Public Water Forum

The Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) is inviting applications from people who are interested in being domestic consumer members of the new Public Water Forum. This Forum will represent the interests of all water consumers, providing feedback and comments to Irish Water and to the CER.

Applications for membership must be received by close of business on Friday 16 October 2015.

You can find more information about the Public Water Forum, including application details, on the CER’s website.

Know your rights: Water Conservation Grant // Deontas Caomhnaithe Uisce

Question

I registered with Irish Water earlier this year. How do I apply for the Water Conservation Grant?

Answer (September 2015)

Every household that registered its principal private dwelling (main home) with Irish Water by 30 June 2015 is eligible for the Water Conservation Grant in 2015. The payment is €100 and will issue from September 2015.

Households that registered after 30 June 2015, or have yet to register, are not eligible for the grant in 2015.

By the end of September 2015, all eligible households will get a letter from the Department of Social Protection explaining how to apply for the Water Conservation Grant. You cannot apply for it until you have received this letter. When you get your letter, you apply online on watergrant.ie. You must apply before 8 October 2015.

You will need the following information to apply for your Water Conservation Grant:

  • TIN (Transaction Identification Number) – you will find this number on the letter you received from the Department.
  • WPRN (Water Point Reference Number) – a number specific to your house, which you will also find on the letter from the Department.
  • Irish Water account or registration number – you got this when you registered with Irish Water. If you have your own water supply and waste water services, you will have a registration number instead of an account number. Contact Irish Water directly if you cannot find these numbers.
  • Your PPS number.
  • Details of the bank or other account into which you want your grant to be paid (BIC, IBAN and account name) – you will find these on recent bank statements.

If you do not have internet access or a bank account, you can telephone the Water Conservation Grant Support Team at 1890 100 043 (9am–5pm, Monday to Friday) and they will make arrangements for you.

Know Your Rights columns cover topical subjects every month in a question-and-answer format. They are published by the Citizens Information Board online and syndicated through Citizens Information Services to local newspapers around Ireland.

Further information is available from Citizens Information Centres and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, call 0761 07 4000.

Ceist

Chláraigh mé le hUisce Éireann níos luaithe i mbliana. Conas a dhéanaim iarratas ar Dheontas Caomhnaithe Uisce?

Freagra

Tá gach líon tí a chláraigh a háiteanna cónaithe príobháideacha príomha (príomháit chónaithe) le hUisce Éireann faoi 30 Meitheamh 2015 incháilithe le haghaidh Deontais Chaomhnaithe Uisce in 2015. Is ionann an íocaíocht sin agus €100 agus eiseofar í ó Mheán Fómhair 2015.

Faoi dheireadh Mheán Fómhair 2015, gheobhaidh gach líon tí incháilithe litir ón Roinn Coimirce Sóisialaí ina míneofar conas iarratas a dhéanamh ar Dheontas Caomhnaithe Uisce. Ní féidir leat iarratas a dhéanamh go dtí go bhfaighidh tú an litir sin. Nuair a fhaigheann tú an litir, déanann tú iarratas ar líne ag watergrant.ie. Ní mór duit iarratas a dhéanamh roimh 8 Deireadh Fómhair 2015.

Beidh an t-eolas seo a leanas ag teastáil uait chun iarratas a dhéanamh ar do Dheontas Caomhnaithe Uisce:

  • TIN (Uimhir Aitheantais Idirbheart) – gheobhaidh tú an uimhir seo ar an litir a fuair tú ón Roinn.
  • WPRN (Uimhir Pointe Tagartha Uisce – uimhir atá sainiúil dod theachsa, atá le fáil ar an litir a fuair tú ón Roinn chomh maith.
  • Uimhir chuntais nó uimhir chláraithe Uisce Éireann – fuair tú é seo nuair a chláraigh tú le hUisce Éireann. Má tá do sholáthar uisce agus seirbhísí dramhuisce féin agat, beidh uimhir chláraithe agat seachas uimhir chuntais. Déan teagmháil le hUisce Éireann murar féidir leat teacht ar na huimhreacha sin.
  • D’uimhir PSP.
  • Sonraí an bhainc nó chuntais eile a bhfuil tú ag iarraidh go n-íocfar an deontas isteach ann (BIC, IBAN agus ainm an chuntais) – tá siad seo le fáil ar ráitis bhainc a fuair tú le déanaí.

