Header Item Written Answers Nos. 178 - 185
   Header Item Food Labelling
   Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Application Numbers
   Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Application Numbers
   Header Item Agriculture Schemes Payments
   Header Item Agriculture Schemes Payments
   Header Item Child Care Costs
   Header Item HSE Staff Responsibilities
   Header Item Proposed Legislation

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Unrevised

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Written Answers Nos. 178 - 185

Food Labelling

 178. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney in respect of food traceability-labelling, if he will ensure that those responsible for breaches of the existing code are dealt with in such a manner as to discourage and prohibit such breaches in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [48771/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Food production and labelling in the countries of the European Union operate in accordance with harmonised rules and member states' controls are subject to audit and supervision by the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) of the EU.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) under the aegis the Minister for Health has overall responsibility for the enforcement of food safety and labelling requirements in Ireland. It carries out this remit through service contracts with my Department and other agencies including the Health Service Executive (HSE), Local Authority Veterinary Service and the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority. Inspections to ensure compliance with labelling legislation are carried out by a variety of inspection services provided by these agencies under the aforementioned contracts. In relation to my Department’s functions I can assure the Deputy that appropriate and dissuasive action will be taken when food business operators are in breach of the relevant labelling legislation.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Application Numbers

 179. Deputy Brendan Smith Information on Brendan Smith Zoom on Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the number of applications received from County Cavan for the disadvantaged areas scheme 2013; the number of applications fully paid to date; when it is expected that all payments will be made; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [48785/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Payments under the 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme commenced, on schedule, on 25 September and, to date, payments worth €180.3 million have issued nationally, to some 84,782 applicants, with payments continuing to issue on a twice weekly basis, with individual cases being paid as they are confirmed eligible. The details in respect of payments which have issued to farmers in County Cavan to date are set out below.

County Cavan

YearNumbers appliedNumber paidValue of payments
20134,9424,220€8,815,516.30

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Application Numbers

 180. Deputy Brendan Smith Information on Brendan Smith Zoom on Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the number of applications received from County Monaghan for the disadvantaged areas scheme 2013; the number of applications fully paid to date; when it is expected that all payments will be made; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [48786/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Payments under the 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme commenced, on schedule, on 25 September and, to date, payments worth €180.3 million have issued nationally, to some 84,782 applicants, with payments continuing to issue on a twice weekly basis, with individual cases being paid as they are confirmed eligible. The details in respect of payments which have issued to farmers in County Monaghan to date are set out below.

County Monaghan

YearNumbers appliedNumber paidValue of payments
20134,1923,585€6,881,361.91

Agriculture Schemes Payments

 181. Deputy Frank Feighan Information on Frank Feighan Zoom on Frank Feighan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the position regarding an application for payments in respect of a person (details supplied); when digitising will be complete and ready for payment. [48789/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named submitted a Single Farm Payment/Disadvantaged Areas Scheme application on 15 May 2013. EU Regulations governing the administration of these schemes require that full and comprehensive administrative checks, including in some cases on-farm inspections, be completed before any payments issue. The application of the person named was selected for a ground eligibility inspection. This inspection has been completed and the results finalised. Processing of payments under the 2013 Single Payment Scheme and Disadvantaged Areas Scheme have recently been finalised and will issue shortly to the nominated bank account of the person named.

Agriculture Schemes Payments

 182. Deputy Frank Feighan Information on Frank Feighan Zoom on Frank Feighan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the position regarding an application for payments in respect of a person (details supplied). [48790/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney As processing of the application of the person named under the 2013 Single Payment Scheme and 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme has recently been completed, payments under both schemes will shortly issue to the nominated bank account of the person named.

Child Care Costs

 183. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if a payment may be made to a person (details supplied) in County Laois; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [48659/13]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I have requested the information from the HSE and I will revert to the Deputy when this information is to hand.

HSE Staff Responsibilities

 184. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if the Health Service Executive requires all social workers to read and sign off on the child protection and welfare practice handbook; the number that have signed off and the number that have not since its introduction in 2011, the number of instances of non-compliance with those guidelines on the part of social workers the HSE has recorded; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [48582/13]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive for the information in question which I will forward to the Deputy.

Proposed Legislation

 185. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald when legislation will be enacted and brought into force to give legal effect to the referendum for children as approved by the people; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [48640/13]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The judgment in the High Court challenge to the result of the Children’s Referendum was delivered on 18 October. The Petitioner was unsuccessful in her petition to the High Court challenging the Provisional Referendum Certificate issued on foot of the Children's Referendum. The Court dismissed the petition. With the consent of the parties and to allow time for giving notice of an appeal, the Judge decided to grant a short stay on his endorsement of the Provisional Referendum Certificate (as required under section 57(3) of the Referendum Act 1994). On 24 October, the Petitioner’s Counsel made an application to the Supreme Court for a priority appeal hearing date. The Court granted the application for a priority hearing of the appeal and the extension of the stay on the endorsement of the Referendum Certificate. It is anticipated that the Supreme Court appeal will be heard early in 2014.

The Petitioner had also challenged, by way of plenary proceedings, the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Referendum Act 1994 and these proceedings remain before the High Court for determination. The matter of referring the Thirty-First Amendment of the Constitution (Children) Bill 2012 to the President for signing into law, and to give effect to the Constitutional changes concerned, must await determination by the Courts of the legal challenge made.

The General Scheme and Heads of Bill of the proposed Adoption (Amendment) Bill was published in September 2012 in conjunction with the publication of the referendum proposal to inform the public of proposed changes to adoption law envisaged if the Constitutional amendment was approved. The provisions of the proposed Adoption (Amendment) Bill 2013 will change the criteria, applicable under section 54 of the 2010 Act, under which the High Court may authorise the making of an adoption order without parental consent, in the case of a child who is in the care of prospective adopters and where that child’s parents have failed in their parental duty to the child. The Bill will also provide for the voluntary placement for adoption of any child irrespective of the marital status of his or her parents. It is my intention to bring the Adoption (Amendment) Bill 2013 before the Houses of the Oireachtas as soon as possible, following conclusion of all proceedings and processes relevant to the Children’s Referendum.


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