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Kenny, Enda

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 754 Nbr. 3

Leaders’ Questions

Deputy Martin is aware that there have been programmes over the years, involving every commentator in the land, about the bloated extent of the public service and the requirement to reduce overall ...More Button

Given the age profile of public servants, it was assumed that up to 9,000 whole-time equivalent workers would retire by the end of February 2012. Provisional figures indicate that public service n...More Button

It is nothing new to have several thousand people leaving the public sector each year in the normal way. Given the figures we know by the end of February 2012, it is right and proper that the tran...More Button

On top of that, there should be very active communication with the people about what is happening.More Button

The Deputy has rightly identified health as being of particular importance. He spoke about redeployment. I listened to the nurses’ representative this morning working towards the objective ...More Button

The Deputy is very good himself at saying things that never happened. If he just listened to what I said, he would have heard that the figures for those leaving in the sectors I mentioned only bec...More Button

All of these discussions have taken place for quite some time, but in the absence of accurate figures. We now know those figures. The Cabinet sub-committee dealing with health confirmed this last...More Button

——will be well aware of the process by which the change will be managed in every area throughout the country in respect of——-More Button

The Deputy will recall the planning issue when he said he would give medical cards to those over 70.More Button

The Deputy will recall that he agreed to give medical cards to every person over 70 years and he assumed this would be about 10,000 people. He miscalculated by 60,000 at least.More Button

I think it is only right and proper that the Government should plan properly, based on the accuracy of figures which we now know and this is what is under intensive discussion here.More Button

It will come before Cabinet next Tuesday. Transition teams will deal with the areas, now that we know the accuracy of the figures.More Button

I understand Deputy Adams has a holiday cottage in Donegal but I am not sure if it is connected to the public sewerage scheme. I suggest the next time he is there he should have a look. I am quit...More Button

I have listened to hysterical comment about this and many other matters in the past few weeks. I have seen startling headlines and I have heard the Fianna Fáil Party say that rectification ...More Button

Any household can now register within the period at a cost of €5——More Button

——and next year, when the inspections commence — má tá tú ag dul ag caint faoi shéarachas, beidh mé ag caint leatsa Mattie, in a minute. It is ...More Button

Deputy Adams will be aware, as the leader of his party, that his own members in Northern Ireland comply with and support charges that are very much in excess of what is being charged down here. Th...More Button

In some cases these septic tanks were built on the borders and along the fringes of lakes and rivers where it is clear they could not function, given the status and structure implicit in those times.More Button

This is the issue and I remind Deputy Adams it will not be at a cost of €20,000, €17,000 or €10,000. It will cost €5 to register and if a random inspection decides there is a r...More Button

On 29 October——More Button

——2009 the European Court of Justice ruled against this country. This has been going on since then without any action being taken. The Minister set out clearly what it is that he inte...More Button

——the treatment of grey water, as it is called, whereby phosphates in washing detergent going into the system affect the working mechanism of a septic tank, and the issue of pipes leadi...More Button

Deputy Mattie McGrath knows all about that.More Button

Even Deputy Mattie McGrath will understand that old-style septic tanks would overflow if they get filled.More Button

There is also a requirement to keep down the level of unnecessary liquid and sediment going into the tank in the first place. The Minister set out the structure. There are no inspections until 20...More Button

Far from the evidence of the hysterical ranting of Deputy Mattie McGrath and Deputy Ó Cuív, this is a common sense approach——More Button

——to a problem we have had for a long time in this country but have done nothing about.More Button

Deputy Martin’s party put forward the view that we could get a derogation to allow us to cut turf all over the place for ten years, which was never the case.More Button

That is the kind of nonsense which prevailed for good Government and good governance in this country. In this case the Minister, Deputy Hogan, set it out clearly and reasonably. People in the cou...More Button

——and this will be done at a normal cost.More Button

I assure Deputy Dooley that if the system is not working——More Button

——the answer is that under this requirement the owner of the septic tank will have to desludge it. That means they will have to get it pumped out and treated properly in a local author...More Button

The Government has set out its plan for the development and introduction of a universal health insurance system which will apply at the end of the Government’s term of office. The Minister w...More Button

That is precisely the reason for having competent transition teams to manage the exodus from the public sector in general. I have read out the figures. According to the latest figures, a total of...More Button

I cannot comment on the individual who is an amputee, to whom Deputy Finian McGrath referred, and whose home help service has been cut, but suffice it to say that care in the community such as home...More Button

The Deputy is aware that 1,433 staff left the health service in 2011. Transition teams are not going to turn up in Beaumont Hospital or any other hospital in the middle of the night and do what he...More Button

The Minister has stated it may be necessary to delay some elective surgery cases. That may well be the case. There has been a 10% increase in general admissions to hospitals. This may well be be...More Button

