Rock the Register

The 6th of October is ‘National Day of Voter Registration’ and the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) are running a campaign across 24 student campuses in Ireland tomorrow to enable students to register to vote.

This Government backtracked on a pre-election pledge to students and increased college registration fees, up 50%. They have left students sleeping on couches because of the accommodation crisis, have slashed student grants and have cut allowances to those on apprenticeships.

At a time when people have been left in very difficult situations due to cuts and increased fees, increased rents etc., students have been left with poor counselling services again as a result of further cuts.

Register to vote, and use it to ensure people you can trust to fight for you can. ‪#‎RockTheRegister‬

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Jobs announcement welcome but more needs to be done

The announcement of 200 jobs for Clonmel is welcome but more needs to be done and done urgently said Deputy Seamus Healy in a statement.

Tipperary has not been getting its fair share of job creation.

The County has unemployment levels of 18%, twice the national average, with 14,400 people signing on. Towns across the County are blighted by unemployment with over 25% unemployment in the towns of Carrick-on-Suir, Tipperary, Thurles, Roscrea and Nenagh.

This announcement comes in the wake of a litany of job losses, 200 at Intellicom, 50 at Grants and more at C & C, Gleeson’s, Abbott and Boston Scientific.

The County also lost a nett 321 IDA jobs in the 2 years to 31/12/2014.

Tipperary has not been getting its fair share of job creation with 90% of job announcements going to the east coast and the cities of Cork, Limerick and Galway.

The Government’s regional jobs strategy announced yesterday adds insult to injury. It prioritises investment in named towns Sligo, Tralee, Castlebar, Galway, Dundalk, Limerick, Athlone, Carlow and Waterford.

There is not a single Tipperary Town on the list.

In the South East the strategy prioritises Waterford and Carlow for investment for building advance manufacturing and office facilities
This doubly disadvantages all Tipperary Towns and must be changed.

Tipperary’s Ministers Alan Kelly and Tom Hayes need to step up to the mark and demand fair play and a fair share of job creation for County Tipperary Towns.

Seamus Healy TD
Tel: 087-2802199

The Unemployment Rate in Co Tipp at 18% is almost Double the National Average and the Youth Unemployment Rate is 20% Statement by Seamus Healy TD 0872802199

Statement by Seamus Healy TD 0872802199
Loss of Jobs at Grants Compounds Unemployment Crisis in Clonmel and in County Tipperary
The announcement of 50 job losses at Grants Clonmel is a cruel blow to the workers and their families.
It represents a worsening of the unemployment crisis in Clonmel and County Tipperary generally.
It follows the loss of 200 jobs at Intellicom Clonmel, the loss of 12 jobs at Gleesons (C&C) Borrisoleigh and a further 20 jobs in C&C administration and sales. There have also been redundancies at Boston Scientific while the state of the art Johnson and Johnson plant at Cashel remains idle.
There are 14,000 people unemployed in the County, way above the unemployment rate in Ireland as a whole.

The Unemployment Rate in Co Tipperary at 18% is almost double the national average and the youth unemployment rate is 20%. Unemployment increased by almost a hundred in Clonmel in April and by 383 in County Tipperary at a time when the figures nationally were decreasing.
Not a cent of the €150 million to be spent by the government in IDA advance factories and offices in Ireland over the next five years is to be spent in County Tipperary.
I have raised this issue directly with Minister Bruton, Minister for Jobs, on the floor of the Dáil. I pointed out that a nett 321 IDA supported jobs have been lost in County Tipperary over the last 3 years and that all County Tipperary towns have been excluded from IDA supported advance factories and offices over the next 5 years.
The Minister refused point blank to remedy this.
I also objected to the €15 million euro cut in Leader Funds for tipperary by Minister Alan Kelly. I warned that this would cost jobs.
Now following the job losses at Intellicom, Grants and Gleesons ,I have put further questions down to Minister Bruton and I will also be meeting Grants management on Friday morning.
It is now time for Minister Tom Hayes and Minister Alan Kelly to intervene with Minister Richard Bruton to ensure that Tipperary gets its fair share of job creation.
The people of Clonmel and County Tipperary pay the same taxes as other Irish citizens and we demand our fair share of job creation funds.
Seamus Healy TD


Paddy Healy 087-4183732

Seamus Healy TD – Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015: Second Stage (Resumed) 25 March 2015

Photo of Séamus HealySéamus Healy (Tipperary South, Independent)

I welcome the opportunity to speak on the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015. It is a very important Bill and is long overdue.

