Ahern, Dermot

Thursday, 2 December 1999

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 512 No. 2

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Deputy Owen wants to have it every way.More Button

Financial Resolution No. 5: General (Resumed).

That is a new one. Fine Gael forgot about the over fives until today.More Button

The Deputy should check his figures – I have them here.More Button

The Deputy does not understand it.More Button

Hugh Leonard could do with a period in here.More Button

Does the Deputy object to training?More Button

They can now apply for the carer's benefit. Has the Deputy forgotten about that?More Button

The people voted for them. That is the difference.More Button

I have had to listen to a number of speeches. I categorically reject the political hype and bluster of the Opposition, particularly by Deputy Howlin who referred to the demographic situation. I challe...More Button

The budget ensures that nobody on the average industrial wage will be in the top tax bracket.More Button

Some 46% of taxpayers are currently in the top tax bracket. This will fall to 37% next year and to 17% when the system is fully implemented, or 12% when those exempt from tax are taken into account. T...More Button

This more than fulfils the commitment in our programme for Government to get more than 80% of all taxpayers paying at the standard rate, which will be 20% when we complete the programme.More Button

This radical tax package will encourage more people to get into the labour market and will make it more attractive for Irish people abroad to come home and take up jobs.More Button

The Opposition wishes to heckle me but it appears it does not want to get as many people out of the top tax bracket as us.More Button

Given the interruptions, I hope I will have more time to finish my speech. I know the truth is bitter for the Opposition.More Button

Since I took up office an extra £1 billion has been allocated to the Social Welfare Vote – that is no mean achievement. It means more for older people, people with disabilities, carers, lone parents a...More Button

In An Action Programme for the Millennium we promised that old age (contributory) pensions would reach £100 per week by 2002. Over the first two budgets we went further than required to meet that. We ...More Button

Deputy Yates was in Government at the time. Deputy Quinn claims there was a budget surplus when he left office but he did not do much with it. A sum of £28 million was provided for child benefits in t...More Button

The truth is bitter. The Opposition will not let me speak.More Button

They are rhetorical questions. Opposition Deputies have raised many such questions.More Button

I could not provoke the Opposition.More Button

On capital assessment, I am pleased to be in a position to respond positively to the representations which have been made by Deputies on all sides of the House, the Joint Committee on Family, Communit...More Button

Earlier I stated that the budget provides for a £4 increase in general social welfare rates. It is too long because it is the biggest social welfare package in the history of the State.More Button

This represents an increase of 5.2% and 5.6%, more than double the underlying expected rate of inflation and in line with expected increases in average industrial earnings. This is something which no...More Button

I would ask to be given some consideration at the end of this period due to the constant interruptions from Members of the Opposition who do not like to hear the truth.More Button

The £4 increase in general social welfare rates represents an increase of between 5.2% and 5.6%, which is more than double the underlying rate of inflation and in line with the expected increases in a...More Button

The subsidy is currently worth 36p a month or less than 9p a week. I have ensured that the financial benefits provided for in this year's budget will more than compensate those affected by this loss o...More Button

They are actually. That is the reality. Deputies on all sides of the House are keenly aware of the valuable work undertaken by carers in our society. The number of carers in receipt of carer's allowan...More Button

Last year I extended a number of free schemes to carers and I am continuing this process in the current budget by extending the free electricity and free television allowances to this group, regardles...More Button

It is the Deputy's proposal but he did nothing about it. This Government is a government of action. The Deputy's party might propose it, but we do it. Following the review of the carer's allowance, wh...More Button

—not by £20, but by £25.More Button

Either Deputy Noonan did not remember what Deputy Bruton had said a couple of months earlier in his Ard-Fheis speech—More Button

—or Deputy Bruton did not listen to Deputy Noonan's latter announcement.More Button

One might say that £5 is only a small amount of money, but in all it costs £35 million. I pointed out that I did not favour stopping the child benefit increase to children under five years of age, bec...More Button

—for the first two children, and £2 for each subsequent child. We are giving £8 and £10, respectively. In 1997, the previous Government gave £1 for the first two children and £5 for each subsequent ch...More Button

