Coughlan, Mary

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 694 No. 3

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Order of Business.

It is proposed to take No. a1, National Asset Management Agency Bill 2009 — amendments from the Seanad; and No.1, Industrial Relations (Amendment) Bill 2009 [Seanad]— Second Stage. It is proposed, no...More Button

We have had a considerable period of time to debate the legislation. In this House we had 86 hours of debate and in the Seanad we had 36 hours of debate. In the context of what we would like to achi...More Button

Question put: “That the proposal for dealing with No. a1 be agreed to.”
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

I share Deputy Hogan’s delight in the release of Fr. Michael Sinnott. I thank those who have helped to ensure his release, including in particular my colleague, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and o...More Button

On the Defamation Act, which has been passed, the Minister has indicated he will commence it very shortly. More Button

I will revert to the Deputy in due course on the date for the Committee Stage debate. More Button

The debate will take place on Tuesday week, as agreed by the party spokespersons. There is not yet a date for publication of the animal and welfare legislation. More Button

It is intended that the environment Bill will come before the House during this session and the sale of alcohol Bill will come before it early next year.More Button

We are not in a position to say when this legislation will be brought forward.More Button

As the Deputy is aware, we have had to introduce emergency legislation——-More Button

——-which has taken a long time, and consequently only a certain amount of resources are available to the Government and parliamentary draftsmen to bring forward legislation. I will indicate the Deput...More Button

The Minister indicated to the Labour Party spokesperson last week the issues arising from Committee Stage and I will have the details of the matter circulated to the two Deputies who raised the issue.More Button

The Minister wrote to Deputy Quinn in response to a question he raised and I will circulate the response to the other Deputies who raised the matter.More Button

That is a matter for another Minister.More Button

Where were you? If the Deputies are all worried about Shannon development, they should all have been there.More Button

Regional development.More Button

I said neither.More Button

The legal costs Bill is due next year.More Button

To be helpful to the Deputy, I will ask the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform to revert to him on the legislation before the Seanad.More Button

The Deputy answered his own question. It is not possible to indicate when that will come before the House.More Button

Good.More Button

I have answered Deputy Higgins’s question. It is the same answer as I gave 25 minutes ago and I cannot change it.More Button

There is no date.More Button

That is next year.More Button

I have asked the National Consumer Agency to investigate this matter on my behalf.More Button

I will revert to the Deputy when I have received the advice of the National Consumer Agency, which is investigating the matter on my behalf.More Button

It will happen as quickly as possible.More Button

I have made a public pronouncement on what i intend to do on this issue. I will follow through on that.More Button

I made a statement yesterday.More Button

I indicated yesterday that I will work with the relevant authorities to deal with this issue.More Button

National Asset Management Agency Bill 2009: From the Seanad.

Question, “That the amendments set down to Seanad amendments Nos. 11, 12 and 13 on the second additional list are hereby agreed to in Committee and that in respect of each of the Seanad amendments not...
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Priority Questions - Pension Provisions.

Was asked: the deficit in the FÁS pension fund; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The valuation figures for the FÁS closed superannuation scheme, which solely covers former AnCo staff, as at 31 December 2008 are the following; the market value of pension fund assets is €328 millio...More Button

It is important to reiterate that this scheme only refers to former AnCo staff and not to the person referred to by the Deputy. The deficit in the FÁS pension fund is €303 million and that is made up...More Button

I appreciate that the Deputy is trying to introduce an element that has nothing to do with the question but that is beside the point. We are discussing AnCo.More Button

More than 95% of the non-commercial semi-State pensions are now operating on a pay-as-you-go basis, which is very significant. It is appropriate to say that we had separate pension schemes and funds,...More Button

Priority Questions - Employment Levels.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the findings of the FÁS quarterly commentary, published on 4 November 2009, which warned of an increase in the pattern of youth unemployment; the steps she will tak...More Button

I note the publication of the latest FÁS quarterly labour market review for autumn 2009, published last Wednesday. It highlights the increase which has occurred in youth unemployment as evidenced by ...More Button

None of us disagrees with the absolute necessity to ensure that young people are interfacing with the labour market, which is hugely important. That is why our investment and activation programmes ha...More Button

We agree with what the Deputy has said. It is on that basis that we will change the scheme. The Minister, Deputy Hanafin, has facilitated us in the context of volunteerism, for example. She has cha...More Button

Priority Questions - Live Register.

