Howlin, Brendan

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 757 No. 1

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Priority Questions - Public Sector Staff

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the progress made by the transition teams put in place to manage the wave of retirements from the public sector in order that the delivery of key front line services will be ...More Button

Was asked: the final number of public service employees who will leave the service between 1 January 2012 and 29 February 2012; if he has received a report from each of the five transition teams on the way the...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 57 and 58 together. The latest information from across the public service indicates that 7,464 people have applied to retire in the first two months of the year. The ...More Button

A number of questions were asked. I appreciate the Deputy’s general concern on the matter. The exit at the end of this month is of the order of 3% of the public service. It is one of which we have ...More Button

It is not incentivised.More Button

I will explain it again.More Button

I will answer the last question first. The mathematics of it is that we are downsizing. It is a falsehood to claim that, after reducing the full quantum, one must add everyone back again. The idea ...More Button

Is that a question?More Button

That was more a speech than a question but I will deal with the two points raised. On Deputy Fleming’s questions, the workforce planning teams became transition teams and were augmented——More Button

No, it was the critical final phase when the numbers were clear. As the Taoiseach rightly felt, we needed an even more proactive engagement and the workforce planning teams that had been established ...More Button

Priority Questions - Sale of State Assets

Was asked: the breadth and timescale of his plans to privatise State assets; if discussions have taken place with the trade unions whose members’ jobs will be affected; and if he or any other Department have e...More Button

My announcement last week contained the details of the breadth and timescale of the Government’s plans to dispose of certain non-strategic State assets. We have agreed with the troika on the sale of ...More Button

I made the announcement as soon as I could after the Cabinet made its decisions. I readily agreed to have an early debate in the House. I very much welcome an open debate on all these matters and I ...More Button

I do not agree with the Deputy. She is simply wrong on the forestry side. We have an ambitious forestry programme. We will be growing more trees. We are suggesting that we sell off some of the cro...More Button

The Deputy has twice mentioned that I am dressing up the pro-jobs issue. This is a pro-jobs issue. After long-term negotiations we have changed the view of the troika to allow one third of the total...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide an estimate on a company by company basis of the protocols from the sale of State assets in order that the €3 billion target will be raised; the timetable he envisages for complet...More Button

The Deputy will understand that I do not propose to indicate to the market how much I expect to raise from the sale of the individual assets in the programme of State asset disposals that I announced....More Button

I thank the Deputy for his questions. The Deputy does not expect me to quantify the value I expect from each item or company we put up for sale. However, I wish to give as much detail as I can to th...More Button

Yes, in NewERA and they would have had expertise with them.More Button

The Deputy is quite disparaging of the qualities available to the NTMA. Based on the amount of money we are paying those working in the NTMA, I sincerely hope they are not run of the mill civil serva...More Button

Priority Questions - Ministerial Remuneration

Was asked: if he will provide a full list of all payments and allowances paid to members of the Government; the changes, if any, he plans to make to these payments and allowances; and if he will make a stateme...More Button

The Government decided on taking office in March 2011 to reduce the salaries of An Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and Ministers with immediate effect. The reductions were implemented on a voluntary basis pe...More Button

I would like to respond to the three specific points that have rightly been made by the Deputy. I will not bring in extraneous matters or claim other things. I heard about the laundry issue on the r...More Button

No, as far as I am aware. It is not on any list that I have. I have no idea where it came from. The day it came up, I specifically asked whether anybody had ever claimed it, or heard of it. Nobody...More Button

As far as I am concerned, it does not exist. It is one of these interesting things that make for a good headline. The Deputy also asked about the dual abode allowance. Her colleagues who come from o...More Button

Do not go there.More Button

There is an overnight allowance.More Button

It is factored into the allowances that are paid. That is why there is a requirement to be in attendance for a fixed number of days each year. It is understood as being factored in. No such allowan...More Button

The Deputy can consider it abolished.More Button

I had never heard of it.More Button

I can inform the Deputy that in my own case, the dual abode allowance does not cover a fraction of the cost of my accommodation in Dublin. I am not complaining about this fact. If I were entitled to...More Button

——take the Deputy’s allowance instead. I will happily abolish the dual abode allowance. With regard to the issue of laundry as raised by the Deputy, I cannot find the reference but if the Deputy can ...More Button

