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Written Answers — Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport: Bus Services (22 Sep 2022)

Bríd Smith: 17. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position in relation to new BusConnects routes and scheduled implementation of same in Dublin given the difficulties in recruiting and retaining drivers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45703/22]

Written Answers — Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport: Bus Services (22 Sep 2022)

Bríd Smith: 43. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will detail the shortfall in bus driver numbers in all public service obligation service providers including Bus Éireann, Dublin Bus and Go Ahead; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45694/22]

Written Answers — Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport: Bus Services (22 Sep 2022)

Bríd Smith: 89. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the current difficulties in Bus Éireann in relation to the retention of drivers and its impact on services across Ireland; if he has any plans to raise these shortages with the National Transport Authority or company management; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45696/22]

Written Answers — Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport: Public Transport (22 Sep 2022)

Bríd Smith: 56. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will re-examine the policy on free public transport in light of recent moves in a number of EU Member States to reduce fares and its impact on numbers increasing on public transport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45701/22]

Written Answers — Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport: National Transport Authority (22 Sep 2022)

Bríd Smith: 86. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will re-examine the role of the National Transport Authority in the provision of bus services across Ireland given the recent failures of their tendering and contracting process in relation to public service obligation services, specifically the attempt to contract out the 101 Bus Éireann service; and if he will make a...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Defective Building Materials (22 Sep 2022)

Bríd Smith: 141. To ask the Minister for Finance his plans, if any, to afford owners of defective apartment blocks built during the Celtic Tiger-era additional tax reliefs on the costs of redress which they face; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46238/22]

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Tax Code (22 Sep 2022)

Bríd Smith: 159. To ask the Minister for Finance if he will examine changes to the tax rules affecting section 31E of the stamp duty legislation which are impacting schemes to help elderly persons remain in their homes when they experience financial difficulties (details supplied); his plans, if any, to exempt such products from the current rules; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46237/22]

Written Answers — Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection: Social Welfare Benefits (22 Sep 2022)

Bríd Smith: 275. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if her attention has been drawn to the backlog in assessing applications for exceptional needs' payments (details supplied); the length of time that it is taking to assess applications and to reply to persons who apply for the payment; the steps that are being taken to deal with the increase in the number of those applying;...

Energy Security: Motion [Private Members] (21 Sep 2022)

Bríd Smith: -----if Liz Truss decided to turn it off. Repeatedly over the years reliance on British gas has been held up as a reason for not finding our own oil and gas. I will repeat again what many have confirmed, which is that there is no threat to our gas supplies from Britain.

Energy Security: Motion [Private Members] (21 Sep 2022)

Bríd Smith: There is no threat to our gas supplies from Britain. Reliance on Britain would only be replaced by reliance on North American fracked gas or LNG from Qatar or another similar dictatorship. I am in favour of eliminating our reliance on British and North Sea gas. The quicker we do it the better but we should not replace it with reliance on a different source of oil or gas. The war in...

Energy Security: Motion [Private Members] (21 Sep 2022)

Bríd Smith: There is no doubt we are facing a real crisis. It is a crisis that has millions of people fearful of their next bill with thousands more being pushed into that situation daily, who are not being officially recognised. We have hundreds of thousands of people officially recognised as living in energy poverty, but hundreds of thousands more are not recognised. By the end of the crisis,...

Written Answers — Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government: Housing Schemes (21 Sep 2022)

Bríd Smith: 53. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 217 of 14 September 2022, the way that the twin goals of sustainable communities and long term tenancies are advanced in the case of a tenant who has resided in a council home for over 30 years and who has recently married, yet now finds that they are barred and delayed from availing of...

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: Special Educational Needs (21 Sep 2022)

Bríd Smith: 76. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills her plans to support the proposal of the board of management of a school (details supplied) to use the already sanctioned ASD class for students with an ASD diagnosis already enrolled in the school and on their own waiting list; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46233/22]

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Energy Policy (20 Sep 2022)

Bríd Smith: New Fortress Energy has set up the Shannon LNG Limited company and paid Kerry County Council more than €4 million as a development contribution for widening the road to Tarbert, €2 million of which was paid even before the planning permission application was lodged. The question then is whether Kerry County Council now owes this money and whether it is liable to pay it back to...

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Energy Policy (20 Sep 2022)

Bríd Smith: It is unsustainable.

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Energy Policy (20 Sep 2022)

Bríd Smith: 55. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the position on the building of a liquefied natural gas, LNG, terminal; if it will be privately built or State-built; the way such a facility can be compatible with the climate objectives of the State; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45986/22]

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Energy Policy (20 Sep 2022)

Bríd Smith: Will the Acting Chairman clarify how much time I have?

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Energy Policy (20 Sep 2022)

Bríd Smith: Okay. We need some clarity on the issue I am raising. There is a jarring discrepancy between the media coverage of the energy review yesterday and the analysis from some NGOs and columnists today. Will the Minister clarify whether there will be an LNG terminal in this country, either privately built or State-owned? The substantial question I ask him to answer is how such a facility will...

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Energy Policy (20 Sep 2022)

Bríd Smith: Friends of the Earth has said the expert review "signals the death knell of Shannon LNG". Is the Minister confirming or denying that? There is a jarring discrepancy on this point and, apart from that, there is a discrepancy of views within the Government. The Minister of State, Deputy O'Donovan, recently said: "The time for discussion is over. We need to build an LNG as soon as possible."...

National Retrofit Plan: Motion [Private Members] (20 Sep 2022)

Bríd Smith: I thank Sinn Féin for this motion, which we fully support. Retrofitting is a key solution to two crises, namely, the climate crisis and the energy crisis but for us the latter is the immediate one. I will deal with the climate crisis in a minute but first I want to give an account of two homes I visited recently. They were two council-owned homes that were retrofitted to a high...

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