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Kenny, Enda

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Confidence in Taoiseach and Government: Motion (Continued)

I move:

    That Dáil Éireann reaffirms is confidence in the Taoiseach and in the Government.
Almost four years ago the people voted this Government into power, asking t...More Button

Fine Gael and the Labour Party promised in the last election that we would overhaul the flawed bailout agreement made by Fianna Fáil. We reversed job-destroying increases in income tax and the cut...More Button

Our strategy of consistent and determined engagement with our international partners has transformed our international reputation and resulted in real gains and real benefits for our people. The...More Button

The result of our strategy was to deliver our country from the bailout almost to the day a year ago, without the need for a second bailout or other conditional arrangements.More Button

We also took action to deal with the demons of Ireland's cold and heartless past. In my first speech here as Taoiseach, I spoke about how a wound heals from the edges in. We began immediately t...More Button

In every aspect of this work, I wanted to make sure we would banish those demons, those old cultural spectres of inhumanity. I was determined that Ireland would never again be such a cold house ...More Button

Better debt deals mean we have billions more to invest in public services to make life a bit easier and somewhat better. Personal taxes are down and people will benefit further from other tax rest...More Button

No person is perfect, no government is perfect and nor am I.More Button

Of course we did not get everything right along the way - I would be the first to acknowledge that - nor have we achieved all of the things we hoped for when we took office. We must and will learn...More Button

Since entering government, we have focused on rescuing the economy. However, economic recovery is not enough and never was. It is not a goal in itself and does not represent the end of the Gove...More Button

What is reputation when men and women live and die on our streets?More Button

Our work is not yet done.More Button

The Government of Fine Gael and the Labour Party has an ambitious agenda for the future of Ireland. I want this to be seen as a country of opportunity-----More Button

-----in which people are free to achieve anything they set out to do and to reap the rewards of their efforts. I want it to be a country where no lack of jobs, housing or services will hold indivi...More Button

The Government and I, as Taoiseach, have succeeded, by working in partnership with the people, in bringing our country back from the brink of the economic abyss. We remain fully focused on our p...More Button

On 9 March 2011, this Government and the people took a leap of faith: faith that we can better ourselves, faith that we can renew government, faith in a confident, shared future for ourselves, our ...More Button

I commend this motion to the House.More Button

Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Leaders' Questions

The ambulance service over the years has always been one where controversy has raised its head on many occasions. I recall being on a health board many years ago and the clapped-out ambulance vehi...More Button

Since 2011, there has been a major programme of change to reconfigure how pre-hospital emergency care services are managed and delivered. Last year, there were 280,776 calls, 14,000 more than in...More Button

The HSE has acknowledged that at times of high demand with the emergency care system there is clearly a potential for delays in the transfer of patients from ambulance to emergency department and...More Button

There has also been a whole new further set of details on the ambulance emergency department framework. That clarifies the process of clinical handover, establishing where are the lines of respo...More Button

It is an evolution to a point where national data are now being collated. We have increased investment in the provision of new ambulances and in the collation of the data. Most important of all...More Button

Leaders' Questions (Continued)

Yes, I know.More Button

Yes. I accept that it is not perfect and that there are serious issues, but they are being addressed by the Minister. I think the Deputy accepts that a €5.4 million increase in the ambulance budg...More Button

Yes, I understand. The former Minister for Health, Deputy Reilly, brought in targets for the national ambulance service whereby, when a life-threatening condition occurs, a patient-carrying vehicl...More Button

I will tell the Deputy why. Target times are only one element of an ambulance service. At present, if an ambulance responds in under 19 minutes to a call in respect of a life-threatening situatio...More Button

The emergency aeromedical service support was a 12-month pilot project between the NAS and the Air Corps providing dedicated aeromedical support for the NAS in the west, specifically where roads we...More Button

It recommended that it be established on a permanent basis. The 2015 HSE plan includes a specific target for turnover at hospitals for the first time, so that is an improvement. We also have an a...More Button

I thank Deputy Ó Caoláin for his question. I know that from his personal family circumstances he can empathise in a situation like this so much more deeply than others who may not have those parti...More Button

