Martin, Micheál

Tuesday, 6 December 2005

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 611 No. 67

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Priority Questions - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: his plans to review competition law here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Government, at its meeting this morning, approved the text of the competition amendment Bill 2005. This will strengthen the Competition Act. I plan to publish the text as soon as practicable allow...More Button

The resources of the Competition Authority will be increased under next year’s Estimates and the cartels division will be expanded. I met the former chairman of the authority late in the summer prior ...More Button

The bottom line is the Competition Authority is independent.More Button

The Minister of the day does not engage with the authority in respect of specific investigations and so forth, nor would it be appropriate to do so.More Button

We must be careful about how such investigations are progressed. The matter is with the Director of Public Prosecutions. The decision to abolish the groceries order was based on analysis undertaken by...More Button

Priority Questions - National Minimum Wage.

Was asked: the number of inspections carried out by the labour inspectorate of his Department to ensure payment of the national minimum wage in 2004 and to date in 2005; if his attention has been drawn to the co...More Button

Priority Questions - Job Protection.

Was asked: his Department’s strategy to prevent the displacement of workers and their replacement with lower paid workers who are subjected to exploitative terms and conditions.More Button

Ireland already has a comprehensive body of employment rights legislation which has among its objectives the protection of employees against arbitrary behaviour by employers. It also has wider aims su...More Button

The Deputy obviously did not hear my reply. I will repeat the key sentence. “We do not want to see people building competitive advantage based on poor wages, casualisation of labour, low health and sa...More Button

Going right back to the foundation of the party of which I am proud to be a member, it is accepted that we have always had a modern and progressive approach to workers’ rights and to the establishment...More Button

We will continue to do that. The record will show what we have done. I have been in discussions with the social partners and I share their concerns. The best way to advance the protection of workers i...More Button

We have said this. I said it in the House last week.More Button

With all due respect, Sinn Féin will not act as spin doctor for my good self. Let us be very clear about this matter — the Taoiseach was very clear in the House — we are against any reduction in livin...More Button

Priority Questions - Industrial Disputes.

Was asked: his views of the continuing deterioration in industrial relations at Irish Ferries; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Last week I met the management of Irish Ferries and representatives of SIPTU and the ICTU to convey to them the Government’s concerns as to the gravity of the situation and the wider implications of t...More Button

We must be very clear about this. As the Deputy is aware, the Minister of State, Deputy Gallagher, has been negotiating in Brussels on the manning directive. A number of other countries also took issu...More Button

The Minister of State, Deputy Killeen, will meet the Cypriot Minister for labour and social and affairs next Thursday to discuss issues which the Deputy raised. We are obviously concerned about the im...More Button

Priority Questions - Bullying in the Workplace.

Was asked: the steps he proposes to take to address the serious problem of bullying in the workplace; his proposals to introduce new legislation to implement the recommendations of the expert advisory group on w...More Button

Other Questions - Employment Support Services.

Was asked: the reason for the decrease in the employment rate of disabled persons in 2005 when €70 million is being spent on training and support to achieve the opposite effect.More Button

Was asked: if his Department has devised a concerted employment strategy for the Mallow hub-town; the components of such strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Support for employment and investment in individual towns is a day-to-day operational matter for the agencies under my Department. Under the industrial development Acts, I may give general policy dire...More Button

I have already outlined the strategies applied by the agencies to Mallow in particular. I have referred to the FÁS regional office based in Mallow and the Enterprise Ireland involvement. The Governmen...More Button

I am answering the question. Deputy Howlin asked me what a hub town generates. It generates that degree of investment across Departments. Likewise, regarding the railway link to Mallow, critical to it...More Button

Deputy Howlin asked a question with the view that if he got the answer he wanted, he would have a question about another town next week. On the merry-go-round goes and I will not fall for that particu...More Button

The approach is that the Mallow development partnership will work with the State agencies in the preparation of a integrated development strategy. We advise the agencies to adopt that type of progress...More Button

I thought the Deputy would be more enthusiastic.More Button

Other Questions - Departmental Appointments.

