130. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive a hospital appointment. (Question 8875/18 asked on 21 Feb 2018 - Hospital Appointments Status)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.
The National Waiting List Management Policy, A standardised approach to managing...

346. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health the status of the case of a person (details supplied); and when an appointment will be decided. (Question 6817/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Hospital Appointments Status)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.
The National Waiting List Management Policy, A standardised approach to managing ...

415. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) can expect an appointment for orthodontic treatment. (Question 7194/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Orthodontic Services)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.
 ...

693. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to initiate a boundary commission on European Parliament boundaries, in view of a recent European Parliament decision to extend the number of MEP seats here from 11 to 13; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7447/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Constituency Boundaries)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The composition of the current 2014-2019 European Parliament was established by European Council Decision 2013/312/EU of 28 June 2013 establishing the composition of the European Parliament which, in the case of Ireland, provided for the election of 11 MEPs. The current number of MEPs in the European Parliament is 750 plus the President with each Member State having between 6 and 96 Members.
Council Decision 2013/312/EU...

16. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health his plans to address the lack of a dedicated community neuro-rehabilitation team in counties Laois and Offaly. (Question 6409/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Neuro-Rehabilitation Services Provision)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The Midlands Louth Meath Community Health Organisation 8 has a service arrangement with ABI Ireland to provide neuro-rehabilitation services in the Midlands area covering Laois/Offaly and Longford/Westmeath. Acquired Brain Injury Ireland is funded by the Health Service Executive and is a dedicated provider of community-based neuro-rehabilitation services for people with acquired brain injury and their families. The organisation works in communities ac...

306. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of HAP inspections undertaken to date; the number outstanding beyond the eight month deadline, by local authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6191/18 asked on 07 Feb 2018 - Housing Assistance Payment Administration)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Minimum standards for rental accommodation are prescribed in the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2017, made under section 18 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992. All landlords, including those in receipt of Housing Assistance Payment (HAP), have a legal obligation to ensure that their rented properties comply with these regulations and responsibility for the enforcement of the regulation...

130. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Finance his plans to expand the NARPS model to increase the supply of social housing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5335/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - NAMA Social Housing Provision)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 130 to 132, inclusive, together.
I am advised that to date, NAMA has delivered 2,472 houses and apartments for social housing, excluding houses provided under Part V arrangements. NAMA provides whatever funding is required to ensure that social housing units are habitable and in full compliance with all statutory requirements and to date, it has invested approximately €350 million in remediating, completing and purc...

131. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Finance the number of staff employed by NAMA; the annual operating costs; the number of staff engaged with the NARPS model per annum in each of the years 2011 to 2017, and to date in 2018, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5336/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - NAMA Social Housing Provision)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 130 to 132, inclusive, together.
I am advised that to date, NAMA has delivered 2,472 houses and apartments for social housing, excluding houses provided under Part V arrangements. NAMA provides whatever funding is required to ensure that social housing units are habitable and in full compliance with all statutory requirements and to date, it has invested approximately €350 million in remediating, completing and purc...

132. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Finance the amount spent to date through the NARPS model; the number of units acquired; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5337/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - NAMA Social Housing Provision)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 130 to 132, inclusive, together.
I am advised that to date, NAMA has delivered 2,472 houses and apartments for social housing, excluding houses provided under Part V arrangements. NAMA provides whatever funding is required to ensure that social housing units are habitable and in full compliance with all statutory requirements and to date, it has invested approximately €350 million in remediating, completing and purc...

607. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if the €200 million raised by the Housing Finance Agency for the purposes of the newly announced local authority loan scheme constitutes on balance sheet general government expenditure for the purposes of calculating fiscal space; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5334/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Housing Finance Agency)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Funding of €200 million for the new Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan has been raised by the Housing Finance Agency, HFA, from a variety of sources, on a fixed rate basis for periods out to thirty years maturity. Based on the pricing achieved, local authorities can offer a first tranche of fixed-rate annuity finance to eligible borrowers at rates of 2.0% and 2.25% per annum, for twenty five and thirty years respectively, up ...

609. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of social housing current expenditure programme, SCHEP, tenancies in which properties are owned by private landlords in 2017, by local authority area and source; the cost of these tenancies in 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5338/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Social and Affordable Housing Data)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Of the 50,000 social housing units to be delivered under the Rebuilding Ireland action plan for housing and homelessness, just over 10,000 will be secured by local authorities and approved housing bodies, AHBs, under leasing arrangements from a range of different sources, including direct leasing by both local authorities and AHBs from private owners. 
The social housing current expenditure programme, SHCEP, administered...

613. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the amount raised in development levy contributions in each of the years 2001 to 2017, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5529/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Development Contributions)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 613 and 616 together.
Local authorities operate on an accrual accounting basis and recognise income and expenditure as incurred relating to the period it falls due, regardless of the cash transactions.  The annual financial statements, AFSs, of local authorities do not show the annual receipts from development contributions but instead show the gross invoiced income before any income defe...

614. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the status of Government policy on the use of development levies in encouraging construction levels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5530/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Development Contributions)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Development contributions provide critical resources to facilitate the provision of essential public infrastructure and facilities that support the implementation of local authority development plans. 
My role as Minister with regard to development contributions is to provide the necessary statutory and policy framework within which individual development contribution schemes are adopted by each local authority. The ado...

637. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the status of the independent audit of residential construction costs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5923/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Construction Costs)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): Under the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness, the Government is committed to a broad range of measures to tackle, among other things, some of the costs associated with the provision of housing. This includes undertaking a detailed analysis, in conjunction with the construction sector, to benchmark housing delivery input costs in Ireland, in order to facilitate an incre...

159. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of staff per district probate office and general probate office in each of he years 2011 to 2017 and to date in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5142/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - Courts Service)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 159 and 160 together.
The Probate Office is an office of the High Court and management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions under the Courts Service Act 1998. Probate functions are also carried out by County Registrars at District Probate Registries in 14 provincial court offices.
However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, ...

160. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the annual overall budget of each probate office in each of the years 2011 to 2017 and to date in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5143/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - Courts Service)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 159 and 160 together.
The Probate Office is an office of the High Court and management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions under the Courts Service Act 1998. Probate functions are also carried out by County Registrars at District Probate Registries in 14 provincial court offices.
However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, ...

270. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he is satisfied that the Coast Guard is not defined as a principal response agency in view of it being the body with the apparent responsibility and developed expertise in search and rescue operations in Irish waters. (Question 5034/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - Coast Guard Services)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The Irish Coast Guard is designated as a Principal Emergency Service within the Framework for Emergency Management, rather than a Principal Response Agency. This designation has not prevented or impeded the IRCG from carrying out an effective response to search and rescue situations or the discharge of its functions generally. 
 ...

344. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when funding will be provided to Monaghan County Council for the provision of a new fire station in Ballybay, County Monaghan. (Question 5144/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - Fire Stations Provision)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): The provision of fire services in local authority areas, including the establishment and maintenance of fire brigades, the assessment of fire cover needs and the provision of premises, is a statutory function of the individual fire authorities under the provisions of the Fire Services Act, 1981. My Department supports the fire authorities through setting general policy, providing a central trai...

345. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the timeframe for the establishment of a new financial vehicle to allow credit unions invest in the provision of social housing; the stage the process is at; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5145/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - Credit Union Services)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): My Department and the Department of Finance have met with Credit Union representative bodies on a number of occasions to examine how their sector can assist in the area of financing social housing delivery. 
The Central Bank is currently finalising their Consultation on Potential Changes for the Investment Framework for Credit Unions. Once this has been finalised and, if approved, the potential changes could allow for in...

346. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his views on the re-classification of approved housing bodies as part of general government expenditure; the impact on the calculation of fiscal space; the timeframe for such calculations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5146/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - Approved Housing Bodies)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 346 and 347 together.
As part of a review commissioned by Eurostat, the EU Statistical Office, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) were asked in October 2016 to review the classification of Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) for Government accounting purposes. 
The classification was last reviewed in 2014, with a recommendation from the CSO to Eurostat at the time that these Bodies would rema...

347. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to review schemes (details supplied) in view of the EUROSTAT reclassification of approved housing bodies expenditure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5147/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - Approved Housing Bodies)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 346 and 347 together.
As part of a review commissioned by Eurostat, the EU Statistical Office, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) were asked in October 2016 to review the classification of Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) for Government accounting purposes. 
The classification was last reviewed in 2014, with a recommendation from the CSO to Eurostat at the time that these Bodies would rema...

71. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans for a plebiscite on directly elected mayors; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4549/18 asked on 31 Jan 2018 - Mayoral Election)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy John Paul Phelan) (Deputy John Paul Phelan): The Programme for Partnership Government includes a commitment to consider directly elected mayors in cities as part of a broader range of local government reform measures aimed at strengthening local democracy. In response to this commitment, a policy discussion report on metropolitan governance for Ireland’s cities is at an advanced stage of preparation. At this po...

77. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of new housing assistance payment, HAP, recipients from June 2016 to July 2017; the status of each on the social housing waiting list; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4545/18 asked on 31 Jan 2018 - Housing Assistance Payment Data)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): There are currently more than 32,000 households having their housing needs met via the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP). Data regarding the number of households set up on HAP is published on my Department’s website and is available up to the end of quarter 3  2017. Data for quarter 4 is currently being finalised and will be published shortly. The total number of new HAP tenancies established during the period referred to...

105. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when the new tenant purchase scheme will be launched; the mortgage approval process associated with same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4547/18 asked on 31 Jan 2018 - Tenant Purchase Scheme Administration)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 105 and 115 together.
The Tenant (Incremental) Purchase Scheme came into operation on 1 January 2016.  The Scheme is open to eligible tenants, including joint tenants, of local authority houses that are available for sale under the Scheme. To be eligible, tenants must meet certain criteria, including having a minimum reckonable income of €15,000 per annum and having been in receipt of soc...

182. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of his Department’s review of the probate system; the timeframe for the review; the recommendations in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4713/18 asked on 31 Jan 2018 - Courts Service)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Probate Office is an office of the High Court and management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions under the Courts Service Act 1998. Probate functions are also carried out by County Registrars at District Probate Registries in 14 provincial court offices.  
However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service ha...