Thursday, 22 November 2007
Trevor Sargent (Minister of State with special responsibility for Food and Horticulture, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food; Dublin North, Green Party)
I have been very concerned by reports regarding abuse of labour law. I am also conscious of increasing labour and energy costs in the sector which have brought pressure but which have been somewhat alleviated by the influx of non-nationals into the sector. This has meant we need to be extremely vigilant to ensure the competitive nature of the sector is not pursued at the expense of anybody in a vulnerable position in our country.
With this in mind, I met on a number of occasions the Minister of State, Deputy Billy Kelleher, who has responsibility for labour law, and with whom I plan to meet again. I am hopeful I will be in a position to report progress and that we will have a system in place whereby there is not just an informal relationship but strong and clear lines of communication so that nobody who is in breach of any labour law will be in receipt of State aid.