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Boyd Barrett, Richard

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Cabinet Committees

The fundamental principle in supporting children and families with special needs should be that they get support based on their needs, but that is not what is happening. What is actually happening...More Button

Asked the Taoiseach: when the Cabinet committee on economic recovery and investment is set to next meet.More Button

Notwithstanding the U-turn the Government was forced into on the pandemic unemployment payment, PUP, and travel I do not think the Government really gets the anger that is being felt by the economi...More Button

Let us start with taxi drivers. Taxi drivers are now being whipped back to work because of the cuts the Government has imposed on the PUP via the new conditions. The work available to them is a...More Button

The Government has given taxi drivers nothing; it has shafted them. They are suffering through no fault of their own. The same is true for arts workers. Musicians have been shafted as well. T...More Button

When I have asked about this in the Dáil over the past few weeks, the Taoiseach and other Government spokespeople have wittered on and said that these groups would get some of the business grants...More Button

Cabinet Committees (Continued)

Can we have a brief supplementary question?More Button

I am asking the Taoiseach in advance of the Bill tonight, and I know it is late but-----More Button

The Bill tonight. I ask that the Government amend it to make the income subsidies available to employers available to the self-employed in sectors such as the arts, music, live entertainment and t...More Button

I am just asking this because it is very important. Will the Taoiseach please give them an income subsidy scheme or a step-down scheme?More Button

They are not getting it.More Button

Northern Ireland (Continued)

People Before Profit is one of a minority of political parties in the Dáil that have elected representatives in the North and the South. We have representatives in the Northern Ireland Assembly an...More Button

What does that mean today? I will give two concrete examples. We will never convince people in the North to be part of a united Ireland unless we have a national health service. We must move i...More Button

These are the things we must do if we want to share the island and convince people that overcoming historical divisions is in their interest. That is how we will do it. People in the North are ...More Button

Financial Provisions (Covid-19) (No. 2) Bill 2020: Second Stage (Resumed) (Continued)

I am sharing time with Deputy Barry.More Button

The wage subsidy scheme is a good scheme in principle, which tries to ensure that people who lost jobs and income as a result of the Covid-19 measures have a road back to employment, retain their...More Button

The Minister can probably guess which groups I am talking about because I have been referring to them repeatedly for weeks. In the case of two of those sectors, I fought very hard to get their r...More Button

I appeal to the Minister to reconsider, even at this late stage, and to provide them with specific supports. Their requests are very reasonable and he could have met them in this Bill. I tried ...More Button

Some of the amendments I submitted earlier were refused because they were too late, even though I submitted them before Second Stage. That is unfair. It is not the Minister's fault but I appeal t...More Button

The Government's failure to support a particular cohort of taxi drivers is endangering lives and public health, because older taxi drivers aged over 66 did not get the PUP and continued to work d...More Button

Similarly, musicians, artists, crews and so on need some support for their sector as well. In many cases, they are not benefiting from the grants and their income supports have been cut due to t...More Button

I assume the reason the Government will not give money to arts workers and taxi drivers is that it is afraid they will scam the system. When I asked earlier why the Government was not supporting...More Button

Finally, employers that are being given the subsidy should not get it unless they recognise trade unions. If they are guilty of collective redundancies, unilateral pay cuts or taking advantage o...More Button

Financial Provisions (Covid-19) (No. 2) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages

I would be-----More Button

I would be glad if the Minister did respond to some of the points raised on Second Stage.More Button

Can we speak on the section?More Button

Can we turn on the microphones?More Button

We can go section by section.More Button

That is how it works.More Button

I want to speak on the section.More Button

I hope the Minister will respond on the section. Section 1 deals with definitions. The problem with one definition is that it refers to employers only in terms of the wage subsidy scheme, WSS. A...More Button

I would like the Minister and Government to explain why this is happening. Some sectors have been decimated by public health measures that have protected us all, and people's willingness to adhe...More Button

I spoke to Mary Coughlan on the telephone. She was quite happy for me to cite her as an example. Her case is typical of many self-employed artists. They have had their PUP payments cut from €3...More Button

Her story is repeated by dozens of people working in the sector. Lighting designers and self-employed musicians were earning €25,000 or €30,000 a year. Their payments have been cut to €203 desp...More Button

Many musicians, including Mary, pointed out to me that they regularly do gigs for Pieta House, women's refuges and support various good causes for free on national television.More Button

Financial Provisions (Covid-19) (No. 2) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (Continued)

Then, when a moment comes for a bit of reciprocal solidarity from the Government, the artists, musicians and the crew standing beside them are cut loose. I really want the Minister to understand t...More Button

They have appealed, as have I on their behalf for weeks now, for an income subsidy the same as the Minister is giving to employers. They are not asking for handouts but for the same income subsi...More Button

Deputy Doherty is giving way.More Button

First, I hope the Minister knows that I do not do personal and my comments were not in any way personalised.More Button

I know the Minister has good taste in music and that he understands the plight of musicians. The reason I used the word "betray", however, is because there are a number of groups who really boug...More Button

What is happening now is that particular groups who made as much effort as anybody else are being left behind. That is what I meant by being betrayed. They are being forgotten about. If I soun...More Button

I was speaking to Mary Coughlan on the phone before the debate and she said something which sums up the dilemma for people in these sectors. I would really like the Minister to address the speci...More Button

They are going out working in the taxis. There are no proper guidelines from the NTA on safety in taxis. After weeks of pleading, they are still excluded from all of the grants.More Button