Was asked: if it is intended to fill the recently vacated post of chief science adviser; if the filling of the post will be by advertisement and open competition; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The chief science adviser is appointed by Government. As I have stated publicly, the post will be filled by open competition. It is expected the process will commence in the new year.More Button

The circumstances surrounding the first appointment to the post of chief science adviser have already been well articulated.More Button

No, I do not. The reasons for this were advanced at the time in terms of developing a science architecture for the purposes of Government and public policy and the availability of a person who had a s...More Button

This appointment was undertaken in good faith and in the context of his work in BioResearch Ireland and so on. That has been articulated at length.More Button

It is time to move on. In regard to the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, the Deputy is aware that a broader undertaking is ongoing in terms of the strategic implementation p...More Button

I already said it arose in the context of the work we have been undertaking——More Button

In the last year. We have discussed with different Departments their respective sectoral plans that will feed into a broader Government strategic implementation plan on research. Arising from this, th...More Button

I have already issued a statement on this issue. The press release I issued at the time is a matter of public record. In the context of the controversy that had arisen at the time and its impact on th...More Button

Order of Business.

Question put: “That the proposal for dealing with Nos. 9 to 14, inclusive, and No. 19 be agreed.”
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Question put: “That the proposal for dealing with No. 15 be agreed.”
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Regional Fisheries Boards (Postponement of Elections) Order 2005: Motion.

Question put.
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Written Answers - Labour Inspectorate.

Was asked: in regard to his announcement of the recruitment of an additional 11 labour inspectors, the number who have been appointed to date in 2005; when he expects the full number to be appointed; if they wi...More Button

Was asked: his views on whether the labour inspectorate does not have the number of inspectors necessary to carry out its duties in respect of the increased workforce and in particular to inspect the treatment o...More Button

Was asked: his views on the continuing reports of ill treatment of immigrant workers; the steps he intends to take to deal with this matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his plans to increase the strength of the labour inspectorate.More Button

Written Answers - Economic Competitiveness.

Was asked: his views on the fact that Ireland’s expenditure on research and development, according to the European innovation scoreboard and cited by the National Competitiveness Council, stands at just over 50%...More Button

I believe the Deputy is quoting from a table in The Competitiveness Challenge 2005 produced by the NCC. That table comprises some 13 measures of Ireland’s innovation performance relative to the EU 25....More Button

Written Answers - Employment Rights.

Was asked: his response to the recent report of the Pensions Ombudsman, which included particular criticism of employers in the construction industry; the action he intends to take arising from the report; and i...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: the reason for the 8% cut in budget 2006 for Enterprise Ireland’s grants to industry as contained in the 2006 Estimates.More Button

The reduced Exchequer allocation to Enterprise Ireland under grants to industry does not represent a reduction in the agency’s activities. The reduction was sought by my Department in light of various...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: when he intends to publish and enact the promised new legislative proposals to strengthen the provisions of the Competition Act 2002 to specifically prohibit the fixing of minimum retail prices by sup...More Button

The Government, at its meeting this morning, approved the text of the Competition (Amendment) Bill 2005. I plan to publish the text as soon as practicable allowing for the fact that the Bill must now ...More Button

Written Answers - Jobs for People with Disabilities.

Was asked: in view of the low rate of acceptance of grants by employers to support the entry of disabled persons into the workplace, the measures he has taken to raise awareness of such a scheme among employers...More Button

Written Answers - FÁS Training Programmes.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that facilities available in County Clare for the training of FÁS apprentices are inadequate; if training facilities will be provided for FÁS apprentices in...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Programmes.

Was asked: if funding will be provided in 2006 to develop a post-primary programme to complement the discover primary science initiative; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In 2006, under the aegis of Discover Science and Engineering, my Department’s integrated awareness programme, it is intended to provide funding to develop a new post-primary pilot programme related cl...More Button

Written Answers - Employment Rights.

