Departmental Budgets

Ceisteanna (228)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

228. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the breakdown of the €39,482,000 capital allocation in tourism services within his Department for 2019 by specific project; the projects that will be commenced and completed in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6041/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Details (at subhead level) of the annual funding allocations to my Department for Tourism Services are available in the annual Revised Estimates Volume published by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. As the Deputy notes, a total of €39,482,000 in capital funding has been allocated to the Tourism Services programme in 2019 under six different subheads.

Most (€26,110,000) of this Exchequer capital funding voted to my Department will be granted to the tourism agencies under the relevant subheads – E3 and E6 for Fáilte Ireland and E4 and E5 for Tourism Ireland. As decisions regarding expenditure under these subheads are operational matters for the agencies, I have referred the Deputy’s question to both Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland to provide further detail directly to the Deputy with regard to planned expenditure in 2019 under their respective subheads.

The bulk of the balance (€13,300,000) has been allocated under subhead E7 for direct allocations by my Department to Greenways projects. A funding call for Greenways under the recently published Strategy for the Future Development of National and Regional Greenways closed on November 30th 2018 and my officials are currently examining the applications. I expect to be in a position to allocate funding to the selected projects under this call in Quarter 2 however as they have not been chosen yet, I have no further details as to their likely commencement and completion dates.

At present funding is in place for a number of previously funded Greenways and it is expected that the Maynooth to Athlone section of the Galway to Dublin Greenway will be completed in 2019.

The remaining €72,000 has been allocated to my Department under Subhead E2 for Departmental administration-related capital expenditure relating to the operations of the Tourism Divisions (e.g. repair and maintenance of office buildings; purchase of furniture, computer equipment or other office machinery/equipment; and routine office supplies).

Subhead

Recipient

Sum

E2 Administration

DTTAS

€72,000

E3

Fáilte Ireland

€1.05m

E4

Tourism Ireland

€0.1m

E5

Tourism Ireland

€2m

E6

Fáilte Ireland

€23.06m

E7 Greenways

Greenways Project Promoters

€13.3m

Total

€39.482m

The following revised reply was received on 12 February 2019

E5

Tourism Ireland

€4m

E6

Fáilte Ireland

€20.96m

Bus Services

Ceisteanna (229)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Ceist:

229. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the community impact assessment made for the Cabra and Stoneybatter, Dublin 7 area when drafting BusConnects routes in the area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6057/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the planning and development of public transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area, including the BusConnects programme.

Noting the NTA's responsibility in the matter, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NTA for a direct reply. Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 days.

Road Signage

Ceisteanna (230)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Ceist:

230. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to introduce share-the-road signs or other initiatives to improve respect between motorists, pedestrians and cyclists in the Dublin region, particularly in areas in which there has been a high volume of friction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6058/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I share the Deputy's concern that all road users respect each other.

Requirements in relation to Road Traffic Signs are set out in the Traffic Signs Manual, as published by my Department and which constitutes a Direction under Section 95(16) of the Road Traffic Act 1961. Regulatory Signs are also set out in relevant Statutory Instruments. As part of that and the introduction of the 2015 Guidelines for Managing Speed Limits there is provision for a ‘Slow Zone’ sign which, amongst other things, indicates the presence of other types of road users. This is being rolled out across the country in conjunction with lower speed limits. Since 2015 special speed limits of 30 km/h have been applied in over 6,400 housing estates.

In addition my Department has issued other documents such as the Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets (DMURS) and the Traffic Management Guidelines (TMG) which provide for improved design to support traffic calming and safer interaction between different types of road users. Further development and trials are underway to enhance these guidelines.

My Department also continues to be very active in promoting behavioural change to encourage more people to use sustainable modes of transport. As well as funding and supporting national initiatives such as Bike Week, my Department also provides funding to the National Transport Authority (NTA) on an annual basis for the delivery of behavioural change programmes such as Workplace and Campus travel programmes and the Green Schools Travel Programme.

Taxi Licences

Ceisteanna (231)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

231. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if an anomaly in the case of a person (details supplied) will be investigated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6059/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The regulation of the small public service vehicle (SPSV) industry, including the licensing of vehicles within this sector, is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the provisions of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013.

As the Deputy may be aware, in the case of the death of a licence holder, section 15 of the Act applies special provisions. In such circumstances, a SPSV licence may continue to be operated by a person who was nominated by the licence holder in advance of his or her death. However, under current legislation, requirements including insurance still apply to an application made under this section.

