234. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Social Protection the status of an application for a disability allowance in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40717/16 asked on 16 Dec 2016 - Disability Allowance Applications)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for disability allowance from this lady on 23 November 2016. On completion of the necessary investigations on all aspects of the claim a decision will be made and the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome. The processing time for individual disability allowance claims may vary in accordance with their relative complexity in terms of the three main qualifying c...

384. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Health the status of an application for a medical card in respect of a person (details supplied). (Question 40899/16 asked on 16 Dec 2016 - Medical Card Applications)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): 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 the Deputy may wish to ...

110. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government the details of all local authorities that currently charge rates on vacant commercial properties; the percentage rate charged, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40218/16 asked on 14 Dec 2016 - Commercial Rates)

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): Local authorities are under a statutory obligation to levy rates on the occupiers of rateable property in accordance with the details entered in the valuation lists prepared by the independent Commissioner of Valuation under the Valuation Acts 2001 to 2015 .
The Local Government Act 1946 provides that where a property is unoccupied on the date of the making of the rate, the owner becomes liable for rates. Howe...

152. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Health if the drug Respreeza is to be discontinued in January 2017; the plans in place to offer persons a replacement treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40220/16 asked on 14 Dec 2016 - Medicinal Products Availability)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicines under the community drugs schemes, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013.
In reaching its decision, the HSE examines all the evidence which may be relevant in its view for the decision (including the information /dossier submitted by the Company) and will take into account such expert opinions and recommendations which may ...

160. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Finance if he will consider delaying the proposed new treatment of dwelling house relief from capital acquisitions tax, CAT, to 1 November 2019 to allow those persons that have already put arrangements in place under the old system not be penalised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39545/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The Finance Bill 2016 has been passed by Dáil Éireann and is currently being considered by the Seanad. In Section 52 of the Bill, I have provided for an amendment to section 86 of the Capital Acquisitions Tax Consolidation Act 2003, the section that provides an exemption from capital acquisitions tax on the inheritance or gift of a dwelling house in certain circumstances. I consider that this particular relief has lost focus since its introduction ...

701. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans for recognising members of the Civil Defence that provided medical care for members of the Defence Forces and the general public during the 1916 celebrations in 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40192/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Civil Defence)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Civil Defence is a volunteer based organisation which supports the frontline emergency services. It operates in partnership between the Department of Defence and local authorities throughout Ireland. 
The Department of Defence manages and develops Civil Defence at national level. The Civil Defence Branch of the Department provides centralised training, administrative support and guidance and centralised procurement of major it...

179. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Health his plans to make available the medical device freestyle libre under the long-term illness scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39234/16 asked on 08 Dec 2016 - Medicinal Products Reimbursement)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 179 and 195 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.
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95. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason a person (details supplied) was refused a SUSI grant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 38923/16 asked on 07 Dec 2016 - Student Grant Scheme Applications)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): As part of a comprehensive customer service and communications strategy provided by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI), to ensure that all necessary avenues are open to applicants to receive the information they need, a dedicated email and phone line service is provided by SUSI for Oireachtas members. This was established to meet an identified need for applicants who choose to engage the assistance of their public representatives i...

131. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Social Protection when a decision on an invalidity pension will issue to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 38898/16 asked on 07 Dec 2016 - Invalidity Pension Applications)

Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection (Deputy Finian McGrath): Invalidity pension (IP) is a payment for people who are permanently incapable of work because of illness or incapacity and who satisfy the pay related social insurance (PRSI) contribution conditions. 
A claim for IP was received from the gentleman concerned on the 08 November 2016. In order to establish medical eligibility two medical report forms have issued to him for completion. On receipt of the completed form...

132. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Social Protection the status of an appeal on a carer’s allowance decision in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 38899/16 asked on 07 Dec 2016 - Carer’s Allowance Appeals)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was referred to an Appeals Officer on 5th December 2016, who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing. 
The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals agains...

135. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Social Protection the status of a domiciliary allowance application in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 38905/16 asked on 07 Dec 2016 - Domiciliary Care Allowance Applications)

Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection (Deputy Finian McGrath): This lady was notified on the 1st December 2016 that her domiciliary care allowance has been awarded from 1st September 2016. The first payment of the allowance, along with arrears due, will issue on the 20th December 2016. I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.
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136. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Social Protection the status of a carer’s allowance review in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 38906/16 asked on 07 Dec 2016 - Carer’s Allowance Applications)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): An application for Carer’s Allowance (CA) was received from the person concerned on 11 March 2016.
Carer’s allowance was awarded to the person concerned on 21 November 2016 and the first payment issued to the nominated Post Office on 1 December 2016. 
Arrears of allowance due from 17 March 2016 to 30 November 2016 will issue shortly.
The person concerned was notified of these details on 21 November 2016.
I hope this clarifies the matter for ...

137. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Social Protection the status of a carer’s allowance review by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 38908/16 asked on 07 Dec 2016 - Carer’s Allowance Applications)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): An application for carer’s allowance (CA) was received from the person concerned on 29 March 2016.
CA is a means-tested social assistance payment, made to persons who are providing full-time care and attention to a person who has a disability such that they require that level of care.
My Department takes the view that full-time care and attention does not necessarily mean 24 hours in each day. Full-time care and attention can be considered t...

186. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will have a decision on their medical card application; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 38911/16 asked on 07 Dec 2016 - Medical Card Applications)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to you directly. 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 the Deputy may wish to use for an earlier ...

187. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Health the status of an application for a medical card in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 38913/16 asked on 07 Dec 2016 - Medical Card Applications)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to you directly. 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 the Deputy may wish to use for an earlier ...

384. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Health his views on the status of a person (details supplied) who is a HSE employee; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 38819/16 asked on 06 Dec 2016 - HSE Staff)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter.
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90. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number of successful prosecutions for selling alcohol to under age persons in the past five years, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36924/16 asked on 29 Nov 2016 - Crime Data)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The Central Statistics Office (CSO), as the national statistical agency, is responsible for the compilation and publication of the official recorded crime statistics, and the CSO has established a dedicated unit for this purpose. I have asked the CSO to forward the available statistics in relation to the information requested directly to the Deputy.
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178. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the construction of a new school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36927/16 asked on 29 Nov 2016 - Schools Building Projects Status)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the Letter of Acceptance for the preferred Tenderer for the project in question is expected to issue this week.  I understand that all outstanding issues for the project have been resolved to enable this.  My Department now expects that the project will commence on site early in the New Year.
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513. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Health if a clinic (details supplied) will remain in Louth Primary Care Centre, Dublin Road, Dundalk; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36939/16 asked on 29 Nov 2016 - Primary Care Services Provision)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.
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525. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will be issued with a date for an angiogram appointment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37026/16 asked on 29 Nov 2016 - Hospital Waiting Lists)

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...

549. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) is eligible for medical treatment under the cross-Border health care directive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37197/16 asked on 29 Nov 2016 - Cross-Border Health Initiatives)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The Health Service Executive operates the EU Directive on Patients’ Rights in Cross Border Healthcare in Ireland. In line with practice in other EU Member States, the HSE, through the National Contact Point (NCP) office, provides information for patients on the Cross-Border Directive on its website - www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/1/schemes/cbd/ - and also by phone. The principal function of the NCP (which is the mechanism specified under the Directive ...

724. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the decision of the UK to leave the EU results in the funds that the Government has pledged to the construction of the A5 in Northern Ireland not being required, whether those funds will be ring-fenced for road projects here, including the proposed bypass for Ardee; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37122/16 asked on 29 Nov 2016 - Road Projects)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): ​Commitments in relation to the A5 are governed by the Stormont House Agreement and Implementation Plan - A Fresh Start which reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to provide funding of £50 million for the A5 project and committed an additional £25 million to ensure that Phase 1 of the project (Newbuildings to north of Strabane) can commence as soon as the necessary planning issues have been resolved by the Northern Ireland authorit...

364. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform when further funding will be provided to upgrade and reinforce the Bellurgan embankment in County Louth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36179/16 asked on 22 Nov 2016 - Coastal Protection)

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Seán Canney): The upgrade works on the coastal embankment at Bellurgan, Co Louth, are being advanced by Louth County Council with funding from the Office of Public Works (OPW).
The Council has informed the OPW that works have now commenced and are expected to be completed in the early part of 2017. Funding will be provided to the Council upon request, on the basis of certified monies expended. 
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453. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Health the status of a home support appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Louth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36181/16 asked on 22 Nov 2016 - Home Help Service Appeals)

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.
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218. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Education and Skills when the minor works scheme grant will be issued to primary schools for 2016-2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 34630/16 asked on 15 Nov 2016 - Minor Works Scheme Applications)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 218, 223 and 259 together.
My Department is currently determining the likely end-year position on capital expenditure 2016 and I expect to be able to make an announcement regarding the Minor Works Grant 2016/2017 before the end of the week.
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