Patriotism, as I understand it, is a combination of love of country, pride in its history, traditions and culture, and a determination to add to its prestige and achievements” -Lemass

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Is mise le meas,

Senator Mark Daly

Seanadóir Marcus O’Dalaigh

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In the Order of Business I called for the Minister to outline the plan to put clean drinking water into every house in Kerry and Nationally

Senator Mark Daly:  I welcome the United States ambassador to the House for his first visit but, hopefully, not his last. It is a long overdue visit. We will obviously be liaising with him in regard to the issue of the 50,000 undocumented Irish living in the United States. It is good to have a great friend of Ireland in Dublin, as well as having him with us in the Seanad today.

I too would like to support Senator Power’s motion, which is part of a proud tradition and follows in the footsteps of Frank Aiken and Brian Lenihan. Ireland understands the situation out there better than others, having put soldiers on the ground in Lebanon in trying to ensure peace in the Middle East. Peace comes dropping slow, however, and in some cases it is not coming at all. Ireland has been an honest broker in that regard and is willing to assist in any way possible to ensure peace in the Holy Land.

I join with my colleagues in calling for a debate on Irish Water. It is a fiasco from start to finish. What we were told does not appear to be the truth. The Government said it was not aware of bonuses yet it is clear it was aware of a bonus culture. The Government told us it did not believe it would cost as much as it did yet the former Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government had memos clearly outlining that it would cost millions and billions of euro to put it in place.

What we do not have from Irish Water is a plan. There is no plan to produce clean water in every house in Kerry – none. There is a plan to give bonuses to the people who work in Irish Water, not to the people who provide the water but to those who are managing or mismanaging Irish Water. I would like to see the Minister come to the House to clearly outline the plan to put clean drinking water into every house in Ireland. All we have is a plan to tax every house in Ireland but we need a plan to give people clean water.

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In the Seanad Order of Business I called for the Suspension of Irish Water Operation

Senator Mark Daly: I, too, call for a suspension of the operation of Irish Water. We have seen the Government ignore the reports of its own consultants, PricewaterhouseCoopers, who told it not to establish Irish Water in the way it did. Now it is giving out about the fact that it is not working, even though it was told that it would not work in the first place. I do not know why it is crying because in 2009 Fine Gael policy was to establish Irish Water; therefore, they it has been dealing with this issue a long time. Last week the Government parties were borrowing money to buy votes to win an election. What they have done in the case of Irish Water is borrow money to establish it, although it will end up losing them votes and an election. They seem to be out of touch; their own Ministers were saying people would be charged a modest amount of money. When one is being charged over €180 for the first hour of a call-out to plug a leak and hundreds of euros annually, it is not by any standard a modest amount of money for people who are struggling and who, in many cases, only have €10 at the end of the month for discretionary spending. They keep on squeezing those in the middle with families who are struggling with mortgages and are now going to be struggling with water bills from a quango that they set up. The Government was told not to set up this quango but it did so anyway. Now it is crying that it is in existence even though in 2009 the establishment of Irish Water was in a Fine Gael policy paper.  Members opposite have given out about NAMA, the National Asset Management Agency, and its lack of transparency. I remind them that Fianna Fáil brought in the NAMA transparency Bill—–

Senator Lorraine Higgins: Who brought in NAMA in the first place? Fianna Fáil brought in NAMA. Those are double standards, Senator Daly.

Senator Mark Daly: —–but Members opposite shot it down.

Senator Thomas Byrne: The Government is now spending the fruits of it.

Senator Mark Daly: They wonder why NAMA is not transparent yet they did not want to introduce a measure that would make it transparent.

Senator John Gilroy: Fianna Fáil could have done so when it was in government but it did not.

Senator Mark Daly: Our legislation would have ensured any NAMA property for sale would be put on a website and be available for all to see. This reaction from Members opposite is a bit like crying over Irish Water.  I agree with colleagues opposite who raised the issue of the recent desecration of the grave of W.T. Cosgrave. It is a disgrace that anyone would do this to a former leader and person who served this country. Although we disagree with much of what happened in the past, I agree with colleagues opposite that the desecration of his grave is an absolute disgrace.

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Govt Slashes Over 450 Medical Cards for Over 70s in Kerry– Daly

Over 1,300 medical cards in Kerry Cut in One Year

Figures released to Fianna Fáil have revealed the full extent of cuts to medical cards in Kerry with over 1,300 cards cut in 12 months, over 450 of these for over 70s.

The number of medical cards in Kerry has been cut by 1,354 from 61,303 in September 2013 to 59,949 last September, this includes a reduction in the number of over 70s medical cards by 470 (from 13,219 to 12,749).

Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly has condemned the cuts.

