80. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the number of SMEs that have applied for and been successful, respectively, in their applications under the knowledge development box; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20613/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Knowledge Development Box)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): There are a number of features in the Knowledge Development Box (“KDB”) which are specifically included to encourage claims by SMEs. For example, larger companies are required to apply transfer pricing standards to the documentation which is required to support a claim for relief under the KDB. While SMEs will need to have records to support any apportionments made, the administrative burden placed on them is lower in recognition of their status. 
I...

171. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal can expect to receive an appointment for surgery at Beaumont Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20522/18 asked on 10 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 ...

279. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason participants on the jobs initiative programme that are now required to work 39 hours per week up from 34 hours per week as worked previously by some will not be receiving salary increases to reflect these additional hours being applied to their working week; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20518/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Jobs Initiative)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The Job Initiative (JI) scheme was launched by FÁS in 1996 and transferred to my Department with effect from 1 January 2012. A Memorandum of Agreement for the contract period is completed annually between my Department and the Managing Agents for this scheme. My Department provides financial funding to schemes towards administration costs, participant and supervisor wages.
Recruitment to JI ceased with effect from 10...

100. D’fhiafraigh Deputy Pearse Doherty den an Aire Caiteachais Phoiblí agus Athchóirithe ós rud é, de réir an Achta um Chrannchur Náisiúnta, 1986 go mbíonn sciar de bhrabús an chrannchuir le caitheamh ar an nGaeilge agus ó díoladh ceadúnas an Chrannchuir Náisiúnta in 2013 an féidir leis an Aire a chur in iúl cé mhéad maoiniú a cuireadh ar fáil go bliantúil do Rialtas na hÉireann; agus an féidir leis an Aire a chur in iúl cé mhéad den mhaoiniú sin a cuireadh ar fáil go bliantúil don Ghaeilge agus cé na tionscadail a fuair an maoiniú sin. (Question 20396/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Caiteachas Ranna)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): One of the objectives relating to the sale of the National Lottery licence for a 20 year period was to generate significant up-front proceeds for the State. Proceeds of €405m from the sale were used to fund a range of expenditure projects and served to reduce the need for any further tax increases at that time.   
The allocation of funding from subheads which are part-funded from the National Lottery is the responsibility of a ...

107. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason an early parchment cannot be provided to a person (details supplied) in County Donegal for employment purposes by the relevant institute of higher education; if his attention has been drawn to the implications such a situation is having on final year students when trying to secure job opportunities from employers that require the document prior to making a formal job offer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20247/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Institutes of Technology)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): As the Deputy will be aware, Institutes of Technology are autonomous institutions within the meaning of the Institutes of Technology Acts 1992 to 2006. The management of their academic affairs, including any issues relating to the making or certification of awards, is a matter for the institutions concerned and I, as Minister, do not have any function in the matter. 
The position with the institute of technology in question is that Deg...

123. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of cases in which the cost of contracted training procured by SOLAS has increased post the framework agreement; the number of cases in which it did not increase beyond the framework agreement in each of the past ten years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20401/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - SOLAS Training and Education Programmes )

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 123 to 129, inclusive, together.
The establishment of the Education and Training Boards (ETBs), the dissolution of FÁS and the establishment of SOLAS in 2013 has led to major changes in the co-ordination, funding and delivery of further education and training provision. This includes changes in the operation of contracted training where ETBs engage the services of third party pro...

124. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills the value of contracted training procured by SOLAS; the numbers in training in these courses in each of the past ten years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20402/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - SOLAS Training and Education Programmes )

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 123 to 129, inclusive, together.
The establishment of the Education and Training Boards (ETBs), the dissolution of FÁS and the establishment of SOLAS in 2013 has led to major changes in the co-ordination, funding and delivery of further education and training provision. This includes changes in the operation of contracted training where ETBs engage the services of third party pro...

125. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on whether there was a great deal of confusion and inconsistency in instructions given to some applicants to tenders for SOLAS training courses regarding the use of subcontractors; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20403/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - SOLAS Training and Education Programmes )

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 123 to 129, inclusive, together.
The establishment of the Education and Training Boards (ETBs), the dissolution of FÁS and the establishment of SOLAS in 2013 has led to major changes in the co-ordination, funding and delivery of further education and training provision. This includes changes in the operation of contracted training where ETBs engage the services of third party pro...

126. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills the percentage of points awarded on the basis of price for tenders for contracted training at SOLAS; if this was always the case; the reason this percentage was chosen; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20404/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - SOLAS Training and Education Programmes )

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 123 to 129, inclusive, together.
The establishment of the Education and Training Boards (ETBs), the dissolution of FÁS and the establishment of SOLAS in 2013 has led to major changes in the co-ordination, funding and delivery of further education and training provision. This includes changes in the operation of contracted training where ETBs engage the services of third party pro...

127. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on whether the scoring matrix for the tenders for contracted training at SOLAS is weighted in a way that means the cheapest tender counts for too little in the system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20405/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - SOLAS Training and Education Programmes )

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 123 to 129, inclusive, together.
The establishment of the Education and Training Boards (ETBs), the dissolution of FÁS and the establishment of SOLAS in 2013 has led to major changes in the co-ordination, funding and delivery of further education and training provision. This includes changes in the operation of contracted training where ETBs engage the services of third party pro...

128. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of companies that have received a contract for training at SOLAS in each of the past ten years across each education and training board and by education and training board; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20406/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - SOLAS Training and Education Programmes )

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 123 to 129, inclusive, together.
The establishment of the Education and Training Boards (ETBs), the dissolution of FÁS and the establishment of SOLAS in 2013 has led to major changes in the co-ordination, funding and delivery of further education and training provision. This includes changes in the operation of contracted training where ETBs engage the services of third party pro...

129. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills the cost of each of the top ten most costly SOLAS courses provided by each education and training board in each of the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20407/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - SOLAS Training and Education Programmes )

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 123 to 129, inclusive, together.
The establishment of the Education and Training Boards (ETBs), the dissolution of FÁS and the establishment of SOLAS in 2013 has led to major changes in the co-ordination, funding and delivery of further education and training provision. This includes changes in the operation of contracted training where ETBs engage the services of third party pro...

164. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal will be referred to St. James’s Hospital, Dublin 8; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20239/18 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 ...

262. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if her Department has an obligation to advise jobseekers who are taking up employment that they may have an entitlement to certain payments such as the back to work family dividend scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20269/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Social Welfare Benefits)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The Department operates a network of some 120 Intreo centres and Branch offices throughout the country. These offices provide information on the wide range of schemes and services provided by the Department. Frontline staff are available to give timely and accurate advice to people who contact any of the Department’s offices on the various supports and services available including back to work family dividend to cus...

263. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason the back to work dividend scheme does not facilitate an arrangement whereby payments can be collected by recipients at post offices; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20270/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Back to Work Family Dividend Scheme)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The back to work family dividend (BTWFD) scheme is an in-work support payment. As an in-work support, payment by electronic fund transfer (EFT) into a bank account was chosen as the most convenient and appropriate payment method for the scheme whose recipients are at work. There is no provision for it to be paid into a post office account. 
More generally, the Deputy should note however that customers of the Depart...

293. D’fhiafraigh Deputy Pearse Doherty den an Aire Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta an bhfuil sí ar an eolas faoi na deacrachtaí atá ag coláiste Gaeilge i gContae Dhún na nGall (sonraí curtha ar fáil) maidir le tacaíochtaí airgeadais a fháil ó na gníomhaireachtaí ábhartha, rud a fhágann nach dtig leis an gcoláiste rochtain a fháil ar roinnt de na scéimeanna atá dírithe ar an nGaeilge a theagasc do scoláirí; an iarrfaidh sí ar oifigigh na Roinne an cás seo a chíoradh agus dul i dteagmháil leis an gcoláiste d’fhonn cuidiú a chur ar fáil; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh. (Question 20220/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Oideachas Gaeilge)