Was asked: the progress made with regard to the Government’s proposals to provide legal protection on a sectoral basis for whistleblowers who may wish to expose illegalities or wrongdoing on the part of their em...More Button

Written Answers - Economic Competitiveness.

Was asked: his views on the recently published report from the National Competitiveness Council, Competitiveness Challenge 2005; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his response to the National Competitiveness Council’s recently published document Competitiveness Challenge 2005; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the recent work of the National Competitiveness Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 84, 146 and 153 together. I welcome last month’s publication of the National Competitiveness Council, NCC, Competitiveness Challenge 2005. The challenge, which builds ...More Button

Written Answers - Unemployment Levels.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that youth unemployment has been consistently over twice the overall national rate of unemployment in the past four years (details supplied); the efforts hi...More Button

The success of the Irish labour market over the past decade has been unparalleled in the recent history of Europe. Since 1997 more than 522,000 jobs have been created, unemployment has more than halve...More Button

Written Answers - Community Employment Schemes.

Was asked: his plans to review the community employment scheme particularly in relation to core services provided to persons with disabilities; his views on mainstreaming the core funding of those services; and ...More Button

The main purpose of the community employment programme operated by FÁS is to provide work experience and training for the long-term unemployed and disadvantaged groups and thereby enable participants ...More Button

Written Answers - Company Closures.

Was asked: the action he intends to take on the threatened closure of a plant (details supplied) in County Sligo; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The company in question has announced that it intends to close its Sligo operation by the end of 2006. I understand that the company has commenced an extended staff consultation process of 60 days and...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Investigations.

Was asked: the action his Department has taken following reports of mistreatment of periwinkle pickers off the north Dublin coast; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the investigation his Department has held into the circumstances in which 11 immigrant workers were reported to have been abandoned off an island near Skerries in County Dublin; the outcome of such in...More Button

Written Answers - Job Creation.

Was asked: the efforts being made by the job employment creation agencies to bring jobs to Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that there have been significant job announcements in Donegal recently with more than 210 new jobs announced in September 2005 by Zeus Industrial Products, Letterkenny and Pow...More Button

Written Answers - Economic Competitiveness.

Was asked: the action he proposes to take to address the increasingly serious issue of the rapidly rising cost base for both manufacturing and service industry here; if he has examined the various contributory f...More Button

Was asked: if he has been informed of the concerns in the manufacturing industry arising from an increased cost base which is affecting competitiveness; if he has offered any solution; and if he will make a stat...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the manufacturing and service industry here is becoming less competitive due to an ever increasing cost base; if the situation will be evaluated with a...More Button

Was asked: if he has had discussions with industry with a view to identifying the main contributory causes to an increased cost base with particular reference to the need for competitiveness on world markets; an...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 90, 290, 294 and 295 together. Maintaining Ireland’s attractiveness as a competitive and profitable location from which to do business is a key priority of the Governm...More Button

Written Answers - Labour Inspectorate.

Was asked: the progress made to date in 2005 with regard to consideration of the discussion document covering the operation of the labour inspectorate; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Investigations.

Was asked: the costs incurred by the State, at the latest date for which figures are available, arising from the various inquiries instigated by or on behalf of his Department; the element of these costs that ha...More Button

Was asked: the position in regard to each of the inquiries being carried out by or on behalf of his Department; the projected date for the conclusion of each such investigation; the inquiries in respect of which...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 92 and 113 together. Sixteen investigations into company law matters were initiated by my predecessor in the period since 1997. In three cases, the High Court appointe...More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Appointments.

Was asked: the circumstances and terms under which the chief science adviser, Mr. Barry McSweeney recently departed his post; if compensation or severance package was paid to Mr. McSweeney; and if he will make a...More Button

As I stated publicly on 15 November, Mr. Barry McSweeney left his position as chief science adviser to the Government on that date and he is to take up a new position as research co-ordinator within t...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Appointments.

