Tuesday, 24 September 2013
Dáil Éireann Debate
127. Deputy Jim Daly asked the Taoiseach the total cost of all media advertising in his Department for each of the past five years; the efforts his Department is making to ensure that local media both print and radio are being supported as well as national media by his Department's budget; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39118/13]
Expenditure by my Department relates to telephone directories as well as notices in newspapers in respect of the National Day of Commemoration and other such events. In 2011 the majority of expenditure related to public information notices for the public event held during the visit of President Barack Obama.
The Department of the Taoiseach's media advertisements relate largely to national events and therefore the majority of the advertising requires use of national media. As part of the Government's information campaign on the Stability Treaty referendum, information advertisements were placed on local radio and with local newspapers in May 2012. These were considered important outlets to ensure awareness and understanding across the country. The Department also managed media and press aspects of the 2013 EU Presidency and maintained strong contact with local/regional media, facilitating journalists at all high-level EU Presidency meetings. In addition, in May and June 2013 the Department facilitated a large number of local newspapers with profiles of Irish officials from their areas who held key roles in the Presidency in Brussels.
128. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Taoiseach if he will discuss the re-configuration of the EU affairs and co-ordination division of his Department, in conjunction with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in view of the conclusion of the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39119/13]
The Taoiseach: In October 2011, responsibility for the coordination of EU policy formally transferred from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to a newly created EU Affairs and Coordination Division in the Department of the Taoiseach. The new arrangements responded to the evolution of EU institutional structures and practices following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, in particular the increased role of the European Council. They also reflected the need to ensure effective coordination and strategic direction of Ireland's engagement with the EU across the whole of Government. Almost two years on, I am pleased to state that the arrangement is working very well. Systems are in place to ensure effective coordination and communication between the two Departments and our EU Missions on matters of EU policy. Officials from both Departments maintained close and regular contact in the lead up to, and throughout, the successful EU Presidency in the first half of this year and this contact will be maintained into the future.
129. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Taoiseach if he has responded to a request from the British Government on the topic of a balance of competencies review of European Union law and regulatory regimes; if he will share the detail of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39122/13]
The Taoiseach: The Taoiseach has no official responsibility to the Dáil in relation to this matter, which is within the remit of the Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. We consider that the ongoing review exercise is primarily a domestic political issue for the UK, although we are monitoring the matter very closely. While the UK government has invited submissions, the great majority of EU member states have not made any at this stage. I believe the UK's interests are best served by remaining an influential member of the EU. The EU as a whole is better and stronger with the EU in it. It is also in Ireland's interests that the UK remains a fully committed member. While we disagree on some EU issues, the UK remains an important ally on many aspects of EU policy, including areas such as trade liberalisation on which we collaborated during Ireland's recent EU Presidency term.
131. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Taoiseach if he will outline in tabular form, each Internet domain that his Department or body under the aegis of his Department has registered online, from 2010 onwards in either .ie or other format since his Department first established an online presence; the date on which each domain was initially registered and for what intended purpose; the amount each domain and associated hosting has cost on a yearly basis from when each domain was first registered; the date on which each domain is expiring; if he intends to renew each domain when it comes up for renewal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39127/13]
Table 1 outlines active domain names, the date that the domain name was registered on a central Domain Name Database, valid registration date, and associated annual costs from 2009/10 to 2013/14 where appropriate.
Table 2 outlines expired domain names, the date that the domain name was registered on a central Domain Name Database, valid registration date, and associated annual costs from 2009/10 to 2012/13 where appropriate.
Each of the Department's domain names relates to a specific continuous or time-bound area of the Department's work and responsibility. They are used to provide internet access to relevant information and resources for all citizens.
132. Deputy Michael P. Kitt asked the Taoiseach the number of times the Cabinet committee on Social Policy has met since the formation of this Government; if it has met, the date on which those meetings have taken place. [39128/13]
133. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Taoiseach if there is a central registry of all persons who visit his Department including those who may drive into his Department or access it through Leinster House; if he is concerned that there is no record of all those who may visit his Department rather than just those who sign the visitors' book and the implications this has for public policy and security; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39130/13]
The Taoiseach: There are long standing arrangements in place to enable visitors access to Government Buildings. All visitors are required to be met by a member of staff of the Department and escorted to and from their destination.
134. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Taoiseach if he will provide an update on the programme for Government commitment to reduce the size of his Department; if he will provide details of the staffing allocation and organisational structure of his Department in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39131/13]
The Taoiseach: The Department of the Taoiseach has been substantially restructured in line with the commitment in the Programme for Government including the following changes:
135. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Taoiseach if he will provide a progress report on an independent audit of the transposition and implementation of EU legislation; when he expects to achieve the programme for Government commitment to eliminating the practice of transposing EU law into Irish law by means of statutory instrument alone; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39132/13]
The Taoiseach: I would draw the Deputy’s attention to our much-improved record in the transposition of EU Directives. Ireland achieved a zero% transposition deficit score in the December 2012 Internal Market Scoreboard, by transposing all Directives on time. We were only the second Member State to achieve this since the Scoreboard was first compiled in 1997. We achieved a score of 0.3%, which is half the 0.6% EU-wide average, in the May 2013 Internal Market Scoreboard. The ICEE will continue to monitor Departments’ progress to maintain the continued improvement in Ireland’s transposition record.