Other Questions - Sale of State Assets

Was asked: the expected timetable for the commencement of the sale of State assets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the primary criteria that he will apply in determining the way in which it is best to proceed in relation to the sale of State assets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 62 and 82 together. Following my announcement of the programme of State asset disposals last week, work is progressing on plans for the disposals. All of the relevant...More Button

Detailed analytical work commenced immediately following the Government decision with regard to Bord Gáis Energy, the ESB and the Coillte proposal, which is being considered. The process will examine...More Button

As Deputy Fleming is probably aware, there is an ESOP scheme already in Bord Gáis Éireann. A little over 3% of the company is owned by the employees and that will be part of the things which will be ...More Button

It is very hard to take lectures about sound bites from Deputy McDonald. She is the master.More Button

I say that as a compliment. She used four sound bites in the question, including representing it all as a fire sale when not only the decision but the memorandum of understanding with the troika make...More Button

We want to achieve real and better competition in the energy market. I refer to the notion that it is somehow a bad thing to get a good price for them and that we will get a good price for them becaus...More Button

That is worthy of a long debate and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine would be delighted to have it. The percentage of land under forest in Switzerland is of a different magnitude to ...More Button

Other Questions - Flood Relief

Was asked: the steps he is taking to address the summer flooding in the Shannon callows; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Deputy has, on a regular basis, raised the matter of management of the River Shannon catchment, which includes the Shannon callows area and that extensive responses have been provided. The inform...More Button

Other Questions - Public Sector Pay

Was asked: if the implementation body will review high pay in the public sector during its annual review consultations this year. More Button

Was asked: if the implementation body give priority to public servants with €35,000 or less in its annual review. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 64 and 73 together. The implementation body established under the public service agreement 2010-14 is charged with driving the implementation of the agreement to maxim...More Button

I have made it clear that this is the first Government ever to take serious proactive action to deal with hope in the public service. We reduced pay by between 5% and 30%. A 30% reduction was taken ...More Button

No matter how far we go, it is never enough for Deputy McDonald. We must ensure that we have quality people in the public service and a variety of skills. The Deputy has no doubt read the Nyberg rep...More Button

I ask the Deputy at least to acknowledge what we have done to date. For the first time we have put in a ceiling of €200,000. The Taoiseach is receiving 30% less in pay than his predecessor. We have...More Button

Referendum on European Stability Treaty: Statements

Are you for it or against it?More Button

Order of Business

That is collateral damage.More Button

Finance Bill 2012: Financial Resolutions

I move the following Resolutions: THAT in the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 (No. 39 of 1997) sections 584, 585, 586 and 587, which relate to the deferral of capital gains tax in certain transactions, b...More Button

Private Members’ Business - State Assets: Motion

Yes.More Button

It will be.More Button

It is a broad brush-stroke. The Deputy cannot see the wood for the trees.More Button

The Deputy was not around for the job announcements yesterday.More Button

Who are they?More Button

I wish to share time with Deputies Jerry Buttimer, John Lyons, Paudie Coffey and Colm Keaveney.More Button

I move amendment No. 2: To delete all words after “Dáil Éireann” and substitute the following: “notes: the contribution that semi-State companies have made to Ireland’s economic growth; the fiscal cri...More Button

In addition, we are creating no jobs. The fact is that in the last week alone, 1,500 jobs were announced.More Button

I know it is very difficult but in a national crisis there is an obligation, even on Sinn Féin, to work towards the recovery of this country, as this Government is doing. Despite their best efforts, ...More Button

“There is to be no change” would appear to be the mantra. I suggest they look around them. All has changed, changed utterly.More Button

The Labour Party remains committed to significant State involvement in a modern dynamic economy. The State can play a direct role in fostering economic growth or help provide the skills and supports ...More Button

This Government has adopted a dynamic attitude to the State sector. NewERA was established to ensure the State and the taxpayers derive best value from their investment in State companies. It must b...More Button

That is why we grew the trees in the first place. Does Deputy Ellis want to throw sugar at them?More Button

I did not interrupt any Member from across there.More Button

Far from being hostile to State enterprise, the Government is setting up a State company, Irish Water, to run water services unlike the arrangements in our neighbouring jurisdiction.More Button

We continue to believe the State has an active role to play in the market place. We also recognise, however, the strategic interest of the State does not remain static or fixed over time. What was s...More Button