Was asked: when he expects to fill the vacancy in the Competition Authority caused by the resignation of a person (details supplied).More Button

Mr. Henneberry formally informed me of his intention to resign from his post of member of the Competition Authority on 15 November 2005. His resignation, which is for personal reasons, will be effecti...More Button

Written Answers - Industrial Development.

Was asked: when he will visit County Kerry to meet Tralee Chamber of Commerce and other groups and agencies to discuss the absence of foreign direct investment in the county; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

In response to a similar question posed by the Deputy in November last, I indicated that I had visited Kerry on 21 July 2005 with officials from my Department and the State development agencies. Durin...More Button

Written Answers - Trade Liberalisation.

Was asked: his views on proposals to ban energy efficiency, recycling and other eco-labels on the grounds of non-tariff-barriers that are to be discussed as part of the non-agricultural market access talks at th...More Button

Was asked: his views on proposals to ban energy efficient labels on the ground of non-tariff-barriers as part of the non-agricultural market access talks at the sixth WTO ministerial meeting in Hong Kong from 13...More Button

Written Answers - Employment Rights.

Was asked: when action will be taken to address the unacceptable situation whereby competition law is being mischievously used by the Competition Authority to attack the rights of certain workers, in particular ...More Button

Was asked: his views on whether there is a conflict of interest within his Department where at present the Competition Authority, which is attacking the rights of certain workers, in particular actors, musicians...More Button

Was asked: his views on an amendment to the Competition Act 2002 to reinstate the right of self-employed actors to be members of and be represented by a trade union in pursuit of improved pay and conditions; and...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 97, 105 and 110 together. The purpose of competition law is to prohibit anti-competitive practices by “undertakings” such as price fixing and-or the abuse of a dominan...More Button

Written Answers - Industrial Development.

Was asked: if his Department intends taking extra action to improve the industrial and economic climate of the Shannon region following the decision to end the Shannon stop-over; and if he will make a statement ...More Button

National aviation policy, including the establishment of the new Shannon Airport Authority and changes to the Ireland-US bilateral air services arrangements fall within the policy remit of my colleagu...More Button

Written Answers - County Enterprise Boards.

Was asked: the steps he is taking to develop the county enterprise board investment programmes in the Border, midlands and western region; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There are 13 county enterprise boards operating in the BMW region. These boards deliver the micro-enterprise measure under the Border, midlands and west, BMW, regional operational programme 2000-2006....More Button

Written Answers - Labour Inspectorate.

Was asked: the number of employers who have been subjected to inspections by the labour inspectorate in the past 12 months; and the number of these employers which employ migrant workers.More Button

Written Answers - Industrial Development.

Was asked: if the Tarbert, Ballylongford, Ballybunion part of north Kerry will be designated a special targeted area for investment under the new brief which he proposes for Shannon Development; and if he will m...More Button

As I indicated in response to previous parliamentary questions, on 28 July last, following detailed consultations with the board of Shannon Development, other stakeholders and regional interests, I an...More Button

Written Answers - Unemployment Levels.

Was asked: the number of meetings which have been held by the interdepartmental committee on unemployment in Donegal; and when it is expected that it will publish the recommendations; and if he will make a state...More Button

The recently established interdepartmental group on Donegal, chaired by the Secretary General of my Department, has met on two occasions to date, with further meetings planned. The terms of reference ...More Button

Written Answers - County Enterprise Boards.

Was asked: his plans for the future of city and county enterprise boards; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The county and city enterprise boards, CEBs, continue to play an extremely important role in developing the small business sector in Ireland and, to support them in delivering their programmes, some €...More Button

Written Answers - Mergers and Acquisitions.

Was asked: if a submission has been made to the Competition Authority with regard to the proposed purchase of the Meteor mobile phone company and NTL cable company; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The proposed acquisition by UPC Ireland BV — ultimately owned by Liberty Global Inc. which also owns Chorus — of MS Irish Cable Holdings Limited, trading as NTL, was notified to the Competition Author...More Button

Written Answers - County Enterprise Boards.

