Seanad debates

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

 

2:30 pm

Photo of Jerry ButtimerJerry Buttimer (Fine Gael)

I will come back to the Senator about that. I do not have the reply to hand but I will give it to her. Early years formation is important in terms of early intervention and early investment is critical but I will get the information on that for the Senator.

Regarding the issue relating to WhatsApp raised by Senators Ardagh and Craughwell, it is important that the Data Protection Commissioner, who is working with the organisation, counteracts any type of infiltration of our data. It is a source of worry and highlights the dangers posed by the new forms of technology we have.

The Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government will be here later on to answer Senators Craughwell and Gavan. In respect of his one-dimensional Sinn Féin speech, Senator Gavan always comes in and talks about the philosophy of Fine Gael. The philosophy of Fine Gael is to give people a society in which they can live, grow, develop and flourish. That is what we are about, which is why we have more people back at work and the highest housing budget, about which the Senator spoke. Construction is taking place. It is slower than we had hoped.

Senator Gavan has a one-dimensional approach to housing, which is to have everything in the public domain. That does not work and has not worked. It has never worked. We need a combination of everything. We will have that debate with the Minister later on and I look forward to hearing more from Senator Gavan about his proposals and policies relating to housing that can help address the matter. Putting down simple motions does not address the issue of building and moving people we meet every day of every week through our work from bedsits, family hubs or hotel rooms into proper accommodation. We all accept that it is slow. None of us is hiding the fact that we have a housing need that needs to be addressed, but it cannot happen just like that. We have seen an increase in investment in the housing budget. If the Senator travels to my city of Cork, I will bring him to many sites where social housing is being constructed, where people are being taken out of homelessness and where the budget for housing and homelessness has increased. I will gladly bring the Senator to Cork to show him those sites.

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