THERE IS MORE TO THE STORY OF THIS GOVERNMENT THAN IRISH WATER

Jobs & Economic success must no longer be overshadowed by water issue

Cork North West TD Michael Creed today highlighted the significant progress that has been made by this Government in restoring the economy to significant growth and easing the crisis in unemployment. In a letter to the Taoiseach, Deputy Creed outlined five measures relating to Irish water which need to be addressed in order to return Government focus to ending the jobless crisis and ensuring economic growth reached the regions. Deputy Creed said:

“This week we have seen Ireland ranked as Europe’s fastest growing economy. The number of people on the Live Register fell by 37,882 to 358,630 in October 2014, a reduction of 9.6% on the corresponding month last year. Yesterday marked the sale by NTMA of €3.75 billion of 15 year bonds. This 15 year bond is the first longer-dated bond issued since 2009. The yield of 2.487% is a record low yield and provides a huge vote of confidence in Ireland from investors. Total tax revenue of €31,976 million was collected to end-October, an increase of €2,734 million (9.4%) on the same period last year. In addition, cumulative tax revenues are €1,092 million (3.5%) ahead of target.

“All the key economic indicators are pointing in the right direction. The Government have successfully guided the Country out of Troika programme without requiring a back-up option – a situation thought impossible in 2011 when this Government took office. There have been dramatic reforms in local Government, the public service and in the Oireachtas itself. Yet now as the outlook for the future is beginning to look positive for the first time since 2008, the Government is floundering.

“I attribute much of this malaise to the ad-hoc manner in which Irish water has been established. This debacle has eroded much of the public’s confidence in the Government and its capacity to lead. Therefore I have today written to the Taoiseach and asked him to take the following measures in order to take control of the situation:

· Dismissal of the current Board of Irish Water.

· Dismissal of the Chief Executive Mr. John Tierney.

· The bonus payment structure for Irish Water must be abandoned.

· Every effort short of Referendum must be made to convince the public that Irish Water will remain in public ownership

· Address concerns about affordability, particularly for those where there are multiple adults in the household. This may involve a flat fee for an appropriate time to facilitate the roll out of the necessary infrastructure for metering.

“The Government still has a significant programme of work to complete in order to continue the momentum being generated in the economy. I do not see any viable political alternative to this Government emerging which can put together a Programme for Government which can build on and expand economic recovery to all corners of the country. It is imperative that the Taoiseach now acts to finally resolve the outstanding issues pertaining to Irish Water and move on”.

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RURAL BROADBAND SCHEME

The Rural Broadband Scheme has been established to enable a basic broadband service to be provided to individual rural premises which are not capable of obtaining a broadband service from existing internet service providers.

The Scheme has been set up in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture as a measure under the Rural Development Plan using funding from the European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development.

There are certain criteria for applications under the scheme. These are:

  • You must be living outside of the areas covered by the National Broadband Scheme, click here for details, http://www.three.ie/nbs/
  • You must be living in a rural area in accordance with the Rural Development Plan – the following are excluded from the Scheme:
    1. Places within the City Council boundaries of Dublin, Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick
    2. Places within the Borough Council boundaries of Kilkenny, Sligo and Wexford
    3. Places within the Town Council boundaries of Athlone, Ballina, Castlebar, Cavan, Dundalk, Ennis, Killarney, Letterkenny, Mallow, Monaghan, Mullingar, Tralee, Tuam and Tullamore.
  • You must be unable to obtain a service from the service providers operating in your area

There will be a number of phases in the Scheme. This first phase involves inviting and processing applications. The Department will be accepting applications from 9 May 2011 until 29 July 2011.

In the second phase of the Scheme, the Department will check with existing internet service providers to see if they are willing to provide a service to the premises concerned. If they are willing to provide a service, we will write to you and ask your permission to be contacted by the companies concerned. If a service can be provided to you in this way, your application under the scheme will be closed.

If none of the companies concerned are prepared to offer you a service, then your application will progress to the next phase in the Scheme. We will write to you at that stage and let you know. We expect the second Phase of the Scheme to be completed by January 2012 at the latest.

In the third phase of the Scheme, the Department will engage an internet service provider who will offer a basic internet service to applicants. We will pass the details of all applicants to this service provider who will contact the applicants and offer them the service. While the Department will be paying part of the cost of the infrastructure necessary to provide a service under this Scheme, the applicant will be responsible for paying the costs of the service itself. This may include some upfront connection costs as well as monthly charges for the service. Further details of the service and related costs will become available once the Service Provider has been selected. You will not be obliged to take up the offer of a service under this Scheme.

We expect roll out of this service to commence in early 2012. The Scheme should be completed by the end of 2012 at the latest.

The easiest way to apply is through our online application facility.

 

 

Alternatively you can print an Application form, complete and sign it and send it to us by post.

 

 

You can also contact the Department by Phone on 1850 678 100 or on 01-678 2020.

Please note that the actual cost of calls to CallSave 1850 numbers varies depending on your phone company.

NEW RURAL BROADBAND SCHEME TO FINALLY EXTEND BROADBAND TO ALL

Cork North West TD Michael Creed has welcomed the launch of a new National Broadband Scheme, which will extend a broadband connection to areas not covered by the current scheme.  Commenting on the launch of the new scheme which forms part of the Governments jobs initiative Deputy Creed said;

“The Scheme aims to ensure that universal broadband access is provided in Irelandby the end of 2012. While the completion of the Government’s National Broadband Scheme (NBS) means that broadband services are now available throughout the country, there are remaining un-served rural premises which could not be included in the NBS or which are difficult to reach for mainly technical reasons. The Rural Broadband Scheme is designed to identify those premises through a public application process and, ultimately, to bring a broadband service to them either through existing private sector service providers or through a service provider procured by Government”.

The combination of private and public investment in telecommunications infrastructure has meant over 99% broadband coverage for the whole country,” said Deputy Creed. “We are now launching this Scheme to identify the remaining small percentage of premises that have not been able to procure a broadband service and to provide broadband to such premises which cannot be served by the existing market. My Department will be accepting applications for a three month period starting now, so there will be ample opportunity for people to come forward with details of premises that cannot obtain a service”.

The Scheme aims to identify the premises that cannot currently obtain a service and once all of these premises have been identified, to ascertain whether existing telecommunications operators can provide a service directly to these premises. If an existing service provider cannot be identified, the Department will seek to procure such a service. The combination of private and public sector programmes in the broadband market will ensure thatIrelandreaches the EU target of ubiquitous basic broadband access ahead of the 2013 deadline”.

“The Rural Broadband Scheme will help promote economic and social development in such areas. It will be of particular importance to small scale rural enterprises who will be able to trade their goods and services over the internet. This Scheme will ensure that the remainder of rural premises will be able to get a broadband service and will make broadband available to anyone who wants it by the end of 2012.”

In tandem with this development, the Government announced that it intends to push ahead with discussions with the telecommunications sector with a view to establishing a roadmap for the delivery of next generation broadband in Ireland in line with the commitments in the Government’s National Recovery Programme. Under the NewEra proposals in the Programme for Government there is a commitment for NewEra to co-invest with the private sector and commercial semi-State sector to provide next generation broadband to every home and business in the State. Consideration on how best to advance these proposals, for which Minister of State Fergus O’Dowd has responsibility, is being advanced”.

Full details of the Rural Broadband Scheme are available on the Department’s website www.dcenr.ie and follow the link for the Rural Broadband Scheme.