Was asked: his plans to review the eligibility criteria for funding from county enterprise boards; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Within the past two years my Department, through Forfás, commissioned a review of the role and functions of the CEBs in the development of micro-enterprises. The review represents the most comprehensi...More Button

Written Answers - Equality Issues.

Was asked: if he has received a copy of the report by the ESRI entitled Degrees of Equality: Gender Pay Differentials Among Recent Graduates; and the action he is taking to tackle the issue of gender pay differe...More Button

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform has responsibility for policy on equality and the ESRI report to which the Deputy referred was commissioned by his Department. I have not received a c...More Button

Written Answers - Labour Force.

Was asked: the efforts his Department is making to encourage older persons to re-enter the workforce; the barriers older persons face when attempting to rejoin the workforce; the supports and services available ...More Button

The number of older workers in employment has increased by 33% over the past ten years and the employment rate now stands at close to 51%. This is above the EU target of 50% to be reached by 2010. Thi...More Button

Written Answers - Industrial Disputes.

Was asked: his views on the actions of Irish Ferries in ignoring the Labour Court recommendations whereby the court rejected claims by the company management that the future viability of the company was dependen...More Button

Was asked: his assessment of the implications for labour relations here of the decision of Irish Ferries to reject a recent Labour Court decision in regard to the dispute regarding the proposed replacement of Ir...More Button

Was asked: the legislative changes he may consider in response to the dispute at Irish Ferries and the practice of companies operating in the market here being able to flout minimum wage and other employment law...More Button

Was asked: his plans to deal with the situation at Irish Ferries; if he expects a knock on effect; if the situation in regard to staffing has a precedent or is likely to set one; if he is conscious of the implic...More Button

Was asked: if, in view of the stance adopted by Irish Ferries in relation to its workforce, he supports a change in labour law to afford greater protection to seafarers; and if he will make a statement on the ma...More Button

Was asked: the employment rights available under Irish or EU law to ship workers employed by shipping companies operating under the Irish flag; if such workers have pension rights here; if they pay PRSI and PAYE...More Button

Was asked: his plans to ensure the ongoing availability of ferry services from here to the UK; and the continent having regard to the need of the manufacturing sector; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

Was asked: the discussions he has had with the management at Irish Ferries with a view to restoring some semblance of normal labour relations and the need for an island nation to have easy access to ferry servic...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 109, 122, 129, 138, 147, 151, 291, and 292 together. On 4 December 2005 the National Implementation Body made a series of recommendations to the social partners and th...More Button

Written Answers - Environmental Issues.

Was asked: the resources his Department has in place to ensure that environmental issues affecting business, such as climate change, sustainable production and sustainable consumption are being adequately addres...More Button

My Department has a specific policy unit, comprising three staff members dedicated to dealing with environmental policy issues affecting business. The unit is currently engaged on a range of environme...More Button

Written Answers - Health and Safety Regulations.

Was asked: the number of fatal and serious accidents in the workplace which have been recorded since the enactment of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005; if he is satisfied that existing and planned...More Button

Was asked: the measures he intends to take to reduce the high and rising incidence of workplace fatalities; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the numbers of deaths and injuries reported arising from industrial accidents in each year from 2000 to 2004 and to date in 2005; the further steps he intends to take to reduce the level of such accid...More Button

Written Answers - Community Employment Schemes.

Was asked: the position of persons aged between 50 and 55 employed in community employment schemes; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The main purpose of the community employment programme operated by FÁS is to provide work experience and training for the long-term unemployed and disadvantaged groups and thereby enable participants ...More Button

Written Answers - Work-Life Balance.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to reports of research indicating that job satisfaction has a particular influence on mental health; if his attention has further been drawn to the fact that depression...More Button

Written Answers - National Consumer Agency.

