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Martin, Micheál

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Business of Dáil (Continued)

When the Opposition tables a motion of no confidence in the Government, there is always a precedent for the Government to respond by way of a motion of affirmation or confidence in itself. However...More Button

I do not know. I am making the point.More Button

We are meant to be experiencing a democratic revolution and this is all meant to be changed. Having Leaders Questions, for example-----More Button

I would trade any time on my record in the Dáil or in committees as a Minister answering questions. I would do that any time.More Button

I never had any difficulty in that regard. We are having Leaders Questions at 5.30 p.m. The Order of Business will be at 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. tonight.More Button

That will be after spending six hours in here.More Button

Does it not strike anybody as being a bit absurd or ludicrous? Business will be ordered after it has already been ordered and having had questions on it.More Button

Not at 7 p.m. and after a debate.More Button

A more sensible approach would have been to have the Order of Business and Leaders Questions now, with the confidence debate afterwards for three or four hours. It brings the Dáil into disrepute t...More Button

That would have made more sense. Recent late-night debates have not been very good value for the Dáil in terms of public image, so we need some cop-on and common sense. That is why I object to th...More Button

Note the language. They are "giving" them three hours. That is instructive.More Button

That was brilliant.More Button

Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

No IndicatorVoted No More Button

Confidence in Taoiseach and Government: Motion (Continued)

Hear, hear.More Button

Reflecting on the debate and the speeches we have just heard, I would like to remark that the great phrase, "Frankfurt's way or Labour's way", does not sound too dissimilar to "Europ...More Button

No, it is not. It is on foot of what I have just heard. In many respects, the debate is a perfect illustration of why the people have for a long time and in ever greater numbers lost confidence i...More Button

Time and again, major problems have been allowed to develop directly because of Government policies and have only been addressed when there has been a massive public backlash. The Taoiseach has ...More Button

Yet again we have heard the fairy-tale story of a selfless Government which came to office and turned everything around and only has problems because of how hard it has been working on our behalf...More Button

This is a story which is as dishonest as it is discredited.More Button

In its nearly four years in office the Government has never produced a plan for the economic and social development of our country. In fact its very first decision as a coalition was not to nego...More Button

Earlier the Taoiseach attacked people who opposed the plan. No one opposed the plan more persistently and consistently than the Taoiseach himself, the previous Tánaiste and the current Tánaiste. ...More Button

As every independent study has shown, the budgets introduced by my late colleague, Brian Lenihan, were ones where the wealthiest bore the biggest burden. As every independent study has also conf...More Button

From day one, the Government has put politics before substance. It has seen every problem in terms of how to spin it. After an enormous defeat in May’s local elections, after rising discontent on...More Button

This debate has been framed as a new start, the moment when the Government gets its act together and starts communicating its message. The Taoiseach set it off yesterday with his launch of Fine ...More Button

It is important to note that the Labour Party fully shares this commitment to selective and dishonest spin. This week it too has launched a post-budget offensive, with a claim that nearly 1.2 mi...More Button

It is true that fiscal consolidation has been important and unavoidable. Those parties which like to pretend that all hard decisions could have been avoided are as dishonest as those who pretend t...More Button

Unsurprisingly, the Taoiseach has found no room to acknowledge how European policies negotiated by others and automatically extended to Ireland gave him billions towards achieving targets.

More Button

Deputy Reilly was removed from the health portfolio because of his miserable failures in the Department. That is why the Taoiseach did that to him.More Button

With the greatest of respect, he is the last person in Cabinet who should open his mouth today because he is the personification of why people have lost confidence in the Government.More Button

It is the skills and hard work of the people that have helped our economy, not the short-term, damaging and divisive policies of the Government. These skills were built up over decades, and the ar...More Button

This week there will once again be major demonstrations over the deeply unfair water charge and the manner in which it was implemented. As the Minister, Deputy Noonan, apparently confirmed in an...More Button

The Minister, Deputy Coveney, knows all about it because he conceived it.More Button

The usage-based charge was defended by the party from the very start in the NewERA document. We have ended up with a situation where a charge is being imposed to fund meters which are pointless, t...More Button

This was a defining issue in May, whether the Government likes it or not. The Taoiseach said he understood the message loud and clear. The Cabinet spent four months preparing a final answer, whic...More Button

If things keep going as they are, we will end up with a huge hole in the national budget and people will be paying for declining investment in water services.More Button

This increasingly chaotic approach to policy, where ministerial actions ignore and make major problems worse, has been seen in nearly every Department and there is no reason to believe it will end ...More Button

At local level, the Tánaiste's party in Dublin, with Fine Gael support, earlier this year tried to cut homeless services until forced to retreat by our councillors.

