Question No. 119 answered with Question No. 112.

Departmental Staff

Ceisteanna (120)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

120. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide information on a matter (details supplied). [29405/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I wish to inform the Deputy that details of the Department’s Organisational Structure are available on the ‘Who Does What’ of my Department’s Website (see link https://www.gov.ie/en/organisation-information/f37115-about-us/#corporate-links. This will provide access to details on the Department of Finance’s Management Team along with the functions of the Department.

Tax Data

Ceisteanna (121)

Neale Richmond

Ceist:

121. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Finance the number of persons who claimed the remotely working from home e-working tax relief for the tax year 2019; the amount claimed; the average payment per person; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29474/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that where e-workers incur certain extra expenditure in the performance of their duties of employment remotely or from home, such as additional heating and electricity costs, there is a Revenue administrative practice in place that allows an employer to make payments up to €3.20 per day to such employees, subject to certain conditions, without deducting PAYE, PRSI, or USC. Where employers avail of this facility, they are not required to advise Revenue and therefore the number of employees reimbursed in this manner is not available. Where employers choose to pay more than €3.20, the excess is subject to deduction of PAYE, PRSI and USC.

Where an employee has suffered qualifying expenses that are not reimbursed by the employer, or where such reimbursement is treated as taxable income (i.e., the above €3.20 per week), the employee may make a claim to Revenue for a deduction in respect of these amounts. Qualifying expenses in this context are expenses incurred wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the performance of the duties of the employment. I am advised by Revenue that where a deduction in respect of expenses in relation to working from home is claimed in a tax return, the amounts are included in a general ‘Expenses’ field. Therefore, it is not possible to provide the number or value of specific claims in relation to these expenses.

Fuel Oil Specifications

Ceisteanna (122)

Alan Dillon

Ceist:

122. Deputy Alan Dillon asked the Minister for Finance the points of entry for the importation of marked gas oil (details supplied) here; the standards and conditions that apply to marked gas oil for use here; if he is satisfied these standards comply with European Union standards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29519/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

There are several ports through which refined oil products, such as diesel, can arrive into the State. The ports are in Dublin, Galway, Foynes and Tarbert. Crude oil is also received into Whitegate Refinery in Co. Cork for refining by ship. The Whitegate Refinery can also receive refined product by ship. Crude and refined oil product is stored on Whiddy Island, Bantry, Co, Cork. Refined oil product can also arrive into the State by road from Northern Ireland.

Marked gas oil (MGO) is diesel on which a reduced rate of Mineral Oil Tax (MOT), currently €117.78 per 1,000 litres has been paid on condition that it is used only for purposes that qualify for that reduced rate. Reduced rate purposes include non-propellant uses such as in agricultural tractors. It is chemically marked and dyed green to deter misuse for purposes to which the standard MOT rate applies, currently €494.90 per 1,000 litres. There is a legal requirement to add two national markers, Accutrace S10 and a blue dye, and also the Euromarker, Solvent Yellow 124, to gas oil which is being delivered to customers on payment of MOT at a reduced rate. This legal requirement is part of a scheme of controls intended to prevent and detect irregular use of reduced rate oils. The presence of prescribed markers can be detected by a chemical test. The addition of markers to these oils facilitates their identification if used illegally in a motor vehicle.

A range of controls and legal measures are in place to ensure that MGO is used only for its intended purpose:

- the places, vessels and pipes, where marking of diesel may be carried out, must be approved by Revenue. The addition of markers to diesel typically occurs at Revenue approved tax warehouses.

- all traders who produce, sell or deal in any mineral oil that is liable to a rate lower than the standard rate must obtain a licence from Revenue (Marked Fuel Trader’s Licence).

- Finance Act 1999 provides for offences relating to the improper use of MGO, such as its sale or use as a propellant, trading in this product without a Marked Fuel Trader’s Licence and removing / attempting to remove any marker. In addition, Finance Act 2001 includes a provision which makes any person who makes a supply or delivery of MGO knowing that, or is reckless as to whether, the transaction is connected to the evasion of MOT liable to be assessed for payment of the excise duty at the rate appropriate to them, without the benefit of any relief, rebate, repayment or lower rate.