Was asked: the progress made to date in 2005 with regard to the establishment of the new National Consumer Agency; if the membership of the board of the agency has been finalised; the number of meetings held by ...More Button

As I advised the House in previous replies to parliamentary questions on this matter, the core recommendation of the Consumer Strategy Group is that a new statutory body, the National Consumer Agency,...More Button

Written Answers - Industrial Development.

Was asked: if, in view of the fact that IDA factories in County Mayo are being sold off as car showrooms and that west of Ireland manufacturing companies are being encouraged to move their business as far away a...More Button

I have nothing further to add to my previous answer to this question where I pointed out that I can only comment on that part of the question relating to my remit. The Government facilitates the creat...More Button

Written Answers - Mergers and Acquisitions.

Was asked: his views on the implications for the Irish cable TV and Internet sector on the recent approval by the Competition Authority of the acquisition of NTL by Liberty Global; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

The Competition Authority carried out a full competition assessment of this case and on 4 November 2005 determined that the acquisition would not substantially lessen competition provided the parties ...More Button

Written Answers - National Consumer Agency.

Was asked: his views on whether the new National Consumer Agency, when it is put on a statutory footing should be represented at social partnership talks; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Consumer Strategy Group in its report, Make Consumers Count, which was published earlier this year, concluded that the consumer voice should be represented at the social partnership table. In this...More Button

Written Answers - Employment Rights.

Was asked: the progress made to date in 2005 with regard to his consultations regarding the possible establishment of a joint labour committee to protect the interests of domestic workers, especially in view of ...More Button

Written Answers - Grocery Industry.

Was asked: his Department’s estimate of the savings which will be made on an average family’s weekly shopping bill arising from his decision to abolish the groceries order; the timetable of when this saving will...More Button

My Department’s recent report on the groceries order did not estimate the precise extent of savings that will accrue to the average family’s weekly shopping bill following the Government’s decision to...More Button

Written Answers - Child Care Sector.

Was asked: if, in line with the Government’s stated commitment to child care, he will set about a reform of the child care industry whereby child care workers would have an entitlement to a career structure to i...More Button

Written Answers - Community Employment Schemes.

Was asked: the number of persons on community employment places at 1 January 2003, 1 January 2004, 1 January 2005 and the anticipated numbers at 31 December 2005; if his attention has been drawn to the difficult...More Button

The main purpose of the community employment programme is to provide work experience and training for the long-term unemployed and other disadvantaged groups to enable participants to advance successf...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies.

Was asked: the number of persons who have resigned as members of the Competition Authority within the past 15 months; the number of vacancies on the authority; the steps he is taking to have these vacancies fill...More Button

Three members of the authority have resigned in the past 15 months; Mr. Terry Calvani, Dr. John Fingleton and Mr. Edward Henneberry. There are currently two vacancies on the authority. The Public Appo...More Button

Written Answers - Regulatory Reform.

Was asked: his views on whether his Department should take a role in a system of regulatory impact assessments of new legislation before it is brought to the Houses of the Oireachtas; and if he will make a state...More Button

The Government decided, in June of this year, to mainstream an updated model of regulatory impact analysis, RIA, across all Departments and offices to be applied to (1) all proposals for primary legis...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies.

Was asked: his views on whether the Competition Authority is adequately funded; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Since the enactment of the Competition Act 2002, the resources of the Competition Authority have virtually doubled. Earlier this year the authority set up a second mergers division following the Gover...More Button

Written Answers - Trade Liberalisation.

Was asked: the position the Government has taken within European Union negotiations in advance of the non-agricultural market access talks due to take place in Hong Kong; his views on whether the arguments raise...More Button

Written Answers - Jobs for People with Disabilities.

Was asked: the reason so many disabled persons do not take part in ordinary FÁS courses in view of the initial decision to mainline the training of disabled persons, especially when statistical evidence reveals ...More Button

Written Answers - EU Funding.