Mura bhfuil rochtain idirlín nó cuntas bainc agat, féadfaidh tú glaoch ar Fhoireann Tacaíochta um an Deontas Caomhnaithe Uisce ag 1890 100 043 (9am-5pm, Luan go hAoine) agus déanfaidh siad na socruithe duit.

Jobs Week starts today

National Jobs Week takes place from 28 September to 2 October 2015.

The week aims to  facilitate links between jobseekers and employers and to raise awareness of the supports the Department of Social Protection (DSP) offers. Events are taking place nationwide for both employers and jobseekers — and include jobs fairs, career advice workshops, networking events with employers and briefings for employers on DSP services and supports.

Find out about events during the week.

 

Know your rights: Means test for Farm Assist // Tástáil Acmhainne maidir le Cúnamh Feirme

Question

How is my income from different sources assessed for Farm Assist? I work on the farm but I also do a bit of contracting and my wife works part-time.

Answer (September 2015)

The means test for Farm Assist takes into account virtually every form of income you may have but assesses it in different ways.

Your income from farming and any other self-employment (like contracting) is assessed as the gross income that you or your spouse may be expected to receive minus any expenses you incur to earn that income. When you apply for Farm Assist, a social welfare inspector will call to see you and ask to see various documents. The inspector will then assess the costs incurred in connection with the running of the farm. You are entitled to receive a copy of this farm income calculation. All of your means from self-employment are assessed (there are no disregards for dependent children).

Payments under the Rural Environmental Protection Scheme (REPS), the Agri-Environmental Options Scheme (AEOS) or the Special Area of Conservation (SAC) scheme are assessed separately from other farm income. The first €2,540 per year is deducted from the total amount of all these payments and 50% of the remainder is disregarded. Expenses incurred in complying with REPS/AEOS/SAC measures are then deducted and the balance is assessed as means.

Income from an occupational pension or leasing of land or milk quotas is assessed in full. Capital (including any property that you do not live in) is assessed using the formula applied to all means-tested social welfare payments.

If you have an off-farm job, €20 per day (up to a maximum of €60) is deducted from your assessable weekly earnings and then 60% of the remainder is assessed as weekly means. Your spouse’s income from employment is assessed in the same way. If you have seasonal work, you are assessed on your earnings only during the period you are actually working.

You can get detailed information on how farm income is assessed from the Department of Social Protection’s website.

Know Your Rights columns cover topical subjects every month in a question-and-answer format. They are published by the Citizens Information Board online and syndicated through Citizens Information Services to local newspapers around Ireland.

Further information is available from Citizens Information Centres and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, call 0761 07 4000.

Ceist

Cén tslí a ndéantar measúnú ar m’ioncam ó fhoinsí éagsúla maidir le Cúnamh Feirme? Oibrím ar fheirm ach déanaim roinnt conraitheoireachta chomh maith agus oibrím mo bhean chéile go páirtaimseartha.

Freagra

Glacann an tástáil acmhainne maidir le Cúnamh Feirme beagnach gach cineál ioncam a d’fhéadfadh a bheith agat ach déanann measúnú air i mbealaí éagsúla.

Déantar d’ionam ó fheirmeoireacht agus ó fhéinfhostaíocht (cosúil le conraitheoireacht) a mheasúnú mar an t-ioncam comhlán a d’fhéadfadh tú féin agus do chéile a bheith ag súil leis lúide aon chostas a thabhaíonn tú d’fhonn an t-ioncam sin a thuilleamh. Nuair a dhéanann tú iarratas ar Chúnamh Feirme, tabharfaidh cigire leasa shóisialaigh cuairt ort chun tú féin agus do dhoiciméid éagsúla a fheiceáil. Déanfaidh an cigire measúnú ar an gcostas a thabhaítear i ndáil le reáchtáil na feirme. Tá tú i dteideal cóip den ríomh ioncam feirme a fháil. Déantar do chuid acmhainní ó fhéinfhostaíocht a mheasúnú (níl aon neamhaird i gceist maidir le leanaí cleithiúnacha).

