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Martin, Micheál

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Leaders' Questions

This week the Executive has usurped the Parliament and has forced upon us for the next three days a debate on Government priorities, with no legislation at all tabled by the Government side. In th...More Button

Leaders' Questions (Continued)

Also, approximately 1 million people have neither medical cards nor health insurance. The Taoiseach needs to be honest and tell the people concerned that they will pay a tax from now on in the con...More Button

Has the Taoiseach deferred making a decision on the Minister for Health's plans until a full costing exercise has been completed? Does he accept that there will be an increase in overall health ...More Button

The Taoiseach has confirmed what I said in my original question; the Government is delaying universal health insurance, UHI. He has just said the Government confirmed the concept, but the concept ...More Button

The Taoiseach has now teed it up to get himself over the next election with no detail. He will certainly get by the local elections with absolutely no detail. The only ones sowing confusion are t...More Button

The Taoiseach needs to be honest with people and say this will cost more. It will cost people extra money. I was not the first to say that. The Ministers for Finance and for Public Expenditure a...More Button

The Minister is shaking his head. He should publish the memo that was circulated today. Why not publish it? If The Irish Times can get it, surely the Dáil can get the memo. Why not ...More Button

The people have been waiting three years for the White Paper on universal health insurance.More Button

Despite all the talk of radical change, the only reality for people is that the cost of health insurance policies has gone up 60% in the meantime. Tax relief for health insurance policies has been...More Button

There is serious uncertainty about the private health insurance market.More Button

That is what is happening now. The same is happening with medical cards. They are being taken from people.More Button

Thirty-five thousand medical cards are being taken from older people this year. Disgracefully, medical cards have been taken from young children with multiple special needs. People are worried be...More Button

-----in the primary care field, the acute hospital setting-----More Button

-----and in the community care setting through the reduction in home help hours, the massive increase in private health insurance premiums and the reductions in tax relief. There is an incredible ...More Button

It never did.More Button

We have a very fine legacy in health.More Button

Why are people living longer?More Button

Something must be working. Does the Taoiseach have a problem with longevity?More Button

Will the Taoiseach publish the memo?More Button

The Taoiseach told me that four weeks ago-----More Button

-----and four weeks before that.More Button

That is uncalled for.More Button

The Labour Party was-----More Button

Business of Dáil

On a point of order, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle, I wish to protest in the strongest possible terms-----More Button

-----the suppression of the Order of Business. Most Members came to the House thinking there would be an Order of Business this week-----More Button

No; the Government forced it through the House last Thursday in a very undemocratic manner. What we are having today is basically a series of set-piece speeches-----More Button

-----to spin this and that. It has nothing to do with substantive policy.More Button

Two weeks ago we agreed to have substantive statements on housing policy-----More Button

-----and the Government agreed to that debate-----More Button

There was supposed to be a discussion on housing two weeks ago.More Button

We would like to raise some legislative items with the Government. I seek an explanation as to why the Government has ordered the business of the House in such a way that we cannot even have an Or...More Button

It is a disgrace. It is the usurpation of the Parliament by the Executive for its own purposes and nothing else. It is absolutely cynical and disgraceful.More Button

What is the Taoiseach talking about? There are no questions and answers.More Button

I just raised a point of order. The Chief Whip did not know, as late as this morning, how the speeches would be organised. He did not even know how the blocks of speakers would be organised. The...More Button

It was completely disorganised. The Government did not know what way it wished to organise this. It is absolutely disgraceful.More Button

Business of Dáil (Continued)

Not agreed.More Button

The reason this has been proposed is to get over a difficulty and problem which emerged this morning, and the lack of preparation by the Government side for this debate is evident-----More Button

-----in the way it wants to organise this block by block, in other words to dilute the capacity of each Opposition party-----More Button

-----to have its 20 minutes-----More Button

No it was not.More Button

Deputy Stagg was not even party to it but he is such a merciful person.More Button

He is all mercy and generosity. We all know about it.

