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Kenny, Enda

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Leaders' Questions

Primary care development is a fundamental part of the strategy to reform the health sector. Clearly, primary care centres have enormous capacity to take people in, rather than having them go to ac...More Button

It is important to note that this is part of the overall stimulus package announced by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform some time ago, which included expenditure in the areas of roa...More Button

Leaders' Questions (Continued)

Each of these sectors was approved by the Government following consultations by the Ministers involved with their colleagues, and the same applied in this case.More Button

It is also important to note that early this year the HSE set out its prioritisation for primary care centres. Deputy Martin will be aware that in some locations the HSE was already at advanced ...More Button

Deputy Martin will be aware that if one wishes to develop 20 primary care centres and one selects only 20 possibilities, one runs the risk of objections, non-buy-in by GPs, lack of competition an...More Button

Of all the Ministers in this or any Government, Deputy Reilly has taken on the unenviable task of sorting out the wreckage left by his predecessors.More Button

The criteria used, for the information of Deputy Martin, were the deprivation index for the catchment population of the centre and the service priority identified by each integrated service area an...More Button

An accommodation assessment, which reviewed accommodation available from the primary care team within catchment areas, was carried out by the HSE.More Button

It looked at the quality of the accommodation and whether it was spread over more than one building. Additional criteria applied by the Minister, Deputy Reilly, were as follows: competition, GP co...More Button

-----and cost-effective GP buy-in.More Button

Deputy Martin will be aware of primary care centres which have been built but are empty because doctors would not move into them.More Button

Deputy Martin seems to have a propensity recently to keep talking.More Button

If he wants to listen to the criteria, I will give them to him.More Button

I will answer Deputy Martin and I will give him the criteria.More Button

Maybe Deputy Martin does not want to hear.More Button

The remaining criteria were: existing health facilities; pressure on services, including acute services, to which I referred; funding options, including Exchequer funding through HSE build or lease...More Button

-----provided positive encouragement for engagement and financial-----More Button

-----and financial participation by GPs. As I stated to Deputy Martin, there is little point in having taxpayers' money put together for primary care centres that remain unoccupied because doctors...More Button

-----was a list of 35 based on these criteria-----More Button

-----from which 20 would be provided.More Button

In fact, Deputy Reilly consulted with all of his colleagues in that regard.More Button

As I also pointed out, the HSE is engaging with the National Development Finance Agency, as required, to progress the primary care centre element of the Government's public private partnership.More Button

The Minister is due to answer questions on Thursday in the House.More Button

Yes, I am coming on. The Minister will be here on Thursday to answer all-----More Button

-----and any questions from members of Deputy Martin's party or any other Member in respect of this matter-----More Button

-----as is his responsibility under his remit.More Button

The Minister will be here on Thursday to answer questions on this. Any other questions Deputy Martin can think of should be submitted before then.More Button

They are down for Priority Questions.More Button

I take as contemptible the Deputy's allegation of personal benefit by the Minister, Deputy James Reilly, in respect of his remit as Minister for Health. He has already given details on all of this...More Button

The decision in respect of the primary care centres is to develop 20 primary care centres from a list of 35. I have provided Deputy Martin with the reasons it was necessary to have a list of mor...More Button

As mentioned, this particular development of primary care centres involves 20 from a list of 35. It remains to be seen which 20 get across the line, taking all the criteria into account. They w...More Button

I am sure that at the end of all of this the Deputy will appreciate the importance and function of primary care centres to provide decent, first-class care and attention in many areas for people ...More Button

I am glad Deputy McDonald, on behalf of the Sinn Féin Party, accepts that what the Minister is doing is the right model. Second, it astounds me that the Deputy has the gall to stand up in this Hou...More Button

The Sinn Féin Deputy made an articulate point about clarity and transparency, but she should also include truth. The truth of the matter is that the Minister for Health, as one of a number of Mini...More Button

Deputy Martin already put his question.More Button

The Minister for Health, as one of a number of Ministers in regard to the stimulus package announced by the Government, put forward the recommendations after consultation with his colleagues in reg...More Button

Obviously, the decision of Government is based on moving forward with the development of the primary care centres as quickly and as effectively as possible, covering the sectors mentioned and the c...More Button

I am very glad the Deputy accepts this is the way to go with primary care development and we look forward to this element of the stimulus package moving to commencement and completion as quickly ...More Button

I assure Deputy Boyd Barrett that the recent consultations at the Labour Relations Commission with regard to consultants' contracts will bring enormous benefits in respect of 24/7 cover, rostering,...More Button

I respect the work that home helps do throughout the country. I have met many of them. I know the work they do when they call to those who need care and attention. I know the work they do in t...More Button

It is only right and proper that home help is provided on the basis of the need of the person, which is of paramount importance.More Button