Déantar íocaíochtaí faoin Scéim um Chosaint na Timpeallachta Tuaithe (REPS), an Scéim um Roghanna Comhshaol Talmhaíohta (AEOS) nó Limistéar Speisialta Caomhnaithe (SAC) a mheasúnú ar leithligh ó ioncam feirme eile. Baintear an chéad €2,540 in aghaidh na bliana as méid iomlán na n-íocaíochtaí agus déantar neamhaird ar 50% den fuílleach. Asbhaintear costais a thabhaítear i gcomhlíonadh le bearta REPS/AEOS/SAC amach ansin agus déantar an t-iarmhéid a mheasúnú mar acmhainn.

Déantar ioncam ó phinsean ceirde nó ó léasú talún nó ó cuótaí bainne a mheasúnú ina n-iomláine. Déantar caipitil (lena n-áirítear aon mhaoin nach bhfuil tú i do chónaí ann) a mheasúnú ag úsáid na foirmle a chuirtear i bhfeidhm ar gach íocaíocht leasa shóisialaí a bhíonn tástáilte ó thaobh acmhainne.

Má tá post lasmuigh den fheirm agat, asbhaintear €20 in aghaidh an lae (suas go dtí uasmhéid €60) as do thuilleamh seachtainiúil inmheasúnaithe agus ansin déantar 60% den fuílleach a mheasúnú mar acmhainní seachtainiúla. Déantar ioncam do chéile ó fhostaíocht a mheasúnú sa tslí chéanna. Má bhíonn obair shéasúrach agat, déantar tú a mheasúnú ar do thuillimh le linn na tréimhse a mbíonn tú ag obair agus sin amháin.

Féadfaidh tú eolas níos sonraithe a fháil ar conas a dhéantar ioncam feirme a mheasúnú ó láithreán gréasáin na Roinne Coimirce Sóisialaí.

Know your rights: Cycling offences // Coireanna Rothaíochta

Question

I’m a regular cyclist. What are the new cycling offences and what are the fines?

Answer (September 2015)

Like other road users, cyclists must obey the existing rules that apply to traffic lights, pedestrian crossings, zebra crossings and cycle traffic lights. You must stop at stop signs and give way at yield signs. There are also rules about the equipment a bicycle must have. These rules are set out in various laws and regulations.

There are no new cycling offences but, since 31 July 2015, certain cycling offences have been declared to be fixed charge offences. The fixed charge system allows you to pay a fixed charge or fine instead of going to court to answer the offence.

The cycling offences to which a fixed charge applies are:

  • No front or rear light during lighting-up hours
  • Riding a bicycle without reasonable consideration
  • Failing to stop for a school warden sign
  • Failing to stop at traffic lights when the red lamp is lit
  • Failing to stop at cycle traffic lights when the red lamp is lit
  • Failing to stop at a stop line, barrier or half barrier at a railway level crossing, swing bridge or lifting bridge, when the red lamps are flashing
  • Cycling in a pedestrianised street or area

If you are stopped by a Garda who suspects you have committed a cycling offence you must give your name, address and date of birth when requested.

The fixed charge for a cycling offence is currently €40. If you receive a fixed charge notice, you have 28 days from the date of the issue of the fixed charge notice to pay the fine. If it is not paid within 28 days, the charge is increased by 50%. If it is still unpaid after a further 28 days then court proceedings are initiated. If you pay the fixed charge within the legal time limits and court proceedings are not commenced, you will not have a criminal record in respect of the offence.

Know Your Rights columns cover topical subjects every month in a question-and-answer format. They are published by the Citizens Information Board online and syndicated through Citizens Information Services to local newspapers around Ireland.

Further information is available from Citizens Information Centres and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, call 0761 07 4000.

Ceist

Bím ag rothaíocht go rialta. Cad iad na coireanna rothaíochta nua agus cad iad na fíneálacha. are the new cycling offences and what are the fines?

Freagra

Cosúil le húsáideoirí bóthair eile, caithfid rothaithe na rialacha atá ann cheana a bhaineann le soilse tráchta, trasrianta coisithe, trasrianta síogacha agus soilse tráchta rotha a leanúint. Ní mór duit stopadh ag comharthaí stop agus géilleadh ag comharthaí géill slí. Tá rialacha a bhaineann leis an trealamh nach mór a bheith ag rothar. Tá na rialacha sin leagtha amach i ndlíthe agus rialacháin éagsúla.

