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Boyd Barrett, Richard

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Budget Statement 2018 (Continued)

This is a budget of miserable crumbs which will do nothing to solve the most urgent social crises we face in this country - the disaster of housing and homelessness and the chaos in our public heal...More Button

The most obvious example of this is the housing crisis. I do not know where to begin in expressing my anger and frustration at this budget when it comes to dealing with the housing and homelessn...More Button

Instead an additional €150 million will go to housing assistance payments, HAPs. This is more money going into the pockets of private landlords. We also see a commitment to further expand this ...More Button

There is also the matter of the local infrastructure housing activation fund, LIHAF, which is another scandal in the making. An additional €75 million of a subsidy will go to private developers,...More Button

As if LIHAF and the HAPs were not bad enough, the Minister has come up with a new scheme to subsidise the private developers, which will be called home building finance Ireland. This is another ...More Button

They will build on that land when they feel like it and then sell the houses back to the local authorities and make a profit on it. One could not make this stuff up. It is wholesale larceny of pu...More Button

Meanwhile, the misery of human beings will continue. I will give the Minister of State and the House a newsflash on just how badly the housing crisis has escalated in the last couple of weeks. ...More Button

The latest is that all the family emergency accommodation in Dublin is now full and all of the hotels are full. This is a new development in the last week or two. We were going to get people ou...More Button

What has the Government offered to improve the situation? Not a single extra council house. No rent controls. A miserable extra €18 million to homelessness services that will not even begin to...More Button

Then we come to the health service. There are 675,000 people who have been waiting for up to two years for operations for chronic pain and chronic conditions. They are suffering in pain. There...More Button

The announcement of the additional 1,800 staff in the health service is fantasy. There has been no embargo on recruitment for the last couple of years at least, although there was one before tha...More Button

The Government has not restored pay levels for public sector workers. Even now, nine years after the crisis began, and even after this budget with the miserable increases the Government is throw...More Button

On mental health we had an all-party seminar, which was very good. Fair play to the Ceann Comhairle for organising it. There was lots of lipservice paid on all sides of the House to the need to...More Button

The Government is crowing about prescription charges being slightly reduced. In 2008, prescription charges were 50 cent and next year they will be €2. That is still €1.50 more than in 2008. In...More Button

What about disability? There is no commitment of the additional resources necessary to make ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, UNCRPD, a viable possibi...More Button

Welcome as it may be for children with disabilities, it still does not come anywhere near the necessary increase in cross-departmental expenditure in jobs, health, public transport and education. ...More Button

There are the miserable crumbs of a €5 tax break for the average worker or an additional €5 for those getting social protection payments. Some of the case studies in the Budget Statement are com...More Button

The report on living standards of single parents showed 52% of lone parents are financially worse off than they were before the former Minister, Deputy Burton's, budgetary cuts or the so-called l...More Button

The former Fine Gael-Labour Party Government imposed the vicious cut of cutting in half young people's entitlements to jobseeker's allowance. Now they will get an extra €5. That is against paym...More Button

Even for those who might be celebrating - I doubt anybody is however - the extra €5 will be wiped out by increases in bin charges, property taxes, utility bills and the public service obligation,...More Button

There is nothing on what the former Minister, now Taoiseach, promised on pension inequality suffered by 30,000 mostly female pensioners due to the changes to the bands made by the then Minister, ...More Button

Child care was the big ticket item last year but has turned out to be a hoax. Do Members remember the allocation then? There was an allocation of €35 million for the single affordable child car...More Button

Marginal moves have been made on the pupil-teacher ratio. We are still, however, at the worst end of the European league tables for class sizes. We now get a miserable reduction in the pupil-te...More Button

Third level students got zero. Nothing will be done about the extortionate registration fees of €2,500 and €5,500 for a masters degree. Not a single extra cent will be given for student grants....More Button

The €12 million extra to the arts is pathetic. That is still less than what we forked out in 2016 when we did a one-off increase in expenditure in the arts of an extra €50 million, which proved ...More Button

