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Doherty, Pearse

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Budget Statement 2014 (Continued)

I will start by reading something:More Button

One hundred years after the great event, the words of the poem that celebrated that should be engraved on the doors of the Minister for Finance:More Button

We submitted those options to the Government last week in our alternative budget proposals. They would have reduced the tax burden on ordinary families. They would have protected public services ...More Button

It was costed.More Button

It was costed. It was costed by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.More Button

The Labour Party does not want to hear the truth. Let it shout me down as much as it wants, but this budget was costed by the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Ref...More Button

I am more aware than many of the problems facing the State. Tá an imirce, an dífhostaíocht agus an bhochtaineacht mar chuid de ghnáth shaol na ndaoine anois ar fud na tíre. Feicimse sin gach lá, ...More Button

That is why they get excited when it is pointed out to them that today they are delivering more cuts in the Departments they said they would protect.More Button

The Minister is an expert at delivering these budget statements. As usual, he led off with all the guff about how great he was and he buried all the bad news. It is not possible to make an adjust...More Button

The gang that is heckling will know that many elderly people have been coming to our constituency offices during the years because of financial pressures. They have been looking to disconnect thei...More Button

Let us look at the other cuts such as those to the rent supplement. Probably the most despicable of all is the cut to the bereavement grant, which is absolutely wrong. The Taoiseach should talk t...More Button

-----yet the Taoiseach has decided to cut the bereavement grant of €850. This decision is wrong. The Taoiseach knows this, as does his backbenchers. Anyone who has faced a bereavement will know ...More Button

Measures have been introduced in an attempt to soften the blow and I welcome them. Sinn Féin has called for some of them. However, the context in which they have been introduced is brutal. Sin...More Button

While I welcome the introduction of the bank levy, I ask why it is restricted to a short period of time. This and the previous Government have pumped €65 billion into the banks, for which a shor...More Button

I am glad that the Tánaiste is in the House because we have not heard a bloody single word about the game-changer, the seismic shift from the ESM, European Stability Mechanism. The only word we ...More Button

Sinn Féin's alternative fair budget argued for a lower adjustment and I am glad the Government that has heeded that call. However, I am disappointed that it was done by sleight of hand.More Button

The budget has introduced an adjustment of €2.5 billion in taxes and savings, while at the same time using money from the State's cash reserves from the sale of the national lottery and other sourc...More Button

It can be done and the Government could go further, but it has refused to do so. More Button

Why not restore the respite care grant? I remind the Tánaiste that it was one of the nastiest, most vicious cuts implemented on the 82,000 carers of loved ones the length and breadth of the Stat...More Button

The reduction of €5 million in the cost of the rental of school books is welcome, but it does not go far enough. We have argued that half of all core subject school books should be provided free...More Button

The Government is silent on the fuel allowance which it was forced to extend last year as an emergency measure. Why not extend the season permanently? Too many citizens are living in fuel pover...More Button

Our alternative budget measures allowed for an adjustment of €2.5 billion, with 30 taxation and spending measures which have been costed by the Department of the Taoiseach, in order to eliminate ...More Button

Not only is the Government not prepared to give something back, but it has slashed another €1.6 billion from essential front-line services. Parents of sick children and children with special nee...More Button

They should not have to provide a begging bowl to get what is theirs or what is required for their children by right. Where is the Government's threshold of decency?More Button

I encountered a group of parents and children earlier this year and it is absolutely astonishing to imagine that until now, the Government has been implementing a policy of providing profoundly d...More Button

I and many other Deputies have heard the heartbreaking stories from the parents of these children, who have had to witness their baby's distress, confusion and frustration when the child goes fro...More Button

This country's purse strings are not the Government's alone. The money by which it runs the State and with which it pays Ministers handsomely comes from taxpayers' pockets. It comes from the po...More Button

The Taoiseach promised on taking office that Ministers who do not perform will be moved out of the way, so he should do the right thing. Sinn Féin has a Private Members' time motion on bilateral c...More Button

We have heard many figures and we must ensure that we do not forget some very important examples. There are 142,892 family homes in mortgage distress at the end of June this year, and that figure ...More Button

This year the Government was forced to acknowledge the issue of mortgage distress because the bare facts, from the bank balance sheets, indicated there was a problem. What were the solutions? T...More Button

In our fair budget proposal we set out a plan for publicly funded insolvency practitioners, so at least every person in mortgage distress could be assured access to the service and have it free o...More Button

Instead of listening and considering real solutions for those families, trying to tip the balance away from banks and in favour of Irish citizens, the Government has cut mortgage interest supplem...More Button

It is unbelievable. It is not our fault that we are seeking logic where there is none in the Government's policies. It does not make sense. Níl dabht ar bith go gcodlóidh na hAirí go sámh anocht...More Button

We must take our hats off to the Government because it has been consistent with the banks, and it is clearly on their side. Ministers indicated the recommendations of the Mercer report would be ...More Button

