Cowen, Brian

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 723 No. 3

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Ceisteanna — Questions - Freedom of Information

Was asked: the number of freedom of information requests received by his Department during October 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the number of applications received under the Freedom of Information Act in the first ten months of 2010; the way this compares with each year since 2002; in respect of the 2010 applications, the n...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 and 2 together. Ten freedom of information requests were received in the Department of the Taoiseach in October 2010. Some 91 requests were received during the firs...More Button

The Freedom of Information Act provides for citizens to obtain relevant data and information regarding their own particular position, as set out under the legislation. That is fine for people who req...More Button

When the Freedom of Information Acts were introduced they applied to about 67 public bodies and they now extend to more than 500 public bodies, an eightfold increase in the number of organisations to ...More Button

The detailed application of the Act is a matter for the Minister for Finance but, based on the information I have before me, I will put some facts on the record that may be germane to the questions be...More Button

As I said earlier regarding making financial information available, banking laws and legal parameters are set out. We are operating in a commercially competitive environment. No one would suggest, g...More Button

Questions for the operation of financial institutions are a matter for the Minister for Finance to ensure up to date and accurate information. There are valid and legitimate issues of commercial and ...More Button

Ceisteanna — Questions - National Reform Programme

Was asked: the preparations his Department has undertaken in preparation for the implementation of Ireland’s national reform programme in the context of the Europe 2020 agenda; and if he will make a statement o...More Button

The Europe 2020 Strategy has been adopted as a successor to the Lisbon Strategy for Jobs and Growth. Its goal is to enable Europe to emerge stronger from the current economic crisis as a smart, susta...More Button

It was agreed that we would hold back the draft programme until the four year plan was agreed because that was the priority as far as the European Union was concerned. Arising from that work, we can ...More Button

Various targets and scenarios are set out by various organisations, including the European Commission, the OECD, the IMF, the ESRI and the Department of Finance. One can consider a range of growth sc...More Button

It is not a question of picking what one feel’s like picking but of looking at the various assumptions that are made in various forecasts. As the Deputy is aware, forecasts are based on various assum...More Button

There is an annual review in the programme itself and surveillance and monitoring on a quarterly basis.More Button

Yes, of course.More Button

It will be a matter for Governments between now and the end of the programme to decide if they wish to take up the funding based on the terms and conditions that apply. That is the issue. One cannot...More Button

I do not agree with the contention made by the Deputy. The policy framework that we are setting out is about stabilising the economy and then moving forward to growth for the economy, albeit recognis...More Button

The issue is what is sustainable for this country in the present circumstances and how do we ensure that we are in a position to promote policies of social inclusion. That last can only be done on th...More Button

Leaders’ Questions

Where is the question?More Button

I am waiting for a question.More Button

It is a joke.More Button

We have funding for this State’s requirements up to July of next year. There are choices available to this country. If Deputy Kenny’s view is that this deal should not be taken up, I ask him where h...More Button

——whereas this deal offers money for 5.8%. The second point I would make to Deputy Kenny is that this country now has the ability to draw down funds. We can now find the room and space in which to pu...More Button

On every occasion when a serious matter is discussed the Deputy seems to retreat into flights of rhetoric that fail to confront any sort of reality. That is his choice and his political style, as he ...More Button

The substance of the issue before us is——More Button

——that this country requires funding for its own requirements and to ensure we have a banking system in the future. This is what the Government is doing. This requirement will be a priority for the ...More Button

——in private consumption suggested by the Commission is a feature of forecasts from every international and domestic forecaster and such forecasts from the IMF, the OECD and the European Commission ar...More Button

——people are going to work, people are in business and we have entrepreneurs in both the public and private sector who are trying to provide a good wage and standard of living for the workers in those...More Button

——are now on a far firmer footing as a result of making this agreement than would have been the case without making an agreement and that by setting out——More Button

——that medium-term strategy for the country, we have a prospect not only of recovery but also of future prosperity.More Button

First I must deal with the many assertions made by the Deputy before asking his question.More Button

Deputy Gilmore suggested that this is a worse rate of interest than the deal with Greece and that is not correct. He probably knows this is not correct but it does not stop him trying to say it to th...More Button

