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Archive for the ‘Andrew Doyle’ Category

Ireland’s coalition proposals are strong on rhetoric but need more depth

Taoiseach-in-waiting Enda Kenny will be in at the deep end as Ireland’s coalition attempts to deal with the country’s economic plight. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

The campaign rhetoric seeps through Fine Gael and Labour’s freshly minted “Programme for Government” unveiled Monday after they agreed the terms of the coalition which hopes to lead Ireland out of recession and the clutches of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Its opening gambit is a declaration of “common purpose” noting that on 25 February (election day, in case anyone had forgotten) “a democratic revolution took place”.

It solemnly goes on to talk of Ireland facing “one of the darkest hours in the history of our independent state” and invokes the great Albert Einstein by saying we should “learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow” and how an “unprecedented level of political resolve” is needed to get the country on its feet again.

Although it is clear on some things – such as reversing the cut in the minimum wage, which is against the terms of the IMF bailout – by and large the rhetoric in the document is going to get the coalition only so far.

With regard to banking and the IMF/EU bail out, here are the main pledges:

Interest rate
• “We will seek a reduced interest rate.” This it is likely to get as there is wide acknowledgement that the 5.8% rate is unsustainable. The question is how much by?

Credit ratings
• “We will attack the utmost priority to avoiding further downgrading of Ireland’s sovereign credit rating.” It fudges the detail on this though and says it will set further capital spend by the state at “a level consistent with national debt sustaintability”.

Bank recapitalisation
• “We will defer further recapitalisation of the banks until the solvency stress tests are complete.” This is the big one. The PCAR and PLAR tests being undertaken will be complete at the end of March and are widely expected to expose even further need for recapitalisation at AIB. If AIB is worse than expected and Anglo Irish is as bad as chairman Alan Dukes has indicated, could we be talking about a second bailout? Dukes reckons Ireland will have to go cap in hand for another €15bn (£12.8bn) just to save the Irish banking system.

Sale of AIB assets?
• “We remain committed to a smaller banking system” but it says “to limit further calls on the state to cover bank losses from distressed asset sales, bank deleveraging must be paced. This is interesting. The coalition is obliged under the deal with the IMF to shrink the size of the banks but which would cause greater damage – losses from a fire sale or the continuing liquidity problem which require even greater capital injection than presently foreseen. Interestingly, one proposal, according to the Sunday Business Post editor Cliff Taylor, is to split AIB and possibly Bank of Ireland into two banks – one dealing with core assets and the other with non-core assets.

Credit for small businesses
• “We will ensure that an adequate pool of credit is available to fund small and medium-sized businesses.” The devil will be in the detail here as there is a widespread feeling that the lack of credit is smothering SMEs in Ireland. (If you are a small business and have experience of this please email me on guardian.dublin@gmail.com as I would like to return to this issue).

Restructuring bank boards
• “The new government will restructure bank boards and replace directors who presided over failed lending practices.” This is well-meaning but possibly doesn’t go far enough – what about staff in bailed-out banks, senior executives and middle management, who presided over failed lending practices?

End transfers to NAMA
• “We will end further asset transfers to NAMA, which are unlikely to improve market confidence in either the banks or the state.” Again, specifics are needed. It it going to end all transfers that haven’t happened or set a threshold – say all property development loans under €5m?

Transparency at NAMA
• “We will insist on the highest standards of transparency in the operation of NAMA.” Again, what does this mean? Those involved in the establishment of NAMA say it is politically popular to demand greater transparency but that NAMA, like any bank, will retain “customer confidentiality”.

Global pool of finance managers to be assembled
• “We will openly construct a pool of globally experienced finance services managers and directors to be inserted into key executive and non-executive positions in banks receiving taxpayer support.” International banking executives won’t be forming an orderly queue for these jobs unless there is some detail on pay scales and these are currently capped at the highest levels.

All it says on remuneration is this : “All remuneration schemes at banks subject to state support will undergo a fundamental review to ensure an alignment of interest between banks, their staff and the taxpayer.”

Bank bonuses
• “We will ban all bank bonuses …”

… I made that one up. Bank bonuses don’t get a mention, as far as I can see. This is possibly because bonuses in the bailed-out banks were effectively banned by the finance bill rushed through the Dail in January government through a 90% tax on bank bonuses.

However, it is the culture of bonuses even at the lowest levels in banking that lead to the reckless lending in the first place and some sort of policy detail on this would have not gone awry here.

The document is detailed and full of the right kind of rhetoric. For this week. After that it’s straight in at the deep end for the taoiseach-in-waiting Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan, who is expected to be named finance minister as they try to persuade Europe to save Ireland from bailout number two.
source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/ireland-business-blog-with-lisa-

To all the Wicklow TD’s

To the Wicklow TD’s

Our viewers would like to know, what is your position on the spread of these Head shops?