Given the role of the NTA as regulator, I have referred your question to the Authority for direct reply to you. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within 10 working days.

Road Improvement Schemes

Ceisteanna (232)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

232. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if all roads funding for Cavan County Council has been appropriately spent over the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6063/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads (RLR) is the statutory responsibility of each County Council, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from the Council's own resources supplemented by State road grants. The initial selection and prioritisation of works to be funded is a matter for the Council.

Where my Department does provide grant funding, the Department's Memorandum on Grants for Regional and Local Roads applies. The most recent revision of the Memorandum was issued in November 2018 (RW 14/2018) and came into effect on 1st December 2018.

The Memorandum on Grants provides information on, and defines the conditions governing the allocation and payment of monies to Local Authorities in respect of all grant programmes for Regional and Local Roads. It also includes conditions on the chargeability against State grants of expenditure incurred and general guidance on the carrying out of grant aided works. In this context local authorities are required as part of the grant claim submission process to verify that a claim is in accordance with the requirements for chargeability of expenditure and that all amounts have been checked in full and are in order for payment. The Department emphasises to local authorities that it considers that this verification is a key part of the financial control system and expects this role to be executed with due diligence and care.

The onus is, therefore, on each local authority to ensure that it complies fully with the requirements associated with regional and local grants. As regards oversight arrangements in relation to the grants, staffing levels within the Department were impacted by cutbacks during the recession but have been strengthened over the last year and there is now a team of 3 engineers (each dealing with specific Local Authorities) overseeing the regional and local road investment programme. In addition my Department monitors expenditure through desk checks on expenditure claimed and also on-site spot checks in local authority offices.

More generally, as the deputy is aware, the Oireachtas has given the responsibility of oversight of local authority expenditure to the National Oversight and Audit Commission (NOAC), and it would be wholly inappropriate for a Minister to impinge on the statutory independence of NOAC in relation to the appropriateness of expenditure by a local authority.

As regards national roads, as Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme. My Department allocates the national capital roads programme budget to Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) to manage and deliver (in accordance with the Roads Acts 1993-2015) the construction and maintenance of all national roads, in conjunction with the local authorities concerned. I have, therefore, referred the question to TII for a direct reply to you in relation to national roads. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

Airport Security

Ceisteanna (233, 234)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

233. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the European Civil Aviation Council definition of a full background check for persons other than passengers working airside which is due to be determined in Europe by June 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6083/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Clare Daly

Ceist:

234. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has sought information from the Department of Justice and Equality outlining the reason for not providing access to obtain a full background check to 104 airport police and fire service officers in Dublin, 88 in Cork, 64 in Shannon and the customs officers in the three State airports. [6084/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 233 and 234 together.

Aviation security remains a priority area at national and EU level. It is under constant review and scrutiny in response to new intelligence on threats and risks. Ireland is obliged play its part in the international effort to make flying as secure and safe as possible. If we aspire to be a highly connected nation, we need to make sure our international airports are up to international best standards in security terms. On the matter of how and why specific decisions have been taken in respect of certain categories of people working at our airports, such details are security related and confidential, but I can advise the Deputy that they are informed by international best practices and risk assessment.

Background checks are a key element of aviation security requirements that are applied with very limited exceptions to all persons other than passengers requiring access to the security restricted areas of airports and on-board aircraft in the State. A background check comprises three elements: a verification of identification, a pre-employment check and a criminal record check. The employer conducts the verification of identification and pre-employment check. An Garda Síochána provides the criminal records check.

My Department has recently introduced a programme of security enhancements which have been subject to a detailed risk assessment by the Irish Aviation Authority, which is responsible for regulating aviation security. A number of reviews/audits of security practices and procedures at the State airports have pointed to the need to introduce improvements in staff screening arrangements. The new enhancements were adopted by the National Civil Aviation Security Committee (NCASC) - which includes the Department of Justice and Equality and An Garda Síochána - on the basis of a risk assessment by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), which has responsibility for overseeing compliance with aviation security requirements in Ireland.

With regards to further developments at European level, new provisions are on the way which will introduce additional aspects to the background checks carried out in civil aviation, including the use of security intelligence. When these new EU measures come into effect, they will become part of the overall suite of security measures now applied at Irish airports - including the recently introduced enhanced screening measures - with the objective of improving security practices and security culture at our airports.

There has been a high level of engagement around the implementation of these new measures, and while there is always an element of adjustment and inconvenience to individuals, the new measures are in the broader public and national interest.

