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Kenny, Enda

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 Nbr. 3


Leaders’ Questions

This matter concerns every citizen across Europe today. The ECOFIN meeting clearly focused on the question of Greece and the deepening awareness of the potential for a real challenge in Spain. Th...More Button

From the comments made by Christine Lagarde recently, it is evident that the IMF is actively pursuing a number of options for Spain. There is an understanding that what happened in Ireland should ...More Button

The Deputy is aware that the French President is being sworn in today and that he is to travel to Berlin. We hope there can be clarity on the range of what he is talking about on the growth agenda...More Button

The feeling was that Europe had one year or more to get its act together. Clearly, the indications, concerns and anxiety about the Spanish economy have exacerbated. That is all the more reason, a...More Button

The Government is considering issues of real concern nationally for discussion on 23 May. Being honest, I do not see that meeting as one at which a range of decisions will be taken. There are dif...More Button

While we have stabilised the public finances, consumer confidence has risen for the fourth or fifth month in a row and clearly there are projects that could be considered, there is also the questio...More Button

The Deputy is aware of the Government capital programme which amounts to €17 billion. It includes major infrastructural projects, hospitals, primary care centres, schools and a range of other...More Button

It is a €17 billion programme. Deputy Adams is aware the Government has introduced new methods of creating employment for people such as the JobBridge scheme, which has now created in excess ...More Button

I do not like to see anyone leave the country. No parent does and no one else does either unless people wish to leave by choice, depending on their skills, their requirements for experience or the...More Button

The Government is also using and has indicated its preference for the National Pensions Reserve Fund and the setting up of the Irish water company, which will, I hope, create up to 2,000 jobs throu...More Button

The discussions that are taking place between the Government and the European Investment Bank and the broader discussions that will take place on 23 May with regard to a growth agenda are all focus...More Button

I was in Lucan last night. There were a good number of Sinn Féin supporters there and, in fairness to them, we had a good, vigorous discourse about the fiscal stability treaty. I think the...More Button

It took a long time to drag out of Deputy Adams some semblance of credit to PayPal for putting 1,000 jobs in his town and constituency. That amounts to a lot of young people, one hopes from that a...More Button

Deputy Adams does not see the merit of Mylan putting €500 million on the table to employ 500 young people between Dublin and Galway.More Button

He sees no validity in this and it must be dragged out of him each time because he wants the country to go backwards. He wants this country to follow his proposal.More Button

Deputy Adams said that the EU and the IMF should take their money and leave these shores.More Button

He said the IMF and the EU should go home, leave our shores and leave us in a catastrophe. Deputy Adams has never supported any treaty of the European Union. He wants nothing to do with it becaus...More Button

I put it to Deputy Adams that the treaty on 31 May is about the future of our country. It is about stopping emigration. Article 1 of the treaty refers to employment, competitiveness and social co...More Button

That is the priority of the Government regardless of whether Deputy Adams likes it. The Deputy’s heart is not in this argument because he knows the people, in their pragmatism and wisdom, wi...More Button

That is hardly worthy of a response. It is the same old record Deputy Boyd Barrett has had since he came in here.More Button

I put it to Deputy McGrath that he should listen very carefully to the residents of his constituency. He should listen very carefully to the people who live there because they are wondering which ...More Button

(Interruptions).More Button

At least the Deputy is clear that the serial protestor over here has a side, and that is a “No” side, but Deputy McGrath and Deputy Ross, in the leafiest suburbs of Dublin South, would need to make...More Button

Deputy Boyd Barrett made an allegation that I said the “No” side would raise matters external to the treaty. The bank debt is not the consideration of this treaty.More Button

The Deputy did raise it. His “No” side has raised it on many occasions, and it is now joined by my erstwhile colleague from the west, Mr. Ganley, in dealing with that. The Deputy also raised the ...More Button

That is nonsense. People on the “No” side have been raising fears about business and industry here in Ireland.More Button

Deputy Boyd Barrett has said that if the people were to reject this treaty it would require €10 billion extra in taxes. The Deputy might like to point out who his proposition on the “No” side...More Button

