Tag Archives: Paschal Donohoe

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…

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe

This morning.

It is understood Mr Donohoe will tell his Cabinet colleagues that Budget 2020 will be based on the working assumption that there will be a no-deal Brexit.

This is likely to mean that many tax cuts and spending increases on public services would have to be stalled.

Instead, the €700 million or so extra that would have been available for these purposes will be set aside to deal with the fall-out from a disorderly Brexit.

Budget 2020 drafted on assumption of no-deal Brexit (RTÉ)

Rollingnews

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 Public Services Card (PSC) with the Department of Social Protection on September 8, 2016

This morning.

Cianan Brennan, in The Irish Examiner, reports that Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe was briefed on Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon’s interim report on the Public Services Card a year ago.

This is despite him telling RTÉ last Friday that he had been briefed by his officials on the report’s “key points” that morning.

Ms Dixon’s report found that there is no legal basis for anyone to have to present a Public Services Card in respect of any transaction between a person and a public body outside the Department of Employment and Social Protection.

She also ordered that the supporting information that the 3.2 million card holders had to hand over in order to get their card – such as utility bills, proof of ID, etc – and held by the department must now be deleted as it was unlawfully held.

It’s interesting to note comments made by Mr Donohoe after he apparently saw the report:

On September 25, 2018  he said:

“During 2017 and over the course of this year, my Department and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection have worked with a number of specified bodies to integrate the PSC and MyGovID, into their processes in order to improve access to and the security of public services.

“Currently, the PSC and MyGovID underpin access to social welfare entitlements, first time adult passport applications, citizenship applications, Revenue services, SUSI grants, driving licence and driver theory test applications.

During the rest of this year and 2019, access to more public services will be underpinned by the PSC and MyGovID. My Department along with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection is engaging with the relevant Departments to assist with the transition of services in line with the schedule set out in the eGovernment Strategy 2017-2020.”

Also, on October 24, 2018, he told the Dáil:

“I listened to Deputy [Éamon] Ó Cuív’s comments about the need to simplify the tax code and the sharing of information between Departments, which is what underpins the public service cards.

“I agree with his point that if a citizen supplies information to the State, particularly when it is created by the State in the first place and then made available to the citizen, it should not be the case that the citizen must supply the same information to multiple agencies.

“It is a fair point and it is why the work is under way in the SAFE 2 process, where citizens who must provide information to the State receive a single digital identity which, once it is has been provided, is used by the State to ensure information is available to all Departments more quickly than it is now.”

Meanwhile, separately, before Mr Donohoe would have seen the report, on March 22, 2018, Mr Donohoe told the Dáil the following:

“I want to reiterate to the House that we have the highest level of protection in place to ensure that citizens’ information and private data are safe, secure and stored and regulated in accordance with data protection law.

“I am aware of the issues of concern that were raised in the second half of last year. That is why we have published the document I referred to a moment ago on the website of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

“It explains to citizens how we are handling the various issues of concern. We have responded, and will continue to respond, to any matters of public concern and any observations or views that the Data Protection Commissioner may have.

“We are dealing with matters of concern for the public, and that is why we have tried to communicate what the benefits are.

At a time when there are such legitimate concerns about how we protect our digital identity and make sure information that people share is securely protected I would have thought that the rationale for the public services card has actually grown rather than been diminished.”

Donohoe was briefed on investigation into public services card last year (Cianan Brennan, The Irish Examiner)

Transcript: Kildarestreet.com

Rollingnews

Previously: Your Card Has Been Declined

House Of Card