Tuesday, 6 February 2018
Ceisteanna - Questions
I propose to take Questions Nos. 7 to 10, inclusive, together.
The Department of the Taoiseach recently published its revised statement of strategy, which reflects the priorities for the period ahead and the changes that have taken place since my appointment as Taoiseach. The establishment of a new configuration of Cabinet committees encompasses the Government's national priorities for the coming years. The statement of strategy reflects the Department's role in supporting the Taoiseach and the Government to develop a sustainable economy and a successful society, to pursue Ireland's interests abroad, to implement the Government's programme and to build a better future for Ireland and all of its citizens.
The statement of strategy, which is aligned to the Government's key priorities and policies, sets out six strategic priorities: providing excellent support services for the Taoiseach and the Government, ensuring Ireland has a sustainable economy, helping to ensure Government policies and services support a socially inclusive and fair society, ensuring Ireland maintains strong relationships in Europe and the world, ensuring the best possible outcomes for Ireland from the Brexit negotiations across all four priorities identified by the Government and planning for the future in the context of the many uncertainties arising in the international environment. It also incorporates the work of the Department linked to specific initiatives, including work relating to the Citizens' Assembly, data protection, strategic communications and a number of statutory inquiries.
Arising from the work to date of the Citizens' Assembly and the work of the previous Constitutional Convention, the Government has published an indicative timetable for a number of referendums in 2018 and 2019. The Government has a number of key priorities for the immediate period ahead. The Department of the Taoiseach, along with other relevant Departments, will assist in making progress with these priorities, which include Northern Ireland, the publication of the national planning framework and the ten-year infrastructure plan, the Brexit negotiations, the ongoing reform of the justice and health sectors, the doubling of Ireland's global footprint, reform of the Seanad, climate change, pension reform and housing. The protection of Ireland's growing economy is critical to ensuring Ireland is an equal society that creates equal opportunities for all of its people to participate and share in its prosperity. The new revised statement of strategy will guide the work of the Department in achieving these goals in the years ahead.