The Deputy is well aware that the structural deficit, which must be taken into account, will remain in the cyclical between growth in the economy and a decline in the economy. He is well aware als...More Button

I have already pointed out that the projection for growth this year is 0.7%, and for next year it is 2%, but the structural deficit as measured by the methodology used by the European Commission ca...More Button

Far from the Deputy’s catastrophic prediction of a further €10 billion in cuts in one year, which would drive this country over the edge, the people voting “Yes” on 31 May will give a cl...More Button

This is not an easy challenge but it will deal with Deputy Adams’s concern about forced emigration.More Button

Ceisteanna — Questions (Resumed) - Programmes for Government

Was asked: if he has any plans to review the progress made with the implementation of the programme for Government. More Button

Was asked: if he has any plans to bring forward a revised programme for Government. More Button

Was asked: his views on progress made in the implementation of the programme for Government after a year in office; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: his plans to review or change any aspect of the programme for Government; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the launch on the 7 March of the report into the progress made on the implementation of the programme for Government. More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the publication of a report on the progress the Government has made in its commitments over its first year in office and the priorities it has outlined for the next 12 months. ...More Button

Was asked: if he will detail the procedures whereby the review of the programme for Government was prepared. More Button

Was asked: if he will detail any recent changes he has made to the administrative arrangements which he has put in place to oversee the implementation of the programme for Government. More Button

Was asked: his views on the progress made on the implementation of the programme for Government after one year in office; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 8, inclusive, and 10 together.More Button

On 7 March 2012, following one year in Government, the Tánaiste and I launched the programme for Government annual report 2012.More Button

As part of the planning of the annual report, I met with every Minister to discuss his or her area of work in relation to the programme for Government and the progress that had been made.More Button

The report is an honest appraisal of the Government’s work in its first year in office and highlights our achievements in the priority areas of stabilising the economy and our finances, impro...More Button

The report contains only those programme for Government commitments which we felt had been either fully or substantially delivered to date and I acknowledge that there are some areas we have not be...More Button

In its first year the Government has reformed the banking structure, successfully renegotiated the EU-IMF programme to see savings of €9 billion, and rebuilt the trust and confidence of the in...More Button

Since taking office, the number one priority of the Government has been to get Ireland working again. We have introduced a range of measures in the past 12 months to create as many jobs as possibl...More Button

The Government continues to seek further enhancements to the EU-IMF programme, to free up credit for small and medium enterprises, SMEs, and to push through our reform plans across all sectors. Ov...More Button

My recent visits to both the United States and China provided an opportunity to promote trade and investment, strengthen existing relationships and build new ones. I conveyed the message that Irel...More Button

The Programme for Government 2011-2016 is a five year plan, and there are no plans to revise or develop a new programme. We have made substantial inroads in bringing the programme to fruition and ...More Button

In respect of the first 12 months, we have included in the progress report only issues that have either been dealt with fully or very substantially. As I pointed out, there were a number of issues...More Button

In respect of the economy and banks, the EU-IMF programme was renegotiated; the reduction of the deficit target for 2011 was exceeded; interest costs were renegotiated to achieve a reduction of mor...More Button

In respect of employment, as I told the Deputy previously, we published the jobs plan for 2012 which includes more than 250 proposals to be implemented for small and medium enterprises; Pathways to...More Button

In respect of international trade which is important for exports and, therefore, jobs, we set up the Export Trade Council and the Global Irish Forum was successful and is being followed through. W...More Button

In respect of debt distress and housing, we set up a specific Cabinet sub-committee on mortgage arrears which is to meet again this evening; mortgage interest relief was increased for first-time bu...More Button

The Sinn Féin programme sets out the party’s view that it does not want further assistance from the IMF or the European Union and the National Pensions Reserve Fund should be used up t...More Button

I do treat the Deputy like an adult. He has been elected by the good people of County Louth, as is their absolute right, and does his best to serve them in his way. He also puts forward his own p...More Button

These have created spin-off opportunities for many small and medium enterprises to provide them with services and products in a competent fashion. The fiscal stability treaty, and a very strong “Y...More Button

