Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

 Header Item Leaders' Questions (Continued)
 Header Item Ceisteanna - Questions (Resumed)
 Header Item Diplomatic Representation Expenditure

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 785 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 89 Next Page Last Page

(Speaker Continuing)

[The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny] I can confirm that a great deal of work has been done and is ongoing in respect of the promissory notes with the European Central Bank, with a view to having the issue resolved before March next year.

Deputy Boyd Barrett is aware that the discussions were progressed yesterday in respect of the banking union requirement, a decision of the European Council, which can only take place once the legal framework allows that to happen. I hope it can be in place by January and that the discussions on that element of banking union and a supervisory element over the banks of Europe can take place. I hope the framework will come together during the course of 2013.

Tomorrow's budget will be presented on the basis of it being a challenging but positive step towards putting the country on a continued path for recovery, economic growth and opportunities for job creation. That will not happen unless we continue to understand that we must continue to make the country competitive and attractive to investment from abroad, where opportunities exist for credit to be available here and where people can avail of a facility to create jobs.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett We have heard this for four years.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The Deputy seems to have the impression that we should have a population that is entirely unemployed. I have never heard the Deputy speak about opportunities to create jobs in his constituency or anywhere else.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett The Taoiseach should read our pre-budget submission.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny Instead of wallowing in disillusionment, which the Deputy does all the time, he should focus on some of the signs of confidence-----

Deputy Frank Feighan: Information on Frank Feighan Zoom on Frank Feighan He is only happy when he is miserable.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny -----around the country. People are striving and winning. Some 20,000 jobs have been created in the past 12 months in the private sector, which is an indication of confidence that those people have in putting their money where their mouth is to invest in job opportunities for the good of the country.

Deputy Seamus Healy: Information on Seamus Healy Zoom on Seamus Healy There are fewer people working now than when this Government took office.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett There has been zero net jobs growth.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The Deputy does not want this or to recognise it.

Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath That is why we are second in the opinion polls.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The Deputy is entitled to his opinion. The budget tomorrow will have a continued focus on rectifying our public finances and continuing to be competitive.

Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath We are on 21%.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny There will be opportunities to create jobs, which are essential and fundamental to the good of the country and the future of hundreds of thousands of young people-----

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett They are being exported.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny -----looking forward to the expectation of a job, if they wish to take it up.

Ceisteanna - Questions (Resumed)

Diplomatic Representation Expenditure

 1. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny if he held any bilateral meetings on his recent trip to America; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [45688/12]

 2. Deputy Gerry Adams Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny if he will report on his visit to the United States on 12 and 13 October.  [45696/12]

 3. Deputy Gerry Adams Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny if he will report on the politicians, business leaders or other organisations he met during his visit to the United States in October. [45697/12]

 4. Deputy Joe Higgins Information on Joe Higgins Zoom on Joe Higgins asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny if he will report on his visit to the US on 12 and 13 October 2012. [49715/12]

 5. Deputy Derek Keating Information on Derek Keating Zoom on Derek Keating asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny if he will extend a formal invitation of a state visit to the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, in view of next year's G8 summit taking place in Enniskillen; and if he will make a statement on the matter  [52458/12]

 6. Deputy Derek Keating Information on Derek Keating Zoom on Derek Keating asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny his views on extending a formal invitation for a State visit to the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama; and if he will make a statement on the matter [52459/12]

 7. Deputy Gerry Adams Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny if he has been in contact with US President Barack Obama in relation to his plans to attend the G8 summit in June 2013. [53788/12]

 8. Deputy Gerry Adams Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny if he has any plans to extend an invitation to US President Barack Obama for a State visit in view of his attendance at the G8 summit in Fermanagh in June 2013. [53846/12]

 9. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny if he will report on his recent visit to the US on 12 and 13 October 2012; the achievements of the visit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54225/12]

 10. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny if it is his intention to invite US President Obama to Ireland given the G8 summit that will take place in County Fermanagh next year.  [54226/12]

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny I propose to answer Questions Nos. 1 to 10, inclusive, together.

On Thursday, 11 October, I travelled to the United States for a series of engagements in Philadelphia and Cleveland. The visit was part of the Government's ongoing efforts to drive economic recovery and employment by delivering the message to international business people and investors, and to the diaspora, that Ireland is open for business. This was my first visit to Philadelphia as Taoiseach and I was delighted to meet Mr. Tom Corbett, Governor of Pennsylvania, on Friday morning. We noted the special relationship that Ireland enjoys with the state of Pennsylvania by virtue of the presence there of so many people of Irish heritage. We noted in particular the significant contribution of successive generations of Irish people to the building of Philadelphia. I briefed the governor on Ireland's progress towards economic recovery and on our current bilateral business relations with the United States.

