist Scheme

Ceisteanna (237)

Paul Kehoe

Ceist:

237. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her plans to review the anomaly for those making contributory pension applications that have no credited contributions while on farm assist in view of the fact they were paying S contributions previously and at that time were not entitled to make voluntary contributions and are now being penalised with reduced pensions; the number of these farmers that have been affected by the anomaly; if a review of these cases will be carried out; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3127/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The farm assist scheme was introduced in 1999 to provide income support for low income farmers.  It replaced the former smallholders’ unemployment assistance payment.  In line with the then existing arrangements for unemployment assistance (including smallholders) and pre-retirement allowance, the income of farm assist recipients was exempt from class S PRSI for self-employed workers.  Recipients of farm assist who had previously paid class S social insurance had the option of paying voluntary contributions to maintain their social insurance record, including their entitlement to State pension contributory, provided they satisfied the qualifying conditions.

Since 1st January 2007, the exemption from class S PRSI has been removed and those receiving jobseeker’s allowance and farm assist are subject to class S PRSI as self-employed contributors on their self-employed income, provided their annual income is €5,000 or more. 

Currently PRSI credited contributions (credits) are only awarded to former employees, to cover gaps in social insurance where they are not in a position to pay PRSI such as during periods of unemployment, illness, etc.  Self-employed workers do not qualify for credits.

In the absence of exact numbers of farm assist recipients with annual income in excess of the income threshold for paying class S PRSI prior to 2007 (i.e. €3,174 pa), it is not possible to estimate the numbers of persons affected.  Determining the cost to the Social Insurance Fund of awarding credits to the self-employed when calculating pension entitlement would require consideration of a number of factors including the age of the individual, the number of credits awarded and other social insurance contributions paid by that individual, and it is similarly not possible to estimate. 

I hope this information is useful to the Deputy. 

Carer's Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (238)

Joe Carey

Ceist:

238. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when a person (details supplied) will have an application for carer's allowance assessed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3194/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

An application for carer's allowance (CA) was received from the person concerned on 10 August 2018.

It is a condition for receipt of a CA that the person being cared for must have such disability that they require full-time care and attention.

This is defined as requiring from another person, continual supervision and frequent assistance throughout the day in connection with normal bodily functions or continual supervision in order to avoid danger to him or herself and likely to require that level of care for at least twelve months.

The evidence submitted in support of the application was examined and the deciding officer decided that this evidence did not indicate that the requirement for full-time care was satisfied.

The person concerned was notified on 1 November 2018 of the decision, the reason for it and of her right of review and appeal.

The person concerned requested a review of this decision and submitted additional evidence in support of her application.

The outcome of the review is that the original decision is confirmed. On 18 January 2019 the person concerned was notified of this outcome.  

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Social Welfare Benefits Eligibility

Ceisteanna (239)

Martin Kenny

Ceist:

239. Deputy Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason persons that are in receipt of a pension from the UK or other EU states are not entitled to the living alone allowance or the household benefits package; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3199/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

It is important to note that people in receipt of a British State pension or an equivalent pension from other EU countries are eligible to receive the household benefits package on the same basis as Irish State pension recipients.

For the household benefits package, pensioners aged 70 or over who are legally resident in Ireland are entitled to the scheme without being in receipt of any State pension payment, British or otherwise.  They will not be means-tested.  However, as it is a household benefit, only one person per household is eligible for the scheme.

For pensioners aged between 66 and 70, the same household conditions apply, and the recipient must be in receipt of an equivalent social security pension from a country covered by EU Regulations or from a country with which Ireland has a bilateral social security agreement.  In addition, for those aged between 66 and 70, the household benefits package is subject to a means-test.  In this regard, a person in receipt of a British social security pension or an equivalent social security pension from a country covered by EU regulations would be eligible for the scheme, once he or she satisfied the household conditions and the means test.

The Living Alone Increase is a €9 increase in the weekly rate of payment of certain Irish social protection payments, awarded where the recipient is living alone.  These payments include State pensions, disability allowance, invalidity pension, incapacity supplement and blind pension.  It is not a stand-alone payment.

People in receipt of the British state pension or equivalent payments from other EU countries are not entitled to receive the Irish living alone increase, as the respective rates of those payments to people living alone or with other people, are set by national legislation in those countries.

There are no circumstances where the living alone increase can be paid to people who are not in receipt of a qualifying payment from my Department.   However, there are a significant number of people in receipt of a British State pension who are also in receipt of the State pension (non-contributory).  State pension non-contributory is a means-tested payment for people aged 66 and over, who do not qualify for an Irish State pension contributory, or who would only qualify for a reduced rate contributory pension based on their social insurance record.  To be eligible for a State pension (non-contributory), an applicant must:

- be aged 66 years or over

- have a legal right of residence in the State

- be habitually resident in the State

- have a valid Personal Public Service Number (PPSN)

- satisfy a means test

- if awarded the pension, continue to satisfy the Habitual Residence Condition and the applicable means test.