The Deputy states that these jobs are being created at a time of instability. The reputation of the country has been restored in the last 12 months to the point that investor confidence, economic ...More Button

The Government created NewERA which has a role in the valuation of State assets. It renegotiated elements of the memorandum of understanding with the troika on the disposal of State assets, and th...More Button

——in addition to the €17 billion capital fund which has been set aside by the Government over the period of this plan for investment in infrastructure and in much needed facilities...More Button

4 o’clockMore Button

I am not sure what the Deputy’s question is. He certainly likes listening to himself. This is a free country and a free society. When the Deputy speaks of glib comments and smart remarks, ...More Button

My philosophy is to make Government decisions that will help this country and its people. Unlike Deputy Boyd Barrett, I really have an interest in creating jobs for our people. Anybody who is out...More Button

I empathise with everybody who wants to work but who cannot find employment, or who does not have the opportunity to retrain themselves or up-skill themselves to find employment. That is where the...More Button

What the Government wants to do for every person, whether employed or unemployed, is to provide the greatest possible opportunity for them to live their lives as they see fit and in their best inte...More Button

Whether someone is unemployed in Caherciveen, Carlingford, Carnsore or wherever, the focus and priority of the Government is the creation of jobs and job opportunities. That is why we make no secr...More Button

That is why we need the confidence and strength of the decision of the people on 31 May to send out the message that this is working.More Button

Deputy Boyd Barrett is aware, whether he likes it or not, that public finances have been stabilised, growth has returned to the Irish economy in small measure for the first time in a long time, the...More Button

There are very challenging issues outside this country but our decision is to be made by the Irish people ourselves. We want to maintain that level of investment confidence and retain access to th...More Button

Deputy Martin will appreciate the unprecedented scale of the challenge that faced the Government when it took office. The uncertainty surrounding our corporate tax rate was a cause of a great deal...More Button

It is obvious to everyone that the complaint, from small business in particular, is about access to credit. That is why when the Economic Management Council had a number of meetings with the banks...More Button

I referred to Deputy Adam’s question on NewERA and its function in assessing valuations in respect of State assets that might be potentially considered by Government for disposal. The creati...More Button

Deputy Martin referred to front line services. While a range of positive actions are taking place across the spectrum of the Department of Health, there is still a long way to go. I pay tribute t...More Button

In respect of the disability services, it has been identified that there will be 700 school leavers in 2012 with intellectual disabilities. The HSE is now carrying out intensive work and discussio...More Button

I would be the first to say to Deputy Martin that we still have a long way to go in this and in a number of other areas. However, the Minister, Deputy Reilly, and both of his Ministers of State ha...More Button

I do not accept Deputy Martin’s premise that significant change is not being carried through in the health area. The Minister, Deputy Reilly, has introduced the special delivery unit which D...More Button

The 2012 budgets were reduced by 3.7% this year in respect of the range of services to be provided. The moratorium on staff recruitment clearly gives rise to challenges in a range of areas. It wa...More Button

Deputy Martin inquired about unsecured bondholders.More Button

Compulsory burden sharing for unguaranteed and unsecured senior bondholders in wind-down banks requiring additional capital was considered in the first half of 2011. Government discussions with th...More Button

I do not accept the Deputy’s premise that this is an austerity treaty. It is an intergovernmental agreement and treaty about stability. From our perspective, it is about creating the condit...More Button

It is not fraudulent behaviour for a political party to state clearly that the treaty is about stability because that is what it states. The fiscal stability treaty seeks to provide a measure of c...More Button

It is not fraudulent behaviour for any political party to state clearly that this treaty is about stability, as it says in the treaty itself and as suggested in its name, fiscal stability treaty. ...More Button

There is no additional fiscal consolidation required under this treaty.More Button

From 2016 onwards, as the Deputy is aware, if Ireland has a structural deficit above 0.5% of GDP, it must implement a plan to bring it down to 0.5% of GDP over an agreed period and in accordance wi...More Button

——of addressing structural economic problems — that is, through structural reforms to help people back to work using improvements in technology and change in the structure of our ...More Button

