43. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Finance if calculations have been carried out on the tax foregone by not taxing accruing public sector pensions; the reason for not including such estimates in a future tax expenditure review in view of the fact that both public and private sector beneficiaries avail of tax relief in order to have a more accurate picture of the cost of pension provision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43003/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Public Sector Pensions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): With some minor exceptions, public sector pensions are paid from current expenditure and specific funds are not maintained. There is no capacity therefore to tax or to derive estimates of notional taxation foregone. The practice of calculating tax foregone on private pension fund accumulation relates to the fact that there are a several such funds. 
 ...

537. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of penalty points issued in each county in respect of each offence in the past year, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42567/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Penalty Points System Data)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The attached table provides the details requested by the Deputy on the number of penalty points issued in each county in respect of each offence in the past year (1st October 2016 to 30th September 2017).

Penalty Points issued in each County By Offence (1st October 2016 to 30th September 2017)


 Offences Type Carlow Cavan Clare Cork Donegal Dublin Galway Kerry Kildare 22-35mcg of alcohol per...

538. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the speeding offences for which penalty points were issued in the past year, for example, those who were issued points for speeding up to 5 kph above the speed limit, 6 to10 kph above the limit, 11 to15 kph above the limit and 16 kph and over above the speed limit, respectively, by the speed limit in operation in the locations in which the offences occurred; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42568/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Penalty Points System Data)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The speeding details requested by the Deputy are not provided to my Department by An Garda Siochana. The speeding offences details for penalty points provided to my Department and recorded on the National Vehicle and Driver File (NVDF) are as follows.
 Number of Penalty Point Speeding Offences recorded on the NVDF. Penalty Point Speed Offences Number of Offences Exceed 100 km/h limit 21,617 Exceed 120 km/h limit 8,80...

539. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of drivers with live penalty points in the past year, by the number of penalty points accumulated and county, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42569/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Penalty Points System Data)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The following table provides the details requested by the Deputy of the number of drivers with live penalty points in the past year (1st October 2016 to 30th September 2017) broken down by number of penalty points and county.
Breakdown of Drivers by Number of Penalty Points and County recorded on the NVDF between 1st October 2016 to 30th September 2017:
 County Number of Drivers TOTAL 1 P.P. 2 P.P. 3...

540. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of drivers disqualified from driving, by category of driver (details supplied), having reached the number of penalty points required for automatic disqualification; the offences which resulted in them attracting those points; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42570/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Penalty Points System Data)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The following tabular statements provide the details requested by the Deputy.
Table 1: This table provides the number of drivers currently disqualified broken down by driving licence type
 Driver Details Number of Drivers Full 459 Learner Permit 136 Novice Driver 157 No Driver Number 56 Total 808 

Table 2: This table provides the driving licence type broken down by penalty point offence.
 Penalty Po...

101. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Finance the position regarding the transposition of the Insurance Distribution Directive; if it will be transposed on or before the EU deadline of 23 February 2018; if it will be delayed by up to a year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41235/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - EU Directives)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Insurance Distribution Directive was published in the Official Journal of the European Union in February 2016 and must be transposed into Irish law by 23 February 2018. It will replace the Insurance Mediation Directive which was adopted in 2002 to regulate point of sale insurance products and will create a single market for the sale of insurance products. The Insurance Distribution Directive aims to further enhance consumer protection and ensu...

222. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the timeframe for the opening of the new Garda regional and divisional headquarters in Galway city; the stage the development is at; when it will be fully operational; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41292/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Garda Divisional Headquarters)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will be aware, the programme of replacement and refurbishment of Garda accommodation is progressed by the Garda authorities working in close co-operation with the Office of Public Works (OPW), which has the responsibility for the provision and maintenance of Garda accommodation, and I, as Minister, have no direct role in these matters.
I am, however, advised by the Garda authorities that Garda management are liaising with...

236. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Garda recruits assigned to each Garda division since recruitment resumed in 2014, in tabular form; the reason the Galway division had the second lowest number of recruits assigned of all divisions in the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41540/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Garda Strength)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 236 to 239, inclusive, together.
As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends, demographics and policing priorities so...

237. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí and the ranks of each in the Galway division, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41541/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Garda Strength)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 236 to 239, inclusive, together.
As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends, demographics and policing priorities so...

238. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the population centres served by each garda division in the country, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41542/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Garda Strength)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 236 to 239, inclusive, together.
As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends, demographics and policing priorities so...

239. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí in the Galway division in each of the past ten years, by rank, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41543/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Garda Strength)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 236 to 239, inclusive, together.
As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends, demographics and policing priorities so...

383. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health if funding will be provided in budget 2018 for an additional podiatrist for Galway, in view of the fact that Galway has one of the largest year-on-year increases in persons requiring inpatient treatment for diabetic foot ulceration and there has also been an increase in the number of persons in Galway with diabetes being hospitalised for lower limb amputation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41544/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Health Services Staff Recruitment)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As the issues raised relate to service matters, I have asked the Health Service Executive to reply directly to the Deputy. 
 ...

511. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of plans for a ring road or outer city bypass for Galway; the involvement his department has in this area and other efforts to resolve traffic congestion in Galway city; when he expects to have progress on this issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41291/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Traffic Management)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme and in relation to public transport.  The planning, design and operation of individual road projects is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned. Traffic management in Galway and other cities is the ...

536. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if funding will be provided for proposals put to his Department by Galway city and county councils for the provision of a park and ride service between Galway Airport and Galway city in order to ease traffic congestion for commuters and to support the business community in Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41761/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Transport Policy)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): A transport strategy for Galway City was prepared by the National Transport Authority (NTA) in partnership with Galway City Council and Galway County Council in 2016.  The Strategy sets out an overall framework for the development of transport infrastructure and services in Galway City and its environs over a twenty year period, including the development of park and ride facilities at suitable locations.  It has been included in the ...

364. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health the number of day care centres for the elderly that have received capital funding from his Department or the HSE in 2016, and to date in 2017, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40577/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - HSE Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): I propose to take Questions Nos. 364 and 365 together.
As these are a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.
 ...

365. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health the number of community run day care facilities are in operation; the number of persons that attend these centres on a weekly basis; the number of persons referred to these facilities by the HSE on a weekly basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40578/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - HSE Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): I propose to take Questions Nos. 364 and 365 together.
As these are a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.
 ...

366. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health if there are grants from his Department, the HSE or another Department for community groups to purchase defibrillators; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40582/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Medical Aids and Appliances Expenditure)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): It is the local community who initiates the setting up of a First Responder scheme or group or the provision of public access defibrillators in their area and a local committee is usually formed to organise and implement these initiatives. The local committee contacts the National Ambulance Service (NAS) and a formal process is undertaken to integrate the group with the NAS. 
The NAS continues to support the establishment of new groups around the count...

517. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of community employment scheme supervisors and assistant supervisors employed by sponsor companies operating community employment schemes on behalf of her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40579/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Community Employment Schemes Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 517 and 518 together.
Community Employment (CE) schemes provide part-time temporary work in local communities, including opportunities for training and development as a stepping-stone back to employment, for people in receipt of a qualifying of social welfare payments. These schemes help to break the cycle of unemployment and improve a person’s chances of returning to the labour marke...

518. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons employed on community employment schemes as of 20 September 2017; the cost to her Department for each of these persons; the estimated cost of welfare payments to these persons if they were still in receipt of their qualifying social welfare payment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40580/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Community Employment Schemes Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 517 and 518 together.
Community Employment (CE) schemes provide part-time temporary work in local communities, including opportunities for training and development as a stepping-stone back to employment, for people in receipt of a qualifying of social welfare payments. These schemes help to break the cycle of unemployment and improve a person’s chances of returning to the labour marke...

539. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the local authorities that have sold houses under the tenant purchase scheme; the number of houses sold by each local authority since the scheme was introduced; the number of applications received by each local authority that were refused; the reason for refusal in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40581/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Tenant Purchase Scheme Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): The new Tenant (Incremental) Purchase Scheme for existing local authority houses 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.
In line with the commitment given in the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness, a review of the first 12 months of th...

540. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when the report on the review of the tenant (incremental) purchase scheme will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40583/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Tenant Purchase Scheme Review)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 540 and 543 together.
The new Tenant (Incremental) Purchase Scheme for existing local authority houses 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 pe...

541. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when the requirement to have paid water charges will be removed from the tenant (incremental) purchase scheme criteria in view of the fact that water charges have been suspended and refunds will be issued to Irish Water customers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40584/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Tenant Purchase Scheme)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The current position is that, pending any legislative change, arrears of water charges incurred by households remain to be discharged before the sale of a dwelling. Under Section 3(A)(9) of the Water Services Act 2014 (inserted by Section 48 of the Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2015) a person who is a tenant of a dwelling let to him under the Housing Acts 1966 to 2014 and who proposes to purchase the dwell...

153. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Finance if public sector pension contributions are included in the calculation of item three in table three of the tax expenditure review headed “employees contribution to approved superannuation schemes”; if item two in table three entitled “exemption of employers contributions from employee BIK” encompasses the exemption from employee benefit-in-kind from pension accruals granted by the public employer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39262/17 asked on 20 Sep 2017 - Public Sector Pensions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I understand that the Deputy has clarified that his question relates to Table 1 of Section 3 of the Report on Tax Expenditures 2016.
I am advised by Revenue that regarding the first item, the employee contributions to approved superannuation schemes does include contributions by employees in the public sector, though this contribution does not include amounts paid in relation to the PRD.
Regarding the second item, employers’ contributions to approve...

1. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Taoiseach further to Regulation EC No 138/2004 of 5 December 2003, on the economic accounts for agriculture in the Community EEA, the EEA figures supplied by Ireland to the EU since the introduction of the regulation by the different agri sectors; and the details of the calculations in tabular form. (Question 35047/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Economic Data)

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Joe McHugh): The agricultural accounts compiled by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) meet national and EU requirements and are part of the Economic Accounts of Agriculture (EAA) framework. The estimates are prepared under Regulation (EC) No 138/2004 of 5 December 2003, which sets the scope and main methodological approaches. They provide detailed estimates of major accounting items, such as output, input costs, gross and net value ad...

92. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Finance if he was consulted on the withdrawal of the seafarers allowance for the workers of a company (details supplied) in 2013; the reason the seafarers allowance was taken away from the workers when it had previously been granted; the person who ultimately made the decision to withdraw the allowance; if it can be brought back for those workers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35422/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Seafarers’ Allowance is granted to individuals who meet the qualifying conditions as set out in Section 472B of the Taxes Consolidation Acts 1997.  In order to qualify for the allowance, a taxpayer must be a “qualifying individual” who holds a “qualifying employment ….… the duties of which are performed wholly on board a sea-going ship on an international voyage”.  The applicant must be absent from the State on an international voyage (a voyag...