TIME FOR UNIVERSAL SOCIAL REBATE

Cork North West TD Michael Creed has called on the Minister for Finance and his Cabinet colleagues to prioritize a staged reduction in the USC over the coming years. Commenting on the publication of the latest Exchequer figures Deputy Creed said:

“While it is crucial that we continue to meet our targets in terms of reducing the deficit, it is now clear that there is a real recovery taking hold in our economy. The forthcoming budget must map out a strategy for bringing this recovery to every household in the Country between now and the end of this Governments term. Laying out a timeline for the reduction of the USC is one clear initiative which can spread the rewards of recovery wider and farther than other measures such as public pay increases”.

“The USC has been the tangible burden of the economic crisis visible in all pay packets over the past number of years. It is important that Government can signal a return to ‘normal’ economic circumstances by reducing the burden of the USC which was first introduced as a solidarity contribution to the economic recovery. Reducing the USC would be a positive initiative that would put money back in the pockets of hard pressed families. This in turn can lead to increased consumption in the domestic economy and act as an economic stimulus”.

“Calls from some quarters to consider increasing public sector pay are premature at this juncture. As an economy we must remain competitive and attractive to investment. A push to inflate wage demands does not help. Cutting the punitive USC goes further in increasing everybody’s wages without placing an extra burden on employers”.

September 3, 2014 at 12:22 pm Leave a comment

CREED APPEALS TO NAMA TO ASSIST IN COMPLETION OF MACROOM SCHOOLS LINK

Cork North West TD, Michael Creed has called on NAMA to fund the completion of a roadway on NAMA lands in Macroom which would provide direct access between St Colman’s Boys National School, St Joseph’s National School and St Mary’s Secondary School. Commenting on the proposal Deputy Creed said:

“There would be a significant community gain in NAMA funding this work as it would provide an alternative road linkage between the two Primary Schools and a secondary school in Macroom Town and in so doing removes the necessity for parents collecting children from these Schools having to travel along the busy N22. It would also assist with improved access to a new supermarket which has opened and Macroom Church.

“I have been in contact with NAMA directly and the receivers who are responsible for the site and I’ve stressed to them the benefits of constructing this roadway which would extend from The Orchard housing estate in Sleaveen East. I have been in contact with all relevant parties in order to further this issue as quickly as possible”.

August 29, 2014 at 3:26 pm Leave a comment

CREED WELCOMES APPROVAL FOR NEW CLASSROOMS IN CORK NORTH WEST SCHOOLS

DONOUGHMORE, BALLINGEARY & CHARLEVILLE TO BENEFIT FROM IMPROVED FACILITIES

Cork North West TD Michael Creed, has welcomed the provision of funding to three schools in Cork North West to develop new classrooms. Commenting on the allocations Deputy Creed said;

“I am pleased that funding is to be provided to Scoil Naomh Laichtín Donoughmore, CBS Secondary School, Charleville, and Scoil Mhuire, Beal Athan Ghaorthaidh for the development of additional classroom accommodation”.

“This Government have endeavoured to continue investment in our educational infrastructure despite the difficult economic climate. I am confident that this funding will greatly benefit pupils and the staff of these three schools”

August 8, 2014 at 12:25 pm Leave a comment

CREED CALLS FOR URGENT RESOLUTION OF HEN HARRIER ISSUE

Cork North West TD Michael Creed, has urged the incoming Minister for Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphries T.D. to urgently engage with Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney T.D. in order to finally seek a resolution to the difficulties being faced by farmers in areas designated as Special Protection Area’s for the preservation of the hen harrier. Commenting on the matter, Deputy Creed said:

“Farm families throughout the Country – through no fault of their own, are being denied the opportunity to earn a livelihood from their land due to the State’s obligation to meet habitat preservation directives from the EU. These families have been in limbo since the suspension of a compensation scheme in 2010”.

“The appointment of a new Minister provides the perfect opportunity to add new momentum for finding a suitable resolution for the farm families involved. It is important that Minister Humphries engages with this issue as a matter of priority”.

“Suggestions that this matter can be resolved in the context of GLAS (green, low carbon agri-environment scheme) fall short of what is required. The restrictions on farmers in these SPA’s cannot be compared to the obligations on farmers in the rest of the Country to meet the terms of GLAS. Furthermore the payment available under GLAS is not adequate to compensate farmers in SPA’s for the curtailment of their activities and earning capabilities”.

July 22, 2014 at 12:29 pm Leave a comment

SINN FEIN CAN’T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS ON POLICING

Cork North West, Fine Gael TD Michael Creed has this morning criticised Sinn Fein for being duplicitous on the issue of policing. Commenting on Deputy Mary Lou McDonald’s allegation that the arrest of Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams was politically motivated Deputy Creed said:

“Sinn Fein and in particular their Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald has been very vocal in recent weeks when upholding the independence and the authority of policing on this island. Then in a gross act of hypocricy she unleashes an irresponsible and calculated attack on the credibility the authority and indeed the independence of the PSNI when she accuses them of acting in a politically motivated fashion”

“The truth of the matter is that Sinn Fein’s approach to justice is selective and in itself politically motivated”

May 1, 2014 at 11:11 am Leave a comment

CREED WELCOMES SUPPORT FOR CORK NORTH WEST SCHOOLS UNDER THE SUMMER WORKS SCHEME

Cork North West T.D. Michael Creed has today (Thursday) welcomed the inclusion of ten schools from the Cork North West Constituency in the Summer Works scheme for 2014. S.N. Cnoc An Bhile, Castlealack N.S, S.N. Baile An Mhuirne, Boherbue N.S, Scoil Mhuire Kanturk, St Mary’s Secondary School Macroom, Scoil Mhuire Béal Atha An Ghaorthaidh, McEgan College Macroom and Millstreet Community School will all receive money to improve and upgrade existing school buildings. This first round of funding will allow schools to carry out small and medium scale building works across three categories of projects – Gas, Electrical & Mechanical. Commenting on the announcement Deputy Creed said:

“The recommencement of the Department of Education’s Summer Works Scheme is significant in that it marks a return to normal funding of our Educational infrastructure following the economic crisis. The Summer Works scheme was one of the first schemes to be cut during the recent economic crisis and I am encouraged to see it restored under this Government”.

