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Mullen, Rónán

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Order of Business

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Senator Rónán Mullen

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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

I agree with what Senator Darragh O’Brien said on child benefit. We need to hear from the Government what its precise intentions are. I, for one, am worried. Universality has always been an important principle. There must be another way by which more privileged members of society can be taxed. Given the importance of the principle involved, I would be sorry to see universality go.
I, too, welcome what Archbishop Martin had to say. He is right about the balanced proposal to be put in the children’s rights referendum. As Members will be aware, I have tabled amendments which I wish to explore with the Minister to see whether they could offer an improvement; nonetheless, I restate what I said previously, that, overall, I am happy with the balance struck. The children’s rights referendum cannot be separated from the debate that needs to happen on the issue of child benefit. Many are going to see the proposal on children’s rights to be put in the referendum as a cynical PR exercise if, at the same time, they see no progress being made in dealing with the failures relating to children, whether it be the HSE’s ongoing performance, the resources available to children in situations where there is danger or deprivation, the actions and failures of social workers and the resource issues surrounding all of these areas.