Ibrahim Halawa / Flooding / Making it Easier to set-up a Business in Ireland
Tuesday, 15 December 2015

During the Order of Business in the Seanad, I said:  Senator Zappone spoke from the heart when referring to a crisis about which we must do something. Ibrahim Halawa has been in that jail for 800 days and there is no sign of a fair trial.

The crisis that Senator Mooney mentioned was that of the Shannon and the floods. After last weekend, we know that no single body is responsible for the Shannon. A Shannon river basin authority is necessary. It should be able to handle everything for the relevant local authorities, including flood relief, in the years ahead..,

Last week, I mentioned the Netherlands. That country is below sea level but has no problems with that because it took the step of setting up a single authority to do something about it. Let us ensure that the Government does not sit back and, as we did six years ago, hope that this does not happen again.

I wish to draw the House's attention to the World Bank's annual report, Doing Business, which was issued recently. Ireland has moved up to 17th place out of 189 countries. That is not very good, but it is still much better than others. Britain is No. 6. We have slipped back six places under the heading of starting a new business. We have been aware of this, yet we have done nothing about it despite something being possible. In Ireland, starting a business takes four procedures and six days and costs €130. In New Zealand, which is the top ranked country in terms of the ease of starting a business, it takes just one procedure and half a day, and costs less than €100. We can do this, but we need to set our minds to it and determine what to do.

The job creation of recent years has been successful, but this needs a determined effort. One approach would be to encourage entrepreneurship and make it easier to start a new business. If we can do this, we will be able to rise to the top and beat countries like New Zealand and Singapore, which are way ahead of us and able to attract attention and business.

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