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Kenny, Enda

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Leaders' Questions (Continued)

The decision to introduce a property tax was originally signed up to by the Deputy's party with a view to raising €530 million in 2014. The tax as originally proposed by that party was unfair. Th...More Button

Deputy McGrath is well aware that in the past 20 years, commercial premises, including retail outlets and other businesses, have been hit every year by local authorities that had no wider tax bas...More Button

The Deputy is well aware that towards the end of every parliamentary session, there is always pressure to get legislation through. The property tax is being organised and collected and the mechani...More Button

It is a progressive tax in the sense that those who can afford it will pay more.More Button

The Deputy referred to the challenge people face. The quarterly national accounts for the third quarter of 2012, released today, show GDP growing by 0.8% year on year and by 0.2% quarter on quar...More Button

Everybody understood that the Government would introduce a property tax, because of the memorandum of understanding and the requirement to widen the tax base.More Button

There were fears, however, that it would amount to an enormous sum for households. With the rate set at 0.18%, people can at least plan what their contribution will be, both for the half-year in 2...More Button

Tá trí ní áirithe luaite ag an Teachta. In regard to the CSO figures and the state of the economy, I have already pointed out to Deputy Michael McGrath the quarterly results that were published to...More Button

I repeat that private consumption grew year on year for the first time since 2010. This encouraging development is in line with the figures set out by the Department of Finance. Growth will conti...More Button

The Deputy referred to cancer patients. Legislation that was enacted back in 1987 introduced an obligation for patients to pay a daily charge, which is currently set at €75 and capped at €750 or...More Button

Clearly, there are cases, which have come to my attention, where the discretionary element that always applied in the case of medical cards is being reviewed by the panel of doctors who examine that.More Button

With regard to the pupil-teacher ratio mentioned by the Deputy, this applies for a percentage increase in respect of fee-paying schools. It does not apply in the case of other schools and will n...More Button

The Deputy's assertion that the increase in the pupil-teacher ratio for fee-paying schools will lead to the loss of hundreds of jobs is not accurate.More Button

I do not have the detail of everything associated with this. The Deputy referred to the issue of patients being treated. A total of 67,206 discretionary medical cards were issued to people who ha...More Button

The quarterly figures speak for themselves. The IMF has been largely supportive of the efforts the Irish Government is making towards an improvement of our public finances and a general improvemen...More Button

Nobody wishes to stand here and say we will have to make further adjustments which will mean cutbacks in services. One cannot cut services beyond a certain point. That is why the Croke Park agr...More Button

The IMF also made the point that a commitment given to this country by our European colleagues must be followed through. That is an important element of hope for our people. The patience they h...More Button

It is difficult to know what will happen to the global economy. American interests are making strident efforts to deal with the fiscal cliff the country faces before the end of the year. That c...More Button

The single supervisory mechanism is part of the process of making the decision, following the decision of 29 June. The decision was endorsed by the Heads of Government at European Council level. ...More Button

The focus in the 2013 budget was unashamedly pro-business and pro-opportunity for small and medium-size enterprises to grow. That is where middle Ireland is working exceptionally hard in the fac...More Button

-----to improve the lot of those who are unemployed, long-term unemployed, on low incomes and in the squeezed middle sector. If it is left as it is, they will never have the opportunity to have gr...More Button

That is why the Government did not tax employment by increasing income tax or placing additional taxes on work. People can now plan their lives more clearly. I would like to think that if we can ...More Button

Ministerial Responsibilities

Was asked: if the responsibility of delegation orders are within his remit; if he has signed any recently; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Delegation of functions orders are made by the Government at the request of the Minister concerned. At my request, on 22 March 2011, the Government made an order delegating my statutory functions ...More Button

That was signed this morning.More Button

It was not a case of reluctance to sign the delegation order. Primary care does not have a statutory legal base. It is a difference between statutory legal basis, policy issues and administrative...More Button

The Minister of State, Deputy Paul Kehoe, has functions relating to the Central Statistics Office, including signing statutory instruments, replying to parliamentary questions on statistical matt...More Button

Ministerial Responsibilities (Continued)

The Statistics Act 1993 provides that the director general of the CSO is completely independent in the exercise of functions relating to statistical methodology and standards, the content of statis...More Button

Ministers of State are appointed by the Government and their general role and responsibility is to assist Ministers in the running of their various Departments. In many cases, that particular as...More Button

Yes, it was approved by Cabinet this morning.More Button

There is no mystery here. A delegation order was signed for the previous Minister of State, Deputy Shortall, with regard to her duties. Some of the duties were administrative and did not require ...More Button

The same applies in the case of the Minister of State, Deputy Alex White. The administrative end of the work he is dealing with does not require a statutory declaration but he also deals with op...More Button

And primary care, yes. The areas of opticians, dentists and fluoridation do require a statutory delegation order. Government approved of that this morning and signed it for Deputy White.