“The Scheme provides support for schools to undertake important upgrading and maintenance work during the summer months. While the sums of money involved are modest, this support is hugely beneficial to each and every individual school. Furthermore this scheme empowers school management to engage local contractors to carry out the works and therefore is a boost to the local economy”.

“A second round of the scheme is expected to be announced in coming weeks. This round will cover other types of improvement works, with applications still being assessed”.

March 20, 2014 at 11:15 am Leave a comment

CREED SLAMS SINN FEIN FOR INSULTING LONG TERM UNEMPLOYED

Cork North West T.D. Michael Creed has rejected a Sinn Fein Private members motion calling on the Government to abandon the Gateway scheme. Speaking during the debate Deputy Creed said:

“It is (the Dáil motion) gratuitously insulting to people who are unemployed and to anyone who participates in Gateway, a Tús scheme, a CE scheme or JobBridge. It is based on a flawed political miscalculation in that Sinn Féin believes a cohort of those unfortunate people, who find themselves unemployed through no fault of their own, do not want to work. I can tell Sinn Féin that in my political experience in my constituency office, as late as my clinics last Monday night, I had people who want to stay longer on schemes and who want to get onto schemes. I have had conversations with supervisors who have constructive suggestions to make about how to improve schemes. However, this motion is gratuitously insulting to communities who organise schemes, to local authorities who will provide a range of opportunities to participants on schemes, but it is insulting most of all to the more than 180,000 people who are long-term unemployed, for whom Sinn Féin Members allege to care but to whom, by virtue of their motion, they are giving a slap in the face”.

“The motion refers to the portion of the unemployed accounted for by those who are long-term unemployed having increased from 55% to 61%. What is Sinn Féin’s solution to this issue? Deputy Clare Daly said that people need a job if they are to get back to work. Of course they need a job. However, it is clearly established that the prospects of getting a full-time job are significantly diminished the longer a person is unemployed. That is what labour activation programmes seek to address. It is about giving people a pathway back to work by offering opportunities to upskill and retrain. If Members opposite were offering a constructive criticism of the schemes in terms of their training input, for example, there might be something to debate. However, this pejorative language of “frog-marching”, “forced labour” and “hard labour” is gratuitously insulting to those people who want to participate in the schemes and see them not as a hard labour, but as an avenue back to work”.

“Sinn Féin needs to get real. I urge Members opposite to get in touch with the constituencies where unemployment is a serious issue and with the communities that are offering these people some hope of getting back into the workforce. Our economic recovery is fragile. Any local social welfare officer will say that employers are nervous but are gradually putting their toes back in the water. These employers are saying they do not have sufficient confidence to take on a full-time employee, but they can offer two or three days work per week. Participants who work for 19.5 hours per week under the Gateway, Tús or community employment schemes will receive an incentive to do so and can take up opportunities elsewhere on the back of the experience they gain”.

“In an ideal world, we would have work for everybody and there would be no need to debate these issues. Unfortunately, ours is a far from ideal world and we cannot adopt the head in the sand, all or nothing approach of Deputy Clare Daly or Sinn Féin. We are giving participants an additional €20 per week. I wish we were in a position to give an extra €50 or €100, but we simply cannot afford it. Who would pay the taxes to support that increased allocation? Employers are beginning to get up off their knees and offer people opportunities, but Deputies opposite want to nail those people to a lifetime on social welfare. It is a betrayal like none I have ever seen in respect of people who are unemployed, and it is coming from a party that purports to articulate the needs of marginalised people. In previous Opposition motions I have generally found elements that I would like, in my heart of hearts, to support. In this instance, however, there is not a single shred of content that offers anything to the people it is claiming to represent but further long-term unemployment. The bottom line is that we need labour activation measures to improve the employability of people seeking work”.

“I will conclude by offering a constructive criticism, which I hope the Minister, Deputy Phil Hogan, will convey to his colleague, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Employment, Deputy Richard Bruton. There is a proliferation of schemes, including Tús, community employment schemes and Gateway, which, because they were introduced at short notice, feature a degree of overlap and inadequate co-ordination. I have spoken to supervisors who are crisscrossing County Cork, with one supervising a single Tús worker on a GAA pitch, for example, and another coming onto the same pitch separately to supervise three Tús workers or community employment scheme workers. We need to extract from the current pool of supervisors people who will assume an oversight role in terms of the implementation and co-ordination of scarce resources. We are putting €19 million into Gateway. I wish we could allocate €90 million, but that is not possible. This is a labour activation measure with significant merit. As I said at the outset, the content of this motion from Sinn Féin is gratuitously insulting to long-term unemployed people and to participants in these schemes the length and breadth of the country”.

March 13, 2014 at 4:15 pm Leave a comment

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