The Taoiseach should riddle me this. He has no problem standing here and telling the citizens who put him in office that the young unemployed must take a cut and tighten their belts, that elderl...More Button

The Government's priorities have been exposed. How do the Taoiseach and Tánaiste justify to themselves and the Irish people the fact that a 24-year-old, under the Government's policies, can live...More Button

I will give way to the Taoiseach if he is willing to justify that.More Button

A Deputy can give way under the rules of the House.More Button

Is the Taoiseach is willing to justify the policies of this Fine Gael and Labour Party Government announced today? A 23-year-old unemployed person can live on €100,000-----More Button

A hundred euro - yet the Government will sit idly by and not let out a peep at the annual general meeting about Mr. Boucher earning €800,000. I allow the Taoiseach time if he wants to justify that.More Button

The Irish people and their economy are feeling the effects of the Taoiseach's ambitionless policies. We have faced the reality this year, despite the predictions from a few years ago, that there h...More Button

Our proposals demonstrate how a multi-billion euro stimulus package can create around 100,000 jobs. That is how to drive economic activity, but what we have is the Government's third budget that...More Button

The Government should send postcards to Perth and Canberra in Australia, and to New York and London, because the young people of this State could not wait for it to get its act together. They have...More Button

Now it is 13.3%.More Button

That is in addition to the 176,000 people who have emigrated on the Government's watch.More Button

Some 176,000 people have emigrated on the Taoiseach's watch. Sixty percent of the unemployed are now categorised as long-term unemployed. The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation is fond ...More Button

Today, the Government announced what it calls a €500 million stimulus. I welcome the extension of the 9% VAT rate, which we had called for. However, there is no sense in increasing the pensions...More Button

There are many other issues we can deal with at a later stage when the Finance Bill is introduced. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald will deal with some of these issues too.More Button

The reality is that how the Government treats the deficit can either add to or fix the problem.More Button

There is scope for deficit reduction next year from fair measures. Sinn Féin has shown the Government how to do that, but this Government does not do fair. It is not in its dictionary nor in its ...More Button

In his speech on the first day he was elected, the Taoiseach delivered a powerful observation of where the State stood. He said our Republic had been betrayed, that people were afraid of losing th...More Button

The Taoiseach's words were:More Button

What has the Government done to make the situation better for the people the Taoiseach described?More Button

The answer is "Nothing," because he has intensified their pain, worry and anguish. Our Republic was betrayed. The Taoiseach has had three opportunities to fix it in three budgets. There is nothi...More Button

The bills will still fall through the letter-boxes; the planes will still be full of our young people leaving; the dole queues will still snake around the corner of the block. People are still los...More Button

Allocation of Time: Motion

It has been normal practice in the Chamber that there is a short brief on each of the resolutions. The pressure of time means we have one hour during the suspension of the sitting to look at the F...More Button

I am talking about the briefing.More Button

Financial Resolution No. 1: Alcohol Products Tax

This is one of the Government's main taxation proposals. It will take in €145 million in additional taxes from people who consume alcohol. The retention of the 9% VAT rate for the tourism sector ...More Button

I have no problem with anyone shopping on either side of the Border. County Donegal, my home county, gets the benefit of people deciding to buy petrol and diesel on this side of the Border. Lik...More Button

Financial Resolution No. 2: Tobacco Products Tax (Continued)

It is a bit like a self-help group here.More Button

I say that as a reformed smoker. We articulated our views last year on foot of the measure to increase the price of tobacco products. The Tánaiste will be aware that we called for an increase in ...More Button

It has started to drop. There may be a decrease and that is to be welcomed.More Button

The various surveys by Retail Ireland and others show that one in every three cigarettes purchased in this State is purchased on the black market or through illicit trade. The surveys show that ...More Button

If we decide, as a State, to impose the highest excise duty on cigarettes in Europe we must make sure we have in place our defences and barriers. That is the problem right now - we do not have the...More Button

-----or from people who go around housing estates, knocking on doors and selling cigarettes.More Button

People do not see it in terms of defrauding the State, in the context of lost revenue, or even of breaking the law. It is not looked at in that way. There is a job of work to be done if we want t...More Button

The Revenue Commissioners have told the Department that if there is an additional investment in Revenue's human resources, it can identify €100 million of additional revenue. The net effect of tha...More Button

The increase in excise duty is something for which Sinn Féin called, but not if the Government does not direct that revenue to dealing with the fact that one in three cigarettes is bought illegal...More Button

I do not believe the Government has introduced this measure because of a desire to reduce the future health bills of the State or to target black market activity but simply as a snatch and grab e...More Button

Financial Resolution No. 4: Income Tax

Seo ceann de na ceisteanna a phlé muid leis an Aire Airgeadais sa choiste Oireachtais i rith na bliana. Cé gur moladh an scéim go huile agus go hiomlán mar scéim úr, sílim go bhfuil sé ceart agus ...More Button

