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Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (22 Sep 2021)

Paul Gavan: I raise the issue of housing in Limerick. According to Daft.ie yesterday, there were only 13 properties available to rent in the whole of the city. Four of those cost over €3,000 per month to rent and one of them is a one-bedroom apartment. That is something, is it not? That tells us the scale of the crisis. There are simply no available properties to rent in Limerick city. That...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement: Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (22 Sep 2021)

Paul Gavan: I thank the Chairman and the Minister. I will first reiterate my disappointment that the Minister was not prepared to share his statement before this meeting. It is just not good practice. I believe it is disrespectful. My first question is technical. Which article of the Constitution is the Minister planning to use to ratify this treaty? Does he plan to use Article 29.5.2°, which...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement: Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (22 Sep 2021)

Paul Gavan: I asked that question because in the Minister's opening statement, as far as I can remember because he has not given us a copy of it, he said that there would be no charge on the public funds in respect of this agreement.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement: Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (22 Sep 2021)

Paul Gavan: Is there going to be a charge on the public funds under this treaty?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement: Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (22 Sep 2021)

Paul Gavan: Then why is the Minister proposing to use Article 29.5.2°?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement: Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (22 Sep 2021)

Paul Gavan: That would be a contradiction of what the Minister said in his opening statement, so which is it?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement: Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (22 Sep 2021)

Paul Gavan: I appreciate that, but in the opening statement the Minister said that this would present no charge to the public funds. Now he is saying that there would be a charge on the public funds. Which is it?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement: Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (22 Sep 2021)

Paul Gavan: Then why use Article 29.5.2°, which provides, and I reiterate: "The State shall not be bound by any international agreement involving a charge upon public funds unless the terms of the agreement shall have been approved by Dáil Éireann"?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement: Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (22 Sep 2021)

Paul Gavan: Involving a charge upon the public funds, but the Minister told us there is no charge upon the public funds.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement: Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (22 Sep 2021)

Paul Gavan: Perhaps the Minister could also refer back to us on that negative list question raised by my colleague, Senator Sherlock, and the serious concerns of trade unions. What is his response regarding that list?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement: Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (22 Sep 2021)

Paul Gavan: When?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement: Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (22 Sep 2021)

Paul Gavan: I am not getting many answers so far from the Minister. I think he will accept that, at least. Will he comment on the rest of Europe? A number of significant countries have not yet ratified this treaty, including France, the Netherlands and Germany. Indeed, there is no urgency at all from the French Government, which the Minister will accept is the closest government to Canada. In fact,...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement: Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (22 Sep 2021)

Paul Gavan: I would not take it as straightforward at all. The fact of the matter is that there are major concerns about this treaty, and the ICS aspect of it in particular. As has been pointed out, and as the Minister has conceded, private citizens cannot use this treaty. This is a special court just for companies. When one thinks of the hurdles that private citizens have to go through before they...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement: Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (22 Sep 2021)

Paul Gavan: That confirms that the Minister's statement in his original opening statement, which he has not given us, was incorrect. I thank the Minister.

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Childcare Sector (21 Sep 2021)

Paul Gavan: It is nice to see the Minister and I thank him for coming in. He will recall that last year I thought we had a good exchange on the crisis in the childcare sector and the urgent need to address overall funding and particular funding directed to worker wages in that sector. Currently, it costs parents €186 per week per child in childcare, which is a shocking amount. At the same time...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Childcare Sector (21 Sep 2021)

Paul Gavan: I thank the Minister. I acknowledge that it is a good, positive response from him. It is really important to acknowledge when Ministers engage fully and sincerely with workers and their representatives. I acknowledge that the Minister has done that. Let me outline my key ask. The Minister has put the building blocks in place. A joint labour committee is essential. That is how we...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Childcare Sector (21 Sep 2021)

Paul Gavan: Bottom of the league in Europe.

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (21 Sep 2021)

Paul Gavan: I join you, a Chathaoirligh, in extending congratulations both to Senator Ward and Senator Moynihan. It is nice to be back. This morning I heard an intriguing debate on the radio about budgetary options and whether the Government could afford to raise social welfare rates or whether it should focus on the pension rate.As we know, we are just coming into the run up to the budget. As the...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (16 Jul 2021)

Paul Gavan: As this is our last day, I extend my thanks to the Cathaoirleach for the way in which he has conducted proceedings throughout the year. I express the appreciation of all the members of our Sinn Féin group in that regard. Equally, I extend my gratitude to the Leader. While it is fair to say that we do not agree a lot of the time, the approach she has taken has always been constructive....

Seanad: Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2021: Second Stage (16 Jul 2021)

Paul Gavan: As I may not see the Leas-Chathaoirleach later, I would like to wish him well and thank him for all his work this year. It is nice to see the Minister of State, Deputy Fleming, in the Chamber. He is very welcome, as always. Sinn Féin is opposed to the local property tax and our reasons are clear. The tax, as designed, is not only a tax on assets but a tax on debts, such that many...

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