114. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if the Revenue Commissioners are currently examining any other similar scheme of co-operatives involving shares given by co-ops to members and not taxed appropriately, which they intend to categorise as remuneration received by employees or self-employed contractors, in view of the recent tax assessments raised by the Revenue Commissioners regarding members of a co-op (details supplied) on the taxation of shares in the co-op received by members, in conjunction with milk received by the co-op from them and now being assessed to tax as trading income; if so, the details of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40527/16 asked on 16 Dec 2016 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): This is a matter for the Revenue Commissioners and, as the Deputy will be aware, Revenue is statutorily independent in the exercise of their functions. This independence, which dates back to the establishment of the Revenue Commissioners in 1923, is seen as critical to maintaining the integrity of the taxation system and forms a key pillar of Revenue’s Governance framework.
I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that their current compliance inter...

148. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills the grants available for which chainsaw instructors may apply in order to provide training courses to trainees to enable them to secure skilled employment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40598/16 asked on 16 Dec 2016 - Education and Training Boards Funding)

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): There are no direct grants available to providers. However, Education and Training Boards (ETBs) contract with private providers for the provision of training to address local skill needs.  Procurement opportunities in this context may arise from time to time in the area identified by the Deputy.
 ...

383. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the current average processing times for applications received by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland from those who wish to practise as nurses or midwives here; the efforts being made to reduce these times; his plans to reduce the fee payable by applicants in respect of registration; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40898/16 asked on 16 Dec 2016 - Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I wish to thank the Deputy for the matter raised.
Given that this is an operational matter, it is appropriate that it should be dealt with by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI). I have referred the Deputy’s question to the NMBI for attention and direct reply. 
If you have not received a reply from the NMBI within 10 working days, please contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.
 ...

557. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of children taken into State care, by county, by the Child and Family Agency, Tusla in the years in each of the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40900/16 asked on 16 Dec 2016 - Child and Family Agency Data)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): The following table shows a breakdown of the number of children in care by area at the end of 2014, 2015 and at the end of September 2016:
 Area 2014 2015 2016 (end Sept) Cork 928 899 866 Dublin North City 626 625 609 Mid West 592 605 596 Dublin North 306 331 327 Waterford Wexford 497 447 436 Galway/Roscommon 484 407 436 Kerry 146 145 154 Dublin South Central 407 ...

227. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal will receive an appointment in Our Lady’s Hospital, Crumlin following the HSE directing such a referral as necessary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40402/16 asked on 14 Dec 2016 - Hospital Appointments Administration)

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 scheduling of appointments for patients is a matter for the hospital to whic...

228. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal will receive an appointment for surgery; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40431/16 asked on 14 Dec 2016 - 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 mana...

123. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number of recommendations from the Garda Inspectorate report of 2009 on missing persons that have been implemented; if she will provide an explanation for each recommendation not yet implemented; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39946/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Garda Inspectorate Reports)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): In line with a commitment in the Programme for Government 2007, the Garda Síochána Inspectorate examined Garda practice with regard to missing persons. The Inspectorate found overall that Garda systems for handling missing persons cases are in line with international best practice. The Inspectorate’s Report contained 18 recommendations on how these systems could be further enhanced and 17 of these recommendations have ...

124. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the time a website (details supplied) has not been working; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39947/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Missing Children)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The website in question is hosted by the Global Missing Children Network (GMCN) and while An Garda Síochána contribute to the site, neither my Department nor An Garda Síochána have a direct role in its administration. I am advised by the Garda authorities that a new GMCN website was launched in May 2015. The cases from www.missingkids.ie have been moved to this new system and further information is available at http://...

125. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the reason all missing persons, as per her reply on 6 December 2016 on the issue, are not on the section of the Garda website for missing persons; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39948/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Missing Persons)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The website in question is operated by An Garda Síochána and I have no direct role in its administration. However, I am informed by the Garda authorities that the missing persons section on the Garda website is managed and maintained by the Missing Persons Bureau which is part of the Garda National Protective Services Bureau.
As the Deputy will be aware, the District Officer of a District where a person is reported miss...

126. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if An Garda Síochána is carrying out a full review of all missing persons cases since 1951; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39950/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Missing Persons)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The Deputy will appreciate that management of particular Garda investigations, including the allocation of resources, and the identification of lines of inquiry, are matters in the first instance for the Garda authorities and I have no direct role in this regard. All incidents where persons have been reported missing remain under investigation until such time as the person is located.
District Officers in the area where...

162. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if dividend withholding tax, DWT, is exempted under tax legislation, Revenue Commissioners guidance and the Ireland-Malta double tax treaty, in the circumstances in which the recipient of the dividend, shareholder 29.9%, is a Maltese tax resident shareholder with a 29.9% shareholding in the Irish resident company that is quoted on the Irish Stock Exchange (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39635/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 162 to 164, inclusive, together.
The primary purpose of Dividend Withholding Tax (DWT) is to collect tax at source from dividend payments and other distributions made by Irish resident companies to Irish resident individuals who are chargeable to income tax on such distributions (with a credit allowed for DWT deducted).
The legislation dealing with DWT, which is contained in Chapter 8A of Part 6 of the Taxes Consolida...

163. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if DWT is exempted under tax legislation and Revenue Commissioners guidance in the circumstances in which the recipient of the dividend, shareholder 15%, is an Irish investment fund that is regulated by the Central Bank with a 15% shareholding in the Irish resident company that is quoted on the Irish Stock Exchange (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39636/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 162 to 164, inclusive, together.
The primary purpose of Dividend Withholding Tax (DWT) is to collect tax at source from dividend payments and other distributions made by Irish resident companies to Irish resident individuals who are chargeable to income tax on such distributions (with a credit allowed for DWT deducted).
The legislation dealing with DWT, which is contained in Chapter 8A of Part 6 of the Taxes Consolida...

164. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if DWT is exempted under tax legislation and Revenue Commissioners guidance in the circumstances in which the recipient of the dividend, shareholder 15%, is an Irish limited company with a 15% shareholding in the Irish resident company that is quoted on the Irish Stock Exchange (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39637/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 162 to 164, inclusive, together.
The primary purpose of Dividend Withholding Tax (DWT) is to collect tax at source from dividend payments and other distributions made by Irish resident companies to Irish resident individuals who are chargeable to income tax on such distributions (with a credit allowed for DWT deducted).
The legislation dealing with DWT, which is contained in Chapter 8A of Part 6 of the Taxes Consolida...

237. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government the dates on which polling was designated to take place on each of the offshore islands for general election 2016 and for the local and European elections 2014 in tabular form; if he will provide the deadline dates for those wishing to register for the postal vote in respect of each of these types of elections; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39537/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Election Management System)

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): The information requested is set out in the following table:
 Election Donegal islands Mayo islands Galway islands Cork islands General election Friday 26 February 2016 Thursday 25 February 2016 Thursday 25 February 2016 Thursday 25 February 2016 Friday 26 February 2016 European Parliament and Local Elections Friday 23 May 2014 Thursday 22 May 2014 Thursday 22 May 2014 Thursday 2...

267. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason a person (details supplied) in County Donegal was refused domiciliary care allowance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39381/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Domiciliary Care Allowance Appeals)

Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection (Deputy Finian McGrath): An application for Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) was received from this lady on the 4th May 2016. A decision issued to her on the 25th August 2016 advising that the application was not allowed, as it was considered that her daughter did not meet the qualifying conditions for the scheme.
An appeal of the decision to disallow the application has been submitted to the Social Welfare Appeals Office (SWAO). As part...

436. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health his plans to add new low-protein foods to the long-term illness scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39623/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Long-Term Illness Scheme Coverage)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 436 and 437 together.
The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicinal products under the community drug schemes in accordance with the provisions of the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for reply to the Deputy.
 ...

437. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that there has been no revision to the number and type of low-protein foods on the long-term illness scheme over a number of years for the metabolic disorder, PK, phenylketonuria, in which treatment involves a strict low-protein diet and supplement; if he had any consultation with the PKU Association of Ireland concerning same. (Question 39624/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Long-Term Illness Scheme Coverage)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 436 and 437 together.
The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicinal products under the community drug schemes in accordance with the provisions of the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for reply to the Deputy.
 ...

485. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if an application has been made by a hospital (details supplied) in County Donegal for an x-ray imagining machine; if so, if this application is currently under consideration; when it is anticipated that a decision will be made in respect of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39913/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Hospital Equipment)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Helen McEntee): As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.
 ...

486. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the status of the reinstatement of gynaecology services at Dungloe Community Hospital; when it is expected that services will resume for patients; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39914/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Hospital Services)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): In relation to this particular query, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. 
 ...

545. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal will receive a single farm payment for 2015 and 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39621/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Single Payment Scheme Payments)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The person named submitted a 2013 Transfer of Entitlements application to my Department seeking the transfer of land and entitlements by gift as transferee. This application could not be processed due to an issue relating to the date of amendment of the herd number. This issue has been resolved and the transfer has been completed to facilitate payment. Confirmation has issued in writing to the person named.
The establishment...

56. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality her plans to refurbish or engage in any maintenance work of Carndonagh Courthouse, County Donegal. (Question 39255/16 asked on 08 Dec 2016 - Court Accommodation Refurbishment)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): As the Deputy will be aware, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts, including the provision of accommodation for court sittings, is the responsibility of the Courts Service which is independent in exercising its functions.
However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has informed me that remedial and maintenance works were ca...

57. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if persons in the Inishowen Peninsula of County Donegal will have to travel outside the peninsula for coroners’ inquests in future. (Question 39261/16 asked on 08 Dec 2016 - Coroners Service)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): As the Deputy is aware, Coroners are quasi-judicial office holders who are independent in their functions. Neither I nor my Department has any role in relation to the scheduling or holding of inquests. However, I understand that the Donegal Coroner, Dr. Denis McCauley, routinely uses four different venues to hold inquests in Co. Donegal. In respect of residents of Inishowen Dr. McCauley can avail of the facilities of ...

76. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance further to the recent change in the Finance Bill to section 110, concerning the carve out for a section 110 company that is involved in the loan origination business, if an Irish non-bank lender operating an origination platform for an investment bank offering finance to the Irish commercial property market would be able to operate in a tax neutral manner as a section 110 company; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39325/16 asked on 08 Dec 2016 - Company Law)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am advised by Revenue that the income of a loan origination business should comprise interest received on loans originated, with the associated expenses being the normal expenses of carrying on such a business plus any interest paid on the funds borrowed for use in the loan origination business. 
If the loan origination company is a qualifying company (within the meaning of section 110 TCA 1997) then it would be able to operate in a direct tax neut...

180. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the number of occasions, including the date of execution, whereby the full capacity escalation protocol has been implemented at Letterkenny University Hospital in 2016 in response to hospital overcrowding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39237/16 asked on 08 Dec 2016 - Health Services)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.
 ...

115. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills if, in instances in which children are in foster care and carers have been instructed to ensure that a child placed in their care attends a certain school as per the child’s care plan, the child’s medical cards will be accepted for the purpose of school transport via the school transport schemes even if the specified education centre is not the nearest school to their place of temporary residence during the period for which the child remains in foster care; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39093/16 asked on 07 Dec 2016 - School Transport Eligibility)

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department.Currently over 113,000 children, including some 10,000 children with special educational needs, are being transported in over 4,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres annually.
The purpose of my Department’s School Transport Scheme is...