  I welcome t...More Button

-----but this will be merely a sticking plaster if the more serious policy mistake of cutting housing benefit and rent supplement is not reversed. Unfortunately, we have heard nothing from the Gov...More Button

This shows itself in the reality of what has been happening. There has been a sustained withdrawal of State support for marginalised communities and drugs have been seen as only important as a pub...More Button

In health, yet again claims of adequate funding have fallen apart within days. The damage done in three years of failed policies has not been reversed. At best the rate of decline will be maint...More Button

In education, schools face a growing funding crisis, with those who serve poorer communities suffering disproportionately. Protests are being made by communities throughout the country as they s...More Button

The approach of trying to implement policy without discussion or review led directly to last week’s second-level school strikes and is part of a wider problem of refusing to engage with public serv...More Button

The pattern of neglecting problems and allowing them to become crises has also shown itself regarding Northern Ireland. When Fianna Fáil pointed out the collapsing public confidence in the behav...More Button

The failure of the Government to implement even one significant reform of politics and government confirms how it mainly cares about retaining power. Appointing an advisory group on the Seanad w...More Button

The Taoiseach must bear responsibility for the growing crisis in his Government and the collapse of public trust in it. He busies himself with photo opportunities-----More Button

-----and brief comments but has been the least accessible Taoiseach of modern times when it comes to detailed interviews or debates.More Button

He simply will not participate in them. He retreats behind over-written political attacks and empty claims instead of directly engaging with opponents or the people he is here to serve.More Button

Tá easpa físe i gcroílár an Rialtais seo agus ó thaobh na Gaeilge de, is léir nach bhfuil an Rialtas i ndáiríre. Sin é an fáth a d'éirigh an iar-Choimisinéir Teanga as oifig, de bharr an easpa o...More Button

The Government had the opportunity to set a vision for a country that treats its younger and older citizens decently and to build a recovery felt by all. Instead it has caused deepened divisions...More Button

The people have shown that they have no confidence in the Government to address their concerns and the needs of our country. Dáil Éireann should also have no confidence in a tired, arrogant and ...More Button

No IndicatorVoted No More Button

Leaders' Questions

Last week, there was a special "Prime Time" programme on the ambulance service. It monitored various counties and also looked at ambulance response times in Dublin. The programme was shocking as ...More Button

For example, one man explained how he rang 999 as his father had chest pain. Even though they could see the Wexford hospital from their own home, the ambulance took more than 50 minutes to arriv...More Button

A whistleblower from the mid-west was interviewed. She said that ambulance crews from the mid-west were run ragged and "going without food for hours" trying to respond to patients because of a l...More Button

The Health Information and Quality Authority report published last week confirmed that ambulance calls continue to rise by about 10% per year.More Button

Worryingly, it also found that staffing in some control centres fell below the required safe levels.More Button

Does the Taoiseach accept that ambulance response times are far from acceptable? What does he intend to do to address this situation? Does he accept that it is time for a fundamental review of ...More Button

The Taoiseach needs to stop referring to things happening "for the first time" because that is the classical political response to very serious issues. The HIQA report was quite clear that over a ...More Button

The key point is that the lack of any strategic planning is now evident. Something has gone fundamentally wrong with the reconfiguration. What is the response to that person in Wexford who was ...More Button

-----that up to 47 vehicles were way beyond the seven years and 500,000 km criteria for emergency ambulances in the State.More Button

Leaders' Questions (Continued)

They had long passed those criteria and still had not been replaced and will not be until next year. We welcome that fact, but it is too late and shows a lack of proactivity. The report, which ba...More Button

It also strongly criticises the issue of ambulance capacity being lost due to the delay in handing over to accident and emergency departments. It is not just a question of saying that it is far fr...More Button

