125. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the status of efforts to curb ticket touting; and the timeframe for the passing of legislation in this regard. (Question 8976/18 asked on 21 Feb 2018 - Ticket Touting)

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Since receipt of the submissions to the public consultation on the resale of tickets, officials of my Department have engaged in follow-up discussions with sporting bodies, event promoters, consumer bodies, primary ticketing service providers and secondary ticket marketplaces. My officials have also liaised with public authorities in EU and EFTA member states with laws that prohibit or restrict ticket resale on the exp...

213. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 768 of 6 February 2018, the work in his Department to deal with the problem of residents that live in an end of terrace home in which the private sewage line for a group of houses ends and such residents are continually faced with the problem and expense of having blockages in the line dealt with; if the attention has been drawn to the burden the lack of legislation in this area places upon such persons, the tensions this causes between neighbours and the frequent public health risks that arise in circumstances in which disputes arise; the grants available to persons to deal with such expenses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8907/18 asked on 21 Feb 2018 - Water and Sewerage Schemes)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 213 and 216 together.
The Water Services Act of 2007 sets down the obligations and responsibilities of water services authorities and property owners in respect of wastewater infrastructure. Section 70 places a general duty of care on the owner or occupier of a premises to ensure that wastewater from the premises does not cause nuisance or risk to human health or the environment and to r...

216. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the powers available to State bodies to take enforcement action against a person that fails to take steps to resolve a sewage leak emanating from their property onto a public footpath or roadway; the State bodies that have such enforcement powers; the specific legal provisions under which enforcement action can be taken; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9008/18 asked on 21 Feb 2018 - Water and Sewerage Schemes)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 213 and 216 together.
The Water Services Act of 2007 sets down the obligations and responsibilities of water services authorities and property owners in respect of wastewater infrastructure. Section 70 places a general duty of care on the owner or occupier of a premises to ensure that wastewater from the premises does not cause nuisance or risk to human health or the environment and to r...

97. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Finance his plans to adjust excise duties on petrol and diesel sales in view of the emerging evidence of diesel pollution; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7886/18 asked on 15 Feb 2018 - Excise Duties)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): A differential in the rate of excise applied to petrol and that applied to diesel exists due to diesel being the traditional fuel of business. Commercial vehicles such as heavy goods vehicles had no economically viable alternative and the reduced excise rate on diesel was applied in recognition of this and the role of transport in the wider economy where added fuel costs could ultimately translate into added retail prices. 
Nonetheless I am aware t...

176. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the way in which video games and gaming are regulated here in terms of content, age rating, sale to minors, purchase of online upgrades, the prevalence of gambling and so on; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7966/18 asked on 15 Feb 2018 - Gambling Legislation)

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Heather Humphreys): As the Minister for Justice and Equality has policy responsibility for gambling legislation, I am not in a position to say what measures, if any, are being taken under such legislation to monitor in-game purchases by minors or the prevalence of gambling in such games. As the Deputy may be aware, the Minister for Justice and Equality is currently working on updating the General Scheme of the Gambling Control Bill.
Video...

294. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her views on a situation facing elderly persons in receipt of a contributory State pension, living alone increase, fuel allowance, household benefits package and a medical card, who live alone in under-occupied homes and who would consider taking in a person to help address the homeless and housing emergency, but risk losing many of their entitlements if they do so; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7960/18 asked on 15 Feb 2018 - Social Welfare Code)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The payment of the living alone allowance, fuel allowance and household benefits package (HHB) is considered secondary, or non-primary, in nature which is incorporated into the person’s qualifying payment. The effect of the living alone allowance is to increase the rate of payment to such people, recognizing that there are economies of scale associated with living with another person. In relation to the qualifying cr...

102. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Finance if a review will be undertaken of the interaction of the tax and social welfare codes to address the unfair treatment of cohabiting persons whereby a couple is assessed as a family unit for welfare purposes but assessed individually for tax purposes. (Question 7694/18 asked on 14 Feb 2018 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): A review of the nature proposed by the Deputy is not currently planned as, to the extent that there are differences in the tax treatment of the different categories of couples, such differences arise from the objective of dealing with different types of circumstances while at the same time respecting the constitutional requirements to protect the institution of marriage. 
The basis for the current tax treatment of married couples derives from the Su...

289. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated cost to the Exchequer and the Social Insurance Fund in a full year if all PRSI benefits available to employed persons on class A PRSI were extended to the self-employed without a change of the rates currently charged. (Question 7616/18 asked on 14 Feb 2018 - Social Insurance Rates)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Self-employed workers who earn €5,000 or more in a contribution year, are liable for PRSI at the Class S rate of 4%, subject to a minimum annual payment of €500. This provides them with access to the following benefits: State pension (contributory) and widow’s, widower’s or surviving civil partner’s pension (contributory), guardian’s payment (contributory), maternity benefit, adoptive benefit, paternity benefit and t...

208. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason his Department is retrospectively seeking to impose a growth restriction on recently opened Educate Together schools in Tramore, New Ross, Castlebar, Trim and Tuam against the lawful preference of a significant number of families in these areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7096/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - School Enrolments)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 190, 208 to 210, inclusive, and 213 together.
As the Deputies may be aware, the report of the Advisory Group to the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector recommended that demand for patronage diversity should be met in areas of stable population by divesting patronage of existing schools where there is evidence of parental demand for change.   
In this context, in 2012/13, my Department u...

209. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason his Department is instructing Educate Together schools to turn away large numbers of families in Tramore, New Ross, Castlebar, Trim and Tuam (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7097/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - School Enrolments)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 190, 208 to 210, inclusive, and 213 together.
As the Deputies may be aware, the report of the Advisory Group to the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector recommended that demand for patronage diversity should be met in areas of stable population by divesting patronage of existing schools where there is evidence of parental demand for change.   
In this context, in 2012/13, my Department u...

210. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason his Department is restricting the long-term viability of developing schools in Tramore, New Ross, Castlebar, Trim and Tuam when his Department’s 2012-13 forum of patronage and pluralism report recommended that accommodation options for a full stream of provision should be considered for each area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7098/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - School Enrolments)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 190, 208 to 210, inclusive, and 213 together.
As the Deputies may be aware, the report of the Advisory Group to the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector recommended that demand for patronage diversity should be met in areas of stable population by divesting patronage of existing schools where there is evidence of parental demand for change.   
In this context, in 2012/13, my Department u...

283. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if An Garda Síochána has given him a formal assurance that all unlawful killings are properly investigated; the precise wording of this assurance; if he has satisfied himself with this assurance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7346/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Crime Data)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 273, 274 and 283 together.
As I advised the Dáil last week, An Garda Síochána is working, with input from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) as appropriate, to resolve an issue which was identified by An Garda Siochána in relation to the classification of homicide offences. The expert oversight by the CSO of crime statistics is welcome in order to ensure that we can have confidence in the official cri...

638. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated number of existing workers who would see a change in their contracts as a result of the new section 18(2) of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997. (Question 7041/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Zero-hour Contracts)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Section 14 of the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017, which was published in December, proposes the replacement of the existing section 18 in the Organisation of Working Time Act with a new section. One of the purposes of the proposed new section 18 is to prohibit zero hour contracts in most circumstances. 
The University of Limerick (UL) in its study on the prevalence of zero hour contracts and low hour...

5. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the details of the draft framework agreement on the future ownership of the new national maternity hospital; if the new hospital will remain in public ownership; if he will bring before Dáil Éireann details of the proposal prior to the final legal agreement being signed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6588/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - National Maternity Hospital)

Deputy Róisín Shortall: At the end of August the Minister stated that his Department was finalising an agreement with St. Vincent’s Hospital and Holles Street hospital under which the new national maternity hospital would remain in full public ownership. However, as of last month discussions on the legal framework were still ongoing. Will the Minister recommit today to ensuring that the hospital will remain in full public ownership? Will he update the House on the progress of the talks?
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144. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Skills the timeframe within which pay inequality for third level lecturers will be ended; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6635/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Third Level Staff Remuneration)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Differential pay scales were introduced by the then Government in 2010. It must be borne in mind that the pay reduction for post-2011 entrants to the public service applied to all public servants, and that any restoration of these measures would be expected to be applied elsewhere across the public service. 
Any further negotiation on new entrant pay is a cross sectoral issue, not just an issue for the education sector. The Government ...

146. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the details of the strategy for funding youth diversion projects as distinct from Tusla funded child services in the Ballymun area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6631/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Garda Youth Diversion Projects)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The statutory framework relating to young offenders and the Garda Diversion Programme is set out in the Children Act 2001. The operation of the Garda Diversion Programme is supported by the nationwide network of Garda Youth Diversion Projects (GYDPs). There are now 105 of these projects in place nationally. 
GYDPs are community based, multi-agency, crime prevention initiatives which primarily seek to divert young people who have becom...

170. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on the effectiveness of Garda mandatory roadside checkpoints in identifying and discouraging driving while under the influence of drugs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6636/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Road Traffic Offences)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): While An Garda Síochána has been testing Irish drivers for drugs, with the assistance of the Medical Bureau of Road Safety (MBRS), since 1999, the Deputy will be aware that my Government colleague, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, commenced the drug driving provisions in the Road Traffic Act 2016 on 13 April 2017. 
Key measures in the relevant legislation include the provisions relating to Preliminary Drug Testing, which ...

171. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason a limited number of gardaí have received training to carry out roadside drugs tests; the number of trained gardaí in each division; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6637/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Garda Training)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Road Traffic Act 2016 provides members of An Garda Síochána with the power to require a driver to provide a sample of oral fluid. Devices have been sourced and provided to An Garda Síochána by the Medical Bureau of Road Safety, which tests the sample provided for the presence of cocaine, cannabis, benzodiazepine and opiates. This test can be performed at the roadside prior to arrest or at a Garda Station following arrest, in resp...

172. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of roadside drugs tests carried out in each month since April 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6638/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Road Traffic Offences Data)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): While An Garda Síochána has been testing Irish drivers for drugs, with the assistance of the Medical Bureau of Road Safety (MBRS), since 1999, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport commenced the drug driving provisions in the Road Traffic Act 2016 on 13 April 2017. One of the key measures in the legislation provides for Preliminary Drug Testing, which now enables Gardaí to test motorists at the roadside, whom they suspect of d...

180. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the status of the implementation of the Sláintecare report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6589/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Oireachtas Joint Committee Reports)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): My Department is currently preparing an implementation plan in response to the Committee on the Future of Healthcare’s report, Sláintecare. This process is at an advanced stage, and officials from my Department are now engaging with the Departments of the Taoiseach and Public Expenditure and Reform on this matter. It is my intention to bring proposals to Government in the near future. The implementation plan will also be informed by the Health Servic...

235. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to an initiative in Sweden that would allow persons to access their health records electronically by 2020 (details supplied); and his plans to allow persons to access their records in a similar fashion here. (Question 6632/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Electronic Health Records)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Regarding the specific situation that the Deputy has referred to in Sweden, representatives from my Department regularly attend eHealth meetings as part of the European eHealth Network with their European counterparts, which includes the Ministry of Health in Sweden. Attendance at these meetings ensures my Department is up-to-date with both progress and challenges encountered by other EU countries that are seeking to progress electronic health records ...

236. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) in Dublin 11 has had their general practitioner changed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6633/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - General Practitioner Services Provision)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this question relates to a service matter, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.
 ...

255. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his Department has investigated an alternative drug testing device for roadside testing to address the fact the current device does not function at temperatures below four degrees; if his attention and the attention of An Garda Síochána was drawn to this issue when the contracts for supply of these devices was awarded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6639/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Drug and Alcohol Testing)

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

256. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the estimated cost of introducing roadside drug testing devices; the contracts awarded in relation to this programme; the value of each of the contracts awarded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6640/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Drug and Alcohol Testing)

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

264. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the funding provided to a service (details supplied) in each year since 2004. (Question 6629/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Youth Services Funding)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): My Department administers a range of funding schemes and programmes to support the provision of youth services to young people throughout the country including those from disadvantaged areas.  The funding provided to Ballymun Regional Youth Resource service since the establishment of my Department in 2011 is provided in the following table:
  -  2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Special Projects for...