I do not accept at all what Deputy Higgins says. We do not have a veto over the ESM. The ESM goes ahead when the contributors of 90% of the funding have agreed to it. Our contribution is about 1...More Button

In any event, as the Deputy is well aware, the preamble to the treaty states clearly that countries that ratify the fiscal stability treaty will have access to funding from the ESM should they ever...More Button

Both of these will sign off on the corporate tax rate before the end of the month, which is also of importance for us.More Button

If the Deputy is suggesting to me that this country has a veto over the ESM, he is wrong.More Button

Order of Business

It is proposed to take No. a12, Road Safety Authority (Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness) Bill 2012 Seanad — Financial Resolution; and No. 5, European Arrest Warrant (Applicat...More Button

It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that No. a12 shall be decided without debate; that the proceedings on Private Members’ business, which shall be No. 36, Reg...More Button

I can confirm for the Deputy that the Bill is very well advanced. It will be taken and published in this session.More Button

I expect the Bill to be published by the end of June. A great deal of activity has occurred in regard to it. There have been meetings between the Office of the Attorney General and the Ministry f...More Button

The second Bill will be later this year. I do not have a date for the first Bill the Deputy mentioned.More Button

I understand that Bill has been passed in this House. It was actually sent to the President for signature last week. It should be finalised very shortly, as soon as the President has it signed.More Button

5 o’clockMore Button

This decision was made by the Government last week. Clearly, there is a great deal of optimism, confidence and hope for the future of the entire mid-west as a result of the potential that exists. ...More Button

The Deputy is aware that these rehirings are all on the basis of temporary contracts.More Button

Some are very specialist. The heads of the Bill to which the Deputy refers are being finalised and will be before the Government in due course. I cannot give the Deputy an exact date.More Button

It has been published and will be taken after the referendum.More Button

After the referendum.More Button

We do not have a veto on the European Stability Mechanism. I already explained that to the Deputy.More Button

We do not have a veto on the European Stability Mechanism.More Button

The heads of that Bill were cleared last October. Work is proceeding thereon but I expect it will be early next year before it comes in.More Button

Yes.More Button

I am informed it will be this year.More Button

Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Bill 2012: Second Stage (Resumed).

No IndicatorVoted No More Button

Written Answers - Census of Population

Was asked: his plans to carry out the next national census on schedule in 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Public Sector Staff

Was asked: the number of public servants that retired in Waterford city and county since the beginning of the year; and the number of those that have been retired by the State. More Button

My Department is located in Dublin only and the questions raised are not relevant to it.More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Staff

Was asked: the staffing levels of the private offices and constituency offices of Ministers and Ministers of State in his Department; the salary of each; the same figures for this time in 2011; and if he will...More Button

The details requested are set out in the tables beneath.More Button

Private Office (Taoiseach)More Button

Constituency Office (Taoiseach)More Button

Private Office (Government Chief Whip)More Button

Constituency Office (Government Chief Whip)More Button

Private Office (Minister of State for European Affairs)More Button

Notes:More Button

1. Some of the established civil servants working in the Private Offices receive allowances in addition to their basic salaries in accordance with normal civil service rules, e.g. Private Secretary...More Button

2. Where pay increases occurred for Personal Secretaries, Personal Assistants and Special Advisers, it was due to incremental progression in line with Department of Public Expenditure and Reform gu...More Button

3. The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Minister of State for European Affairs also have a number of staff who work in my Department but who are employed by the D...More Button

4. The Chief Whip’s Private Secretary at the Department of Defence works in my Department but is employed by that Department.More Button

Written Answers - Regulatory Impact Assessments

Was asked: the number and description of any regulatory impact assessments that have been undertaken by his Department on legislation or proposed legislation since 9 March 2011; the stage in the legislative o...More Button

Written Answers - Emigration Statistics

Was asked: if there are any plans to instruct the Central Statistics Office to gather and publish more detailed information on emigration [343]figures, including to list by age, se...More Button

Written Answers - Constitutional Convention

Was asked: if he will ensure that the issue of same sex civil marriage is considered in the forthcoming constitutional convention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Appointments to State Boards

Was asked: the appointments made by him to State boards under the remit of his Department since March 2011 that were advertised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button