Seanad debates

Thursday, 12 May 2022

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business


10:30 am

Photo of Marie SherlockMarie Sherlock (Labour)

I have just come from the front gates of Leinster House where a considerable number of former Debenhams workers have gathered in advance of the debate on a Bill being put before the Dáil today. It is two years, one month and one day since they lost their jobs in such a shameful way. Last month, I stated in this Chamber that we had a lot of honeyed words back in the spring and summer of 2020 and that we have yet to see any substantive action from the Government. There have been many promises with regard to the employment law review group, but we have yet to see anything from it.

My colleague, Senator Moynihan, referred to the Daft report. Rents have increased by more than 11%. The Labour Party introduced a living wage Bill this week to ensure that we move all minimum wage workers to a living income over the next three years.

Many are listening to the debate on the national maternity hospital. They see it as a bubble debate. We all want to see a new national maternity hospital built as soon as possible. It is important to state for the record, however, that I very much believe this is a lousy deal. I am conscious that the scrutiny by the Legislature will be complete as of today. Once what is proposed passes through the Joint Committee on Health, it will go to the Cabinet next week unchanged. Ultimately, this will be a public-private hospital. It will be privately influenced because there are three private directors who will decide the chair in three years' time. The key issue of why we are in this place is because the State has failed. The Government has not had the courage to make the site the subject of a compulsory purchase order in order to put it up to St. Vincent's. This is a hospital that receives millions of euro every year under a service level agreement. The questions that we have about why St. Vincent's so desperately wants this site and how it intends to use its ownership of the site into the future will only be answered in time. It is a real shame, however, that we are going to see a new hospital on this site that is not going to be developed as a full public hospital but that will instead be a public-private hospital.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.