Was asked: the reason for the differential between the redundancy figures and the live register figures; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Priority Questions - County and City Enterprise Boards.

Was asked: her views on reforming county and city enterprise boards in order that they can meet the needs of all small and medium-sized enterprises during the current economic climate; and if she will make a st...More Button

Priority Questions - Employment Support Services.

Was asked: the number of notified redundancies made to date in 2009; her plans to expand the terms of reference of the work placement scheme to include companies that employ less than ten people; and if she wil...More Button

Other Questions - Smart Economy.

Was asked: the steps she is taking to support the smart economy outside the major urban centres; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the steps she is taking to support the smart economy; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies.

Was asked: if she is satisfied with the resources available to the National Employment Rights Authority; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - FÁS Training Programmes.

Was asked: the progress being made with the approved funding of €10 million by the FÁS board to provide training for small and medium enterprise managers or supervisors under the strategic alliance programme, a...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: her views on the recommendations of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programme regarding her Department and agencies under her remit; and if she will make a statement on th...More Button

The Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes presented its report to the Government in July of this year. In its report, the Group outlined options to achieve savings in pub...More Button

Written Answers - Legislative Programme.

Was asked: her plans to update the current partnership law; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - EU Directives.

Was asked: the progress made with regard to the implementation of the Temporary Agency Workers Directive agreed at the Council of Ministers meeting on 23 May 2009; and if she will make a statement on the matter...More Button

Written Answers - Employment Support Services.

Was asked: the action she is taking to facilitate the recently unemployed to start their own businesses; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Enterprise Ireland is the lead government agency responsible for the development of Irish enterprise. Its mission is to accelerate the development of world-class Irish companies to achieve strong pos...More Button

Written Answers - Labour Inspectorate.

Was asked: the number of fully trained and deployed labour inspectors with the National Employment Rights Authority; the number of inspectors in training; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: when cross departmental joint labour investigation teams will be operational; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: when the cross-departmental joint labour investigation teams will be operational; the number of labour inspectors actively performing inspections; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the number of labour inspectors employed by the National Employment Rights Authority; the number of labour inspectors available for assignment on normal duties; the number of labour inspectors in tra...More Button

Written Answers - Cross-Border Trade.

Was asked: her views on the gravity model study by the Economic and Social Research Institute, which shows that trade between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland is 81.7% below expected levels; her vie...More Button

InterTradeIreland commissioned the Economic and Social Research Institute to undertake the Report “A Gravity Model Approach to estimating the expected volume of North/South Trade”. The Report aims...More Button

Written Answers - Labour Inspectorate.

Was asked: the number of workplace inspections carried out by the labour inspectorate to date in 2009; the way this compares with the same period in 2008; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Enterprise Development.

Was asked: the steps she has taken to implement the recommendations in the Forfás report of the overview of the main infrastructure issues for enterprise; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Forfás provide policy advice to my Department on a range of issues including infrastructure priorities for enterprise. Their most recent Statement on Infrastructure Priorities was published in Januar...More Button

Written Answers - Unemployment Levels.

Was asked: her views on the high level of unemployment among persons aged 20 to 25 years; the measures she proposes to introduce in order to address this problem; and if she will make a statement on the matter....More Button

According to the QNHS, at the end of Quarter 2 the unemployment rate for the age group 20-24 years of age stood at 23% (51,700 unemployed) an increase of 12.6% (25,400) from 2008. While the percentage...More Button

Written Answers - Export Sector.

