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Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (29 Jul 2020)

Paul Gavan: Gabhaim buíochas leis an gCathaoirleach. I wish to raise the issue of the pandemic unemployment payments and call for a debate on the Covid-19 payments. This has been such an unmitigated disaster for the Government. It must be very embarrassing. I support entirely what Senator Higgins has said. How we can possibly deal with this law today, now that we know there are so many holes in...

Seanad: Social Welfare (Covid-19) (Amendment) Bill 2020: Second Stage (29 Jul 2020)

Paul Gavan: The Minister is very welcome. I wish her well in her role. She has a tough job ahead. I will just add a couple of points to what has already been said. I was watching the debate but, to be honest, I was not intending to speak. I was genuinely hoping that my colleague, Senator McCallion, would not be the only person to speak up for the people in the North of this country. I really hoped...

Seanad: Social Welfare (Covid-19) (Amendment) Bill 2020: Second Stage (29 Jul 2020)

Paul Gavan: I take the Cathaoirleach's point. I am not singling out any individual. I am just saying that I would expect the Green Party to make a statement on this Bill.

Seanad: Social Welfare (Covid-19) (Amendment) Bill 2020: Second Stage (29 Jul 2020)

Paul Gavan: In that case, I apologise. We intend to hold this Government and its three constituent parties to account at every stage. I wish the Minister well and I look forward to hearing her responses.

Seanad: Social Welfare (Covid-19) (Amendment) Bill 2020: Second Stage (29 Jul 2020)

Paul Gavan: This is a political forum.

Seanad: Social Welfare (Covid-19) (Amendment) Bill 2020: Second Stage (29 Jul 2020)

Paul Gavan: We beat the Senator's party in the election.

Seanad: Social Welfare (Covid-19) (Amendment) Bill 2020: Second Stage (29 Jul 2020)

Paul Gavan: That is fair enough.

Seanad: Tourism: Statements (28 Jul 2020)

Paul Gavan: It is nice to see the Minister, and I congratulate her. I had the pleasure of working with her on the education committee in the last Dáil and she was a genuinely progressive and radical voice. I hope she will be a radical Minister. The good news is that I am going to give her three opportunities to be radical over the next five minutes. The first opportunity is in respect of the...

Seanad: Education: Statements (28 Jul 2020)

Paul Gavan: I hear what the Acting Chairman is saying. I welcome the Minister and congratulate her on her appointment. I wish her well because, to be absolutely clear, everybody wants to see the schools reopened on time and for all our students to be able to go to school safely in order to learn. It is absolutely crucial that this happens. I have concerns, although a few are based around the need for...

Seanad: Education: Statements (28 Jul 2020)

Paul Gavan: The Chair does not want us speaking in this Chamber, that is clear.

Seanad: Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Covid-19) Bill 2020: Second Stage (24 Jul 2020)

Paul Gavan: I congratulate the Minister of State on his appointment. I have gotten to know him reasonably well through the Council of Europe and have no doubt he will be a dedicated Minister of State. I wish him well before I disagree with many aspects of Government policy. The Bill is broadly to be welcomed. It is indicative of the extraordinary times we live in. The purpose of the Bill is to...

Seanad: Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Covid-19) Bill: Committee and Remaining Stages (24 Jul 2020)

Paul Gavan: It is disappointing that the amendment was ruled out of order. I only received notification of that at 12.40 p.m. This shows the difficulties we all have. While we understand the urgency of the Bill, it is frustrating that this happens. I want to make the point to the Minister of State and I suspect he will agree with me that we urgently need a legislative solution for tactical...

Seanad: Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Covid-19) Bill: Committee and Remaining Stages (24 Jul 2020)

Paul Gavan: I am disappointed the amendments have been ruled out of order but I want to adopt a positive stance regarding what the Minister of State said. He said a couple of significant things. I think I am right in saying he has given a commitment that the numbers required to form a co-operative will be reduced in a Bill that is coming, hopefully, in the near future. He has also mentioned a legal...

Seanad: Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Covid-19) Bill: Committee and Remaining Stages (24 Jul 2020)

Paul Gavan: I understand the amendment has been ruled out of order and I am disappointed. We spoke about meat factories earlier and we know there are real concerns about health, safety and welfare at work for our workers. The meat factory problem would be solved if trade union officials were allowed to go in to meat factories. I was a trade union official with SIPTU for ten years. With the exception...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (23 Jul 2020)

Paul Gavan: I support the comments of Senator Black about Palestine. Abandoning our Palestinian friends in their hour of need represents the very worst form of betrayal. This morning I want to raise University Hospital Limerick. There are 43 patients on trolleys there this morning. If one looks at the records over the last number of weeks, one will see that University Hospital Limerick is...

Seanad: Credit Guarantee (Amendment) Bill 2020: Second Stage (23 Jul 2020)

Paul Gavan: The Minister of State is always welcome to the Seanad. On behalf of Sinn Féin, I welcome the Bill. The main reason for it is to remove the 50% portfolio cap under the Government's Covid-19 credit guarantee scheme. The removal of the cap is a welcome move by the Government. It negates a problem relating to the scheme whereby banks were refusing to lend to small businesses in dire need...

Seanad: Credit Guarantee (Amendment) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (23 Jul 2020)

Paul Gavan: I do not wish to belabour the point. We have been clear that we support the Minister of State on this Bill today. It is important, however, to get the facts correct. I accept entirely that this scheme is not for the benefit of the banks.This scheme is for the benefit of SMEs and that is why we support it. To be absolutely clear, the banks will make money out of this scheme.

Seanad: Credit Guarantee (Amendment) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (23 Jul 2020)

Paul Gavan: Sinn Féin's position is very clear: the banks should not be allowed to defer tax on any of their profits. That is an ideological difference between us on the left and those on the right. The idea that they can defer tax, particularly in this scheme which will be backed by the State, is fundamentally and morally wrong.

Seanad: Credit Guarantee (Amendment) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (23 Jul 2020)

Paul Gavan: Well said.

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (16 Jul 2020)

Paul Gavan: I promise to keep to time. In Limerick on Monday last, my colleagues in Sinn Fein, Councillors John Costello and Sharon Benson, called an emergency meeting to deal with the crisis in Shannon Heritage and, specifically, the decision to close iconic sites such as King John’s Castle in Limerick and Bunratty Castle at the end of August. This was a disastrous decision. The councillors...

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