43. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans to designate further national parks in view of the fact that Ireland has a low number and square kilometres of national parks compared to the EU average; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18007/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - National Parks)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): The National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department manages an extensive conservation and recreational property portfolio of some 85,000 hectares. Our 6 National Parks account for circa 65,000 hectares with another almost 20,000 hectares of nature reserves and other heritage sites. The existing National Parks are managed from a conservation perspective, and attract in excess of 4 million visitors annually. 
Given the...

205. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Health if there is a facility for adults to have an assessment for ADHD through the HSE. (Question 20389/18 asked on 09 May 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.
 ...

208. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Health the number of psychiatrists working at St. Vincent’s, Fairview, Dublin 3; the number of patients seeing a psychiatrist; the extent of the waiting list to see a psychiatrist; and when assigned a psychiatrist, if the patient sees the same psychiatrist consistently. (Question 20394/18 asked on 09 May 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.
 ...

111. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Finance the expected net effect of carryover measures carried over for 2019 as a result of budget 2017 measures; the way in which it is accounted for in the fiscal space projections; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19650/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Budget Measures)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am assuming the Deputy is referring to Budget 2018 measures.  The carryover cost in 2019 of tax measures introduced in Budget 2018 is estimated to be of the order of €14 million. It is important to point out that the exact impact of carryover will be reviewed as part of the normal Budgetary process, as there are several moving parts to be considered, such as economic growth, take up of various schemes and specific tax relevant factors, which could...

112. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Finance the adjustment made for indexation of income tax bands and income tax rates when calculating the fiscal space for budget 2018. (Question 19651/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Budget 2018)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As part of the preparations for Budget 2018, it was estimated that the Exchequer yield from non-indexation of the income tax system would be of the order of €0.6 billion on a full year basis.
It is important to point out that the calculation of non-indexation of the income tax system for 2018 was prepared on the basis of the following technical assumptions:
1. The projected increase in non-agricultural wages in 2018 of 3.1%. 
2. The Revenue Com...

113. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Finance the expected revenue yield from an increase in excise on diesel of five cents per litre; the expected cost of using the diesel rebate scheme to offset such an increase for commercial transport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19652/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Excise Duties)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by Revenue that an increase in excise duty on diesel of five cents per litre will increase the price by 6.15 cent per litre when VAT is included. The estimated yield from an increase of 6.15 cent per litre is estimated at €166 million in a full year. The additional cost to the diesel rebate scheme to offset such an increase for commercial transport is estimated at €25 million.
 ...

114. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Finance the expected revenue that would be generated from the restoration of the VAT rate for the hospitality sector from 9% to 13.5%; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19653/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - VAT Yield)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 114 and 115 together.
I am informed by The Revenue Commissioners that the Ready Reckoner, available at https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/documents/statistics/ready-reckoner.pdf (page 26), shows the impact of increases in VAT rates, including the 9% rate.
As shown in the Ready Reckoner, the yield from the restoration of the VAT rate from 9% to 13.5% across all goods and services is likely to be in the region of €520...

115. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Finance the expected revenue that would be generated from the restoration of the VAT rate from 9% to 13.5% to the hotel industry, that is, the price of rooms only, excluding the restaurant and pub trade. (Question 19654/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - VAT Yield)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 114 and 115 together.
I am informed by The Revenue Commissioners that the Ready Reckoner, available at https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/documents/statistics/ready-reckoner.pdf (page 26), shows the impact of increases in VAT rates, including the 9% rate.
As shown in the Ready Reckoner, the yield from the restoration of the VAT rate from 9% to 13.5% across all goods and services is likely to be in the region of €520...

143. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated cost of increasing the non-adjacent maintenance grant to €4,025 for full-time students at undergraduate and postgraduate level. (Question 19646/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Student Grant Scheme)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 143 to 146, inclusive, together.
The current standard rate of full maintenance grant (non-adjacent rate) is €3,025. For the academic year 2016/17 there were 19,440 undergraduate and postgraduate students who qualified for this grant rate. If the grant was increased by €1,000 and a similar number of students qualified, the cost would be €19,440,000. 
The current standard rate of full maintenance grant (adj...

144. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated cost of increasing the adjacent maintenance grant of €2,215 for full-time students at undergraduate and postgraduate level. (Question 19647/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Student Grant Scheme)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 143 to 146, inclusive, together.
The current standard rate of full maintenance grant (non-adjacent rate) is €3,025. For the academic year 2016/17 there were 19,440 undergraduate and postgraduate students who qualified for this grant rate. If the grant was increased by €1,000 and a similar number of students qualified, the cost would be €19,440,000. 
The current standard rate of full maintenance grant (adj...

145. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated cost of extending a non-adjacent maintenance grant of €4,025 to part-time students at undergraduate and postgraduate level. (Question 19648/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Student Grant Scheme)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 143 to 146, inclusive, together.
The current standard rate of full maintenance grant (non-adjacent rate) is €3,025. For the academic year 2016/17 there were 19,440 undergraduate and postgraduate students who qualified for this grant rate. If the grant was increased by €1,000 and a similar number of students qualified, the cost would be €19,440,000. 
The current standard rate of full maintenance grant (adj...

146. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated cost of extending an adjacent maintenance grant of €2,215 to part-time students at undergraduate and postgraduate level. (Question 19649/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Student Grant Scheme)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 143 to 146, inclusive, together.
The current standard rate of full maintenance grant (non-adjacent rate) is €3,025. For the academic year 2016/17 there were 19,440 undergraduate and postgraduate students who qualified for this grant rate. If the grant was increased by €1,000 and a similar number of students qualified, the cost would be €19,440,000. 
The current standard rate of full maintenance grant (adj...

26. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her role in the welfare of actors and persons in the arts who are having difficulty accessing social protection due to the nature of their employment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10155/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Social Welfare Code)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): It is accepted that periods of unemployment are a normal feature of the acting and artistic professions. The main social welfare schemes available from my Department for unemployed persons are the jobseeker’s allowance and benefit schemes which provide income support for people who have lost work and are unable to find alternative full-time employment. Both schemes provide significant support to individuals so that ...

33. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of the implementation of the recommendations of the Economic and Social Research Institute, ESRI, report into the school completion programme; and the future status of the programme. (Question 18606/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - School Completion Programme)

Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan: We are returning to a conversation we have had before around school completion programmes. Following the ESRI report and the Tusla commissioned employment audit, perhaps the Minister will give an update on the status of the school completion programme and her views on it.
 ...

39. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if the childcare needs in the zero to two years of age group will be addressed in Dublin 1 in view of the concerns of public health nurses. (Question 18607/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Child Care Services Provision)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I understand the Deputy is referring to issues around childcare supports in Dublin 1, particularly for lone parents and parents wishing to return to education.
I am aware of issues relating to the availability of early years places in that area and officials from my Department are in fact scheduled to meet with stakeholders this week to discuss them. 
Dublin City Childcare Committee, which is funded by my Department, is also ava...

43. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs her plans to assist parents burdened with high childcare costs in view of the fact that the subsidy for childcare introduced in September 2017 was unsuccessful in the sense that many creches raised prices in conjunction with the scheme; and if the new version of the affordable childcare plan will be in place by September 2018. (Question 18605/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Child Care Services Funding)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): The Pobal annual survey on childcare conducted on behalf of my Department provides extensive and very useful data on childcare fees. This survey showed that the average cost of childcare in Ireland rose by 4% or €7 per week last year, which is well below the €20 per week on offer through the newly introduced universal subsidy and significantly lower than the €145 per week, per child, subventions to families most in need.  Fees f...

59. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the way in which €160,000 in funding was allocated to the new family resource centres in view of the fact that existing centres operate with less funding; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18608/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Family Resource Centres)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, administers the Family Resource Centre Programme. 
Acting as a focal point within their communities, Family Resource Centres provide a holistic service of child, family and community support and advocacy to all children and families in their communities.
At the end of 2017 there were 109 Family Resource Centres in receipt of funding from Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. Tusla was provided w...

230. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Health the extent of funding to an organisation (details supplied) in 2017 and to date in 2018. (Question 18656/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Health Services Funding)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.
 ...

376. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the supports for children living in emergency accommodation; if further studies on the impact of homelessness have been undertaken; and the way in which she will address the needs of children in long-term homeless accommodation. (Question 18610/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Homeless Persons Supports)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): While the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government has ultimate responsibility for managing homelessness, as the Deputy will be aware, I am committed to helping children and families as part of a whole-of-Government response to the problem of homelessness. While no further studies on the impact of homelessness have been carried out by my Department, there can be little doubt that homelessness is an extremely distres...

382. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs when a youth service (details supplied) in Dublin 1 will receive formal acknowledgement of its funding application for 2018. (Question 18833/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Youth Services Funding)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I can confirm that an application for youth funding for 2018 has been submitted to my Department via the funding intermediary, City of Dublin Youth Service Board (CDYSB) on behalf of this organisation. 
The funding allocations for 2018 for all organisations funded to support the provision of youth services throughout the country are currently being finalised within my Department. When these allocations are finalised a letter o...

23. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his attention has been drawn to numerous incidents whereby fox hunts have converged on populated areas and estates causing danger to the public; his views on whether legislation is needed in view of the fact that the code of conduct holds no provision for sanctions; and his further views on following the UK example and banning this practice. (Question 18187/18 asked on 26 Apr 2018 - Animal Welfare)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): I am aware of and concerned about the reported incidents in Macroom, Castlemaine and on the M3.
The Hunting Association of Ireland has a detailed Code of Conduct in place in respect of the hunting of foxes. I am concerned and disappointed that despite the existence of this Code, these events occurred. I have asked my officials to engage with the Hunting Association to seek explanations and to determine whether, in light of the...

43. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if an audit will be conducted regarding the records from fallen animal companies, that is, businesses that collect deceased farm animals, comparing the past five years (details supplied) with the previous five years; the number of newborn calves that have died from scour and pneumonia, BVD related, during those two periods, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18188/18 asked on 26 Apr 2018 - Fallen Animal Collection Scheme)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The figures for reported on farm deaths, as notified to the Animal Identification Movement system, over the period of 2007 – 2017 are set out in the following table.
On Farm Deaths 2007 – 2017
 Year On Farm Deaths 2007 272,217 2008 300,779 2009 261,974 2010 244,132 2011 215,828 2012 247,740 2013 290,057 2014 235,228 2015 241,020 2016 275,655 2017 262,864 

These data, recorded by fallen animal c...

55. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the work of his Department with regard to the sustainable development goals; and his views on whether there will be sufficient adequate data. (Question 18006/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Sustainable Development Goals)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): As Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, I have lead responsibility for promoting and overseeing the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on a whole-of-Government basis, and for the establishment of a robust SDG implementation and reporting framework.
In line with this whole-of-Government approach, all Ministers retain responsibility for implementing those SDGs relati...

179. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on allocating inspectors from his Department to monitor the welfare of greyhounds; his views on the fact that many animal welfare organisations do not accept the Irish Greyhound Board as an impartial inspector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18180/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Greyhound Industry)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The process whereby I have the power under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 to authorise members of other organisations is one that was debated in detail during the passage of that legislation through the Oireachtas. Many deputies had concerns about possible biases in such organisations, in particular animal welfare organisations. In response to this the legislation was drafted in such a way as to ensure there is adequat...

180. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 73 of 3 October 2017, his views on whether animal welfare inspectors should be present on all transports of live animals as opposed to being present occasionally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18181/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Animal Welfare)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Live exports continue to be an important component of Ireland’s livestock industry and my Department promotes and maintains an environment in which live exports take place with a strong emphasis on the welfare of all animals being exported. 
There is a very detailed and comprehensive inspection regime in place and officials of my Department perform mandatory, random and risk-based inspections on all vehicles involved in live a...