Was asked: the steps she is taking to support exports; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Notwithstanding the challenging trading environment, global opportunities for Irish businesses remain significant. My Department, through Enterprise Ireland, is active both in assisting Irish indigen...More Button

Written Answers - Redundancy Payments.

Was asked: the number of claims waiting to be processed within her Department at the latest date for which figures are available; the average time taken to process a claim; the steps taken to speed up this proc...More Button

Was asked: the time delay in refunding redundancy payments; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Work Permits.

Was asked: the steps she is taking to streamline the issuing of work permits; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies.

Was asked: when she will publish the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report on misappropriation and misuse of public money by FÁS; if she will act on its findings; and if she will make a statement on the matt...More Button

The Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) is carrying out an investigation into certain matters within FÁS. A copy of the report that deals with the examination of advertising and promotion in FÁS, ...More Button

Written Answers - Small and Medium Enterprises.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the continuing problems facing small and medium sized enterprises as a result of difficulty in securing credit; the steps she is taking to deal with this situation ...More Button

As previously outlined to the House, in supporting small and medium enterprises, Government focus has been on actions to sustain a positive business environment, including the proper functioning of th...More Button

Written Answers - Work Permits.

Was asked: her plans to review the work permit rules; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: her plans to review the green card rules; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 23 and 39 together. Earlier this year my Department completed a review of employment permit arrangements, the purpose of which was to ensure that such arrangements con...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies.

Was asked: if, in the interests of clarity and accountability she will in future ensure that all parliamentary questions relating to the day to day expenditure at FÁS or other bodies, groups or agencies under h...More Button

As Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, I am directly accountable to the Oireachtas for the activities of my Department and my Department’s own expenditure decisions. In that regard, togeth...More Button

Written Answers - Pension Provisions.

Was asked: the deficit in the Industrial Development Authority’s pension fund; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the deficit in the pension fund of each semi-State agency under the aegis of her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 26 and 44 together. Four of the 14 agencies in my Department have pension funds. Based on returns from the bodies in question, the following tabular statement below l...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Reports.

Was asked: her views on publication of the research report entitled Issues and Challenges in the Recruitment and Selection of Immigrant Workers in Ireland; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The report “Issues and Challenges in the Recruitment and Selection of Immigrant Workers in Ireland”, published in July 2009, was prepared by the WRC, Social and Economic Consultants, for the Employers...More Button

Written Answers - Export Sector.

Was asked: the steps she is taking to support indigenous exporters; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the steps she is taking to support small business to export; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 28 and 49 together. Notwithstanding the challenging trading environment, global opportunities for Irish businesses remain significant. My Department, through Enterpri...More Button

Written Answers - Small and Medium Enterprises.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the burden on small and medium sized companies of local authority rates; if she will take some responsibility for ensuring that this burden is lightened; and if she...More Button

The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Deputy Gormley and I have met with the county managers, to discuss local authority charges in the context of easing cost pressures on b...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Bodies.

Was asked: when she last held a meeting with the Director of Corporate Enforcement; the issues discussed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I last met with the Director of Corporate Enforcement on 19 of February this year. Among the matters discussed were a general outline of the director’s functions and powers, a general briefing in rel...More Button

Written Answers - Grocery Industry.

Was asked: if she will make a statement on her proposed code of conduct for the grocery sector. More Button

Was asked: the progress being made on the establishment of a code of practice for doing business in the grocery goods sector; the proposed timeframe for its completion; and if she will make a statement on the m...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 31 and 59 together. The renewed programme for Government contains a specific commitment to “implement a Code of Practice for doing business in the grocery goods sector...More Button

Written Answers - Pension Provisions.

Was asked: the deficit in the FÁS pension fund; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The valuation figures for the FÁS Closed Superannuation Scheme, which solely covers former AnCO staff, as at 31 December 2008 are the following: the market value of pension fund assets is €328 million...More Button

Written Answers - Industrial Development.

