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Strike Action by the Medical Laboratory Scientists Association: Motion [Private Members] (25 May 2022)

Paul Murphy: I pay tribute to the medical scientists in the Public Gallery and the thousands of medical scientists who are not in the Gallery but back at work again on the front line. It is interesting that our motion and the Government's countermotion refer to the medical scientists as the "hidden heroes" of the health service. No matter what happens, after the vote tonight, the Dáil will...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Heritage Sites (25 May 2022)

Joe O'Brien: On behalf of the Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Deputy Naughton, I welcome the opportunity to update the House on this topic. As Members may be aware, Shannon Group informed the Department in summer 2020 that it was necessary to consider a comprehensive and radical adjustment to its structure to secure the long-term future of the business and its employees. A number of...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Heritage Sites (25 May 2022)

Cathal Crowe: I appreciate the Minister of State's reply. The problem for everyone in County Clare at present is that this is very much in a state of flux. When the Government announced that these were going to be transferred to Clare County Council, it was like the announcement of a divorce or a relationship split. Immediately, Shannon Group took its eye of interest off the Shannon Heritage sites....

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Heritage Sites (25 May 2022)

Joe O'Brien: On behalf of the Minister of State, Deputy Naughton, I reiterate that the Government recognises the importance of Shannon Heritage to the mid-west region. During the Covid-19 pandemic the Government showed its commitment to Shannon Heritage through the provision of supports, allowing the sites to remain open when restrictions permitted. Even with these supports, the impact of Covid-19 has...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Health Services Staff (25 May 2022)

Anne Rabbitte: I thank the Deputy for raising this issue, which I am taking on behalf of the Minister for Health. Firstly, I wish to acknowledge and pay tribute to the dedication, professionalism and commitment of all medical scientists throughout the country. As the Deputy has quite rightly said, medical scientists play a valued and vital role within our health service. They worked tirelessly during...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Health Services Staff (25 May 2022)

Pa Daly: The Minister of State has said that health management has engaged with the association. I am not sure it has engaged in a meaningful way because the offer of 1% is neither here nor there nor going to the creamery. I have spoken to a scientist who feels that the training of new graduates is soul-destroying because she does her best to bring them up to speed, but when most graduates are...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Health Services Staff (25 May 2022)

Anne Rabbitte: I thank the Deputy again for raising this issue. I welcome the fact that there is a meeting today and that all sides have decided to participate. I do not know whether the Deputy listened to RTÉ Radio One yesterday morning when Tony Canavan, the CEO of the Saolta Hospital Group, was interviewed. He gave a fantastic interview that clearly explained the work done by medical science...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Heritage Sites (25 May 2022)

Heritage Sites

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Heritage Sites (25 May 2022)

Cathal Crowe: I thank the Minister of State, Deputy Joe O'Brien, for coming in here today. I am very grateful because I know he has a hectic schedule as a constituency Deputy and as a Minister of State. I do not have anything against him but I am not too happy that the line Minister is not here to answer my Topical Issue. For three consecutive weeks I have tabled this Topical Issue and I only got an...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Energy Conservation (25 May 2022)

Joe O'Brien: I thank the Deputy for raising this important topic. I will begin by outlining recent price developments and the Government response and then I will discuss smart metering, EV policy and the Government's Reduce Your Use campaign. The most immediate factor affecting electricity prices in Ireland is the continuing upward trend in international gas prices, where we are a price taker. Gas...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Energy Conservation (25 May 2022)

Richard Bruton: I am disappointed by the Minister of State's lack of urgency. With regard to EVs, he is saying work is under way to look at the needs of estates that do not have driveways and multiple units that do not have charging points beside their car parking areas. This has been an obvious defect. We have had a grant in place for three years for the councils to put them into lamp poles or onto the...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Energy Conservation (25 May 2022)

Joe O'Brien: I thank the Deputy for raising this important matter and for introducing increased urgency into our challenge. The Government accepts that consumers are currently facing volatility in energy prices due to a particular spike in international gas prices. It has taken action to address this by using the tax and social welfare system. This includes measures such as the fuel allowance increase,...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Health Services Staff (25 May 2022)

Health Services Staff

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Health Services Staff (25 May 2022)

Catherine Connolly: The next Topical Issue matter is the ongoing strike action by medical scientists.

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Health Services Staff (25 May 2022)

Pa Daly: It may not be an ongoing strike anymore, but in any event it is hard to think of a more blatant example of unfair and unjustifiable work practices and workplace situations that exists in our hospitals. Qualified scientists who worked through Covid, dealt with the cyberattack and accepted extra work are paid 8% less than colleagues who did the same work and who sit by side with them in the...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Income Inequality (25 May 2022)

Paul Murphy: The Minister of State has spoken about the redistributive power of our tax system. I am not sure whether he noticed the Oxfam wealth report, which shows that the billionaires have got 55% richer over the course of the last two years while 700,000 people are living in deprivation. It is not much of a redistributive power if the wealth continues to funnel upwards while inequality continues to...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Income Inequality (25 May 2022)

Richard Boyd Barrett: The rich in this country pay more tax because they have vastly more wealth. It is not because it is a particularly progressive system but because there is a massive inequality in the distribution of wealth and income. The two things are related. There is a completely bogus argument or spin from officials that this proves we have a progressive tax system. It does not prove that at all....

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Income Inequality (25 May 2022)

Seán Fleming: I will highlight the fact that this is an international report in respect of Ireland's contribution to overseas development aid. To this end, we have increased the cash allocation of overseas development aid for the last eight consecutive years, with the contribution reaching over €1 billion for the first time ever this year. With regard to the global issues, we are making a...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Energy Conservation (25 May 2022)

Energy Conservation

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Energy Conservation (25 May 2022)

Richard Bruton: I welcome the opportunity to raise this matter. There was a debate on it in the immediate aftermath of the great surge in prices. I expected that there was going to be a set of proposals from the Government to help people to respond quickly to the challenges they faced. I will point towards a number of things that could be done immediately. I would like to see the Minister of State,...

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