Sports Capital Programme Applications Data

Ceisteanna (235)

James Lawless

Ceist:

235. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the recent round of sports capital fund applications; if clubs may expect feedback on technical errors arising; if so, if clubs will have the opportunity to correct same; when the successful applicants will be announced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6101/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The 2018 round of the Sports Capital Programme opened for applications on Friday 7 September and the application period closed on Friday 19th October. By that deadline, a record 2,337 applications were submitted seeking a total of €162m in funding.

186 of these applications were for projects that were deemed invalid under the 2017 round of the programme that subsequently submitted corrected documents. These applications were assessed first and €7m in allocations to 170 projects were announced on the 17th January.

For the first time, applicants who have submitted incorrect documentation under this round will be given the opportunity to correct their application during the assessment period. While there will be no undue delay in completing the assessment process, in view of the opportunity to correct documentation, the record number of applications received and the detailed information contained in each application, it is likely to take a number of months to have all applications assessed. Accordingly, I expect that it will be at least the second quarter of this year before the full set of allocations under this current round of the programme are announced.

Driver Test

Ceisteanna (236)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

236. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a driver test will be expedited for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6139/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The driving test service is run by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and my Department has no input into the scheduling of appointments. I have referred the question to the Authority for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to contact my office if a response is not received within 10 days.

National Transport Authority Funding

Ceisteanna (237)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

237. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the breakdown by local authority of funding provided in 2018 by the National Transport Authority under the sustainable transport programme of funding for cycling and walking projects; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6195/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As the Deputy may be aware I have secured improved funding allocations over the period 2018-2021 which will benefit both cyclists and walkers.

These improved allocations over this period include:

- €110 million specifically dedicated to cycling and walking infrastructure in our major urban areas;

- €135 million for sustainable urban transport measures;

- €750 million approximately towards the BusConnects programme in Dublin which will include the delivery of around 200 kilometres of segregated cycling lanes, where possible; and

- €53 million to support the development of new Greenways.

In addition to the above, Government has also made additional money available for cycling projects through both the Urban and Rural Regeneration and Development Funds under the National Development Plan.

Included among the allocations referred to above, is funding which is provided by my Department to the National Transport Authority as part of the sustainable urban transport programme. The allocation of funding in respect of individual projects is managed by the National Transport Authority in conjunction with the relevant local authorities, accordingly I have referred your question to the NTA for a more detailed reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

Rail Network Maintenance

Ceisteanna (238)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

238. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the Dublin city centre resignalling project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6196/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for ensuring the development and delivery of public transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area including, in consultation with Iarnród Éireann, the City Centre Resignalling Project.

Noting the role of the NTA in the matter, I have therefore forwarded the Deputy's question to the NTA for further response.

Departmental Budgets

Ceisteanna (239, 240)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

239. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the breakdown of the €19,194,000 capital allocation under A children and family support programme, that is, Vote 40 of the budget 2019 expenditure report within her Department for 2019 by specific project; the projects that will be commenced in 2019; the projects that will be completed in 2019, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6050/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

240. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the breakdown of the €12,806,000 capital allocation under B sectorial programmes for children and young people, that is, Vote 40 of the budget 2019 expenditure report within her Department for 2019 by specific project; the projects that will be commenced in 2019; the projects that will be completed in 2019, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6051/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 239 and 240 together.

The Revised Estimates for Public Services includes a total allocation of €32 million in capital funding for my Department and its Agencies in 2019. The funding provision is apportioned across two Programme areas of the Department's Vote as set out in the following table:

Programme Area

Funding Allocation

Programme Subhead

Subhead Allocation

A - Child and Family Support Programme

€19.194m

A.3: Child and Family Agency

€17.194m

A.4: Oberstown Children Detention Campus

€2.000m

B - Sectorial Programmes for Children and Young People

€12.086 m

B.5: Childcare Programmes

€9.606m

B.6: Youth Organisations and Services

€3.200m

Details of the individual measures to be supported under the various Subhead allocations are set out hereunder.

Child and Family Agency

Tusla's capital expenditure in 2019 will be split primarily between its Estates and ICT requirements. In excess of €12 million is to be spent on estates to include significant projects in Portlaoise and Limerick as well as various minor capital and equipping costs on various premises throughout the country. The ICT capital expenditure will involve €3 million on ICT infrastructure and €2 million on applications development and procurement.

