Tag Archives: Paschal Donohoe

From top Taoiseach Leo Varadkar leaving Marconi House after an interview with Newstalk’s Pat Kenny this morning. Michael Noonan with Paschal Donohoe in 2017

This morning.

Via Newstalk:

Mr Varadkar said he doesn’t feel undermined by Michael Noonan backing Paschal Donohoe to be the Fine Gael leader.

Mr Noonan – who is not running for re-election – told Independent.ie’s Floating Voter podcast that it’s an open secret he wanted Donohoe to replace Enda Kenny.

The intervention comes with Leo Varadkar under pressure as polls ahead of the election show support for the party falling.

The Taoiseach, however, denied that he felt undermined by the intervention – saying Mr Noonan also said on the podcast that Mr Varadkar has been a ‘great Taoiseach’.

The Fine Gael leader said: “I can see how people will try to make a bigger story out of it than it is.

No finer endorsement.

Varadkar: Time Has Come For Sinn Féin Tp Openly Support The Special Criminal Court (Newstalk)

Noonan backs Donohoe to be Fine Gael leader as pressure mounts on Varadkar (Independent.ie)

Meanwhile..

Um.

Rollingnews

This afternoon.

Meanwhile…

For a party headquarters to effectively tell the media, as they have in this case, that they consider one of their own candidates too incompetent to face a media interview is, and there’s no other word for it, astonishing.

It’s not surprising that they would have conducted a preparatory mock interview with her, nor that they would have decided that in the circumstances, putting her on air was not a good decision.

But in this case, somebody has actively decided to inform a reporter that they’re hiding their own candidate from the press because they do not trust her. That’s a level of viciousness that’s extraordinary, especially given that it is towards one of their own.

And it’s not the first time, either. Or the second. In recent years Fine Gael has displayed more brutality and vindictiveness towards its own members than it ever has towards its political opponents.

…If you come across a young person who’s thinking of joining Fine Gael, give them one piece of advice: Don’t ever make a mistake. Because Fine Gael won’t just try to ruin your life – they’ll actively seem to enjoy doing it.

Fine Gael tears one of its own to pieces. Again. (John McGuirk, Gript)

Earlier: Noone Gets Out Of Here Alive

This afternoon.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has insisted that Maria Bailey was removed from the Fine Gael election ticket in a ‘democratic manner’.

Councillor Jennifer Carroll MacNeill has been added to the ticket in Dun Laoghaire after Fine Gael HQ accepted a local motion asking for changes.

Via The Irish Examiner:

Asked about any potential action Ms Bailey may now take to contest the decision, Mr Donohoe said: “It’s a very much a much a matter for Deputy Bailey regarding the response to what happened last night. Last night was a democratic decision that was made by the Executive Council.”

Speaking in Dublin’s north inner city, Mr Donohoe said the controversy had caused public debate but had also been very difficult for Ms Bailey herself.

Maria Bailey was removed from FG ticket in a ‘democratic’ process, Donohoe insists (irish Examiner)

Last night: Font Farewell

Rollingnews

Independent TD Noel Grealish; remittance figures, from the Central Statistics Office, provided to Mr Grealish last month

This morning.

On Morning Ireland, RTÉ journalist Rachel English asked Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe about Galway West Independent TD Noel Grealish’s comments about remittances sent out of Ireland.

Yesterday, during Leaders’ Questions, Mr Grealish said:

“I bring to the Taoiseach’s attention the amount of money being transferred out of Ireland in personal remittances. Over the past eight years alone over €10 billion has left the country by way of personal transfers. That is a staggering amount of money.

The top five countries to which money was transferred in the past eight year include €843 million to Lithuania and €1 billion to France. The top three countries were: €1.54 billion to Poland, €2.7 billion to the United Kingdom and €3.54 billion to Nigeria.

These figures have been published by the World Bank which defines “personal remittances” as the sum of personal transfers and the compensation of employees.

It includes all current transfers in cash or in kind between resident and non-resident individuals independent of the source of income of the sender.”

“…Taoiseach, €3.4 billion transferred to one non-EU country is astronomical. Have Revenue or the Department of Finance any way of tracking this money or where it is coming from?

“Are mechanisms in place to ensure the money that leaves this country in personal remittances has been fully accounted for within the Irish revenue and tax system and is not the proceeds of crime or fraud?”

However, Mr Grealish was provided with significantly lower figures by Fine Gael TD Sean Kyne last month (see table above).

Further to this…

Mr Donohoe told Ms English this morning:

The figures provided to me today by the Central Statistics Office are some way short of this. It is difficult to accurately estimate this but it can be modelled and the Central Statistics Office indicates that, across many years, that figure has been around €17million per year.”

