Ministerial Meetings

Ceisteanna (73)

Darren O'Rourke

Ceist:

73. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for Transport the number of meetings he has had with taxi representatives since becoming Minister; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23230/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As the Deputy will be aware, the regulation of the small public service vehicle (SPSV) industry is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the provisions of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013. The Advisory Committee on Small Public Service Vehicles, commonly referred to as the Taxi Advisory Committee, was established under the Taxi Regulation Act 2003 and continues in being under Section 72(1) of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013 to perform the functions assigned to it under the 2013 Act.

I can confirm to the Deputy that following recent official-level from my Department at the Advisory Committee in July and August, I plan to hold my first virtual meeting with taxi industry representatives this Friday, 11th September to discuss the concerns of their members and the challenges faced by the sector.

School Transport

Ceisteanna (74)

Neale Richmond

Ceist:

74. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Transport the additional facilities being provided for students who are taking public transport to school this academic year, bearing in mind social distancing and issues of capacity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23052/20]

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.

Continued operation of the public transport sector is important, and it has been designated among the essential services that have carried on during the Covid crisis. I would like to thank both public and commercial operators and their staff for their continued dedication to providing this vital service in such challenging times. A number of measures have been introduced across the system, guided by public health advice, to ensure the continued operation of services during the pandemic, including enhanced cleaning regimes and social distancing measures across the network.

Over the course of the COVID-19 crisis, my Department has been working closely with the National Transport Authority (NTA) to ensure public transport services continue and to plan for the provision of enhanced public transport services in line with the Government Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business. In this context, the NTA is engaging directly with both PSO and commercial transport operators.

With the commencement of Phase 3 of the Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business on 29 June 2020, changes to the existing public transport social distancing restrictions were agreed, allowing a move from 2 metres social distancing to utilising 50% of the passenger-carrying capacity of fleet. This will help to underpin public transport services during these unprecedented times, with a view to safeguarding public transport capacity. Alongside this change, it was also decided that the wearing of a face covering when using public transport would be made mandatory. The Regulations for the mandatory wearing of face coverings on public transport were introduced under Health legislation on 10 July and came into effect on Monday 13 July. Public health advice tells us that face coverings are an important safety measure, especially in interior spaces, but that they are not suitable for every individual, particularly those who cannot do so for health reasons or due to young age.

Further, there is continued strong messaging that public transport capacity remains restricted and therefore should only be used for essential travel, with only those who absolutely have to travel at peak times doing so and encouraging staggered retail and office opening hours. People are being encouraged to walk or cycle where practical, and organisations are encouraged to continue to facilitate working from home.

As part of new restrictions announced by Government on the 18th August, people have been asked to avoid public transport where possible. This advice along with other measures (such as continuing to work from home where possible) is aimed at suppressing the spread of Covid-19 in Ireland. The advice is also aimed at ensuring public transport is safeguarded for those who need it most, including frontline workers and students.

The new measures were introduced following recommendations made to Government by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).

Covid-19 Pandemic

Ceisteanna (75)

Steven Matthews

Ceist:

75. Deputy Steven Matthews asked the Minister for Transport if clarity will be provided on foreign travel advice (details supplied). [23056/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The Department of Health is the lead Government Department in relation to Public Health matters.

Government advice continues to be against all non-essential travel overseas until further notice.

If individuals travel abroad for essential reasons, they should inform themselves about any requirements in place in the destination to which they are travelling. The current international travel advice issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Travel is available here: https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/coronavirus/.

Passengers arriving into or returning to Ireland from locations not on the “Green List” are required to restrict their movements for 14 days to limit the potential of COVID-19 transmission.

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Question No. 77 answered with Question No. 69.

Ceisteanna (76)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

76. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Transport if additional supports will be provided to chauffeurs (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23072/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

In regard to the proposal to revaluate Small Public Service Vehicle (SPSV) Limousine Licences, the Deputy may be aware that the current SPSV licensing regime, which was introduced in 2000, is built upon the principle that the purpose of a licence is to indicate a person’s suitability to carry out a function and to ensure that the holder of a licence is subject to lawful conditions and restrictions. As such a licence should not have, by association, a monetary value or be tradable on the open market. Accordingly, there is no basis for ascribing a monetary value to licences as proposed or for extending the period of validity of individual licences.