- All traders in mineral oils, including MGO, must complete a monthly supply chain report to Revenue setting out details of all deliveries of mineral oil in the previous month

- a joint fuel marker (Accutrace S10) was put in place in 2015 with the United Kingdom which has supported enforcement cooperation on an all – island basis in this area.

The environmental specifications for gas oil used in non-road mobile machinery are subject to regulation under S.I. 155/2011, which transposed the Fuels Quality Directive (Directive 2009/30/EC).

The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications has responsibility for setting out the technical specifications for gas oils, petrol and diesel in Ireland and I am informed that he is satisfied that these standards comply with the European standards as set out in the Directive.

Further detail on environmental fuel standards is available online at the link below:

https://www.dccae.gov.ie/en-ie/environment/topics/air-quality/fuel-standards/Pages/default.aspx

Community Employment Schemes

Ceisteanna (123)

Cian O'Callaghan

Ceist:

123. Deputy Cian O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the steps he is taking to provide community employment supervisors access to pensions in line with the 2008 Labour Court recommendation to provide access to an occupational pension scheme and the 2015 Lansdowne Road agreement that progress would be made on this issue during the lifetime of that agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29315/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Deputy will be aware that the matter of community employment schemes falls within the policy remit of my colleague the Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection.

I have however a strong appreciation of the role of Community Employment Schemes in communities right across the country and I know this role could not be fulfilled without the leadership of the Scheme Supervisors. In this context I have taken the opportunity to meet with the relevant parties involved in these schemes to hear at first hand their issues of concern.

The particular matter raised by the Deputy is a complex one that raises significant policy, legal and exchequer cost issues. The Deputy may be aware that the State is not the employer of the workers concerned. A detailed scoping exercise was carried out in 2017 in order to comprehensively examine and assess the full potential implications, in both cost and precedent terms, of the issues involved. The outcome to the scoping exercise was that the matter has potentially very significant implications for the exchequer, particularly if consequential demands were to be made by all similar State funded Community and Voluntary organisations whose employees are in a similar position to the Community Employment scheme supervisors.

This is a factor which must be borne in mind in our approach to this issue. While CE supervisors and assistant supervisors represent a small part of the wider community and voluntary sector, consideration must be taken for the potential liability to the State if similar claims are made by the many workers in the broader community and voluntary sector.

As the Deputy will appreciate, we are now facing major challenges in managing the public finances. However, I intend, with my colleague the Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection to consider all the issues involved in relation to this matter and will continue to engage constructively with the relevant stakeholders.

Coastal Erosion

Ceisteanna (124)

Duncan Smith

Ceist:

124. Deputy Duncan Smith asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if recent meetings have taken place with officials from the relevant Departments and stakeholders in respect of the coastal erosion problem at Portrane, County Dublin; if so, the decisions which were taken; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29381/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I am advised, in respect of coastal erosion at the Burrow, Portrane, County Dublin, that Fingal County Council is leading on this issue, as it is a matter for Local Authorities in the first instance to assess and address problems of coastal erosion in their areas. Where necessary, Local Authorities may put forward proposals to relevant central Government Departments, including the Office of Public Works, for funding of appropriate measures depending on the infrastructure or assets under threat.

In 2018, in response to serious coastal erosion problems at The Burrow, Portrane, Fingal County Council implemented temporary interim emergency measures to protect properties at risk. Funding of €456,464 was approved under the OPW Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme for these works. A further extension to these interim emergency measures along the Burrow, Portrane is now being progressed, in two phases, with total additional funding of nearly EUR1m to be provided by the OPW under the Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme.

Consultants appointed by Fingal County Council have prepared a draft plan to address significant and medium- to long-term coastal change in the Portrane Peninsula/ Rogerstown Outer Estuary area. Fingal County Council has advised that due to the ecological sensitivity of the site and the complexity of the issues involved, it is likely that the assessment of this plan, which will include extensive public consultation, environmental assessment and the relevant consent processes, will take over a year to complete.

