127. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Finance if people purchasing a second-hand house can be considered under the help-to-buy scheme; if they must pay property tax in the first year in view of the fact they are first-time buyers; and if they can claim back DIRT on savings used to purchase the home (details supplied). (Question 49188/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - Help-To-Buy Scheme Eligibility)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Help to Buy initiative does not apply to the purchase of second-hand properties. It is instead a targeted response that is aimed at first-time buyers, buying (or building) new residences.
I am advised by Revenue that local property tax is generally payable following the purchase of a second-hand house where the house was built before 1 May 2013. In relation to first-time buyers, there was a limited exemption available where a house (whether ne...

182. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on a matter regarding a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49060/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - Workplace Relations Commission)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Discussions on this matter are ongoing under the auspices of the WRC and it is not appropriate to comment further at this time. 
 
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215. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will review the case of a person (details supplied); if his Department will sanction the necessary funds for an increase in vehicle size that would allow Bus Éireann to facilitate the additional concessionary pupils; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49059/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - 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 almost 11,000 children with special educational needs, are being transported in over 4,500 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres annually.
Under the terms the Post Primary School Transport Sch...

360. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Health the number of vulnerable persons who are reliant on HSE funded home care services left without all or partial care hours on 18 October 2017 due to Storm Ophelia; the policies and provisions that will be made to ensure continuity in service and essential care for vulnerable clients of home care agencies in the event of future weather warnings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48985/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - Severe Weather Events Response)

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.
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378. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 395 of 17 October 2017, when it is expected that the draft regulations to designate the professions to establish the registration board will be ready for submission to Houses of the Oireachtas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49168/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - Health and Social Care Professionals Regulation)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I can confirm that the draft Regulations to designate the professions of counsellor and psychotherapist and to establish a registration board for the professions were, in accordance with the provisions of the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005, laid before each House of the Oireachtas on 9th November 2017 and resolutions approving the drafts have been submitted to each House for consideration. 
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450. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if funding will issue to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49274/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): A comprehensive review was undertaken by officials within my Department of the REPS 4 contract concerned. This review took into account details of all monies paid, monies deducted and monies refunded over the entire course of the contract. As a result of this review, the Department is satisfied that all monies due to the applicant have been paid, and that no further action is warranted. The Department will issue written conf...

587. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when a self-employed person who is paying class S PRSI and who is now incapable of working will be able to apply for invalidity pension; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49200/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - Invalidity Pension Eligibility)

Minister of State at the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Finian McGrath): Self-employed workers will be eligible to apply for invalidity pension from 1 December 2017. This is a major reform as self-employed people could have access to income support without having to go through a means test, if they become permanently incapable of work as a result of an illness or disability. The Department has commenced a national radio and print media campaign to ensure that se...

603. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when a payment will issue for a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49390/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - Disability Allowance Appeals)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Following a successful appeal, this lady has been awarded disability allowance with effect from 14 December 2016. The first payment will be made to her chosen payment method on 29 November 2017.
Arrears of payment due will issue as soon as possible once any necessary adjustment is calculated and applied in respect of any overlapping payments or in respect of outstanding overpayments (if applicable).
I trust this clar...

76. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if road defence works will be carried out in an area (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48463/17 asked on 16 Nov 2017 - Flood Prevention Measures)

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Kevin Boxer Moran): The Office of Public Works (OPW) allocated funding of €100,000 to Kerry County Council under the Minor Flood Mitigation Works & Coastal Protection Scheme in February, 2012 for embankment strengthening works at Cromane Lower. The Council has already drawn down this funding. OPW is not responsible for the upkeep of this embankment. Following the coastal storms, which affected the western seaboard in ...

81. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48460/17 asked on 16 Nov 2017 - Departmental Schemes)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): There are no schemes or provisions currently in operation along the lines set out in the details supplied with the Deputy’s question.
Supporting school leadership is a major priority of mine, and I am conscious of the importance of developing and motivating school leadership at all levels.  Budget 2017 allowed me to make a start at re-investing in school leadership in terms of Deputy Principal and middle management posts.  Questions of s...

82. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding a school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48462/17 asked on 16 Nov 2017 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I wish to advise the Deputy that DES Circular 0013/2017 for primary schools and 0014/2017 for post primary schools were published on 7th March 2017. 
These Circulars set out the details of the new model for allocating special education teachers to schools. 
The revised allocation process replaces the generalised allocation process at primary and post primary school level for learning support and high incidence special educational needs, ...

166. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48450/17 asked on 16 Nov 2017 - Animal Welfare)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): My Department has in recent years received a number of complaints in relation to the organisation named.  In addition I am aware of significant social media commentary in respect of the organisation. I would emphasise that all complaints received by the Department are investigated thoroughly. 
The Department has had occasion to require the owner take corrective action where its inspectors had reason to believe that the welfar...

236. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development when the dog breeding establishment guideline review will be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48457/17 asked on 16 Nov 2017 - Dog Breeding Industry)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): The regulation of Dog Breeding Establishments (DBE) is a matter for each local authority in whose functional area the establishment is located. The local authority is required to maintain a register of dog breeding establishments in its functional area, which must include details of applicants for inclusion on the register and the maximum number of breeding bitches that may be kept at the relevant establishment.
The Dog Breeding...

60. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the status of the work of the culture teams in each local authority; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47883/17 asked on 14 Nov 2017 - Creative Ireland Programme)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Pillar Two of the Creative Ireland Programme – Enabling creativity in every community – is being implemented primarily through the local authorities who, as the primary instruments of community engagement, have a particular capacity for engaging citizens. 
The Culture Teams established in each local authority area under this pillar have put a considerable amount of work and time into producing local Culture and Creativi...

76. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the funding available from her Department to local heritage groups in order to support the conservation and protection of historical buildings; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47884/17 asked on 14 Nov 2017 - Built Heritage Investment Scheme Funding)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): My role, as Minister, with regard to the protection and management of our built heritage, is set out in the provisions of relevant legislation, as are the roles of local authorities and the responsibilities of owners as regards heritage assets. 
Financial support is delivered by my Department for the protection of heritage buildings under structured schemes which are administered via the local authorities.
The Built He...

204. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding Garda vetting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47823/17 asked on 14 Nov 2017 - Garda Vetting)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will appreciate that the primary purpose of the employment vetting carried out by the Garda National Vetting Bureau is to seek to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults and it is carried out by An Garda Síochána primarily in accordance with the provisions of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012-2016. 
Vetting checks are conducted by the Garda National Vetting Bureau for each new...

260. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Health the status of the motorised transport grant following budget 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47624/17 asked on 14 Nov 2017 - Motorised Transport Grant)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): I was pleased to have the opportunity to discuss the proposed Health (Transport Support) Bill with the Joint Committee on Public Petitions on Wednesday 11th October. The Deputy may be familiar with the background to the closure of both the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant schemes in February 2013. Since the closure of the Mobility Allowance, the Government has directed that the Health Service Executive shoul...

380. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 285 of 13 April 2017, if he will address a matter regarding the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48049/17 asked on 14 Nov 2017 - Basic Payment Scheme Applications)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Further to PQ No. 285 of 13 April 2017, the person named submitted additional correspondence to my Department. The documentation received was reviewed and, given the nature of the documentation, has been forwarded to the Legal Services Division of my Department for clarification. Following receipt of the required legal clarification, an official from my Department will make direct contact with the person named with a view to r...

475. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will address a matter regarding the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48039/17 asked on 14 Nov 2017 - JobPath Programme)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): JobPath is an employment activation service that supports people who are long-term unemployed, including those working part time and those at risk of becoming long-term unemployed, to secure and sustain full-time paid employment. In the case of part-time employed customers there will be a focus on options or opportunities to increase the level of employment either in their current role or looking at possibilities in ...

505. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when a group water scheme subsidy funding for 2016 and 2017 will be made available to an organisation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47752/17 asked on 14 Nov 2017 - Water and Sewerage Schemes Funding)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): My Department has devolved the administration of subsidy payments to Group Water Schemes to the local authorities, namely, Kerry County Council in the case of the schemes concerned. It is my understanding, from enquiries made with the Council, that application by these group water schemes for subsidy payments are currently being examined and will be dealt with by the Council as quickly as possible.
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25. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform when the proposed works on Newcastle West Garda station are due to commence. (Question 44076/17 asked on 09 Nov 2017 - Garda Stations)

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Kevin Boxer Moran): It is envisaged that this project will be completed towards the latter end of the Garda Capital Investment Plan 2016-2021.
OPW has received an outline brief of requirements from An Garda Síochána (AGS) and has completed a feasibility study on the existing Station site. OPW Architectural Services are currently reviewing this feasibility study from a Health and Safety and building efficiency perspectiv...

242. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of an application for a carer’s allowance by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47349/17 asked on 09 Nov 2017 - Carer’s Allowance Applications)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I confirm that the Department received an application for Carer’s Allowance (CA) from the person concerned on 23 June 2017 in respect of her parents. 
It is a condition for receipt of a CA that the person being cared for must have a disability whose effect is that they require full-time care and attention.
This is defined as requiring from another person, continual supervision and frequent assistance throughout the d...

244. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of an application for a domiciliary care allowance by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47366/17 asked on 09 Nov 2017 - Domiciliary Care Allowance Applications)

Minister of State at the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Finian McGrath): An application for domiciliary care allowance (DCA) was received in respect of this child on 21 June 2017. The application was not allowed as it was considered that the child did not meet the eligibility criteria for the allowance. A letter issued on 26 October 2017 outlining the decision in this case.
In the case of an application which is refused, the applicant may submit additional infor...

137. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if grants are available from her Department for a person to re-roof an old forge. (Question 47215/17 asked on 08 Nov 2017 - Built Heritage Investment Scheme)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): My role, as Minister, with regard to the protection and management of our built heritage is set out in the provisions of relevant legislation, as are the roles of local authorities and the responsibilities of owners as regards heritage assets.
Financial support is delivered by my Department for the protection of heritage buildings under structured schemes which are administered via the local authorities.
The Built Herit...

198. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if grants are available from his Department for a person to re-roof an old forge. (Question 47192/17 asked on 08 Nov 2017 - Tourism Project Funding)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Brendan Griffin): My Department does not provide direct grants for the purpose outlined by the deputy. My Department’s role in relation to tourism lies primarily in the area of national tourism policy.  It is not directly involved in the management or development of individual tourism projects.  These are operational matters for the Board and Management of Fáilte Ireland.
Fáilte Ireland provides capital funding for inve...