The McCarthy group subsequently reported in April 2011 and concluded the realisation of proceeds from the sale of State assets offered the potential to assist in tackling the fiscal crisis, both by re...More Button

Last year, the Government established NewERA to reform the manner in which the State’s shareholding in semi-State companies is managed for the good of every citizen. NewERA is proactively overseeing ...More Button

There will be no fire sales. If we do not get a proper price, we will sell nothing.More Button

Was I clear enough?More Button

Assets will be sold on acceptable terms and at a price that achieves fair value for the taxpayer. Key strategic assets, such as electricity and gas transmission and distribution systems will not be i...More Button

That is a very difficult question to ask.More Button

On the interest rates.More Button

Deputy Ferris is talking down the country.More Button

Sinn Féin is constantly talking down the country.More Button

The Deputy’s Government agreed to 100%.More Button

The Deputy knows that all assets were to be considered, as agreed with the troika. It is in the memorandum.More Button

I would hope it was not meant to enhance difficulties.More Button

The Deputy is rewriting history.More Button

Why did the Deputy’s Government set up the McCarthy group?More Button

Was it an academic exercise?More Button

In NewERA.More Button

Read the next sentence.More Button

Is Deputy Fleming for it or against it?More Button

All of them.More Button

That is clear.More Button

Paying down the debt does not count.More Button

Absolutely wrong.More Button

You are wrong.More Button

I will explain it.More Button

You know it.More Button

Ask the troika.More Button

I sent the figures to the Deputy.More Button

You have the report.More Button

There are none so blind as those who will not see.More Button

I sent you the projections.More Button

We have no control over them.More Button

No, we do not.More Button

We have no control.More Button

We have lost them.More Button

We have sold the control.More Button

I am sure the Deputy will be out to welcome us.More Button

Written Answers - Sale of State Assets

Was asked: if he intends to request that the troika agree to the full proceeds of the sale of State assets being used to stimulate economic growth and job creation; and if he will make a statement on the matter...More Button

Was asked: if the percentage of the proceeds from the sale of State assets to be reinvested in job creation will be increased. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 65 and 86 together. I am satisfied that the agreement that the Government reached with the Troika was a remarkable advance on the position originally advanced by them...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Staff

Was asked: if a shared services expert with extensive experience in the field will join the reform and delivery office of his Department. More Button

Shared services is a key aspect of the Public Service Reform Plan. The benefits of shared services are well documented internationally, including in public service contexts. They include: standardi...More Button

Written Answers - Expenditure Reviews

Was asked: his review of spending, if his attention has been drawn to the high cost of contract cleaners for the Department of Finance, at €203,556.00, and also for the Office of Public Works, at €704,918.90; i...More Button

Was asked: his review of spending, if his attention has been drawn to the high cost of contract cleaners for the Department of Finance, at €203,556.00, and also for the Office of Public Works, at €704,918.90; i...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 67 and 74 together. In response to the Deputies’ questions, the cost of contract cleaning in both the Department of Finance and the Office of Public Works has not bee...More Button

Written Answers - Public Sector Staff

Was asked: if he will provide an estimate of the number of public servants who will retire by the end of February 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the approximate number of public servants who after making an initial declaration of interest or intent to retire by the end of February 2012 decided not to proceed with their retirement; and if he w...More Button

Was asked: if he expects to reach the target of 9,000 retirements from the public service in 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will indicate the extent to which the numbers employed in the public sector have fluctuated in each of the past five years to date in 2012; the extent to which any further reductions are intend...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 68, 71, 84 and 106 together. The latest information from across the public service indicates that over 7,000 people have applied to retire by the end of this month. ...More Button

Written Answers - Sale of State Assets

Was asked: his views on whether any sale of State assets at this junction is unlikely to achieve the best possible outcome for the State; his further views on whether the sale of State assets may bring short-te...More Button

Was asked: if the decision to sell State assets is in the public interest. More Button

Was asked: his views on the fact that the sale of State assets will inevitably lead to job losses in these companies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 69, 80 and 83 together. In comparison with the prospect that we faced when this Government came to power last year, I am confident that the asset disposal programme t...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation

Was asked: when legislation will be published in respect of reform of the Freedom of Information Act; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

