Seamus Healy TD supports the #BreastCheck campaign

I am backing @IrishCancerSoc #BreastCheck campaign. I raised this issue earlier this year and will continue to fully support the campaign.

Today the Irish Cancer Society were at Leinster House calling on the Government to extend BreastCheck to women aged 65-69.

In 2011 the government promised to extend BreastCheck, this has not happened.

The extension will mean an additional 87 women’s lives a year will be saved through screening.

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 1st July, 2014.

* 590. To ask the Minister for Health the position regarding the extension of BreastCheck to the 65-69 age group; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Seamus Healy T.D.

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 1st July, 2014.

REPLY.

The BreastCheck Programme provides free mammograms to all women aged 50-64. A priority of the BreastCheck Programme at present is to maximise national uptake in the 50-64 year age cohort.
It is my intention to extend the upper age range to include the 65-69 age cohort as soon as possible in line with available resources.

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Student Services Charge for Apprentices – Cllr Pat English

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I put forward this notice of motion:
“That Tipperary County Council requests the Government to abolish the student services charge for apprentices which had been implemented on apprentices since January 2014. The imposition of the student service charge of up to €1,433.00 is nothing more than a tax on training.”

€1,433.00 is nothing more than a tax on training. As a council we should use our influence to have this inequitable tax abolished.

These charges are both unreasonable and inequitable for the following reasons:

The charges were imposed by Government in the last budget and implemented from the 01 January 2014 with the object of raising €1.6 million in revenue to the State.

The charge depending on the duration of the training period in an institute of technology can vary from €833.00 to €1,433.00.

This tax on training is referred to as a standard service charge, this despite the fact that student services are not available to, or availed of by apprentices.

Apprentices are employees of companies, not students, and pay income tax and PRSI along with many other taxes and charges already.

Apprentices are amongst the lowest paid workers in the Republic of Ireland and in the first years of employment are paid less than the minimum wage.

No other country in Europe imposes such a charge on apprentices.

There is no age restriction entering apprenticeship and many apprentices in modern Ireland carry the responsibility of a family rent or mortgage costs.

The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development recently assessed the Government Action Plan for Jobs and particularly warned that more must be done to tackle youth unemployment. All of the Governments actions to date in this area flies in the face of such experts.

I asked that Tipperary County Council request the Government to ensure that the imposition of student services charges on apprentices is rescinded and that this motion be circulated to all councils.

This motion was approved by the council and was referred to the Minister for Education and Skills, Ms Jan O’Sullivan for her consideration and reply.

I will keep you informed as to progress.

Irish Water defers list of illnesses for discounts

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From Irish Examiner 25 September 2014
By Juno McEnroe
Political Correspondent, Irish Examiner

Irish Water has confirmed that plans to draw up a list of medical conditions to give certain households discounts for water charges have been scrapped for at least another two years.

The Irish Examiner can confirm that no such list will be drawn up until 2017 at the earliest.

The Government had promised to draw up a list of specific medical conditions to allow households qualify for subsidised water bills.

Earlier this week, the Department of Environment said it hoped to have a list agreed by October 1.

But Irish Water says households will only be asked to declare if they have a condition or not on forms. The company confirmed there would be no list drawn up in the current price control period, which lasts until December 31, 2016.

It was also confirmed last night that the Data Protection Commissioner has asked Irish Water to clarify how it will handle PPS numbers after concerns about use of personal data.

It has also been revealed that water rates and free allowances in general will not be unveiled until just hours before meters start clocking up costs. The energy regulator will unveil the final costs for users, the fixed unit price, and any free allowances for children, the day before charging begins next Wednesday.

Irish Water says 450,000 homes have been metered. This means that over 1m more will be on assessed charges. The Government says the average bill will be €240, but others claim households can expect bills of hundreds of euros.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/irish-water-defers-list-of-illnesses-for-discounts-288545.html

Property Tax proposed 15% reduction Tipperary County Council – Cllr Pat English

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This government has reduced government funding to Tipperary Local authorities by over €20 million or 48% since it came to power in 2011.

The government and Minister Alan Kelly say we will get the same funding as last year, but this includes the proceeds of the property tax which the people of this county have paid themselves.

This means that the actual government contribution to this council will be even less than the very low level provided for this year.

As usual the local election promise of a 15% reduction in home tax was just pulling the wool over people’s eyes.

The extraction by the government of over €20 million per year out of the economy of county Tipperary is a huge factor in depressing the local economy. North and South Tipperary are in the highest regions of unemployment in Ireland according to official figures.

Now from 01 October, every time we fill the kettle we will be charged for water!

This will extract even more money from the local economy causing further depression and crucifying already hard pressed people. According to the Neven Economic Research Institute, the poorest 10% are paying a higher proportion of income in tax than the top 10%.

This is just double taxation.

We are already paying for water and other local services, through general taxation, direct and indirect. Now we are being forced to pay again through these charges for services which have been reduced by government cuts.

This money is being diverted to pay part of the €8 billion per year interest which recent governments have incurred through bailing out billionaire investors in bust banks.

Local property tax and water charges are devices to make the ordinary person pay for bailing out banks.

The top 10,000 income earners in this country have €595,000 per year each.

The government should take the money from these top earners and use it to abolish home and water taxes and stop attacking already hard pressed families.

The government is continually hitting lower and middle income families.

It was for all these reasons I supported the proposed 15% reduction in property tax along with Councillors Séamie Morris (SF), David Dunne (SF), David Doran (SF), Martin Browne (SF), Catherine Carey (SF), Jim Ryan (IND), Michael O’Meara (IND), Willie Kennedy (IND) and Micheal Lowry (IND)

The following Councillors blocked a reduction in the property tax Siobhan Ambrose ( FF ), Andy Moloney (IND), Fiona Bonfield (LAB), Jackie Cahill (FF), Joe Bourke (FG), Joe Hannigan (IND), Kieran Bourke (IND), Martin Lonergan (IND), Roger Kennedy (FF), Marie Murphy (FG), Micheal Anglim (FF), Louise McLoughlin (FG), Tom Wood (IND), Michael Murphy(FG), Richie Molloy (IND), Eddie O Meara (IND), Imelda Goldsboro (FF), Ger Darcy (FG), Hughie McGrath (IND), Phyll Bugler (FG), John Carroll (FF), Mattie Ryan (FF), John Hogan (FF), Michael Smith (FF), Seamus Hanifin(FF), Denis Leahy (IND), John Crosse (FG), Mary Hanna Hourigan (FG) , Michael Fitzgerald (FG).

Traffic Calming Loughtally – Cllr Pat English – (Notice of Motion 53)

“That Tipperary County Council provide traffic calming measures at Loughtally, Clonmel in the interest of public safety.”

Tipperary County Council reply:
“The L3212 Loughtally Road is a local primary road with an average width of 5m and a speed limit of 80km/hr. Traffic calming measures such as ramps, chicanes or build – outs are not recommended for roads outside of an urban (city/town/village) environment.
Over the past number of tears Tipperary County Council have responded to residents concerns regarding traffic speed with the introduction of SLOW” and “CHILDREN AT PLAY” signs.
Tipperary County Council will install “SLOW” road markings over the coming weeks, however any further traffic calming measures would not b appropriate at this location.

Traffic Calming Ashgrove Lawn Request (NOM 52)

Cllr Pat English – Notice of Motion 52

“That Tipperary County Council provide 2 speed ramps at Ashgrove Lawn in the interest of public safety, the residents of Ashgrove Lawn are very concerned for the safety of the large amount or young children who live in the area.”

The Council have stated that they will consider this request in future roadworks programmes as the 2014 roadworks programme has already been agreed.