Blog Archive | Economy
Posted on February 19, 2016
ONLY LABOUR WILL TACKLE THE GENDER PAY GAP - BURTON
Tánaiste Joan Burton today outlined Labour’s plans to stand up for women in the workplace, at home and in the community.
Launching Labour’s plan for equality today, Joan Burton said, if re-elected to Government, Labour will tackle gender pay issues by ensuring large companies and public sector employers make public the details their own internal pay gaps in order to stimulate stronger action towards pay equality.
The provisions in the ‘Standing Up For Equality’ plan include:
Posted on January 28, 2016
Order of Business, Seaand Éireann - Raised Matters
Thursday, 28 January 2016
Senator Ivana Bacik: I am grateful to the Leader for clarifying that the Seanad will sit next Tuesday and Wednesday, no matter what happens elsewhere. I also welcome the fact that we will have statements on the Report of the Joint Committee of Inquiry into the Banking Crisis on Tuesday because that gives us the opportunity to read what is in the report. Having read preliminary reports of it and its key aspects, I commend all those who were on the committee for the immense work they put into producing the report. I commend to Senators an excellent article by our colleague, Senator O’Keeffe, in The Irish Times today describing the work of the committee and, in very fair terms, some of its pitfalls and positive aspects and the lessons it holds for the future. Many things are now clearer as a result of the report, in particular serious matters in terms of the behaviour of the Central Bank and the Financial Regulator, which, we are told, informed the Government in September 2008 that the six institutions covered by the guarantee were solvent. That is a critical finding. I look forward to the debate on Tuesday.
I welcome the publication yesterday of the first national maternity strategy, which many of those involved in maternity hospitals, the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, midwives and others have welcomed. This strategy will move in a very welcome fashion towards a non-hospital setting for childbirth and a stronger role for midwives in childbirth, where there are no complications. Women and midwives have campaigned for that for many years.
I also welcome the publication yesterday of the new skills strategy which will lead to 50,000 new apprenticeships being created over five years. That is critical to the continued strength of the economy and its growth. It will give new opportunities for many young adults in particular.
Posted on January 27, 2016
Order of Business, Seanad Éireann - Raised Matters
Senator Ivana Bacik: I commend Senator Noone who yesterday on the Commencement raised the issue of a no-fry zone. This is an issue that is getting a great deal of support, particularly from parents. It seeks new planning regulations to ensure that chip shops cannot be located within 500 m of a school. This is part of a drive for healthier living and healthier eating among children in order to tackle the very worrying levels of obesity. I commend the Senator on raising it and lend my support to the many parents' groups supporting the no-fry zone campaign.
Link to full transcript of the Order of Business, 27th January 2016
Posted on January 20, 2016
Order of Business, Seanad Éireann - Competition Bill 2016
Tonight in the House I look forward to introducing a very important Private Members' Bill in Labour Party Private Members' time which I will be proposing and Senator Aideen Hayden will be seconding, namely, the Competition (Amendment) Bill 2016 which seeks to expand the rights of collective bargaining for workers. It is a Bill that has been sought by trade unions for some years. I have been working on it for some years and I know the introduction of the Bill is being welcomed by SIPTU, the NUJ and Irish Equity, among others. Colleagues will be aware that the operation of the Competition Act 2002, in particular, restricts the capacity of unions to negotiate on behalf of freelance members, such as freelance actors or journalists, in setting pay rates. The Bill seeks to exempt certain groups of workers from the prohibition in competition law against price fixing. We are trying to take the middle ground to ensure there is no detriment to the consumer because the Competition Act is concerned with consumer protection. I am happy to provide a briefing on the Bill to any Members who wish to have one in advance of its introduction at 5 p.m. Members of the unions affected will be present in the Gallery tonight to see the Bill debated on Second Stage. It is an important plank of the Labour Party policy and it should receive a general welcome from across the House as well as from the Minister.
