Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Enda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
I fully appreciate the scale of investment from abroad over the past 30 years during which Ireland became both a centre for the manufacture of hardware and later a centre for the creation of software. We have a proven track record of entry into Europe. The attributes built up by this country over a long period, including our taxation system, talent pool, technology and track record, are of immense importance in the considerations of outside investors. The other end of that is that the indigenous economy has been very flat. That is the reason the Government's action programme is based on opportunities for exports from small and medium sized enterprises. That is a given that most people would support. We also set out the view that cloud computing, digital gaming and the whole information technology sector is of considerable importance. It was made clear to me in the Deputy's beloved city that 800 vacancies in information technology and other sectors cannot be filled. We need to be able to adjust ourselves, as a nation, to where the waves of change are coming from.
I may have misled Deputy Martin when I said there was not any legislation in respect of adoption. There have been legislative measures in place for many years. What I am referring to is the legislation that the referendum will require in regard to adoption and on which the Minister for Children, Deputy Fitzgerald, is working. I do not propose to accept the well intentioned legislation of Deputy McConalogue. This is something we must get comprehensively right. I do not want to venture a date until I am satisfied that the Bill in respect of the referendum is absolutely comprehensive. The legislation will take account of the well intentioned amendments of Deputy McConalogue, which I know were not introduced for political purposes. The Minister has taken a broad range of views on this matter and we must get the legislation right. That is the reason a senior Minister with responsibility for children is dealing with it in this fashion.