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Not in itself, because it is not a statutory function. It does require a statutory declaration to deal with questions about opticians, dentists and fluoridation.

  The Minister ...More Button

Cabinet Confidentiality

Was asked: the progress that is being made in his Department in the commitment to legislate for Cabinet confidentiality as outlined in his Department's strategy statement; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

Was asked: the plans he has to introduce legislation to deal with the issue of Cabinet confidentiality.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2 and 3 together.

  Cabinet confidentiality is provided for in the Constitution and I have no plans for legislation on the matter.More Button

Deputy Ó Fearghaíl will recall the Howlin judgment when the confidentiality of correspondence received by Members of the House was challenged. That will be dealt with in the whistleblowers legisla...More Button

I have read some of the material that purports to be from the Cabinet. I paraphrase Mark Twain and say those rumours are greatly exaggerated. I have read of vicious rows, walk-outs and this, th...More Button

I remind Ministers on a regular basis of the importance of keeping that confidentiality. I have no control over rumours, speculation or allegations. If we go back as far as 1922 and look at rep...More Button

Cabinet Confidentiality (Continued)

The Deputy will be aware Article 28.4.3° of the Constitution states:More Button

The Economic Management Council is a useful method of dealing with a range of issues and proposals before they are sent to Government for final decision by the Cabinet. Every member of the Governm...More Button

The Committee of Public Accounts report on the possibility of a banking inquiry recognised that the constitutional principle of Cabinet confidentiality must be respected. Obviously, I also belie...More Button

The Deputy mentioned the Social Welfare Bill. Just two years ago the Deputy was on this side of the House and the Fianna Fáil-led Government took 8% off a swathe of social welfare recipients but...More Button

The pension for the blind was cut twice just a couple of years ago; we do not want to go back there. We are heading into 2013 and the process for the budget for next year will be even more open th...More Button

The Deputy has not defined what he means by equality-proofed. In so far as the consideration of the Government was concerned, all of the issues in the budget were considered in the sense of being ...More Button

For years Opposition parties have prepared their alternative budgets and have sent them in their entirety to the section in the Department of Finance which assesses them. Fine Gael did so for year...More Button

Sinn Féin never faced the difficult choices that are the reality of what Government decisions have to deal with. Nobody likes to announce reductions in benefits. We need to deal with the problem ...More Button

Cabinet Committee Meetings

Was asked: the number of Cabinet committee meetings held so far this year; if there is any committee that has not met yet.More Button

Was asked: the supports provided by his Department to the Cabinet sub committee on mortgage arrears.More Button

Was asked: if the Cabinet committee on children's rights referendum has met recently. More Button

Was asked: the number of meetings of the Economic Management Council held this year; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 4 to 7, inclusive, together.More Button

All Cabinet committees, including the Economic Management Council which has the status of a Cabinet committee, have met this year and a total of 91 meetings have been held. My Department provide...More Button

I am constrained in what I can say because there is a High Court challenge under the provisions of the Referendum Act 1994 and therefore I do not want to say anything in the House that would in any...More Button

Cabinet Committee Meetings (Continued)

The Cabinet committee on mortgage arrears met eight times in recent months. As the Deputy is aware, the committee was established last March and its remit is to oversee the implementation, on a cr...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the Personal Insolvency Bill was published in June 2011, completed Fifth Stage in the Seanad last week, and is back in the Dáil for Report and Final Stages this week...More Button

Deputy Adams rightly raised the issue of repossession of homes. He is aware that when banks lend money to borrowers for the purchase of houses, there are conditions attached to those lendings. ...More Button

The homes of the most distressed mortgage holders can be protected through a mortgage-to-rent scheme, where the ownership of the house passes to the approved housing body, subject to eligibility ...More Button

The Central Bank, which is the regulator of credit institutions, asked all mortgage lenders to prepare and submit to it mortgage arrears resolution strategies and implementation plans. Mr. Matth...More Button

I hope that in dealing with persons with distressed mortgages or who are in difficulties, the solutions required by the Central Bank of the lenders to which the banks have committed themselves an...More Button

Yes.More Button

There should be an opportunity in the new year for a broader discussion on this with the Minister of State with responsibility for housing, Deputy Jan O'Sullivan, and with the Minister for the Envi...More Button

Last year in preparation for the budget for 2012, as soon as the Dáil came back in September every week there was a rash of speculation about what would be cut, which certainly had a direct impact ...More Button

This year there was not the same level of public comment, except I noticed wild speculation that the old age pension would be cut, free travel and free light would be stopped, the period for free...More Button

The year 1994 was a very different space. We have had the obscenity of several Governments in between shovelling out mountains of money which did not belong to us and which somebody would have t...More Button

In this sense we have had to focus on how to rectify this problem and believe me it is not easy. In the past 15 months things have begun to turn towards the right direction. Serious challenges st...More Button