My Office continues to co-operate and assist Fingal County Council in every way and if a viable option is identified, the Council may submit a further application for funding to the Office of Public Works or other Government Departments as appropriate. A meeting last took place on 12th June 2020 between the Office of Public Works and Fingal County Council where the public consultation process which is currently ongoing was discussed. This consultation process ends on the 16th October 2020 and full details are available on www.fingal.ie

Departmental Properties

Ceisteanna (125)

John McGuinness

Ceist:

125. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will provide a list of properties in the ownership of the Department at Killybegs, County Donegal, Howth, County Dublin and Dunmore East, County Waterford: if the properties are leased or vacant: if he will provide details of the letting history for each property over the last ten years: if each property is structurally sound: if security costs are being paid on any property now or over the last ten years: if he will confirm if any properties at these locations were disposed of in the past 10 years: if all rents are up to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29296/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

There is no property in the specified locations under the direct control of my Department or the Office of Government Procurement, which is also part of my Department.

Most State property which vests in the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform under the State Property Act is controlled by other Government Departments and agencies and some of this property may be relevant to the Deputy’s request. Those bodies which control or administer this property would be best placed to reply to the Deputy.

In relation to the Office of Public Works, which is a body under the aegis of my Department, I can confirm that there are no state properties vested in the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform under the State Property Act in the specified locations.

Travel Trade Sector

Ceisteanna (126)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

126. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if his attention has been drawn to a submission from a group (details supplied); and if he will give it further consideration in the context of budget 2021 and the period thereafter. [29312/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Government has introduced a range of supports to assist businesses during this period including income supports via The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme, the provision of direct grant aid through The Restart Grant Plus and commercial rates waivers provided by local authorities. . In addition to this a number of loan schemes have been expanded to provide additional liquidity supports such as the Credit Guarantee Scheme, the Future Growth Loan Scheme, the Covid Working Capital Loan Scheme and the Covid-19 Business Loans available from Microfinance Ireland.

I am well aware of the difficulties facing travel agents in Ireland as a result of Covid-19. DPER is currently engaging with the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media on proposals in relation to Estimates 2021 including supports for the Tourism Sector.

Flood Relief Schemes

Ceisteanna (127)

Pádraig O'Sullivan

Ceist:

127. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the status of the progression of the Glashaboy flood relief scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29337/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Glashaboy Flood Relief Scheme has been submitted by the Office of Public Works, under the provisions of the Arterial Drainage Acts, accompanied by an Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) and Natura Impact Statement (NIS), to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform for formal Confirmation.

Arising from the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations 2019, which were published in Iris Oifigiúl on 27 September 2019, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform has undertaken an environmental assessment of the proposed scheme in line with legislative requirements. This involved an independent assessment of the EIAR / NIS and a public consultation process.

On the 5 May 2020, the Office of Public Works received correspondence from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform that the independent assessment is now complete. This correspondence has requested, pursuant to section 7(B) sub-section 4 of the 2019 European Union (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Arterial Drainage) Regulations, certain items of further information that are required to complete the process. My Office is working together with Cork City Council and environmental consultants appointed for this project to prepare the additional information requested - which relates to further detail on the processes followed and assessments undertaken in developing the scheme - to be submitted to the Department in order that the assessment can be completed and the scheme confirmed by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. This information is currently scheduled to be provided to the Department at the end of this month.

The procurement and appointment of a Contractor will be progressed for this scheme following formal Ministerial Confirmation. The flood relief scheme will be funded from within the allocated €1 billion for flood risk management over the period 2018-2027. Provision for the cost of the Scheme is included in the Office of Public Works' multi annual capital allocation.

The Office of Public Works is committed to funding this project and to offer every assistance to Cork City Council to ensure a contractor is engaged, and the works commences, as soon as possible.

Departmental Contracts

Ceisteanna (128)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

128. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the contracts with public relations agencies and consultants entered into by his Department; and the remit of these contracts including the costs in tabular form. [29359/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the table below.

Responsibility for Project Ireland 2040 communications was assigned to my Department on 21 November 2018. Since that date, my Department has utilised the services of PHD Media Ltd and TBWA Dublin and spent €46,401.72 and €64,438.45 respectively on public information measures related to Project Ireland 2040 over period of just under 2 years.

Supplier

Details

Cost

PHD Media Ltd

Two-week tranches of transit advertising for Project Ireland 2040 on public transport networks throughout Ireland. During each phase, the material was displayed on the Red and Green Luas lines, approximately 500 Dublin Buses, 50 Irish Rail carriages and 100 Bus Shelters in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and nationwide.