Was asked: the nature of the over-claim of Ireland’s European Social Fund; and the person who was responsible for the irregularities that led to the withdrawal of €15.6 million by the European Commission.More Button

Arising from audits by the European Commission in 2000, the Commission took a decision in February 2003 to reduce ESF aid to Ireland by €15.614 million in respect of three operational programmes from ...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: when legislation will be introduced to regulate management companies; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his plans to regulate the operation of housing management companies.More Button

Was asked: his plans to regulate the operation of housing management companies.More Button

Written Answers - Public Holidays.

Was asked: if he intends to create new public holidays or to transfer existing public holidays to new dates; if assurance will be given that there will be no attempt to downgrade or transfer the existing May Day...More Button

Written Answers - Security Industry.

Was asked: his views on the use by employers of security companies established to deal with the threats from global terrorism to impose exploitative employment regimes which contradict existing employment agreem...More Button

Written Answers - EU Regulations.

Was asked: the implications for Ireland of the decision of the European Parliament to vote in favour of the latest REACH proposals; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The European Parliament and the Council are in the final stages of a proposal for the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals, REACH. The Parliament agreed its first readi...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Strategy Statements.

Was asked: the progress which has been made to date in 2005 on the proposal to explore the potential for green consumerism as was suggested as an action to be undertaken in his Department’s sustainable developme...More Button

Green consumerism is about supporting sustainable consumer choices through ensuring the provision of accurate and credible social and environmental information on products and services, and is one of ...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Correspondence.

Was asked: if he has had correspondence with the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government or local authorities with respect to increases in rates for businesses; and if he will make a stateme...More Button

I have not been in correspondence with local authorities concerning this matter. My Department has referred any specific issues regarding this topic to the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and L...More Button

Written Answers - Health and Safety Regulations.

Was asked: if his Department has data indicating the extent to which radon is present in workplaces here; if an investigation has taken place into radon identification and remediation measures in the workplace; ...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Programmes.

Was asked: the transfer of duties from his Department to the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have decided in consultation with the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, that responsibility for the social economy programme, which is operated by FÁS under the aegis my Departmen...More Button

Written Answers - Financial Regulation.

Was asked: his views on whether the audit level for small businesses should be raised; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: the legislation which his Department intends to bring forward in the next 12 months to improve workers rights.More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Organisation.

Was asked: his views on proposals that his Department should be split into two separate Departments, namely, a Department of labour affairs and a Department of enterprise and trade.More Button

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment is structured in a way which recognises that enterprise and employment are not competing but, in fact, complementary factors. Calls for alternative c...More Button

Written Answers - Labour Force.

Was asked: the number of non-national workers required in 2006 to ensure all job vacancies are filled; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Economic migration policy is formulated within a context where the focus on meeting our skills needs is, first, on upskilling our resident workforce, second, on maximising the potential of European Ec...More Button

Written Answers - Job Creation.

Was asked: the position in relation to the regional task force for the north west and its plan; and if he will make a statement on the availability of funding for this region.More Button

The recently established interdepartmental group on County Donegal, chaired by the Secretary General of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, has met on two occasions to date and further...More Button

Written Answers - Industrial Disputes.

Was asked: the action he has taken to prevent the displacement of 550 Irish workers and their replacement with exploited labour by Irish Ferries; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Ireland has a comprehensive body of employment rights legislation, which has among its objectives the protection of employees against arbitrary behaviour by employers. It also has wider aims such as p...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Properties.

Was asked: when the purchase of the 1.3 acre site at Collooney Community Enterprise Limited will be finalised; if his attention has been drawn to the circumstances outlined in the enclosed correspondence (detail...More Button

The management of IDA Ireland’s industrial property portfolio is a day-to-day operational matter for the agency as part of the statutory responsibility assigned to it by the Oireachtas for the attract...More Button

Written Answers - Community Employment Schemes.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a day care for the elderly, Travellers’ pre-school, GAA club, parish and community office, and a programme of maintenance and enhancement of the local ...More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, the community employment programme was restructured in 1999 to limit participation by new participants within three years, with effect from April 2000. The change was intro...More Button

Written Answers - Industrial Development.