Posted on January 20, 2016
COMPETITION (AMENDMENT) BILL 2016 (Text)
Wednesday 20th January, 2016
In the Seanad today, Senator Ivana Bacik proposed the Competition (Amendment) Bill 2016 on behalf of the Labour Party Senators, as a private members’ bill. Senator Aideen Hayden of Labour seconded the Bill. On behalf of the Government, Minister Richard Bruton did not oppose the bill, which passed Second Stage in the Seanad.
COMPETITION (AMENDMENT) BILL 2016 - TEXT OF BILL
An Act to delimit the application of the Competition Act 2002 to Trade Unions and
Trade Union Members and to certain agreements negotiated with public bodies, and to provide for related matters.
Posted on January 14, 2016
Order of Business, Seanad Éireann
Wednesday, 13 January 2016
Senator Ivana Bacik: 'I join others in wishing you, a Chathaoirligh, your staff and all present a happy new year. I also congratulate Mr. Peter Finnegan on his new appointment. I thank the Leader for facilitating a debate on flooding next week.
Posted on December 11, 2015
Seanad Update: Human Rights - Justice and Equality week!
Posted on December 04, 2015
End of term - busy schedule and lots on the agenda!
This time of year is always busy as we wrap up before the Christmas holidays and there is much on the Seanad, Dáil and Committee agenda's. Here are a few issues I raised this week in the Order of Business, 1-3rd December 2015
The House recently concluded a debate on the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill, which was very welcome, but in the new year I would like us to have a debate on how best to implement the policy in the Bill and how best to ensure we meet our targets in light of whatever decisions are made in Paris. I know all colleagues will want to join in expressing hope for a positive and effective agreement among the international leaders represented in Paris. I welcome the speech by the US President, Barack Obama, at the Paris summit yesterday, where he pointed out that the Paris conference is a potential turning point for us in respect of curbing global warming. We are at a critical point to try to ensure we do not see it take hold, with the dire consequences we all know will occur. I concur with Senator Ó Murchú's comments on Ireland's role in this. Clearly, it will be difficult for us to seek to meet the 20% reduction by 2020, particularly because of our agricultural emissions, but we have a duty to ensure that we try to meet these targets.
I welcome the Northern Ireland High Court decision yesterday, by Judge Mark Horner, in a case taken by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. The judge found a breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights in respect of the failure to provide for abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality and rape. Clearly, there are implications for this jurisdiction, but the Leader has agreed already to a debate on that in the new year.
Posted on November 13, 2015
With just five weeks for the legislative programme up to Christmas I'm keen to see a number of urgent Bills passed and issues debated in both Houses #GettingDownToBusiness
Senator Ivana Bacik, Order of Business, Thursday 12th November 2015.
'Yesterday, the justice committee had a two and a half hour meeting with the Garda Commissioner, Ms Nóirín O'Sullivan, in the course of which she answered a huge number of questions on an array of issues around policing. They covered a wide range of pressing matters, including gangland crime, drugs policy, firearms and so forth. There is a great deal of material from that meeting which we could explore further in a debate in this House on policing. In addition, when will the policing authority Bill finally be passed? It is an urgent Bill.
With regard to legislation, when is the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill due back before the House? It passed Second Stage in the Seanad and there are only five weeks for the legislative programme up to Christmas. I am hopeful, as are other colleagues, that the Bill could be passed by this House by Christmas at the latest, so it can progress through the Dáil in advance of the general election. It is a very important and reforming Bill which, among other things, reforms the law on prostitution. It is important that it is passed. In addition, the Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, which was initiated in the Seanad and seeks to amend section 37 to prevent discrimination against gay and lesbian people in the teaching profession, is another Bill that I hope will be passed by the Dáil by Christmas. It has been passed by this House...
Posted on July 09, 2015
BACIK CALLS FOR LEGISLATION ON HATE CRIME
Labour Seanad leader, Spokesperson on Justice
Thursday 9th July 2015
Senator Ivana Bacik will this evening be one of the speakers at a public meeting hosted by Labour Equality on 'Hate Crime: Old Prejudices, New Responses' to be held at 7pm in Wynns Hotel.
In her speech tonight, Senator Bacik will call for the introduction of legislation on hate crime, and will say: