To ask the Minister for Health when a gratuity payment due to certain home help workers will be made in lieu of pension payments; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Deputy is referring to Home Help workers who are employed by voluntary providers of home help services which are funded under section 39 of the Health Act 2004.
I advised the Deputy previously that as these home help workers are not employed by the HSE, the HSE and the Department have no role in determining the salaries or other terms and conditions applying to these staff including any pension arrangements.
In addition, the Deputy is aware that a joint working group was established, as agreed as part of the 2015 Lansdowne Road talks, to consider a number of issues in relation to section 39 organisations. Unfortunately it was not possible to reach an agreement between the parties on the issue of gratuity payments.
To ask the Minister for Finance the way in which his Department has used the moneys the State received from the sale of its stake in Aer Lingus; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Connectivity Fund was established as a sub-fund of the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) in 2015 to invest the €335 million proceeds from the sale of the State's shareholding in Aer Lingus with the aim of enabling and enhancing Ireland's physical, virtual and energy connectivity.
The NTMA have advised me that in 2017, the ISIF entered into two new investment commitments from this sub-fund (Port of Cork and Shannon Airport) and increased their investment commitment to Aqua Comms, bringing total investment commitments from the Connectivity Fund to €93 million:
To the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection
To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her plans to establish an independent review group within her Department to assess the level and impact of cuts suffered by all categories of members in a pension scheme (details supplied) due to changes in legislation and in particular the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2014 and subsequent reductions in members benefits; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her plans to consider in the preparation of budget 2019 specific measures targeted at members of a pension scheme (details supplied) to reduce the impact of cuts to their pension benefits; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
- Darragh O'Brien.
the IASS Pension scheme
* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 12th June, 2018.
R E P L Y
Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Regina Doherty T.D.):
It is proposed to take Question Nos. 1242 & 1243 together.
The Deputy will appreciate that I cannot intervene in the pension arrangements applying to a particular pension scheme or introduce any measures which would benefit the members of a particular pension scheme to the exclusion of members of similar pension schemes.
While I am very conscious that any reduction in benefits can have a significant impact on scheme members, any such consideration is a matter for the pension scheme trustee, the companies participating in the scheme, the scheme members and the Pensions Authority.
As the Deputy is aware the scheme in question is now the subject of legal proceedings. Therefore, it would be inappropriate for me to comment any further on the matter.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.
To ask the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the substantial cuts imposed on members of a pension scheme (details supplied) in advance of the sale of the State's stake in Aer Lingus; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Details Supplied) the IASS Pension scheme
The Irish Airlines (General Employees) Superannuation Scheme (IASS) is currently the subject of on-going legal proceedings by retired members of daa, Shannon Airport Authority, Aer Lingus and the former SR Technics. Those proceedings began in July 2015.
As this matter is sub judice I am unable to comment any further on the issue.
To ask the Minister for Culture; Heritage and the Gaeltacht the estimated cost per annum of the town centre health check programme; the number of checks undertaken per annum since its inception; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
A pilot Town Centre Health Check training programme was developed in late 2016 by the Heritage Council working in collaboration with universities and other bodies. The operation of the programme is primarily a matter for the Heritage Council.
I understand that seven towns have participated to date and funding of €15k has been allocated. An evaluation of the pilot programme is underway and a full report is expected to be published this year.
It is primarily a matter for the Heritage Council to decide how its funding should be allocated across the range of research, education and conservation programmes it supports, having regard to competing priorities for limited resources, however my Department will continue to work closely with the Heritage Council to ensure continued investment is appropriately targeted within the heritage area.
Further information on the programme is available from the Heritage Council and on their website www.heritagecouncil.ie
The plans to review the role of the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement in supervising management owner companies
To ask the Minister for Business; Enterprise and Innovation her plans to review the role of the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement in supervising management owner companies; the number of staff reviewing such companies; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has no role in the supervision of management ownership companies.
The primary role of the ODCE is to ensure that company law is being respected.
There is no special body of company law which applies only to management companies or is applied differently so far as management companies are concerned.
The legal source from which management companies derive their operational and functional role is set out in the title deeds of the property as well as the contract of purchase of the property. The fact that the intended functions of a management company have their roots in the title deeds is one from which an important legal consequence flows. They do not flow from the company law relationship that exists between the management company and its members.
The Department of Justice has responsibility for the Multi-Unit Development Act 2011.
The plans to review the decision not to expand the shared apprenticeship scheme for the construction sector
To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to review the decision not to expand the shared apprenticeship scheme for the construction sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Registrations on craft apprenticeships have grown strongly in recent years following a very significant collapse in the number of apprenticeship registrations between 2008-2011. SOLAS, in partnership with Construction Industry Federation (CIF) and Waterford Wexford Education and Training Board (WWETB), operated a pilot initiative in the last year to test the viability of a shared apprenticeship scheme. Following analysis of the pilot outcomes and in consultation with both the CIF and WWETB, I understand that SOLAS decided not to operationalise the pilot initiative more widely. In particular, it was found that the pilot did not attract employers in sufficient numbers to suggest that the scheme had the potential to have a significant impact on apprenticeship recruitment. However, I understand from SOLAS that they are currently in discussions with representatives from the construction industry to assess how the scheme could be made more viable.
To ask the Minister for Health the number of staff manning the CervicalCheck helpline; his views on whether this is the necessary number of staff to deal with the level of calls to the helpline; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
A helpline has been in operation since Friday and has dealt with over 10,000 calls. After some initial problems, calls are now being answered speedily.
I have also arranged for an additional 40 public health staff to provide timely health information and reassurance to women arising from their calls.
To ask the Minister for Health the steps he has taken to abolish in loco parentis in view of the Motion unanimously accepted in Dáil Éireann on 27 March 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Paediatric Home Care Packages (PHCPs) are in place to support the discharge of seriously ill children from acute hospital into the care of their families. They are designed to maximise a child’s quality of life and developmental opportunities while also helping to keep children out of hospital as much as possible.
The in loco parentis rule reflects the fact that PHCPs are intended to serve as a clinical support and is in place to ensure that a second person will be present in the event of an acute emergency such as respiratory arrest, decanuation of a tracheostomy or status epileptus.
I acknowledge the cross-party concerns raised about the operation of the loco parentis provision and recognise that respite can be an issue for parents of children with complex medical needs. Indeed, the matter is already being examined as part of the Quality Assurance Process for PHCPs that was commenced by the HSE in 2017. This process will inform how PHCPs should be delivered, including the operation of the in loco parentis provision.
Many parents have already contributed to the Quality Assurance Process, and further engagement will take place in the coming weeks and months. Furthermore, the HSE intends to establish a Parental Reference Group that will help shape how care is delivered to children with complex medical needs.
The Government shares the commitment of all Deputies to supporting the families of these children and to ensuring the provision of a service that both works for parents and reflects their expertise in caring for their children.
The number of children with autism up to 18 years of age that are receving the relevent appropriate supports in north County Dublin
To ask the Minister for Health the number of children with autism up to 18 years of age that are receiving the relevant appropriate supports in north County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
To ask the Minister for Health the number of children up to 18 years of age that have been assessed and diagnosed with autism in north County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.
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