I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak briefly on the Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill 2016. It is welcome that the Bill is finally before us and provides for an office of the planning regulator, which was a key recommendation of the Flood-Mahon tribunal. Ordinary constituents and citizens welcome the idea of a regulator because we often have a situation in planning where some crass development is proposed which is not sustainable or is totally out of sync with its immediate district. Perhaps when people register their opposition to it they are supported by the council but when it goes to An Bord Pleanála, it overturns the decision and permission is granted. As it is now, the only recourse is to go to the High Court on a point of law. At least we will now have a regulator to whom our constituents can make a complaint. At that basic level, the idea of a regulator is welcome.
Welcome to the website of Thomas P. (Tommy) Broughan T.D. I am an Independent Deputy for the Dublin Bay North Constituency and have represented our constituency in Dáil Éireann since 1992. The information and contacts on these pages will give you a fair idea of my work on behalf of my constituents. You may look up my information clinic times, email address and phone numbers. I always welcome support from constituents and friends in providing assistance with my political work. I will be delighted to hear from you on any matter, whether local or national
This is a question we put to the Minister very strongly at the Committee on Budgetary Oversight. Projections to 2021 indicate that capital spending is barely keeping pace with depreciation. Professor Tom McDonnell of the Nevin Economic Research Institute, NERI, made that point to us most strongly. In fact, the figures he gave us showed that they are below normal accounting depreciation rates. That is a matter of grave concern. We have talked about our infrastructure, including metro north and having a proper road network for the north west and west as well as all the other capital needs of the country, especially housing. Is it not the case that the Minister needs to ramp up capital spending?
I warmly welcome the appointment of Mr. Kevin Duffy as chairman of the public service pay commission. The Minister has published the commission’s terms of reference on his website. I would like him to expand on that and tell us the kind of resources he will make available to the commission in terms of the economic and industrial expertise it will need. Does he envisage it having a role similar to that of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council, IFAC, in advising his Department?
DÁIL QUESTIONS WITH MINISTER DONOHUE ON BREXIT
19 Oct 2016
Brexit represents one of the biggest challenges to the State since 1922. As I said in the first debate we had in the House just after the vote in the UK, there should be a Minister for Brexit here. Fianna Fáil has now taken a similar position. The issue is so important and critical to our future that we should adopt that position. The Minister has allocated certain moneys in the budget to address Brexit, including the farmers’ loan and the continuation of the 9% VAT rate, which is very expensive. Tourism from the UK is already down 12% in recent months. However, the actual figure the Minister has allocated for Brexit per se is very small. How does the Minister interact with the Taoiseach’s committee and what kind of funding will be needed in the next few years?
BELATED ESTABLISHMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE PAY COMMISSION MUST TARGET POST LANSDOWNE ROAD ERA – BROUGHAN
19 Oct 2016
Today in Dáil Éireann, during Priority Oral Questions with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohue, Deputy Broughan requested further information on the soon-to-be-established Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC). The establishment of the PSPC was first announced during the summer as part of the Programme for Government and a short, one month public consultation process then took place from the 28th of July 2016 to the 28th of August 2016. The Commission was again discussed in the Minister’s Budget 2017 speech and he brought proposals to Cabinet this week.
Up to yesterday, 148 of our fellow citizens were killed on the roads this year. That represents an increase of 25 on last year. Of course, the 148 families of these victims are totally devastated. In communities in virtually every constituency, people are being devastated by the ongoing carnage. Since the Taoiseach came to office in March 2011, approximately 1,000 people have died on our roads and perhaps 15,000 have been seriously injured. The chairperson of the Road Safety Authority, our former Dáil colleague, Liz O’Donnell, has drawn attention once again to the fact that under this Taoiseach, successive Administrations have slashed the size of the Garda traffic corps by half, from approximately 1,200 around the time of the crash down to barely 700 now.