Climate change is a real and distressing phenomenon which disproportionately affects the most vulnerable in our society. We only have to think of a country like the Philippines and, more recently, the Pacific island of Vanuatu, to see the utter devastation that climate change is wreaking on the most vulnerable people in the world who are already living in extreme poverty. Here at home, the Irish climate analysis and research unit has studied key meteorological changes in this country from 1890, when records began, to 2004 and the results do not bode well. The main finding was that Ireland’s climate is warming and this warming is accompanied by greater rainfall events of higher intensity and frequency, and increased flooding. Many communities around Ireland are already at the forefront of this struggle with climate change, including flooding. There has been significant evidence of flooding in the country and particularly in my own constituency of Tipperary South. The Old Bridge area of Clonmel, Ardfinnan, Kilsheelan, Carrick-on-Suir and Knocklofty have all seen devastation caused by flooding.

Robust, meaningful and action-oriented legislation is vitally important to protect the lives and livelihoods of those living in vulnerable areas. Currently, we have no plan for climate change in this country. This Bill is the seventh such Bill to be presented to the Dáil in the past ten years. Passing this Bill, with amendments, would mark the first time that climate legislation has been placed on the Statute Book in this country.

The legislation provides for the preparation of five-yearly national low-carbon transition and mitigation plans. These will set out how Ireland’s national greenhouse gas emissions are to be reduced in line both with existing EU and international commitments. This is intended to be done in a dual manner of mitigation and adaptation.

While the introduction of any climate legislation is an encouraging step, the Bill needs to be amended and strengthened. As we know, sending draft Bills to Oireachtas committees for consideration was one of this Government’s main, and much talked about, reforms in the programme for Government. My colleague, Deputy Catherine Murphy, was a member of the all-party Joint Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht, which scrutinised this Bill and made 12 recommendations. It is disappointing, however, that only three of those recommendations have been acted upon. This begs the question as to whether Oireachtas committees are taken seriously by the Government at all.

Effectively, the Bill has changed little from the draft prepared by the former Minister, Commissioner Phil Hogan. The latter’s decision not to include any specific targets for emission reductions was widely criticised by environmental groups and Opposition parties.

I recently attended a briefing given by a group called Stop Climate Chaos, a coalition of some of the most eminent civil society organisations in Ireland, including Trócaire, Comhlámh, Concern and the National Youth Council of Ireland, to name but a few. Together, they constitute the largest network of organisations campaigning for action on climate change in Ireland and have described the Bill as deeply disappointing. They have identified five major weaknesses in the Bill which needs to be strengthened. I concur and ask that the amendments necessary be brought forward during the course of the Bill’s progress through the Houses.

First, the Bill fails to set numeric targets for emissions reductions in the future. This is a fundamental flaw, as it means that there will be little concrete direction in the coming years. Civil society organisations are not alone in calling for clear targets; businesses also point to the need for targets to provide confidence and drive investment. Finland, Denmark and France have recently announced the introduction of climate and energy legislation, each setting clear targets in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In Finland the law sets an 80% target to be reached by 2050, while the law in Denmark sets a 40% target to be reached by 2020, double the target set in EU 2020. In France the energy transition Bill seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 and by 75% by 2050.

Given the resistance of some interest groups to setting a single national target, the compromise proposed by the Oireachtas committee is to define what is meant by “low carbon”, which would at least provide for some clarity on the objectives of the Bill. The former Minister, Mr. Phil Hogan, set out a definition during his appearance before the joint committee in July 2013 and the committee recommended that it be incorporated into the Bill. The Government refined the definition and formally adopted it as national policy in April 2014, but it was not included in the heads of the Bill. As a consequence, while some Departments such as the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine have been referring to it, others such as the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport have been ignoring it. Only including the definition in the Bill will ensure all Departments will give it due consideration.

The Bill also proposes the establishment of a national expert advisory council on climate change to be tasked with giving advice to the Government on climate change matters. Again, the joint committee recommended that the climate change advisory council be modelled on the Fiscal Advisory Council in that its independence should be prescribed in the Bill and that its members should be independent of State and stakeholder interests. Instead the Bill provides for a body of no more than 11 members, four of whom will represent state bodies in an ex officiocapacity. It does not specify that the council must be independent in the exercise of its functions, as in the case of the Fiscal Advisory Council. While the Bill provides for the council to publish its reports, the time period is anything from 30 to 90 days, which is too long for the purposes of public debate and transparency.

