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Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Disabilities Assessments (17 May 2022)

Patrick Costello: These families stood in front of me with tears in their eyes as they spoke about how they had tried the best for their children, and how they had saved money they did not have and tried to spend it on getting an assessment and having the needs of their children met, and they did not get it. We need to fix the assessment of need service. We need to ensure families will get the assessments...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Disabilities Assessments (17 May 2022)

Anne Rabbitte: I thank the Deputy for raising this issue and giving me the opportunity to respond to it. I am very aware of the case of Caroline Goldsmith, whom he mentioned. On my ministerial visits throughout the country, I was horrified to hear about the experience parents had whereby they had got their diagnoses but were not allowed to use them, given they were not accepted by the HSE and so on. ...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Emergency Services (17 May 2022)

Emergency Services

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Emergency Services (17 May 2022)

Martin Browne: I thank the Minister of State for discussing this matter with me today. I am talking about the funding needs of the great service that is provided by the Irish Community Air Ambulance. As the Minister of State will be acutely aware, the service provided by the Irish Community Air Ambulance has saved many lives and prevented injuries sustained by people from becoming life changing. Whenever...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Emergency Services (17 May 2022)

Anne Rabbitte: I am taking this Topical Issue matter on behalf of the Minister, Deputy Donnelly, in response to the need for additional funding to sustain the Irish Community Air Ambulance service. I welcome the opportunity to address the House on behalf of the Minister in this regard. The National Ambulance Service, encompassing the emergency aeromedical service, operates the helicopter emergency...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Emergency Services (17 May 2022)

Martin Browne: I appreciate that the Minister of State is taking this matter on behalf of the Minister. The reply written for the Minister stated, "I reassure the House that the Government is strongly committed to supporting the strengthening and reform". We are being told the Minister did not even respond to the service for a couple of months when it asked him first, although he did eventually come back...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Energy Prices (17 May 2022)

Catherine Connolly: We are over time.

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Energy Prices (17 May 2022)

Barry Cowen: -----will be initiated to challenge and investigate these issues and to find out why is it that the authorities and those regulators and a body such as Eirgrid-----

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Energy Prices (17 May 2022)

Catherine Connolly: The Deputy will have a chance to come back in. Allow the Minister of State to respond.

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Energy Prices (17 May 2022)

Barry Cowen: -----charged with the responsibility to ensure competition, have not done so to date?

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Energy Prices (17 May 2022)

Anne Rabbitte: I am taking this Topical Issue matter on behalf of the Minister, Deputy Ryan. I thank the Deputy for raising this important topic. Having read the Topical Issue matter before I came into the Chamber I do not know if it will address all of the questions the Deputy has raised. I will firstly outline recent price developments and the Government's response and then I will discuss drivers of...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Energy Prices (17 May 2022)

Barry Cowen: I think the Minister of State and I appreciate her position here this evening in seeking to respond on behalf of the Minister. I appreciate that the Minister of State wishes to relay to the House just the information she has, which emanates from the Minister and his Department. I do not doubt the impact of international price pressures on our ability to provide electricity at the price it...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Energy Prices (17 May 2022)

Catherine Connolly: We are over time. The Deputy is way over time and is eating into the Minister of State's time. The Minister of State to conclude please.

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Energy Prices (17 May 2022)

Barry Cowen: -----point towards manipulation by a provider or point towards state aid not being fair on competitors.

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Energy Prices (17 May 2022)

Anne Rabbitte: I again thank the Deputy for raising this issue. For me to actually answer the Deputy's Topical Issue matter here tonight, I do not believe I have the skill set to be able to engage with the Deputy at that level. I know the amount of work and detail that the Deputy has put into this over the past months and years. The answer I have scripted in front of me from the Department to discuss the...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Departmental Schemes (17 May 2022)

David Stanton: I thank the Minister for her response. I welcome the fact that she is bringing forward some of the payments to next month, which will make a difference for some. In respect of the other recommendations she outlined, when does she expect to bring those forward? I acknowledge there are budgetary constraints and so forth but I encourage her to get those on the table. I ask her to comment...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Departmental Schemes (17 May 2022)

Heather Humphreys: Currently, approximately 4,800 farmers are in receipt of farm assist, compared with 5,500 in 2020, 6,000 in 2019 and 6,500 in 2018. This is a demand-led scheme and the numbers in receipt of a payment are falling, mainly due to the age profile of the customers. More than 70% of customers are aged 50 and over, more than half of the claimants are aged 55 and over, while 30% are aged 60 and...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Departmental Schemes (17 May 2022)

David Stanton: I agree with the Minister's last point. It is extremely complicated and if she could simplify it, that would certainly be very helpful. I again ask her to comment on the fact that the number availing of the scheme between 2011 and 2022 has reduced by almost two thirds. If the Teagasc national farm survey for 2021 is saying that 33% of farms are vulnerable, then there is some mismatch....

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Departmental Schemes (17 May 2022)

Michael Moynihan: The farm assist scheme has brought significant benefits to farmers, including the ongoing entitlement for a family member to participate in the rural social scheme. However, one issue has cropped up in recent times in the context of the farm assist scheme. When some farmers inherit a farm, they inherit the original farmhouse. In some cases, a family member may continue to live in that...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Departmental Schemes (17 May 2022)

Heather Humphreys: The other measures I mentioned, including the disregard for off-farm income, the capital disregard, depreciation and so forth, will be considered as part of the budget but obviously, there are constraints there. We definitely need to look at the means test. I never saw anything as complicated in my life, to be honest. I remember the late Seymour Crawford was an expert and a whizzer on...

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