WINTER UPDATE FROM PASCHAL DONOHOE TD

6th December, 2011

Dear Resident,

I am writing to provide you with a further update on my work as your local Deputy and to ask that you contact me with questions or comments in relation to the Government and our community. Should you wish not to receive such updates, please let me know by return.

WWW.PASCHALDONOHOE.IE
I recently re-launched my website in an effort to make it easier for you to follow my work in the Oireachtas and across Dublin Central. The site contains information regarding your rights and entitlements as well as my local work in each district of the constituency. Policy proposals developed by me are available at this site. Those documents include proposals on European Growth & Stability Pact, Sovereign Default and the new National Question. Information on the work of your local Councillors, Mary O’Shea and Ray McAdam is also available at www.paschaldonohoe.ie.

NATIONAL ISSUES IN THE OIREACHTAS
Since my election in February, I have contributed regularly in Dail debates. Most recently, I spoke on the Irish Film Board (Amendment) Bill 2011, Competition (Amendment) Bill 2011 and the Public Service Pensions & Renumeration Bill 2011. I also raised the need for greater regulation of mortgage brokers and strengthening the regulatory framework of privately rented accommodation with the Ministers for Finance and Social Protection. Coverage of this can be found at .

As a member of the Public Accounts Committee, I am able to examine how Government Departments and State Agencies spend taxpayer’s money. Among the issues I have worked on are:
· Questioning FAS on internal governance matters.
· Tackling social welfare fraud ().
· Challenging NAMA in respect of developers moving assets to family members ().

RECENT FLOODING
Unfortunately, too many families were affected by the severe flooding that occurred at the end of October. Indeed, in some parts of Dublin Central family homes were flooded for the third and fourth time in as many years. I saw for myself the devastation caused by the flooding and my sympathies go to all whose homes were damaged and lost treasured possessions. The City Council will be publishing its comprehensive report into the flooding on December 15th next and I understand that detailed relief measures will be included in that report. I have spoken to Brian Hayes TD, Minister for the Office of Public Works and he has assured me that funding is available through the Capital Investment Programme, so it is essential that Dublin City Council prepare flood alleviation measures as quickly as possible so as to avail of this funding.

LARGE PUBLIC SERVICE PENSIONS
The Government took action this week to tackle the issue of large pensions former politicians, retired judges and top-level civil servants currently enjoy. Last Wednesday, I proposed to the Taoiseach and the Minister for Finance at the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party meeting that a further levy be placed on pensions exceeding €100,000. I am pleased that Minister Howlin introduced an additional 20% levy on these pensions for I firmly believe this represents the first step in tackling the unaffordable and unjustifiable pensions & entitlements regime.

NATIONAL CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
The Government recently announced that funding has been made available to allow construction of the National Children’s Hospital to go ahead should planning permission be granted. An Oral Hearing was held this month by An Bord Pleanala into concerns regarding the height of the facility as well as traffic and drainage issues. A final decision is expected early in the New Year. The fact that funding for the Hospital has now been approved is a clear signal that the health of our children is a top priority for this Government.

REPRESENTING THE GOVERNMENT ABROAD
This week, I was in Berlin representing the Government at the prestigious Konrad Adenauer Foundation. I was joined by a Minister from the German Finance Department as well as Members of the European Parliament from Greece and Poland to discuss the current European Debt Crisis and what steps are being taken by our government to rebuild our economy and return our national finances to order. I’ll provide you with a further update on this event in a later newsletter.

If you have comments on these or any other matter please get in touch with me.

I’m privileged to serve you.

Paschal