Oberstown Children Detention Campus

Oberstown Children Detention Campus will commence projects on the demolition of the old campus building and on the resurfacing of an emergency fire track in 2019. A case management system that has been in development will also be completed this year.

Childcare Programmes

The capital funding will support a number of programmes in 2019 to assist providers and beneficiaries in developing capacity, quality and sustainability in the early learning and care sector.

The Early Learning and Care and School Age Capital programmes account €6.106m and will support the following -

- Strand A (Early Learning and Care) (€4.2m) to create new places for 0-3 year olds. This strand will offer individual grants of up to €50,000 in value to early learning and care providers where demand is clearly evidenced.

- Strand B (Early Learning and Care) (€0.8m) to provide fire safety for community services. This strand will offer individual grants of up to €15,000 to aid community/not-for-profit childcare services in addressing fire safety issues that have been highlighted in inspection reports by Tusla, the HSE or Local Authorities.

- Strand C (School Age Childcare) (€1m) to create new school age places. This strand will offer individual grants of up to €20,000 to school age childcare providers for the creation of newplaces where demand for these is clearly evidenced.

In addition to the above, €3 million will be made available under the Affordable Childcare Scheme Capital programme for a one-off capital grant to providers to assist in meeting the governance requirements of the scheme.

€0.25m is to be provided for parent and toddler groups organised on a not for profit basis and which involve the participation of parents in the community. Grants will range from €100 to €1000. Existing Parent and Toddler Groups can apply for a maximum of €800. New start up groups may apply for maximum grant of up to €1000.

A further €0.25m is being allocated to the Childminding Development Grant. A childminder can apply for a grant of up to €1,000 through their local Childcare Community Centre to purchase equipment for childminding practice in their home.

Youth Organisations and Services

Youth Organisation and Services will receive:

- €0.450m is being allocated for Play and Recreation to support the development and refurbishment of new and existing playgrounds. This funding is to be awarded to individual Local Authorities under an application based funding scheme.

- €0.350m is being set aside to fund the start-up capital and equipment costs of the twenty three Revised Youth Funding Scheme youth services, which have commenced around the country since 2016 as part of the process of reform of our youth services.

- €2.4 million will be used to support small capital projects in youth services and organisations. The application criteria for these capital funding grants are currently being finalised and the application criteria will be advertised to the relevant youth groups and organisations in due course.

Child and Family Agency Funding

Ceisteanna (241)

Mick Wallace

Ceist:

241. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the amount of funding provided by Tusla to organisations providing counselling and psychotherapy supports to children and families in County Wexford in each of the years 2014 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by each organisation. [6129/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

Under the Child and Family Agency Act, 2013, Tusla, the Child and Family Agency is required to support and promote the development, welfare and protection of children. Tusla provides funding to a range of organisations which provide counselling, psychotherapy and support services to vulnerable children and families.

As the Deputy's question refers to an operational matter for Tusla, I have requested Tusla to respond directly to the Deputy.

Departmental Budgets

Ceisteanna (242, 243)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

242. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the breakdown of the €125,882,000 capital allocation under A rural development and regional affairs, that is, Vote 42 of the budget 2019 expenditure report within his Department for 2019 by specific project; the projects that will be commenced in 2019; the projects that will be completed in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6052/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

243. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the breakdown of the €15,118,000 capital allocation under B community development, that is, Vote 42 of the budget 2019 expenditure report within his Department for 2019 by specific project; the projects that will be commenced in 2019; the projects that will be completed in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6053/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 242 and 243 together.

My Department provides funding at programme level to support local authorities and others in the delivery of individual capital projects. The Department operates a wide range of capital funding programmes such as the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme, CLÁR, Community Enhancement Programme, Libraries Capital Investment Programme, the LEADER Programme and the Local Improvement Scheme.

Each of these programmes support a very large number of individual projects. For example, 224 areas benefitted from funding under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme in 2018, and the most recent round of funding under the Community Enhancement programme supported over 3,000 individual projects or capital purchases. The details of individual projects supported by my Department under each programme are available on my Department's website.

Of particular importance in 2019 is the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund. Under Project Ireland 2040, the Government has committed €1 billion to this Fund over a 10 year period to support rural economic development and help build strong communities. The Fund has been allocated €315 million over the period 2019 to 2022, with €55 million set aside in my Department's budget in 2019. The respective allocations for the years 2020 to 2022 will be confirmed as part of the annual budgetary process. 18 successful Category 1 projects were announced on the 23rd November 2018, and details of these projects are also available on the Department website. A further announcement detailing successful Category 1 and Category 2 projects will take place shortly, with a second call for the Fund taking place later in the year.