Was asked: the number of foreign investors she has, through the Industrial Development Authority, brought to each of the counties of Louth, Monaghan, Cavan, Leitrim and Donegal to date in 2009; if she is satisf...More Button

I have been informed by IDA Ireland that to date in 2009 the agency hosted 29 itineraries by potential investors to Louth and three to Donegal. The agency has also informed me that in the same period...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Reports.

Was asked: the steps she has taken to implement the recommendations of the report entitled Towards a Framework for Research Careers; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Smart Economy.

Was asked: her intention to appoint an advisory council of business leaders as outlined in her smart economy document; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I receive ongoing advice from my Department and the heads of the enterprise development agencies that report to my Department, as well as from business leaders and representative groups around the cou...More Button

Written Answers - Economic Competitiveness.

Was asked: her plans to lower the business cost base here in view of the assertion of the Competition Authority that the problem of the Republic of Ireland’s higher cost base is a much more long term threat to ...More Button

This Government recognises the critical importance of reducing business costs at this time, when all sources of efficiency are in focus and when jobs are at stake in all sectors of the economy. Restor...More Button

Written Answers - Employment Statistics.

Was asked: the number of jobs created and lost by the Industrial Development Authority to date in 2009 on a county basis in tabular form; the way in which this compares to the same period in 2008; and if she wi...More Button

The Forfás Annual Employment Survey reports on job gains and losses in companies that are supported by the industrial development agencies. Data is compiled on an annualised basis and is aggregated a...More Button

Written Answers - Services Sector.

Was asked: the steps she has taken to implement the recommendations of the services strategy group; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The report of the Services Strategy Group, “Catching the Wave: A Services Strategy for Ireland”, sets out new policy proposals on how we can ensure the continued development and growth of Ireland’s se...More Button

Written Answers - Small and Medium Enterprises.

Was asked: the steps she has taken to support small business; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the steps she is taking to support the small and medium enterprise sector; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Live Register.

Was asked: the reason for the differential between the redundancy figures and the live register figures; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies.

Was asked: if the former Director General of FÁS resigned voluntarily from his position; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the circumstances surrounding the approval of an enhanced pension for the former Director General of FÁS; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: her part in approving the enhanced financial package for the former Director General of FÁS on his departure from the agency; if she is satisfied that the package was consistent with the law and with...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 43, 62 and 69 together. The resignation of the person concerned from the position of Director General of FÁS was secured as it was considered to be in line with the be...More Button

Written Answers - EU Directives.

Was asked: the number of EU directives for which her Department has responsibility remaining to be implemented; the directives that are overdue; the number of reasoned opinions received from the EU Commission s...More Button

There are currently a total of 10 EU Directives due to be transposed by my Department up to 2012. Three of these Directives are currently overdue, namely Directive 2008/47/EC on aerosol dispensers, D...More Button

Written Answers - National Skills Strategy.

Was asked: if she will report on the progress of the national skills strategy; if she will ensure that the implementation plan of the national skills strategy will be published; and if she will make a statement...More Button

Was asked: the steps she is taking to address the skills shortages within the economy over the next five to ten years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the steps she is taking to address the issues highlighted by an expert group on future skills needs in its annual review of employment and skills here; and if she will make a statement on the matter....More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 46, 54 and 89 together. The National Skills Strategy (NSS) provides details of an ambitious vision for the skills profile in Ireland in 2020. It contains a long-term ...More Button

Written Answers - Cross-Border Initiatives.

Was asked: her views on references in the 2006 bilateral agreement on an all-island economy (details supplied) regarding packages offered to investors by Enterprise Ireland and Invest Northern Ireland; if she w...More Button

The ground-breaking Comprehensive Study on the All-Island Economy, to which the Deputy refers, sets out a strong rationale for beneficial all-island economic activity. The strategic context for North...More Button

Written Answers - Companies Legislation.

