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

Howlin, Brendan

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Budget Statement 2013

It will be in a few minutes.More Button

Budget Statement 2013 (Continued)

To complement-----More Button

To complement-----More Button

The convention is that it is not circulated until I begin speaking.More Button

To complement the Budget Statement by the Minister for Finance I am announcing the Expenditure Estimates for 2013. This Government continues to face a daunting challenge in repairing the economy a...More Button

-----local government reform.More Button

We are working too on revised budgetary procedures to enhance the role played by parliamentarians in our budgetary process. For the first time, this year Oireachtas committees debated the annual E...More Button

Notwithstanding the progress made to date, the public service pay bill, at 36% of public spending, will need to make an additional and substantial contribution to meeting our fiscal challenge next ...More Button

Following my invitation, the public services committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions recently agreed to enter into discussions to establish if we can reach agreement on such measures. Th...More Button

Public servants are delivering on our vision for a new public service and their contribution should be and is recognised by this Government.More Button

This is a real opportunity for us to build on the achievements of the current agreement and drive a range of workforce reforms which will support our public services into the future. Reforming pub...More Button

The Government is restructuring county enterprise boards to provide a one-stop shop through the local authority system. This reform will be supported by an allocation of more than €26 million next...More Button

A key challenge is to ensure new jobs will be created as our economy improves and result in a reduction in rates of unemployment. This will involve the Government providing for better targeting ...More Button

I am providing an additional €11 million next year, and €26 million in a full year, to allow the Department of Social Protection increase by 10,000 the number of placements available across the l...More Button

This will improve employability and work readiness outcomes for participants by giving them opportunities to put their work skills into practice and to learn new skills. My colleague, the Minister...More Button

My officials are also engaging with the Council of Europe Bank on funding for the justice projects prioritised by the Minister for Justice and Equality in his PPP programme.More Button

I have reached agreement with the troika that the proceeds of State asset sales, which will come on stream next year, can be used to support investment and structural changes in our economy and d...More Button

I am also providing €17.4 million to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs for the development of a new youth detention facility at Oberstown.More Button

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Deputy Frances Fitzgerald, is driving this project, which is due to start next year and will create 520 jobs during construction. On completion, it wil...More Button

We have long recognised that energy efficiency measures in both the public and private sectors have the potential to generate jobs and to help Ireland meet its climate change targets. Ireland has c...More Button

We need to protect the more vulnerable in our society to the best of our ability. Accordingly, the Government has decided to raise the expenditure ceilings for next year in two Departments that d...More Button

This means that a lower adjustment is required for those Departments than previously stated in the budgetary outlook. These increases will be funded by a number of taxation measures, as set out by...More Button

In this context, we concluded that reducing the primary weekly rates of social welfare payments would have a detrimental impact on domestic consumption and should not happen. Accordingly, I can co...More Button

This means that all pensioners and all those under 66, such as people with disabilities and jobseekers, will have their weekly primary payments fully maintained.More Button

In addition, there will be no change to either the rate or duration of weekly fuel allowances where payable.More Button

Nevertheless, the pressures on our social welfare budget are considerable. It is, by far, the biggest component of current expenditure. For example, pensions will cost around €200 million more in...More Button

We will reduce the duration of jobseeker’s benefit by three months. This will save €33 million in 2013 and €82 million in a full year. The household benefits package comprises electricity allowan...More Button

We have also decided to introduce changes to the electricity allowance to achieve savings of €20 million next year.More Button

Deputies should know similar changes last year did not have an impact on any recipient. We got better deals from providers.

  We will reduce the child benefit rate by €10 per mo...More Button

As indicated, this includes an additional allocation of €150 million over what was previously indicated. The demand for health services continues to grow due to demographic pressures and we must m...More Button

These measures will yield savings of €323 million next year. To contain the growth in the cost of medical cards under the primary care reimbursement service, we are increasing the prescription cha...More Button

People over 70 years, with an income of €600-€700 per week for a single person and €1,200-€1,400 per week for a couple, will have their medical card replaced with a GP-only card.More Button

The increased demand on overall services is being met through reform of health structures, changing the way services are delivered and securing efficiencies and pay savings. The discussions on sav...More Button

The student contribution in higher education will be increased by €250 in each of the years 2013, 2014 and 2015. This is necessary to help maintain higher education services at a time when the Exc...More Button

We are reducing the allocation to higher education institutions by €25 million. Using their existing own resources-----More Button