I was called about this last week by the Minister of State, Deputy Kathleen Lynch, and I took her call with a sense of dread and anger. I have since been briefed on it by the Minister for Health...More Button

The HSE alerted the Garda Síochána and HIQA immediately. In the interests of protecting residents and staff themselves, it put a number of staff off duty while the allegations are being investig...More Button

The director general of the HSE wrote to all the staff emphasising the serious responsibilities on them personally to ensure that individuals supported by the HSE in any setting are treated with ...More Button

The Minister has been fully briefed and has assured me that instructions have been given to the HSE to keep both himself and the Minister of State fully informed. I have also been assured that t...More Button

I recall when this place was opened. As the Deputy rightly points out, there are many people who work in the health service who do an excellent job and provide a first-class service. This kind ...More Button

There were 59 recommendations made in respect of the HIQA investigation into the facility and they have all been implemented. Two practice co-ordinators have been assigned to Áras Attracta, effe...More Button

I know the facility, which is close to me. Unfortunately, this is another incident in a long line of incidents over the years. As the Minister indicated, the HSE will have its own undercover in...More Button

I will take it on board and the Deputy can rest assured that the Government will support the Minister, Deputy Varadkar, the Minister of State, Deputy Lynch, and the HSE in carrying out a proper eva...More Button

I take the Deputy's point that there is no argument against this. It can be trying in many of these circumstances. The Deputy speaks from a fraternal perspective but I cannot speak in the same ...More Button

The point made by the Deputy is a central issue, as this is probably not an individual or isolated case. We have seen similar cases in the past, and it is now a case of attempting to deal with t...More Button

I thank Deputy Wallace for his question. The Criminal Justice (Mutual Assistance) Act 2008 implements the EU Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between member states of the Europe...More Button

The convention applies only to criminal matters. It does not apply to intelligence gathering. Essentially, where a lawful interception order is in place in one EU in relation to the investigation...More Button

I saw the media reports that GCHQ in the UK was tapping into undersea communications cables. The media reports actually suggest that if such surveillance is being carried out, it is being carried ...More Button

The need for the protection of people from terrorists and other criminal threats is acknowledged but the point must be made that it is necessary to ensure that the information is properly obtaine...More Button

This matter is being investigated by the European Commission. As I said, these matters are governed by legislation in this jurisdiction and there is no question of any form of mass surveillance ...More Button

The story was based primarily on the grounds that if there had been any tapping or interception of these undersea cables, it occurred outside our jurisdiction. While the article did not specific...More Button

As the Deputy knows, these communications cables are owed by commercial companies. Irish companies, such as Eircom, have an interest in some of the cables. The report goes on to say that the Ir...More Button

Economic Management Council Meetings

Was asked: if the Economic Management Council has met recently.More Button

Was asked: when the last Economic Management Council meeting took place.More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the Economic Management Council.More Button

Was asked: when the last meeting of the Economic Management Council took place.More Button

Was asked: when the last Economic Management Council took place.More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the status of the Economic Management Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

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

  The Economic Management Council has been established with the status of a Cabinet committee and it has four member...More Button

I said it has the status of a Cabinet committee.More Button

Economic Management Council Meetings (Continued)

The Deputy started by saying he had asked me two questions that I did not answer and he finished up on meters and water, and all of that, through the EMC. Question No. 3 asks the position regardin...More Button

He set out a €400 charge with no relief.More Button

We must get this right.More Button

The Deputy's party put the Irish people first in line to suffer economically when it introduced the bank guarantee.More Button

Yes, it is true.More Button

It is now changed.More Button

The Irish people are now first in line to benefit from anything-----More Button

-----that might come from the liquidation of the IBRC.More Button

The next thing is this.More Button

Deputy Martin also made the point-----More Button

-----that €500 million has been spent on water meters.More Button

Water meters will deal with two issues - conservation and the determination of leaks.More Button

The Deputy never wants to listen.More Button

I have to say I have learned about this myself. It is very important to listen.More Button