In regard to the proposal to reintegrate the National Transport Authority (NTA) into the Department of Transport, the NTA assumed responsibility for the regulation of the SPSV on I January 2011. The independent regulation of the SPSV sector by the NTA, which it undertakes in accordance with the Taxi Regulation Act (2013), is seen as essential in ensuring the effective administration and development of the sector in a way that meets the needs of consumers and businesses through the provision of high quality, accessible and sustainable transport connecting people in communities across Ireland.  As such, there are no plans to amend the NTA’s remit in the manner proposed.

The remaining issues raised in the letter from the National Chauffeur Drive Association & Western Chauffeur Drive Association Ireland attached to the Deputy’s question relate to the areas of responsibility of other Government Departments and Ministers. 

Matters relating to debt write offs, moratoriums on loan repayments, income tax credits, Vehicle Registration Tax rebates and VAT reclaim schemes are matters for my colleague, the Minister for Finance.   

With regard to the putting in place of a specific Restart Grant for Chauffeur Drive, this would be a matter for my colleague, the Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

Question No. 77 answered with Question No. 69.

Driver Test

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deput

under Standing Order 51

Ceisteanna (78)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

78. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Transport if the Road Safety Authority will provide an update on a driving test in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23188/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As the information requested in the Deputy's question is held by the Road Safety Authority, I have forwarded the question to the Authority for direct response to the individual's case. Please contact my office if no reply is received within 10 working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 51

Aviation Industry

Ceisteanna (79)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

79. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Transport if issues raised in correspondence by a person (details supplied) regarding the aviation industry will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23201/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

My Department is monitoring the financial impact of COVID-19 on the Irish aviation sector on an ongoing basis, in consultation with all key stakeholders and relevant Government Departments.

The Government has put in place a range of supports for businesses, including those in aviation. The supports include the extended wage subsidy scheme, which will now run to April 2021, alleviation of commercial rates, tax clawback, and liquidity support available through the ISIF Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund.

It remains open to airlines to engage directly with the relevant agencies concerned with a view to drawing down such supports. The amount of any funding sought by each airline would be a commercial matter for the airlines concerned.

The report of the Aviation Recovery Taskforce contains a number of recommendations relating to the provision of further support to the sector including through stimulus funding to aid recovery, and these recommendations are being considered, as appropriate, in the context of the ongoing work to manage the impact of COVID-19 on aviation and the wider economy.

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Ceisteanna (80)

Holly Cairns

Ceist:

80. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Finance the reason those earning under €13,000 were made ineligible for the stay and spend scheme, including persons on disability and carer's allowance. [23160/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

The Stay and Spend scheme provides tax relief by means of a tax credit at the rate of 20% on qualifying expenditure of up to €625 per person, or €1,250 for a jointly assessed couple, in respect of 2020 and 2021. The tax credit is worth a maximum of €125, or €250 for a jointly assessed couple.

The scheme is a tax-based measure administered by Revenue and is one of a number of initiatives introduced by the Government as part of the July Stimulus Package with the aim of supporting employment.

It is the case that those on low incomes who have been removed from the tax system through Budgetary policy over the years, and therefore pay no income tax or USC, will not be in a position to benefit from this initiative.

Within the tax system, the normal position is that a tax credit can only benefit a person who has an income tax liability. In the present instance, however, special arrangements have being made to extend the potential benefit as widely as possible so that, even where a person does not have an income tax liability, he or she may still benefit by virtue of having a USC liability.

In terms of those on lower incomes, the position is that a full-time minimum wage worker will be able to absorb fully the Stay and Spend Tax Credit in either 2020 or 2021.

Indeed a person who earns 75% of the minimum wage in the year, for example a person working part-time for just over 29 hours per week on the minimum wage, will also be able to fully absorb the credit in either 2020 or 2021. In this case, the person will not have an income tax liability, but, by virtue of the fact that the tax credit may be set against a USC liability, the person will be able to fully benefit.

The credit will be off-set against the claimant’s income tax liability in the year of assessment, after other allowances, deductions or reliefs have been given to the claimant. If the credit available to a claimant is higher than their income tax liability in the year of assessment, any excess credit may be off-set against their liability to USC in that same year. This credit can be used to reduce a claimant’s liability to income tax and USC in the year of assessment to nil.

Fuel Inspections

Ceisteanna (81)

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

81. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Finance the number of diesel fuel dipping tests carried out by State services in each of the years 2018, 2019 and to date in 2020; and the number of positive results in each year. [23182/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that a multifaceted approach is taken to tackling the misuse of fuel and their compliance activities in this area ranges from roadside sampling of private and commercial vehicles at checkpoints, as well as a specific programme based on enhanced supply chain reporting for suppliers and retailers. In addition, Revenue and the UK Revenue and Customs undertook a joint initiative to introduce a new marker for use in marked fuels, which came into operation in April 2015.

