159. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he has viewed the independent report completed by Achilles Consultants in relation to a project (details supplied) in County Donegal; his views on the recommendations made by the report; the reason his Department have not acted on the recommendations in the report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54641/13 asked on 18 Dec 2013 - Rural Development Programme Projects)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): I propose to take Questions Nos.159 and 161 together. 
In line with the ‘bottom-up’ approach to rural development there are 35 Local Action Groups (LAGs) contracted on my Department’s behalf to deliver the LEADER elements of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 throughout the country. These groups are the principal decision-makers in relation to the allocation of project funding and compliance with the regula...

160. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 487 of 18 July 2013 and 269 of the 3 December 2013, if he will make public the findings of the Ombudsman in relation to the project in question; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54642/13 asked on 18 Dec 2013 - Leader Programmes Applications)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): On foot of correspondence from the Office of the Ombudsman, my Department undertook a further review of this project and, in light of this, the Ombudsman has not concluded his examination of the complaint. My Department’s review is close to finalisation, and the Department will be writing to the Office of the Ombudsman on the matter early in the New Year. It would therefore not be appropriate for me to comment at...

161. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will meet with a cross party delegation to discuss the issues in relation to funding of a project (details supplied) in County Donegal; if he accepts that failure to resolve the issues with this project have consequences for future LEADER funding of similar projects; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54643/13 asked on 18 Dec 2013 - Rural Development Programme Projects)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): I propose to take Questions Nos.159 and 161 together. 
In line with the ‘bottom-up’ approach to rural development there are 35 Local Action Groups (LAGs) contracted on my Department’s behalf to deliver the LEADER elements of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 throughout the country. These groups are the principal decision-makers in relation to the allocation of project funding and compliance with the regula...

177. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the report by the Health Service Executive regarding a convicted sex abuser (details supplied) in County Donegal has been completed and made available to him; if the report by the Garda Commissioner regarding the same offender has been completed and made available to him; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54640/13 asked on 18 Dec 2013 - Crime Investigation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): The Deputy will appreciate that I have no function in relation to any inquiries carried out by the Health Service Executive in this regard.
In relation to the matters under investigation by An Garda Síochána, I am informed by the Garda authorities that a report in relation to the case has been forwarded to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. In these circumstances, it would not be appropriate for me to make any further comme...

197. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason a person (details supplied) in County Donegal is waiting on the single farm payment; if he will indicate a timeframe for when this payment will issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54620/13 asked on 18 Dec 2013 - Single Payment Scheme Applications)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): The person named submitted a Single Farm Payment/Disadvantaged Areas’ Scheme application on 24 April 2013. EU Regulations governing the administration of the schemes require that full and comprehensive administrative checks, including in some cases on farm inspections, be completed before any payments issue. The application of the person named was selected for a ground eligibility/cross compliance inspection. The ground eligib...

198. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will provide an update on the progression of the marina in Killybegs, County Donegal; if planning permission has been sought for the marina; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54621/13 asked on 18 Dec 2013 - Harbours and Piers Development)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): The development of this small craft harbour in Killybegs is seen as a much needed addition to the facilities provided within Killybegs Fishery Harbour Centre, offering many benefits to harbour users as well as a welcome spin-off for the local economy. In 2013 I provided funding for this project under the Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development programme which is administered by my Department.
The design and plan...

206. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the amount Ireland expects to benefit from the European agriculture and rural development fund from 2014-2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54713/13 asked on 18 Dec 2013 - EU Funding)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): The European Council agreement on the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) provides a total of €2.19bn, or some €313m per year, for Ireland under Pillar 2 of the CAP for the period 2014 - 2020. The development of a new Rural Development Programme (RDP) under Pillar 2 will be a key support in enhancing the competitiveness of the agrifood sector, achieving more sustainable management of natural resources and ensuring a more ba...

207. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will estimate the total direct single payments likely to benefit Irish farmers from 2014 to 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54714/13 asked on 18 Dec 2013 - Single Payment Scheme Expenditure)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): The annual ceilings available to Ireland under the Direct Payment Regulation for the period 2015 to 2019 are set down in the Annex II of that Regulation as follows: 
 Year Ceilings available 2015 €1,215,003,000 2016 €1,213,470,000 2017 €1,211,899,000 2018 €1,211,482,000 2019 €1,211,066,000 

The ceiling available to Ireland for the 2014 scheme year is set down in the Transitional Regulation dealing with the...

241. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the reason for the delay in processing a medical card in respect of persons (details supplied) in County Donegal who are on limited income and the cost of medication is causing substantial hardship; if he will provide a timeframe for when this claim will be processed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54618/13 asked on 18 Dec 2013 - Medical Card Delays)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.
The Health Service Executive operates the General Medical Services scheme, which includes medical cards and GP visit cards, under the Health Act 1970, as amended. It has established a dedicated contact service for members of the Oireachtas specifically for queries relating to medical cards and GP visit cards, which t...

242. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal will receive an appointment to have an operation on their back in Galway University Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54619/13 asked on 18 Dec 2013 - Hospital Waiting Lists)

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): The National Waiting List Management Policy, A standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, January 2013, has been developed to ensure that all administrative, managerial and clinical staff follow an agreed national minimum standard for the management and administration of waiting lists for scheduled care. This policy, which has been adopted by the Health Service Executive, sets out the proc...

263. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will provide an update on the design of a PEACE IV Programme and the EU funding that has been agreed; if this funding will come out of Ireland’s ERDF allocation or if it is separate (Question 54059/13 asked on 17 Dec 2013 - Peace and Reconciliation Programme)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Preparations for the new Structural Funds programming period have been underway over the past eighteen months. The SEUPB is currently drafting the Operational Programme for the PEACE IV Programme in close consultation with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in Ireland and the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland. The first consultation with stakeholders across the eligible regions including the B...

39. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance when a decision will be taken on the possible elimination of one and two cent coins; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53399/13 asked on 12 Dec 2013 - Currency Circulation)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The Central Bank ran a Rounding Trial on 1c and 2c coins in Wexford from 16th September to 17th November 2013 in accordance with a recommendation of the National Payments Plan approved by Government earlier this year. The results of that trial are under review; a report on the basis of the pilot project will be reviewed by the Steering Committee, which will report to Government through my Department. A Government decision informed by that report wi...

84. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the likely allocations for Ireland from the European Social Fund, the European Regional Development Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund for the 2014-2020 period. (Question 53637/13 asked on 12 Dec 2013 - EU Funding)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Ireland has been allocated approximately €1bn from Structural Funds, i.e. the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF), for the 2014-2020 period. The split between the two Funds will be determined in the context of the programme planning that is currently underway.
I understand that the allocation for the European Maritime & Fisheries Fund (EMFF), for which the Minister for Agriculture, Food ...

92. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason the existing FÁS premises in Gweedore, County Donegal is not used in place of rented accomodation. (Question 53413/13 asked on 12 Dec 2013 - State Properties)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): The Deputy will appreciate that issues relating to the number, location and cost of premises rented by the Department in County Donegal is a matter for the Office of Public Works. I will address the use of the former FÁS premises in Gweedore.
The Department’s Intreo service is designed, where possible, to ensure that the individual needs of each client are assessed and provided for from one location. Intreo provides a personalised service, ba...

40. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide clarification on a local property tax valuation received by a family (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53207/13 asked on 11 Dec 2013 - Property Taxation Assessments)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am informed by Revenue that a key aspect of the work undertaken in regard to Local Property Tax (LPT) was the development of a comprehensive register of residential properties in the State. During the compiling of the Property Register matching difficulties were encountered when consolidating the various Government and non-Government data sources used, and as a consequence some properties were associated with persons on the basis of outdated addre...

120. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason all the data requested with regard to a loss of earnings application in respect of a person (details supplied) have not been supplied to the financial shared services centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53209/13 asked on 11 Dec 2013 - Garda Retirements)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): My Department’s Financial Shared Services (FSS) centre received certain information from the Garda authorities that has facilitated the calculation of notional earnings for the period since the retirement of the person (details supplied) in August 2004 and these figures were sent to the person’s solicitor on 28th August 2013. The solicitor’s request for the calculation of notional earnings for periods of absence from work prior to the pers...

123. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if he has seen the recent health checks on AIB, Bank of Ireland and PTSB; if so, if he will provide a view on their contents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52473/13 asked on 10 Dec 2013 - Banking Sector Issues)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 123 and 124 together.
I can confirm to the Deputy that I have seen the results of the Balance Sheet Assessment as they were a commitment under our Funding Programme and, as with all other such commitments, my Department communicated them to the Troika by the appointed deadline. The results are very technical in nature and I am under a legal obligation to keep the details confidential.
As the BSA is seen as part of th...

124. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if he will instruct the Central Bank of Ireland to release publicly the full health checks assessments given to AIB, Bank of Ireland and PTSB last week; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52474/13 asked on 10 Dec 2013 - Banking Sector Issues)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 123 and 124 together.
I can confirm to the Deputy that I have seen the results of the Balance Sheet Assessment as they were a commitment under our Funding Programme and, as with all other such commitments, my Department communicated them to the Troika by the appointed deadline. The results are very technical in nature and I am under a legal obligation to keep the details confidential.
As the BSA is seen as part of th...

135. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 181 of 26 November 2013, the amount consultants (details supplied) are being paid in their consultative and drafting role; if the contract was tendered for or a direct award; and the person that decided which external consultants would be used. (Question 52824/13 asked on 10 Dec 2013 - Economic Policy)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): An invitation to tender for assistance and analysis in the preparation of a Medium-Term Economic Strategy, including an analysis of recent medium-term economic strategies in countries/regions comparable to Ireland, and to provide related advice on the effective development and implementation of the Strategy was published on eTenders on 20th August 2013. The tender document was also forwarded directly to a number of economic consultancy firms. The ...

136. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 181 of 26 November 2013, the value of the contract awarded to a company (details supplied); if the contract was awarded by public tender or direct award; and the person that decided the design of the medium term economic strategy would be outsourced. (Question 52827/13 asked on 10 Dec 2013 - Economic Policy)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The entity to which the Deputy refers is an ongoing local authority initiative to promote Irish design. The entity offered to provide assistance to the Department of Finance to develop a design scheme for the Medium-Term Economic Strategy document which will help ensure that its message and goals are communicated with maximum clarity to the widest possible readership in Ireland and abroad. This offer was accepted by the Department. The local authorit...

137. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 181 of 26 November 2013, if the ESRI is being paid for its consultative work on the strategy; if so, the value of the payment-contract; if the contract was awarded by public tender or direct award; and the person who decided they would be used as consultants on the process. (Question 52828/13 asked on 10 Dec 2013 - Economic Policy)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): As part of the preparation of a Medium-Term Economic Strategy, requests for tenders for assistance in modelling medium-term supply-side changes to the Irish economy were issued to three parties on the 9th August. The goal of the modelling exercise was to quantify the impacts of potential supply-side economic reforms relative to a baseline scenario. Three responses were received within the 30th August deadline, with one party indicating they would not...

140. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if the overall valuation of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation’s loan book was completed as scheduled on 30 November; the overall value of same; the way it compares to the valuation at February 2013; and if a further injection of money will be required by IBRC in 2014. (Question 52876/13 asked on 10 Dec 2013 - IBRC Loans)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I have been advised by the Special Liquidators that the overall valuation of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation’s loan book was completed as scheduled on 30 November.
The information requested will not be published as it is commercially sensitive financial information which could potentially have a detrimental impact on asset recovery from the impending sale process. 
The Minister for Finance will only be required to compensate NAMA if the amount rais...

149. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide in tabular form the number of staff that are receiving a total remuneration package including pension payments, allowances and benefits of between €100,000 and €200,000, between €200,000 and €300,000 , between €300,000 and €400,000, and the number with more than €500,000 at all of the covered banking institutions, the National Treasury Management Agency and National Asset Management Agency. (Question 52982/13 asked on 10 Dec 2013 - Banking Sector Remuneration)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 149, 153, 155 and 156 together.
As the Deputy will be aware the Review of Remuneration Practices & Frameworks at the Covered Institutions (the “Mercer Report”) was published by my Department on 12 March 2013. The following breakdown of total salary and remuneration appears on page 43 of that review.
 - AIB AIB BOI BOI Number of Staff Salary Remuneration Salary Remuneration €300,000-€399,999 7 11 20 3...

150. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the total remuneration received by each of the chief executive officers of Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Banks, Permanent TSB, the National Treasury Management Agency and the National Asset Management Agency; if he will provide a listing and quantification for each of any additional benefits paid; and in respect of any expenses allowance, if such allowances are paid only in respect of vouched and receipted expenditure. (Question 52983/13 asked on 10 Dec 2013 - Banking Sector Remuneration)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 150 and 151 together.
Chief Executive Officers’ (CEO) remuneration for 2012 is included in the following table.
 CEO Remuneration 2012 Gross Salary€000 Other Remuneration€000 Pension Contributions€000 Total€000 AIB (i) 475 71 (ii) 546 BOI (iii) 623 34 (iv) 186 (v) 843 ptsb 353 54 (vi) (vii) 407 NTMA (viii) 416 30 (ix) 446 NAMA (x) 365 23 (ix) 388 
Notes:
(i) A reduction of 15% in total remu...

151. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if the chief executive officers of Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Banks, Permanent TSB, the National Treasury Management Agency and the National Asset Management Agency are employed on a temporary contract; if so, the date on which this contract was entered into; the termination date of this contract; and if he will quantify any termination payments provided for under the contract. (Question 52984/13 asked on 10 Dec 2013 - Banking Sector Remuneration)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 150 and 151 together.
Chief Executive Officers’ (CEO) remuneration for 2012 is included in the following table.
 CEO Remuneration 2012 Gross Salary€000 Other Remuneration€000 Pension Contributions€000 Total€000 AIB (i) 475 71 (ii) 546 BOI (iii) 623 34 (iv) 186 (v) 843 ptsb 353 54 (vi) (vii) 407 NTMA (viii) 416 30 (ix) 446 NAMA (x) 365 23 (ix) 388 
Notes:
(i) A reduction of 15% in total remu...