Seanad debates

Thursday, 28 November 2019

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

 

10:30 am

Photo of Rose Conway WalshRose Conway Walsh (Sinn Fein)

I thank the Leader for facilitating the statements on Cuisle yesterday. Subsequent to that, it was mentioned in the Minister of State's statement that it was not about funding and requests had not been made for funding, when it was clear from those who contacted us, including service users, that a request had been made to the Department.The Minister of State expressed a willingness to discuss what can be done with the HSE and the Irish Wheelchair Association. We need to listen to people who depend on that accommodation service for respite and a break. It is not good enough to say that they can just go to a hotel. That centre was suitable to meet people's needs and the €1.15 million investment needs to be made. We spent €1.8 million on a printer that has not been used for a year because it was not possible to fit it into the designated location within the relevant building. That is not good enough. These people are much more important than a printer.

The impact of Brexit on the motor industry has not received enough focus. Obviously, we are extremely concerned about the impact of Brexit on many other industries, not least that relating to agriculture and, in particular, the beef sector, which may incur 80% tariffs. It has been estimated that the UK motor industry will incur a loss of £40 billion up to 2024. Here, 12,000 jobs could be lost in small businesses in Mayo and elsewhere. A large part of their business involves importing cars from either the North or Britain. We need to consider the impact of losing 12,000 jobs, many of them in rural areas. In addition to the job losses, there will be an estimated €231 million tax loss to the Exchequer. The matter needs further discussion and needs to be examined. Mitigating measures need to be introduced for that industry to give it assurance. There will also be an impact on consumers in the context of how much more it will cost to buy cars. People living in rural areas need to have cars. Households there often have two cars. Brexit will also have an impact on people's spending power.

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