Home help will continue to be delivered with sensitivity and effectiveness.More Button

The Deputy underestimates the scale of the impact of the conclusion of the Labour Relations Commission negotiations on consultants' contracts and rostering. As a result of the conclusion of those ...More Button

Contrary to what the Deputy has suggested, it is not a case of fitting this into a segmented or clocked system that will be timed by the minute.More Button

It can depend on the mood and the circumstances of the person who is receiving home help.More Button

Issues can arise within the family in all sorts of circumstances.More Button

These serious and sensitive matters, which are being dealt with in cities, provincial towns and rural areas, are not issues to be barked about in this Chamber.More Button

I repeat that the good people in the Gallery, like many thousands of others across the country, do the best they can to ensure the best help is given to those who need assistance in their homes. A...More Button

I made this point when I spoke about the substantial savings that will arise from the consultants' agreements over the period ahead.More Button

Northern Ireland Issues

Was asked: if he has plans to meet political leaders in the North.More Button

Was asked: if he has been in contact with political leaders in the North since the Dáil recess.More Button

Was asked: his plans to meet with the new Secretary to Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on any recent discussions with the political leaders in the North.More Button

Was asked: his plans to visit the North of Ireland in the near future; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his plans to meet with the new Northern Secretary of State Theresa Villiers.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 6, inclusive, together.More Button

Arrangements for my next visit to Northern Ireland have yet to be finalised. Along with members of the Cabinet, I will attend the next meeting of the North-South Ministerial Council in Armagh on...More Button

Northern Ireland Issues (Continued)

I thank the Deputy for her questions. Clearly, the events to which she refers, with which we are well acquainted, show how just one incident can have enormous implications, not only in Northern Ir...More Button

Clearly, the parade commemorating the Ulster Covenant on 29 September will be a central part of the decade of centenaries which the two Governments are agreed should be marked in as sensitive and...More Button

I met the relatives of those killed in and the survivors of the Kingsmills massacre. I was absolutely struck by the genuineness of Mr. Alan Black and his account of what had happened in being ha...More Button

I would be happy to meet the Ballymurphy residents, either in Dublin or Belfast when I travel there. It is just a matter of making the arrangements. As I said, I have to meet a number of other ...More Button

With regard to the next meeting of the North-South body, there will be a range of issues which we can discuss here before we have that meeting. I will be happy to progress them in the best way p...More Button

I hope to have a briefing on the Northern Ireland situation in the next few days. With regard to the last point raised by Deputy Martin concerning Maghaberry Prison, I have heard different reports...More Button

The points made by Deputy Higgins are all relevant. Nobody wants to see a return to rioting or sectarian violence. I fully agree with him that those communities do not want to be dragged back, as...More Button

The Deputies have raised important points. I understand the first meeting of the North South-----More Button

Is it 5 or 12 October?More Button

There will be 24 representatives from the Republic and 24 representatives from Northern Ireland. Congratulations to the Ceann Comhairle for his part in that.More Button

Deputy McDonald raised the question of the transfer of fiscal powers. This is an issue I look forward to discussing with Secretary of State Villiers and, on the next occasion, with the Prime Min...More Button

In respect of the covenant, I genuinely hope that between now and March there will be engagement from local community leaders because that is where this will be sorted out. I agree in respect of...More Button

On Deputy Martin's point about the Good Friday Agreement, it did bring stability and the socioeconomic investment is critical for jobs. There is nothing worse than the destructive corrosion of h...More Button

I agree the parades require authenticity and transparency in their independence in the way they make their decisions, and that they should be respected. These are issues with which I have no dis...More Button

To answer Deputy Higgins, the situation about unemployment both here and elsewhere is not the way we would like it to be. While recent figures show an increase of 17,000 jobs in the private sect...More Button

The points made by the Deputies opposite are valuable for me as we prepare for further engagement with the Executive and the representatives of the people.More Button

Cabinet Committee Meetings

Was asked: the number of times the Economic Management Council has met since the summer recess.More Button

Was asked: if the Economic Management Council has met with the Irish banks since the summer recess.More Button

Was asked: the number of times the Cabinet sub Committee on Health has met since the beginning of July.More Button

Was asked: the membership of the Cabinet sub Committee on Health.More Button

Was asked: the number of Cabinet sub committee meetings he has attended since the summer recess.More Button

Was asked: if the Cabinet sub Committee on Economic Recovery and Jobs has met recently.More Button

Was asked: if the Cabinet sub Committee on Economic Infrastructure has met recently.More Button

Was asked: if the Cabinet sub Committee on Mortgage Arrears has met recently.More Button

Was asked: if the Cabinet sub Committee on European Affairs has met recently.More Button

Was asked: if the Cabinet sub Committee on Climate Change and the Green Economy has met recently.More Button