My Department is at an advanced stage in the preparation of the General Scheme of a Bill to give effect to the commitments in the Programme for Government in relation to Freedom of Information. Subje...More Button

Written Answers - Sale of State Assets

Was asked: the basis on which he defined strategic from non-strategic State assets when making his decision on the State assets that were to be sold under the troika agreement; and if he will make a statement o...More Button

Was asked: the basis on which he defined strategic from non-strategic State assets when making his decision on the State assets that were to be sold under the troika agreement; and if he will make a statement o...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 72 and 92 together. In identifying which assets are to be regarded as non-strategic, Government has been guided, inter alia, by the detailed sectoral analysis contai...More Button

Written Answers - Social Impact Bonds

Was asked: the date on which he intends to introduce social impact bonds; if he has identified any specific areas in which these bonds could be used; if he will begin with some trial programmes; if he has ident...More Button

Was asked: if he has held any discussions with interested bodies, either domestic or foreign, regarding the establishment of social impact bonds here; if he will provide the names of any such bodies; the nature...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 75 and 108 together. The Government Programme for National Recovery 2011-2016 provides that the Government will establish a new model of financing social interventio...More Button

Written Answers - Public Sector Staff

Was asked: the position regarding circular LP 6/7/2001; his views on the appropriateness of required notice periods in the public sector; his plans to require for additional notice of early retirement to be giv...More Button

Circular letter LP 6/7/2011 provides that civil service staff should give a three-month notice period of their intention to retire in the period up to and including 29 February 2012. Other sectors of...More Button

Written Answers - Appointments to State Boards

Was asked: if any State board appointees have volunteered to waive their fee or expenses; the names of such persons; the corresponding savings to the State; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

In response to the Deputy’s question no members of State boards under the aegis of my Department have volunteered to waive their fee or expenses. For completeness one member of the board of An Post Na...More Button

Written Answers - Top Level Appointments Committee

Was asked: if he will consider removing Secretaries General from the top level appointments committee. More Button

The Deputy will be aware of the extensive changes which I introduced last July in relation to the composition of the Top Level Appointments Committee (TLAC). There is now a majority of external membe...More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Transport

Was asked: if he will provide a breakdown of costs incurred in the provision of transport to Cabinet Ministers in 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the cost to his Department of the senior Minister's car in the period relating to 1 June 2011 to 31 December 2011 to include mileage and car related expenses paid to the senior Minister; if he will d...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 79 and 283 together. In period June 2011 to December 2011 the following travel costs were incurred by my Department in relation to travel undertaken by me in my role...More Button

Written Answers - Public Sector Staff

Was asked: if he will revoke the awarding of added years and special severance gratuity payments to current Secretaries General. More Button

The superannuation terms for Secretaries General are in line with their contractual arrangements. Currently serving Secretaries General appointed under the TLAC process have exit arrangements which a...More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Staff

Was asked: the cumulative total of payments to ministerial advisers in excess of the salary cap of €92,672; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The current Guidelines on Special Advisors provide, except in the Offices of the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste where separate arrangements apply, that they are to be placed on the Principal Officer (stan...More Button

Written Answers - Sale of State Assets

Was asked: if he will outline the detailed impact analysis undertaken or requested by him on the sale of State assets with respect to national spatial planning and key infrastructure development, particularly w...More Button

In deciding on the programme of asset disposals that I announced last week, the Government has been careful to safeguard the position of strategic infrastructure such as the electricity and gas networ...More Button

Written Answers - Legislative Programme

Was asked: when the legislation to protect sub-contractors will be progressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Programme for Government contains a commitment to introduce new legislation to protect small building subcontractors that have been denied payments from bigger companies. In this regard, my collea...More Button

Written Answers - Public Service Reform

Was asked: if he will indicate the degree to which the public expenditure and reform measures identified by his predecessors have achieved their respective targets to date; the extent to which it is likely that...More Button

On 17th November last year, I launched the Government’s Public Service Reform Plan. The Plan differs from previous initiatives in that it provides a new imperative for cost reductions and service imp...More Button

Written Answers - National Lottery Licence

Was asked: the purpose for which he intends to use the balance of the up-front payment from the national lottery operator licence. More Button