Was asked: the progress made with regard to preparation of the promised legislation to ban cross-directorships and to prevent chief executives from becoming chairman of their companies; when she expects that le...More Button

On foot of the commitment in the Renewed Programme for Government of October 2009, the Government will consider the optimum legislative mechanisms to regulate in these areas in the light of the Financ...More Button

Written Answers - Job Losses.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the announcement of the loss of 119 jobs at a plant (details supplied) in County Cork; the discussions she has had with the industrial development agencies with a v...More Button

I am aware that Harris Incorporated has advised its 70 permanent and 49 temporary employees that it intends closing its newly acquired operation (formerly Tyco Electronics) at Ballytrasna, Little Isla...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies.

Was asked: her views on the recommendation of the special group on public service numbers and expenditure programmes that the enterprise functions of Shannon Development should be transferred to Enterprise Irel...More Button

As with all Group recommendations relevant to my Department, I am examining the recommendation in the context of Estimates for 2010 and evaluating its potential impact on the provision of services to ...More Button

Written Answers - Industrial Relations.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the growing number of industrial disputes in which employers have ignored or failed to abide by adjudications of the labour relations agencies; if this problem has ...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Programmes.

Was asked: the steps she is taking to support science and innovation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Enterprise Development.

Was asked: the steps she is taking to support enterprise development in the midland and western regions; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Enterprise Ireland delivers a wide range of supports to Irish companies, targeted at the specific requirements of clients to ensure that they develop to their full potential in terms of employment, in...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: when it is intended to publish the legislation to amend the Competition Acts 1991 to 2006 to uphold right of certain freelance workers such as actors and musicians to collective bargaining, which was...More Button

How best to give effect to the Towards 2016 commitment to exclude certain workers from the provisions of the Competition Act 2002 is being examined in the context of on-going work on the preparation o...More Button

Written Answers - Public Procurement.

Was asked: the steps she is taking to streamline the public procurement process for small business; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

My Department recently established and chaired a Procurement Innovation Group who have developed new policy guidelines in conjunction with the National Public Procurement Policy Unit (NPPPU) in the De...More Button

Written Answers - Job Protection.

Was asked: the amount of funding she provided to maintain jobs in small industries which has been committed and paid out to date in 2009; if she is satisfied that the funding is tailored towards the smaller uni...More Button

My Department’s continuous support for enterprises arises through maintaining a positive business environment and through particular interventions from the State development agencies such as Enterpris...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Programmes.

Was asked: her views on the recommendation of the special group on public service numbers and expenditure programmes that the jobs initiative should be closed down; and if she will make a statement on the matte...More Button

The Job Initiative Programme (JI) which was launched in July 1996 continues to provide full time employment for people who are 35 years of age or over, unemployed for 5 years or more, and in receipt o...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies.

Was asked: if she will make a statement on the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General on FÁS published on 10 September 2009. More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) is carrying out an investigation into certain matters within FÁS. A copy of the report that deals with the examination of advertisin...More Button

Written Answers - Workplace Accidents.

Was asked: the number of workplace accidents and workplace deaths recorded in each year from 2002 to date in 2009; her proposals to ensure a reduction in the number of such accidents and deaths; and if she will...More Button

Written Answers - County Enterprise Boards.

Was asked: the steps she is taking to support the role of county enterprise boards; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies.

Was asked: her views on the recommendation of the special group on public service numbers and expenditure programmes that funding should cease for the FÁS services to business and Skillnets programmes; and if s...More Button

Funding of FÁS Services to Business and Skillnets is a matter for the Estimates process for 2010. The outcome of that process will be published in Budget 2010, which will be released on 9 December 20...More Button

Written Answers - Job Creation.

Was asked: the number of company start ups there been since 1 January 2009; the way this compares to the figures from past years; her plans to encourage company start ups and thus job creation; and if she will ...More Button

My Department does not compile specific annual statistics on the number of new start-ups that have commenced trading in the State. As an assistance to the Deputy, the closest approximation to the inf...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Bodies.

Was asked: if she is satisfied with the resources available to the office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The current approved staff complement for the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) is 45. In addition, eight gardaí are assigned to the office. In March this year the Director reque...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies.