I discussed with the Minister for Finance on Committee Stage of this year’s Finance Bill the fact that certain high-income individuals are able to get around the high-earner restrictions we have....More Button

Financial Resolution No. 4: Income Tax (Continued)

Am I correct in saying that Financial Resolution No. 4 represents a cost to the State of €1 million?More Button

Can the Minister explain how the cost to the State applies, how it is calculated and where the extra charge comes from?More Button

I return to the figures. Will the Minister correct me if I go wrong? In 2011, 14 people availed of a relief that cumulatively reduced their tax bill by €1 million. These are high income earners....More Button

Some of the 14 individuals do no wrong but just use the existing tax code. They would not be able to write down their tax liability to €1 million if they were going to lease their plant to other c...More Button

Let us reverse. Financial Resolution No. 3, on which I spoke earlier, is fine regarding closing that avoidance measure. How did the Government calculate the €1 million cost to the State from Fina...More Button

The Minister did not respond to my question in regard to the €1 million cost to the State. Where did the calculation come from and how many investors are involved? What is the cost based on and h...More Button

Central Bank of Ireland IT Operations

Asked the Minister for Finance: if any conflicts of interest were declared in the tendering process for the outsourcing of the Central Bank of Ireland's IT system.More Button

Asked the Minister for Finance: if his attention has been drawn to any issues regarding the fact that a company (details supplied) through its management of the Central Bank of Ireland's IT system may have access to data of a riv...More Button

Asked the Minister for Finance: if, a company, (details supplied) are subject to the provisions of the Patriot Act which could require them to provide data from the Central Bank of Ireland's IT system to the US Government.More Button

Asked the Minister for Finance: the number of times the database application server which hosts many of the Central Bank of Ireland's applications crashed in the first three weeks after migration to a company (details supplied); ...More Button

NAMA Operations

Asked the Minister for Finance: the membership and calendar of meetings for the advisory committee which advises the National Asset Management Agency board; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Consultancy Contracts Expenditure

Asked the Minister for Finance: the total amount paid by the State to Ernst and Young and Grant Thornton since 2008. More Button

National Internship Scheme Data

Asked the Minister for Education and Skills: the number of teachers who are employed in teaching positions on JobBridge schemes per county since the scheme started; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

School Staffing

Asked the Minister for Education and Skills: the eligibility criteria for inclusion on the supplementary panel for teachers after October of this year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Asked the Minister for Education and Skills: the number of teachers on each of the teaching panels in County Donegal over the past five years; the number of teachers expected to qualify for inclusion on each panel in County Donegal in 2014; a...More Button

Asked the Minister for Education and Skills: if provisions will be made for teachers who complete a JobBridge internship in a teaching position to be included on the supplementary panel in spite of their failure to reach the eligibility crite...More Button

IDA Jobs Data

Asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: the number of jobs promoted by the Industrial Development Agency for rates of pay less than €10,000 per annum; between €10,000 and €20,000; and in salary bands of €10,000 for those more than €150,0...More Button

Temporary Release of Prisoners

Asked the Minister for Justice and Equality: if he will make provision for a prisoner (details supplied) on temporary release to sign on at their local Garda station.More Button

Licence Applications

Asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine: the number of licences that have been issued for recreational fishing of bluefin tuna under EU directive EC 302/2009.More Button

Asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine: his views on whether the process for applying for recreational fishing of bluefin tuna under EU directive EC 302/2009 is adequate and in accordance with the directive.More Button

Hospital Appointments Administration

Asked the Minister for Health: the reason a person (details supplied) in County Donegal who was finally called for an appointment with a consultant and who has seen them on two previous occasions has been advised that they will ...More Button

Ambulance Service Provision

Asked the Minister for Health: if he will provide an update on plans to open two ambulance control centres at Tallaght and Ballyshannon; the staff complement that will be required; the way this will affect staff currently workin...More Button

Asked the Minister for Health: the consideration that will be given to the efficiencies of taking on the existing contract staff to operate the new ambulance control centre.More Button

Asked the Minister for Health: the reassurances he can give the contract staff currently employed as emergency call takers in Townsend Street that their contract will be not be ended in a sudden or unfair way.More Button

Mobility Allowance Eligibility

Asked the Minister for Health: if he will provide an update on the mobility allowance and the motorised transport grant in view of the project review group interim report; the recommendations in the report; if he will provide an...More Button

Health Services Access

Asked the Minister for Health: the reason a person (details supplied) in Dublin 22 has been refused full-time residential care. More Button

Roads Maintenance Issues

Asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that up to 50 HGVs per hour are using a residential street (details supplied) in County Kilkenny causing infrastructural damage and putting health and sa...More Button

Road Projects Status

Asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport: when the Kilkenny ring road will be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button