Was asked: if the Cabinet sub Committee on Social Policy has met recently.More Button

Was asked: if the Cabinet sub Committee on Irish and the Gaeltacht has met recently.More Button

Was asked: if the Cabinet sub Committee on Public Service Reform Jobs has met recently.More Button

Was asked: if the Cabinet sub Committee on Health has met recently.More Button

Was asked: when the Cabinet sub Committee on Health will next meet.More Button

Was asked: when the next meeting of the Economic Management Council will take place.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 7 to 22, inclusive, together.More Button

The Economic Management Council has met 28 times so far this year, most recently on 19 September, and the next meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, 26 September.More Button

The Government has been working closely with the Irish banks to ensure the banking sector supports economic recovery. The members of the council last met with the banks on 26 June. The general ...More Button

During that meeting the members of the council took the opportunity to set out the Government's commitment to assisting those in mortgage arrears, and set out our strategy to address mortgage arr...More Button

The Cabinet committee on health last met on 13 July and is scheduled to meet again during October. I chair this committee and its members are the Tánaiste; the Ministers for Health, Public Expen...More Button

The Cabinet committee on climate change and the green economy last met on 2 May; the committee on public service reform on 14 June; the committee on social policy on 19 June; and the committees o...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide details of the number of times the Cabinet sub-committee on Climate Change has met since its formation, the dates concerned.More Button

The Cabinet Committee on Climate Change and the Green Economy has met on three occasions:

  - 30 June 2011

  - 20 December 2011

  - 02 May 2...More Button

Cabinet Committee Meetings (Continued)

Article 28.4.3° of the Constitution precludes me from commenting on the detail of what happens at such meetings.More Button

Bank of Ireland made an announcement about the increase to which the Deputy refers last July. It is important to state this is a commercial decision on the bank's part. The State owns only 15% ...More Button

It appears that the fluctuation in interest rates is coming to an end. It seems that most of the rates are coming into the range of 4.3% to 4.5%. For example, AIB's rate stands at 3.5%, that of...More Button

The State obviously has a real interest in persons with mortgages which are either in arrears or distress. Part of the general discussion with the banks at the EMC was on their forbearance propo...More Button

Absolutely. The Deputy's supplementary question relates to interest rates, but it refers to a commercial decision on the part of the bank in question. As stated, however, the Government has a 15%...More Button

The Deputy referred to the Cabinet sub-committee on health, details relating to the membership of which I have provided. A range of issues has been dealt with in the context of reform, be it in ...More Button

I cannot inform the Deputy about the detail of the discussions which take place at meetings of Cabinet sub-committees. In general, however, the areas I have outlined in the context of the sub-co...More Button

Sa fhreagra a thug mé, dúirt mé go raibh cruinniú den choiste i rith an tsamhraidh. Rinneadh cinneadh ag an gcoiste sin agus tá sin curtha i gcrích tar éis an Bhille a bheith curtha tríd an Dáil. ...More Button

The Cabinet sub-committee on economic recovery and jobs is tasked with making recommendations for decisions by the Cabinet which impact on competitiveness, employment and enterprise. The Ministe...More Button

There are also many cases which have never gone before the Credit Review Office. It would seem that in many cases, perfectly feasible businesses operating for a number of years are being dragged d...More Button

The stimulus package to which I referred will affect transport, health, education and schools. It has been announced that the work of consular staff, whose duties include promotion of trade, is ...More Button

I am not happy with the level of unemployment. My hope is that SOLAS, the pathways to work scheme and the job creation initiative will have an impact on communities all over the country as this ...More Button

  Written Answers follow Adjournment.More Button

Order of Business

It is proposed to take No. 11, motion re membership of committees; and No. 4, Thirty-First Amendment of the Constitution (Children) Bill 2012 - Order for Second Stage and Second Stage. It is propo...More Button

I do not propose to allow for a statement by the Minister for Health, Deputy Reilly, tomorrow. He is answering priority questions on Thursday and he will answer any questions from Members with reg...More Button

The Minister will bring his recommendations on the Thornhill report to the Government over the next period. The report will be made public once the Government has reflected on it.More Button

In the case of crime-----More Button

Yes, he has had it for a while.More Button

It is important legislation. You seem to have taken a position on it before it is published - or your party seems to have taken a position on it.More Button

I thought I heard some rumblings that you had already taken a decision about it before-----More Button

-----the thing was even published. I can confirm that the DNA database Bill and the mental capacity Bill will be prioritised and published in this session. I refer to the brutal murders in front ...More Button

Order of Business (Continued)

On the issue of Garda resources, I have already given my comments to Deputy Micheál Martin. I sent the Deputy a copy of the relevant statutory instrument in respect of the health issue she had rai...More Button

The comments by Mr. Justice Kelly to which the Deputy referred related specifically to Supreme Court appointments. We have been very careful never to interfere with the Judiciary. Nobody in this ...More Button

The Judicial Appointments Advisory Board makes recommendations from which the Government may select a candidate. However, Supreme Court judges are appointed by the President. In respect of the th...More Button

Legislation in this area is a troika requirement. Two Bills, the credit union Bill and the credit reporting Bill, were approved and passed by the Cabinet this morning.More Button

This morning the Government gave authorisation to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to follow through on the Government's decision on the Shannon regional development zone.More Button

Yes, authorisation was given to follow through on that decision.