-----in terms of the reconfiguration and the move to centralisation. Would the Taoiseach accept that something has gone wrong concerning people's access to ambulances and the response times.More Button

But it is the public sector that should have them.More Button

Economic Management Council Meetings

Asked the Taoiseach: if the Economic Management Council has met recently.More Button

Asked the Taoiseach: the position regarding the Economic Management Council.More Button

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

The Taoiseach did not answers Questions Nos. 3 and 6, which I tabled and which basically asked him to make a statement on the position regarding the Economic Management Council and the position reg...More Button

The reason I put the questions in that form was that I was amused by the Minister of State, Deputy Alex White, who on "The Week in Politics" programme articulated the view that there woul...More Button

Economic Management Council Meetings (Continued)

The danger and incompetence of the Economic Management Council, EMC, were demonstrated by its railroading through and rubberstamping of the expenditure on water meters and Irish Water, without prop...More Button

There are many more. The dishonest budget last year on health, for example, was the child of the EMC. It did the work on the budget and presented it to Cabinet. That was presented in the House...More Button

There is a fundamental lack of constitutionality that Ministers are excluded from its work and four people make key decisions with officials who are not elected. A Cabinet is elected and appoint...More Button

I am amazed this has got so little attention. No one knows anything about the signing off of that €500 million which was allegedly off balance sheet because it came from the strategic investment...More Button

The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Deputy White, said he was unhappy with the Economic Management Council, that he understood it would be subject to review and that th...More Button

Irish Water should be abolished.More Button

That is not true.More Button

This is more of the Taoiseach's dishonesty.More Button

That is not true.More Button

No. Fine Gael voted for it.More Button

What about the October Paris statement?More Button

The Taoiseach is a hypocrite.More Button

He voted for the bank guarantee.More Button

The Taoiseach voted for it as Leader of the Opposition.More Button

It borders on the unbelievable.More Button

I think the bank guarantee was the right thing to do, by the way. It had to be done.More Button

The Taoiseach thinks the same.More Button

That is not going to happen. They do not determine leaks.More Button

The Taoiseach is not listening.More Button

They have told me the opposite.More Button

Stop the raiméis.More Button

This has nothing to do with it.More Button

Stop.More Button

The Taoiseach is taking the people for fools.More Button

The Taoiseach has not told anybody that.More Button

He has told no one anything.More Button

Those plans are there anyway.More Button

That is an understatementMore Button

No, I did not. The Economic Management Council voted for that money.More Button

The Economic Management Council took the decisions on water.More Button

They cannot even read them.More Button

It is true.More Button

Other technicalities are associated with domestic meters.More Button

So when one becomes Tánaiste, one becomes supportive of it.More Button

I put three questions to the Taoiseach in respect of the Economic Management Council. He dismissed any concerns relating to the EMC. However, it was the Tánaiste, Deputy Burton, who first articul...More Button

The Taoiseach might say that there are 19 or 20 items on the agenda at any Cabinet meeting. Many of these might relate to appointments to State boards or the adoption of the reports of semi-Stat...More Button

The Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and many of the other Deputies opposite voted against the measures introduced by the previous Government but they are now claiming credit for them. They are also claimi...More Button

The rationale put forward by the Taoiseach in respect of the establishment of the Economic Management Council does not hold water. Deputy Higgins made an extremely important point to which the T...More Button

I do not believe he rang from a telephone kiosk, but he rang and said a bomb would go off. He said it would not go off in Frankfurt, but in Dublin, if any attempt was made to burn bondholders. Th...More Button

With regard to the bank guarantee, the Taoiseach keeps making charges. He voted for the bank guarantee and told the then Minister for Finance to do whatever it takes. He carries on as if he did...More Button

My view is that a guarantee was required at the time in question. It has been renewed by the present Government. The Taoiseach is on public record as accepting the position on bondholders was ...More Button

With regard to Irish Water, Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett is correct in so far as the Government now has to invent reasons to justify the expenditure of €500 million on water meters. The Taoiseach...More Button

The Taoiseach mentioned plans. There were lots of plans and more than €500 million was spent on water infrastructure. In my city, the main drainage project was built and this involved massive i...More Button

