Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Department of Social Protection

Legislative Process RIA

Photo of Seán Ó FearghaílSeán Ó Fearghaíl (Kildare South, Fianna Fail)
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52. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection the number of Bills her Department has published since 9 March 2011; the number and Title of those Bills in respect of which a regulatory impact assessment was done in advance of publication; the regulatory impact assessments published; the number of promised Bills for publication; the Bills that will include a regulatory impact assessment; the regulatory impact assessments that will be published before publication of the relevant Bill; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45814/15]

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Minister, Department of Social Protection; Dublin West, Labour)
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I have published fourteen Bills since taking office, all of which have been enacted. Details of these Bills are set out in the following table.

Regulatory Impact Analyses (RIAs) are undertaken by the Department of Social Protection in accordance with the relevant guidelines published by the Department of the Taoiseach relating to significant legislative, policy and other changes.

A Regulatory Impact Analysis is not ordinarily undertaken on the package of tax, welfare and other measures announced in the annual Budget Day Statements. As most of the Social Welfare Bills which have been published since March 2011 have provided for the implementation of various budgetary measures, RIAs have not been considered necessary in relation to these measures. Social Welfare Bills also provide for a range of other miscellaneous and technical amendments to the social welfare code and these types of amendments are not considered amenable to the undertaking of an RIA.

Regulatory Impact Analyses have been undertaken in relation to significant non-budgetary matters reflected in certain Bills. Two such RIAs have been published since March 2011. One of these RIAs relates to amendments to the funding standard applying to defined benefit pension schemes, which were provided for in Part 3 of the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2012. This RIA is available at .

The other RIA relates to the measures to provide for the transposition of certain aspects of Directive 2010/41/EU on the principle of equal treatment between men and women engaged in an activity in a self-employed capacity, in so far as they relate to ensuring that the spouse or civil partner of a self-employed worker can benefit from social protection in accordance with national law. The amendments necessary to transpose these provisions are contained in section 19 of the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2014. This RIA is available at .

In addition, Part 4 of the Social Welfare and Pensions (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013 implemented the recommendations of the Critical Review of the Pensions Board. This review, which involved a public consultation process, was carried out under the Public Service Reform plan. This review is available at .

Part 3 of the Social Welfare and Pensions (No. 2) Act 2013 provided for changes in the manner in which the resources of a defined benefit pension scheme are distributed on the wind up of a pension scheme. On the publication of this Bill, the Department of Social Protection also published a report by Mercer on the changes to occupational pensions. This report undertook a detailed modelling exercise of different approaches to the changes to the order of priority given to the disbursement of assets when a defined benefit pension scheme winds up. This is available at .

In the period since March 2011 I have also published three Bills relating to civil registration matters which were subsequently enacted. The Civil Registration (Amendment) Act 2012 provided for an extension of the list of bodies authorised to solemnise marriages. The Civil Registration (Amendment) Act 2014 provided for various matters relating to the registration of life events in the State. The Gender Recognition Act 2015 provided for the formal legal recognition of a person's preferred gender. These pieces of legislation were the subject of significant consultation and engagement and, therefore, RIAs were not considered necessary.

I do not intend to publish any further Bills before the Dáil is dissolved in early 2016.

Bills Initiated by Minister for Social Protection since March 2011

Title of BillStatusRIA Undertaken
Social Welfare and Pensions Bill 2011Enacted on 29th June 2011 as the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2011  Not considered necessary
Social Welfare Bill 2011Enacted on 19th December 2011 as the Social Welfare Act 2011  Not considered necessary
Social Welfare and Pensions Bill 2012Enacted on 1st May 2012 as the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2012  RIA undertaken on Part 3 of Act
Social Welfare Bill 2012Enacted on 21st December 2012 as the Social Welfare Act 2012Not considered necessary
Civil Registration (Amendment) Bill 2012Enacted on 26th December 2012 as the Civil Registration (Amendment) Act 2012Not considered necessary
Social Welfare and Pensions (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2013Enacted on 28th June 2013 as the Social Welfare and Pensions (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013Not considered necessary
Social Welfare and Pensions Bill 2013Enacted on 9th November 2013 as the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2013Not considered necessary
Social Welfare and Pensions (No. 2) Bill 2013Enacted on 25th December 2013 as the Social Welfare and Pensions (No. 2) Act  2013Not considered necessary
Social Welfare and Pensions Bill 2014Enacted on 17th July 2014 as the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2014RIA undertaken on section 19 of Bill
Civil Registration (Amendment) Bill 2014Enacted on 4th December 2014 as the Civil Registration (Amendment) Act 2014Not considered necessary
Social Welfare and Pensions (No. 2) Bill 2014 Enacted on 25th  December 2014 as the Social Welfare and Pensions (No. 2) Act 2014Not considered necessary
Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2015Enacted on 6th May 2015 as the Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015Not considered necessary
Gender Recognition Bill 2014Enacted on 22nd of July 2015 as the Gender Recognition Act 2015Not considered necessary
Social Welfare and Pensions Bill 2015 Enacted on 16th December 2015 as the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2015Not considered necessary

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