The minister went on to say that, given the disparity between Mr Grealish’s figures and those of the CSO, it’s important for Mr Grealish to “make clear exactly where these figures are coming from” and “why he’s singling out particular country outside the European Union”.

Ms English and Mr Donohoe also had this exchange…

Rachel English: “It seems that the figure you quoted this figure of an average of €17million a year going to Nigeria and that contrasts, it should be said, with in 2017, €342million going back to Poland, €92million to Lithuania, €43million to India, €50million to Latvia, it seems that these figures were provided to Noel Grealish. Why do you think then that he used the other figure yesterday?”

Paschal Donohoe:It’s up to him to clarify his intentions and up to him to clarify his use of figures. I’m very happy to clarify my view on these issues here which is that there has been much change in our economy, much change in our society as a result from people from elsewhere in Europe and outside of Europe coming to our country.

“It’s the kind of experience that Ireland visited to many other countries at other points in our history. We should have a degree of generosity and focus on the facts when we are debating this.”

In September, Mr Grealish referred to asylum seekers as “economic migrants from Africa who are coming here to sponge off us”.

H/T: Gavan Reilly.

From top: Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe with RTE Director General Dee Forbes; Sean O’Rourke and at a press conference following his Today show post-budget  broadcast

This morning.

Radio Centre, Donnybrook, Dublin 4.

Via RTÉ:

A caller aged 68 is unhappy at recently losing his and wife’s eligibility to a medical card and seeing that in yesterday’s Budget over 70s have had the income threshold limit for medical cards increased to €1,050. He asks why under 70s didn’t have a threshold increase. Mr Donohoe says he had to make changes affordable to the funds he had available. He added that he would like to make further changes in the future when funds are available.

Meanwhile

Mr Donohoe has defended the decision to make €16.8 million available for the greyhound industry. He was asked on Today with Sean O’Rourke why this money could not be ringfenced for carers. Mr Donohoe said that €1.4 billion overall had been put aside for carers.
He told a caller that Ministers Shane Ross and Michael Creed have looked to put significant changes in place to deal behaviour that he believed was “utterly unacceptable in the greyhound industry”.

Budget 2020: Reaction and Donohoe takes questions (RTÉ)

Rollingnews

This afternoon.

Government Buildings, Dublin 2

Minister for Finance Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe presents his Budget 2020documents before addressing the Dail..

In the event of No Deal, €650 million is to be made available to support the Agriculture, Enterprise and Tourism sectors and to assist the most affected citizens and regions.

Of this, €220 million will be deployed immediately in the event of a No Deal.

From this, €110 million for enterprises has been identified for the first wave of funding for targeted new interventions to help vulnerable but viable firms adjust to a No Deal Brexit….

More as we get it it.

Update:

€2.5bn will be allocated to the Housing Programme in 2020, according to Minister Donohoe. A further €20m will go to homeless services

Budget 2020: Minister announcing measures in Dáil (RTÉ)

Earlier: The New Green Hard Brexit Budget 2020

Rollingnews

Meanwhile…

Anyone?

Via Political Irish

Today.

At 1pm.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe is scheduled to present Budget 2020 in the Dáil.

Watch live in the link above.

Meanwhile, via RTÉ News:

The Budget had been expected to be a package worth €2.8bn, but it is understood that the increase in carbon tax and changes to other taxes, such as the dividend withholding tax, could push it closer to €3bn.

Minister Donohoe concluded his discussions last night with a Fianna Fáil delegation, following talks with the Independent Alliance on its key concerns.

It is understood that some of both parties’ key budgetary demands were met.

An expansion in the medical card scheme for the over 70s and other health and social welfare spending increases are expected.

Donohoe says absolutely no surprises in Budget 2020 (RTÉ)

Budget 2020 preview: ‘No chocolates, some smarties’ in €1bn Donohoe budget plan (Irish Examiner)

Budget 2020: Here’s what to expect (RTÉ)

Then Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe on the Today with Seán O’Rourke show in October 2016

This afternoon.

“On Wednesday next, the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe will be here taking your calls on Budget 2020.

“Whether it’s carbon tax, income tax, social welfare, the price of a pint or a packet of cigarettes or something else entirely – this is your chance to put your question directly to the minister on air.

“Email your question to todaysor@rte.ie – leaving a contact number.

“That’s the Budget Phone-In next Wednesday at 10am. We look forward to hearing from you.”

RTÉ journalist and broadcaster Seán O’Rourke speaking in an ad just played on RTÉ Radio One.