Ministers agreed on Votes and figures for their respective Departments and then that was discussed collectively, signed off collectively and approved collectively by the Cabinet as is its responsib...More Button

There are no marks for that. The Economic Management Council did not meet the troika. The Minister for Finance and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform regularly met the troika in regar...More Button

The question of the troika putting forward its view that legal clarification was required in regard to the consequences of the Dunne judgment dealing with mortgages is something that had to be de...More Button

I answered Deputy Boyd Barrett previously on the financial transaction tax. We have objected to the financial transaction tax. We have not participated in the enhanced co-operation at European ...More Button

The low corporate tax rate has been an important element of investment in this country over many years. The rate is 12.5%, 11.9% effective, across the board. As Deputy Boyd Barrett will be awar...More Button

-----different rates of corporate tax apply for different sectors and, indeed, in different regions, but in Ireland it is straightforward and transparent. It is an important element of the attract...More Button

We will not be changing that.More Button

  Written Answers follow Adjournment.More Button

Order of Business

It is proposed to take No. 11, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2012 (back from committee); No. 12, Finance (Local Property Tax) Bill 2...More Button

That has to be agreed. It is Christmas.More Button

Order of Business (Continued)

We are wasting time here. Deputy Ó Fearghaíl has spoken about jackboot tactics.More Button

Deputy Adams has spoken about family homes. Obviously, everybody will contribute in some shape or other to the property tax. Thankfully, the majority of people contributed to the household charge...More Button

The mechanics of this have been organised by the Revenue Commissioners. There will be ample opportunity in a variety of ways for people to contribute to the property tax. Those who qualify under ...More Button

We will assume the Presidency of the European Union on 1 January.More Button

There are 1,600 meetings to be conducted across the whole of Government, for all Ministers, including dealing with the European Parliament, sectoral matters and so on.More Button

We will not hold the EU Presidency again until 2024 or 2026, so in that sense we have to move on. This was explained to the Whips at their last meeting. Therefore, regrettably on this occasion, I...More Button

The Government decided today to choose option D as set out by the expert group, which is legislation and regulation. The process will involve information hearings by the Oireachtas Committee on He...More Button

This matter is to deal with the clarification of the Constitution and therefore the law by the Supreme Court in the X case. It includes the question of suicide arising from the X case in cases w...More Button

The Deputy asked when the legislation will be published. It will be prepared after the information hearings of the committee dealing with health. The heads will be discussed by the Oireachtas c...More Button

Yes, this is an important report. I spoke to British Prime Minister Cameron and Geraldine Finucane last week on the publication of the de Silva report. I have already asked the Whip that at the a...More Button

This is a legacy issue of great concern to the people involved. The Minister is awaiting a response from the judge in this case and obviously cannot interfere with that process. There has been so...More Button

Departmental Staff Remuneration

Was asked: if temporary promotions or acting-up allowances have not been a feature of the staffing arrangements for this EU Presidency; if he will provide a list of Departments that were given sanction to mak...More Button

There are no temporary promotions or acting-up allowances in my Department for the EU Presidency.More Button

European Council Meetings

Was asked: the formations of the EU Councils of Ministers on which he sits; the number of meetings of that Council held from 9 March 2011 to date in 2012; the number of those meetings he attended; the number ...More Button

I do not sit on any formation of the EU Council of Ministers. I am a member of the European Council, which is a separate institution. I attended all meetings of the European Council in the period...More Button

Ministerial Meetings

Bhuail an Coiste Comhaireachta ar an nGaeilge agus ar an nGaeltacht le chéile ceithre huaire ó chuireadh ar bun é ar 14 Aibreán 2011; ar 19 Bealtaine 2011, 5 Meitheamh 2012, 19 Iúil 2012 agus 5 Sam...More Button

Public Inquiries

Was asked: if he will support the family of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane in their efforts for a public inquiry; and if he will raise this matter with the British Government.More Button

Successive Irish Governments have consistently supported the Finucane family in their efforts to ascertain the full truth behind Pat Finucane’s murder and the subsequent investigations, including t...More Button

The British and Irish Governments agreed in 2001 to appoint a judge of international standing to investigate these cases and, in the event that a Public Inquiry was recommended in any case, to im...More Button

In April 2004 Judge Peter Cory recommended a public inquiry in five cases. On foot of his recommendation, the Smithwick Tribunal was established by resolutions of Dáil and Seanad Eireann in 2005...More Button

The Irish Government disagreed strongly with the decision by the British Government last year not to conduct a public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane and made its position known to them o...More Button

I spoke to the Prime Minister in advance of his statement in the House of Commons on the de Silva report. I welcome both his apology and his determination to get to the truth behind this case, b...More Button

I also note that the Prime Minister indicated in his statement that various authorities in Britain and in Northern Ireland are expected to consider the De Silva Report.More Button

I also spoke to Geraldine Finucane after the publication of the De Silva Report and intend to consult further with the family once I have had the opportunity to consider the Report in greater det...More Button