181. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to force banks and credit card companies, as part of their strategy to reduce credit card fraud and theft, to text the card holder after each transaction, thus making them aware instantly that their card has been used or abused. (Question 54736/13 asked on 18 Dec 2013 - Financial Services Regulation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): As I am sure the Deputy will appreciate the question posed raises issues that would need to be considered in the context of the regulation of financial transactions. 
The issue might therefore be more appropriate for consideration in the first instance by my colleague the Minister for Finance.
I can, however, inform the Deputy that I have no proposals in this regard.
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241. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Education and Skills if there are any grants available in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 10 who is currently studying full-time but receiving no grants and no travel allowance. (Question 54220/13 asked on 17 Dec 2013 - Student Grant Scheme Eligibility)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Officials in my Department have been informed by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) that the student referred to by the Deputy was deemed ineligible for a grant as she stated on her application form that she was attending a further education course and in receipt of Back to Education Allowance.
If there is a change in this information the student should notify SUSI of the change at support@susi.ie.
If an individual applicant consider...

306. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection her views on the introduction of JobPath including the status of the tendering process, terms of reference and timeframe for conclusion of the tender, costings and roll-out of the project. (Question 53937/13 asked on 17 Dec 2013 - Labour Activation Projects)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): JobPath is the Government’s new programme of labour market activation aimed specifically at the long-term unemployed and those most at risk of becoming long-term unemployed. JobPath will be delivered by third party providers of employment services under contract to the Department.
On 12 December 2013, the Department published a contract notice inviting tenders for the provision of JobPath services. JobPath will be delivered in four contract a...

169. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Defence the formal process for investigating deaths-suicides of members of the Defence Forces. (Question 53568/13 asked on 12 Dec 2013 - Defence Forces Personnel)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I have been advised by the Military Authorities of the following procedures in relation to the investigation of deaths, including suicides, of members of the Defence Forces. 
In the case of a death occurring in Ireland on military property and warranting investigation, the Military Police would have an investigative role. However, as the primacy of jurisdiction in such matters in Ireland rests with An Garda Síochána it is they who would have primary i...

186. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will confirm that Educate Together will be moving into the former Scoil San Shéamus in Basin Street, Dublin 1; and if it is intended to allow access to the facility to the community, as has been the case in the past. (Question 52735/13 asked on 10 Dec 2013 - School Accommodation)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): I can confirm to the Deputy that my Department is working closely with the Educate Together Patron Body in relation to operating a school from the former school premises in Basin Street. It is intended that the community will continue to have access to the facilities.
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187. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Education and Skills the way colleges of further education will fund major repairs to their buildings if they can no longer apply or qualify for the summer works programme. (Question 52736/13 asked on 10 Dec 2013 - Summer Works Scheme Eligibility)

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy Ciarán Cannon): I wish to advise the Deputy that only eligible schools can apply for funding under the Summer Works Scheme. However, in an emergency situation, it is open to Education and Training Boards to submit applications for funding for works, such as those referred to by the Deputy, on behalf of further education colleges and these will be considered in the light of competing demands and available resources.
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201. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of participants currently on Momentum. (Question 52935/13 asked on 10 Dec 2013 - Momentum Programme Issues)

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy Ciarán Cannon): This is a day to day operational matter for SOLAS who manage the Momentum programme. I understand that 5,637 participants started on the Momentum programme between 1 January and 31 October 2013.
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273. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of participants on JobBridge who are receiving the lower jobseeker’s allowance rates of €100 and €144, respectively. (Question 52936/13 asked on 10 Dec 2013 - Work Placement Programmes)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 255, 264, 273 and 274 together.
The JobBridge scheme was launched on 1 July 2011. As at end November 2013, a total of 486 schools, including both primary and secondary, had participated in the scheme.
Host organisations participate in the scheme on a voluntary basis and receive no payment or other benefit from the State in respect of their participation in the scheme. I believe that in these circumstances the...

274. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of staff assigned to administer and monitor the JobBridge scheme; if these same staff have responsibilities relating to other schemes also; if so, the extent of same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52937/13 asked on 10 Dec 2013 - Work Placement Programmes)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 255, 264, 273 and 274 together.
The JobBridge scheme was launched on 1 July 2011. As at end November 2013, a total of 486 schools, including both primary and secondary, had participated in the scheme.
Host organisations participate in the scheme on a voluntary basis and receive no payment or other benefit from the State in respect of their participation in the scheme. I believe that in these circumstances the...

280. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will immediately publish or circulate the report of the Mercer review she commissioned and has had since the end of 2012 on the pension wind-up priority order contained in section 48 of the Pensions Act 1990, which the Social Welfare and Pensions (No. 2) Bill 2013 proposes to amend, in order to ensure a fully democratic and thorough debate on the context and implications of the Bill. (Question 53015/13 asked on 10 Dec 2013 - Departmental Reports)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): The Review of Pension Scheme Wind-Up Priorities was undertaken by Mercer during 2012 at the request of the Department of Social Protection. The review was undertaken to inform the deliberative process regarding the wind up priority provision in section 48 of the Pensions Act. The review primarily considers the technical aspects of the distribution of assets. The objective of the review was to determine to what extent the provisions in secti...

327. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the growing number of voids in Dublin City Council; the percentage of the €30 million announced to tackle the growing voids in local authorities that will be earmarked for Dublin City Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52628/13 asked on 10 Dec 2013 - Local Authority Housing)

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 327 and 329 together. 
The additional €30 million Exchequer investment in social housing announced on Budget Day is expected to deliver some 500 local authority homes for families on the housing waiting list. Approximately half of this investment will facilitate the construction of new infill housing developments in areas with a high demand for social ...

329. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government when local authorities will receive the promised additional funding to tackle the increasing level of voids. (Question 52702/13 asked on 10 Dec 2013 - Local Authority Housing)

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 327 and 329 together. 
The additional €30 million Exchequer investment in social housing announced on Budget Day is expected to deliver some 500 local authority homes for families on the housing waiting list. Approximately half of this investment will facilitate the construction of new infill housing developments in areas with a high demand for social ...

10. D’fhiafraigh Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh den an Aire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas maidir le todhchaí Eagraíocht na Scoileanna Gaeltachta Teoranta ó thaobh thacaíocht a Roinne de; ar phléigh an tAire ceist an Oideachais Gaeltachta ag leibhéal na Comhaireachta Thuaidh Theas i gcomhthéacs athchóiriú na n-eagraíochtaí bunmhaoinithe; agus ar phléigh sé an cheist leis an Aire Cultúir, Ealaíon agus Fóillíochta i dTuaisceart Éireann, agus má rinne, cén chonclúid a bhí ar an cheist sin. (Question 51473/13 asked on 03 Dec 2013 - Scoileanna Gaeltachta)

Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Dinny McGinley): Mar eolas don Teachta, chuir mo Roinnse cúnamh gur fiú €780,000 (bunaithe ar 75% den chostas) ar fáil d’Eagraíocht na Scoileanna Gaeltachta (ESG) ón mbliain 2007 chun cur ar a gcumas foireann a fhostú agus oifig a riar. Tugadh maoiniú d’ESG le dhá bhliain anuas ar an gcoinníoll go rachadh an cónascadh, a bhí beartaithe acu féin a dhéanamh le Gaelscoileanna Teo., ar aghaidh. Tiocfaidh deireadh le ma...

18. D’fhiafraigh Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh den an Aire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ar an ngá atá ann Fóram Pleanála Uile-Éireann a bhunú; an bhfuil aon phleananna aige chun fóram den sórt sin a chur ar bun; agus mura bhfuil aon phleananna den sórt sin aige, cén fáth nach bhfuil. (Question 51472/13 asked on 03 Dec 2013 - Foras na Gaeilge)

Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Dinny McGinley): Mar a mhínigh mé i bhfreagra ar Cheist Dála 81 ar 22 Deireadh Fómhair 2013, rinne an Chomhairle Aireachta Thuaidh Theas socruithe nua maoinithe a fhaomhadh, in ionad múnla reatha bunmhaoinithe Fhoras na Gaeilge, ag a chruinniú in Ard Mhacha ar an 10 Iúil 2013. Faoi na socruithe nua, beidh tosaíochtaí straitéiseacha ar leith á seachadadh ag 6 eagraíocht cheannais a bheidh ag feidhmiú ar bhonn uile-oil...

88. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance the future of the pension levy; the number of years it is expected to last and the rate; the amount it is anticipated will be raised by it; what the money raised is being allocated to; if he intends to bring forward legislation ring-fencing it for any particular purpose; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51876/13 asked on 03 Dec 2013 - Pensions Levy)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I announced in my 2014 Budget speech that the 0.6% Pension Fund Levy introduced to fund the Jobs Initiative in 2011 will be abolished from the 31st of December 2014. I will, however, introduce an additional levy on pension funds at 0.15%. I am doing this to continue to help fund the Jobs Initiative, including the continuation of the reduced 9% VAT rate detailed below and to make provision for potential State liabilities which may emerge from pre-exis...

94. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Education and Skills the catchment area for Irish medium schools, gaelscoilenna, into which schools (details supplied) in Dublin 8 fall. (Question 51299/13 asked on 03 Dec 2013 - Gaelscoileanna Issues)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): There are no catchment areas specifically for Irish-medium schools. However for planning purposes the country is divided into geographic districts each with several primary schools feeding into a post-primary centre with one or more post-primary schools. These defined districts facilitate the orderly planning of school provision and accommodation needs. The schools in the areas referred to by the Deputy fall into the Ballyfermot, Dubli...

105. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason a person (details supplied) in Dublin 10 is not eligible to receive a full student grant. (Question 51486/13 asked on 03 Dec 2013 - Student Grant Scheme Eligibility)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Officials in my Department have confirmed with Student Universal Support Ireland that the student referred to by the Deputy has been awarded a postgraduate fee contribution of €2,000 and is ineligible to have his fees paid up to the maximum fee limit. Under the terms of the Student Grant Scheme 2013 postgraduate students who meet the qualifying conditions for the special rate of grant under the Student Grant Scheme will be eligible to h...

190. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection if defined benefit schemes that secure an exemption from the minimum funding standard will be covered by the provisions of the Social Welfare and Pensions (No. 2) Bill. (Question 51875/13 asked on 03 Dec 2013 - Pensions Legislation)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): The provision in the Social Welfare and Pensions (No.2) Bill will not apply to schemes which are excluded from the requirements of the Funding Standard.
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195. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason rent allowance has not been granted in respect of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51966/13 asked on 03 Dec 2013 - Rent Supplement Scheme Applications)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): In light of the late availability of some information and given the complex and sensitive issues involved in this case, further enquiries are being made to establish the accurate information which will enable this Department to provide a full and comprehensive response. We will contact the Deputy’s office as soon as this is available.
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196. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection when rent allowance will be reinstated in respect of a person (details supplied). (Question 51967/13 asked on 03 Dec 2013 - Rent Supplement Scheme Applications)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): In light of the late availability of some information and given the complex and sensitive issues involved in this case, further enquiries are being made to establish the accurate information which will enable this Department to provide a full and comprehensive response. We will contact the Deputy’s office as soon as this is available.
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2. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the rationale underpinning her decision to prevent the disclosure of the names of companies which have used the JobBridge scheme in view of the significant benefits these companies derive from the work done by interns paid for by her Department; and if in the interests of deterring abuse of the scheme she will make a statement withdrawing the expectation of confidentiality that she has created for the companies involved. (Question 50873/13 asked on 28 Nov 2013 - Job Initiatives)

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: I am trying to get the Minister to indicate why she is refusing to disclose to the public the list of companies availing of the JobBridge internship scheme, which is a State-sponsored scheme. Will she end the expectation that these companies have confidentiality, which is an expectation that she and her Department have created?
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5. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection her views on the delays in making disability allowance payments to 1,700 persons who made successful appeals to the social welfare appeals office; and if she will recruit more staff in order that decisions of the appeals office can be implemented immediately in the future. (Question 50874/13 asked on 28 Nov 2013 - Disability Allowance Payments)

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: What steps will the Minister take to address the increase in the delay between social welfare appeals being successful and appellants subsequently receiving payment from the Department? This delay is now over three months in the case of disabled applicants.
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8. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will provide an update on the Gateway scheme. (Question 50776/13 asked on 28 Nov 2013 - Work Placement Programmes)

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: I am seeking more details on the Gateway scheme which seems at a glance to be more akin to the Workfare scheme, because there is no training budget and no prospect of work by the host organisation. Can the Minister elaborate on the scheme?
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35. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the implications for her Department and the social welfare appeals office of the recent High Court ruling directing an appeals officer to reconsider the application by the mother of a ten year old girl for domiciliary care allowance in the context of new evidence; and if she will issue guidance on the matter to staff. (Question 50775/13 asked on 28 Nov 2013 - Social Welfare Code)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I will be proposing a Committee Stage amendment to the Social Welfare and Pensions (No 2) Bill 2013, which is currently before the Seanad, in relation to some aspects of this Judgment. The question of what guidance should be provided to front-line staff on this issue is still under consideration in the Department.
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38. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will amend the rules of the fuel allowance scheme to ensure that payment is not lost by the qualified adult in the event of family breakdown. (Question 50773/13 asked on 28 Nov 2013 - Fuel Allowance Eligibility)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Some 410,000 customers will receive the fuel allowance of €20 per week for 26 weeks from October to April, at a cost of €223 million. The fuel allowance is paid to those in receipt of long-term jobseekers, one-parent family payment, disability allowance, invalidity pension and some people in receipt of the State pension. The allowance is subject to a means test and is paid only to those who live alone or with certain exempted people. Full d...