In respect of allocations for 2019, the breakdown of my Department’s capital spend at programme level is set out in the following table;

€ 000

DRCD TOTAL (GROSS)

141,000

A - RURAL DEVELOPMENT & REGIONAL AFFAIRS

125,882

A.2 - ADMINISTRATION - NON PAY

182

A.4 - NATIONAL RURAL DEVELOPMENT SCHEMES

15,000

A.5 - LEADER- RURAL ECONOMY SUB PROGRAMME

30,000

A7- TOWN & VILLAGE REGENERATION

15,000

A.8 - REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

700

A.9 - LOCAL IMPROVEMENT SCHEMES

10,000

A.10 - RURAL REGENERATION AND DEVELOPMENT FUND

55,000

B - COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

15,118

B.2 - ADMINISTRATION - NON PAY

151

B.3 - SUPPORTS FOR COMMUNITY & VOLUNTARY SECTOR

1

B.6 - SUPPORTS FOR DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITIES

1,767

B.7 - DORMANT ACCOUNTS

2,500

B.8 - PROGRAMME FOR PEACE AND RECONCILIATION

650

B.10 - LIBRARY DEVELOPMENT AND ARCHIVE SERVICE

6,049

B.11 - COMMUNITY ENHANCEMENT PROGRAMME

4,000

Social Welfare Benefits Reviews

Ceisteanna (244)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

244. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if the case of a person (details supplied) will be investigated; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5980/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Department has never been furnished with a copy of the Court Order agreement referred to in the PQ. The customer in this case should attend his Intreo Centre and supply them with a copy of the Court Order. On receipt of this, the Department will decide whether a review of his case can be undertaken.

I trust that this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Departmental Budgets

Ceisteanna (245)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

245. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the breakdown of the €14 million capital allocation, that is, Vote 37 of the budget 2019 expenditure report within her Department for 2019, by specific project; the projects that will be commenced in 2019; the projects that will be completed in 2019, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6049/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The following table outlines my Department’s plans for the 2019 capital allocation of €14m.

Subhead

Projects

Capital Allocation 2019

A.2.v Office Equipment and External IT Services

Ongoing purchase of computer hardware, photocopiers, other non-IT office machinery, software licenses including storage technology, investment in server infrastructure and in virtualisation technology etc.

€8.8m

A.2.vi Office Premises Expenses

Refurbishments on the Department’s buildings. All accommodation works are contracted by the Office of Public Works (OPW). The Department is currently engaging with the OPW to finalise a list of projects for 2019.

€5m

A.2.ix eGovernment Related Projects

Provision in the event of eGovernment related project requirements arising during 2019.

€0.2m

Total

€14m

Rent Supplement Scheme Payments

Ceisteanna (246)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

246. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her plans to ensure that a person (details supplied) continues to receive their rent allowance in view of the circumstances; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6054/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The person concerned contacted their local Intreo Centre on the 19/11/18 to advise they had received notice to quit their privately rented accommodation. Rent Supplement was subsequently closed on foot of this information. The person concerned received an Exceptional Needs Payment (ENP) on 7/12/18 to pay rent for November. There has been no further contact from the person concerned. As per section 23 (1)(b) of S.I. 412 of 2007, clients shall inform the Executive of any change in circumstances which may affect their right to receive supplementary welfare allowance. The Department is unable to issue further payments to the above customer until their current circumstances are established. The person concerned should attend her local Intreo Centre to discuss her circumstances in greater detail.

I trust this clarifies matters for the Deputy.

Domiciliary Care Allowance Eligibility

Ceisteanna (247)

John Brady

Ceist:

247. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the rules on the awarding of a domiciliary care allowance in cases in which the child is in hospital; if the payment of the allowance in cases in which it is already awarded is altered or not paid in circumstances in which the child is admitted to hospital; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6060/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) is an allowance payable in respect of children with a severe disability, who require care and attention substantially in excess of that required by other children their age without their disability. It is payable on the basis that the child is receiving the additional care in their own home. As a result DCA is not payable while the child is resident for an extended period in a hospital.

Parents who are already in receipt of the allowance in respect of a child who becomes hospitalised can continue to receive DCA for a further 13 weeks. If the child is still in hospital at that time, payment is suspended until they return home.

