Kelly Welcomes ECB Rate Cut

Minister Alan Kelly has welcomed the decision by the ECB to cut its interest rates by 0.25%.

Minister Alan Kelly has welcomed the decision by the ECB to cut its interest rates by 0.25%.

Minister Kelly Stated: “In the last 18 months we have seen a succession of interest rate hikes which particularly affected the majority of mortgage holders who are not on tracker mortgages.The banks’ excuse has always been that they had an insufficient margin on their lending. However, the ECB reduction reduces bank costs and improves their margin. For this reason I think that the banks should pass on the cut to customers”

“If banks can raise rates to follow ECB actions then it stands to reason that the honourable thing to do is expect all lenders to similarly pass through any ECB rate reductions to all borrowers”, ended the Minister.

Govt. “Has Made Every Effort To Minimise Cost” - Hayes

Local Fine Gael T.D. Tom Hayes has stressed that the Government has made every effort to minimise both cost and inconvenience to households around the country under the Water Services (Amendment) Bill 2011.

“This Bill will provide for a proportionate and risk-based approach to the inspection of septic tanks. It is intended that inspections would be targeted to areas where drinking water sources of habitats are likely to be, or have been, impacted upon. It is envisaged that this inspection under the new system will take place in 2013” stated Deputy Hayes.

“While the majority of septic tanks may be working well, and in those cases the householders have nothing to worry about, those tanks that are not working properly may be polluting groundwater and contaminating our drinking water supplies and must be remediated. The key objective of the new legislation is to enhance and protect public health and the environment which will, in turn, benefit rural dwellers in terms of a better quality of life and better quality water,” he concluded.


Deputy Michael Lowry has rubbished the claim made by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food that there is no delay within the Department as a result of digitisation. Deputy Lowry, had asked the Minister to detail the number of farmers being affected by the digitisation of maps in the constituency and the steps being taken within the department to alleviate this issue. In his response Minister Coveney refused to accept that digitisation was causing any delay stating that there is “no delays to farmers under either the Single Farm Payment Scheme or the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme.”

Deputy Lowry stated that Minister Coveney has his “head buried in the sand” if he is unaware of the ongoing problems caused by digitisation.

“I am very disappointed with the response received from Minister Coveney. On a daily basis I am contacted by concerned farmers who have yet to receive the payments owed to them by the Department. Many farmers now fear that they will not secure these payments until the New Year.”

“This is devastating news for farmers who are faced with rising bills and huge day to day costs. It is unacceptable that they are left in financial limbo. While a welcome start has been made to the issuing of payments, Minister Coveney needs to face up to the reality of the problems of digitisation in his Department.”

Educational Promises Must Be Delivered -Lowry

Deputy Michael Lowry, T.D. has called on all Government T.D’s to ensure that third level students are not adversely affected by the upcoming budget. The Independent Deputy has called upon Minister Ruairí Quinn to stand by his pre-election promise which stated that third level fees would not be increased and the student maintenance grant would not be cut.

Deputy Lowry stated that;

“We are now approaching a budget which will no doubt be a difficult one. I am calling on the Government to actively choose to protect our students and help ensure their future in education. It is of vital importance not alone that student fees are not increased but that the supports currently in place for students remain. These people should be not face undue burdens as they seek to further themselves and the situations of their families.”

Cuts To Winter Fuel Allowances Slammed By Healy

Speaking in the Dail in support of an amendment to set aside cutbacks in winter fuel allowances and to target the wealth of the super-rich instead, Seamus Healy called on Labour Party Ministe Burton to reverse the cuts she announced during the summer. He said: “I condemn out of hand the conduct of the Government and its shameful attacks on elderly people. These shameful attacks will mean not just that the safety of elderly people is at risk, but that their lives are at risk. The actions of the Government and of the so-called Labour Party Minister for Social Protection in cutting back on heating, electricity and gas allowances will have a huge effect on elderly people over the coming winter. The cuts will not only affect their health, but unfortunately, elderly people will die as a result of the cutbacks.”

“These cuts are outrageous, particularly in the context of the €770 million the Government paid over to faceless and anonymous speculators in Anglo Irish Bank today. These cuts will have a serious impact on the health of these people and will cause deaths this winter. I call on the Minister, who is a Labour Party Minister, to reverse these cuts and to ensure that ordinary elderly people who had no hand, act or part in creating the recession are decently treated by the Government”.

€37.6 million wasted on election leaflets - McGrath

South Tipperary Independent TD Mattie McGrath is outraged by the fact that the Government has no plans to change the provisions in electoral law on the entitlement of election candidates to send items to voters free of postage costs which cost the state a disgraceful €37.6 million since 2007.

“I am outraged that the Minister has no plans to make changes to the Litir um Thoghcáin. I called on the Minister to make changes prior to the last General Election and I refused to avail of this service due to the huge costs. The Minister has refused to make changes and is happy for election candidates to continue with this massive waste of money while the Government cut the most vulnerable people in society. It is simply unacceptable that the Minister will not introduce urgent legislation to stop this waste,” said Mr. McGrath.