What the current situation is with regards the spread of these head shops and what
are the current trading times allowed for such shops?
what are you doing rid our communities of these very
destructive and now life threatening dangers to our children.

For your information I attach a report on some compounds that are been sold to children from these head shops

You will be aware that two children were found dead last week in England after consuming “mephedrone”

Will we have to wait for the death of Irish children before we ban these Drugs?

See posting report at http://thepressnet.com/2010/03/18/selling-death/

Wicklow towns roads

Andrew Doyle
(Wicklow, Fine Gael)

 

Wicklow County Council has been given €850,000 to maintain its roads in 2010. With three weeks gone in the year and 49 weeks to go, I estimate that between €500,000 and €600,000 of that annual fund has been spent already. One of today’s newspapers reported that approximately €150 million – I imagine that was an educated guess – is needed to repair the damage done to this country’s roads in recent times. That equates to an average of approximately €4 million for each affected local authority. It is encouraging that the Minister of State from the capital city is present in the Chamber. It seems that his senior colleague, the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, who represents a neighbouring constituency, did not take this crisis seriously until it started to affect the city. As my colleagues have said, road infrastructure is the key to road safety. It is also the key to attracting investment, business and tourism. It is right that the road from the hotel in Glendalough to the upper lake car park was repaired last Sunday to make the road passable. However, another section of road not too far away, which is used for access by a milk lorry, was not repaired. If something positive is to come out of all of this, it is that local employment will have to be created as money is spent locally to repair our roads. If this is not addressed, we will have no road infrastructure in 12 months’ time.

 

Nice one Andrew, However I would argue that the roads in the town’s would need to be given priority as the car repair business is booming and workers cannot afford the constant repairs .This week alone I had to fork out 550 Euros for wheel Barings and the garage man tells me it was because of the various pot holes in and around the Abby street and Marlton road junction in Wicklow Town

Collecting my children from school is lethal as the potholes are getting bigger and bigger (near the Wicklow Montessori school) also outside the Abby National school

The whole road needs to be urgently resurfaced (Dublin Road & Abby Road ,Wicklow Town)

Andrew Doyle / Health

Andrew Doyle
(Wicklow, Fine Gael)

Question 110: To ask the Minister for Health and Children her views on the findings of the National Economic and Social Forum report on the implementation of the home care package scheme which concludes that eligibility differs from area to area resulting in inequalities and inconsistencies for people in need of support and that there is much duplication of work, with double or triple assessment of the care needs of older people; the action she will take in relation to same; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

Áine Brady
(Minister of State with special responsibility for Older People and Health Promotion, Department of Health and Children; Kildare North, Fianna Fail)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 106, 110 and 135 together.

The priorities of the Department in recent times, in relation to Services for Older People, have been the introduction of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme, and the bringing into force of new regulations in July last for the long-term residential care sector.

In tandem with these initiatives for the residential care sector, the Department has also been progressing initiatives on the community side and, as part of this, earlier this year commenced an independent Evaluation of Home Care Packages (HCPs). The HCP programme currently undertaken by the HSE involves overall annual funding in the region of €120 million, to provide packages to around 8,700 older people at any one time or approximately, 11,500 over the course of the year. Such packages are intended to enable older people to live at home and in their communities for as long as possible and to facilitate discharge from, or prevent inappropriate admission to, acute hospitals and long-term residential care. The HSE allocates and manages packages on this basis around the country.

The Department’s Evaluation , undertaken by PA Consulting Group, will be formally submitted to Minister, Deputy Harney shortly. The aim of the evaluation was to assess, through quantitative and qualitative research at HSE national and local level, whether the objectives of the HCP Initiative are being met in the best possible way. This evaluation was recommended by the long-term care working g roup, and reinforced by a “Towards 2016” commitment. The Department and the HSE has accepted the need for a more standardised approach to HCP provision generally. In the context of the forthcoming Report by PA Consulting Group, the Department is at present, in conjunction with the HSE, considering various issues in relation to HCP provision, including:

finalising and agreeing standardised access and operational guidelines for delivery of Home Care Packages;

adoption and dissemination by the HSE of a voluntary code of Quality Guidelines for Home Care Support Services for Older People; and

consideration of the Law Reform Commission recommendations in the context of possible changes to legislation and regulation in the area of home care for older persons generally.

I am familiar with the recently launched NESF Report which focused on the implementation of home care packages from a policy implementation point of view. It acknowledges that while the home care package initiative was a well designed policy, improvements are required in a number of areas regarding implementation, including the issues raised by the Deputies. These issues are also being addressed in the report commissioned by the Department.

It is intended that various recommendations of the PA report will be implemented or progressed over the course of 2010, including those relating to governance, operational delivery, performance management and funding.