The provision for dealing with climate change is, again, miserable. There is a few quid on the benefit-in-kind for company cars to switch over to electric cars, which will benefit private compan...More Button

There has been no sign of that being done.More Button

Where is the increased investment in afforestation? There have been miserable levels of afforestation and a complete failure to meet the targets which suggest a minimum of 10,000 ha per year nee...More Button

People may say it would not be possible to implement all the measures I have mentioned and ask from where the money for them would come. The dirty hidden secret of the Irish economic story is th...More Button

As Deputy Paul Murphy outlined, if we considered taxing the bakery of wealth and profits in this country, we could get a lot of extra revenue to transform Irish society, deal with the housing and...More Button

Financial Resolution No. 1: Tobacco Products Tax (Continued)

We have traditionally opposed the increase in the duty on cigarettes. I wish to stress that this is not because we do not think it is important to reduce the level of smoking, because that is extr...More Button

However, for those who are victims of the past promotion of smoking and who developed addiction, this will be an excessive financial burden that will more than wipe out the small increases in soc...More Button

I wish to add a final point which is relevant not just to cigarettes but also to sugar consumption and other products where one could argue there is a health case for reduced use. We would be fa...More Button

We wish to indicate our opposition to this measure but we will not force the House to divide on it.More Button

Financial Resolution No. 3: Intangible Assets (Continued)

I am very glad to have a chance to speak on this motion because it reveals and confirms the hidden secret of the Irish economic story that only the socialist left have been talking about for the pa...More Button

People should read the report of Seamus Coffey to which the Minister referred. I do not agree with its conclusions but the stunning facts about the tax giveaway are very helpfully provided on pa...More Button

A very shocking allowance or deduction is the €9 billion given back in 2016 for what are known as intra-group transactions. One would need to be an accountant to know what intra-group transactio...More Button

The total cost of research and development tax credits in 2015 was €707 million. All Members believe in research and development but the €707 million given back to approximately ten or 15 multin...More Button

The total of all these expenditures is about €23 billion and this financial resolution goes a tiny way towards revealing that but in the overall context it is pathetic. It will reduce what is d...More Button

This minor measure recommended by Seamus Coffey opens the door very slightly on how our tax code facilitates billions of euro of tax being foregone. That needs to be exposed. I have been trying...More Button

Members should not believe the lie the Government tells when it says it only has €300 million, €600 million or €900 million and the only debate we can have is about that miserable bit of fiscal s...More Button

We get not a single extra council house next year because we are not prepared to tax these guys. Yes, in so far as this is a tiny tilt in the right direction, we will support it, but it is the tip...More Button

Property Tax Assessments

Asked the Minister for Finance: if consideration will be given to basing property tax on income for pensioners similar to the French system; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

State Claims Agency

Asked the Minister for Finance: the avenue of appeal open to persons that have applied to the State Claims Agency and have had their claim turned down; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Help-To-Buy Scheme

Asked the Minister for Finance: if studies have been carried out to investigate the impact of the help-to-buy scheme on house prices; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Public Sector Pay

Asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform: his views on whether PeoplePoint has sufficient resources to process all the incoming information; the number of persons in the Civil Service waiting on salary adjustments; the length of time they ...More Button

Superannuation Schemes

Asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform: if it is a breach of the Employment Equality Acts in relation to terms and conditions of employment on the ground of disability to oblige disabled civil servants to be members of the 1984 Civil Ser...More Button

Mother and Baby Homes Inquiries

Asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs: the objectives of the commission of investigation into mother and baby homes; the actions that will be taken as a result of the commission; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs: the location of the records for St. Patrick's mother and baby home, Navan Road, of births, deaths, procedural matters, State involvement and so on; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs: the location of the burial of the babies who died at St. Patrick's mother and baby home, Navan Road; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Local Authority Management

Asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government: if the corporate policy groups and strategic policy committees guidelines for the establishment and operation issued by his Department in June 2014 (details supplied) intended to expand the role, f...More Button

Disability Services Provision

Asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government: the body responsible for ensuring that disability access and facilities are maintained to suitable standards in retail buildings in which these facilities exist; and if he will make a statement on ...More Button