He commented: “These are appalling cuts and have had a major impact on people’s lives in all parts of Kerry. I have consistently pointed out that the Government was engaged in a deliberate and disgraceful attack on people with medical cards, which it denied for 18 months before being shamed into admitting this was a deliberate policy. We now have clear evidence of the scale of the cuts. In one year alone over 1,300 medical cards were taken off people in Kerry alone – all at the hands of Minister James Reilly. Over 470 of these were medical cards for people over 70 years of age.

“For two years the Government ignored the issue and denied that there was a deliberate policy to cut medical cards for people serious illnesses and disabilities and the over 70s. It took the loss of hundreds of council seats to make the government sit up and listen.

“However despite claiming to stop these cuts and to begin restoring medical cards the Government is still taking cards away from people desperately in need of them. I am dealing with cases every week of people having their cards withdrawn and then being denied their cards again on appeal. It is astonishing that thousands of families are still enduring so much anguish, hurt and expense at the hands of this Government.”

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Filed under Kerry, National Issues

The Irish Daily Mail and Senan Moloney call it like it is on the Budget ‘THAT’S HOW YOU BUY AN ELECTION’

Irish Dail Mail

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October 15, 2014 · 4:58 pm

The Minister Said there is Something for Everyone in the Budget. There is Pain for the Poor and Fear for the Elderly

Leading off for opposition in the Seanad today, I discussed the Budget the Government produced yesterday. Stephen Donnelly correctly described the budget as politically strong but economically weak this morning on Morning Ireland. In essence this budget is the first shot by the Government of the next General Election.

 

Senator Mark Daly:  Yesterday the Minister for Finance promised something for everyone in the budget and he certainly delivered in that regard. He ensured pain for the poor, more cuts for the squeezed middle and more fear for the elderly. Deputy Donnelly in an interview on “Morning Ireland” this morning said that the Government has introduced a politically strong but economically weak budget and he was right.

Senator Pat O’Neill:  Who said that?

Senator Mark Daly:  An article in the Daily Mail today made reference to buying an election and that is what this Government is doing. All of the commentators are saying that the Government is buying votes with borrowed money.

Senator Paul Coghlan:  That is not what all of the commentators are saying.

(Interruptions).

An Leas-Chathaoirleach:  Please allow Senator Daly to speak. Members will have their opportunity to respond.

Senator Mark Daly:  It is buying votes with borrowed money and that is a fact. The Government is also helping what could be seen as Fine Gael core voters, but not Labour Party core voters. Those who are earning €70,000 per annum are four times better off in cash terms than those earning the minimum wage although I am sure the Labour Party would like to see the latter group voting for them in the next general election.

Senator Pat O’Neill:  Who are the Fianna Fáil core voters? I ask Senator Daly to define them for us.

Senator Mark Daly:  Those earning €17,500 will be worse off than those earning €70,000 and that is before we take water charges into account.

Senator Pat O’Neill:  There are not many Fianna Fáil core voters left.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach: Does Senator Daly have a question for the Leader?

Senator Mark Daly:  Before Government Senators get too excited about the budget they should wait until they go home.

Senator Maurice Cummins:  We will be welcomed home.

Senator Mark Daly:  When they arrive back in their constituencies they will meet those people who will be worse off.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach:  Does the Senator have a question for the Leader?

Senator Mark Daly:  I would like the Leader to organise a debate on what was not in the budget. The promise to get rid of prescription charged was not kept in the budget.

Senator Paul Coghlan:  There was no promise.

Senator Mark Daly:  We are all looking for the pen Deputy Ruairí Quinn used to sign the piece of paper that said he would abolish college fees.

Senator Pat O’Neill:  Old news.

Senator Mark Daly:  College fees will be €3,000 next year. The much lauded 1,700 extra teachers are not extra teachers but just keeping up with the growth in pupil numbers. There will be no reduction in the pupil-teacher ratio.

Senator Maurice Cummins:  Do we not need extra teachers to do it?

Senator Mark Daly:  The Government continues to steal money from private pensions. So far, €2.2 billion has been stolen from private pensions and the theft will continue.

Senator Ivana Bacik:  Rubbish.

Senator Pat O’Neill:  The Senator had better go back for a briefing.

Senator Mark Daly:  I would like a debate on corporate tax policy. The Government has announced it will get rid of what is known as the “double Irish”. Europe is delighted, however the countries that were complaining about our corporate tax policy continue to have the Channel Islands, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. The Dutch have a corporation tax and copyright policy that is the shame of the world. Luxembourg was highlighted last week. Our Government has got rid of the double Irish despite the fact that EU treaties state that every country is entitled to its own corporate tax policy. The Government has introduced this new knowledge development box, subject to EU approval – terms and conditions apply of course. It is talking double Dutch while getting rid of the double Irish.

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