Children who have not been in payment, but who meet the qualifying conditions for the scheme, in regard to having a disability and requiring substantial extra care, can have their application approved, with payment commencing when they leave hospital and return home.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Jobseeker's Allowance Appeals

Ceisteanna (248)

Paul Kehoe

Ceist:

248. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a jobseeker's allowance appeal by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6069/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was referred to an Appeals Officer on 31 January 2019. The Appeals Officer will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the 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.

Working Family Payment Payments

Ceisteanna (249)

Paul Kehoe

Ceist:

249. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of the working family payment for a person (details supplied); when a decision will be made on same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6073/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Working Family Payment (WFP) is an 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 14 December 2018.

The person concerned has been awarded WFP with effect from 15 November 2018 to 13 November 2019. The first weekly payment and all arrears owing will issue to their nominated bank account on 07 February 2019.

The person concerned was notified on 05 February 2019 of this decision and of their right of review and appeal.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance 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 full rate of carer's allowance by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6075/19]

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.

The person concerned has been in receipt of CA at half-rate since 21 June 2018 as she was also in receipt of an Illness Benefit (IB) payment from this Department.

She has requested a re-assessment of her CA entitlement from half rate to full rate as she has ceased to claim IB. However, she was employed before she went on sick leave and information regarding he current employment status is now being sought.

A person can be considered to be providing full-time care and attention where they are engaged in employment, self-employment or on training or education courses outside the home for a maximum of 15 hours per week, provided that they can show to the satisfaction of a deciding officer that adequate care has been provided for the care recipient in their absence.

Additional information was requested from the person concerned on 5 February 2019. Once the information is received the application will be processed without delay and she will be notified directly of the outcome.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Community Employment Schemes Supervisors

Ceisteanna (251)

Willie O'Dea

Ceist:

251. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if her attention has been drawn to the fact that a person (details supplied) did not receive notice or was consulted on the closure of a project; if her attention has been further drawn to the fact that this person did not receive pay or redundancy in lieu of notice; if the issue will be rectified; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6090/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The person to whom the Deputy is referring was employed by a Community Employment (CE) scheme as a CE supervisor.

CE schemes are typically sponsored by voluntary and community organisations wishing to benefit the local community. As the employers, these sponsoring organisations contract with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, on an annual basis, to provide job seekers and other vulnerable groups with good quality work experience and training qualifications to support their progression into employment.

CE supervisors are employees of these organisations, which are private companies. They are not employees of my Department or public servants. The issues outlined by the Deputy are a matter between the person concerned and their employer.

It is the responsibility of the employer to pay statutory redundancy payments to all its eligible employees. In the event that the employer cannot pay the statutory entitlements due to financial difficulties, my Department can step in to pay the amounts from the Social Insurance Fund.

As the employer in this case was unable to pay the redundancy entitlement, the redundancy claim was submitted to my Department and payment was made from the Social Insurance Fund.

The purpose of the Insolvency Payments Scheme, which operates under the Protection of Employees (Employers’ Insolvency) Act, as amended, is to protect certain outstanding pay-related entitlements due to employees in the event of the insolvency of their employer.

These entitlements include wages, holiday pay, sick pay, payment in lieu of minimum notice due under the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts, 1973-2001, and certain pension contributions. Various other statutory awards made by the Work Place Relations Commission, etc., are also covered by the scheme.

Where a person’s former employer was a limited company, the company must be in liquidation or receivership in order for the person to be eligible to claim under the Insolvency Payments Scheme.

The employer does not satisfy the requirements to enable payment to be made under the Insolvency Payment Scheme.

Departmental Budgets

Ceisteanna (252)

Paul Kehoe

Ceist:

252. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of an invalidity pension review for a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6127/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Invalidity pension (IP) is a payment for people who are permanently incapable of work because of illness or incapacity and who satisfy the pay related social insurance (PRSI) contribution conditions.

The department received a claim for IP for the lady concerned on 29 January 2018. Her application was disallowed on the grounds that the medical conditions for the scheme were not satisfied. She was notified on 06 March 2018 of this decision, the reasons for it and of her right of review or appeal.

The lady concerned requested an appeal of the decision and submitted further medical evidence in support of her appeal. Following a review by a deciding officer of this medical evidence in conjunction with all information available to date, it has been decided that there is no change to the original decision. A submission is being prepared by the Department and will be forwarded to the Social Welfare Appeals Office for determination as soon as possible.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.