19. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if funding for the flood relief works that are needed in Mountmellick and Portarlington, County Laois will be committed to once a final plan is presented by Laois County Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53248/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Flood Relief Schemes Funding)

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Kevin Boxer Moran): I propose to take Questions Nos. 19 and 25 together.
The core strategy for addressing areas at potentially significant risk from flooding is the Office of Public Works (OPW) Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Programme. The Programme, which is being undertaken by engineering consultants on behalf of the OPW working in partnership with the local authorities, involves the productio...

25. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the amount available over the next two years for flood relief works; if he will assign a sufficient amount for capital works in the Mountmellick and Portarlington areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53249/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Flood Relief Schemes Funding)

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Kevin Boxer Moran): I propose to take Questions Nos. 19 and 25 together.
The core strategy for addressing areas at potentially significant risk from flooding is the Office of Public Works (OPW) Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Programme. The Programme, which is being undertaken by engineering consultants on behalf of the OPW working in partnership with the local authorities, involves the productio...

170. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding an application for new accommodation by a school (details supplied). (Question 53510/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Schools Building Projects Status)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): As the Deputy is aware, a building project for the school to which he refers is included in my Department’s 6 Year Construction Programme.  
The acquisition of a suitable site for the school’s permanent accommodation has recently been completed.  Arrangements are now being made to finalise the project brief for the school concerned with the aim of progressing the project into the architectural planning process.
 ...

559. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if she will review the scheme of compensation for turf cutters to include the owners of turf banks who may not have cut turf for over ten years due to personal conditions such as health conditions; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53054/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Turf Cutting Compensation Scheme Eligibility)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): The qualifying criteria for the cessation of turf cutting compensation scheme, administered by my Department, are that:
- The applicant must have had a legal interest (ownership or a turbary right) in one of the 53 raised bog special areas of conservation or 36 raised bog natural heritage areas on 25 May 2010 and must have had the right to cut and remove turf from the property on that date;
- The applicant must have be...

20. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the action that will be taken to reduce the number of stages of approval that local authority housing schemes must go through within his Department. (Question 52072/17 asked on 07 Dec 2017 - Local Authority Housing Provision)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): Social housing projects funded by my Department, like all publicly funded construction projects, must comply with the Government’s Capital Works Management Framework, the objectives of which are to ensure greater cost certainty, better value for money and financial accountability. There are nine stages under the  Capital Works Management Framework, which my Department has streamlined to just fo...

33. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if his Department has proposals to bring forward and accelerate the construction of local authority housing. (Question 52071/17 asked on 07 Dec 2017 - Local Authority Housing Provision)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Rebuilding Ireland targets the delivery of 50,000 social homes by 2021, supported by investment of €6 billion, with almost 33,500 to be delivered via construction activity, both by local authorities and by approved housing bodies.
The target of 50,000 is an increase over the originally targeted 47,000 social homes and under the review of Rebuilding Ireland, I announced in September that the budget will be more heavily we...

104. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of an application for a minor works grant by a school (details supplied). (Question 52074/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Minor Works Scheme Applications)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 104, 112, 117 to 119, inclusive, 121, 122, 124, 125 and 127.
I am pleased to advise that yesterday I announced the Minor Works Grant 2017/2018 for primary schools across the country and payment will issue next week.
The funding will allow minor works to be carried out on the physical infrastructure of schools or on the purchase of items of furniture and equipment.
 ...

213. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the way in which costs will be borne for the new smart metering programme proposed for both gas and electricity supply; if costs be placed on customers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52142/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Energy Usage)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The National Smart Metering Programme in Ireland is managed by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU). In a digital age, Smart Meters are the next generation of electricity and gas meter, and are being rolled out across Europe and internationally, replacing older, mechanical meters. By 2020, in Ireland, almost three quarters of a million of existing meters will be more than 40 years old and in need ...

257. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to review the tenant purchase scheme in terms of the way in which it relates to rural cottages in cases which the dwelling was built on family land by a local authority and the tenant is in a position to purchase yet is prevented from doing so; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52135/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Tenant Purchase Scheme Administration)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): 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 social housing support for at least one year.
In line wit...

57. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the system of restorative justice which was piloted in areas of the State has been considered for expansion; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51702/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - Restorative Justice)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Probation Service plays a key role in the delivery of restorative justice as part of its overall mission of reducing reoffending and further victimisation in our communities.  Referrals for restorative justice interventions are provided post-conviction, within the parameters of assessment and court orders, including community and prison based actions.
The Probation Service, through my Department, allocates funding to a range of Com...

84. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans for a system in which the victims of crime receive compensation from perpetrators; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51703/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - Criminal Prosecutions)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I have no plans currently to introduce a system of compensation as proposed in this question. This is because section 6 of the Criminal Justice Act 1993 gives the courts a statutory power to order a person convicted of an offence to pay compensation to a person who has suffered personal injury or loss resulting from the offence.  This is instead of or in addition to dealing with the offender in any other way, unless it sees reason to t...

326. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Health his plans to provide additional funding to an organisation (details supplied) in view of the fact that this organisation only receives €50,000 per annum in funding. (Question 51540/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - Disability Services Funding)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality ...

34. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Finance the actions being taken to address the substantial loadings being put on the insurance costs for both young and older persons and the refusal of some companies to insure vehicles over ten years old despite the fact they have a valid NCT. (Question 50793/17 asked on 30 Nov 2017 - Motor Insurance Costs)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As Minister for Finance, I am responsible for the development of the legal framework governing financial regulation.  Neither I nor the Central Bank of Ireland can interfere in the provision or pricing of insurance products, as these matters are of a commercial nature, and are determined by insurance companies based on an assessment of the risks they are willing to accept.  This position is reinforced by the EU framework for insurance which expressl...

36. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Finance the steps he has taken to curtail the exorbitant increase in motor insurance costs; the further steps planned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50792/17 asked on 30 Nov 2017 - Motor Insurance Costs)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 24 and 36 together.
The Deputy should note at the outset that in my role as Minister for Finance I am responsible for the development of the legal framework governing financial regulation. Neither I nor the Central Bank can interfere in the provision or pricing of insurance products, as these matters are of a commercial nature, and are determined by insurance companies based on the risks they are willing to accept.
H...

338. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Health his plans for investment in Abbeyleix nursing unit in County Laois; the extensions and upgrades planned; the timeframe for these; the provision being made in terms of the funding for these works; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51157/17 asked on 29 Nov 2017 - Nursing Home Services)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.
 ...

484. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the amount paid in 2016 in registration fees to companies (details supplied) for the JobPath scheme. (Question 50762/17 asked on 29 Nov 2017 - JobPath Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 484 to 486, inclusive, and 490 together. 
As the Deputy will be aware, JobPath is a service that supports people who are long-term unemployed to secure and sustain paid employment. The service commenced operations in mid-2015, and reached full State-wide delivery of the service in July 2016.
Some 65,000 Clients commenced their engagement with the service between January 1st & Dec 31s...

485. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons who were referred to the JobPath scheme in 2016. (Question 50763/17 asked on 29 Nov 2017 - JobPath Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 484 to 486, inclusive, and 490 together. 
As the Deputy will be aware, JobPath is a service that supports people who are long-term unemployed to secure and sustain paid employment. The service commenced operations in mid-2015, and reached full State-wide delivery of the service in July 2016.
Some 65,000 Clients commenced their engagement with the service between January 1st & Dec 31s...

486. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of participants in the JobPath scheme in 2016 who have been placed in permanent employment by each of the operators of the scheme (details supplied). (Question 50765/17 asked on 29 Nov 2017 - JobPath Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 484 to 486, inclusive, and 490 together. 
As the Deputy will be aware, JobPath is a service that supports people who are long-term unemployed to secure and sustain paid employment. The service commenced operations in mid-2015, and reached full State-wide delivery of the service in July 2016.
Some 65,000 Clients commenced their engagement with the service between January 1st & Dec 31s...

490. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the amount of job sustainment fees paid in 2016 to companies (details supplied) for the JobPath scheme. (Question 50785/17 asked on 29 Nov 2017 - JobPath Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 484 to 486, inclusive, and 490 together. 
As the Deputy will be aware, JobPath is a service that supports people who are long-term unemployed to secure and sustain paid employment. The service commenced operations in mid-2015, and reached full State-wide delivery of the service in July 2016.
Some 65,000 Clients commenced their engagement with the service between January 1st & Dec 31s...

44. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the reason funding for an organisation (details supplied) in County Laois is lower than the national average. (Question 50222/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Youth Services Funding)

Deputy Brian Stanley: I want to ask the Minister about funding for youth work at Laois youth work centre. The county has consistently received a very small slice of the cake in that regard. For example, in the current year it received €107,000 while Cavan received €333,000 - although I am not arguing for the Minister to take money off Cavan - and Wexford received €440,000.
 ...

57. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs her plans to increase the funding for youth work projects in County Laois in view of the growing young population. (Question 50223/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Youth Work Projects Funding)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Laois Youth Services received €86,803 in funding in 2017 under the Special Projects for Youth scheme. Under this Scheme, grant-aid is made available in respect of out-of-school projects for disadvantaged young people. Priority is given to projects in the spheres of special youth work initiatives, young homeless people, young people at risk of substance abuse and young travellers. Funding to staff-led youth services has general...

38. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of progress towards proposed changes to household waste collection charges; and if he has considered an alternative system of tendering the collection of household waste. (Question 49249/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - Waste Disposal Charges)

Deputy Brian Stanley: My question is on progress on the proposed changes to charges for household waste collection. Has the Minister considered an alternative means?
 ...

40. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Communications; Climate Action and Environment the policy in terms of progress towards changes in services available through the post office network or broadening services to maintain a viable network of post offices. (Question 49250/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - Post Office Network)

Deputy Timmy Dooley: The Minister will be aware of the report which Bobby Kerr was commissioned to write with the Government’s blessing and possibly its financial support, with the acquiescence of the postmasters and with An Post. Bobby Kerr wrote a comprehensive report which was aimed at securing the future of the post office network. When the report was published, it was strongly supported in this House and the Government gave commitments here, both in writing and orally. Scarcely anything ...

54. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans with regard to the future charging network following a recent decision by the regulator on the future financing of the public charging points for electric vehicles. (Question 49010/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - Electric Vehicles)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): Following a public consultation, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities last month published its decision on the future ownership of the electric vehicle charging network.  A key outcome of the decision is that the charging network should not form part of the regulated asset base and therefore expansions of the network should not be funded from network charges.  This is in keeping with the proposals publishe...

69. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if there will be the creation of a renewable heat incentive under proposals in budget 2018; the long-term role of this incentive; when it will be established; and if it will be directed toward commercial, community projects or domestic use. (Question 49009/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - Renewable Heat Incentive)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The proposed Renewable Heat Incentive addresses key objectives set out in the National Mitigation Plan, the Energy White Paper and the Programme for Government.  The scheme has a significant role to play in contributing to meeting our renewable energy and emission reduction targets for 2020 and beyond. In addition, the scheme will open up new opportunities for the domestic bioenergy sector.
The development of th...