Was asked: her views on the recommendation of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes that the Health and Safety Authority and the National Employment Rights Authority should be m...More Button

Written Answers - Employment Rights.

Was asked: the steps she has taken to address the exploitation of migrant workers; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am fully committed to the prevention of exploitation of migrant workers and to ensuring that all workers benefit from the full range of our employment rights protections. In this respect the pro...More Button

Written Answers - Job Losses.

Was asked: her views on the interim report of the mid west task force established following the announcement of job losses at a company (details supplied) in County Limerick; the action she has taken arising fr...More Button

The Mid-West Task Force, which I established under the Chairmanship of Mr Denis Brosnan, completed an interim Report and presented it to me on the 2nd of July. The wide range of recommendations in t...More Button

Written Answers - Redundancy Payments.

Was asked: the number of redundancies notified to her Department in respect of each year from 2002 to date in 2009; the number of projected redundancies for 2009; the amount of money paid out in statutory redun...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Programmes.

Was asked: the number of persons participating in the graduate placement and short-term work schemes which were announced in the supplementary budget on 7 April 2009; and if she will make a statement on the mat...More Button

Was asked: if she will extend the short-time working training programme to support more workers in vulnerable employment; her views on whether earlier access for unemployed persons to education and training wil...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos.76 and 79 together. The Work Placement Programme is a labour market activation initiative that provides 2,000 six-month work experience places to individuals who are...More Button

Written Answers - National Minimum Wage.

Was asked: if she has received a report from the Labour Court regarding a possible change in the national minimum wage; if not, when she expects to receive its report; and if she will make a statement on the ma...More Button

Written Answers - Unemployment Levels.

Was asked: the steps she will take to address the continuing employment crisis in view of the continuing high level of unemployment indicated by the live register figures for October 2009; her plans to provide ...More Button

Ireland is currently experiencing, as is the rest of Europe, high unemployment, with latest figures indicating our unemployment rate at 11.6%. According to the Live Register there were 412,400 people ...More Button

Written Answers - EU Funding.

Was asked: the number of companies that have applied for assistance under the €100 million European Stabilisation Fund to date in 2009; the number of applications accepted; the amount paid out to date in 2009; ...More Button

The Government approved an amount of €100m in total for the Enterprise Stabilisation Fund for the years 2009 and 2010. €50m has been included in the estimate of my Department for this purpose in 2009...More Button

Written Answers - Economic Competitiveness.

Was asked: her views on the International Monetary Fund’s opinion that Ireland is the most expensive country in the Eurozone for business; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

In its report on Ireland published in June, the IMF acknowledged Ireland’s transformation from a location for low cost manufacturing to a centre of high value-added production and services. In this co...More Button

Written Answers - Smart Economy.

Was asked: the progress made to date by the high level action group on green enterprise; when she expects to receive this report; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The High Level Action Group on Green Enterprise was launched on 21 May 2009 and the Group continued to meet until 21 September 2009. The Group also held a number of consultation sessions with interes...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Programmes.

Was asked: her views on introducing a new type of work scheme for skilled workers in receipt of social welfare payments; if there is a potential for linking in new work schemes with current or planned capital i...More Button

The Government has and will continue to formulate and implement new innovative, active labour market polices that have been designed with the aim of maintaining the unemployed, skilled or unskilled, c...More Button

Written Answers - Redundancy Payments.

Was asked: if she will honour the commitment made to allow employers to offset against tax a redundancy scheme refund that have not been paid by her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Prompt Payment System.

Was asked: the steps taken to ensue compliance by Government Departments with the new arrangements announced on 20 May 2009 to reduce the payment period by central Government Departments to their business suppl...More Button

The Secretary General of my Department wrote to all Government Departments on 26th May, asking them to take the necessary steps to implement this commitment and to ensure that Department line staff an...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Programmes.