The Bill does not provide for the inclusion of a reference to climate justice. Ireland has a responsibility to the poorest people in developing countries who are already feeling the impact of climate change, a crisis they played no part in creating. While the Bill is about mapping out a strong and sustainable future for Ireland, it is also about ensuring Ireland will live up to its global responsibilities. The Government has repeatedly stated its commitment to climate justice is a principle guiding its engagement with the issue of climate change. Provision for the principle of climate justice in the legislation would provide an opportunity to realise it.

As regards the timing, Ireland’s last five-year action plan on climate change expired at the end of 2012, just as our EU 2020 targets came into force. The heads of the Bill, published in April 2014, envisaged that the first national mitigation plan would be adopted within 12 months of enactment of the legislation. The Bill provides for a period of up to 24 months for the adoption of the mitigation plan. That means that Ireland’s plan for reducing emissions in the period 2013 to 2020 will not be adopted until 2017, which is patently absurd. Given the fact that the preparation of the national mitigation plan has been progressing in parallel to the development of the legislation, which is long overdue, we recommend that the period allowed be six months and that the plan be finalised and adopted before the UN climate summit in Paris in December 2015. The previous five-year action plan, the national climate change strategy, covered the Kyoto Protocol commitment period, 2008 to 2012, and made it clear that the measures contained in it were designed to meet Ireland’s Kyoto Protocol commitment to limit total emissions in the period covered to 314 million tonnes of CO2equivalent. All future five-year action plans should equally indicate total projected national emissions in the period covered under the plan. Given the significant potential already recognised for mitigation by the management of carbon in Irish soils, particularly in wetlands, the Bill should include soil carbon management in the matters to be taken into account in the national mitigation plan.

One of the purposes of the Bill is to provide a platform for the achievement of as much cross-party and independent support for action as possible, given the scale of the transformation needed in coming decades to contain the effects of climate change. While I welcome the Bill, I strongly urge the Government to amend it during the course of its passage through the Oireachtas, particularly to deal with the points I have mentioned. This would strengthen it and our commitment to climate justice.

Seamus Healy TD speaking on the Motion re Water Charges 25 March 2015.

Those whom the gods seek to destroy they first turn mad. That sentiment comes to mind with regard to the bizarre contribution of a former Minister this evening. His story seems to be that it is all RTE’s fault. Whether that is an acknowledgment that former Workers’ Party people are no longer running RTE or whether it is more sinister, a blatant attempt to intimidate RTE to stop reporting the truth, I am not quite sure, but it certainly is bizarre. It is something that has arisen tonight and in line with something we heard last night from his colleague, the Minister, Deputy Kelly, who told us that those opposed to these water charges want everything but do not want to pay for anything. How dare the Minister say any such thing.

This is the same Deputy Alan Kelly who stood in the general election in 2011 in Tipperary North. He knocked on every door in that constituency and asked every voter to give him their number one vote so that he could make sure that Fine Gael would not impose water charges on this country and on the people of this country. This is the same Deputy Kelly, now deputy leader of the Labour Party, who stood in that election on a manifesto which opposed the introduction of water charges. It is the same Deputy Kelly who supported the infamous – or famous, whichever one wants to call it – Tesco advertisement which warned the people that Fine Gael had water charges in store for them. Fine Gael were going to impose water charges on this country while he and the Labour Party were going to stop it. This is the type of hypocrisy from people like the Minister, Deputy Kelly and former Minister, Deputy Pat Rabbitte and others in the Labour Party. It it the type of hypocrisy that has brought politics and politicians into disrepute over the years.

I say to Deputy Patrick O’Donovan, who spoke about rural Deputies, I certainly have not registered, I will not register and I will not be paying this unfair, unjust double tax. This is an attempt to make ordinary people, ordinary families, pay for a recession in which they had no hand, act or part in creating and it is a method of ensuring that very wealthy people who have earned huge incomes, assets and profits during the course of this recession, have been allowed to get off scot-free.

