94. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Education and Skills the amount of EU funding made available to Ireland under the youth guarantee; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20672/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Youth Guarantee)

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 94 to 96, inclusive, together.
The Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) is one of the main EU financial resources to support the implementation of the EU Youth Guarantee.  It is integrated into European Social Fund (ESF) programming as a dedicated priority axis within the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020 (PEIL).  The specific YEI allocation for Irelan...

95. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Education and Skills the amount Ireland has drawn down from EU funding under the youth guarantee; if no such funds have been drawn down, the reason for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20673/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Youth Guarantee)

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 94 to 96, inclusive, together.
The Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) is one of the main EU financial resources to support the implementation of the EU Youth Guarantee.  It is integrated into European Social Fund (ESF) programming as a dedicated priority axis within the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020 (PEIL).  The specific YEI allocation for Irelan...

96. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to draw down EU funding under the youth guarantee to assist in reducing the youth unemployment rate of 12%; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20674/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Youth Guarantee)

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 94 to 96, inclusive, together.
The Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) is one of the main EU financial resources to support the implementation of the EU Youth Guarantee.  It is integrated into European Social Fund (ESF) programming as a dedicated priority axis within the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020 (PEIL).  The specific YEI allocation for Irelan...

97. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the option of EU funding under the youth guarantee for lone parents and young persons of working age with a disability was opted out of; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20675/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Youth Guarantee)

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): The EU co-financed Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) aims to tackle youth unemployment and implement the Youth Guarantee by providing job, education and training opportunities to young people aged 15-25 who are not in employment, education of training. YEI funding is reserved for use in those regions, including Ireland, where youth unemployment levels exceeded 25% during the reference year of 2012. 
The specific ...

214. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Health the provisions in place to ensure that a general practitioner service remains in Carnew, County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20633/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - General Practitioner Services)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this question relates to a service matter, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.
 ...

273. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of implementing public liability insurance cover for foster carers; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20634/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Public Liability Insurance)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): As I stated to Deputy Mitchell recently, my Department is fully supportive of extending the State Indemnity Scheme under the State Claims Agency to foster parents.
Unfortunately this is taking longer than expected due to technical issues associated with the approvals and statutory process involved. Work is ongoing to address these matters. While we remain confident that these issues will be addressed, I can also confirm that t...

285. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons living outside the Republic of Ireland that receive a State pension payment from her Department; and the associated costs involved. (Question 20641/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - State Pensions Payments)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The information requested by the Deputy is detailed in the following tabular statement. 
Eligibility for the State Pension (Non-Contributory) requires that the claimant be habitually resident in the State.
Tabular statement
 Pension Number of recipients residing outside the State Average weekly payment (all claimants) Approximate weekly expenditure (non-resident claimants)€m State Pension Contributory 46,...

286. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of recipients of a State pension payment that are under 66 years of age; the associated cost involved; and the average payments awarded. (Question 20642/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - State Pensions)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The information requested (where available) by the Deputy is detailed in the following tabular statement. I note that all Invalidity Pension recipients are transferred to State Pension (Contributory) on reaching the age of 66. 
Tabular statement
 Pension Number of Recipients under the age of 66 Average weekly payment (all claimants) Approximate weekly expenditure (claimants under 66) State Pension Non-Con...

288. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons that have been through the employability service since its introduction; the number that have successfully gained employment as a result of the programme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20678/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Employment Support Services)

Minister of State at the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Finian McGrath): The EmployAbility service is a nationwide service funded by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP). The service provides employment support for people with a health condition, injury, illness or disability and a recruitment advice service for the business community to support such jobseekers. The overall objective of the service is to increase the numbers of people...

298. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the amount of money paid in financial penalties to the EU as a result of non-compliance with sewage running into water courses across the State and in relation to the Avoca River, Arklow, County Wicklow. (Question 20671/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Water and Sewerage Schemes)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive mandates member states to collect and treat urban waste water in towns and cities to protect public health and avoid pollution of rivers, lakes and coastal waters. Member states had until the end of December 2000 to ensure appropriate treatment for large agglomerations (with a population equivalent of more than 15,000), and until the end of December 2005 for agglomerations with a...

78. Deputy John Brady asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if 1916 medals will be presented to those in the fire service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20233/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Commemorative Medals)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The 1916 Commemorative Medal was awarded to all Defence Forces personnel recorded as being in service in the course of 2016.  I also sanctioned the award of a similar medal to members of Civil Defence. 
Recognition of the contribution to the State by members of the Fire Service, and other emergency services, is a matter that is not within my remit as the Minister with responsibility for Defence.
 ...

2. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the effect the recently announced changes to the JobPath scheme will mean for new and existing JobPath participants who wish to move to other schemes; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19487/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - JobPath Programme)

Deputy Willie O’Dea: As the Minister is aware, I recently published legislation proposing the change she is introducing; naturally, therefore, I welcome it. I tabled the question to allow her the opportunity to flesh out the details of how it will operate in practice.
 ...

19. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will report on the conclusion of talks between her Department and an organisation (details supplied) dealing specifically with the agreed financial arrangement put in place; her plans to distribute the funds; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19259/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Social Welfare Offices)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): My Department currently has 58 Branch Offices at various locations throughout the country. Services are provided through this Branch Office network in areas which are not directly served by a Department operated Intreo Centre. Each Branch Office is privately operated and managed by a Branch Manager under a contract for service with the Department. My Department is anxious to ensure that the services provided by the ...

23. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the protections in place for employees who are members of defined benefit pension schemes in which a pension scheme is due to wind-down; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19258/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Defined Benefit Pension Schemes)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Almost all defined benefit (DB) schemes have a rule that allows the employer to cease contributions, usually after a notice period. Currently there is no legislative obligation on the employer to make contributions and no further liability on the employer where contributions cease.
However, over the last number of years the Government has amended pension legislation to protect the pension sector and to ensure fairer ...

38. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of social welfare payments that take child maintenance payments into account as means; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19257/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Child Maintenance Payments)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): My Department operates a range of means tested social assistance payments. Social welfare legislation provides that the means test for these schemes takes account of the income and assets of the person and a spouse / partner, if applicable. Income and assets include income from employment, self-employment, occupational pensions, maintenance payments as well as property owned (other than the family home) and capital ...

42. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the waiting times for applications submitted for carer’s allowance, disability allowance and domiciliary care allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19260/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Social Welfare Benefits Waiting Times)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The information requested by the Deputy is detailed in the following table.

Average times to award carer’s allowance, disability allowance and domiciliary care allowance claims at the end of March 2018
 Scheme Average time to award(Weeks) Carer’s Allowance 19 Disability Allowance 14 Domiciliary Care Allowance 9 
 ...

47. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if her attention has been drawn to the concerns held by those in Money Advice and Budgeting Services and Citizens Information Services regarding the restructuring process underway by the CIB; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19261/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Money Advice and Budgeting Service)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The executive of the Citizens Information Board (CIB) is implementing the decision of the Board of CIB to reorganise the governance arrangements of ninety three individual local company boards, comprising 42 Citizens Information Services (CIS) and 51 Money Advice and Budgeting Services (MABS), to a new regionally based sixteen company model, comprising eight CIS and eight MABS companies. As stated on previous occasion...

172. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated cost of extending a pension payment of €243.30 to all persons resident here who are 66 years of age and over and are not in receipt of a State pension payment either in their own right or as a qualified adult based on the latest CSO population projections. (Question 19195/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - State Pension (Contributory) Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 172 to 176, inclusive, 179 and 180 together.
In 2018, it is estimated that this Department will spend almost €7.6 billion on pension payments. The cost includes payments to just over 650,000 pensioners and qualified adults who are aged 66 and over as well as pensions paid to those who are under 66 years of age (such as widows and qualified adults under the age of 66). The cost of inc...

173. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated cost of extending a pension payment of €243.30 to all persons resident here who are 65 years of age and over and are not currently in receipt of a State pension payment either in their own right or as a qualified adult based on the latest CSO population projections. (Question 19196/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - State Pension (Contributory) Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 172 to 176, inclusive, 179 and 180 together.
In 2018, it is estimated that this Department will spend almost €7.6 billion on pension payments. The cost includes payments to just over 650,000 pensioners and qualified adults who are aged 66 and over as well as pensions paid to those who are under 66 years of age (such as widows and qualified adults under the age of 66). The cost of inc...

174. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated cost of increasing the State pension (contributory) rate to 35% of the average industrial wage. (Question 19197/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - State Pension (Contributory) Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 172 to 176, inclusive, 179 and 180 together.
In 2018, it is estimated that this Department will spend almost €7.6 billion on pension payments. The cost includes payments to just over 650,000 pensioners and qualified adults who are aged 66 and over as well as pensions paid to those who are under 66 years of age (such as widows and qualified adults under the age of 66). The cost of inc...

175. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated cost of increasing the State pension (contributory) rate to 40% of the average industrial wage. (Question 19198/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - State Pension (Contributory) Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 172 to 176, inclusive, 179 and 180 together.
In 2018, it is estimated that this Department will spend almost €7.6 billion on pension payments. The cost includes payments to just over 650,000 pensioners and qualified adults who are aged 66 and over as well as pensions paid to those who are under 66 years of age (such as widows and qualified adults under the age of 66). The cost of inc...

176. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated additional cost of a payment of €216.38 to all persons in receipt of the State pension who are receiving a State pension less than that amount including qualified adults. (Question 19199/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - State Pension (Contributory) Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 172 to 176, inclusive, 179 and 180 together.
In 2018, it is estimated that this Department will spend almost €7.6 billion on pension payments. The cost includes payments to just over 650,000 pensioners and qualified adults who are aged 66 and over as well as pensions paid to those who are under 66 years of age (such as widows and qualified adults under the age of 66). The cost of inc...

177. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons in receipt of a non-contributory State pension in which the amount received is below the top rate of €232. (Question 19200/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - State Pension (Non-Contributory) Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): As of 31 March 2018 there were 27,905 persons in receipt of a non-contributory state pension whose personal rate was less than €232.00.
 ...

178. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of men and women, respectively, in receipt of each of the State pension payments; and the number of qualified adults receiving payments. (Question 19201/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - State Pensions Payments)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The information requested (where available) by the Deputy is detailed in the following table.
Recipients of State Pensions by sex and adult dependent allowances in payment at the end of March 2018

 Scheme Type Female Male Total Qualified Adults State Pension Contributory 147,806 249,569 397,375 65,580 State Pension Non Contributory 57,774 36,675 94,449 3,182 Widow(er)’s and Surviving Civil Partner’...

179. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated additional cost of providing a payment of €216.38 to all persons in receipt of the State pension who are receiving a State pension less than that amount including qualified adults. (Question 19202/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - State Pension (Contributory) Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 172 to 176, inclusive, 179 and 180 together.
In 2018, it is estimated that this Department will spend almost €7.6 billion on pension payments. The cost includes payments to just over 650,000 pensioners and qualified adults who are aged 66 and over as well as pensions paid to those who are under 66 years of age (such as widows and qualified adults under the age of 66). The cost of inc...