To suggest, as the Taoiseach has done in his reply, that the EMC is just a mere Cabinet committee is to give a dishonest portrayal of what the EMC really is. The EMC calls the shots in this Gove...More Button

The Taoiseach did not respond to my point on the health service. The former Minister for Health, Deputy James Reilly, was told to accept the medical card probity figure. That is what caused the...More Button

Unprecedentedly and incredibly, the former Minister for Health came into the House on budget day and announced the figure was not accurate or real and that he did not come up with it. He said he...More Button

I remind the Taoiseach that his Cabinet colleagues were the first to raise the undemocratic nature of the EMC, and they were protesting loudly behind his back to anybody who would listen over the...More Button

Order of Business (Continued)

My party is not agreeing to the late sitting. It is appalling and farcical what is going on. I genuinely say that. There is no need for this. We are debating the order of today's business at 7....More Button

It is farcical.More Button

It would not happen in any organisation.More Button

That is not the reason.More Button

It is not the reason. We could have had the motion of confidence and the Private Members' motion, and that would be that. There is no need for this.More Button

It is just an awful ramshackle, ham-fisted-----More Button

It is a ham-fisted, ridiculous and farcical way of ordering the business of this House. I would ask the Taoiseach to postpone No. 31, for example, which is to be debated for just one hour before a...More Button

2 o'clock? Have we lost our marbles in this House completely?More Button

Has the Taoiseach not learned anything from the last occasion when we-----More Button

One second, a Cheann Comhairle; this is important - when we went beyond midnight-----More Button

-----and how that disgraced the House and the public perception of the House? The Taoiseach is now going to say, as people prepare to march, that we will bury the water issue to the middle of the ...More Button

All Deputies, when we meet in corridors, will ask each other-----More Button

-----what we are doing here.More Button

Who will be listening at midnight-----More Button

-----or 1 a.m. to us debating issues like this? It is unacceptable.More Button

Am I in a position to table an amendment?More Button

I ask the Taoiseach-----More Button

Instead of keeping on saying no, I am asking the Taoiseach sincerely. This is ridiculous. The debate on Committee Stage will adjourn, which means it can be continued again. We are talking about ...More Button

-----and we could do it on another occasion.More Button

We have no problem with that.More Button

I am sorry, a Cheann Comhairle, this is clear-cut.More Button

The Taoiseach-----More Button

Hold on a second, a Cheann Comhairle. The Taoiseach's response has been ignorant, arrogant, dismissive and despicable.More Button

With the greatest respect, a Cheann Comhairle, there should be respect shown to this House. What the Taoiseach just did is an absolute disgrace.More Button

There is no question of anybody not wanting to debate something here-----More Button

-----but there is an issue about the order of this House, and going past midnight is an absolute joke.More Button

I am showing it correctly. With the greatest of respect, I have never initiated the kind of behaviour that others have in this House, but this is going a step too far.More Button

To get that glib, arrogant, ignorant response from the Taoiseach is unacceptable.More Button

On No. 15, if I could get clarification, what Departments are involved there?More Button

A speech made in the House last Wednesday on a serious issue and material that was disseminated, individually, to members of the Committee of Public Accounts. I wish to invoke Standing Order 59. ...More Button

I ask the Taoiseach as well the status of the documentation and material that the authorised officer has disclosed to 13 members of the Committee of Public Accounts in terms of the Department of ...More Button

There is comprehensive and extensive documentation on this issue within the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.More Button

Comprehensive material going back a number of years is available and the members of the Committee of Public Accounts have not had access to it. All of the material was sent to the Garda fraud squa...More Button

It is a bit late now.More Button

No, it is not. Deputy Buttimer got stitched up by his own side.More Button

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

No IndicatorVoted No More Button

Garda Misconduct Allegations

Asked the Minister for Justice and Equality: if she has received correspondence in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Down; if their serious allegations were sent to the panel of barristers; when they may expect an outcome; and ...More Button

Commemorative Events

Asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht: the commitment in the programme for Government relating to the cultural plan for future commemorative events such as the centenary of the Easter 1916 Rising; and if she will make a statement on the...More Button

Asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht: the involvement of officials in her Department on the proposals for the development of Moore Street for the commemoration of 1916; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button