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Tag Archives: Government

Source of Moneypoint coal a burning issue

CERREJÓN mine in north-eastern Colombia is a fifth of the size of Clare but supplies the majority (approximately 90%) of the coal for Moneypoint power station, Ireland’s largest energy generation station and greenhouse gas emitter. The coal sourced from this area is tainted by the abuses suffered by the local people who endure threats, intimidation, police brutality, forced displacement and human rights abuses. Their indigenous lands and homes have been destroyed to make way for this colossus of a mine that continues to expand and leaves a trail of human suffering in its wake. The Irish Government, through the ESB, has purchased 11.2 million tonnes of coal from Colombia in the last seven years, most of which is from Cerrejón and continues to do so, all while well-documented cases of wrongdoing by the mine are available from various NGOs. Under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the ESB and Ireland have a responsibility “for human rights impacts …

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IFA hit out at Government Planning Framework

THE draft National Planning Framework developed by Government has been described by the IFA as “Dublin-centric and lacking ambition for rural Ireland.” “The Government’s aspiration to develop a planning framework out to 2040 in a balanced and coherent way fails rural Ireland, particularly in the addressing following four areas: the decline of rural towns and villages; the need to rebalance development towards the regions; the need for rural housing; and, supporting community based renewable energy development,”said Thomas Cooney, IFA Environment chairman. In a submission to Government, IFA has detailed a number of areas that need to be addressed. To reverse the decline of rural towns and villages, IFA says new business start-ups should receive incentives, such as exemptions from rates, for an initial time period and relief from capital gains tax, to encourage innovation and enterprise. Double tax relief should be provided on rental expenditure for businesses establishing in rural towns and villages. A condition for a valid planning application for …

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Cabinet briefing on cyber attack

The Minister for Communications Denis Naughten will be briefing the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Infrastructure, Environment and Climate Action on the international cyber attack incident later this afternoon.The minister will also brief the Cabinet tomorrow (Tuesday). “There have been no further reported incidences of the ‘Wannacry2’ malware in Ireland, beyond the isolated case in a HSE funded facility in Wexford on Saturday. It is still possible that further incidences will arise and a sustained period of vigilance will be required, both in terms of updating and patching software and monitoring equipment,” he said. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment is monitoring the situation on an ongoing basis, and remains in close contact with international counterparts and with public and private sector entities in Ireland, both in terms of the dealing with the threat and taking measures to ensure that the impact of any future variants of this malware is limited. The NCSC …

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Harty deplores Fair Deal extension delay

THE Government’s progress on extending the Fair Deal Scheme to Home Care is proceeding at a snail’s pace, Clare Deputy Dr Michael Harty has claimed. The independent TD has, however, welcomed the decision by Helen McEntee, Minister for Older People, to launch a public consultation process at the end of May. “I welcome this public consultation as it is important to seek the opinions of all those who have views on the subject including old people themselves. I also welcome the fact that the department commissioned the Health Research Board to undertake a review of the home care systems that are in place in four other European countries. However, long experience in the health service has taught me that reports upon reports can merely act as a delaying tactic. “I don’t doubt the minister’s assurance that Government considers that a standalone funding scheme, designed for Home Care is needed but I don’t detect any real sense of urgency in her …

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Dáil protest on disabilities issues

On this Thursday, Senator John Dolan and members of the disability community will hold a protest outside Leinster House to highlight the Government’s failure to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) – 10 years after a previous government signed the convention on March 30, 2007. In spite of many commitments from successive governments this groundbreaking convention has not been ratified and Ireland is the only EU country not to have done so. Speaking today (Tuesday), Senator Dolan said, “It is very important that people with disabilities are afforded every opportunity to attend this protest on Thursday. I have contacted management and unions at Irish Rail and Bus Éireann urging them to find a way of ensuring that the current dispute does not deny people with disabilities access to public transport on Thursday. For many people with disabilities public transport is their only means of transport and large numbers will want to attend this …

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Clare to gain from PRSI reforms

The PRSI reforms announced by Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar, will benefit small business in Clare, is has been stated. “Small businesses and the self employed sector are the back bone of our economy and are particularly essential in the future economic stability of rural Ireland, accordinig to Minister for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen. “These tax equalisation measures will ensure that if a self-employed person’s business experiences a bad year or a few bad years and they don’t pay PRSI in those years, they can now protect or improve their right to a contributory State pension, and a pension for their spouse or child’s guardian should they die prematurely,” added the Care deputy. “This Government continues to support growing small businesses and promoting job creation, at a time when we see a 12.7 per cent decline in the live register figures here in Clare since this time last year. “The Fine Gael TD said the new PRSI …

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Business groups want stable government

Ireland’s leading business groups, which represent the vast majority of the country’s employers, have called for ongoing negotiations on the formation of the next government to deliver a clear, comprehensive agreement that will ensure the next administration is in a position to run its full term. The next government needs to have an unwavering focus on the significant challenges we face as a country, one with the mandate, authority and capacity to plan ambitiously and take difficult decisions if needed. The country would not be served well by a government preoccupied by the possibility of an imminent general election, according to the SFA, ISME, Ibec, Irish Exporters Association, Construction Industry Federation and Chambers Ireland. “Any political agreement must first and foremost serve the interests of the country as a whole. Over the coming days, all parties and TDs must play their part in supporting the creation of a stable environment for policy making and legislation that will last a full …

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Government’s Mid-West Action Plan

The Government has today (Monday) launched the Mid-West Action Plan for Jobs, aimed at delivering 10-15% employment growth in the region by 2020. The plan is the fourth of eight regional jobs plans to be published as part of a new €250million regional jobs strategy led by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton. Having suffered very badly during the economic crisis, unemployment has now fallen from 16% when the first national Action Plan was launched to 11.2% this year. Numbers in work have started to steadily increase, with agency led jobs growing by 9% between 2011 and 2014. At the launch in Limerick, Minister Bruton said the challenge for this Regional Action Plan is to build on that success and target growth in key sectors of potential like Aviation, Lifesciences, Engineering, Internationally Traded Services and Tourism. If the potential of these sectors is harnessed properly an extra 23,000 jobs can be added by 2020. Key targets of …

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