Was asked: if she will extend the work placement programme to support more workers in vulnerable employment; her views on whether work experience for unemployed persons, particularly graduates, will make worker...More Button

The Government is determined and committed to keeping the unemployed as close to the labour market as possible during these challenging times. It is widely accepted that keeping people close to the l...More Button

Written Answers - Employment Support Services.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the existence of a group (details supplied), an independent non-profit making enterprise support group which alleviates unemployment in the area by fostering the gr...More Button

Written Answers - Retail Sector.

Was asked: the action she is taking to curtail the drop in volume and value of retail sales here since the volume of retail sales in August 2009 was 9% lower and the value of sales fell 13.4% compared with Augu...More Button

The downturn in retail sales is an inevitable consequence of the current difficult economic climate. The Government fully recognises the difficulties currently being faced by retailers and the import...More Button

Written Answers - Job Creation.

Was asked: the extent she directly or in conjunction with other Departments proposes to put in place a job creation plan with particular reference to creating the proper climate for employers to increase their ...More Button

Was asked: her views on the introduction of a jobs creation and protection plan; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: her future job creation proposals; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 91, 100 and 113 together. The Industrial Development agencies, IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland as well as the City and County Enterprise Boards are extremely activ...More Button

Written Answers - Industrial Relations.

Was asked: when she will publish legislation to address employee representation at work which was promised by June 2009 under the Review of Towards 2016; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: when it is intended to publish anti-victimisation legislation, designed to protect those workers that choose to join a trade union and which was promised by March 2009 under the Review of Towards 201...More Button

Written Answers - Export Credit Insurance.

Was asked: her plans to introduce an export focused short-term State supported credit insurance scheme to supplement the capacity of the existing commercial insurance market; if her attention has been drawn to ...More Button

As a result of the difficulties being experienced by some companies seeking Export Credit Insurance, I arranged that a forensic examination of the Export Credit Insurance market in Ireland should be c...More Button

Written Answers - Job Losses.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the announcement of the loss of 350 jobs at a plant (details supplied) in County Waterford; the discussions she has had with the industrial development agencies wit...More Button

I am aware that in September 2009 Teva Pharmaceuticals announced they were closing down their solid dosage generics plant in Waterford over the next year, with the loss of 350 jobs. The company curren...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Programmes.

Was asked: her views on the introduction of additional social economy or job initiative schemes to assist with the current unemployment situation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

On 1 January 2006 responsibility for the Social Economy Programme transferred to the Department of Community, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs and it has been re-named as the Community Services Programme. F...More Button

Written Answers - Consumer Rights.

Was asked: her views on the report of the sales law review group on the proposed consumer rights directive; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I established the Sales Law Review Group in November 2008 to report on several issues relating to consumer and commercial law, including the proposal for a Directive on Consumer Rights published in Oc...More Button

Written Answers - Technical Employment Support Grant.

Was asked: the number of persons who were assisted under the technical employment support grant since its inception; the number of persons assisted under the technical employment support grant since 1 January 2...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies.

Was asked: her views on the recent report prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General into management and control procedures at FÁS; if she will commit to publishing this report as soon as possible; if she ...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) is carrying out an investigation into certain matters within FÁS. A copy of the report that deals with the examination of advertisin...More Button

Written Answers - Job Protection.

Was asked: the action she is taking to protect and maintain a critical aviation engineering industry for air transport here; if he will report on the status of all expressions of interest in establishing a succ...More Button

On 12 February 2009, SR Technics Group (SRT) announced that it planned to exit its business at Dublin Airport and layoff 1135 employees. Following the decision, IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland form...More Button

Written Answers - Export Sector.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the difficulties facing exporters here in view of the recent strengthening of the euro against the dollar and sterling; her proposals to help sustain the export sec...More Button

My Department, through Enterprise Ireland, is active both in assisting Irish indigenous companies to find new markets for their products and services and to increase their existing level of market sha...More Button

Written Answers - Redundancy Payments.

