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Kenny, Enda

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Leaders' Questions (Continued)

No, I do not accept that at all. First, the Government has not put off a decision on universal health insurance, UHI, until next year. I do not accept the Deputy's premise about an increase in co...More Button

The Government's decision today was to confirm the concept and principle of universal health insurance. However, there is clearly a need for a process of consultation with the people in order th...More Button

It is a matter of considerable importance that there be no confusion. Therefore, the process of consultation will involve ordinary citizens, men and women, around the country who will be impacte...More Button

I think what the Deputy is trying to get at is whether I can tell him what the average cost will be per package. I cannot do that because UHI will not be implemented in full for some time, but t...More Button

To answer the Deputy's question, the Government has accepted and confirmed the UHI concept and principle. It is continuing to discuss the question of how best to roll it out and the process thro...More Button

He has already said universal health insurance cannot cost more than the ineffective two-tier system and that implementation of the programme will be subject to the constraints and ceilings set by ...More Button

The Deputy has had his little rant.More Button

I do not accept at all his assertion that this is an attempt to put universal health insurance and the explanation of it out beyond the next general election. As I have said on many occasions, tha...More Button

-----will be explained to people so that everybody understands the value of having a single-tier system as against a two-tier system.

  Deputy Martin would say that costs will in...More Button

-----from €3.6 billion to over €15 billion, and we ended up with nearly a world record of 569 people on trolleys on one day in January 2011.More Button

That is the legacy the Deputy left.More Button

That is a system that he appears to want to defend, continue and perpetuate. It is very necessary, with the rise in population, the longevity of people now-----More Button

-----and changes in medical systems, that we move to a single-tier system of health.More Button

This works in most other countries in Europe, and what will apply here will be a system that is very suitable for our needs here in Ireland.More Button

The Deputy mentioned private health insurance. The Minister for Health has said on many occasions that the McLoughlin report, for instance, pointed out way after way for private health insurers to...More Button

It will be central to this radical change to the way health services are delivered. That is why the Joint Committee on Health and Children will play a central part in dealing with the preparation ...More Button

Everybody will understand that what is involved is equity in access to treatment on the basis of medical need, as distinct from what one can pay and, in terms of community rating, those on lower le...More Button

Members of the Deputy's party used to speak about exorbitant charges for this, that and the other.More Button

Yes, we will publish it very soon.More Button

In the next couple of weeks.More Button

I did.More Button

I did not tell him there would be an increase of 320% and I do not accept his figures. This is about getting it right because it is going to apply to every person in the country. Everybody will h...More Button

I have had some engagement with Stardust survivors in the past few years and raised the issue on a number of occasions when I was on the other side of the House. In the recent past, anytime I have...More Button

Of course the survivors and siblings of those 48 young people who died at the Stardust deserve to have the full facts determined, but this has been examined pretty exhaustively on a number of occas...More Button

The families will have met Deputy Martin, Deputy Adams and others in the recent past, but Deputy Adams is asking me to form another commission of inquiry. I am being asked to determine whether t...More Button

I know where Deputy Adams is coming from and I accept the genuineness of his question. Any time I have met the relatives of the Stardust victims, it was obvious that their pain was still palpable....More Button

If Deputy Adams advises the legal person that the families have employed to send me his evidence of what is different, new and warrants further analysis, I will consider that, but, as Deputy Adam...More Button

-----and if that is available to the legal person, I invite the families to make a submission to me on that basis and I will consult with the Minister for Justice and Equality on the basis of that ...More Button

The point the Deputy has raised has been raised with me and the Government by a number of Deputies from all parties. I was on Merchant's Quay some time ago with Deputy Catherine Byrne where I met ...More Button

He had been homeless for ten years. Given the extent of the public funding of these agencies, I just do not understand how that can be. We have got to find out the answers to these questions. Pe...More Button

It is wonderful for Deputy Collins to point out that there are 90,000 people on the housing list; we know that.More Button

The Deputy wants an immediate response. I am sure she understands that Dublin City Council or any other local authority cannot just move in on a site tomorrow and say a specified number of houses ...More Button

We recognise that the construction sector-----More Button

I thank Deputy Cowen for his comments.More Button

The fact is that there are now 90,000 people on the housing list and they need accommodation. Every Deputy present knows well the pressure on families to move out of apartments that are too small ...More Button