€46,401.72

TBWA Dublin

Development of creative strategy for Project Ireland 2040 Public Information Campaign (including creative development - posters etc., social media strategy and video).

€64,438.45

Departmental Staff

Ceisteanna (129)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

129. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will provide information on a matter (details supplied). [29412/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I wish to advise the Deputy that comprehensive details on my Department’s organisational structure, its Divisions and its senior management team (including their names and a description of all individual roles from Secretary General to Principal Officer level) are available on the ‘whodoeswhat’ website at the following link – https://whodoeswhat.gov.ie/root/per/. The email structure to contact officials at my Department is firstname.lastname@per.gov.ie and to contact officials at the Office of Government Procurement, which is also part of the Department, is firstname.lastname@ogp.gov.ie.

Commemorative Events

Ceisteanna (130)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

130. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the way in which the State plans to commemorate the disappeared from the period of Ireland’s history from 1919 to 1923; if an estimate of the number of persons in this category can be provided; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29419/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Tourism)

As we navigate through the most challenging and sensitive phase of the Decade of Centenaries, the Government's approach to commemorations will continue to be underpinned by the guidance of the Expert Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations; and in consultation with the All Party Consultation Group on Commemorations, which I will reconvene shortly. The Expert Advisory Group has published three statements to date, which can be found on the Decade of Centenaries website (https://www.decadeofcentenaries.com/publications/). I would urge everyone who has an interest in the period of commemorations to consult the principles and advice laid down in these publications.

One of the cornerstones of the State's commemorative programme for the coming years will be to continue to further reconciliation on the island of Ireland and between Ireland and Britain.

I am committed to ensuring that the State's approach to the remembrance of all of those who lost their lives during this period will be based on the respectful, sensitive, measured and authentic ethos that is core to the Decade of Centenaries programme.

Historical accuracy, academic integrity and archival discovery will continue to be key tenets as the commemorative programme develops – following closely the centenary timeline of the events that occurred during this period. It is important that our history is faithfully presented, even when the historical record is distressing. We must acknowledge the great tragedy of the lives that were lost or irrevocably altered during those divisive and traumatic years.

I welcome and encourage the continuing research of historians and custodians of records, who seek to increase our understanding of the historical events that occurred, which have so significantly shaped our modern life.

The State’s Civil War commemorative programme invites everyone to consider the painful legacies of our past and reach their own conclusions – the programme will not seek to communicate a preferred narrative or make judgements about any persons or actions. It is not appropriate for the State to retrospectively analyse these historical events through the lens of contemporary perspectives. This is best left to scholars trained in the discipline of history. With regard to the centenary of the Civil War, the guidance of the Expert Advisory Group in this regard is clear –

“The State’s task is to encourage a reflective and a reconciliatory tone that recognises that neither side had the monopoly of either atrocity or virtue and this was true of words as well as actions”

Arts Funding

Ceisteanna (131)

John McGuinness

Ceist:

131. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media further to Parliamentary Question No. 126 of 1 October 2020, the amount of funding that has been provided to an organisation (details supplied) in each of the past ten years. [29290/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Tourism)

The information requested in respect of the funding paid the organisation in question, including the payments made to date in 2020, is attached in tabular form

Payments to Comhaltas Ceolteoirí Éireann

Year

 Payment 

Project/ Scheme

2010

     2,810,571.22

Arts Capital Scheme

     1,082,893.00

Core Operation Current funding

         705,026.86

Arts Capital Scheme

2011

           10,000.00

Culture Ireland

     1,675,000.00

Core Operation Current funding

2012

           10,174.00

Arts Capital Scheme

2013

     1,591,250.00

Core Operation Current funding

     1,448,000.00

Core Operation Current funding

2014

              5,000.00

Culture Ireland

     1,448,000.00

Core Operation Current funding

2015

           14,527.95

Culture Ireland

     1,448,000.00

Core Operation Current funding

           37,500.00

Commemorations

2016

           26,000.00

Culture Ireland

     1,500,000.00

Core Operation Current funding

           20,000.00

Creative Ireland Programme

2017

              1,900.00

2017 Festivals and Summer Schools Scheme (Monaghan Branch)

     1,600,000.00

Core Operation Current funding

           12,000.00

Culture Ireland

2018

              2,000.00

2019 Festivals and Summer Schools Scheme (Monaghan Branch)

     1,600,000.00

Core Operation Current funding

              9,100.00

Arts Capital Scheme

              5,500.00

2019 Festivals and Summer Schools Scheme Inis Cathaigh CCÉ

2019

1,695.17

Culture Ireland

     1,200,000.00

Core Operation Current funding*

           49,415.51

Arts Capital Scheme

              5,479.00

Culture Ireland

2020

              1,000.00

UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

   18,320,032.71

* Allocation for 2020 is €2m, including €400,000 business stabilisation fund arising from impact of COVID-19