Last year, this Government gave £40 million in child benefit.More Button

This year, £105 million is being given. That is a substantial increase.More Button

I would like to think that, as I continue in this office, I will continue to give further large increases in child benefitMore Button

In relation to the back-to-school clothing and footwear scheme—More Button

The so-called liberals are becoming illiberal, which is typical.More Button

The back-to-school—More Button

I am not finished by a long shot.More Button

The back-to-school clothing and footwear scheme will be increased, at a cost of £4 million, by £20 at each level, bringing the payments to £63 for children aged between two and 11 years, and to £78 fo...More Button

I am also bringing forward out of school hours services in areas of disadvantage, at a cost of £5 million. I envisage that these ser vices will be provided through the expanding network of community d...More Button

Deputy Yates said it is an incentive to die. It is showing the caring aspect of this Government which is increasing the bereavement grant.More Button

However, I am not satisfied with increasing the bereavement grant by 500%; I am going further this year by giving an additional once-off grant for newly widowed persons with dependent children.More Button

Is the Deputy going to vote against it? I am surprised he does not want us to give a grant to widowed persons.More Button

This grant will be a once-off payment of £1,000 payable in respect of deaths which occur on or after 1 December 1999, and will be on top of the £500 bereavement grant.More Button

This budget will underpin the current negotiations on a social partnership agreement. As we all know, social partnership has been the engine that has driven this economy over the past 12 years.More Button

Some Members of this House, particularly on the other side, were against social partnership. The economy—More Button

ICTU and IBEC have welcomed the budget.More Button

The economy has grown by almost 6%. Total employment in the economy has grown by 2% per annum, twice the OECD average and six times the EU average. Between 1993 and 1998, the number of people at work ...More Button

Over the same period, the unemployment rate has fallen from 16% to less than 6%. That transformation was brought about by a Fianna Fáil-led Government.More Button

The stories which these statistics tell are as diverse as they are positive.More Button

There is restored self-esteem for the long-term unemployed person, strengthened family relationships through the return of an emigrant son and new life for communities where emigration was once inevit...More Button

Like Deputy Higgins, the Deputy is trying to cause some ruaille buaille about this. However, the unions and employers came out in support of what we were endeavouring to do in this and the next two b...More Button

I am not sure, Deputy Kenny, if any of us properly realise this. We now have a real opportunity to implement the Good Friday Agreement, to copperfasten peace and to achieve a new dispensation for our ...More Button

—a society in which everybody can contribute to the wealth of the nation and can share in the benefits of social and economic development. This budget contributes in a very significant way to those ob...More Button

I more than commend this budget to the House.More Button

Would the Deputy give way?More Button

Would the Deputy not accept that the figures given by the Minister show that, at the end of the three year period, if he continues in this direction, only 12% of taxpayers will pay tax at the higher r...More Button

Does the Deputy accept the figures?More Button

They will be looked after.More Button

They will also be looked after.More Button

Adjournment Debate. - Charleville (Cork) Community Project.

I thank Deputy Creed for raising this issue. Tackling poverty, unemployment and exclusion are the cornerstones of the Government's economic and social policies. Building an inclusive society is one of...More Button

The community development programme is a part of the overall framework of support for community development and family support groups provided by my Department. Sup port under these schemes ranges fro...More Button

The Deputy is not doing the job right.More Button

Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

Was asked: the reason parents of an 18 year old attending second level school receive no extra payment to maintain him in their unemployment benefit while they are paid family allowance for the same child; and i...More Button

Child benefit is paid up to age 16 or up to age 19 if the child is in full-time education or where the child has a physical or mental disability. In addition, families at greatest risk of poverty rece...More Button

Written Answers. - Security Alarms.

Was asked: if he will include people under 65 who are wheelchair bound in the scheme which provides personal alarms to senior citizens through local community organisations; and if he will make a statement on th...More Button

My Department has, since 1996, operated the scheme of community support for older people, the purpose of which is to provide funding for initiatives to improve the security and social support of vuln...More Button


Last Updated: 20/05/2011 15:15:56 First Page Previous Page Page of 135 Next Page Last Page