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Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government

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Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government

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Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government

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Snippet Contents:

That is a fact by any standards. Will we have more of the same from the new Minister, Deputy Murphy, or will we see a change in policy? The Taoiseach indicates that there is to be an increase in local authority house building. We will hold him to that, and it must not and cannot be a small or token increase. There needs to be a major - even a massive - increase in local authority house building. We will watch that one very carefully. We also need rent controls to take on the landlord interests and a banning of economic evictions. We will continue to push for that.
Deputy Paul Kehoe is to be reappointed as Minister of State with special responsibility for defence. I do not think that they will be jumping up and down for joy in the barracks up and down the country this evening. He has failed to address the low pay crisis that exists among the ranks of the Defence Forces. One in five is on family income supplement so that their families might live free from poverty. It was tremendous at the weekend to see the wives and partners of the Defence Forces group organise the largest protest of Defence Forces families seen in this State in 25 years. It happened in County Kildare when more than 200 marched to the Minister of State's Department headquarters. That group will do so again because that is a movement that is on an upward curve. I will leave that point except to state that we will be putting forward a Bill in this House next week on the question of union rights for soldiers. The Minister of State can expect sharp debate on the issue.
The final point I would like to make relates to a very particular case. That the Minister, Deputy Harris, is back in the Department of Health has been spoken of as some kind of punishment. If I were Minister for Health, I would see it as a tremendous opportunity.