Wednesday, 30 March 2011
Enda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
I agree with what the Deputy said in that regard. The issue of the repatriation of tax to the United States is not as live in that country as it was a number of years ago. The Deputy dealt with that matter when he was in government. It was of some concern that people assumed this country was somehow deemed to be a tax haven for certain purposes. I was glad that was cleared up at the time.
It is right to say we should prioritise the renewable E3 visa. It was assumed that the DREAM legislation would be passed by Congress, but that did not become a reality. It would be difficult to put it through now because of the change in the balance of representation there.
Rather than ring-fencing moneys as suggested by the Deputy, I am keen to ensure the things he mentioned actually happen. People tend to say funds should be ring-fenced for one purpose or another. The money provided through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for various purposes, including the provision of the social, legal and counselling services needed by young people, is very important. I would like it to be maintained because it is becoming more important than ever owing to the increase in the number of Irish people drifting out there. Those forced to go overseas sometimes carry problems which are exacerbated when they arrive in a new country. I share the sentiment that regardless of whether the moneys are ring-fenced, it is important that they are made available. We need to work with counselling services and other organisations which assist those who need support when away from home. I accept and share the sentiments expressed.