The number of samples of Marked Gas Oil drawn and the consequential detections of misused fuel for the period 2018 through 31 August 2020 are set out below.

Year

Samples Drawn

Misuse Detections

2018

27,875

835

2019

33,984

867

2020 (to 31 August 2020)

6,843

215

In addition, Revenue conducted random National Sampling Programmes in the years 2016 to 2019 to assess the extent of fuel laundering. The programmes involved nearly one in ten of some 2,500 holders of auto fuel trader licences. Tests of diesel samples taken from the randomly selected traders found no evidence of the marker in any of them. The results of this sampling are a clear indication that Revenue’s actions have resulted in the near elimination of the selling of laundered products at retail level. The 2018 sampling programme was expanded to include hauliers and other businesses in the transport sector. A very small number of samples from this programme tested positive. The results of the 2019 sampling programme were broadly in line with previous years. The 2020 programme analysis has yet to be completed.

The results represent confirmation of the effectiveness of the various measures introduced by Revenue in recent years to enhance compliance in the fuel trade and among users of diesel. The random sampling programme results do not signify the complete elimination of the illicit trade in fuel. However, they do demonstrate that systematic selling of illicit fuel through retail outlets and its use in the transport sector is negligible.

Despite the success in combatting the misuse of fuel I am assured by Revenue that combatting such criminality continues to be a priority. Revenue and An Garda Síochána collaborate closely in acting against cross-border fuel crime and also co-operate with their counterparts in Northern Ireland under the framework of the North-South Joint Agency Task Force. This cooperation plays a key role in targeting the organised crime groups who operate across jurisdictions and are responsible for much of this criminality.

Office of Public Works

Ceisteanna (82)

Steven Matthews

Ceist:

82. Deputy Steven Matthews asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if his Department will carry out a report and assessment of repairs required for two public sites (details supplied) under the control of the OPW in Bray, County Wicklow, that have been damaged by antisocial behaviour. [23075/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Office of Public Works will, as soon as resources are available, arrange an inspection of Raheen na Cluig, a National Monument in State care, following which it would be expected that a Report would issue in due course.

The remit of the Office of Public Work lies with the preservation, protection, maintenance, conservation, management and presentation (if possible) of the state owned National Monuments. As Oldcourt Castle is not designated as such, an assessment and report of the site's condition falls outside OPW's remit. The Office of Public Works is not in a position to accede to this element of the Deputy's request.

Public Sector Pensions

Ceisteanna (83)

Brendan Howlin

Ceist:

83. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if his Department has updated or altered the interpretation of pension abatement under the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23096/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

As the Deputy will be aware, the principle of abatement of a public service pension is longstanding within the rules of various public service pension schemes and pension abatement is an important aspect of the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012 (the Single Scheme Act).

Section 52(1) to 52(5) of the Single Scheme Act provides for the abatement of a public service pension where a retired public servant, whose pension is in payment, is re-employed in the public service such that no more of the pension when combined with the remuneration in the new job shall exceed the pensionable remuneration of the old job

My Department provides on-going advice and clarifications to public service bodies about the application of abatement rules. In this regard, for example, advice has been provided in relation to longstanding features of abatement such as the application of abatement on a pro-rata and periodic basis (i.e. taking into account work pattern and period of re-employment), and in relation to the method for calculating abatement generally. It is a matter for public service bodies to ensure that pension abatement rules are being applied consistently.

Finally, there is provision in the legislation under Section 52(4) of the Single Scheme Act to grant a waiver of abatement in certain circumstances. Such applications are dealt with on a case by case basis based on the provisions of the Act.

If there is a particular abatement matter that the Deputy would like clarification on, my Department would be happy to provide further information.

Statutory Retirement Age

Ceisteanna (84)

Martin Browne

Ceist:

84. Deputy Martin Browne asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on the need for some persons who work physically demanding jobs to retire at the age of 65 years of age; and if he is examining the needs of the workers in this regard. [23169/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

As Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, I am responsible for policy in relation to the terms and conditions of employment of public servants. Retirement ages in the public service are provided for in primary legislation and summary details are set out in the following paragraphs and in tabular form below. Retirement arrangements in the private sector are a matter for the individual employer and employee.

