New regulations to change to pay-by-weight bin charges were signed by then Minister, Alan Kelly, in January of this year. At the time he heralded it as a saving for 87% of customers. This is proving to be far from reality. Bin companies have not only changed to pay-by-weight, but have also introduced massive increases in service charges. These sneaky charges will mean huge price hikes for customers. Minister Coveney must Read More
Róisín raised the issue of school patronage in the Dáil today. Under current laws, it is not illegal for publicly funded schools in Ireland to have admission policies that favour children of certain religious beliefs and exclude others. This means very young children can be denied access to their local school if they are not baptised. The Social Democrats strongly believe that these laws should be repealed.
Today I raised in the Dáil the ongoing issue of the over-prescribing and street-trading of Benzodiazepines. (Copy of speech below) In my remarks I made the following key points: It has been three years since a review of the use of Benzodiasepines and z-drugs was initiated in the Department of Health. New controls were to be introduced via new regulations under the Misuse of Drugs Act by January Read More
Dáil Speech on Universal Health Insurance 17/4/2014 The White Paper is utterly unconvincing. It is a White Paper in name only and perhaps by virtue of the fact that it is printed on white paper. That is all that makes it a White Paper. A White Paper is supposed to be preceded by a Green Paper which sets out the broad thrust of an approach to a particular issue. Read More
Dáil Speech on Finance (No. 2) Bill, 2013 – High End Pensions Protected despite Budget Promises – Golden Circle of Government Wins Again In last year’s budget speech, Minister Noonan said: “I want to clarify the Government’s policy: “Tax relief on pension contributions will only serve to subsidise pension schemes that deliver income of up to €60,000 p.a. This will take effect from 1st January 2014….” “… The Pension Levy…will Read More
Councils around the country cannot effectively deal with tenants who engage in serious anti-social activity because the Government has delayed in providing new laws. A ruling in the Supreme Court in February, 2012, found that the then legal procedures for eviction were not in keeping with the European Convention on Human Rights. Since then, Councils have been in a legal limbo on how to handle seriously disruptive tenants. The law Read More
A Ceann Comhairle, I raise this issue today because I believe there is a very real risk that many thousands of home-owners face being over-charged the new Local Property Tax. The Local Property Tax is an unfair tax. It’s anti-urban, anti-jobs, and above all takes virtually no account of ability to pay. But the administration of the tax makes that unfairness even worse. The Read More
Like any deal, the deal to rip up the Anglo Irish promissory notes and instead issue long-term Government bonds has its good points and bad points. In very simple terms, the Government has basically swapped a short-term loan for a long term loan. While it brings some short-term benefits, the Irish people are still carrying a massive debt that wasn’t their’s in the first place. On the one hand, the Read More