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Penrose, Willie

Tuesday, 3 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 Nbr. 4

National Development Finance Agency Bill, 2002: Second Stage (Resumed).

I thank you, a Cheann Comhairle, for allowing me to contribute to the National Development Finance Agency Bill, 2002. This Bill sets up another layer of bureaucracy or a quango. I have always oppos...More Button

We should subject this Bill to particular scrutiny at this time when it appears there is financial difficulty, however surprising that may be. We do not know to where the largesse has disappeared b...More Button

A lot of it has gone to the wealthy in reducing their capital gains tax from 40% to 20%. While looking after the well-heeled, it was brought in under the pretext that those people would release lan...More Button

As someone who pays the higher rate of tax, I have never been afraid to say that I should pay a bit more tax to provide services for the elderly, the sick or the infirm. Maybe that is the socialist...More Button

The Government has wielded the axe on all public expenditure. Over-administration has been one of the failings of our system. Why, therefore, does the Government feel it is necessary to establish a...More Button

The Minister for Finance, Deputy McCreevy, pooh-poohed our idea of reducing contributions to the pension fund. This is for future pensions, but of course the myth arose that we wanted to raid the c...More Button

It is peculiar because it was seen as a bad idea when we suggested it. Part of the problem with Government nowadays is that no matter what suggestion comes from the Opposition, it is seen as ideolo...More Button

The national development finance agency provided for in this Bill has its origins in the last general election campaign. The idea, basically, is to keep accounts off the balance sheet. It is off-ba...More Button

The European Commission has to examine this in the context of the stability pact and has some critical analysis to offer of the justification the Minister for Finance has tried to put over. I do no...More Button

There are obviously a number of issues of concern in relation to infrastructure. I am glad the Minister of State, Deputy Michael Ahern, is here because I know he is acutely aware of some of them. O...More Button

Early bird systems from Mullingar to Dublin, etc. take people off the road, thereby contributing to an improved environment. The problem is that rolling stock and various other aspects of the servi...More Button

It is important that money is made available to upgrade rolling stock to ensure the normal conveniences and comforts of the travelling public are provided for. People are prepared to a pay a price ...More Button

We have heard about the 9% increase in Bus Éireann charges, but one young person rang me today about a 29% increase in the last eight months. We should be encouraging people to utilise publi...More Button

My local council has made it a central core of our development plan to re-open all the old railway stations along the link. There is one at Killucan in Mullingar. I see Deputy McGrath coming in, he...More Button

We all welcomed the national spatial strategy. We in Mullingar were delighted to be accorded status along with Tullamore and Athlone, the important triangle of midland towns. This is a 20 year plan...More Button

Significant projects have been submitted to the Department seeking funding in respect of infrastructural deficits in sewerage and water facilities in Mullingar and Athlone. Unless the funding reque...More Button

Deputy McGrath and I have spoken of the importance of ensuring work on the local hospital is completed. Phase 2B of the project spans five years and involves the provision and staffing of a 100 bed...More Button

For the national spatial strategy to be meaningful it is important to make sure it serves as a reference point for all investment in coming years. I am sure the Government will look favourably upon...More Button

This is important in the context of the Bill, otherwise for what is this quango being created? It is supposed to access the money necessary to ensure these projects come onstream. I call on the Min...More Button

An objective of the Bill is to ensure the necessary finance will be provided for various projects. There is a deficit in the provision of resources for infrastructural projects. Nowhere is this mor...More Button

I was waiting for new schools to shoot up. Promises were made by—More Button

That is important information.More Button

I am speaking on the Bill. Will the necessary resources be provided to ensure 14 primary schools, Mullingar secondary school, Colaiste Mhuire, Colaiste Chionn Torc in Castlepollard and the Loreto C...More Button

I am speaking on the Bill. Will the necessary resources be raised to ensure the promise made to the people that the schools in question would be looked after prior to the general election will be m...More Button

Deputy McGrath could list 100 of them. I am not as familiar with the education area as he is. Some 14 or 15—More Button

I always give credit to Deputy McGrath. He always gave me credit in the agricultural area. Some 14 or 15 schools in County Westmeath alone are substandard. We also have a promise regarding a school...More Button

We should borrow for productive purposes and not be afraid to do so. There would be a long-term return on such investment. It is important that we should examine this area in the round. There are t...More Button

Private Members' Business. - Community Employment Schemes: Motion.

I strongly support the motion because this is something very dear to me. Westmeath was one of the counties to adopt this scheme as a pilot project in 1985 and there was considerable and strenuous o...More Button

In any event money was scarce and we adopted a scheme. Westmeath County Council had a skilled carpenter. A number of people were trained at the time under the social employment scheme. They commenc...More Button

Most of the people on the scheme today have no access to transport, public or private, and they are relatively poor. They are disadvantaged and include people who are becoming elderly. They want a ...More Button

As Deputy Howlin said, in January 2002 there were 30,000 people in the scheme. In a year the Minister has set out to dismantle it and has already smitten one third from that number. If the Governme...More Button

What about the Carers Association that depends on the community employment scheme for secretarial and supervisory help? There are 100,000 carers and there are Carers Association houses across the c...More Button

As I have said on many occasions, in areas such health and education, it is the disadvantaged who are always asked to foot the bill for the economic problems that have been generated by Government ...More Button

The people who will be severely disadvantaged will undoubtedly be the long-term jobless and the elderly in rural areas. The cuts will cause havoc and desolation at individual and community level. I...More Button

The grants for the materials have remained static for the past six or seven years. Insidious pressure has already been applied to wipe them out. What savings will accrue to the Exchequer as a resul...More Button

What about the child care policy advocated by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform? How will that be delivered in disadvantaged areas where CE schemes play an important role? Has ther...More Button

Has any evaluation been done on the impact these cuts will have on lone parents? The decreasing number of places available to this group will obviously result in a decrease in family income with th...More Button

These represent a small number of the areas that I have examined which will be impacted. The Government is grossly mistaken in the course on which it is embarking.More Button

Debate adjourned.More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Expenditure.

Asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs: when he expects to receive the analysis commissioned from the national institute for regional and spatial analysis at Maynooth which is required to assist in the review of CLÁR areas; and if...More Button

Asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs: the progress made to date in regard to the implementation of the CLÁR programme; the number of areas in respect of which plans have been submitted to his Department; the total projected budg...More Button

Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

Asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food: if a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath will be immediately awarded area aid and disadvantaged area aid payments, as same have not been made to date; the reason there has been such a del...More Button

Asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food: the grant aid which may be available to persons who wish to erect equestrian arenas which would have an educational content; the nature and type of grants available for such a project; and if he wi...More Button

Written Answers. - Urban Renewal Schemes.

Asked the Minister for Finance: if the period for carrying out 15% of the total construction cost of buildings under the town renewal scheme, which was due to expire on 31 December 2002 under legislation (details supplied), has b...More Button

Written Answers. - Registration of Title.

Asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform: if he will take steps to expedite the issue of a Land Registry file plan (details supplied) in view of the fact that this is urgently required; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Written Answers. - Housing Grants.

Asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government: if a person who paid a booking deposit on 25 May 2002 and has on 21 November 2002 paid a full deposit on a dwelling house, and which contracts were finalised on the 21 November 2002, will be in a p...More Button

Asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government: if, in view of application for first-time buyer's grant by a person (details supplied) in County Kildare and the comprehensive replies furnished on 20 November 2002 by this person's solicitor to qu...More Button

Written Answers. - Local Authority Housing.

Asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government: if he will give details of the loan facilities which are available from local authorities via the shared ownership scheme and-or affordable housing initiatives for persons who are working legally h...More Button