Was asked: if he will include a good cause guarantee clause in the licence awarded to the new operator of the national lottery next year to ensure current funding levels are maintained. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 90 and 94 together. I announced on 10th November 2011, in the context of unveiling the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Framework 2012-2016, that the Government ...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies

Was asked: if he is introducing measures to ensure that the salaries of all senior management in bodies and agencies that receive public sector funding or grant aid will be publicly available; and if he will ma...More Button

I refer to my reply to Question Reference No. 2856/12 of 18 January 2012.More Button

Written Answers - Public Service Contracts

Was asked: the steps being taken to assist small business in obtaining public contracts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I refer the Deputy to my answer to his Parliamentary Question No. 3307/12 on 24 January 2012 in which I outlined the elements of my Department’s public procurement guidelines that are designed to prom...More Button

Written Answers - Performance Management Systems

Was asked: the performance assessment measures particularly with regard to policy implementation he intends to put in place following the Bertelsmann Stiftung Foundation finding that the Civil Service managemen...More Button

Was asked: the performance assessment measures he intends to implement to address the lack of a general accountability framework for senior and middle managers across the public sector. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 95 and 105 together. Senior public service managers are accountable to the Oireachtas through their appearances before Select Committees and the Public Accounts Commit...More Button

Written Answers - State Agencies

Was asked: if his Department’s reform and delivery office has compiled a comprehensive list of State agencies that includes both non-commercial State agencies and various State bodies. More Button

With regard to this question, I refer the Deputy to my answer to Deputy Mary Lou McDonald (PQ Ref No: 5539/12) on 31 January 2012, which sets out the different bodies currently in operation and the ap...More Button

Written Answers - Infrastructure Funding

Was asked: if following his commitments in the Infrastructure and Capital Investment 2012-2016 Medium Term Exchequer Framework, he will provide an update on his ongoing engagement with potential private sector ...More Button

Public infrastructure is funded primarily in two ways at the moment: Exchequer financing (the vast bulk of funding) and PPP-sourced funding for particular projects that are suited to the PPP approach...More Button

Written Answers - Statutory Instruments

Was asked: if he will revoke Statutory Instrument No. 28 of 2012. More Button

Statutory Instrument No. 28 of 2012 “Oireachtas (Allowances) (Certain Ministers of State) Order 2012 (S.I. 28 of 2012) Order 2012” replaces a provision in an earlier Order, Statutory Instrument No. 34...More Button

Written Answers - Public Service Reform

Was asked: the progress made to date in rationalising State bodies as outlined in the Government statement on public service reform; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

With regard to this question, I refer the Deputy to my answer to Deputy Shane Ross (PQ Ref No.: 7802/12) on 14 February 2012, which details the progress to date on rationalising the State bodies outli...More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Transport

Was asked: if he is satisfied that the process of verification for mileage claims by Ministers in respect of their duties is sufficiently robust; his plans to review the system; and if he will make a statement ...More Button

Since 1 May 2011 Cabinet Ministers with the exception of Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Law Reform now use their own cars. All Ministers are now paid for official mileage up to 96,54...More Button

Written Answers - Public Service Reform

Was asked: if following the publication of the Third Report of the Organisational Review Programme he intends to publish his Department’s comprehensive action plans in response to the Organisational Review Prog...More Button

The Third Report of the Organisational Review Programme was published on 26th January this year. The report contains the findings of reviews of four Departments: the Department of the Taoiseach, ...More Button

Written Answers - Croke Park Agreement

Was asked: if he is satisfied that the format of the forthcoming report on the implementation of the Croke Park agreement will address perceived shortcomings in the previous report such as the provision of more...More Button

The Implementation Body published a very comprehensive progress report last June, on foot of its annual review of the Agreement, which outlined the sustainable pay savings that were achieved under the...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Bodies

Was asked: the further measures he envisages bringing forward to address the issue of excessive pay in the private and public sectors and the sheltered professions; if he sees merit in establishing a top pay co...More Button

Was asked: if he will establish a top pay commission to research and review all levels of compensation and remuneration across the economy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 103 and 297 together. I refer to my reply to Question Reference No. 6848/12 of 7 February 2012.More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Transport

Was asked: the changes, if any, he plans to make to Government members’ travel allowances and the accounting of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Since 1 May 2011 Cabinet Ministers with the exception of Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Law Reform now use their own cars. All Ministers are now paid for official mileage up to 96,54...More Button

