208. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a fuel allowance payment for a person (details supplied) will be issued; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 2196/18 asked on 17 Jan 2018 - Fuel Allowance Eligibility)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): There is no record of an application for a DEASP payment having been received by the Department from the person concerned. Once a completed application is received by the Department a Deciding Officer (DO) will then be in a positron to decide the claim including any entitlement to Fuel Allowance.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.
 ...

237. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will request local authorities to make documentation in respect of planning applications available online in a timely fashion; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that Dublin City Council considers this a courtesy service thus resulting in documents being made available late; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 2214/18 asked on 17 Jan 2018 - Planning Issues)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): Under current planning legislation, namely the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended (the 2000 Act) and the Planning and Development Regulations 2001-2017, the processing of planning applications is based primarily on physical documents.  While planning authorities endeavour to upload on-line as soon as possible the principal planning documents that are required to be made available in ...

480. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her Department has adjudicated on the case of a person (details supplied) in relation to their qualifications; if this person can continue working in this sector while her Department’s decision is awaited and while the person makes the necessary arrangements to upskill to the required qualification in order that this child care facility can continue to operate; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53124/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Early Childhood Care and Education Standards)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): My Department received a qualifications assessment application from the person named and a response issued to her on the 20th of October. DCYA officials indicated in the response that the individual should provide additional information if she is in a position to do so; to date DCYA has had no further contact from the person concerned. 
New regulations were introduced for the Early Years sector in June of 2016. Part 3.9.4 of t...

508. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason persons that only became unemployed within the past 15 months are not eligible for the Christmas bonus whereas persons that are unemployed for more than 15 months are eligible for it; her views on whether this is unfair on persons that have been successful in their efforts to secure employment during or prior to this 15 months time frame but that become redundant; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52820/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Social Welfare Schemes)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 507 and 508 together.
I was pleased to announce on Budget Day that an 85% Christmas bonus was to be paid this year to over 1.2 million long-term social welfare recipients, such as pensioners, people with disabilities, carers, lone parents and long-term jobseekers at a cost of €219 million.
The Christmas bonus was introduced in 1980 for certain social welfare schemes and was extended to...

121. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a minor works grant for a school (details supplied) will be paid; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the non payment of these grants in November causes financial difficulties for schools generally; the reason the payment of these grants is held over until the new year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52167/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Minor Works Scheme Applications)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 104, 112, 117 to 119, inclusive, 121, 122, 124, 125 and 127.
I am pleased to advise that yesterday I announced the Minor Works Grant 2017/2018 for primary schools across the country and payment will issue next week.
The funding will allow minor works to be carried out on the physical infrastructure of schools or on the purchase of items of furniture and equipment.
 ...

122. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a minor works grant for a school (details supplied) will be paid; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the non payment of these grants in November causes financial difficulties for schools generally; the reason the payment of these grants is held over until the new year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52168/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Minor Works Scheme Applications)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 104, 112, 117 to 119, inclusive, 121, 122, 124, 125 and 127.
I am pleased to advise that yesterday I announced the Minor Works Grant 2017/2018 for primary schools across the country and payment will issue next week.
The funding will allow minor works to be carried out on the physical infrastructure of schools or on the purchase of items of furniture and equipment.
 ...

10. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Finance if he will report on the future of Ireland’s corporation tax rate; if it has been discussed at recent EU Council meetings. (Question 50539/17 asked on 30 Nov 2017 - Corporation Tax Regime)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Ireland’s tax rate has not been discussed at recent ECOFIN meetings, and will not be discussed at upcoming meetings.  Corporation tax rates are a matter of national sovereignty and therefore entirely up to each Member State to decide the appropriate level of its own rate. 
Ireland has a stable and competitive corporation tax system, which is internationally recognised as one of the most transparent in the world. As I confirmed in the recent Budget, ...

110. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Finance his plans to amend the capital acquisitions tax provisions whereby siblings not living in the family home but who inherit this home from a deceased sibling are obliged to pay this tax straight away even though the house cannot be sold as another sibling who is not inheriting the house has a right of residence to remain there; his views on whether these provisions are unfair; if the Revenue Commissioners will examine such cases sympathetically particularly when those inheriting the house only have the State pension as income; if the tax can be paid in instalments; if interest is charged in circumstances in which the payment is deferred; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50024/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Tax Collection)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am informed by Revenue that the inheritance tax treatment in the case of a right of residence depends on whether or not that right of residence is an exclusive one, i.e. where the beneficiary has the right to exclude other people if he or she so chooses.
An exclusive right to live in a property is generally given as a life interest which means that the sibling in residence in effect owns the property for his or her lifetime, as do the other two si...

266. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to introduce measures to allow family members join refugees and asylum seekers here; the public policy implications of such measures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50026/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Family Reunification Policy)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): On 14 November last, together with my colleague, the Minister of State with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton T.D., I announced a new scheme of family reunification in support of refugees and their families, as part of the Government’s commitments under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP). The new Family Reunification Humanitarian Admission Programme (FRHAP) will see up to 530 im...

624. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if a grant will be awarded to an organisation (details supplied) in order to enable it continue to participate in tidy district competitions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50025/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Departmental Funding)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): The 60th anniversary of the TidyTowns competition will take place in 2018. In order to celebrate this milestone and to mark the invaluable work carried out by generations of TidyTowns volunteers in their own communities, I recently announced a €1.4 million grant scheme to assist committees with their preparations for the upcoming competition in 2018.
The scheme will allow each local committee which has entered the competition in...

645. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason it is necessary for widows to obtain new PPS numbers on the passing of their husbands; if her attention has been drawn to the fact that there can be delays in the issuing of these new numbers; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50027/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Personal Public Service Numbers)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): In this context it is useful to provide the background to the origin of PPS numbers with a ‘W’ suffix – often referred to as “Level W” numbers.
Under old tax law, the husband of a married couple was considered the assessable spouse and the wife was considered a dependant of the husband. Accordingly, the Office of the Revenue Commissioners (Revenue) allocated the husband’s Revenue and Social Insurance (RSI) number to ...

21. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans to commemorate the Good Friday Agreement and its twentieth anniversary. (Question 41386/17 asked on 16 Nov 2017 - Good Friday Agreement)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Planning is underway in my Department to mark the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, on 10 April next year. A number of key events, at home and abroad, are being developed as part of a programme to highlight this important anniversary and to celebrate the achievement of the Agreement, which continues to be the cornerstone of our commitment to peace and reconciliation.
My Department, both here on the island...

37. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he or his officials have written to Ms Aung San Suu Kyi regarding Ireland’s concerns about the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people in Myanmar. (Question 40540/17 asked on 16 Nov 2017 - Foreign Conflicts)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): This Government remains deeply concerned about the ongoing situation in Rakhine State, Myanmar, in particular the treatment of the Rohingya people. Developments in Myanmar, and the related humanitarian crisis in neighbouring Bangladesh, are being monitored carefully by my officials. Ireland is pressing for an end to the violence, for restoration of humanitarian aid and media access to Rakhine State, and for full investigation of al...

78. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Health the action being taken to address the long waiting times for orthodontic services in north Dublin. (Question 48201/17 asked on 15 Nov 2017 - Orthodontic Services Waiting Lists)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. 
 ...

11. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his recent meeting with President Macron. (Question 46342/17 asked on 14 Nov 2017 - Taoiseach’s Meetings and Engagements)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 11 to 17, inclusive, together.
I had a constructive meeting with President Macron in Paris on 24 October last. Our exchanges covered bilateral relations, the Brexit negotiations and the future of Europe. We were each accompanied by a small team of officials and advisers. The meeting provided a welcome opportunity to review the strong bilateral relations between Ireland and France, which is an important economic partner for us. Bilateral trade i...

144. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a school (details supplied) does not have adequate broadband capacity and speed to deliver the curriculum; the action he will take to ensure adequate broadband capacity and speed for the children and teachers of this school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47671/17 asked on 14 Nov 2017 - Broadband Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Through the Schools Broadband Access Programme the Department provides for the supply of internet connectivity for recognised primary and post primary schools. All post-primary schools and some special schools are now included in the 100Mbps programme.
Significant improvement has been made in recent years, with the number of primary schools with access to broadband speeds of greater that 30mbs having increased from less than 100 in 2012...

263. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Health if he will designate postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome as a long-term illness; if hospital charges arising from an admission to an emergency department by a person with this syndrome are covered by this scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47641/17 asked on 14 Nov 2017 - Long-Term Illness Scheme Coverage)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The LTI Scheme was established under Section 59(3) of the Health Act 1970 (as amended). The conditions covered by the LTI are: acute leukaemia; mental handicap; cerebral palsy; mental illness (in a person under 16); cystic fibrosis; multiple sclerosis; diabetes insipidus; muscular dystrophies; diabetes mellitus; parkinsonism; epilepsy; phenylketonuria; haemophilia; spina bifida; hydrocephalus; and conditions arising from the use of Thalidomide. Under t...

316. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Health his views on the level of childhood obesity; the measures he is taking to tackle this problem; the State agencies his Department is working with in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47946/17 asked on 14 Nov 2017 - Childhood Obesity)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): A range of health studies and surveys show that overweight and obesity, in both adults and children, is now a serious public health concern in Ireland. 
A national Obesity Policy and Action Plan was launched by the Minister of Health in September 2016. The national policy covers the period up to 2025 and aims to reverse obesity trends, prevent health complications and reduce the overall burden for individuals, families, the ...

192. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Finance if at his meetings with the banks and financial institutions he will raise the position of pre-2006 borrowers from a bank (details supplied) that are deemed to be not impacted in respect of tracker mortgages; if he will request the Central Bank and the bank to provide redress for these persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45823/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Tracker Mortgage Examination)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 189, 192, 194, 198, 200, 202, 214 and 250 together.
As the Deputy is aware, the Central Bank, as the regulator with the appropriate powers, has been conducting an industry-wide examination of tracker mortgage-related issues. Through the examination, the Central Bank has publicly and unequivocally committed that all affected customers will be identified and to use the full range of its regulatory powers to ensure the...

391. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Education and Skills when a school (details supplied) will be provided with a purpose-built school on Dominick Street; the length of time since his Department first received a request for a purpose-built school for the school; the reason for the delay; the action he has taken to expedite the process to provide the teachers and pupils with a proper school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46568/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Schools Building Projects Status)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 391 and 392 together.
In 2006, my Department met with the Trustees of the school to which the Deputy refers to, to discuss the school’s long-term accommodation needs.  Given the city centre location of the school, there was considerable difficulty in sourcing a suitable site as a long term location.  In 2011, a suitable site was sourced for the permanent location of the school.  In the interim the school ...

392. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Education and Skills the amount his Department has spent providing temporary accommodation for a school (details supplied) since it vacated its original premises; the reason a new purpose-built school has not been built since a site was secured on Dominick Street in 2011; the amount which has been spent since 2011 on developing a design, the planning application and other costs associated with running the existing school and while developing a purpose-built facility; the process which led to his Department increasing the proposed capacity for the school from an eight-classroom single stream school to a 16-class school; the impact the increased school size will have on the design of the school; the way it will impact on recreational outdoor space; the details of his Department’s consultation with the school to determine and agree the increase from eight to 16 classrooms; the action his Department will take to accelerate the delivery of a purpose-built school building for the school on Dominick Street; and the date by which the school will occupy a new purpose-built school building on Dominick Street. (Question 46571/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Schools Building Projects Status)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 391 and 392 together.
In 2006, my Department met with the Trustees of the school to which the Deputy refers to, to discuss the school’s long-term accommodation needs.  Given the city centre location of the school, there was considerable difficulty in sourcing a suitable site as a long term location.  In 2011, a suitable site was sourced for the permanent location of the school.  In the interim the school ...

414. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Education and Skills if SUSI grants will be paid to all full-time students attending private colleges; if SUSI grants will be paid to the students and not to the colleges; if all full time QQI degree students will be allowed access the HEA student hardship fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46836/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Student Grant Scheme Eligibility)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Under my Department’s student grant scheme, eligible candidates may receive funding provided they are attending an approved course at an approved institution, as defined in the scheme. The definition of an approved institution is set out in Section 7 of the Student Support Act 2011 and Regulation 3 of the Student Support Regulations 2017. 
The Student Assistance Fund (aka the student hardship fund) is managed by the Higher Education Aut...

687. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Health if Kuvan will be made available to persons with phenylketonuria, PKU, here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45965/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Medicinal Products Reimbursement)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 620, 641, 687 and 797 together.
The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicines under the community drug schemes, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013.
In reaching a decision, the HSE examines all the evidence which may be relevant in its view for the decision and will take into account such expert opinions and recommendations which may ...

758. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Health the arrangements he has made for replacement mental health services to replace a facility (details supplied) for persons with mental health issues in Dublin; the community mental health services available to these persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46569/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Mental Health Services Provision)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.
 ...

759. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Health the future status of a health centre (details supplied); the services currently provided by the health centre; the population which is served by the centre; the changes to the current services planned; his plans for changes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46570/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Health 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.
 ...