Seanad debates

Thursday, 22 September 2022

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

 

10:30 am

Photo of Martin ConwayMartin Conway (Fine Gael)

I rise today because I am quite concerned about many of the projects funded by Pobal and the various local development companies with regard to the rising costs faced by people who have been able to secure funding and grants. As we all know, a grant could be issued and approved for somebody two years in advance but by the time builders get around to commencing the work, it could take 18 months to two years. There is significant cost inflation so if somebody was approved for €100,000 two years ago, that sum will only go so far.

I am calling for a debate on cost inflation and its effect on community groups, small businesses and people who have secured funding who wish to develop businesses. I hope we will see a flexible approach with Pobal because it has been brought to my attention not just in County Clare but throughout the country, that letters have issued telling people that they need to draw down the funding by the end of the year and meet the exact specifications of the grant for which they applied in terms of what is being spent. Flexibility is needed in that regard.

I also want a debate here at some stage on Taiwan. I know we have had all-party motions on Taiwan over the years but given what is happening in Ukraine, we need to open an embassy in Taipei and establish full diplomatic engagement with Taiwan. We saw what happened over the summer with Nancy Pelosi travelling to Taiwan, which was a great boost for what is a wonderful, vibrant independent country. We should have a debate on Taiwan at some stage but what really needs to happen is for Ireland to stand shoulder to shoulder with Taiwan and open an embassy there and for the Taiwanese Government to open an embassy in Dublin.

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