-----as well as very considerable Exchequer allocations, the higher education sector, Deputy McGrath, will be able to maintain services in 2013. Further details of the education measures are set o...More Button

Within the justice sector, reductions in Garda overtime and-----More Button

-----various other payroll and efficiency measures will yield over €60 million.More Button

Following agreement between the housing bodies and NAMA, I expect the flow of properties from NAMA for social housing to increase significantly next year and an additional €10 million will be alloc...More Button

It is untenable to have a system of unvouched expenses so I am proposing to abolish the unvouched element of the parliamentary standard allowance.More Button

In future, all Members of the Oireachtas will have to use the vouched system.More Button

I also intend to reduce the volume of money available for the vouched system. I will also be applying reductions of 10% and more to the expenditure limits that comprise the parliamentary standard ...More Button

Similarly, it is untenable for the party leaders' allowances to be paid to Independent Members-----More Button

-----without any external validation of its use.More Button

I intend to amend the legislation to provide for such auditing. I also intend to apply an across the board reduction of 10% to the party leaders' allowance.More Button

Currently, severance is payable to Ministers and other officeholders, commencing the day after the person ceases to hold ministerial or other office. This is payable for a period up to a maximum...More Button

-----and all future officeholders.


  In total, spending adjustments designed to yield more than €15 billion have been implemented during this crisis. Thi...More Button

I no longer hold that fear.More Button

What the people of Ireland have endured has been tough and almost without precedent in the developed world. That we will come through it - and we will - is a significant shared achievement for our...More Button

What is the total tax bill in a year?More Button

There is nothing in it at all.More Button

They already counted PRSI. It is being recounted. We know that.More Button

Deputy Fleming will be aware that the recounting of PRSI is a third of it.More Button

Deputy Kelleher cannot count.More Button

I will go through it with the Deputy.More Button

I will explain about the PRSI recounting, but Deputy Fleming knows about it.More Button

There has been an outcome of 8.2% in a single year.More Button

It is 8.2%.More Button

The target was 8.6%; the outcome, 8.2%.More Button

Thanks to us.More Button

Deputy Sean Fleming's party brought them in.More Button

The Deputy's party gave them to them. They negotiated and signed off on them. He has a brass neck.More Button

Deputy Martin's former colleagues are collecting them as well-----More Button

-----such as the former Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, and all the rest of them.More Button

I abolished the top level appointments commission terms which Fianna Fáil brought in.More Button

That was your invention.More Button

Public Procurement Tenders

Was asked: in view of recent developments at a school (details supplied) in County Limerick, if he will consider proposals that were made by this Deputy during the course of a topical issue debate on 27 Novem...More Button

Was asked: his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding construction contract payments; his plans to address this issue; if the matter will be finalised in this Dáil term; and if he will make a st...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 29 and 32 together.More Button

The specific details in relation to the school in County Limerick referenced by the Deputies are a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Education and Skills. Appropriate professional advice...More Button

Under a public works contract the contractual relationship is between the public body and the main contractor. A public body has no contractual ties with a subcontractor engaged by a main contra...More Button

It is clear that the present arrangements in relation to construction contracts and conditions of engagement in the industry generally can be too imprecise and informal and as a result do not off...More Button

During the Second Stage reading of the Bill, Minister Hayes signalled to the House his intention to bring proposals to Government on Committee Stage amendments dealing with the following issues:More Button

Thresholds: In order to ensure that the legislation applies to majority of Construction Contracts the scope of the legislation will be broadened by reducing or removing the current monetary thres...More Button

Adjudication: This issue of making adjudication awards binding for both the public and private sectors is a complex issue. It is important to strike the right balance between giving this legisla...More Button

Supplies: Proposals are being developed to broaden the scope of the legislation to include bespoke construction supply contracts. However, as I understand it this is likely to be difficult to def...More Button

When these and a number of other technical issues have been examined, Minister Hayes will bring proposals to Government in advance of Committee Stage early in the New Year. This is a complex piec...More Button

Departmental Staff Redeployment

Was asked: if a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath will be given a position in the social welfare office either in Mullingar or Longford, further to their approval for re-deployment recently.More Button

The person referred to is currently employed by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and consideration is currently being given to an application to have her re-graded to the position of Clerical Of...More Button

It should be noted that while staff may be moved between different locations as a consequence of the redeployment arrangements, they were not designed as a staff mobility scheme. The purpose of t...More Button

Flood Relief Schemes Expenditure

Was asked: the amount the Office of Public Works spent on flood relief works in 2011 and the total budget allocated to the OPW for flood relief in 2011.More Button