Ahern, Bertie

Wednesday, 11 November 1998

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 496 No. 4

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Order of Business.

It is proposed to take No. 21 — State Property Bill, 1998, Order for Report and Report and Final Stages and No. 22 — Education (No. 2) Bill, 1997, Report Stage (resumed) and Final Stage. Private Memb...More Button

The Government has done that. We have identified areas which are being examined by the Attorney General and the legal representatives of the Committee of Public Accounts. There was a useful and prod...More Button

I did not attend those meetings, but anything that has emerged to date will be given to the legal representatives tomorrow. On yesterday's Order of Business I said there had been a meeting between th...More Button

A constitutional difficulty may arise because the Comptroller and Auditor General has a specific constitutional role. The Attorney General's concern is that we ensure any legislative amendments we ma...More Button

I will take up the Deputy's suggestion. It is important to acknowledge this initiative which was presented to me by Glen Barr and a former Member of the House, Mr. Paddy Harte, a year ago today. I a...More Button

I will ask the Chief Whip to look at the matter.More Button

I replied to this yesterday. I will try to expedite the legislation or I will ask the Minister to do so. If the Deputy wishes to pursue any other matters of detail he should put down questions to t...More Button

There is no particular legislation.More Button

If I am trying to seek the support of one new Member, Deputy Quinn seems to be trying far harder to get more. (Interruptions.)More Button

I will remind the Minister for Finance to follow the long-standing arrangements regarding that.More Button

Legislation is being prepared on the national minimum wage.More Button

Legislation is due at the beginning of 1999 to modernise local Government legislation and implement a range of reforms which will cover some of the aspects causing annoyance to Deputy Mitchell.More Button

The attachment of earnings legislation to end imprisonment, where practicable, for civil debt and inability to pay fines is at an early stage of preparation. I do not have a definite date.More Button

The Department is attempting to have this Bill completed by Christmas but it is more likely that it will be early in 1999.More Button

Ceisteanna — Questions. - National Centre for Partnership.

Was asked: the work undertaken by the National Centre for Partnership in the past six months; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware from briefings I gave the House on the work of the centre on 11 March, 6 May and 23 June 1998, the National Centre for Partnership has been actively engaged in pursuing its...More Button

The centre was born out of Partnership 2000 and its ongoing work will, hopefully, continue to be part of the social partnership process. Thankfully, it gained momentum this year not just among trade ...More Button

It is six months since I answered these questions in the House. At enterprise level, unions and management are co-operating effectively, with the help of the National Partnership. There are a large n...More Button

Ceisteanna — Questions. - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: the progress, if any, made to formulate the legislative and administrative priorities of his Department for 1999; and the achievements to date of the 1998 programme.More Button

Was asked: the legislative priorities of his Department for 1999; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2 and 3 together. The Department of the Taoiseach's strategy statement, laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas on 1 May 1998, sets out the priorities for my Depart...More Button

Whatever about performance pay, I hope the efficiency of these units is effective. They only monitor what is written. They do not decide influences.More Button

We had a long discussion in the House last week on this issue. I appreciate that the Deputy was not present for that debate. That work is now completed in my Department and the various proposals and ...More Button

If they are not available under the Freedom of Information Act, I am sure they are freely available like most other things.More Button

I do not think so. The new bodies will continue more or less as before and will be put on a statutory basis for the reasons I outlined to the House. Their analytical work will continue as before. I...More Button

Ceisteanna — Questions. - Director of Public Prosecutions Files.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the preparation of files for the Director of Public Prosecutions is inadequate in view of the increased volume of work imposed on State solicitors; and...More Button

I am not aware of any deterioration in the preparation of files for the Director of Public Prosecutions, the essentials of which are assembled by the Garda Síochána in any event. As regards the worklo...More Button

A review is taking place on this issue. The terms of reference of the review are to report on the following aspects of the local State solicitors' services: the actual and comparative workloads of St...More Button

I am aware the local State solicitor service is staffed by very dedicated people and I do not believe many cases are thrown out, although there may be some isolated ones. Negotiations led to the sett...More Button

I understand they are near completion and will be discussed openly with the association.More Button

A fundamental review of the DPP's office was carried out by the former Attorney General, Mr. Gleeson, in 1996. Some aspects of the review have not been fully completed at this stage, one of which rel...More Button

Ceisteanna — Questions. - Official Engagements.

Was asked: if he will outline the plans for the visit to Dublin of the British Prime Minister, Mr. Tony Blair, in November 1998; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will make a statement on his visit to Belfast on 6 November 1998.More Button

Was asked: the plans, if any, he has for further visits to Stormont in relation to the implementation of the British-Irish Agreement.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on his recent visits to Northern Ireland; the meetings and engagements he undertook; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the schedule of engagements he is likely to fulfil with the British Prime Minister, Mr. Blair, when he visits Ireland in November 1998.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on his recent meetings in Belfast; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the progress, if any, there has been on the return of bodies of the disappeared following recent contacts with representatives of the Republican movement; and if he will make a statement on the matter...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 5 to 11, inclusive, together. Full details of Prime Minister Blair's forthcoming visit will be announced at the appropriate time. The focus of the visit will, of cour...More Button

I did not refer in my reply to any meeting with the UUP although I answered questions on that last week. In terms of the implementation bodies, we are working to the Agreement on that. The broader d...More Button

The Deputy is right. I emphasised the difficulties that will arise in this regard last Monday week. My officials have held a number of meetings since then and held conversations with the British Pri...More Button

