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Ceisteanna - Questions: Cabinet Committees (28 Jul 2020)

Micheál Martin: I propose to take Questions Nos. 7 to 9, inclusive, together. The Cabinet committee on education was established by Government decision on 6 July last. The next meeting will take place in September. It will oversee implementation of programme for Government commitments in the area of education. Its membership comprises the Taoiseach; Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and...

Ceisteanna - Questions: Cabinet Committees (28 Jul 2020)

Micheál Martin: I am.

Ceisteanna - Questions: Cabinet Committees (28 Jul 2020)

Micheál Martin: In the first instance, as I outlined, the Minister, Deputy Ryan, will chair the committee. The agenda is clearly set out in the programme for Government. The immediate objectives of the Cabinet committee will be, for example, the climate action (amendment) Bill, which will be introduced to Dáil Éireann within the first 100 days of the Government, the development of a national...

Ceisteanna - Questions: Cabinet Committees (28 Jul 2020)

Micheál Martin: In response to the comments of Deputy Kelly and others, I do not think there is any surprise that the Joint Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government is meeting approximately a month after the Government was formed. I met very quickly after the formation of the Government with the Minister and his Secretary General to discuss a range of issues, including homelessness and...

Ceisteanna - Questions: Cabinet Committees (28 Jul 2020)

Micheál Martin: I also want to deal with the questions asked by Deputies Boyd Barrett and McDonald, if I may. On the evictions moratorium and rent freeze, the only reason we are introducing the Residential Tenancies and Valuation Bill is because they were not legally tenable. The Bill will give a stronger statutory footing to protect tenants who are in rent arrears from being evicted during the Covid...

Ceisteanna - Questions: Cabinet Committees (28 Jul 2020)

Micheál Martin: Speaking to Deputy Barry's point about the end of the moratorium, we will continue to monitor the situation. We are bringing in legislation to strengthen the position of those in rent arrears and facing eviction. There are other protections in the Bill that allow for the Residential Tenancies Board to assist renters and strengthen supports for those in rent arrears. We have no desire to...

Ceisteanna - Questions: Cabinet Committees (28 Jul 2020)

Micheál Martin: I propose to take Questions Nos. 4 to 6, inclusive, together. The Cabinet committee on the environment and climate change was formally established by the Government on 6 July 2020. It will oversee the implementation of the programme for Government commitments on the environment and climate change and will receive detailed reports on identified priority areas, including the annual climate...

Ceisteanna - Questions: Cabinet Committees (28 Jul 2020)

Micheál Martin: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 3, inclusive, together. The Cabinet committee on housing was established by the Government on 6 July and its first meeting will take place this Thursday, 30 July. In addition, I have already had a bilateral meeting with the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government to review housing issues. The committee will oversee implementation of...

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (28 Jul 2020)

Micheál Martin: I thank all the Deputies for raising the issues of coach and bus companies and how they have suffered as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The temporary wage subsidy scheme has been a major benefit to many sectors, including this sector, to enable people to stay intact.

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (28 Jul 2020)

Micheál Martin: Let me finish. The restart grant is now up to €25,000 and is also available for those businesses. The rates relief is now fully expanded, is of six months duration, and is also an available support, as is the facility to offset any loss this year, in tax terms, against profits of last year. All of that, added up, will help. There is also a facility to refinance, for lower interest...

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (28 Jul 2020)

Micheál Martin: The seasonal workers have been included in the new employment subsidy scheme. They were not included in the older-----

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (28 Jul 2020)

Micheál Martin: They were not included in the older-----

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (28 Jul 2020)

Micheál Martin: I am surprised no one from Kilkenny has surfaced yet but this is a fair canvass from across the country. There is ongoing engagement between NPHET and an expert sporting group on this matter. I am very conscious of it and I spoke to the acting CMO about it last week when we deferred phase 4 of reopening. We had to defer it on an absolute basis across the board and it was an important step...

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (28 Jul 2020)

Micheál Martin: I sought a report from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection this morning in regard to this issue. As part of its normal control work, the Department carries out compliance inspections at ports and airports throughout the course of the year. Since 2012, social welfare inspectors have had legal powers to carry out those checks as part of the ongoing-----

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (28 Jul 2020)

Micheál Martin: I am answering the Deputy's question. They have had legal powers to carry out those checks as part of the ongoing control and compliance work they are engaged in. The legal basis for the control and compliance checks is section 250(16) of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005, as amended by section 17 of the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2012. I understand that amendment was...

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (28 Jul 2020)

Micheál Martin: How is it different?

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (28 Jul 2020)

Micheál Martin: I have already said to the House that I will be gifting back €25,000 as a result of yesterday's decision. I have no difficulty in doing that. I am happy to gift it back to the State. It is coming from the salary I would have been entitled to receive at the commencement of my term as Taoiseach. I have also said that on an ongoing basis and at different times, I have gifted back...

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (28 Jul 2020)

Micheál Martin: The idea of competing with each other to-----

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (28 Jul 2020)

Micheál Martin: I am not saying that at all. I am talking about Deputies.

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (28 Jul 2020)

Micheál Martin: Deputy Doherty's constituency office is well funded. I understand some of the funding is from America.

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