We must obtain €19 billion this year and a smaller amount next year. We are funded up to next June. If the Opposition does not have an alternative source of funding, it is saying that cuts of 38% or...More Button

That is not a policy that is either credible or sensible. Let us get beyond the rhetoric and deal with the reality. This country ran surpluses for many years. It has been hit with a financial and ec...More Button

We have been making corrections, but every measure we have introduced has been opposed by the Opposition. With regard to the banking policy initiatives, regardless of Deputies’ assertions to the cont...More Button

——but he also has a savings account, can he expect to have his problems sorted out without looking to his own deposits?More Button

With regard to the National Pensions Reserve Fund, I can quote many instances of criticism by Opposition Members as far back as the establishment of the fund.More Button

When Derek McDowell was the Labour Party spokesperson on finance he said that €5 million or €6 million of it should be used to purchase building land——More Button

——and other spokespersons from the Labour Party said in 2002 that the fund was a waste of money and that the money should be spent on infrastructure. The Labour Party was at no time a supporter of th...More Button

In fact, in 2002, when Deputy Quinn was leader, it argued that the money should be spent, which would have inflated the economy further.More Button

The agreement is not a international agreement as outlined in that article. The agreement is of the type referenced in Article 29.4 — Deputy Gilmore could have read that one out, but he did not — whi...More Button

——on international money markets. Such bond issuances do not require the approval of the Dáil because they are not the type of agreement mentioned in Article 29.5.2°, which the Deputy read out.More Button

However, let us leave aside that for the moment. Deputy Gilmore has not responded to any of the facts I mentioned with regard to the assertions he made.More Button

What I have been doing, since taking office and since this crisis emerged, is to take every step possible, in the national interest, to secure our future and allow this country to move forward again.More Button

I have been opposed at every turn by the Deputy, which is fair enough; that is his democratic entitlement. However, he should not suggest that the policy initiatives his party suggested were correct,...More Button

They have said we must build on and accelerate the initiatives we have made to solve the problems in the banking system, and the Governor of the Central Bank, who is far more of an expert in this area...More Button

It does not exist.More Button

The Government, over the past couple of weeks, has sought in every possible way to make sure the parameters of the discussion and the ultimate deal were consistent with our own interests in terms of t...More Button

Regarding the National Pensions Reserve Fund, Deputy Gilmore cannot get away from the fact that the idea of the Labour Party coming forward as the guardian of the fund is at total variance with every ...More Button

The debate that will ensue today and tomorrow will put it on the record.More Button

Introduction of New Member

Ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a ghabháíl le Piaras Ó Dochartaigh as ucht a bheith tofa mar Theachta Dála do Dhún na nGall Thiar Theas sa toghchán a bhí againn an tseachtain seo caite. Is lá bródúil é ...More Button

Order of Business

It is proposed to take No. 5, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the agreement between the European Union and the United States of America on the processing and transfer of financial messa...More Button

This agreement is in compliance with our Constitution. Draw-down facilities are available on an ongoing basis. These specific facilities are being provided at rates which are far less than the normal...More Button

Question put: “That the proposal for dealing with the late sitting be agreed to.”
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

The scope of the application of the agreement is limited explicitly to the purpose of prevention, investigation, protection and prosecution of terrorism or terrorist financing. I cannot understand wh...More Button

My response has set out that this matter is totally within the exercise of executive power and external relations pursuant to Article 29.4 of the constitution rather than Article 29.5 and Article 29.6...More Button

Question put: “That the proposal for dealing with No. a15 be agreed to.”
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

On the question of the bank reorganisation that is envisaged as a result of the discussions that took place, banking legislation will come to the House the week after the budget. We will need co-oper...More Button

I am not aware that is the case. As I said, I am not au fait with the precise comments to which the Deputy referred, but these are matters that could be addressed to the Minister himself.More Button

In respect of the NPRF, as the Deputy is aware, there is already legislation in place that enables the fund to be used for banking, for example, in AIB and Bank of Ireland.More Button

The power to direct the NPRF Commission is there.More Button

There is also the question of looking at all of the legislative requirements that would arise. We would look to the co-operation of the Opposition the week after the budget to facilitate that and to ...More Button