It is not possible to do what the Deputy says, given the extent of the reduction in numbers, but it is possible to see the benefits of having very strong primary care and community care systems. I...More Button

As a frequent visitor to observe what happens there, I am sure the Deputy is well aware that many of the patients do not need to go to an accident and emergency department with minor ailments in th...More Button

Ceisteanna — Questions (Resumed) - Appointments to State Boards

Was asked: if there have been any board appointments from his office in the recent past; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if there have been any board appointments arising from his office recently; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the board appointments from his office that have been made in the recent past; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 3, inclusive, together.More Button

Details of the appointments I have made since coming into office on 9 March 2011 are set out in a table. The National Economic and Social Development Office, NESDO, is the only State agency under ...More Button

The table provides details of all appointments made by me to the National Economic and Social Council since 9 March 2011. These are the only board appointments I have made since coming into office.More Button

I am very conscious of the requirement to maintain a gender balance and I try to meet it in the strongest way possible. I am glad to say a number of very competent and influential persons have bee...More Button

In so far as the question relates to my office, many of the appointees, as the Deputy is aware, are nominees of organisations. They are not solely from the list of nominations that might come from...More Button

Yes.More Button

I will update the Deputy on the position.More Button

I have set out the position on a number of occasions. The new arrangements provide that on their websites Departments have to invite expressions of interest from the public in vacancies on the boa...More Button

The question relates to the body under the aegis of my Department. There are representatives from IMPACT, SIPTU, IBEC, the CIF, Chambers Ireland, ICOS, the IFA, Macra na Feirme, the ICMSA, Social ...More Button

This group includes a mixture of very competent people, both men and women. In so far as their responsibilities go, under the aegis of my Department, they are doing a very good job.More Button

The appointments to the National Economic and Social Council, NESC, were made by me following very careful consideration of the necessary skills, knowledge and expertise relevant to the functions o...More Button

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport advertised on its website seeking expressions of interests for appointments as chairperson of the boards of CIE companies and the Railway Procurement ...More Button

A number of those appointed to chair State boards have attended before Oireachtas committees to explain the particular expertise they bring to those boards. That innovation has been welcomed as be...More Button

Deputy Gerry Adams’s Question No. 3 asks about the board appointments from my office that were made in the recent past and that I make a statement on the matter. In response, I pointed out t...More Button

As Deputy Martin will be aware from his own experience, it is difficult enough to find people who want to put themselves in the public eye by chairing or participating in State boards. This is bec...More Button

Ministers apprise not only me but also the Cabinet of persons to be appointed as chairs of State boards. Obviously, not all of the appointments to all boards come before Cabinet, as the Deputy is ...More Button

In a number of cases, appointments recommended by the committee were from a list given to it by the Minister. These are matters that can be reflected on. We would like to reach a situation whereb...More Button

To where?More Button

The Minister for Finance is considering all these matters. The Deputy will be aware that he responded to Deputy Adams in January in respect of appointments made by him as Minister and the Departme...More Button

I do not have to hand up-to-date information in regard to appointments to banks. However, the Minister outlined that there had been two appointments to the board of the Irish Bank Resolution Corpo...More Button

If the Deputy wishes to table a parliamentary question on the matter to the Minister for Finance, he will provide him with an update on the evolving process in so far as the banks and boards of ban...More Button

Ceisteanna — Questions (Resumed) - Official Engagements

Was asked: if he discussed with David Cameron the banking regulation in general and specifically the City of London and IFSC competitiveness; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he raised the issue of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings with the British Prime Minister David Cameron at his meeting of 12 January 2012. More Button

Was asked: if he raised the issue of the murder of human rights solicitor Pat Finucane during his meeting with the British Prime Minister David Cameron on 12 January 2012. More Button

Was asked: if he will provide a report on his attendance at the British-Irish Council meeting on Friday 13 January 2012. More Button

Was asked: the issues that were discussed and the outcomes of the most recent British-Irish Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he discussed with Mr. David Cameron the issue of the proposed financial transactions tax and the possible implications for the City of London and the IFSC; and if he will make a statement on the...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 4 to 9, inclusive, together.More Button

As I stated in the House a few weeks ago, I met the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, on 12 January in London, at which time we discussed a range of matters of mutual interest to both our coun...More Button

In our discussion on developments within the European Union and the eurozone crisis, we discussed the evolving situation with the draft intergovernmental treaty agreement, which, as the House knows...More Button

Prime Minister Cameron and I also discussed the idea of a financial transaction tax. I set out the Government’s position that a financial transaction tax in the eurozone would adversely impa...More Button

We did not get into a discussion on the details of the current proposals on banking regulation. As Deputies know, this matter is currently being dealt with by finance ministers at ECOFIN and the E...More Button

