Seanad debates

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

10:30 am

Photo of Paul CoghlanPaul Coghlan (Fine Gael)

Senator Fitzgerald made a fine contribution on the frightening increase in unemployment figures and the need for an overall jobs plan which is of paramount importance for our economy. In view of that, I propose an amendment to the Order of Business, namely, that we ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, to the House to debate that issue.

Last week I asked the Leader to arrange an early debate on the Government's waste policy. Today there was a worrying report from the ESRI, which stated it did not believe there was an underlying rationale to the waste policy of the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Deputy Gormley. The ESRI is concerned about the needless cost to the economy, the 30% cap proposed by the Minister and the incineration of municipal waste.

Perhaps more important, the ESRI is concerned, as are all of us, about the damage this policy will do to our reputation abroad as a place in which to do business. Nobody wants to harm our competitiveness or our economic development at this difficult time but the Minister's policy poses a threat to our capacity to comply with the EU Landfill Directive. Overall, it is a very worrying development. The debate I called for last week is needed more urgently than ever.


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