Previously: A Phoney Phone-In (2015)

Standard Practice (2015)

Meanwhile In Montrose (2016)

Then Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, at the Public Services Card Centre, D’Olier House in Dublin after he registered for a PSC in 2016

Yesterday evening.

In the Dáil.

Sinn Féin deputy leader Pearse Doherty raised Cianan Brennan’s article in yesterday’s Irish Examiner with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe.

Mr Cianan reported that Mr Donohoe’s department ordered the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to drop a secondary method for parents to apply for National Childcare Scheme subsidies – ensuring that the only way parents can apply for the subsidies will be through MyGovID, for which one needs a Public Services Card.

Mr Doherty yesterday evening asked Mr Donohoe twice why the department ordered for the second method to be dropped and, twice, Mr Donohoe failed to give a reason for the move.

From their exchange:

Pearse Doherty: “The new national childcare scheme opens for applications on 29 October. No parent can apply for this scheme without a public services card.

“This is despite the Data Protection Commissioner’s decision that there is no legal basis for this requirement and it being deemed illegal by the commissioner.

“Parents who do not have a public services card will have no choice but to wait until January when written applications can be made. Why did the Department interject when a secondary method to apply for this scheme was to be provided for parents?

“At the insistence of the Department, this proposal was dropped by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

“Will the Minister explain this, given that the Data Protection Commissioner has deemed that there is no legal basis for leaving parents with only one option as regards the form of identification they can use to apply for the scheme?”

Paschal Donohoe: “My good colleague, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Deputy Zappone, is working on ways to ensure that families and parents will be able to access the national childcare scheme.

“The Deputy referred to me being in the dock on this matter. I fully understand the views of the Data Protection Commission, an institution which I take seriously. In each of the budgets that I have introduced, I have made more resources available to the commission because it is an important organisation for the management of information, both for the private sector and Government.

“I have taken a different view on the role of the public services card following legal advice that has been made available to me. The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Deputy Regina Doherty, and I did not take lightly the decision we made to offer a differing view from that of the Data Protection Commissioner.

“This was done after we obtained legal advice on where we stood, which left me satisfied that the card has robust legal standing and that the appropriate course was to make clear that we take a different view from the commissioner on this issue. I know the commissioner has spoken to the Oireachtas about the issue and indicated the course of action she is likely to take.

Doherty: “Will the Minister outline why his Department insisted that a second form of access to the national childcare scheme be dropped, leaving parents with only the public services card as a means of accessing this scheme?”

Donohoe: “We believe that we are on solid legal foundations in using the public services card as a way to help citizens to access services efficiently. Encouraging greater use of the public services card over time will lead to more convenient and efficient ways in which families and citizens can access public services.”

Doherty: “It is not very convenient for parents.”

When the Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon appeared before the Public Accounts Committee last week – on foot of her examination of the PSC and her finding that it was unlawful for the State to require people to have a card in order to obtain any services beyond those offered by the Department of Social Protection – Ms Dixon said the following about the National Childcare Scheme and the PSC stipulation:

“The only alternative option that appears to be offered is a manual, paper-based application that will not be ready until the new year and will not provide back payments. Clearly, this is completely at odds with the findings of our report and the directions we have issued.”

Read back in full here

Yesterday: Card Shark

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone; clip from RTE Investigates: Creches – Behind Closed Doors which was broadcast on July 24 last

On Wednesday, July 24 last, RTÉ’s Investigates broadcast a report about the standards of care at the Hyde & Seek Childcare company.

The report, called Creches – Behind Closed Doors, exposed failings in the standard of care provided to children in a number of the company’s branches across Dublin.

A Garda investigation into some issues raised in the report was launched after the broadcast.

Further to this…

Aoife Hegarty, of RTÉ, reports today that concerns about the company were raised with the Minister for Children Katherine Zappone more than a year ago.

Ms Hegarty reports:

Correspondence obtained by Fianna Fáil TD Anne Rabbitte shows Minister Zappone received a copy of a complaint forwarded to the Child & Family Agency TUSLA from a parent regarding the Hyde & Seek crèche at Glasnevin on Dublin’s northside.

The new purpose-built facility operated for 14 months without registration.

…The complaint from the parent, which detailed a series of issues with child-to-staff ratios and other safety concerns, was first shared with Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue, who subsequently forwarded it to Minister Zappone.

Minister Zappone acknowledged the crèche was not registered with TUSLA, but said it would be inappropriate for her to interfere in the agency’s ongoing investigations.

Zappone alerted to concerns at Hyde & Seek Childcare more than a year ago (Aoife Hegarty, RTE)

Watch the RTE Prime Time investigation back in full here

Yesterday: Misleading Survivors And The Dáil

UPDATE:

A day after the RTE Investigates documentary was broadcast…