As I have previously stated in the House, during our meeting the Prime Minister and I discussed recent developments in Northern Ireland. I also raised the matter of legacy issues, including Pat Fi...More Button

I hosted the 17th summit meeting of the British-Irish Council, BIC, in Dublin Castle on Friday, 13 January. It was an excellent meeting which provided an opportunity for BIC member Administrations...More Button

We also welcomed the establishment of the standing secretariat of the British-Irish Council in Edinburgh, with the support of the Scottish Government.More Button

I dealt separately with each issue in my response.More Button

No problem.More Button

The Deputy raised a number of important questions. The common consolidated corporate tax base, CCCTB, is a subject of a paper prepared by the European Commission. Deputy Martin is aware the Europ...More Button

Deputy Martin is correct when he stated that 32,000 people are directly employed in the International Financial Services Centre in Dublin, which is the location of more than 5,000 firms. Moreover,...More Button

The Deputy also will be aware that I announced a new IFSC strategy for the next five years, which came from the industry itself. It reckons it is possible to achieve 10,000 net new jobs in that pe...More Button

I can inform Deputy Martin there was no discussion, good bad or indifferent, on the financial transaction tax or the corporate rate of tax at any of the Council meetings. I discussed it specifical...More Button

No, we are not.More Button

We are asserting that fact and we have made our position very clear. Since the day after I was appointed as Taoiseach by this House, I have resisted a great deal of pressure in the context of chan...More Button

My position on the CCCTB has not changed. The fact that it is the right of the Commission to initiate legislation and promote proposals for such legislation does not mean that by participating in ...More Button

I reiterate that when I visited the Deputy’s city in recent days, it was made perfectly clear to me that there are 800 vacancies in the Cork region for IT personnel. We must identify where t...More Button

Deputy Adams and I can agree on this matter. Before he became a Member, the House agreed an all-party motion which was very clear in calling for a public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane. ...More Button

I cannot direct any other government. However, I raised this matter with the Prime Minister and I will continue to raise it with him. I am aware that my meeting with him took place on the day bef...More Button

As stated in the House on many occasions, I do not believe in any hierarchy of victims. Regardless of which side they were on, those who were shot, murdered or died as a result of the Troubles wer...More Button

It is very important to stress this point. I am not sure on the report about which the Deputy spoke and about what he gave to Mr. Tony Blair.More Button

All of the facts, in so far as we know them, lead to the inescapable conclusion that there should be a public inquiry. I do not say this just as a public representative or as Taoiseach. The agree...More Button

The British Government decided not to hold a public inquiry but to appoint a Queen’s Counsel to go through all of the documentation — all 1 million pages of it. The Finucane family was...More Button

For my part, I will follow through on my conviction. I do not know what will happen in terms of the judicial review which will be held in May, but I will continue to raise the matter on each and e...More Button

Deputy Boyd Barrett gets his weekly rush of excitement with the auld rant in a Second Stage speech.More Button

An bhfuil an Teachta Mattie McGrath ag dul ag caint arís faoi shéarachas?More Button

Tá sé ag dul ag caint faoi chúrsaí séarachais.More Button

The question is to ask the Taoiseach if he discussed with Mr. Cameron the issue of the proposed financial transaction tax and the possible implications for the City of London and the IFSC—&md...More Button

——and if he will make a statement on the matter. That was a question.More Button

It was not the subject of your speech.More Button

The Deputy misunderstands the situation. I pointed out to Deputy Martin, in response to his valid question——More Button

——that President Sarkozy said that he intends to introduce——More Button

The point I was making was that President Sarkozy said he intends to introduce a financial transaction tax unilaterally in France. The same applies to any other country that wishes to do so. We h...More Button

——with Prime Minister Cameron. The answer is “yes”. Did I discuss the possible implications for the City of London and the IFSC? The answer is “yes”. As was pointed out here before ...More Button

The Deputy seems to think that all of these people should be run out of this country with the way he goes on about austerity programmes in his usual rant every week.More Button

That has neither relevance nor resonance in terms of people who are working and contributing to a €2.1 billion corporate tax payment to this country and payroll from the IFSC. The answer is “...More Button

——and does not apply in another. The Deputy has a very different view: play for nothing, work for nothing and come in here and rant day after day. I am not sure that he ever did a day...More Button

The Deputy likes a bit of flexibility.More Button

(Interruptions).More Button

Order of Business

It is proposed to take No. 8, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Teaching Council Act 2001 (Amendment of Nominating Bodies) Order 2012, considered by the Joint Committ...More Button

It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that Nos. 8 and 9 shall be decided without debate, and the proceedings on Nos. 10 and 11 shall each be brought to a conclusion within 20...More Button