Andrew Doyle / Muscular Dystrophy/NAMA

Andrew Doyle on Muscular Dystrophy
(Wicklow, Fine Gael)

The point is that the children going to the UK for trials encounter many challenges and this is not acceptable on an ongoing basis. There are three key areas: research, a proper register and standards of care. Duchenne Ireland contends that only a fraction of boys with the condition are on the register. What is a needed is a dedicated neurologist to drive the updating of the register and to establish the standards. The Lancet journal will next January or February list a register of standards for all countries with regard to the research and trials that have been carried out. This register is what will form opinion. GlaxoSmithKline has already signed a deal to put a product on the market.

If we do not have a proper register for the children of this country, they will miss out. It is estimated there is a core of 150 to 200 boys with the condition. I ask the Minister in the first instance to dedicate a neurologist from within the current core staff of the HSE to drive this forward.

Andrew Doyle on NAMA
(Wicklow, Fine Gael)

Following on from the Report Stage debate on NAMA and previous discussions in regard to NAMA master and minor SPVs – I am not quite sure how many SPVs there are – and the rounds of the earth to which the Government has gone to facilitate the banks and large developers, it is difficult for ordinary people and families experiencing serious financial challenges to understand why they are being left to go to MABs, which neither has the resources – there is a waiting list of some months for its service – nor the statutory authority to negotiate deferred payments on behalf of individuals. It is difficult when one meets people on the street to defend an opinion that the more one owes the more protected one is and that the person who owes only a mortgage is at the mercy of the banks without any protection.

While I commend the Labour Party on its motion, the Fine Gael proposal to protect homeowners reflects the obligation of the banks to acknowledge that during the so-called boom years they loaned money recklessly, providing 100% mortgages over 30 years and more often than not with a current account which ensured people would be in a position to make interest-only payments and would never or, at least for some considerable time, be able to reduce the capital amount of the loan. This happened in the good times. Now, people who are losing their jobs, paying extra levies and tax, taking reductions in pay are struggling and being criminalised. The housing agency, Respond, estimates that the number of people in this position is 25,000 although the figure varies and is often quoted as 35,000. The Government, however, says the true figure is less than that. Nevertheless, it is possibly a figure that is increasing all the time as unemployment and other factors kick in.

The Fine Gael proposal is that NAMA would take an equity share following a suitable write-down in the mortgage to reflect the reckless manner in which the mortgage was given. The reality is first-time buyers who purchased a home between 2002 and 2008, when property prices were falsely inflated, are caught in a spike. These are the people who as a cohort are more than likely, if the two parents are working, to have children in child care and who, if not working, had extended themselves and are now under severe pressure. These people must be protected. The six month code which comes into effect when people fall into arrears is no good because they will not be able to get out of the mess in such a short period.

The moratorium, worthy and all that it is, only defers payments. The proposed homeowners protection element of our amendment to the NAMA legislation would allow homeownes to opt to continue to make payments at a level they can afford, for NAMA to take an equity share in the remainder and allow the homeowners, if they return to an income level which would allow them pay the full amount, to repay NAMA. Also, in the event that the property is sold NAMA would realise its share if a profit is made. This appears to be an equitable proposal.

The Government appears to have buried its head a little, given that its amendment commends the Government on its actions to stabilise the financial system and to restore the public finances thereby protecting jobs and home ownership, which is very laudable. However, yesterday there were fluctuations in the financial institutions’ stock value. One cannot state that the actions taken have stabilised anything at this stage. I urge the Government to rethink the issue and to take on board both proposals put forward.

protests in Dublin streets (3)

Wicklow TD’s are big spenders

Wicklow TD’s are big spenders when it comes to expenses  419,327.00 s Euros

Wicklow Darby

With the growing number of Wicklow voters being dumped on to the dole queues like my-self and told that we are not eligible to any dole payments or any other social security payments after paying into the tax coffers for 35 years, and never having darkened the door step of a dole office before, it is a hard thing to swallow this extravagance in allowances for our well healed TD’s

I wont waste time calling for any explanations from our local servants of the people.

But you must agree that when the people that are supposed to be serving you in the Dail and that are supposed to be servants of the people are living way beyond the level of ordinary people there has to be something very wrong !

I call on the voters to now demand that any would be TD’s in the next general election declare that they will work for the average industrial wage and if not they will not get your vote and further more I propose that all able persons to stand for the general election against existing TD’s that refuse to make available to the local communities a complete listing of their expenses

I am offering to post any such information on this blog for free anytime

 I call  on all the Wicklow TD’s to publish their entire expenses for their term to date!and to do so every month from now on

Lets see what happens above race results were again

1 st place: Billy Timmins  FG at 120,685 Euros

2nd place: Andrew Doyle FG at 113,572 Euros

3rd place   Joe Behan      IND at   90,717 Euros

4th place Liz McManus Lab  at   76,503 Euros

Last Place Dick Roche  FF      at    17,850 Euros

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