I am informed that approximately 11% of current State pension (non-contributory) recipients are also in receipt of a British State pension. 

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Working Family Payment Applications

Ceisteanna (240)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

240. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a working family payment claim by a person (details supplied); and when it is likely a decision will be made on same. [3205/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Working Family Payment (WFP) is a weekly in-work payment which provides additional income support to employees on low earnings with children.

An application for WFP was received from the person concerned on 10 October 2018.

Their application was referred to a Social Welfare Inspector (SWI) for further clarification on 21 December 2018.  The relevant SWI office has confirmed on 21 January 2019 that this case will be prioritised.

On receipt of the completed report from the SWI, their WFP application will be processed without delay and the person concerned will be notified of the decision. 

 I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy. 

Carer's Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (241)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

241. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a carer's allowance claim by a person (details supplied). [3208/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Carer's allowance (CA) is a means-tested social assistance payment made to a person who is habitually resident in the State and who is providing full-time care and attention to a child or an adult who has such a disability that as a result they require that level of care.

An application for CA was received from the person concerned on 19 November 2018. The application is currently being processed and once completed, the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Review

Ceisteanna (242)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

242. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a decision has been made on a review of a decision on a carer's allowance application by a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3210/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Carer's allowance (CA) is a means-tested social assistance payment made to a person who is habitually resident in the State and who is providing full-time care and attention to a child or an adult who has such a disability that as a result they require that level of care.

An application for carer's allowance (CA) was received from the person concerned on 20 June 2018.

The evidence submitted in support of this application was examined and the deciding officer decided that although a certain level of care was being provided the level involved did not amount to full-time care.

The person concerned was notified on 3 December 2018 of this decision, the reason for it and of her right of review and appeal.

The person concerned requested a review of this decision and submitted additional evidence in support of their application.

This additional information is currently under consideration by a deciding officer of my Department.

Once the review is complete, the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy. 

State Pension (Contributory)

Ceisteanna (243)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

243. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if the changes announced recently to the contributory pension will have an affect on the entitlement of a person (details supplied) to the State pension (contributory); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3224/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The recently enacted changes to state pension (contributory) apply to people born on or after 1 September 1946 who have a reduced rate pension entitlement, based on post Budget 2012 rate bands.  The pensions of these people are currently under review to determine if they are now due increased payments. 

No changes were made to the qualifying conditions for the state pension (contributory) scheme.  For example, the minimum of 520 paid social insurance contributions remains a condition of the scheme.  

The person concerned was disallowed a state pension (contributory) in 2013, as they did not have the required 520 paid social insurance contributions.  According to the records of the Department, the person has a total of 390 contributions from their date of entry into insurable employment to their 66th birthday.  Accordingly, the person does not hold an entitlement to state pension (contributory) and cannot be included in the pension reviews underway.  

The person concerned was advised of the option to apply for  state pension (non-contributory) in the letter which issued in May 2013.  The person concerned continues to be entitled to make a claim for state pension (non-contributory), which is a means tested payment.  On receipt of a completed application, her entitlement will be assessed by my Department and the person notified of the outcome  in writing.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (244)

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

244. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when a person (details supplied) will receive a decision on a carer’s allowance application; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3244/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Carer's allowance (CA) is a means-tested social assistance payment made to a person who is habitually resident in the State and who is providing full-time care and attention to a child or an adult who has such a disability that as a result they require that level of care.

An application for CA was received from the person concerned on 23 October 2018. The application is currently being processed and once completed, the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome.

In the meantime, the partner of the person concerned is in receipt of a Working Family Payment.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy. 

State Pension (Contributory)

Ceisteanna (245)

Patrick O'Donovan

Ceist:

245. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if matters in relation to a person (details supplied) will be addressed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3280/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Since the end of September 2018, my Department has been examining the social insurance records of pensioners born on or after 1 September 1946 who were awarded state pension (contributory) on reduced post Budget 2012 rate bands.  Information letters were issued to these pensioners explaining that my Department will contact them again to either inform them about the outcome of their review or to request further information in order to complete their review.  All of the claims involved will be individually examined, starting with those aged 71 or over.  Due to the numbers  involved, the process will take a number of months to complete.

Where possible, my Department will use information already held to assist in these reviews.  Additional information is being requested in writing from pensioners in relation to unexplained gaps in their social insurance record, if required to complete their review.  These information requests also explain how to access my Department’s on-line service to provide the relevant information.  An information request issued to the person concerned on 18 January.   On receipt of the requested information, the person’s state pension (contributory) pension will be reviewed and they will be informed of the outcome in writing. 

