Written answers

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Department of An Taoiseach

National Economic and Social Council

Photo of Tommy BroughanTommy Broughan (Dublin Bay North, Independent)
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89. To ask the Taoiseach the status of the work of the National Economic and Social Council; and the reports and submissions made in 2018 and to date in 2019. [51081/19]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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The National Economic and Social Council is an independent statutory agency operating under the aegis of my Department. The Council analyses and reports on strategic policy matters relevant to Ireland's economic, social, environmental and sustainable development.

The NESC is a valuable forum where economic, social and environmental issues can be discussed between a variety of actors and Government Departments.

I appoint members to the Council under the National Economic and Social Development Office (NESDO) Act 2006 and the NESC (Alteration of Composition) Order 2010 - SI 603/ 2010.

Each of the following sectors nominates three representatives to the Council: business and employer interests, ICTU, farming and agricultural interests, community and voluntary sector, environmental sector.

A further six members are public servants, mainly Secretaries General, and must include a representative of my Department and the Department of Finance. The Secretary General of my Department is the Chair of the Council and an Assistant Secretary of my Department is the Deputy Chair.

There are also seven independent members on the Council.

The Council's work focuses on the strategic and longer-term view and its current work programme comprises four themes:Ireland’s Transition to a Low-Carbon and Digital Future; Reforms to the Irish Social Welfare System; Land-use, Land value and Urban development; and Climate Change.

Council Reports published in 2018 include "Urban Development Land, Housing and Infrastructure: Fixing Ireland’s Broken System" and "Moving from Welfare to Work: Low Work Intensity Households and the Quality of Supportive Services".

Council Reports published in 2019 include "Transport-Orientated Development: Assessing the Opportunity for Ireland" and "Climate Change Policy: Getting the Process Right".

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