Was asked: the steps he has taken to promote inclusive design methodology in all research and development of domestic products with a view to improving the usability of everyday products for all, including perso...More Button

None of the enterprise development agencies under the remit of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment is involved in such research and development. Issues specific to persons with disabili...More Button

Written Answers - EU Directives.

Was asked: if he will make a statement outlining his position on the country of origin principle included in the proposed directive for an internal market in services.More Button

Under the country of origin principle, which is a central feature of the draft services directive, if a service provider is not established — does not have an office — in a member state to which it pr...More Button

Written Answers - Traveller Community.

Was asked: the special arrangements in place within his Department and at the point of service delivery to meet the needs of the Traveller community; and if his attention has been drawn to particular difficultie...More Button

I am conscious of the importance of responding to the needs of an increasingly diverse customer base, including minority groups like the Traveller community. The 2004-07 customer service action plan o...More Button

Written Answers - Work Permits.

Was asked: the reason a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath was refused an extension of a work permit in view of the fact that the person served time as an apprentice for three years with the employer;...More Button

Having considered an appeal, the work permits section of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has decided to grant a work permit in this case.More Button

Written Answers - National Training Fund.

Was asked: his estimate of the revenue that will be raised under the national training fund levy in 2006; and how it compares with the projected outturn in 2005.More Button

The estimated total income of the national training fund for 2006, as published in the abridged Estimates for public services for 2006, is €350.2 million. The current projected outturn for the income ...More Button

Written Answers - National Climate Change Strategy.

Was asked: the progress which has been made to date in 2005 to progress the requirement under the national climate change strategy to extend the mandatory energy labelling system for electrical goods such as con...More Button

The issue of mandatory energy labelling for electrical goods comes within the remit of my colleague, the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources. I understand from the Department of ...More Button

Written Answers - Work Permits.

Was asked: the number of new work permits issued in the past 12 months; the number renewed and the number refused; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment’s work permits section issued 28,083 work permits in the 12 months up to 30 November 2005. Some 8,375 of the permits were new work permits and 19,708...More Button

Written Answers - Job Losses.

Was asked: the countries to which Irish jobs have been relocated in the past three years; if the underlying causes have been identified; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of manufacturing jobs lost through relocation to other economies in each of the past five years including the current year to date in 2005; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 293 and 300 together. The Forfás employment survey tracks employment levels in agency-assisted companies on an annual basis. However, factors influencing a decision to...More Button

Was asked: the alternative employment which has been provided for the former workforce at a factory (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his plans to find alternative employment for the workforce of a business (details supplied) in County Kildare when the business relocates; the cause or causes for the relocation; and if he will make a...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 296 and 297 together. As part of its operational responsibilities, FÁS engages closely with companies whose workers are made redundant. The agency assists affected wor...More Button

Written Answers - Insurance Industry.

Was asked: the way in which insurance costs here compare with those in other European jurisdictions; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The National Competitiveness Council, NCC, in its Annual Competitiveness Report 2005, found that of the 16 countries benchmarked, Irish expenditure on non-life insurance was the fourth highest. Howeve...More Button

Written Answers - Industrial Development.

Was asked: the new markets which have opened for the manufacturing industry here; the markets closed, if any; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Ambitious Irish companies continue to win market position in a range of existing and new markets throughout the world. This is no easy task. Building market share is challenging but success in harness...More Button

Written Answers - Employment Support Services.

Was asked: the initiatives his Department has in place to facilitate ex-prisoners in returning to the workforce; the supports and services available to them to enter employment; the success of these initiatives ...More Button

Written Answers - FÁS Training Programmes.

Was asked: the supports and services available to employers and employees who are seeking to upgrade their qualifications and skills with regard to the upskilling of the Irish workforce; when these supports and ...More Button


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