I ask the Deputy to give me the details of the case to which he refers. If we set in train a system to provide answers to applications for medical cards, I do not understand the reason that cannot...More Button

I understand that in a lot of cases all of the elements of the application are not filled out and therefore are returned.More Button

I want to help the Deputy. If he gives me the details of the chronically ill patient he referred to I will have it taken up directly with the Minister for Health. If the Deputy or one of his Memb...More Button

Yes, and there is no reason we cannot have a system now——More Button

——that operates smoothly, competently and professionally.More Button

I would like to see that happen with the applications for all medical cards. Some may be granted and some may be refused but that does not mean the system should not operate effectively.More Button

It is not the only problem we have come across in health, Deputy Martin. Let us see if we can fix it. It is not the only problem we have come across in this system or across the structure of heal...More Button

I was in Cork last weekend and this matter had come to a conclusion the night before I arrived. I commended all those who had put up their money to see if that proposal would work. There were a s...More Button

I met some other people who might have views about re-attempting another programme there, but this is a case of where, clearly, State assistance could not be given in one case and not in another. ...More Button

The Cabinet approved this morning the appointment of 33 senior personnel and I expect that the Commissioner, in looking at the rostering arrangements and appointments to different localities around...More Button

In respect of the personal insolvency Bill and the implementation of the Keane report, the Minister for Finance outlined in some detail the schedule ahead for that. The heads of the personal insol...More Button

This request was made a few weeks ago and we had a special debate on the HSE and the situation in the health services in the House last week. I do not see why we cannot have evidence from Deputies...More Button

If there is a system in place, it should operate and the people who apply for medical cards should get an answer as to whether they are entitled to them or not, but they should not be left in limbo...More Button

I can inform the Deputy that the first Bill he raised is due in May 2012. I do not have a date for the bail Bill to which he referred.More Button

I did not say the Minister has published details plans in respect of universal health insurance. I said it is the intention of the Government to introduce a universal health insurance system at th...More Button

That was dealt with and the medical card problem will be dealt with as well. There is a difference between not getting a medical card and being granted one. The system that operates should be pro...More Button

That Bill is due late this year. I can confirm that I did meet representatives of the union and workers at Vita Cortex last week in Cork. I found them to be a very real and honest group of people...More Button

The Labour Relations Commission is, of course, available and continues to be available to facilitate talks. I intend to write to the commission following my meeting with the Vita Cortex workers. ...More Button

The Finance Bill will be published later this week and the Deputy will have an opportunity to comment on it then.More Button

A new emigration Bill?More Button

I am not aware of the publication of any new immigration Bill.More Button

The Minister for Finance is well aware of these two issues, which are of considerable importance to our economy. We recognise the scale of what is going on here. I advise the Deputy to wait until...More Button

Written Answers - Official Travel

Was asked: if a date regarding his trip to China has been agreed yet; the programme content; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Government attaches great importance to developing our trade and bilateral links with our Asian partners and in particular with China.More Button

I hope to travel to China later this year. Our Embassy is following the matter up with the authorities in Beijing with a view to agreeing mutually acceptable dates for the visit.More Button

Written Answers - Job Losses

Was asked: the key sectors of the economy in which jobs have been lost since the first quarter of 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Bodies

Was asked: if he will issue a breakdown of the remuneration packages in place for chief executive officers of all semi-State companies as of 27 January 2011, specifying in detail any bonus, pension, expenses ...More Button

The National Economic and Social Development Office (NESDO) is the only State Agency under the aegis of my Department. The NESDO was established under the NESDO Act 2006 and is the body corporate ...More Button

The Chief Officer of the National Economic and Social Development Office (NESDO) is also the Director of the National Economic and Social Council (NESC). He is paid for his role as Director of NESC...More Button

In addition to his salary, the Director receives an allowance of 16.66% of salary in lieu of pension. The Director is entitled to claim travel and subsistence expenses in line with the relevant Dep...More Button

Written Answers - Income Statistics

Was asked: the reason there was more than a two-year time lag when the Central Statistics Office issued county incomes and regional GDP for 2009 in view of the fact that this statistical release was issued on...More Button

Written Answers - Constitutional Convention

Was asked: if he would indicate when the constitutional convention will take place; and the form he envisages it will take. More Button

Was asked: the issues which will be examined and debated through the constitutional convention; and if civil marriage for citizens who are gay or lesbian will be on the agenda for debate and subsequent introd...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 107 and 108 together.More Button

The Programme for Government contains a commitment to establish a Constitutional Convention and indicates areas for it to examine, including the area of same sex marriage.More Button

Work is proceeding on proposals to set up the Convention and these proposals will address, inter alia, the structure, membership and operation of the Convention. It is intended that they will be t...More Button