Seanad Contributions
Measures to Support Independent Businesses
Wednesday, 13 March 2013

During the Order of Business in the Seanad, I said: yesterday's meeting of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation we had a very interesting debate on town centres. It was initiated by RGDATA, the body representing smaller independent shops. While the town centres of Ireland are being devastated in many cases, I do not believe it is up to the State to solve this - it is the sort of thing that needs to be solved by each individual town...

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Call for a debate on Public Procurement / Measures to Control Obesity
Tuesday, 12 March 2013

During the Order of Business in the Seanad, I said: Can the Leader find time for a debate on public procurement? When the EU directive on public procurement came through it seemed sensible that we should accept it wholeheartedly, but the effect it is having on a large number of smaller Irish businesses is huge...

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Education and Training Boards Bill 2012: Second Stage
Thursday, 07 March 2013

During a Seanad debate on the Education and Training Boards Bill 2012, I said: the Minister of State is welcome back to the House. It must be borne in mind that the VEC system has been around almost untouched since the 1930s. This Bill is a positive move to improve their functioning. It will also reduce the paperwork associated with the various vocational Acts.

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Food Labelling / 'Crowdfunding'
Thursday, 07 March 2013

During the Order of Business in the Seanad, I said: I support Senator Mary Ann O'Brien's words on food labelling, especially on Irish food. There is a huge amount of work to be done in that regard. I imagine it is for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to do it. It is not just a question of identifying Irish food and putting customers' minds at rest, it is also a question of using "best before" instead of "use by" when it comes to the date used. There are other aspects too which may require new food labelling legislation..

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Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2013:
Wednesday, 06 March 2013

During a second stage Seanad debate on the Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2013, I said: The Minister of State is welcome to the House. Nobody welcomes any tax. This is one we debated some time back and we are not here to debate it again. We are here to debate the exemptions. I will make a few suggestions...

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