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Fitzmaurice, Michael

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Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017

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Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017\Second Stage
Bills\Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017\Second Stage

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Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017

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Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice

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Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice

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Michael Fitzmaurice

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Snippet Contents:

I commend Deputy O'Callaghan on bringing forward this Bill. I cannot understand why the Government does not agree to it. If there are parts of a Bill that the Minister does not agree with, let it be debated on Committee Stage where amendments can be tabled. If the Government was wise and if the Minister of State was listening, they would know the Bill is fairly sure to go through. In the interest of so-called new politics, it would be advisable to let it go to Committee Stage. If there are elements that are a problem, Deputy O'Callaghan is probably willing to listen.
Regardless of where a person comes from, it is a matter of whether he or she is able to do a job. Members come from different backgrounds. If one is able to do a job in any walk of life, no matter where one comes from, it should not make a difference. It is important that employers have that motto because at the end of the day it is about doing the job. It is not about where one comes from, where one lives, what one does, who one's father or mother was, or anything like that.
There is another matter that needs to be addressed. There are people, especially those with disabilities, trying to get work who, unfortunately, if they go one hour over this so-called threshold, are afraid they may lose their allowance. We need to address that. It is the same for those who are unemployed, especially in parts of rural Ireland, who might go to work for someone but it takes so long to get back on benefits if it does not work out, it is not enticing enough. We need to bring in a new system to ensure that we accommodate such persons, especially those with disabilities and the unemployed, so that they are not afraid to go to work.
In many rural areas, there may be summer work or seasonal work but the fear is that if one takes it up and it does not work out or it does not last the full year, two years or whatever, one is caught and is back to square one. We should have a system where at the end of the year, whatever one has earned should be able to be considered on a taxable basis.
The Government should not to be afraid to accept the Bill. The Minister of State will get a chance in committee where the teasing out can be done.