- Minimum pension age is the earliest age at which a public servant may retire and receive their pension benefits without actuarial reduction. Most public servants have a minimum pension age of 60, 65 or the age of eligibility for the State Pension (currently 66), depending on their date of recruitment, as set out in the table below.

- Public servants who wish to retire before reaching minimum pension age may avail of “cost neutral early retirement” (CNER) from age 50 or 55, as set out in the table below. This means that they can retire at age 50 or 55 with immediate payment of pension benefits but their pension and lump sum are actuarially reduced to take account of the earlier payment.

- Compulsory retirement age is the age at which a public servant must retire. Most public servants recruited between 1 April 2004 and 31 December 2012 have no compulsory retirement age. Most other public servants have a compulsory retirement age of 70, as set out in the table below. Public servants are not obliged to remain in employment until they reach their compulsory retirement age.

The only significant exception to the retirement conditions outlined above relates to the group of employees in the public service who, due to the nature of their work, are required to retire early. This group is made up of members of An Garda Síochána, members of the Permanent Defence Force, Firefighters and Prison Officers. Members of these groups have lower minimum pension ages and lower compulsory retirement ages than other public servants. Details for these groups are not included in the table below.

Retirement ages in the public service have been reviewed as recently as 2017. I have no plans at present to undertake a further review in this area.

Table

Retirement Ages in the Public Service

Recruitment Date

Relevant Legislation

Age eligible for CNER

Minimum Pension Age

Compulsory Retirement Age

Pre 1 April 2004

Public Service Superannuation (Age of Retirement) Act 2018

50

60

70

1 April 2004 to 31 Dec 2012

Public Service Superannuation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2004

55

65

None

On or after 1 Jan 2013

Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012

55

Consistent with State Pension Age (currently 66)

70

Ministerial Advisers

Ceisteanna (85, 86)

Mairéad Farrell

Ceist:

85. Deputy Mairéad Farrell asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of special advisers employed in each Department; and the annual salary of each in tabular form. [23170/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Mairéad Farrell

Ceist:

86. Deputy Mairéad Farrell asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of special adviser positions in each Department; and the number currently vacant in tabular form. [23171/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 85 and 86 together.

As the Deputy will be aware on the commencement of every Dáil, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform issues guidelines setting out the arrangements for the staffing of Ministerial Offices. The appointment of Special Advisers is subject to Section 11 of the Public Services Management Act 1997.

The Guidelines for the appointment of Ministerial Appointments for the 33rd Dáil were approved by Government last month and have been published by my Department on the gov.ie website at https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/9ad159-special-advisers-pay/

These Guidelines, which are consistent with those applying to the 32nd Dáil, set out the number of Special Advisors that each Minister or Minister of State may appoint and the associated rates of pay to apply to Special Advisors on appointment.

Special Advisers to Ministers and Ministers of State who regularly attend Cabinet are to be placed on the Principal Officer (Standard) PPC scale: currently €87,325 - €101,114. Special Advisers to Ministers of State are to be placed on the Assistant Principal Officer (Standard) PPC scale: currently €67,659 - €78,816.

The appointment of individual Special Advisers is a matter for each Government Minister, subject to the terms of the aforementioned Guidelines, although the appointments are also subject to formal Government approval in accordance with Section 11 of the Public Service Management Act 1997. The process to formally appoint Special Advisors, following recent approval of the Guidelines, is presently underway.

Once formally appointed by Government Order, the Contract for each Special Advisor must be laid before the Oireachtas by each Minister and the rate of pay for each Special Advisor also notified to my Department. In line with established practice, my Department will prepare and publish a List of Special Advisors, to include salary information, at the aforementioned gov.ie website once the formal appointment of all Special Advisors has concluded.

Commemorative Events

Ceisteanna (87)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

87. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht when the parliamentary consultative committee on the decade of commemorations will be reconstituted; the proposed make-up of the committee; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23124/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Media)

The All-Party Consultation Group on Commemorations has proved a very constructive forum throughout the Decade of Centenaries and in the upcoming years to 2023, such input will again be beneficial in contributing to the Decade of Centenaries Programme.

I am currently considering the reconstitution of the Group and I will be seeking nominations to the group as soon as is practicable. Once these nominations have been received, I will then be in a position to convene an early meeting of the Group.

