Seanad Contributions
Competition and Consumer Protection Bill 2014
Tuesday, 08 July 2014

During a Seanad debate on the I welcome the Minister to the House and the opportunity to discuss this Bill. The provision it contains for the rationalisation of two quangos which seem to be doing more or less the same job is particularly welcome. However, I have serious reservations that the Bill leaves the door open for the Minister to impose a huge number of potential legal regulations on the grocery sector, something that is unnecessary and overboard. In fact, one of the Government's objectives should be to facilitate small businesses. I acknowledge that the Minister is at one with me on this issue. The reality, however, is that the more regulations we impose on small enterprises, the more difficult we make it for them...

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Need to Abolish Upward-only Rent Reviews
Wednesday, 02 July 2014

During the Order of Business in the Seanad, I said: Yesterday Bewley's lost its case in the Supreme Court in an appeal taken by the landlord regarding upward-only rent reviews. I will give an idea of the figures spoken about yesterday. The rent had been €728,000 but has now been increased to €1.46 million until 2017...

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Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2014
Tuesday, 01 July 2014

During a Seanad debate on the Education (Micellaneous Provisions) Bill 2014, I said: I welcome the Minister. It is good to see him again. To have a cousin in the Cabinet gives me a certain amount of confidence, although I do not necessarily get to use it on that basis. Last week, my 22-year-old granddaughter graduated from Shanghai University and last Thursday, she spoke to the 600 graduates at her masters ceremony. I am rather pleased that Irish and European students - my granddaughter is more French than Irish - are expanding into that part of the world, and we should encourage them to do so. I welcome the Bill, which will allow certain educational establishments in the State to call themselves universities outside the State. It will set the conditions for strong Irish educational brands to expand outside the State...

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Consumer Sentiment/ Upward-only Rent Review / Graffiti problem
Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Duirng the Order of Busines in the Seanad, I said: Figures last month indicated that consumer sentiment is higher than it has been for seven years, and there is a great confidence that what is happening in the economy will lead to success. I am very worried nonetheless about what I have heard on radio, particularly yesterday and at other times, about us having to change direction now...

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Taxes and Online Business
Monday, 26 May 2014

During the Order of Business in the Seanad, I said: I am aware that every time I raise anything to do with the budget the Leader says it is a budgetary matter and discussion on it will take place at a later stage, but it is fair to mention that we live in an economy in which we do not have the freedom to tax people without realising that they have the opportunity to go abroad for goods or services, in particular with the Internet...

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