The Deputy started out by talking about homelessness and then she mentioned 90,000 people.More Button

She should not get them confused in that there is pressure on the construction sector and pressure on for housing. We will have the full debate on housing here shortly.More Button

I would like to hear Deputy Collins's proposition that will bring about an immediate response. We know from the homelessness agencies about the people who are homeless.More Button

We know the support, including financial support, that is being given to them.More Button

One cannot just put them into prefabricated buildings here, there and everywhere. There is a process to be gone through.More Button

If the Deputy does not wish to hear the truth, do not listen to it. A process must be gone through to provide proper housing accommodation for people who need it.More Button

That means blocks, concrete, bricks and mortar. It means one must put in place a process to know what must be provided and go through the proper channels to secure planning permission and so forth...More Button

God love them, we are anxious to do something for them as quickly as possible. However, the Deputy will not get an answer to her question tomorrow. There is a process to be gone through, includin...More Button

Yes, and it has gone on all during the years, Deputy Cowen. The Deputy is not responsible for any of this, but we know what happened-----More Button

-----and we are still paying the price. God knows, the people who are homeless on the streets and those who need housing are paying the price of greed and profligacy and money being fired around t...More Button

We must clean up that mess too, and we will.More Button

Business of Dáil

This matter was decided last Thursday.More Button

Last week, without even being asked for it, the Government gave Members not only a debate and statements but also questions and answers. It is a measure of how generous we can be but, of course, t...More Button

It is proposed, notwithstanding Standing Orders-----More Button

It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders or the order of the Dáil of 27 February regarding the arrangements for the statements on the Government's priorities for the year ahead, ...More Button

Business of Dáil (Continued)

On the contrary.More Button

Neither true nor fair.More Button

This matter was agreed to yesterday over the telephone with Deputies Seán Ó Fearghaíl and Aengus Ó Snodaigh. Then Fianna Fáil wanted to change the arrangement again, which is why I read out a revi...More Button

This was agreed to yesterday. Then the Deputy wanted it to be changed and I have changed it for him.More Button

No. We are now going to have statements.More Button

There will be plenty of time to ask plenty of questions.More Button

Deputy Barry Cowen should calm down.More Button

Deputy Cowen was one of the good ones.More Button

Government's Priorities for the Year Ahead: Statements

I am happy to have this opportunity to inform the House of the Government's priorities for the year ahead. This comes on the same day as the Government has published its third annual report, After...More Button

The first task facing the Government was to restore financial stability and return the economy to growth in order for Ireland to successfully exit the EU-IMF bailout. Thanks to the hard work and...More Button

Government's Priorities for the Year Ahead: Statements (Continued)

Last year saw the Government achieve several key objectives that helped us to this point. The past year has been a good year for jobs, with 61,000 new jobs created, more than 1,000 a week, represe...More Button

Underpinning recent progress has been our continued responsible management of the public finances throughout 2013, which has seen our deficit continue to fall. The Haddington Road agreement was ...More Button

However, exiting the bailout was not an end in itself. Too many people do not feel any improvement in their daily lives. We must use this opportunity to create more jobs and a strong economic r...More Button

There are three pillars with which we are focusing on these targets in the year ahead. The first pillar is helping the domestic economy. Rapid job growth on the scale needed to return Ireland t...More Button

The agrifood sector is one area where we can create 25,000 extra new jobs in the next seven years with the proper supports. This year we are working towards gaining access to the US, Canadian an...More Button

The construction sector is another part of the domestic economy that has a key role to play in our recovery and in creating new jobs. This sector is too small for the needs of a growing economy....More Button

One sector that has shown encouraging signs of growth since the Government introduced new measures within 100 days of entering office has been tourism. The measures we have taken, such as cuttin...More Button

Last year, The Gathering was a huge success. The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport will publish a new tourism strategy shortly, which will build on this over the next decade.More Button

This year will also see a shake up in how government, especially local government, will support local businesses. Under our plan, local authorities have a critical role to play in supporting job...More Button

In combining expertise in local government and enterprise support, from waste management and rates to training and business planning, the LEOs will enable an integrated approach to the delivery o...More Button