When a water meter is installed, it is easy to determine whether there is a leak inside the house or between the meter and the house. The more leaks that are determined, the less treated water is ...More Button

The establishment of Irish Water cost approximately €170 million. That has been saved on the-----More Button

-----restructuring of the tender-----More Button

-----and the restructuring at Ringsend.More Button

Yes, it does.More Button

The realignment-----More Button

-----of the upgrading of the Galway plant saves €100,000 a month.More Button

It is about time the Deputy began to look at the bigger picture, for example with regard to what we will have to do in the next 15 to 20 years. How will Dublin city be supplied with water?More Button

Is it going to come down through Poulaphouca and Ballymore Eustace?More Button

Does the Deputy think that if Dublin city expands by another 50,000 or 60,000 people-----More Button

-----there will be enough water to deal with that?More Button

Deputy Martin's party allowed a situation in which nothing was done with this country's piping system for 50 years. Is the Deputy aware that there are pipes in this city that are caked inside and ...More Button

-----the right thing to do in the interests of conservation. If we are to have an effective system, we need to be able to fix what is wrong and to invest for the future. That is what it is about....More Button

-----to the question of water and water meters.More Button

I just thought the Deputy should know those things. The next time he is talking to a good plumber in Cork, he will be told that the value of having a meter is that it allows people to know what th...More Button

That allows them to be fixed and investment to be made for the future.More Button

First of all, the Deputy made the point about the Economic Management Council and the work that it does. Then he branched into the pipeline for water. The Bill dealing with that will be debated l...More Button

The Economic Management Council has a duty to consider some of the major implications in terms of infrastructure that we have to look at for the next number of years. For instance, what does one d...More Button

The same applies in the case of social housing. The Government has put up €2.2 billion in this respect. Is there an opportunity for further funding, for PPP investment, for social housing? The...More Button

For instance, what does one do with the remainder of the share that Ireland holds in Bank of Ireland? We put in €4 billion; we have got back €6 billion. That is a profit for the taxpayer. The ...More Button

In regard to Irish Water, the Economic Management Council did not go through all of the details. It has had the 34 local authorities, the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Gover...More Button

This is not the case. I do not know whether the Deputy was ever in a trench himself having to deal with one of those things but, believe me, it is an experience.More Button

For instance, we discussed the question of homelessness. What does one do with an issue that has been around for a long time? The point was that, in addition to the Cabinet sub-committees, whic...More Button

Deputy Boyd Barrett asked me if I would be out listening. There is a debate on homelessness in the Chamber tomorrow, obviously arising from the unfortunate tragedy across the road that needs to ...More Button

There is a situation that Deputy Boyd Barrett will understand. Across rural Ireland, water has been paid for for very many years. Some people have had to put in private wells. It might be €5,0...More Button

It is a contribution every year of a pretty significant amount. Let me give the Deputy an example of three very small rural schemes down the west of 1,200 houses, fragmented holdings, long boreens...More Button

They bundled them all together with the local authority at the time and the then Department of the Environment, fenced off the sources, put in proper pumps, fixed the leaks, and put a meter on ever...More Button

Deputy Boyd Barrett is a vociferous Deputy who lives in the greater Dublin area. This is a conurbation that needs attention in terms of water. All of these kilometres of pipes that are ruptured...More Button

I made the point - I think to Deputy Martin - the other day that 1,000 boil water notices went out to Williamstown in east Galway, as the Leas-Cheann Comhairle will know, and right over into west...More Button

That is where we need to be. That is the story that Irish Water will be for the next 50 years - to invest and supply and provide a proper scale of clean water. When major pharma companies decid...More Button

The Deputy asked me about humility and getting it wrong. I would say that we certainly did not get it right, but we did listen to the concerns of the people. In respect of clarity, definition, ...More Button

I take the Deputy's point regarding conservation, and he is right about it. This matter has been a source of discussion at local authority meetings and Department meetings over the years. We have...More Button

I always say to Deputy Higgins that he knows well, as a man from southern Ciarraí, that somebody must pay for the clean water that comes out when one turns the tap. Perhaps it is when the Deputy...More Button