Loyalists and republicans have the same line on this matter. Even the wording at times in meetings is similar. Both groups stick to the terms of the British-Irish Agreement. They say that in the co...More Button

I have urged both sides publicly and privately to try to refrain from megaphone discussion as it is unhelpful to all of us who are in the middle trying to move things forward. Both sides set out thei...More Button

What Deputy Quinn said is simplistic in the context of what is happening.More Button

I accept that and am not accusing the Deputy. However, the Deputy has offered a simplistic view. He is correct in saying the Foyle fisheries commission will not change anything. The detail of the N...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that Seamus Mallon made a point on the issue he raised and that I have been supportive of Mr. Mallon in that regard. We have presented position papers on how we envisage it w...More Button

I agree with Deputy Currie on this issue. I have made everybody aware of the sentiments he has expressed here on many occasions over the years and my response to those sentiments, both in Government ...More Button

The Leader of Sinn Féin, on behalf of a number of the relatives of those who disappeared, has endeavoured to make a case to those who may have information with a view to having their bodies — regretta...More Button

——and somebody has to know where these people are. My belief is that the location of the graves of some of these people is well known.More Button

I do not know why there is silence on the more positive information that came out in early summer. People must know where these graves are——More Button

-and the sooner that information is given and families are allowed bury their relatives, the better. I will continue to raise the matter whenever I can, although I have almost exhausted the Sinn Féin...More Button

All sides could show more generosity, but I do not understand why people refuse invitations to meetings that could lead to at least some progress.More Button

Such meetings would be helpful and people should take up the opportunity. Members of the House can be assured I will not lose any opportunity to urge people to talk to each other with a view to making...More Button

Because of the day that is in it, I would be appalled if there were any sour notes over this issue. A request was made some time ago that the Army No. 1 Band would participate in the ceremony, which ...More Button

I was merely thanking the Deputy.More Button

As Deputy Bruton said, that is the normal position. I am not too sure if this is the first time. When this was discussed by the Committee on Procedures and Privileges that was the invitation issued.More Button

The significance is that both Houses of the Oireachtas were anxious to participate in this, and the Committee on Procedures and Privileges wanted to make this a unique day. That is the significance.More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Staff.

The information requested is included in the following schedule: SCHEDULE Department of the Taoiseach: Staffing Levels by Division/SectionMore Button

Written Answers. - Interdepartmental Strategy Group.

Was asked: the schedule of future meetings of the Interdepartmental Strategy Group on Employment and Unemployment; and if he will make a statement on the group's work programme.More Button

The Interdepartmental Strategy Group on Employment and Unemployment meets on average every six to eight weeks and has met on 30 occasions since its inception in October 1995. The most recent meeting ...More Button

Written Answers. - International Financial Services.

Was asked: the strategies, if any, under consideration in his Department for the International Financial Services Centre in view of the turbulence in world financial markets.More Button

At my request, the IFSC clearing house group is preparing a strategy for the development of the international financial services industry in Ireland, building on the success of the IFSC. This strateg...More Button

Written Answers. - Ireland-America Economic Advisory Board.

Was asked: when he will next meet the Ireland-America Economic Advisory Board.More Button

I hosted a visit to Ireland under the auspices of the Ireland America Economic Advisory Board between 18 and 22 October. The visiting delegation included members of the board as well as some other pr...More Button

Written Answers. - National Economic and Social Council.

Was asked: if he will report on his recent meeting with the National Economic and Social Council.More Button

Was asked: if he has fixed a date for a meeting with ICTU for the Government to open discussions on an agreement to succeed Partnership 2000.More Button

Was asked: the main points made in his speech to the first meeting of the new NESC on 4 November 1998 and, in particular, his proposals regarding a performance related pay structure within the public service.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 16 to 18, inclusive, together.More Button

Written Answers. - Average Industrial Wage.

Was asked: the average per capita income of adults; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I understand the Deputy is looking for the average industrial wage. The latest available figures are provisional ones for December 1997 as follows:More Button

Written Answers. - Employment Levels.

Was asked: the percentage of the active population aged 15 or 16 to 65 engaged in employment in Ireland, each of 14 other EU states, Canada, Japan and the United States of America.More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is set out in a table which I propose to circulate in the Official Report.More Button

Written Answers. - Household Survey.

Was asked: the frequency with which the household survey, which has replaced the labour force survey, will be released by the Central Statistics Office; the publication date for the next set of statistics; and i...More Button

The quarterly national household survey was introduced in September 1997, replacing the annual labour force survey. The purpose of the survey is to provide quarterly detailed statistics on the labour...More Button

Written Answers. - Millennium Projects.

Was asked: if he will report on the Government's consideration of its contribution to the celebration of the millennium.More Button

Was asked: if he will outline Government plans for the provision of major millennium projects; the expected distribution of these projects; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to answer Questions Nos. 22 and 23 together. The Government is in the process of establishing a national millennium committee which I will chair. The committee is to examine and make recomm...More Button

Written Answers. - Commemorative Events.

Was asked: the events organised by the 1798 Commemoration Office; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As we near the close of the Government's 1798 commemoration programme I am delighted, as chairperson of the commemoration committee, to take this opportunity to outline the events organised or assiste...More Button

Written Answers. - Gross Domestic Product.

Was asked: if he will give details of the method of calculation of the GDP per capita in the west, Border, midlands and mid-west regions.More Button

GDP is the value of goods and services produced. It is measured by means of the income arising from the production of these goods and services, for example, profits, wages and salaries, etc. Regional...More Button

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