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Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment: Statements (11 Oct 2018)

Denis Naughten: When it comes to the national broadband plan, NBP, my absolute priority has always been to ensure that high-speed broadband is provided to the more than 540,000 households and more than 1.1 million people in rural Ireland who do not currently have access to this essential service, no more and no less. I am absolutely satisfied there has been no interference in the procurement process by...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Vehicle Emissions (10 Oct 2018)

Denis Naughten: First, there is funding within the budget for EV charging points.

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Vehicle Emissions (10 Oct 2018)

Denis Naughten: Second, I thank the Deputy for his support. He knows that yesterday Ireland led a campaign at the Council of Ministers to try to agree a far more ambitious set of emissions targets for the transport sector, both in terms of cars and light vehicles. Disappointingly, we could not convince our European colleagues to do that because of the influence of the motor industry across Europe. Ireland...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Vehicle Emissions (10 Oct 2018)

Denis Naughten: The detail on that has yet to be fleshed out. Funding is available for next year, along with the bids that have been put in to the climate action fund-----

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Vehicle Emissions (10 Oct 2018)

Denis Naughten: -----which will provide us with opportunities. Investment is going in through the local authorities around the country-----

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Vehicle Emissions (10 Oct 2018)

Denis Naughten: As the Deputy knows, the local authority in Dún Laoghaire has already installed charging points on public lighting on a pilot basis. That is a pilot scheme that I would like to see extended across the country.

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Broadband Service Provision (10 Oct 2018)

Denis Naughten: Urlingford is a good example for colleagues because 98% of the town is in the blue area. With 13 exceptions, every premises in Urlingford is in the blue area. That means it has access, or has plans to have access, to a minimum download speed of 30 Mbps and a minimum upload speed of 6 Mbps. I accept that there are premises around the country which are not getting such speeds even though...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Broadband Service Provision (10 Oct 2018)

Denis Naughten: I fully understand the frustration that exists. We are all experiencing that on a daily basis in our constituencies. People are hugely frustrated about the lack of access to broadband. The Deputy has dismissed the colour coding, but it is an important part of the development of this network. It is important for places that are not getting a service to be designated with the amber colour...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Vehicle Emissions (10 Oct 2018)

Denis Naughten: The ambition set out in the national policy framework on alternative fuels infrastructure for transport, which was published in May of last year, is that by 2030 all new cars and vans sold in Ireland will have a zero-emission capability. The national development plan, which was published in February of this year, raised this ambition by proposing that no new non-zero emission cars will be...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Television Licence Fee Collection (10 Oct 2018)

Denis Naughten: I agree with Deputy Stanley that the €40 million needs to be gathered up. We, as a result, should be able to look at and consider a reduction in the TV licence fee, rather than an increase. With regard to the specific issue raised by Deputy Stanley at the mid-term review of the Estimates on 2 October, I have referred it to the working group for its consideration. I understand...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Television Licence Fee Collection (10 Oct 2018)

Denis Naughten: I will answer Deputy Stanley's question first. The Deputy is correct that most people who buy a television subsequently connect to a service. This was a question I put to my own officials after I was appointed as Minister and if we could get access to that database. I understand that my predecessors had sought access to that database and were not able to access it. I am open to correction...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Television Licence Fee Collection (10 Oct 2018)

Denis Naughten: They are two separate questions. First, the system for registration at the point of purchase was in place and for whatever reason - I do not know - it did not work. As I have said, I have asked that the Deputy's suggestion would be considered by the working group. Deputy Stanley is correct, and he is right that technology has changed since then. We have Eircode postcodes today, for...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Broadband Service Provision (10 Oct 2018)

Denis Naughten: I propose to take Question Nos. 11 and 13 together.  In respect of the two townlands referred to by the Deputy, according to my Department’s high-speed broadband map, available at www.broadband.gov.ie, the majority of the premises in the townlands of Graiguenamanagh and Urlingford in County Kilkenny are in the blue area. These areas of the map are where commercial...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Waste Management (10 Oct 2018)

Denis Naughten: I thank the CCPC for the significant body of work it has carried out in this report. The findings of this report clearly support the policy decision that I took to introduce an incentivised pricing model by abolishing flat-rate fees, rather than a blanket pay-by-kilogram system proposed previously. The report notes that it took 19 years for a policy to be implemented to abolish flat-rate...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Waste Management (10 Oct 2018)

Denis Naughten: The report of the CCPC stated that only one in ten of those who could transfer did so. Where people did transfer, the average saving was only approximately €17 per year so substantial savings are not available in this area. The CCPC is looking at moving away from competition in the market, particularly in areas where services are not being provided at present. The report highlights...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Waste Management (10 Oct 2018)

Denis Naughten: The CCPC did not find a cartel in the market and said there was no price gouging. The Deputy suggested that the lack of competition was why people were not switching but people can save between €200 and €300 by switching their electricity suppliers, yet a large cohort of the population do not do so. Even when the savings are there, people do not move. I understand from...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Television Licence Fee Collection (10 Oct 2018)

Denis Naughten: As the Deputy will be aware, I obtained Government approval last year to draft a number of legislative amendments to the Broadcasting Act 2009, including amendments for the tendering of television licence fee collection. The proposed amendments were considered under pre-legislative scrutiny by the Joint Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment and I received the...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Broadband Service Provision (10 Oct 2018)

Denis Naughten: I will say this again. The vast majority of telecommunications companies in this country have had some role in this procurement process at some stage over its course. If I were the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the effect of what it has been alleged I should have done would be that I would not meet the farm organisations from the day of my appointment until next month or...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Broadband Service Provision (10 Oct 2018)

Denis Naughten: I did not attend the lunch. My understanding is that Mr. McCourt and his family came in for lunch that day to celebrate a birthday, as they had been in Dublin. That was the reason for that particular lunch.

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Broadband Service Provision (10 Oct 2018)

Denis Naughten: I did not attend it.

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