  The second issue raised by the Deputy is a budgetary matter. The Minister for Finance will be happy to take pr...More Button

No.More Button

No. We are facing a situation where 160,000 people are out of work in the construction sector. This is about installing meters, either on private properties or at the connection point between a p...More Button

I expect the education and training boards Bill to receive clearance very shortly.More Button

That legislation is a distance away. We expect to bring it forward either at the end of this year or early next year.More Button

The Minister for Justice and Equality is in continuing contact with the Garda authorities and the Commissioner with a view to ascertaining how the Government can strengthen the legislative hand of...More Button

I realise the Deputy must get his fix for organising protest meetings and I am glad, therefore, to offer him clarity on the matter.More Button

The decision that was made is that there will be a property tax which will apply from July next year. The Revenue Commissioners were mandated by the Government to put together the mechanics of the...More Button

In the not too distant future.More Button

I thought the Deputy was about to tell me about the difference of opinion between Deputies Ó Cuív and Martin but these things get sidelined. To answer his question, which is on an issue in which I...More Button

-----this matter is one for serious discussion at the next meeting of the Cabinet sub-committee on social policy, which I believe is scheduled for next week. As the Deputy is aware, the Minister o...More Button

Deputy Durkan's advice is always relevant. The Minister for Justice and Equality has requested his Department to review the operation of the organised crime provisions that are contained in the Cr...More Button

Legal Matters

Was asked: if he will provide details on the level of expenditure being incurred on the part of the State in hiring solicitors and barristers to undertake State agency work; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

The Attorney General's Office and the Chief State Solicitor's Office engage external counsel to assist in their legal work on behalf of Government Departments. The Chief State Solicitor's Office so...More Button

The total cost of hiring solicitors and barristers to undertake work for these Offices was €10.415 million in 2011 and was €4.485 million in the first six months of 2012. Fees paid to barristers...More Button

The total cost of hiring solicitors and barristers to undertake work for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) was €19.803 million in 2011 and was €9.648 million in the first si...More Button

Fees paid to barristers who prosecute cases on behalf of the DPP amounted to €13.501 million in 2011 and to €6.474 million in the first six months of 2012. Fees paid in respect of the local State...More Button

Unemployment Levels

Was asked: if he will confirm the latest available unemployment figures at the Tallaght Social Protection Office, Dublin; if he will also provide the comparisons for the same month over the past two years; an...More Button

Parliamentary Questions Numbers

Was asked: the progress that has been made in extending the parliamentary question system to any body established by statute or majority funding or ownership by the State as provided for in the Programme for ...More Button

Ministerial Staff

Was asked: if he will outline in tabular form the annual salary costs of his private and constituency offices in each of the years 2009 and 2010; the same figure for any Minister of State in his Department; a...More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the table:

Of...More Button

Disabilities Statistics

Was asked: the number of persons between 16 and 64 years here recorded as having a physical disability; and the number of those who are currently in employment.More Button

Emigration Data

Was asked: the number of people that have emigrated since January 2010 to date in 2012; and the percentage of those that were Irish nationals.More Button

Care Services

Was asked: the number of carers recorded here; and the percentage of these caring for more than 15 hours per week.More Button

Income Data

Was asked: the average income of top 10% of income earners in the population and the bottom 10%.More Button

State Bodies Expenditure

Was asked: the number of agencies, authorities, boards, committees, working groups, tribunals, council services, task force agencies and other quangos set up by his predecessor in the previous three administr...More Button

My Department has been substantially restructured since 2002 with a number of functional areas and staff being transferred to other Departments, including those in relation to Public Service Modern...More Button

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

This led to substantial savings on both pay and non-pay expenditure, mainly as a result of reduced accommodation, rent, staffing levels and administrative costs. The 2012 Estimate for NESDO is €2,...More Button

My Department also rationalised the work and achieved substantial savings in relation to three other bodies which were formerly within its remit in recent years. The total separate programme fun...More Button

Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: the total photography costs for his Department by his two predecessors in the past 10 years in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The table details expenditure by the Department of the Taoiseach on photography from 2001 to 9th March 2011.

More Button

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