  Progress reported; Committee to sit again.More Button

Financial Provisions (Covid-19) (No. 2) Bill 2020: Committee Stage (Resumed) and Remaining Stages

I do not want to drag this out but what I would like, although it is not about what I would like because I am not in this position and none of us in this room is, but those 23,000 taxi drivers and ...More Button

At this stage, because the Bill will be guillotined and rammed through to make sure everyone can go off on their holidays next week, it seems we cannot do anything about it. Will the Minister at...More Button

Many of these people did not ask to be in this position. An awful lot of people who work in the arts would love to be directly employed, as a very small number are in the Abbey Theatre but there...More Button

Hear, hear.More Button

Financial Provisions (Covid-19) (No. 2) Bill 2020: Committee Stage (Resumed) and Remaining Stages (Continued)

I support this amendment. It is another way to try to address the deficiencies in the Bill and the need for sectoral-specific approaches for those sectors hit harder than others. We have gone thr...More Button

Even while listening to the debate, some of the people affected have been texting me with heart-breaking stories that I do not even want to read out here because they are so upsetting and persona...More Button

Turning briefly to this section, all my amendments have been ruled out of order. That is unfortunate and I do not quite know why. It is bad enough that we have had no pre-legislative scrutiny o...More Button

Conditions, therefore, should be attached to these supports to ensure that employers are not engaging in unilateral redundancies, cuts in pay and attacks on working conditions without consulting ...More Button

Finally, in this section we had an amendment regarding the subsidy not applying in cases where people were earning less than €151.50 per week. I would like the Minister to explain that exclusion...More Button

I would like an answer to the questions I asked on the section. There was a specific request to discuss those sectors that are in trouble before the Dáil session ends. Is the Minister open to tha...More Button

This amendment was attempting in another way, as had some of our amendments, to address the concerns of those groups that we have talked a lot about tonight, namely, the arts workers, the music w...More Button

The Minister did not really respond to the issue of conditionality raised by me and by Deputies Shortall and Nash in trying to attach some conditions in terms of collective bargaining rights, tra...More Button

I really do not want to stretch this because I know Deputy Doherty wants to get to his amendment. What the Minister, Deputy Catherine Martin, told me was the direct opposite of what the Minister j...More Button

This is why it is totally relevant to this Bill. We need an answer. Will there be an income subsidy for all these people in the arts and music area? It is not just the artists; it includes the...More Button

Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

Asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection: if she will report on the discussions she has had with regard to maintaining the pandemic unemployment payment for artists, performers, crew and event organisers in the arts, culture, music, live e...More Button

Asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection: if she has requested that the pandemic unemployment payment be maintained as part of the July stimulus for artists, performers, crew and event organisers in the arts, culture, music, live entertain...More Button

Asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection: if she has requested of the relevant Ministers that the pandemic unemployment payment be maintained as part of the July stimulus for artists, performers, crew and event organisers in the arts, cult...More Button

Asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection: if the decision to reduce the pandemic unemployment payment for a person (details supplied) will be reviewed; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Employment Rights

Asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection: the changes she plans to make to employment legislation to enhance the rights of workers facing mass redundancies in view of the closure of a company (details supplied); and if she will make a stat...More Button

National Car Test

Asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport: the recourse a person has that purchased a car with a recent NCT but subsequently found that the car was not roadworthy as the NCT certificate implied.More Button

Covid-19 Pandemic

Asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport: if he will ensure that airlines will refund customers that are not travelling on booked flights as a result of health guidelines.More Button

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Asked the Minister for Finance: the income supports he plans to put in place for taxi drivers and arts, music, event and live entertainment workers in the July stimulus in view of the fact that these categories of workers will no...More Button

Social and Affordable Housing

Asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government: further to Parliamentary Question No. 325 of 7 July 2020, if a more proactive approach will be considered with regard to working with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to acquire an apartment b...More Button

Asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government: the measures he plans to take to ensure the timely delivery of social and affordable housing at a site (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

School Accommodation

Asked the Minister for Education and Skills: if a building (details supplied) will be refurbished and retrofitted in order that it can be used by local schools to provide extra space and classrooms to ensure that social distancing can be achi...More Button

Invalidity Pension

Asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection: if the requirements will be revised for invalidity pension that includes a claimant having to have 48 contributions in the two years prior to applying if they have the other requirement of not less...More Button

Nursing Home Accommodation

Asked the Minister for Health: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that residents are being moved out of a nursing home even though no resident has contracted Covid-19 at the home; his views on the move; and if he will m...More Button

Asked the Minister for Health: if his attention has been drawn to the most recent HIQA report into a nursing home (details supplied); his views on whether the recommendations of the report warrants closure; and if he will make a...More Button

Asked the Minister for Health: his plans for the site a nursing home (details supplied) is located on; if the State will benefit from the future use of the site; if so, the way in which it will benefit; and if he will make a sta...More Button

Asked the Minister for Health: if he will consider taking a nursing home (details supplied) into public ownership in view of the fact that 80% of the funding for the home comes from the State via the fair deal scheme and the dis...More Button

Asked the Minister for Health: the future arrangements for vulnerable patients (details supplied) in view of the closure of a service on which they relied; the location to which they will be sent; and if he will make a statement...More Button

Asked the Minister for Health: the steps a religious order (details supplied) is planning to take regarding the land on which a nursing home is built; if his attention has been drawn by the HSE to plans to take over the land; an...More Button

Asked the Minister for Health: his views on the takeover of a facility (details supplied) by the HSE in order to preserve the service and retain long-term jobs; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button