136. Deputy Jim Daly asked the Taoiseach if he will detail by name, location and cost the number of capital projects funded by his Department for each of the past five years to date in tabular form in an area of County Cork (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39153/13]
137. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach the contacts he has had in relation to the appointment of a new Clerk of Dáil Éireann; if a procedure has been agreed to process the appointment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39159/13]
The Taoiseach: The existing legislation governing the appointment of the Clerk of the Dail dates back to 1959. I believe there is widespread support in the House for modernisation of that legislation to reflect the needs of a modern parliament. I have received correspondence from the Ceann Comhairle and from the Opposition on the matter.
138. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach the attendees of the weekly Economic Management Council meetings; if there has been any change in the attendees since the EMC was first established; and his plans to broaden the membership of the EMC. [39193/13]
The Taoiseach: The Economic Management Council has four members: the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. There are no plans to broaden the membership of the EMC.
139. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Taoiseach if he will provide the main findings in the recent report on wider Irish and UK plans for closer economic co-operation in the fields of energy, agri-business, finance and research and development; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36960/13]
The Taoiseach: On 18 July Prime Minister Cameron and I jointly welcomed the publication of the Joint (British-Irish) Economic Study ‘Evaluating the value of the economic relationship between the United Kingdom and Ireland’. The aim of the Study was to identify areas where both jurisdictions could collaborate and I believe the Study successfully outlines a range of proposals in which collaboration could benefit both economies. PA Consulting Group and Cambridge Econometrics were commissioned to carry out the joint study. The findings and recommendations are set out in the report which is in the Oireachtas library and published on my Department’s website http://www.taoiseach.gov.ie/eng/Publications/Publications_2013/British-Irish_Relations_-_Joint_Economic_Study1.html.
140. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Taoiseach the number of workers employed in the financial services sector; the number directly employed in retail banking and aircraft leasing for each year since 2005, [35951/13]
Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The information requested by the Deputy is available from 2006-2011. Data for 2012 is not yet available as it is dependent on the receipt of administrative data which are not filed until 2013 and are not fully available to CSO until 2014. The latest CSO Business Demography returns for 2011 were released on 25 July 2013. The primary purpose of Business Demography is to provide estimates of numbers of enterprises and numbers of persons engaged. The data for Business Demography is based on the CSO Central Business Register. The Business Register is a register of all enterprises that are active in the State. There is no lower size limit, but for practical reasons, Business Demography data is based on enterprises that are registered with the Revenue Commissioners. The first reference year covered is 2006.
Table 1 below contains the number of Persons Engaged in NACE Rev 2 sector 64 (less 64.20, Activities of Holding Companies) “Financial service activities excluding activities of holding companies” (including retail banking), and sector 77.35 “Renting and leasing of air transport equipment.”
Persons Engaged includes employees, proprietors and family members. The number of employees is calculated on an annualized equivalent basis for the reference year. The total number of weeks worked by an employee over the course of the year is divided by 52 to get the fraction of their full annual employment. So for example, a person who has worked for 52 weeks in the year will contribute 1 to the employment figures, while a person who has worked 26 weeks of the year will contribute 0.5. No distinction is made between full time and part time employment, so an employee who works on a part time basis for a full year is still counted as 1 employee.
Business Demography figures are based purely on administrative data. This results in some differences with survey based Structural Business Statistics (SBS) releases, like the Census of Industrial Production, Building and Construction Inquiry, and Annual Services Inquiry.
2) Administrative data counts active Revenue registrations as active enterprises. This generally lines up with the definition of an enterprise in survey areas, but there can be some differences, especially in enterprise groups.
3) Business Demography counts employment data based on P35 employer returns, while other SBS releases measure employment based on survey returns. This is particularly significant for enterprise groups, where the whole group may make one P35 return, which results in all its employees being counted against the overall enterprise group NACE code. Survey based releases may divide this employment across different enterprises, and therefore different NACE codes.
141. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Taoiseach the full year saving to the Exchequer if all State agency board members' fees, non-commercial State sponsored bodies and commercial semi-State companies, under the aegis of his Department were reduced by 25%; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39285/13]
142. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Taoiseach the full year saving to the Exchequer if all non-commercial State sponsored bodies CEO salaries under the aegis of his Department were reduced by 10%; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39286/13]
143. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Taoiseach the full year saving to the Exchequer if all commercial semi-State CEOs' pay under the aegis of his Department were reduced by 10%; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39287/13]
The National Economic and Social Council (NESC) comes under the aegis of my Department. The savings that would arise in a full year from a 10% reduction in the salary of the NESC Director would be €17,635. As no fees are payable to members of the NESC Board, no savings would arise. Although the National Statistics Board (NSB) is not classified as an agency under my aegis, I am providing the following for the information of the Deputy. Under the Statistics Act, 1993, the National Statistics Board comprises a Chairperson and seven Board members. Appointments to the NSB are made in line with the provisions of Section 18 of the Statistics Act 1993. The Chairperson is entitled to an annual stipend of €8,978 and those Board members entitled to a stipend receive €5,985. The costs of the Board are met from the CSO Vote.
The following table shows the potential saving to the exchequer if the amount of the stipend was reduced by 25%. This figure is indicative only, and would vary depending on the make up of the board and the number of members entitled to stipends.
144. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Taoiseach the steps he intends to take to ensure semi-State bodies and other organisations and bodies under the remit of his Department advertise vacant positions through the Public Appointments Service and publicjobs.ie that is in a clear and transparent manner; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39288/13]
The Taoiseach: The National Economic & Social Council (NESC) comes under the aegis of my Department. Job opportunities with NESC are advertised through the Public Appointments Service in accordance with normal practice.
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