Dail Eireann


Local Property Tax reveiw

Posted June 25th, 2015

There is currently a review of the Local Property Tax (LPT) being carried out by Dr. Don Thornhill.

I have been arguing for a re-design of the property tax since before its introduction (watch my Dail speech here). More recently, I was one of a small number of TDs whom argued publicly for the LPT to be reviewed and frozen ahead of the 2016 revaluation date. This was in advance of the review now being undertaken by Dr Thornhill.

Once the review is complete it will be handed over to Minister Noonan to examine the impact of property price movements; the overall yield of LPT and it’s contribution to revenue; and the effectiveness and efficiency of the system in general. To find out more about the review go here.

This report is expected to be completed in July. It is intended that the review will make recommendations for changes to ensure stability for homeowners.

The current LPT rates are in effect until 2017. I hope to see some positive changes to the system in advance.

To see questions I have asked of the Minister for Finance regarding LPT and other issues click here.



Unemployment falls below 10%

Posted June 11th, 2015

Unemployment has dropped to 9.8%, the lowest we have seen for six years. Job creation is well ahead of schedule as we look towards the aim of full employment in 2018.

The latest official employment figures from the Central Statistics Office show that 104,600 extra jobs have been created since the start of 2012. The original aim was to generate 100,000 by the end of 2016, as a result of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs we are a year ahead of this target. Unemployment was due to drop below 10% in 2017, we are 2 years ahead of this plan. Full employment was anticipated by 2020 – this is now looking likely for 2018.

This is a significant milestone which shows the progress the country has made in a relatively  short period of time. We are heading in the right direction.


The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, and the Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring TD, today (Wednesday) welcomed the announcement that Ireland has been chosen to host the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2017.

Click here to continue reading the Minister’s statement.

This is fantastic news for Ireland and Irish Rugby. Much credit is due to the great performance of the Women’s team in recent years. This news should also help with our bid to bring the Men’s World Cup to Ireland in 2023.

I have been working to bring both events to Ireland for the last few years. To watch the video of my speech in the Dail on the issue click here.

To see my numerous parliamentary questions on the issue click here.


Spring Statement 2015

Posted April 28th, 2015

Today the Government introduced it’s inaugural Spring Statement.

The purpose of this reform is to improve the process by which Dáil Éireann examines and approves the budget.

Speaking todayMinister Noonan said:

“Since taking office in 2011, the Government has been determined to fulfil the mandate given to us by the Irish people. To repair the economy and public finances, to create jobs and to give hope and confidence to our citizens of a better future. The scale of the economic crisis that we have gone through has been unprecedented in Ireland’s history.

“We have essentially lost a decade in terms of economic growth and job creation. Difficult decisions have been taken and huge sacrifices have been made by the Irish people. But this has not been in vain.”

To continue reading click here.

To see the document in full click here.

To read Minister Howlin’s speech click here.

EM Penal Reform

Dáil Debate on Penal Reform

Posted March 12th, 2015

You can watch my contribution here.

-Draft remarks-

I wish to commend the Justice Committee for its work in relation to this Report on Penal Reform.

I would like to talk about a number of issues on this issue. The first is rehabilitation. The second is Garda retention of information after arrest. The third is the Spent Convictions Bill

To continue reading please click here.

EM Neutrality

Dáil Debate on the Neutrality Bill

Posted March 12th, 2015

You can watch my contribution here

-Draft remarks-

I think there is an air of unreality about this debate. We are not a neutral country and we never have been and I think saying otherwise is ridiculous.

Neutrality as a position has been, historically, almost impossible. And if we thought that by putting neutrality in our constitution would mean we would not be influenced, we are kidding ourselves. We live in a wider world.

I think there is an air of unreality about this debate. We are not a neutral country and we never have been and I think saying otherwise is ridiculous.

Neutrality as a position has been, historically, almost impossible. And if we thought that by putting neutrality in our constitution would mean we would not be influenced, we are kidding ourselves. We live in a wider world.

To continue reading please click here.

ch and fam

You can watch my contribution here.

-Draft remarks-

I wish to congratulate the Minister on bringing forward this Bill.

It is a complex piece of legislation which, once adopted, is not going to necessarily change the world that we know today in Ireland, but – more appropriately – reflect it.

The ‘traditional’ concept of the family evolved a long time ago and it’s about time that the politicians in here brought the laws up to speed.

And it’s great to be part of a government which is doing that.

I would like to speak an issue in which I take an interest: father’s rights.

To continue reading please click here.

valu bill

You can watch my contribution here.

-Draft remarks-

When talking about rates, LPT, Dublin City Council, and how the money is being spent it is important to talk to the retailers involved. People pay a lot in rates and often wonder where the money goes.

Since I was elected I’ve been working to increase tax transparency, particularly in relation to income taxes. I’ve organized a tax calculator that shows taxpayers where their income taxes are being spent by the government in simple euros and cents. I think this is something we should compel authorities to do as well.

This may achieve buy-in into what the council is trying to do and also into the need to pay rates.

To continue reading, please click here.

climate change

Dáil Debate on the Climate Change Bill

Posted February 12th, 2015

-Draft remarks-

To say that the Bill only has vague aspirations, as the Fianna Fail and Green Parties claims, is complete nonsense. It’s not too far away from their Bill at all, as many environmental advocates would admit. And let’s not forget, they didn’t prioritise the legislation when they were in power – and so it wasn’t adopted. They failed.

In their coalition, could they have done any better? It’s now a historical fact that they did worse. The Green Party’s central piece of legislation – their reason for being in government – was brought in when the Green Party had already announced they were leaving government, and it did not have support from its coalition partners Fianna Fail in the Seanad.

So it arrived way too late to have a chance of being adopted. And it was dead on arrival. And both Fianna Fail and the Green Party know it.
This government is making a start – taking the initiative. Which is a good thing. And it is only a start. Once we have the legislation in place we can then build on it.

Continue reading here.

Click here to see a video of my contribution.

Dail - Housing Supply

Ideas for Stimulating Housing Supply

Posted February 6th, 2015

You can watch my contribution here.

Regarding the Central Bank decision on new mortgage rules, I think the clarity we now have is welcome. I’m not sure why the lengthy deliberation was needed on the new proposals.

I’m not entirely happy with the outcome – maybe I’m not meant to be. I think it is incredibly unfair on people looking to move in to their second home – which may be their first family home. The tiering is welcome, with a clear distinction between First Time Buyers and Buy-To-Lets. I do think that the value at which a first time buyer steps from 10% to 20% is too low for people in Dublin. Nevertheless, we have a decision from the Central Bank.

Now it’s up to us to act on the supply side. And quickly – if renters are not going to be the collateral damage from the Central Bank’s move.

I appreciate the building strategies underway and investments proposed. Responsibility also falls to DCC with their new development plan this year. But we in here need to think about incentives on the taxation side to help free up under-occupied housing stock.

Continue reading here.

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    Some very strong recommendations in direct provision report-including 'amnesty' for those in dp more than 5 years, which must be implemented
    about 13 hours ago
    Nah I passed it to him. Full court press! Or something @Murphskie
    about 14 hours ago