37. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if her attention has been drawn to proposals (details supplied) regarding the establishment of a child maintenance service; her views on such a service; if her attention has been further drawn to the positive impact this would have on lone parents and their children; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8577/18 asked on 20 Feb 2018 - Child Maintenance Payments)

Deputy John Brady: Earlier, we touched on the ESRI report. The Minister will be well aware of the difficulties faced by lone parents and the deprivation rates among them. Last month, I published a Sinn Féin proposal to establish a statutory child maintenance service. The setting up of such a service was one of the main recommendations from the joint committee, which produced a comprehensive study on lone parents. Will the Minister consider doing this in order to lift lone parents out of cons...

39. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the actions she plans to take as a result of the findings of a recent ESRI report detailing high levels of persistent deprivation for persons of a working age with a disability; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8578/18 asked on 20 Feb 2018 - Income Inequality)

Deputy Willie O’Dea: I raise this question in view of a recent ESRI study of 11 European countries which found a significant gap in the rate of persistent deprivation experienced by lone parents and adults with a disability, as opposed to the rate suffered by other adults. The gap in regard to lone parents is 26% in Ireland, which is the worst of the 11 countries and compares with an average of 5% to 20% elsewhere. The gap in regard to adults with disability is 14% here compared to 5% to 11% e...

43. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of the report into the impact of the reduced jobseeker’s payment rates for jobseekers aged 18 to 25 years, further to the commitment in the Pathways to Work 2016-2020 strategy; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8344/18 asked on 20 Feb 2018 - Jobseeker’s Payments)

Deputy John Brady: I want to ask about the status of a report the Government committed to on the cuts to jobseeker’s payments for young unemployed people. That report was committed to under the Pathways to Work 2016-2020 strategy. We have yet to see the report. Will the Minister give us an update on it?
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49. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her plans to review the rates of payment and the periods of time for which the fuel allowance is paid by her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8342/18 asked on 20 Feb 2018 - Fuel Allowance Payments)

Deputy John Brady: What are the Minister’s intentions to review the payments of the fuel allowance and their duration? When we debated the Social Welfare Act 2017 I tabled an amendment to ensure she would carry out a review and use the information with a view to potentially extending or increasing the payment.
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365. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Health the status of a youth mental health Jigsaw site for County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6915/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Mental Health Services Provision)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): I propose to take Questions Nos. 365 and 366 together.
As these are a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.
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366. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Health his views on whether there is a need for a youth mental health Jigsaw site in County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6916/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Mental Health Services Provision)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): I propose to take Questions Nos. 365 and 366 together.
As these are a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.
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367. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Health the status of the review of the clinical services of Jigsaw youth mental health services; the expected publication time; the reason for the delay in publication; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6917/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Mental Health Services Provision)

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.
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368. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Health the number of young persons on the waiting list for CAMHS in County Wicklow at the end of December 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6918/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Mental Health Services Data)

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.
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369. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Health the number of young persons waiting for a first appointment for CAMHS in County Wicklow at the end of December 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6919/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Mental Health Services Data)

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.
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624. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a committee to examine the steps her Department can take to create a child maintenance service to assist lone parents to seek child maintenance payments will be established in view of commitments made during a debate in Seanad Éireann in December 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6857/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Child Maintenance Payments)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The establishment of a child maintenance service to assist lone parents to seek child maintenance payments would be a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Justice and Equality.
In cases where the family unit has broken down obligations regarding child maintenance continue to apply and relevant maintenance payments can be arranged either directly between the couple themselves or through supports like the Family Me...

626. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection to outline the estimated additional annual cost of ensuring via social welfare increases that all household types currently in receipt of a weekly social welfare payment are brought into compliance with the minimum income standards developed by an organisation (details supplied). (Question 6921/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Social Welfare Rates)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice (VPSJ) developed a model of a minimum income standard (MIS). The MIS is defined by the VPSJ as “the gross income a household needs in order to reach their minimum essential standard of living”.
The VPSJ’s Minimum Essential Standard of Living 2017 (MESL) is derived from a negotiated consensus, based on focus groups with representative households, and discussions with polic...

627. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection to set out in tabular form the estimated annual cost of index-linking each payment (details supplied) to inflation over the next five years. (Question 6922/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Social Welfare Code)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 627 to 629, inclusive, together.
The Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices used in the following table is sourced from the Department of Finance’s 2018 Budget Day book. This provides forecasts for inflation for the four years 2018 to 2021 inclusive. However, there is no projection available for 2022 or 2023 and, thus, no costings are provided for the years to 2021.
The costings are base...

628. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection to set out the estimated annual cost of index-linking all weekly social welfare payments to inflation over the next five years. (Question 6923/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Social Welfare Code)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 627 to 629, inclusive, together.
The Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices used in the following table is sourced from the Department of Finance’s 2018 Budget Day book. This provides forecasts for inflation for the four years 2018 to 2021 inclusive. However, there is no projection available for 2022 or 2023 and, thus, no costings are provided for the years to 2021.
The costings are base...

629. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection to set out the estimated annual cost of index-linking all social welfare payments to inflation over the next five years. (Question 6924/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Social Welfare Code)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 627 to 629, inclusive, together.
The Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices used in the following table is sourced from the Department of Finance’s 2018 Budget Day book. This provides forecasts for inflation for the four years 2018 to 2021 inclusive. However, there is no projection available for 2022 or 2023 and, thus, no costings are provided for the years to 2021.
The costings are base...

12. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Health if funding will be allocated for the delivery of a general practitioner out-of-hours service for north County Wicklow in the HSE service plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6109/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - General Practitioner Services Provision)

Deputy John Brady: In October 2016, the Minister announced he had secured the funding to roll out a GP out-of-hours service in his constituency of Wicklow and specifically in the north Wicklow area, which is one of the last major urban areas in the State to have a dedicated HSE-funded out-of-hours service. It was due to come into operation in early 2017 and mysteriously the funding was pulled. Will the Minister update the House about that service which was due to be rolled out in 2017 and if t...

99. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Health if funding will be allocated to a service (details supplied) in County Wicklow in the HSE service plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6110/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - HSE Funding)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Section 39 of the Health Act 2004 makes provision for the HSE to provide assistance to bodies that provide services similar, or ancillary to, services that the HSE may provide. 
Section 39 organisations provide a broad range of services and these are governed by Service Level Agreements with the HSE. Decisions on the provision of funding to these organisations is a matter for the HSE.
The HSE also operates a National Lottery funded scheme under which i...

245. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the liquidation of a company (details supplied) will delay the opening of two new schools in County Wicklow; the action his Department is taking to ensure that there will be no delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4366/18 asked on 30 Jan 2018 - Public Private Partnerships)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The schools referred to by the Deputy form part of the current Schools Bundle 5 PPP programme. In respect of that programme, a contract exists between my Department and the Principal contractor, Inspiredspaces. Inspiredspaces is the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) responsible for the design, construction, finance, operation and maintenance of the programme. 
The company referred to by the Deputy has been a 50% shareholder in InspiredSpac...

596. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection to outline her policy with regard to her Department’s employees who are approaching their 65th birthday and seek to extend their working life within her Department; the length of time they may extend their working lives with her Department; the criteria for such an application to be successful; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4192/18 asked on 30 Jan 2018 - Departmental Staff Retirements)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, as an employer of civil servants, has been directed by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to make arrangements set out in Circular 21/2017 A Temporary Circular to allow for certain Civil Servants to be retained beyond their Compulsory Retirement Age of 65 years until they reach the age of eligibility for the Contributory State Pension. This Circul...

202. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the conditions that must be met in order for self employed persons to receive the State pension; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3730/18 asked on 25 Jan 2018 - State Pension (Contributory) Eligibility)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Entitlement to state pension (contributory) is assessed on the basis of an applicant’s social insurance record and satisfaction of the eligibility conditions applicable on the date they reach pension age. 
Current social welfare legislation provides that, in order to qualify for state pension (contributory), an applicant must have entered insurable employment before attaining the age of 56 years, have at least 520 f...

203. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons listed as self employed that are in receipt of social welfare payments, in tabular form. (Question 3731/18 asked on 25 Jan 2018 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The distinction between ‘self-employed’ and ‘employed’ does not form part of the eligibility criteria for most social welfare payments. 
Five schemes where self-employment status is directly relevant to payment eligibility are: 
1. People with a previous or continuing self-employed status on Jobseeker’s Allowance;
2. Farm Assist, where it is a condition of payment that the recipient is actively engaged in farming on t...

209. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons referred to the local employment service in 2016 and 2017, by county. (Question 3823/18 asked on 25 Jan 2018 - Local Employment Service)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The expansion of the department’s activation capacity with the introduction of JobPath and the welcome reduction in the live register has allowed the department over the last two years to develop the activation service provided by the Local Employment Services (LES) across 12 Counties. 
In 2016, LES providers were asked to increase the frequency with which they engage with activation jobseekers to enhance the quality...

210. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the amount paid to Jobpath providers in 2017. (Question 3824/18 asked on 25 Jan 2018 - JobPath Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 210 to 212, inclusive,, 215 and 216 together.
JobPath is a payment by results model and all set-up and day-to-day operational costs are borne by the companies. The companies are paid on the basis of performance and with the exception of the initial registration fee; payments are made only when a client has achieved sustained employment. The overall cost of JobPath will be determined ...

211. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons referred to Jobpath since its commencement; the number that gained full-time and part-time employment as a direct result of Jobpath; and the sectors in which employment was gained. (Question 3825/18 asked on 25 Jan 2018 - JobPath Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 210 to 212, inclusive,, 215 and 216 together.
JobPath is a payment by results model and all set-up and day-to-day operational costs are borne by the companies. The companies are paid on the basis of performance and with the exception of the initial registration fee; payments are made only when a client has achieved sustained employment. The overall cost of JobPath will be determined ...

212. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons that have been released from Jobpath having not gained employment since its commencement. (Question 3826/18 asked on 25 Jan 2018 - JobPath Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 210 to 212, inclusive,, 215 and 216 together.
JobPath is a payment by results model and all set-up and day-to-day operational costs are borne by the companies. The companies are paid on the basis of performance and with the exception of the initial registration fee; payments are made only when a client has achieved sustained employment. The overall cost of JobPath will be determined ...

213. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons in receipt of the back to education allowance in each of the years 2015 to 2017. (Question 3827/18 asked on 25 Jan 2018 - Back to Education Allowance Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The number of persons in receipt of Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) at the end of December in each of the years 2015 to 2017 is shown in Table 1 below:
Table 1: BETA recipients 2015 - 2017
 Year Number of recipients (at end December) 2015 18,345 2016 14,386 2017 11,336 


I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.
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