I met some of the leading supporters of the American Ireland Funds in Philadelphia. I recognised the contribution made by the Ireland Funds to worthy causes in Ireland as well as to supporting links between Ireland and the US. I addressed the Brehon Law Society symposium on Doing Business in the US and Ireland, attended by over 200 experts and business people. In my address I spelt out how Ireland has become more competitive and represents an excellent investment opportunity for US companies. Later that morning I performed the official opening of the Philadelphia office of Zenith technologies, which is an excellent example of a high-tech Irish indigenous company which is making significant headway in the US market. I am convinced that it is ambitious exporting Irish companies such as Zenith that will drive Ireland's economic recovery. While in Philadelphia I also met briefly representatives of the Irish American Business Network and a number of Irish community groups.

Later I travelled to Cleveland for a series of further engagements, including an address at the City Club of Cleveland, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. In this address I again outlined the positive measures being taken by the Irish Government to stabilise our finances and to return our economy to competitiveness and growth, while highlighting the attractions of Ireland as a location for business and investment. I emphasised the importance of transatlantic trade and investment links between the United States of America and the European Union. These links are vital to both the European and American economies, especially given the crucial importance to both of us of growth and recovery. I said that I strongly believed that concluding a comprehensive trade agreement between the United States and the European Union would take this relationship to a new level and I will be aiming to make as much progress towards this goal as possible when Ireland assumes the Presidency of the European Union in January 2013.

While in Cleveland I participated in a number of other business events to support Irish companies expanding into the US, as well as to promote Ireland as a location for inward investment. Some of these Irish companies are doing business with the prestigious Cleveland Clinic in the health care and technology sectors. I was greatly impressed by the first class facilities which I saw at the clinic, where I also met with senior clinical and research teams who outlined the practices and research being undertaken there. While I was in Cleveland, I was delighted to officially announce the new strategic partnership between the Enterprise Ireland supported company i360 Medical and the Cleveland Clinic, including an investment from the Cleveland Clinic in the company.

On Saturday morning, I met the Mayor of Cleveland, Mr. Frank G. Jackson, at the City Hall. Following our meeting we both attended a public event at the Irish Garden, which is part of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. The gardens represent the contribution that immigrants have made to the heritage of the US over the centuries. Mayor Jackson and I both addressed representatives of the Irish American community at this landmark Irish site. I also met members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, where we discussed immigration issues and the prospects of an Irish E3 visa being agreed. I was delighted on Saturday evening to have an opportunity to attend and address the eighth annual charity ball hosted by the Mayo Society of Greater Cleveland and to honour the bonds that connect Cleveland and County Mayo. I returned home later that night.

While in the US I also used my various speaking opportunities to promote The Gathering 2013 throughout the region and was very encouraged by the reaction we are getting to this important initiative, which will be held during the course of 2013. I am delighted that British Prime Minister Cameron has confirmed that next year's G8 summit will be held in Lough Erne, County Fermanagh, as this will no doubt give a great boost to the region. Although it is too early to speculate on an invitation being extended to American President Obama to make a state visit to Ireland around that time, when I recently spoke to the president on the telephone to congratulate him on his re-election, I mentioned my firm hope that he would be in a position to visit Ireland again following his very successful visit last year.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin I take it that as Ireland will hold the EU Presidency, the Taoiseach will be invited to participate in the G8 summit. Will the Taoiseach confirm that? Prime Minister Cameron's decision on the location of the summit is important and I welcome it.

The positive relations between the US and Ireland are beneficial in an ongoing sense, taking in social culture and economic life in both nations. I welcome the fact that the Taoiseach made the visit and established contacts as outlined in his reply. Such engagement is extremely important but it is also vital that we use such contacts and visits to push for strategically important matters for this country.

As we can see from the debates leading into the American presidential election, corporation tax loomed large in rhetoric and articulation of policy by President Obama and his team. Has the Government put in place any new initiatives to withstand the pressure that will arise with regard to corporation tax on the American side, particularly repatriation of profits, disincentivising the establishment of companies overseas and so forth?


Last Updated: 06/05/2020 11:38:58 First Page Previous Page Page of 89 Next Page Last Page