115. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of works for a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20685/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Schools Building Projects Status)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The school to which the Deputy refers is at an advanced stage of the tender process. My Department is currently awaiting the return of the supplementary tender report. Subject to no issues arising with the supplementary tender report the project is still on track to commence construction in the second quarter of 2018.
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297. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the position regarding a folio issue (details supplied) within his Department; the timeframe for a resolution; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20606/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Property Registration)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I can inform the Deputy that under the Registration of Deeds and Title Act 2006, the Property Registration Authority (PRA) was established as and from 4 November 2006.  The PRA replaces the Register of Deeds and Titles as the registering authority in relation to property registration in Ireland and, subject to the above Act, is independent in the performance of its functions.
Arrangements have been put in place by all bo...

19. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her views on the findings of the independent review of orchestral services in RTÉ; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20289/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - National Orchestras)

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Since the foundation of Radio Éireann, long before RTÉ existed, the national broadcaster has had responsibility for both the symphony and concert orchestras. There seems to be some doubt about their future. What are the Minister’s views on the findings of the independent review and its proposals? The proposals relate directly to her Department and would have very significant financial consequences for it if they were to be implemented.
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49. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht when a location (details supplied) will commence hosting exhibitions; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20002/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Arts Promotion)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): I am delighted to say that an exhibition entitled Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again will open on to the public on 6 July 2018 at the location referred to by the Deputy . 
The new cultural offering will add to Ireland’s reputation as a centre of literary celebration. The exhibition will take visitors on a multi-sensory journey from Heaney’s origins through his remarkable poetic career.
The exhibition will draw on the Nationa...

50. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if she was consulted in relation to the sale of a studio (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20004/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Film Industry Development)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): I was consulted by my colleague, the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Deputy Heather Humphreys about the matter referred to by the Deputy. Both myself and Minister Humphreys welcomed the acquisition of the studios referred to by a company which proposes to invest in the facility in the future.
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54. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her views on the findings of the independent review of orchestral services in RTÉ; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20001/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - National Orchestras)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 54 and 66 together.
I refer the Deputies to my reply to Priority Question No 1 earlier today.
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56. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the engagement her Department has had with the Department of Finance in relation to the extension of section 481 film relief; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20000/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Film Industry Tax Reliefs)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 40 and 56 together.
The Government supports the Irish film industry through the twin approach of direct funding through the Irish Film Board and the film tax credit scheme - Section 481 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997. 
Section 481 is provides a critical support for the Irish production sector, generating thousands of jobs, and providing a strong value proposition for the public purse...

65. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the status of her Department’s review of the cap in the percentage for the arts scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20003/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Arts and Culture Capital Scheme)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): In 1997 the Government approved the inclusion in budgets for all Exchequer-funded capital construction projects of up to 1% as funding for an art project, subject to an overall cap of €64,000. 
Under the terms of the Scheme, funds to commission a per cent for art piece are factored into and funded from the overall budget of each capital project by the public body undertaking it. This is a matter for each project promoter ...

163. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health if an appointment will be scheduled for a person (details supplied); the timeline for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20238/18 asked on 09 May 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 ...

169. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the status of a residential place for person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20268/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Services for People with Disabilities)

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 of...

64. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the progress being made to reduce the social housing waiting lists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19608/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Local Authority Housing Waiting Lists)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Under Rebuilding Ireland, a total of 50,000 social housing homes will be delivered through build, acquisition and leasing programmes. In addition to this, 87,000 additional households will be supported through the Housing Assistance Payment Scheme (HAP) and the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS). When combined, over 137,000 long term and flexible options will be made available to those on the housing waiting lists under ...

74. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if the inadequacies regarding the new housing assistance payment scheme will be addressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19607/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Housing Assistance Payment)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) provides fast, flexible housing support to households in an area of their choice. Individuals with a housing need, who in the past were reluctant to avail of full time work as they would lose their Rent Supplement support, can now move to HAP and avail of full-time work and retain their housing support, with an adjustment in their differential rent.
HAP has been rolled out on a statut...

475. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of houses acquired and purchased by Cavan County Council and Monaghan County Council in each of the years 2013 to 2017 and to date in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19832/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Local Authority Housing Data)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 475 and 476 together.
Details of the number of houses that have been built and acquired by local authorities, including in counties Cavan and Monaghan, in each of the years 2013 to 2017 are published and available on my Department’s website at the following link: http://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/social-housing/social-and-affordble/overall-social-housing-provision  Details relating to del...

476. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of houses that have been built by local authorities in counties Cavan and Monaghan in each of the years 2013 to 2017 and to date in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19833/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Local Authority Housing Data)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 475 and 476 together.
Details of the number of houses that have been built and acquired by local authorities, including in counties Cavan and Monaghan, in each of the years 2013 to 2017 are published and available on my Department’s website at the following link: http://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/social-housing/social-and-affordble/overall-social-housing-provision  Details relating to del...

33. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her plans to reform the pension system in view of the perception that it discriminates against persons, mainly women, that took time out of the workforce prior to 1994 to care for children or elderly relatives; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18669/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Pensions Reform)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): A policy to introduce the Total Contributions Approach (TCA) to pensions calculation was adopted by the then Government in the National Pensions Framework in 2010, as was the decision to base the entitlements of all new pensioners on this approach from 2020.On the 23rd January, the Government agreed to a proposal that will allow pensioners affected by the 2012 changes in rate bands to have their pension entitlement ca...

48. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a person has a right to refuse a place on JobPath in favour of a place on a community employment scheme; if there is a legal or statutory impediment that prevents a person from deciding to opt for a community employment scheme over a place on JobPath; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18668/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Labour Activation Programmes)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The primary goal of my Department’s activation services is to move people from full-time and part-time unemployment to full-time and sustained employment. A jobseeker that already has an offer of a placement on a Community Employment Scheme (CE) or Tús when they are referred to the JobPath service will be facilitated to take up the offer.
I recently announced that customers of my Department who are currently engaged ...

163. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health when the group home for persons with disabilities will open in Carrickmacross, County Monaghan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19369/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Services for People with Disabilities)

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 of...

164. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the number of women in counties Cavan, Monaghan and Meath and nationally who had a cervical check through the national screening service in each year since 2008, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19370/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Cancer Screening Programmes)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The deputy’s question relates to service delivery matters and accordingly I have referred his question to the HSE for direct reply.
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239. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of visual artists and writers to date who have availed of the pilot jobseeker’s exemption scheme that was announced on 12 June 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9886/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Social Welfare Schemes)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): A pilot initiative to assist self-employed visual artists and writers who apply to my Department for jobseeker’s allowance was launched in June 2017. The initiative, which is a commitment under the Creative Ireland Programme, was a collaboration between my Department and what is now the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, with the support and advice of the Arts Council. My department also consulted wi...

86. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Finance his views on the announcement that 27 office service centres are to be closed by a bank (details supplied); the location of each; the number of staff that work at each branch; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19270/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Bank Branch Closures)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Deputy will be aware that, as Minister for Finance, I have no direct function in the day-to-day commercial decisions made by Bank of Ireland. Decisions taken by Bank of Ireland in this regard, and the manner in which it conducts its day-to-day operations, are matters for the board and management of the bank. 
Although the State has a minority shareholding in Bank of Ireland, I must ensure that the bank is run on a commercial, cost effective and ...

112. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the actions she is taking to protect jobs at a company (details supplied) in County Cavan in view of the recent media reports. (Question 19246/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Jobs Protection)

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Heather Humphreys): The announcement by CG Power Systems Ireland that it is to reduce the number of employees at its Cavan facility is deeply regrettable. The Government and IDA Ireland did everything possible to avert these job losses. We engaged intensively with CG Power over the last number of months and I met with its senior management in April. Unfortunately, the company has informed us that, due to increasing cost pressures, it had...

127. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the status of a home care package for a person (details supplied) in order that they can return home; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19189/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Home Care Packages 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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140. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if funding is available specifically for the setting up of a permaculture farm (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19210/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Agriculture Schemes)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine provides a range of supports, for diverse farming practices under a number of areas including Horticulture, TAMS (Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Schemes), Organics and GLAS (Green, Low-Carbon, Agri-Environment Scheme).
The availability of grant aid under these schemes is contingent on individual farmers meeting the normal criteria for eligibility for farming as set down b...

192. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her plans to meet with employees at a bank (details supplied); the supports her Department will provide; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19268/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Job Losses)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): To date my Department has had no official communication from the Bank of Ireland on any possible redundancy plans concerning their employees. If any redundancies do occur, the Department will ensure that any former employee receives advice on jobseekers payments and other income supports that may be available to them and to provide support on returning to work or on appropriate education and training options. We wil...

211. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health if there is a reimbursement option open to a person (details supplied) following a procedure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18552/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Treatment Abroad Scheme)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The HSE operates two schemes which facilitate patients accessing treatments abroad. The first is the Treatment Abroad Scheme (TAS) which applies where the treatment is not available in the Irish Republic hospital system. 
The second is under the Cross Border Directive (CBD) and reimburses patients for treatments received in another EU/EEA Member State where the treatment is one which is provided in Ireland. The HSE provides information for patients on t...