Monthly Archives: March 2012

Senator Daly asks the Minister for Environment for a Debate on Planning Permission Criteria

Order of Business

29th of March 2012

I ask the Leader to ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government to come to the House, not in regard to the household charge, although I am sure he will be before us at some stage in regard to that ongoing debacle, but to discuss the issue of planning permission and how third parties can object to planning applications that are far away from their homes or areas. In England, people must meet certain criteria before they can object to a planning permission, for example, they must be adversely affected, from the locality or prove they will be at some loss in the event of a planning permission going ahead. In a recent case in Kerry, a person who lives 20 miles away objected to a planning permission that would bring 35 jobs to my area in Drumquinna, which is as good as a small factory. This week the other House is discussing the issue of planning. We all know of cases where people object to planning permissions in the hope of getting paid off, particularly professional objectors. They know they will bring the person seeking planning permission to the table and if given money will go away. That issue can be tackled by ensuring legislation is in place to provide that only people who are affected by a proposed planning in their area and can prove they will be affected can object. That is done in other jurisdictions. I propose an amendment to the 2009 planning Act setting out a list of criteria under which objections can be lodged. I ask the Leader to address the issue.

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Senator Daly Seeks Extension to Household Charge Payment Deadline

Order of Business

28th of March 2012

I, too, seek an extension to the deadline for payment of the household charge, as there is huge confusion. As Members mentioned yesterday, persons paying commercial rates are receiving mixed signals from the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and their local council, depending on to whom they are talking. The Government is penalising the old and those who do not have access to computers. It is making them pay extra charges for paying the charge over the counter, which is obviously inequitable. A charge or tax must be equitable. I do not know how anybody can say it is equitable to expect a person living on an old age pension to pay the same as a Minister who has a fine big house. That is the reason people are rebelling against the charge. It is said there is no link between the charge and the issue of debt write-down and paying back bondholders, but there is. The charge is being imposed because we are being forced to pay back these debts by our European colleagues. Members opposite say there is no link between the two and that the moneys raised will be used to fund services, but the money is going into the Central Fund and will be used to pay off debt.

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Senator Mark Daly asks the Deputy Leader to Organise a debate on Joseph Kony

Order of Business

14/03/2012

There is a large ongoing campaign relating to Joseph Kony, the head of the Lord’s Resistance Army, which has come about because of the Invisible Children organisation. There are a number of concerns about various aspects of the campaign but there is no concern about the fact that this man is on top of the world’s criminal courts’ most wanted lists. He has 30,000 or 40,000 children for use as child soldiers and is responsible for some of the most appalling crimes. I know the Deputy Leader has a great interest in human rights and I ask her to organise a debate on Joseph Kony.

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Senator Mark Daly speaks on the lack of scrutiny on Statutory Instruments

Order of Business

14/03/2012

On previous occasions I have referred to the democratic deficit, not only in Europe but also in Leinster House. I ask the Leader to arrange a debate on statutory instruments. I raised this matter at the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Leader is aware of previous comments I made in respect of the former Joint Committee on European Scrutiny’s finding to the effect that 75% of laws made in Ireland in any given year come about as a result of Ministers signing statutory instruments into law. The difficulty is that statutory instruments are not laid before the Houses or referred to the relevant committees prior to their being signed. As a result, there is no scrutiny by legislators. These instruments are just signed by the relevant Ministers and they then take effect. There is no way the democratically elected Members of this House can argue against statutory instruments once they have been put into effect. There is a 21-day period in which to make objections but I am sure everyone present would agree that it is wholly inappropriate that we receive statutory instruments after the fact. The Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has given a commitment to the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade that statutory instruments will be sent to Members after they are signed. I welcome the news that the Chairs of the various committees will come together, as a result of the concerns I have raised, to consider how the Members of this House will obtain access to statutory instruments prior to their being signed.

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Senator Mark Daly asks the Deputy Leader to Organise a debate on Joseph Kony

There is a large ongoing campaign relating to Joseph Kony, the head of the Lord’s Resistance Army, which has come about because of the Invisible Children organisation. There are a number of concerns about various aspects of the campaign but there is no concern about the fact that this man is on top of the world’s criminal courts’ most wanted lists. He has 30,000 or 40,000 children for use as child soldiers and is responsible for some of the most appalling crimes. I know the Deputy Leader has a great interest in human rights and I ask her to organise a debate on Joseph Kony.

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