As the Minister with responsibility for leading the Decade of Centenaries commemorative programme, my priority is to ensure that the Government's approach to the remembrance of the significant historical events and related themes of the period from 1920 to 1923 is appropriate, measured, respectful, inclusive and sensitive to the different perspectives that persist on the events of this period. I look forward to engaging with colleagues across the Oireachtas and others in this context.

Planning Issues

Ceisteanna (88)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

88. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if there is a group, organisation or ombudsman to whom a community or group (details supplied) can complain if it feels sufficient protocols were not followed for projects; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23086/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

My role, as Minister, in relation to the planning system is primarily to provide and update the legislative and policy guidance framework. The legislative framework comprises the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, (the Act) and the Planning and Development Regulations 2001, as amended. 

With regard to policy guidance, my Department has issued a large number of planning guidelines (available on the Department’s website, www.housing.gov.ie) under section 28 of the Act, to which planning authorities and An Bord Pleanála are obliged to have regard in the exercise of their planning functions. The day-to-day operation of the planning system is, however, a matter for the planning authorities. 

Under planning legislation, enforcement of planning control is a matter for the relevant planning authority which can take action if a development does not have the required permission, or where the terms of a permission have not been met. 

Under section 30 of the Act, I am specifically precluded from exercising any power or control in relation to any particular case, including an enforcement issue, with which a planning authority or An Bord Pleanála is or may be concerned.

There are extensive enforcement provisions provided for in Part VIII of the Act, with a view to ensuring that works pertaining to permitted developments are carried out in accordance with the planning permission granted and any associated conditions and that no unauthorised development takes place.

If a person is of the view that any development works being undertaken are not in compliance with the permission granted  or are unauthorised, s/he may make a written complaint to the relevant planning authority who shall investigate the matter and take any appropriate enforcement action. This includes the issuing of a warning letter and, where necessary, an enforcement notice requiring that the development is carried out in conformity with the planning permission and any condition pertaining to that permission. 

If an enforcement notice is not complied with, the planning authority may itself take the specified steps and recover the expense incurred in doing so.  A planning authority may also seek a Court order under section 160 of the Act, requiring any particular action to be done or not to be done.

Covid-19 Pandemic

Ceisteanna (89)

Richard O'Donoghue

Ceist:

89. Deputy Richard O'Donoghue asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the status of Covid-19 delays within the Property Registration Authority in view of the fact that delays are impacting the town and village renewal scheme. [23041/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Property Registration Authority is currently operating a high level of service.

Applications for registration can be lodged as usual through the post or DX and are being processed in order of priority.  Urgent applications are being processed expeditiously upon request, on a case by case basis.  For the month of August 2020, intake was 16,818 transactions with 15,461 transactions registered.

All electronic services continue to be available at landdirect.ie and eregistration.ie. Requests for Certified Copy Folios with Map and Copy Instruments can be made online via the landdirect.ie service or by post.   Plain copy orders of Memorials/ROD Applications are being processed by the Registry of Deeds.

The arrear of applications on hand has increased by 26% when compared to the end of August 2019, primarily due to the impact of COVID-19.  As applications for registration are often complex, necessitating numerous legal queries, it is not possible to give a an estimate of the potential delays.  However, as the number of applications being lodged is decreasing, response times will improve over time.  Where a case is urgent and is brought to the attention of the PRA, the matter is dealt with expeditiously in accordance with its customer service policy.

Lease Agreements

Ceisteanna (90)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

90. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the details of acquisitions or leases on estates (details supplied); the number of houses that were leased; the estates in which they were leased; the number of houses that were acquired; the housing mix in each of the estates; the cost of purchase; the cost of the leases; the duration of each lease; the entity which purchased or leased the houses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23057/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

It is a matter for Local authorities to provide and maintain housing in their area. They assess the housing needs for the area and build, buy and lease dwellings as appropriate to meet that need. In the case referenced, the information requested would be more appropriately addressed to Kildare County Council. While my Department provides financial support to local authorities for housing delivery in their functional area, the level of granular detail sought by the Deputy is not information that would be readily available to my Department in the format requested.

My Department publishes comprehensive statistics on a quarterly basis on all social housing delivery activity under Rebuilding Ireland. This is published on the statistics page of my Department’s website, at the following link:

https://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/social-housing/social-and-affordble/overall-social-housing-provision

This data provides a breakdown of social housing delivery across a range of mechanisms.