Departmental Contracts

Ceisteanna (132)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

132. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the contracts with public relations agencies and consultants entered into by her Department; and the remit of these contracts including the costs in tabular form. [29358/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Tourism)

The information requested by the Deputy in relation to contracts entered into by my Department is set out in the following table.

Year Commenced

Company

Contract Remit

Expenditure to date(VAT inclusive)

2019

TBWA Dublin

Digital services and support (including content management, photography, video production, web and social media editorial, search engine optimisation, accessibility and multimedia support across all platforms) to the Creative Ireland Programme.

2019 €94,821

2020 (to date) €96,534

Value for money is a critical consideration at all times in assessing whether external firms should be engaged to provide services of this nature and public procurement guidelines are followed in awarding contracts for these services.

Departmental Staff

Ceisteanna (133)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

133. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media if she will provide information on a matter (details supplied). [29411/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Tourism)

I wish to advise the Deputy that, following the transfer in of the Tourism, Sport and Media functions and transfer out of the Heritage and Islands functions of my Department, the details of my new Department's organisational structure, its Divisions and senior management team will be made available to the Deputy shortly.

The relevant contact details will also be updated on the 'Who does What' website http:/whodoeswhat.gov.ie and in the IPA yearbook in due course.

Film Industry

Ceisteanna (134)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

134. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the amount of funding provided to Irish film production since 2010; if she will increase the amount for 2021; if she has sought to expand the range of productions subject to tax reliefs; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29420/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Tourism)

Government policy supports the film and television sector in a number of ways to create an attractive environment for film production including through international film co-production treaties, through the Section 481 tax credit and through funding for Screen Ireland. Screen Ireland is the development agency for the Irish film, television and animation industry and comes within the aegis of my Department. Annual funding to Screen Ireland (known as the Irish Film Board until June 2018) since 2010 is set out below:

Year Current Capital Total

2010 €2,772,000 €16,500,000 €19,272,000

2011 €2,431,000 €16,000,000 €18,431,000

2012 €2,540,000 €13,150,000 €15,690,000

2013 €2,960,000 €11,898,000 €14,858,000

2014 €2,760,000 €11,202,000 €13,962,000

2015 €2,760,000 €11,752,000 €14,512,000

2016 €3,269,000 €12,302,000 €15,571,000

2017 €3,786,000 €12,702,000 €16,488,000

2018 €3,820,000 €14,202,000 €18,022,000

2019 €3,840,000 €16,200,000 €20,040,000

2020 €3,840,000 €20,200,000 €24,040,000

In July this year, I was pleased to announce an additional €3 million in to Screen Ireland to support TV drama, bringing its total capital allocation for the year to over €20 million. Support is also provided to the Irish film production sector in the form of the section 481 tax credit and details of the beneficiaries of that funding are available from the Revenue Commissioners website at https://www.revenue.ie/en/companies-and-charities/reliefs-and-exemptions/film-relief/beneficiaries-of-film-relief.aspx

Any changes to section 481 are a matter for the Minister for Finance, as is Budget 2021. However, I as Minister, take every opportunity at Government and with my Ministerial colleagues to highlight the importance and value of the culture and audiovisual sectors and the benefits of increasing public investment in them. My Department is working to implement the Audiovisual Action Plan, which includes recommendations in respect of section 481, and is part of a high level steering group with representatives from across the Government, including the Revenue Commissioners and the Department of Finance. Last year, a number of changes in respect of section 481 were introduced: in July 2019, the EU Commission gave approval in respect of two aspects of Ireland's tax credit: the extension of the Section 481 credit until 2024 which provides certainty for film production companies on the future availability of the credit, ensuring the continued growth of our film industry; and the introduction of the Regional Film Development Uplift which offers an additional tapered tax credit over a period of 4 years and supports the development of a vibrant creative audio-visual sector across the country. Changes were also made to the section 481 Certification process and since 2019 the film tax credit now operates on a self–assessment basis. 2019 also saw the introduction of a new category of qualifying production “Short film of feature quality”. The Steering Group will continue to keep section 481 under review over the lifetime of the Audiovisual Action Plan.