Was asked: if she will make a statement on a redundancy issue (details supplied). More Button

Written Answers - EU Funding.

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 63 of 13 October 2009, if a college (details supplied) in County Limerick will be included for grant aid from the European Globalisation Fund; and if she will ma...More Button

A broadly representative working group is considering the most appropriate mechanisms for the deployment of the anticipated support from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for workers made red...More Button

Written Answers - Redundancy Payments.

Was asked: if she will expedite payment of a redundancy payment to a person (details supplied) in County Cork. More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies.

Was asked: the committees, sub-committee, monitoring group and advisory group below board level within FÁS where the members receive remuneration; the members of each committee, sub-committee, monitoring group ...More Button

I have been informed that FÁS does not pay remuneration for members of any committees, sub-committees, monitoring groups and advisory groups below Board level. I understand that the Independent Chair...More Button

Written Answers - Redundancy Payments.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Kildare will be awarded their redundancy payments in view of the fact that the application has been with her Department since 31 March 2008; and if she will...More Button

Written Answers - Community Employment Schemes.

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 125 of 7 July 2009, if she will provide an update with regard to her reply to this Deputy; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - FÁS Training Programmes.

Was asked: if a person (details supplied) in County Clare will qualify for training under a scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies.

Was asked: when her attention was drawn to the problems in relation to FÁS in the north east; if she has received representations in relation to this matter; the details of same; and if she will make a statemen...More Button

Representations were received by both myself and my Department regarding certification issues earlier this Autumn. FÁS is dealing with the findings of an internal audit report relating to the issues ...More Button

Written Answers - Economic Competitiveness.

Was asked: the steps, if any, she has taken to ensure that consumers here do not have to go outside the jurisdiction for their shopping requirements; the action she proposes to take to address this issue; and i...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which she has studied the reason that consumer goods here are more expensive than in adjoining jurisdictions and other EU countries; her plans to address these issues; and if she will m...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 111 and 112 together. Consumer Price Index returns from the Central Statistics Office show that overall prices in Ireland fell by 6.5% in the year to September 2009. T...More Button

Was asked: her plans to ensure the competitiveness of Irish exports; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

While ultimately it is individual businesses that must take advantage of global markets, it is the responsibility of my Department to foster the conditions which can support Irish enterprise in meetin...More Button

Written Answers - Employment Statistics.

Was asked: the number of jobs lost in the economy in each of the past 24 months and to date in 2009; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the number of new jobs created in the economy in each of the past 36 months to date in 2009; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 115 and 117 together. There are no official statistics which record job gains or losses in the wider economy. The Quarterly National Household Survey or QNHS published...More Button

Written Answers - Job Creation.

Was asked: the extent to which she has identified the most salient issues creating a barrier to job creation; her proposals to address these issues; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Restoring Ireland’s competitiveness and, in particular, cost competitiveness is a key priority for this Government and essential for sustaining and creating employment. Growing our exports is the only...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies.

Was asked: if all of the groups, bodies or agencies under the aegis of her Department are accountable to her or the Houses of the Oireachtas for expenditure incurred throughout the course of the financial year;...More Button

In general the groups, bodies and agencies under the aegis of my Department are accountable to me as Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment or the Oireachtas for expenditure incurr...More Button

Was asked: the number of bodies, groups, agencies or other entities under the aegis of her Department; the budgetary allocation in each case, in each of the past five years and to date in 2009; and if she will ...More Button

The table below lists the Offices, agencies, and other bodies and groups currently under the aegis of my Department. The funding allocated to each of these entities by my Department between 2004 and ...More Button

Written Answers - Economic Competitiveness.

Was asked: the action she proposes to take to reduce costs in the manufacturing and services sector; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the extent to which she has identified the main issues causing lack of competitiveness in the manufacturing and services sectors; her plans to combat these; and if she will make a statement on the ma...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 120 and 121 together. Restoring Ireland’s cost competitiveness has been a priority for the Government. Over the past few months we have seen significant downward pres...More Button


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