It is expected that the first review outcomes will be notified during Quarter 1 2019.  Regardless of when a review is completed, where a pensioner qualifies for an increase, the increase will be paid with their next due payment, together with arrears backdated to March 2018, or their 66th birthday if later.  If a pensioner does not qualify for an increase, they will continue to receive their existing rate of payment.  No personal pension entitlement rates will be reduced as a result of this review.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Social Insurance

Ceisteanna (246)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

246. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if clarification will be provided in relation to the responses to Parliamentary Question Nos. 187 and 188 of 15 November 2018 (details supplied). [3283/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Social insurance for self-employed persons was introduced from April 1988.  Social welfare legislation provides that where a person who became a self-employed contributor on the 6th April, 1988 and who at any time prior to that date was an employed contributor, the date on which the person first entered into insurance (or the 6 April 1988 if more favourable to them) shall be regarded as their date of entry into insurance.  This provides for a more favourable calculation method for self employed people, where earlier periods of insured employment do not affect the yearly average achievable from their self employment. 

As periods of self-employment prior to April 1988 are not insurable under Social Welfare legislation, they cannot be taken into account when calculating a person's pension entitlement.  Whether other types of social insurance contributions for periods prior to 1988  are deemed reckonable for pension entitlement purposes depends on the nature of those contributions and the person's social insurance record.  

A person may apply for the voluntary contributions scheme to help maintain their social insurance record, provided they satisfy the qualifying conditions for that scheme.  Eligible voluntary contributions are reckonable for state pension (contributory) purposes.  Information on the voluntary contributory scheme is available on www.welfare.ie or by writing to the Client Eligibility Services section of my Department at Cork Road, Waterford.  

I want to assure the Deputy that when determining a person’s eligibility for state pension (contributory), the deciding officer will award the most financially beneficial payment, taking account of their entire employment history, in accordance with the governing legislative provisions. 

I hope that this clarifies the matter for the Deputy. 

Rent Supplement Scheme Data

Ceisteanna (247, 248)

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

247. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the amount spent on rent supplement in each of the years 2011 to 2018; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3294/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

248. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of recipients on rent supplement in each of the years 2011 to 2018; the estimated cost in 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3295/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 247 and 248 together.

Rent supplement continues its vital role in housing families and individuals, with the scheme supporting approximately 24,300 recipients for which the Government has provided  €132.4 million for 2019.

End of year statistics for rent supplement recipients and expenditure for the years 2011 to 2019 and the projected cost for 2019, are provided in the attached tabular statement. The 2019 figure, similar to 2018’s , is predicated on current trends associated with Housing Assistance Payment Scheme (HAP) and the underpinning macroeconomic conditions prevailing throughout next year.

The strategic goal of returning rent supplement to its original purpose; that of a short-term income support, has been primarily facilitated by the introduction of the HAP. The “Rebuilding Ireland - Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness (July 2016), reiterated in the “Housing First National Implementation Plan 2018-2021” (September 2018), is to provide 87,000 flexible housing supports through the HAP and Rental Accommodation Scheme between 2016 and 2021. As part of this commitment will be the transfer of those out of rent supplement with long term housing needs to HAP with a targeted completion date of these transfers by the end of 2020.  For 2019, HAP’s transfer activity is expected to yield a closing rent supplement base of approximately 15,000 rent supplement customers at year end 

 I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Tabular Statement:

Rent Supplement:  Recipient Numbers & Expenditure 2011  - 2019

Year  

Recipients  

Cost €000  

2011

96,803

502,747

2012

87,684

422,536

2013

79,788

372,909

2014

71,533

338,208

2015

61,247

311,059

2016

48,041

275,294

2017

34,378

230,566

2018

24,303

179,500 

2019

15,000

132,395 

Brexit Staff

Ceisteanna (249)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

249. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of regular grade civil servants her Department has hired in advance of a no-deal Brexit; the number of specialist grade civil servants hired in advance of same; the budget made available in advance of Brexit for hiring of staff in advance of the UK withdrawal from the EU; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3320/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

My Department’s EU and International section (including Irish-UK Relations) has responsibility for the Department’s response to Brexit.  As part of the Department’s planning for dealing with the UK’s departure the team was expanded by  two senior managers who led the programme of work necessary to ensure that the reciprocity of social welfare rights and entitlements, which currently exist for Irish and UK citizens moving within Ireland and between Ireland and Britain under the Common Travel Area, are safeguarded and maintained.  There are currently 11 staff (11 FTE) assigned to this section.

I am satisfied that this staff cohort, working with other colleagues in the legal and policy divisions of the Department, is sufficient to complete all of the arrangements necessary to maintain the reciprocity of welfare rights and entitlements.

Carer's Benefit Applications

Ceisteanna (250)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

250. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of an application for a carer's allowance by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3361/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Carer's benefit (CARB) is a PRSI based payment, made to persons who are providing full-time care and attention to a person who has such a disability that they require that level of care. 