In addition to the statistical overview of activity in each local authority, a detailed Social Housing Construction Status Report is published each quarter which provides scheme level detail on new build activity under Rebuilding Ireland. The most recent publication covers the period up to the end of Q4 2019 and is available on the Rebuilding Ireland website at the following link:

https://rebuildingireland.ie/news/minister-murphy-publishes-social-housing-construction-status-report-for-q4-2019-2/

This is sorted by local authority, and gives a list of the individual projects that make up the new build programme for that local authority (excluding Part V delivery).

A version of this file can be downloaded at the following link and used for various analysis in terms of stage of activity, location, quarter of completion, number of homes etc.

https://data.gov.ie/dataset/social-housing-construction-status-report-q4-2019

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Q1 2020 returns were deferred to be collected in conjunction with Q2 2020 and both will be reported on in due course.

Lease Agreements

Ceisteanna (91)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

91. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the number houses that were leased by location in the 2019 and 2020, in tabular form; the entity that purchased or leased the houses; the developer; the cost involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23058/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

In 2019, 1,161 homes were delivered under the Social Housing Leasing Programme and, of those, 812 were delivered by the relevant local authority and 349 by an approved housing body. A breakdown of leasing delivery in 2019, by location and entity, is set out in Table 1 below. Leasing delivery data for 2020 is being collated at present and will be published on my Department's website as soon as that process is finalised. Details of the developer involved in each social housing leasing project are not held by my Department and that level of granular detail would be kept at local level.

However, the total expenditure for leasing in 2019 and up to end August 2020, together with the average cost of a new unit in 2020, is set out in Table 2 below. There are some further claims due into my Department in respect of 2019 delivery. 

  Table 1: Leasing Delivery by Local Authority 2019

 

LA Leasing

AHB Leasing

Total Leasing

Carlow

6

2

8

Cavan

2

3

5

Clare

17

9

26

Cork   City

27

10

37

Cork   County

16

12

28

DLR

82

1

83

Donegal

21

18

39

Dublin   City

95

20

115

Fingal

64

21

85

Galway   City

0

2

2

Galway   County

50

4

54

Kerry

33

44

77

Kildare

1

23

24

Kilkenny

13

2

15

Laois

6

5

11

Leitrim

3

0

3

Limerick

28

22

50

Longford

5

3

8

Louth

22

21

43

Mayo

58

4

62

Meath

1

35

36

Monaghan

1

3

4

Offaly

16

16

32

Roscommon

15

1

16

Sligo

3

0

3

South   Dublin

35

14

49

Tipperary

24

11

35

Waterford

79

5

84

Westmeath

48

14

62

Wexford

35

8

43

Wicklow

6

16

22

Total

812

349

1,161

Table 2: Leasing Expenditure 2019 and 2020 

Total Leasing Expenditure 2019 

Total 2020 Leasing Expenditure to End August 2020

Average Annual Leasing Cost (New Unit) 2020 

€62,909,976

€34,620,518

 €13,222 

Housing Data

Ceisteanna (92)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

92. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the number of non-Part V houses purchased by location in 2019 and to date in 2020; the cost; the developer; the housing mix; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23059/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

My Department publishes comprehensive statistics on a quarterly basis on all social housing delivery activity under Rebuilding Ireland. This is published on the statistics page of my Department’s website, at the following link:

https://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/social-housing/social-and-affordble/overall-social-housing-provision.

Acquisition information for each year of Rebuilding Ireland can be found at the following link: https://www.housing.gov.ie/sites/default/files/attachments/social_housing_output_overview_2016-to-q4_2019_.xlsx 

Detailed acquisition information for each Local Authority can be found at the following link https://www.housing.gov.ie/sites/default/files/attachments/1c1-la-acq-by-area-q4.xlsx

Expenditure on acquisitions in 2019 totalled over €495 million. It should be noted that acquisition recoupment claims may not be received from Local Authorities in the same year the unit was acquired.

The precise mix of property types acquired is a matter for each Local Authority based on local requirements and opportunities and the granular details in terms of individual developers or vendors would be held at local level.

The Programme for Government, identifies the need to avoid over-concentration of particular housing types in areas, by requiring local authorities to complete housing need and demand assessments to inform delivery of an appropriate mix of housing typologies to cater for the needs of diverse household types and sizes. 

In terms of social housing delivery data to date in 2020, data gathering and collation was impacted by COVID-19, where the focus was on maintaining the essential housing services. The data collection and collation process has since resumed and social housing statistics for Q1 and Q2 2020 will be published together.