Can I make a point?More Button

There is no question of NPRF money going into Anglo Irish Bank, if that is the consideration. As to the other consideration that the Deputy mentioned concerning derivatives, this issue first came up ...More Button

Legislation will be required and it will be brought forward as a post-budget matter. I understand it is agreed by everyone that there should be a review of the whole REA system as well.More Button

On the basis that this issue must be addressed, there is also the issue of the minimum wage. We still have a minimum wage that is one of the highest in Europe and it has been raised in excess of infl...More Button

It is a long sentence. I know exactly what question Deputy Ó Caoláin is asking, but I did not think it would take him so long to ask it. I can answer it.More Button

I feel like Bruce Grobbelaar. I will try to put the Deputy off in a minute.More Button

I have responded to this already. There is an issue on appeal to the Supreme Court and it needs to be clarified for the purpose of providing certainty regarding whatever laws are made in the future i...More Button

I have given my reply. The Deputy may not agree with it but that is my reply. More Button

Which does he want? He wanted a general election a few minutes ago. More Button

He wants the three by-elections first and then a general election. The Deputy should go off to the Politburo and find out what they want. Gerry wants a general election. We are getting mixed messag...More Button

There is no legislation. More Button

There is no legislation promised, I understand. More Button

It is intended——More Button

As I said, it is intended to deal with that legislation before Christmas. We had to provide for statements here in relation to current matters. We are trying to accommodate everyone. We also have a...More Button

It is not about replacing it, but rather of trying to get through all the business, and we will get through that as well. More Button

I have told the Deputy about this on a number of occasions — let us be fair about this now. We have important issues to deal with, including any queries Deputies have, but I have answered this questi...More Button

I have indicated to Deputy Durkan, and I will always be courteous to a colleague——More Button

I have indicated to him on a number of occasions that the Central Bank consolidation Bill would be coming in next year and that there was another Bill of greater priority and importance. Consolidatio...More Button

I have made that point on a number of occasions, and I do not see the value of us continuing to inquire about this. There must be some means of being able to circulate to Members what the up-to-date ...More Button

——not to much effect, since it is simply a matter of repeating information that I might have given 24 hours previously.More Button

EU-IMF Programme for Ireland and National Recovery Plan 2011-14: Statements

I rise this evening to seek to bring to the attention of the House the agreement reached in relation to a financial package with our EU partners and the IMF. The key message I would like to convey is...More Button

It is not a question of blaming anyone. I will deal with the issues as they are.More Button

I am making my contribution now and will listen attentively later to what Deputy Gilmore has to say. I do not believe it is in the interests of this country that we conduct political debate at that l...More Button

We will have an increasing measure of ownership by the Irish public in our existing banking system, following whatever capitalisation that emerges. We will have to wait and see how that works out in ...More Button

The Deputy should send it over to me as soon as she can.More Button

The aim of the facility we have brought forward is to make sure that we have an adequate funding mechanism so that this economy, which is stabilising, can provide growth and jobs for the future. With...More Button

It does not exist.More Button

He recommended acceptance of the loan. He made the point about insurance in the context of were such a scheme available. One is not available.More Button

At least we know the Deputy’s strategy anyway.More Button

Who is the lawyer?More Button

Written Answers - National Statistics

Was asked: the number of full-time farmers in Waterford in each of the years from 2000 to date in 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: the extent of any over or under expenditure, capital or current, by Vote, heading or sub-heading to date in 2010 in tabular form; the reason for any surplus or shortfall; if expenditure to date in ea...More Button

The following table details my Department’s 2010 Estimate Provision and expenditure from 1st January to 29th November 2010. Department Estimate Provision for 2010 & Outturn as at 29th November 2010 Su...More Button

Written Answers - Energy Resources

Was asked: the estimated energy use of his Department in the years, 2008, 2009 and to date in 2010; the total cost of that energy use in each of those years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The energy costs for my Department in the period requested are set out in the following table. My Department’s energy needs are met as part of the system for the Government Buildings complex which inc...More Button

Written Answers - Census of Population

Was asked: if those sleeping rough and homeless will be included in the census count; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button


Last Updated: 22/04/2011 14:51:26 First Page Previous Page Page of 235 Next Page Last Page