139. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the rate of salary that would apply to Deputies, Senators, Ministers, Junior Ministers and An Taoiseach if in each case the Civil Service grade their salary is linked to was reduced by a grade, in tabular form; the estimated savings from such a move; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52914/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Oireachtas Members’ Remuneration)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The linking of the salary of a TD currently remunerated at €89,965 pa on the current Civil Service Principal Officer (Standard Scale) to the grade of Assistant Principal Officer (Standard Scale) at a current salary rate of  €70,281 pa would amount to an estimated annual saving of €3.11 million. 
The estimated annual saving based on a Senator’s current salary of €65,311 pa  reduced to 70% of the revised TD’s salary rate above wo...

2. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the date on which the Data Sharing and Governance Bill will be introduced; the number of staff in his Department tasked with its drafting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47609/17 asked on 09 Nov 2017 - Legislative Programme)

Deputy Jonathan O’Brien: This question asks when the Data Sharing and Governance Bill will be published and the Minister to indicate the number of the staff in the Department tasked with drafting it. I accept that this is a busy time in the Department in terms of finance and the drafting of other legislative measures.
 ...

70. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the status of the south Ennis flood scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47382/17 asked on 09 Nov 2017 - Flood Relief Schemes Status)

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Kevin Boxer Moran): The Ennis South Flood Relief Scheme is being progressed by Clare County Council as the Contracting Authority with funding from the Office of Public Works. When completed the scheme will provide protection for 74 residential and 10 non-residential properties in the area.
A report on the outcome of the tender process is currently being reviewed and this should be completed shortly. It is hoped that t...

287. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the grounds on which a staff transfer as part of existing mobility initiatives within the Civil Service may be refused; the grounds and-or circumstances on which a request to transfer may be supported and-or augmented; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46173/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Departmental Agencies Staff Transfer)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As the Deputy will be aware, the current mechanism for transfers of Clerical Officer and (former) Staff Officer grades is arranged in accordance with formal procedures, which were agreed with the Staff Side at General Council under the Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme for the Civil Service. Agreements were reached for Clerical Officers in 1978 and Staff Officers in 2001.
Also interdepartmental transfers between other grades...

295. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the names of the special advisers employed in his Department; the names of special advisers to junior ministers in his Department; the annual salary of each adviser; if these persons were special advisers immediately prior to taking up their current role or immediately prior to the June 2017 Cabinet reshuffle; if so, the Minister to whom they were appointed; the date each special adviser was appointed with effect as stated in the Government order; the date of the Government order; if they received a salary for the period before the appointment order was signed in the case of special advisers whose appointment order date has an effect date earlier than the order date; if so, by whom they were paid; if a special adviser during a period later backdated by appointment order had access to confidential material and-or Cabinet papers; if they were subject to the Official Secrets Act 1963 during this period; if any persons currently employed as special advisers have not yet been appointed by order since the Cabinet reshuffle of 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46473/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Ministerial Advisers Data)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
I wish to inform the Deputy that there are currently two Special Advisers employed in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.
Ms Deborah Sweeney was appointed as Special Adviser to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform with effect from 15 June 2017 on 6 September 2017, in accordance with SI Ref No. 399 of 2017.
Mr Stephen Lynam was appointed as Special Adviser to the...

91. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform further to Parliamentary Question No. 103 of 26 September 2017, the reason the purchaser of property sold by the State cannot be identified; the reason so many properties are sold by private treaty rather than auction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43053/17 asked on 11 Oct 2017 - Office of Public Works Properties)

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Kevin Boxer Moran): For the most part, the Commissioners of Public Works (CPW) dispose of State owned property by way of public auction. However, there are occasions when Estate Agents / Auctioneers advise the CPW that private treaty is a more suitable approach to sale. In addition, there can be special purchase arrangements with, for example, Local Authorities, the Health Service Executive and adjoining landowners.
T...

130. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the items listed in the legislative programme for his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41414/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Legislative Programme)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Deputy will be aware that the Public Sector Standards Bill 2015 is currently at Committee Stage.
With regard to the Government’s legislative programme for the Autumn Session 2017, my Department has two Bills on the priority list for publication:
- Appropriation Bill 2017; and
- Public Service Pay and Pensions Bill 2017.
The latter Bill is the result of merging the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Bill 201...

35. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will use budget 2018 to address the State’s need for infrastructure investment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40547/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Capital Expenditure Programme)

Deputy Pearse Doherty: This question follows on from the same line of questioning of my colleague, Deputy Calleary. It relates to the capital plan. As opposed to the review in the sectors under most pressure and where capital will be allocated, is the Minister of the view that he will increase the overall envelope in terms of capital more than what has already been outlined in the review using the resources that are available in this year’s budget, particularly in view of the fact that capital...

38. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will implement a living wage for all employees of the State; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40461/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Living Wage Introduction)

Deputy Pearse Doherty: The issue here relates to State employees and whether the Government, and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Donohoe, are of the view that the Government will implement a living wage across the public and Civil Service and that it will guarantee employees in the direct employment of the State that they will receive a living wage, which is at €11.70 per hour.
 ...

46. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the steps he will take to ensure that excessive pensions for former politicians and public servants are curtailed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40459/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Public Sector Pensions Expenditure)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The pay and pensions of public servants including members of the Oireachtas were significantly reduced by a series of Financial Emergency Acts.  The Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (FEMPI) Acts, including the FEMPI 2010 Act which imposed the Public Service Pension Reduction (PSPR) on public servants in receipt of public service pensions, owe their constitutional legitimacy to the presence of an overriding pu...

48. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the additional financial measures he will employ in 2018 to develop flood defences across the State; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40460/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Flood Relief Schemes Expenditure)

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Kevin Boxer Moran): As the Deputy will be aware, the Government has committed €430m of Capital Investment in the flood risk management area over the period 2016-2021 which will see average annual expenditure rising from the current €45m to €100m by 2021. The recently completed mid-term review of the Capital Plan 2016-2021 has confirmed that allocation.
The indicated allocation of capital funding for flood risk manageme...

53. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the steps he will take to ensure that spending priorities are sufficiently focussed in view of the threat to the economy of Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40458/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Brexit Expenditure)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Planning for the withdrawal of the UK from the EU poses a significant challenge, particularly given that the precise nature of the relationship that will exist between the UK and the EU is yet to be agreed. The impact of Brexit will depend on the outcome of the complex negotiations that are currently taking place. 
However, Ireland’s economy is in a strong position to deal with this challenge. Economic growth has become more ...

101. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the savings that have resulted from the work of the Debt Management Implementation Board, by area, that is, the HSE, the Courts Service and so on; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40130/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Public Sector Debt Management)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 101 and 102 together.
The Final Report of the Debt Management Implementation Project Board was published by my Department in October 2016.  The report set improvement programmes that included qualitative and quantitative targets for 2016 - 2018 for each of the five in-scope public service bodies. If implemented successfully, the improvement programmes, in tandem with the economic recovery, were...

102. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the future targeted savings for the Debt Management Implementation Board; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40131/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Public Sector Debt Management)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 101 and 102 together.
The Final Report of the Debt Management Implementation Project Board was published by my Department in October 2016.  The report set improvement programmes that included qualitative and quantitative targets for 2016 - 2018 for each of the five in-scope public service bodies. If implemented successfully, the improvement programmes, in tandem with the economic recovery, were...

103. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the sale price and the name of the buyer of all buildings sold by the OPW in each of the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40132/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Office of Public Works Properties)

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Kevin Boxer Moran): The Commissioners of Public Works sold the following properties in the past five years (2012 – 2016).
When providing information on the disposal of property, the Commissioners do not disclose personal information pertaining to purchasers. 
Properties and Sites Sold 2012
 Property Sale Amount 1. Garda Residence, Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal €100,011.16 2. Plot of Land adjacent to Skibberee...

104. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the buildings licensed by the OPW for community use in each of the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40133/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Office of Public Works Properties)

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Kevin Boxer Moran): I am advised by the Commissioners of Public Works that the following State properties have been licensed to community groups during the past five years:
 No. Name of Property Community Group 1. Former Garda Station, Ballinskelligs, Co. Kerry Coiste Forbartha na Sceilge. 2. Former Garda Station, Ballycastle, Co. Mayo Ballycastle Development Company.  3. Former Garda Station, Beaufort, ...

109. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the total cost liability of public sector pay restoration, as provided for under the gradual unwinding of the FEMPI measures, with respect to local authority staff, for 2017 and 2018 for each local authority, in tabular form (Question 40553/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Public Sector Pay)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Mid-Year Expenditure Report 2017 outlined an amount of €0.3bn to be allocated from the Lansdowne Road Agreement and €0.2bn from the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018-2020 in 2018. 
The allocation of these central provisions to Departments is a matter that is subject to ongoing assessment in the context of the expenditure out-turns for 2017 and the estimates for 2018. 
 ...

256. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will provide the capital investment and investment in education, health and child care, respectively, as a percentage of the GNI* data as opposed to GDP for the most recent year available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36893/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - Capital Expenditure Programme)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe) (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The latest published figures available for GNI* are for 2016.
The figures outlined in the table below demonstrate the substantial level of investment which was made in these public services in 2016. 
As Ireland’s economic growth is maintained on the basis of the Government’s prudent and responsible approach to fiscal policy and in keeping with the commitment in the Programme for a Partnership Government...

270. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the cost his Department incurred in each of the past five years due to debit and credit card payment services and banking fees; the financial institutions to which the payments were made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37228/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - Departmental Expenditure)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): In response to the Deputy’s question, the following table outlines the cost of bank charges (including for credit cards) in each of the past five years: 

 Institution 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Bank of Ireland, VISA €186 €186 €186 €294 €342 Danske Bank €167 €354 €460 €446 €427 Fexco €11 Total €353 €540 €657 €740 €769 
 ...

234. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the estimated additional cost of ensuring all Civil Service workers receive at least a living wage of €11.70 per hour in 2018; and the equivalent estimate for the wider public sector and semi-State bodies if the requisite information is available. (Question 35713/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Public Sector Staff Remuneration)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): In response to the Deputy’s question, the following table sets out the information sought as it relates to my Department and the bodies under its aegis.
 Organisation Additional Annual Cost Department of Public Expenditure and Reform €44,207 National Shared Services Office €717,672 Office of Government Procurement €52,370 Public Appointments Service €182,470 Office of the Ombudsman €42,737 State Laboratory €3...

199. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the total amount accounted for by demographic pressures in precommitted spending and in carryover by Department and budget line for 2018 in terms of the fiscal space; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33100/17 asked on 11 Jul 2017 - Fiscal Data)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Expenditure Report 2017 set out costs of €0.3 billion for 2018 in relation to demographics net of estimated savings of €0.15 billion in Live Register related expenditure arising from continued improvement in employment. The costs relating to demographic developments arise in the Departments of Health, Social Protection and Education. The Deputy may wish to note that the savings currently projected arising from expected im...

386. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the requests received by his Department from the Office of the Revenue Commissioners regarding recruiting additional personnel to fill vacant posts in 2016 and to date in 2017; the date on which the request was received; the title of the position; if the vacancy in question related to a new or existing post; if the request was accepted or refused; the status of accepted requests; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 27849/17 asked on 20 Jun 2017 - Revenue Commissioners)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Action 18 of the Civil Service Renewal Plan 2014 committed to giving greater authority and flexibility to managers to enhance public services while reducing costs and increasing efficiencies within centrally determined expenditure limits and pay rates. This has involved the setting down of binding multi-annual pay allocations centrally which have replaced the Employment Control Framework for Departments as the basis for resourc...

129. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the expenses incurred by his department in relation to insurance of all types in each of the past five years; the cost of each insurance policy held by his department over the same time period per annum; if he will provide the same data for all bodies under the aegis of his department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26291/17 asked on 01 Jun 2017 - Insurance Data)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): In response to the Deputy’s question, my Department and the bodies under its aegis operate under State Indemnity, a self-insurance model whereby the State bears the financial risk associated with the cost of claims.  This approach is set out in the Public Financial Procedures at C8 Section 11, whereby the general rule is that no insurance should be effected against the risk of any loss which if it arose would fall wholly and di...

132. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if his Department has produced costings in respect of extending pension entitlement to all community employment scheme supervisors and assistant supervisors; if he will provide details of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26354/17 asked on 01 Jun 2017 - Community Employment Schemes Supervisors)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Community Sector High Level Forum (or Working Group) (previously the Informal Forum) was convened in 2015 and 2016 to examine certain issues pertaining to the Community Employment sector having regard to the implications for costs and precedent.   The Forum continues to meet, most recently on 7th April last, to give consideration to the issues to which the Deputy refers. A costing’s exercise is currently being progressed a...

375. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the spend in each of the past five years on flood defence by scheme, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23991/17 asked on 23 May 2017 - Flood Prevention Measures)

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Seán Canney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 375 and 376 together.
Following is a table (Table 1) setting out expenditure by the Office of Public Works (OPW) on every flood relief scheme in the current Capital Programme for the period 2012-2016.
Table 1
 2012 Expenditure €,000 2013 Expenditure €,000 2014 Expenditure €,000 2015 Expenditure €,000 2016 Expenditure €,000 Schemes completed or currently a...