Níl aon coireanna nua rothaíochta ann, ach ó 31 Iúil 2015, dearbhaíodh coireanna rothaíochta áirithe a bheith ina gcoireanna muirear seasta. Ligeann an córas muirear seasta duit muirear seasta nó fíneáil a íoc in áit dul chun na cúirtc chun an cion a fhreagairt.

Seo a leanas na coireanna rothaíochta lena mbaineann muirear seasta:

  • Gan solas tosaigh nó cúil le linn uaireanta soilsithe
  • Ag rothaíocht gan aird chuí
  • Gan stopadh le haghaidh maor scoile
  • Gan stopadh ag soilse tráchta nuair atá an lampa dearg lasta
  • Gan stopadh ag soilse tráchta rotha nuair atá an lampa dearg lasta
  • Gan stopadh ag líne stop, bacainn nó leath bhacainn ag crosaire comhréidh iarnróid, droichead lúdrach nó droichead ardaithe, nuair atá na lampaí dearga gealánach
  • Ag rothaíocht i sráid nó limistéar coisithe

Má stopann Garda tú a cheapann go bhfuil coir rothaíochta déanta agat ní mór duit d’ainm, seoladh agus dáta breithe a thabhairt nuair a iarrtar iad.

Is ionann an muirear seasta le haghaidh ciona rothaíochta agus €40. Má fhaigheann tú fógra faoi mhuirear seasta, beidh 28 lá agat ó dháta eisithe an fhógra chun an fíneáil a íoc. Mura n-íoctar laistigh de 28 lá é, tagann ardú 50% ar an mhuirear. Mura n-íoctar é tar éis 28 lá eile cuirfear tú le himeachtaí cúirte. Má íocann tú an muirear seasta laistigh de na teorainneacha ama dlí agus mura gcuirtear tús le himeachtaí cúirte, ní bhfaighidh tú taifead coiriúil i ndáil leis an gcion.

Irish Sign Language (ISL) Awareness Week

The annual ISL Awareness Week is taking place from 19 – 27 September 2015. The week is in conjunction with the International Week of the Deaf set up by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD).  The theme for this year is ‘With Sign Language Rights, Our Children Can’.

ISL Awareness Week will be launched on Saturday 19 September in Waterford by the Lord Mayor of Waterford.

Visit the Irish Deaf Society Facebook page for information about what’s on during ISL awareness week.

 

Microchipping of dogs

A microchip is a tiny device about the size of a grain of rice. It is inserted under the dog’s skin between the shoulder blades. Microchips contain a unique 15 digit numerical code which is linked with the owner’s details.

Many dogs in Ireland are already microchipped. Under the Microchipping of Dogs Regulations 2015, a programme of compulsory microchipping is being introduced.

From September 2015 on, all newborn pups will be legally required to be microchipped and registered on an authorised database (pdf).

From 31 March 2016, the Regulations will apply to all dogs. This means that if your dog is already microchipped, you will have to register it on an authorised database as well.

Read more in this press release.and in these Frequently Asked Questions (pdf).

It’s European Mobility Week

Since 2002, the original European Car Free Day concept has grown and developed into European Mobility Week (EMW) which takes place from 16-22 September 2015. European Mobility Week (EMW) is a voluntary initiative that promotes sustainable urban transport and, in particular, tries to reduce car use.

The programme invites local authorities across Europe to arrange a week of activities and events to promote sustainable transport and concludes with In Town, Without My Car! day (formerly known as Car Free day) which takes place on 22 September each year.

 

New myAccount service from Revenue

Revenue has a new online service, myAccount.

This provides a single access point for Revenue’s online services including PAYE Anytime, the Home Renovation Incentive (HRI), eForm 12 and MyEnquiries using a single log-in and password. Revenue Online Service (ROS) customers can continue to access these services through ROS.

You can also access Local Property Tax (LPT) through myAccount and ROS but the existing LPT portal will continue to remain open.

Find out more about myAccount and register for myAccount.