Minister of State at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Joe McHugh) (Deputy Joe McHugh): Tá iarrtha agam go rachadh ionadaí mo Roinne i dteagmháil leis an gcoláiste atá i gceist faoin ábhar seo chomh luath agus is féidir. Ní mór dom a chur in iúl don Teachta, áfach, gurb í mo Roinn fhéin an príomheagraíocht Stáit a chuireann tacaíochtaí ar fáil, idir dheontais do na teaghlaigh a choinníonn scoláirí faoi Scéim na bhFoghlaimeoirí Gaeilge agus deontais caipitil do na colá...

249. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive a physiological assessment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19624/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Hospital Appointments Status)

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.
 ...

310. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the patient entitlement including product types and product costs of post-surgery products such as prosthesis swimwear, bras and so on; the application procedure a person wishing to receive such products must follow; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19877/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Medical Products)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.
 ...

311. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the reason a partial refund was awarded to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19879/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Drugs Payment Scheme Administration)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.
 ...

384. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the actions that have been taken to date to progress proposals to establish a consultation process to review the options for more restricted access for large fishing vessels fishing by means of trawls inside the six nautical mile zone; if submissions from all interested stakeholders are being accepted in respect of same; if so, the timeframe for submissions to be made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19878/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Fishing Industry)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The public consultation process on trawling activity within the 6 nautical mile zone began on Monday 30th April 2018 and will run to Monday 11th June 2018. The consultation paper and accompanying reports by the Marine Institute and Bord Iascaigh Mhara are available on the Department’s website, along with information on how to participate in the consultation process. 
 ...

227. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to reinstate a facility (details supplied) in which driver licence services were previously provided in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19540/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Driver Licences)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): This is a matter for the Road Safety Authority. I have referred the question to the Authority for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to contact my office if a response is not received within 10 days.
 ...

236. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her attention has been drawn to the long waiting times that still exist for Tusla to furnish section 20 reports requested by the District Courts in County Donegal despite assurances (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19469/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Child and Family Agency Reports)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): As this is an operational matter, I have written to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, and requested that they contact the Deputy directly. 
As I noted previously, under section 20 of the Child Care Act 1991, a Court, may of its own volition or on the application of any person, adjourn proceedings and direct the Child and Family Agency, Tusla, to report on the safety, care, health or welfare of a child involved in the proceedin...

57. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development when the report on the Sparkassen public banking model will be published; the reason for the delay in publication; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18912/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Community Banking)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): I propose to take Questions Nos. 57 and 62 together.
The Programme for a Partnership Government includes a commitment to investigate a new model of community banking for Ireland, including an investigation of the German Sparkassen model for the development of local public banks that operate within well-defined regions.
A project team comprising officials from my Department and the Department of Finance was established last year ...

92. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the action the Central Bank will take against a bank (details supplied) following its computer problems; the rights of the affected customers in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18798/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Banking Sector Regulation)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): While the Central Bank cannot comment on individual interactions with regulated entities, Ulster Bank Ireland DAC (Ulster Bank) has been engaging with the Central Bank in relation to this matter. 
Customers have a legitimate expectation of high quality, uninterrupted services, whether provided through traditional or online channels. The Central Bank expects all firms to have adequate systems and controls in place and where issues that impact custome...

93. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the exact nature of the 4,000 new cases in the Central Bank’s April 2018 update on the tracker scandal; the new groups that have been included; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18885/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Tracker Mortgage Examination Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Central Bank has advised that, as set out in its recently published April 2018 Tracker Mortgage Examination Progress Report, the total number of impacted customers identified through the Examination to end-March 2018 is c. 30,000 (of which 1,500 remain to be verified by lenders) and that this represents an increase of 3,400 identified customer accounts since the December report. (When added to the c. 7,100 cases resolved outside of the Examinati...