Written Answers - Capital Investment Programme

Was asked: his views on the pre-budget 2012 statement of the United Left Alliance advocating a emergency programme of necessary public works as response to mass unemployment. More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the Government recently laid out our five year capital investment programme in Infrastructure and Capital Investment 2012-2016. This publication which was the result of a ma...More Button

Written Answers - Public Service Staff

Was asked: the way it is intended to reduce to 282,000 by 2015 the numbers employed in the civil and public service; the number who are expected to leave because they have reached pension age; if it is intended...More Button

The Government is committed to reducing Public Service numbers to 282,500 by 2015. I believe that our end-2012 target of 294,400 will be delivered through retirements in accordance with existing arran...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Staff

Was asked: the numbers of persons who were paid under Vote 12 superannuation and retired allowances in 2011 and his estimate of same for 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

18,636 persons were paid from Vote 12 last year, including spouses and children as well as occupational pensioners; the estimate for 2012 is 19,448. More Button

Was asked: the reason a person (details supplied) had their employment terminated by the Office of Public Works when other individuals at the same grade with the same length of experience were retained; and if ...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Properties

Was asked: if he will provide a list of the payments made by the State to private land owners in 2010 and 2011 to acquire land for use in the public capital programme, to include the land that was being purchas...More Button

Written Answers - Legislative Programme

Was asked: his policy on amending the Valuation Act 2001; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As I mentioned in previous replies in relation to proposals to amend the Valuation Act 2001, significant work has already been done by the Commissioner of Valuation and by my officials on the formulat...More Button

Written Answers - Public Procurement Contracts

Was asked: if he will instruct all Departments, State agencies and local government bodies to include, as a matter of course, appropriate social clauses in all public procurement contracts for supplies, service...More Button

The rules onawarding public contracts have provisions which allow the specification of social criteria, such as the requirement for employment of long term unemployed, as a condition in the performanc...More Button

Written Answers - Coastal Protection

Was asked: the amount currently allocated to a national coastal protection programme and within thisprogramme if there is an allocation for the protection of the beach at Portrane, CountyDublin, which is experi...More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Transport

Was asked: if he has examined the costs involved in operating the new system of payments to Ministers’ drivers and use of cars; if he will outline the savings achieved to date by each Minister; if he is conside...More Button

Since 1 May 2011 Cabinet Ministers with the exception of Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Law Reform now use their own cars. All Ministers are now paid for official mileage up to 96,5...More Button

Written Answers - National Lottery Funding

Was asked: his views that while, for the past number of years, each Department with responsibility for expenditure that is part funded by the National Lottery surplus published information concerning such expen...More Button

As I have outlined in replies to previous questions, the allocation of funding from subheads which are part-funded by the surplus from the National Lottery is the responsibility of a number of Governm...More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Transport

Was asked: the amount of mileage clocked up on a monthly basis for which expenses were claimed for all Ministers attached to his Department since March 2011; the amount claimed in mileage expenses on a monthly ...More Button

In response to the Deputy’s question the following tables contains details requested by the Deputy in respect of kilometre claims made by both myself and the Minister of State in the Office of Public ...More Button

Written Answers - Public Procurement Contracts

Was asked: the number of State contracts which were awarded to private companies for each year from 2006 to 2011 inclusive; the number of these companies which were registered for tax purposes here; and if he w...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: if he will provide the total amount each Government Minister, junior Minister and senior civil servant has spent on entertainment expenses since being appointed in the case of the Ministers and junio...More Button

In response to the Deputy’s question details in respect of my own Department is as follows. I as Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform spent €315.90 on official entertainment since May 2011. In ...More Button

Written Answers - Public Service Remuneration

Was asked: if he will honour the outcome of independent third party adjudications made in relation to agreements between the Department of Defence and PDFORA on the payment of allowances; and if he will make a ...More Button

Subject to the provisions of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act, 2009 and the terms of the Public Service Agreement 2010-2014, the findings of the third party adjudicator in r...More Button

Written Answers - Public Service Reform

Was asked: if the sectorial transitional team plans and service implications following the exodus of 6,600 public servants at the end of February will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter...More Button

Was asked: if he has considered deferring some of the pending public sector retirements particularly from maternity services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 289 and 293 together. It is a matter for each sector to manage potential service delivery issues arising from retirements to end-February and beyond. Questions as to...More Button