Sports Funding

Ceisteanna (135)

Cormac Devlin

Ceist:

135. Deputy Cormac Devlin asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the status of the large scale sport infrastructure fund; if grants approved earlier in 2020 still stand; if the commitment of at least €100 million made as part of Project Ireland 2040 still holds; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29438/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Tourism)

The LSSIF was launched in 2018 to provide Exchequer support for larger sports facility projects including swimming pools with at least €100m being made available over the period to 2027. Provisional allocations totalling €77.4m for 25 projects under Stream 2 (construction) of the LSSIF were announced on 10 January 2020. On 13th January additional provisional allocations of €5m for a further 7 projects under Stream 1 (design) of the LSSIF were announced. All of these grants remain valid.

The evaluation procedures and guidelines for the LSSIF provide that once provisional allocations are announced, the successful projects will undergo a further process of due diligence. This process includes a further review of projects including economic appraisals and feasibility studies as appropriate to comply with the Public Spending Code. This work is continuing and the priority in the short term is on advancing the projects allocated funding in January. While it is not proposed to open the LSSIF for new applications at present, it is planned to review progress on existing grants in 2021 when the question of whether or not it would be appropriate to seek new applications will be considered.

Covid-19 Pandemic

Ceisteanna (136)

Cormac Devlin

Ceist:

136. Deputy Cormac Devlin asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media if a mid-term review of the national framework for living with Covid-19 will be considered in order to ensure the elements relating to the hospitality industry are effective; if so, if she will engage with industry stakeholders such as a federation (details supplied) and Fáilte Ireland when conducting such a review; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29439/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Tourism)

I am acutely aware of the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on the sectors for which I have responsibility. I recognise that, while absolutely necessary to protect us all, the public health guidance and related restrictions have a damaging impact on these sectors including the tourism industry.

The Department of the Taoiseach recently published Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19. The Plan provides that it will be fully reviewed at end March 2021. My Department and I have had ongoing and continuous engagement with industry stakeholders throughout the pandemic and this process will continue.

Swimming Pool Programme

Ceisteanna (137)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

137. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the funding her Department is providing to allow public swimming pools to continue to operate as a result of Covid-19; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29472/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Tourism)

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on Ireland's sport and leisure sector. I regret that the necessary public health restrictions have presented serious challenges for the operators of sports and recreation facilities. These facilities are hugely valuable to communities throughout the country and play a major role in supporting people's health and well-being. I am pleased that in Level 3 of the Resilience and Recovery Plan, all gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools are permitted to open. I hope that they will continue to serve their communities through the winter months.

As part of the July Jobs Stimulus, I announced a special fund of €2.5 million to support the reopening of publicly accessible swimming pools in recognition of the particular challenges pool operators face in reopening to the public. This funding will be administered by Sport Ireland. A grant scheme is currently being drafted. Full details of the scheme and the application process will be announced shortly.

Sports Capital Programme

Ceisteanna (138)

Alan Dillon

Ceist:

138. Deputy Alan Dillon asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media if a review of the 2018 sports capital programme has taken place; if she has signed off on the review; if not, when she plans to sign off on the review; if the review will be published on the website of her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29512/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Tourism)

The Sports Capital Programme (SCP) is the primary vehicle for Government support for the development of sports and recreation facilities and the purchase of non-personal sports equipment throughout the country. The Programme for Government commits to continuing the SCP and to prioritise the investment in disadvantaged areas.

As with all recent rounds of the SCP, a full Review of the 2018 round of the SCP was carried out by the Sports Capital Division of my Department. The review examined all aspects of the operation of the 2018 round of the programme including any necessary changes required to further improve the scheme. Work has now been completed on the Review at official level and the recommendations contained in it will be factored in to the terms and conditions of the next round of the programme. In this regard, a submission of the draft terms and conditions for the next round and the Review is expected to be submitted to me shortly. Once approved, the Review will be published on the Department's website.