To further help Irish retailers win new business in the 21st century, the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources will deliver a new trading online voucher scheme to more than 1...More Button

In supporting the domestic economy in 2014 we must also maintain and improve on our recent competitiveness gains. We must be careful about doing anything that would add to the cost of employing ...More Button

The second pillar is the public finances and the need to continue to manage our public spending prudently. The effort of all Ministers, especially by the Ministers for Finance and Public Expendi...More Button

The third part of the Government's plan for jobs and growth is the need for new credit and the development of a sustainable banking sector. Irish banks have been stabilised but, clearly, much mo...More Button

The banks must also do more to help people who are in mortgage arrears. That is why we will require them to make sustainable offers to every family in mortgage distress by the end of this year. ...More Button

This year, 2014, will also see important progress on a number of other fronts crucial for the development of the country. The Government will continue to prioritise its welfare reform and work a...More Button

By replacing rent supplement with a new housing assistance payment that will continue to be available to unemployed people returning to work, we will ensure an additional 34,000 families are bett...More Button

In addition, the Minister for Education and Skills, Deputy Quinn, will publish the first ever five-year strategy for the further education and training system which will prioritise re-training th...More Button

As Ireland is a small, open economy, the Government will continue to positively and proactively engage with the EU and its member states to enhance the Single Market, reduce administrative burden...More Button

Finally, we will continue the political and public service reforms needed to ensure that the recovery is fair, inclusive and sustainable, and in doing so to continue to rebuild trust in our insti...More Button

We have established Irish Water as a means of financing and providing for investment in clean, safe water. To end the current inefficient two-tier health system the Minister for Health, Deputy R...More Button

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs, Deputy Deenihan, following on from his successful agreement with Bank of Ireland to turn part of the former Irish Houses of Parliament on Co...More Button

The continued improvement of our education system is key to our long-term prosperity. The Minister for Education and Skills, Deputy Quinn, will publish by June of this year, for the information ...More Button

The Government has an ambitious plan of action for Ireland. Exiting the bailout was only the first step in Ireland's recovery. There is no complacency in Government about the scale of the chall...More Button

Tá siad ag teacht.More Button

It will not. We accept the Bill.More Button

The Bill is flawed but we will accept the principle of it.More Button

The Deputy said it would be voted down. It will not be voted down.More Button

The Minister for Finance will set out the details in his response this evening.More Button

The Minister will set out that he accepts what the Deputy wants to do but the Bill is grossly flawed. It will not be voted down.More Button

The Minister will explain all of that this evening.More Button

The Deputy was pre-empting matters, saying it would be voted down.More Button

It will not.More Button

That is why we made the change to have Friday sittings for Private Members' Bills. It was a good thing to do.More Button

I know that. The Bill is flawed and the Minister will set out the reasons why. We will not vote it down.More Button

So we should not have reduced VAT?More Button

Employment Data

Was asked: if community employment scheme and JobBridge participants are included in the employment statistics; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Tourism Data

Was asked: the top ten most visited non-English speaking countries by Irish citizens.More Button

Was asked: the top ten non-English speaking countries of origin of tourists to Ireland.More Button

Consultancy Contracts Expenditure

Was asked: if he will indicate, in tabular form, the total expenditure by his Department on external consultancy advice services, including legal services, in 2011, 2012 and 2013; if this spend is in line wit...More Button

The table below provides the total expenditure by my Department on external consultancy advice services from 2011 to 2013.

More Button

Appointments to State Boards

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the number of women currently serving on State boards under his remit; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In accordance with Government policy, I support the objective of ensuring that State boards have at least 40% representation from each gender.

  In relation to the National Econo...More Button

Semi-State Bodies

Was asked: the number of employee share ownership plans in operation in the commercial semi-State sector under the remit of his Department; his views on whether they offer good value to the State; and if he w...More Button

There are no commercial semi-State sectors under the remit of my Department.More Button

Departmental Agencies Staff Remuneration

Was asked: the implications for agencies funded by his Department that fail to comply with consolidated public sector pay scales by continuing to make top-up payments to staff; when he expects this issue to b...More Button

The National Economic and Social Development Office (NESDO) is the body corporate for the National Economic and Social Council (NESC), the only State Agency under the aegis of my Department. No to...More Button

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