  I am not going to inform the Deputy about the issues discussed at meetings of the EMC. As the latter is a Cabinet committee, the matters its discusses and deals with are protected unde...More Button

-----and she has done so on a number of occasions in respect of important issues. In all honesty, it is not a case of four people entering a room, making a decision and then stating that the Cabin...More Button

Order of Business

It is proposed to take No. 15, Supplementary Estimates for Public Services [Votes 35 and 36], back from committee; No. 16, motion re membership of committee; No. 31, Water Services Bill 2014 - Comm...More Button

Tomorrow's business after oral questions shall be No. 32, statements on homelessness. It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that the following arrangements shall apply in ...More Button

Order of Business (Continued)

The motion of confidence-----More Button

It is the reason.More Button

We just had it.More Button

As the Minister of State, Deputy McHugh, commented, it is lucky for some if they can go home to their families.More Button

This is the first time I have heard of an Opposition not wanting a debate on an issue that has-----More Button

-----been so controversial for the past number of years. Deputy Martin did not state that his party would give us a guarantee now that this will finish Committee and Report Stages on Thursday with...More Button

It is most unusual that the Opposition Members seem to find the heat in the kitchen a little too much here. They want to go home and have a rest.More Button

If they are here to work and legislate, then that is the business that we are in.More Button

Yes. We are telling Deputy Higgins that, after the motion on Palestine, we will have one hour's debate on Committee Stage.More Button

I am quite sure if I said to Deputies Martin and Higgins that we will suspend this hour, they would be crowing about something else.More Button

Defence.More Button

We have given a commitment through the Chief Whip on the discussions on domestic violence and the Constitutional Convention. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien is aware business was disrupted but it might be...More Button

The Bill should be published before the end of this session.More Button

I do not have a date for the Central Bank consolidation legislation. I expect the EirGrid Bill to be published by early summer 2015.More Button

For the information of Deputy Bannon, the public sector standards Bill is expected next year.More Button

It will be next year. I will revert to Deputy Fitzpatrick with more detailed information.More Button

The Bill has already passed but sections of it require an enactment order. The climate action and low carbon development Bill has been cleared by the Attorney General's office. It is expected to ...More Button

A Bill is not at issue but the House could have a useful debate on the matter sometime after Christmas.More Button

Approval was given to draft the heads of the Bill and money was included in the accounts for next year for that purpose. In respect of the public health (alcohol) Bill, the heads were cleared by C...More Button

It will be early next year.More Button

Water Services Bill 2014: Second Stage (Resumed) (Continued)

Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Estimates for Public Services 2014

I move the following Supplementary Estimates:

Vote 35 - Army Pensions (Supplementary)That a supplementary sum not exceeding €4,800,000 be granted to defray the charge which will com...More Button

Votes put and agreed to.More Button

Departmental Legal Costs

Was asked: the amount of expenditure incurred by his Department on external legal advice in the years 2012, 2013 and to date in 2014.More Button

My Department incurred no expenditure in 2012, 2013 and to date in 2014 on external legal advice.More Button

Unemployment Data

Was asked: the percentage of the labour force in Dublin mid-west that is officially unemployed in 2014 compared with each of the past ten years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: the facilities and privileges made available by his Department to former Taoisigh; and if he will provide a breakdown of the cost incurred in providing these since 2011 inclusive.More Button

The breakdown of the costs incurred in providing administrative support to former Taoisigh since 2011 is provided in the table below.

Breakdown of amounts paid to former Taoisigh by my ...More Button

Cumas Gaeilge sa Stát Seirbhís

Díríonn obair mo Roinne go príomha ar dhéileálacha leis an Rialtas agus le ranna agus gníomhaireachtaí eile rialtais. Mar thoradh air sin, ní thugaimid leibhéal mór éilimh faoi deara ón bpobal ar s...More Button

Thug roinnt comhaltaí foirne i mo Roinn le fios go bhfuil roinnt inniúlachta acu sa Ghaeilge agus tá siad inniúil go leor chun réimse seirbhísí a sholáthar i nGaeilge ar chéimeanna áirithe. As na...More Button