An increased payment can be made where full-time care is being provided to two people.

An application for CARB was received from the person concerned on 14 November 2018 in respect of two care recipients. The application is currently being processed and once completed, the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Social Welfare Appeals

Ceisteanna (251)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

251. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when a file on a person (details supplied) will be forwarded to the social welfare appeals office; if the file will be issued to the appeals office as soon as possible in order for the appeal to be fully investigated; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3408/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

On receipt of additional medical evidence submitted in support of the appeal of the gentleman in question, a review of the claim was carried out by a deciding officer and he has been awarded invalidity pension with effect from the 19 July 2018.  As a result the appeal is no longer necessary.

Payment will issue to his nominated post office on 07 February 2019.  Any arrears due from 19 July 2018 to 06 February 2019 will issue as soon as possible.  He was notified of this decision on the 21 January 2019.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Social Welfare Appeals

Ceisteanna (252)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

252. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when a file on a person (details supplied) will be forwarded to the social welfare appeals office; if the file will be issued to the appeals office as soon as possible in order for the appeal to be fully investigated; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3409/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 18th October 2018.   It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant papers and comments by or on behalf of the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection  These papers were received in the Social Welfare Appeals Office on 17th January 2019 and the case will now be referred to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to social welfare entitlements.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Mortgage to Rent Scheme Applications

Ceisteanna (253)

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

253. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the reason an application by a person (details supplied) was refused under the mortgage to rent scheme; and his views on whether this case illustrates a policy to refuse rural houses into the mortgage to rent scheme. [3160/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Mortgage to Rent (MTR) scheme introduced in 2012 is targeted at those households in mortgage arrears who have had their mortgage position deemed unsustainable by their lender under the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process (MARP), who agree to the voluntary surrender of their home and who have very limited options, if any, to meet their long-term housing needs themselves. In addition, the household must be deemed eligible for social housing support.

 I am not in a position to comment on any particular case nor would it be appropriate for me to do so.  The reasons why a case may not have progressed are varied and can depend on the lender, the property or the circumstances of the particular household. If MTR is not an option, it will be a matter for the borrower to discuss with their lender if there are other options available to resolve their mortgage arrears situation.

The Abhaile service is a national mortgage arrears resolution service, provided free of charge to  mortgage holders in arrears and its aim is to help these borrowers to find the best solutions and keep them, wherever possible, in their own homes.  The unique element of Abhaile is that it brings together, for the first time, the full range of supports and services required by borrowers in home mortgage arrears.  A dedicated adviser will work with the borrower and their lender to find the best solution for their particular situation.  The Money Advice and Budgetary Service (MABS) acts as the gateway for the service and can be contacted by telephoning (076)1072000 or by accessing their website at: www.mabs.ie/abhaile.

Rental Sector

Ceisteanna (254)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

254. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the details of new regulations regarding those that have properties (details supplied) in County Tipperary; when registration can take place with the local authority; if regulations are nearing or are completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3192/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Under Action 18 of the Strategy for the Rental Sector, a Working Group was established, involving representatives of all major public stakeholders with a policy interest in short-term lettings, to develop guidance in relation to planning applications, changes of use relating to short-term lettings and to examine the need for new regulatory arrangements.  Proposals under consideration by the Working Group have been aimed at facilitating short-term letting of accommodation within permanent residences, known as homesharing, while protecting the existing stock of residential property in areas of high demand.

Having considered the Working Group's report as well as the recommendations in the report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government on short-term lettings, I recently announced plans to introduce a “one host, one home” model in areas where there is high housing demand.

Homesharing will continue to be permissible for a person’s primary residence. In addition, an annual cap of 90 days will apply for the renting out on a short-term basis of a person's entire home where it is their primary residence, with such short-term lets being restricted to periods of 14 days or less at a time.  Under these arrangements, people who wish to avail of the new planning exemptions to use their own home for home-sharing or limited short-term letting purposes will be required to register this with their local planning authority.

Where a person owns a second property and intends to let it for short-term letting purposes, they will require planning permission to do so unless it already has planning permission to be used for tourism or short-term letting purposes. Planning permission for a change of use to short-term letting can be sought and it will be up to each local planning authority to consider such applications, based on guidance that will issue from my Department, taking account of housing demand pressures in the area and other relevant factors such as cumulative impacts.

 These proposed changes will not affect the operation of holiday homes as typically understood, or longer-term flexible lettings which are provided for those coming to Ireland under employment contracts.

 It is intended that the proposed new planning changes will come into effect on 1 June 2019, to allow property owners sufficient lead-in time to prepare for and adapt to the proposed new laws. In addition to the making of revised draft exempted development planning regulations, which are being progressed, amendments to primary legislation will also be introduced which will underpin and strengthen the new proposals.  This element of the changes proposed is currently being developed and details will be published in due course.