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

Micheál Martin: I never said that.

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

Micheál Martin: I made no allegation in terms of Deputy Doherty doing anything illegal whatsoever.

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

Micheál Martin: I do know that it has been publicly said that there was American support of Sinn Féin constituency offices in Donegal.

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

Micheál Martin: If the Deputy is saying there was absolutely none, I will accept his clarification. However, that was publicly stated, on the record, and there were people thanking the benefactors who helped them to develop their office and so on.

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

Micheál Martin: Just as, by the way-----

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

Micheál Martin: May I make a point of order?

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

Micheál Martin: The vote earlier was on the Order of Business and how the schedule of business will proceed. It was not in relation to any specific proposal or any particular social welfare measure.

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

Micheál Martin: On the Ministers of State at the Cabinet table, the legislative changes will result in no additional cost to the taxpayer. The three Ministers have issued a statement to that effect. They will be taking a 10% cut in addition to not availing of the additional amount that was voted through in the legislation last week. In respect of my own situation, I will be gifting back to the State close...

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

Micheál Martin: The Deputy knows full well we are taking about Ministers gifting back a portion of their salary.

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

Micheál Martin: Yes. There is a set salary for An Taoiseach, An Tánaiste and Ministers.

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

Micheál Martin: The same applied to Deputy Kelly when he was a Minister. The point is there is a set rate. In respect of any increases that have come the way of Ministers in the last number of years, they gifted them back. We decided to make it cleaner yesterday by saying 10% across the board, which in my case will result in gifting back close to €25,000 to the State. That is a gift back but it is...

Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions (28 Jul 2020)

Micheál Martin: I do not have a date for that right now, but I indicated to the Deputy that I will support its establishment and talk to the Minister for Health about it. Equally, I believe the Deputy's voice matters. Every Deputy's voice matters. We have to keep at this. We can set up the independent implementation monitoring body to monitor the implementation of this, but we cannot be blind to certain...

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

Micheál Martin: First, I note that Deputy McDonald was saying last week that it was reckless for people to travel - that was her position - and that the Government was adopting a reckless policy generally. She was dead set against any travel whatsoever, but has obviously changed position within a week. Equally, the line now being trotted out is that the Government closed the economy. The interim...

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

Micheál Martin: That must be acknowledged. We discussed this on Leaders' Questions. As I said with regard to any individuals who are genuinely wronged, I have no issue with those cases being reviewed. There have been compliance measures at airports and ports since 2012 in respect of social protection.

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

Micheál Martin: This must be kept in perspective. There are 287,000 people legitimately on the pandemic unemployment payment. That will continue and we have extended it to the end of next March. We are talking about a handful of cases here. I have no issue with those cases being reviewed and fair play being applied to everybody. However, there is an extraordinary schedule of legislative activity to be...

Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions (28 Jul 2020)

Micheál Martin: The Deputy makes fair points and this has to be done in a way that we protect livelihoods and families who are in traditional employments that are under threat because of the inevitable change. We have to accept this change is inevitable but what we must try to do is work with the families, workers and communities involved to make sure it is a fair transition and not an immediate cliff fall...

Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions (28 Jul 2020)

Micheál Martin: Admhaím go bhfuil feachtas pearsanta á rith ag an Teachta maidir leis an gceist seo agus go bhfuil sí ag obair go dian dícheallach ar son daoine atá ag baint seirbhís síos ón tseirbhís sláinte. Aontaím leis an chuid is mó de céard atá ráite aici. Táim taobh thiar de straitéis na Roinne agus laistigh de sin,...

Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions (28 Jul 2020)

Micheál Martin: Some refurbishment has been undertaken lately on the unit and more is planned for 2021. I am told the HSE have not received any formal proposal about the new unit being built on the same site as the new primary care centre in Roscrea but I know what the Deputy is saying in that right. I assure him that the Government is anxious to see the Dean Maxwell centre continue to provide and develop...

Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions (28 Jul 2020)

Micheál Martin: I thank the Deputy for raising the issue. At the outset, I wish to address the €146 million that was taken out of the proposed allocation to the rural development fund. As I secured €337 million in alternative funding for agriculture, we more than made up for that particular loss. Furthermore, the Common Agricultural Policy will now have a higher share of the multi-annual...

Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions (28 Jul 2020)

Micheál Martin: There is no agenda in terms of endeavouring to penalise any one sector as opposed to another. I recall the former Labour Party leader, Joan Burton, when she introduced the legislation to empower social protection inspections, referred to "the fight against the small number who scam the system", and said it was "important that we address this; otherwise, confidence in the system among...

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