Last night the Minister, Deputy Kelly, also indicated – perhaps inadvertently – where these water charges are going. He said that England and Wales have charges of €540. That is where these charges are going – up, not down. They will be going up in the very same way as the refuse charges. In my county the refuse charges were introduced at £5 punts and they are now €350.

Press Statement – Co Tipperary is being Forgotten!

Press Statement 24 March 2015 –  Seamus Healy TD   087-2802199

Co Tipperary is being Forgotten!Further Blow TODAY as Government Reduces Leader Funding by 15 million

Ministers Kelly(Lab) and Hayes(FG) Must Act Now to Stop Tipp falling Further Behind!

Disposable income per head in County Tipperary is more than 5% below the national average and more than 16% below the Dublin level.

Today Minister Kelly is to announce  10.2 million in leader Funding for Co Tipperary. This is a reduction of 15 million over the 2013 figure.

94% of all net new jobs in 2014 were created in the Dublin region according to figures published by the Nevin Economic Research Institute last Thursday.

The disposable income statistics were  issued last week by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Disposable income is gross income less taxes and social welfare contributions. The lower the disposable income is, the poorer the family is.

The statistics are for 2012 but the situation in Co Tipperary has probably deteriorated since then as there was a net loss of 321 IDA jobs in the county over the last 3 years

County Tipperary languishes at number 12 in county disposable income league behind Dublin, Limerick,

Cork , Kildare, Wicklow , Meath, Galway, Carlow, Waterford, Sligo and Louth.

The decline in Disposable income in Tipperary between 2008 and 2012 at approximately 17% was greater than that in all other Munster Counties except Clare at 17.2%. The decline in Co Limerick was only 0.1%. The Decline in the Dublin area was 8.8%, half the decline in Co Tipp.

This shocking statistic underlines the urgent need for new job creation in the county.

The Nevin Economic Research Institute revealed on Thursday last that 94% of all net new jobs created last year were in Dublin and it’s the commuter belt. In 2012 Dublin had disposable income which was 13% above the national average and over 16% above the Co Tipperary level. Clearly the gap is continuing to widen.

There was a NET LOSS of 321 IDA JOBS In Co Tipp over last 3 years but the County Was  Excluded from provision of new advance factories or offices in the Government Plan For JOBS

Minister Bruton Admitted to me in the Dail recently that only 2 (two) net jobs were provided by IDA in Co Tipperary in 2014!!!!! There were 64 new jobs and 62 job losses in the county. WORSE STILL-There was a net loss of 321 IDA Jobs in the county over the last 3 years. Yet the towns of County Tipperary were all omitted from the plan to spend 150 million euro on providing advance factories and offices to encourage inward investment in its plan for jobs issued yesterday!!!

Despite repeated questions from me  in the Dáil recently Minister Bruton failed to give any assurance that any advance manufacturing and office facilities for incoming IDA supported industry would be built in any Co Tipperary location over the next five years.

Ministers Kelly and Hayes must demand fundamental change in the Government Plan for Jobs so that advance factories and offices can be urgently built in the towns of Tipperary.

The Labour/Fine Gael Government must not be allowed to forget and ignore the plight of Co Tipperary families!

Seamus Healy TD   087-2802199

Disposable income per Head by County


Dublin   22,011

Limerick  21326

Cork          19,704

Kildare      19658

Wicklow    19009

Meath   18898

Galway     18890

Carlow     18670

Waterford 18610

North Tipp     18563      of state  95.4%   of Dublin  84.4

Sligo               18456

Louth              18445

All Tipp           18383

South Tipp     18202         of state    93.5%   of Dublin   82.7%

Leitrim              18096

State               19468             Dublin   22011

All Tipp   12th                        of state  94.4%    of Dublin 83.6%

Drop in Disposable Income for Munster Counties from 2008 to 2012

The breakdown of figures for Munster show:

– Clare €22,185 (–€4,623) down 17.2%.

– Cork €24,832 (–€3,236) down 11.5%.

– Kerry €21,134 (–€2,062) down 8.9%.

– Limerick €26,590 (–€19) down 0.1%.

– North Tipperary €22,351 (–€4,757) down 17.5%.

– South Tipperary €21,976 (–€4,192) down 16.0%.

– Waterford €22,847 (–€3,597) down 13.6%.

By contrast, Dublin’s average income fell 8.8% (€2,835) to €29,278.