Was asked: his views that there should be more co-operation in relation to roster flexibility in the context of the Croke Park agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: his views and if he will provide an update on the Croke Park agreement implementation. More Button

Was asked: if he has met recently with the social partners in relation to the Croke Park agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: his views on the future of the Croke Park agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 290 to 292, inclusive, and 295 together. The Implementation Body for the Public Service Agreement 2010-2014 (or ‘Croke Park Agreement) published its first Annual Pro...More Button

Written Answers - Sale of State Assets

Was asked: if he has finalised his plans in relation to the sale of State assets and in particular the possible investment on job creation from same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Deputy will be aware that I announced details of the Government plans to dispose of certain non-strategic State assets last week. The assets to be sold will be: Bord Gáis Eireann’s Energy business...More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied that proceeds from the sale of State assets can be used to address infrastructure deficiencies within the economy in a way that boosts economic growth and employment; and if he wil...More Button

I announced last week that, following intense engagement, I secured an agreement with the Troika that a third of the proceeds of our asset disposals programme can be used for re-investment in our econ...More Button

Written Answers - Travel Costs

Was asked: the reason two separate Civil Service mileage rates exist for each engine size, one rate for the first 6,437 km and then a second rate that is almost half that first rate for each class for each kilo...More Button

Motor travel rates are designed to recoup civil servants for the cost of using their cars on official business. The expenses that are covered by the motor travel formula can be broken into two categ...More Button

Written Answers - Subsistence Costs

Was asked: his views that it is appropriate that two separate bands exist for Civil Service subsistence rates, often known as overnight allowances, on the basis of salary, and that band A is a higher rate of al...More Button

The current civil service Class A and Class B subsistence rates are payment allowances that have been developed through the industrial relations process conducted under the Civil Service Conciliation ...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Advertising

Was asked: the number and costs of advertisements placed in national newspapers for job vacancies in the civil and public service in the past 12 months; the number of new entrants recruited from the process; th...More Button

The Public Appointments Service (PAS) is generally in a position to provide answers to the Deputy in relation to the competitions run by that organisation. However, due to resource constraints and th...More Button

Written Answers - Public Service Recruitment

Was asked: the timeframe involved for recruiting and appointing a new Comptroller and Auditor General; the effort he will make to attract interest from the private sector; the salary on offer; the way that the ...More Button

At its meeting on 11 January the Government decided to accept the resignation of the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) with effect from 27 February. The Decision provided that the Minister for F...More Button

Written Answers - Exchequer Savings

Was asked: if he is satisfied that public expenditure cuts to date arising form the memorandum of understanding are likely to achieve the desired targets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the full extent of the expected savings likely to be achieved across all Government Departments, including State and semi-State bodies or agencies, in the course of the current year; the extent to wh...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which in the context of his efforts to achieve his proposals to make savings over various Government Departments and their subordinate bodies, he is satisfied that the right balance can...More Button

Was asked: the factors featuring most prominently as being obstacles in his efforts to achieve savings throughout various Government Departments and their respective subordinate bodies or agencies; and if he wi...More Button

Was asked: the Government Departments most likely to achieve savings targets set out or identified in the memorandum of understanding within the shortest period of time; and if he will make a statement on the m...More Button

Was asked: if he has examined any new proposals for savings throughout the public sector not previously identified in the McCarthy report or otherwise; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he has received proposals from the general public or independent bodies or agencies in the context of achievable savings throughout the various Government Departments and subordinate bodies; and i...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which measures taken by him can positively affect the competitiveness of the economy in general; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if, in the context of any discussions with his EU colleagues, a consensus has emerged in respect of efficiency and savings desirable throughout the eurozone and all EU member states; the extent to wh...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 302 to 306, inclusive, and 308 to 311, inclusive, together. As the Deputy will be aware a Comprehensive Review of Expenditure exercise was carried out by all Departme...More Button

Written Answers - Sale of State Assets

Was asked: the degree to which it is expected to maximise the return from the sale of any State assets with particular reference to the need to employ a strategy that delivers the maximum benefit to the taxpaye...More Button

I have made it clear to the House on more than one occasion that the Government’s programme of asset disposals is based on the guiding principles that there will be no fire sales; integral transmissio...More Button


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