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Environmental Policy: Motion [Private Members] (18 Dec 2019)

Joan Burton: I thank Deputy Sherlock for tabling this motion on behalf of the Labour Party. I thank all the parties that have indicated their support for the principle of clean air and clean water, which are fundamental essentials to a healthy human life. The Taoiseach stated in the House last week that Ireland is the third most advanced country according to the UN human development index. Despite...

Ceisteanna (Atógáil) - Questions (Resumed): EU Issues (18 Dec 2019)

Joan Burton: President Macron has been championing a united states of Europe. I ask the Taoiseach to comment on the Government's position on Mr. Macron's proposals, particularly in the context of Irish neutrality. Ireland is a neutral country. President Macron has indicated in recent times that he is very critical of the capacity of NATO. He sees very serious defects in NATO. As part of his vision...

Ceisteanna (Atógáil) - Questions (Resumed): EU Issues (18 Dec 2019)

Joan Burton: 13. To ask the Taoiseach his views on the EU reform proposals that the President of France is seeking to implement. [53374/19]

Ceisteanna (Atógáil) - Questions (Resumed): Cabinet Committees (18 Dec 2019)

Joan Burton: The Labour Party motion will be debated later today and it is hoped it will be passed to ban smoky coal totally in this country. Is the Taoiseach aware that of the smoky coal that is sold, even in cities like Dublin where the ban is in effect, up to 60% is sulphur, so it is the most damaging kind of smoky coal? I do not know what kind of legal advice the Taoiseach has been quoting. I...

Ceisteanna (Atógáil) - Questions (Resumed): Cabinet Committees (18 Dec 2019)

Joan Burton: -----right across the country on smoky coal?

Ceisteanna (Atógáil) - Questions (Resumed): Cabinet Committees (18 Dec 2019)

Joan Burton: It is not the Attorney General's advice.

Ceisteanna (Atógáil) - Questions (Resumed): Ministerial Travel (18 Dec 2019)

Joan Burton: On the Croatian meeting of the European People's Party, EPP, of which Fine Gael is a member, will the Taoiseach indicate the arrangements made by the leaders of the European People's Party in respect of appointments, given that the European People's Party, like the other party groups in the European Parliament, is fairly extensively funded by the European institutions and that it would be...

Ceisteanna (Atógáil) - Questions (Resumed): Cabinet Committees (18 Dec 2019)

Joan Burton: 7. To ask the Taoiseach when the Cabinet committee on the environment will next meet. [51824/19]

Ceisteanna (Atógáil) - Questions (Resumed): Cabinet Committee Meetings (18 Dec 2019)

Joan Burton: I am speaking as a member of the Fingal walkers. What is remarkable in walking all of the land of north County Dublin, which we have been doing on and off for 20 years, is the massive destruction of hedgerows and the development of super-large fields for grain growing in which there are no trees or hedgerows and everything has been chopped down to a height of 6 ft. The Taoiseach and I have...

Ceisteanna (Atógáil) - Questions (Resumed): Cabinet Committee Meetings (18 Dec 2019)

Joan Burton: 4. To ask the Taoiseach the Cabinet committee that discusses agricultural matters; and when it will next meet. [53004/19]

National Surplus (Reserve Fund for Exceptional Contingencies) Act 2019: Motion (17 Dec 2019)

Joan Burton: The Minister of State has told the House that the Act which established the rainy day fund "was commenced on 31 October last and the fund was subsequently seeded with a €1.5 billion transfer from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, ISIF, on 15 November". As we approach the end of December, that entire strategy has been upended. I am not a supporter of the rainy day fund. I think...

National Surplus (Reserve Fund for Exceptional Contingencies) Act 2019: Motion (17 Dec 2019)

Joan Burton: Sorry, that is what is on the Dáil record.

National Surplus (Reserve Fund for Exceptional Contingencies) Act 2019: Motion (17 Dec 2019)

Joan Burton: It is to bail out the banks.

National Surplus (Reserve Fund for Exceptional Contingencies) Act 2019: Motion (17 Dec 2019)

Joan Burton: The Minister told us that one of the few legal uses-----

National Surplus (Reserve Fund for Exceptional Contingencies) Act 2019: Motion (17 Dec 2019)

Joan Burton: -----of the rainy day fund is to bail out the banks.

National Surplus (Reserve Fund for Exceptional Contingencies) Act 2019: Motion (17 Dec 2019)

Joan Burton: Like every person in this country, I hope the question of bailing out the banks will never again arise. The bailing out of the banks is one of the recognised purposes of the rainy day fund. It has a couple of other purposes. It turns out that Brexit, which is genuinely one of the greatest challenges we have ever faced, does not qualify for the rainy day fund. If a number of enterprises...

Appropriation Bill 2019: All Stages (17 Dec 2019)

Joan Burton: This legislation is to allow the Government to continue to fund essential services. As the Minister of State is aware, the Estimates will not be finalised until some time in the new year so this legislation is necessary to allow the continuance of payments. I regret that in regard to social welfare the Government chose not to give recipients of the State retirement pension an increase and...

Ceisteanna - Questions: European Council Meetings (17 Dec 2019)

Joan Burton: Has the Taoiseach had an opportunity to consider the proposed new European green deal by the new President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen? Is he in a position to enlighten Members as to the likely implications for Ireland of this deal? The Taoiseach referred to the WTO. As we know, there is an ongoing dispute in the WTO with the United States of America relating to...

Ceisteanna - Questions: European Council Meetings (17 Dec 2019)

Joan Burton: 11. To ask the Taoiseach his plans for official trips abroad over the next six months. [51823/19]

Ceisteanna - Questions: Cabinet Committee Meetings (17 Dec 2019)

Joan Burton: 7. To ask the Taoiseach if the policy discussions on drug gangs take place at the Cabinet committee on social policy and public services or the Cabinet committee on security. [51822/19]

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