  All I want to say is there were issues about speaking slots all morning. The Government side did not know how to order t...More Button

In essence what the Government proposed was a fragmented position for the Opposition whereby each speaker from the various parties would have seven minutes. It was very unacceptable from our persp...More Button

The Government does not have legislation to bring forward so we could have the normal week everybody would want, which would allow for Order of Business and questions to the Taoiseach.More Button

Why do we not have questions to the Taoiseach today? The Taoiseach decided not to have them.More Button

This is a jackboot approach to Parliament. The Government wants to dictate the debate the way the Executive wants to dictate it, with no input from the Opposition whatsoever in terms of the form o...More Button

The Government's approach is very anti-democratic. With regard to all of the proposals made on Dáil reform and so forth, this is the absolute antithesis of such proclamations by the Taoiseach in t...More Button

I do not want to delay proceedings further, but I ask the Taoiseach to clarify whether there will be time for questions and answers after each Minister's contribution, which is what was suggested e...More Button

In fairness, that is not happening in the case of the Ministers for Health, the Environment, Community and Local Government and Children and Youth Affairs. Our spokespersons will not come in on th...More Button

Yes, but the Taoiseach mentioned that there would be questions and answers. I take it that-----More Button

Just statements.More Button

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

On the long and growing list of abandoned promises made by Fine Gael and the Labour Party, the promise to reform politics has a prominent place. This is a Government that promised a "democratic re...More Button

Between now and Thursday evening the only vote before the House will be on Fianna Fáil's legislation to protect mortgage holders. This will be voted down by the Government with no real engagemen...More Button

Will the Government activate it?More Button

Will the Government activate in time before the-----More Button

There is a March deadline because of the sale of the IBRC loan book.More Button

It is flawed? Will it be in place before the IBRC sell-off of the mortgage book?More Button

It will not be.More Button

I am glad the Taoiseach will be-----More Button

The Government has a habit of taking some Bills on Second Stage but then letting them linger forever.More Button

The key point of the Bill is to put protections in place for those who hold mortgages that are being sold off by the IBRC.More Button

On Friday two non-Government Deputies will propose legislation, which will be rejected by Ministers in prepared speeches. The Government will add this week to the list of meetings of the Dáil and ...More Button

This debate is a transparent political sham. Nothing will change because of anything that is said here over the next three days. This sort of so-called debate goes a long way towards explaining...More Button

The Taoiseach said at the weekend, and again today, that creating jobs is the absolute priority. No one can disagree with this, but we can disagree with the Government's spin about what is happe...More Button

The Government does not create jobs when it misses every single growth target it sets.More Button

With the greatest of respect, I did not interrupt any speaker in this House today - not one. The Deputy should allow some semblance of democracy. It is in short supply from him and from Members o...More Button

The economy today is smaller than predicted in the first Fine Gael-Labour Party budget, by more than €5 billion. The Government has never introduced a measure to which it has attached a specific j...More Button

The Labour Party and Fine Gael have even started to attack each other about whose idea it was to cut taxes. It is time for the Government to stop the media campaign and to start to explain what it...More Button

Families with children with autism or other disabilities are particularly aggrieved. The Jack & Jill Children's Foundation which tries to help parents with the most severely ill babies and child...More Button

Water charges are on the way. We do not know exactly when people will be told about the charges that are going to be imposed, but from 1 January 2015 families will face extra bills. Between now...More Button

Every independent study of the Government's fiscal policy has confirmed that it has taken a significantly more regressive approach to revenue raising. The one consistent element of the Governmen...More Button

In the past month the internal Cabinet debate about compulsory health insurance has been fought out in a series of unattributed leaks, as well as a public fight-back by the Minister for Health wh...More Button

The Government's priority for the health service during the next year is to keep progressing towards the Minister's new system. If this happens, further chaos is inevitable. The HSE service pla...More Button

The Government has claimed it will engage in a genuine consultation process. A genuine consultation process would include the possibility of listening to people and abandoning ill-thought out pr...More Button

It is disappointing that restoring confidence in the administration of justice is not a priority for the year. At the weekend the Taoiseach not only backed the Minister for Justice and Equality,...More Button

In the past three years the Government's neglect of issues concerning Northern Ireland has become increasingly obvious. The Government is not to blame for the recent problems, but it has chosen ...More Button

European policies played a central role in Ireland's economic crisis. We have not yet received full justice for our case. Having declared victory on at least three occasions in the past two yea...More Button

Political Reform

Asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform: his views on progress on political reform; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government: his views on progress on political reform; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button