Joan Burton TD held a seminar in the Mansion House on the spring economic outlook. In this very well attended meeting we heard speakers from ESRI, IBEC and UCD. Joan also made the case for Ireland to have a special status in Brexit negotations.
Today's Leaders' Questions in the Dáil were taken by the Tánaiste and Leader of the Labour Party Joan Burton TD. Today's debate saw questions on state board appointments process, and the economic recovery.
The Gender Recognition Bill 2013, which was published today by Minister Burton, will mean a person who is over 18 and who changes gender will have that new gender fully recognised by the State. It will include the right to marry or enter into a civil partnership in the new gender and the right to have a new birth certificate. The Labour Party pledged in our election manifesto to introduce legislation when in government to recognise transgender people in the law; this Bill delivers on that promise.
Minister Joan Burton has announced the first phase of a new childcare scheme project which was announced in the Budget.
The scheme will be rolled out from the end of April in 7 areas across the country, Finglas, Dundalk, Tralee, King’s Inn Street (Dublin city centre), Cork City, Mullingar and Limerick City. Up to 500 childcare places will be made available to people who have been long-term unemployed, or were former recipients of the One Parent Family Payment and who have got a job offer or who have significantly increased their part-time hours.
On November 10th the country will vote on the Children's Referendum and this week the corresponding legislation has been making its way through the House. A number of Labour TDs have made contributions to the debate and you can find links to the speeches below.
In her speech Minister Jan O'Sullivan pointed out that through this referendum, Ireland can at last reiterate its commitment to children, both legally and symbolically. "It is about enshrining in the Constitution a vision of children as citizens recognised as having an entitlement to inherent rights that must be vindicated. The principle that the voice of children should be heard is very important."
Once again Labour members and representatives were out in force knocking on doors in constituencies around the country. We been keeping our Flickr gallery of the campaign up-to-date and you can see the campaign in pictures on our Flickr account.
Then yesterday afternoon the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, Minister Joan Burton and Deputy John Lyons were in Dublin City Centre to launch our latest Yes poster and you can see the images from the launch at this link. We were also able to catch up with Minister Burton, who is the campaign Director of Elections, who gave us an update on how the campaign is going.
The Labour Leader and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, Minister Joan Burton and Deputy Dominic Hannigan at the launch of our Stability Treaty campaign
Today we officially launched our Stability Treaty campaign. Speaking at the launch the Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore said, "Labour is calling for a YES vote in the referendum, because we believe that the Treaty is necessary to stabilise the Euro and underpin investor confidence in Ireland. A YES vote provides certainty on how we can continue to fund the State. We believe it provides a platform for stability at home and in Europe, on which we can build economic recovery".
'It's about stability' is written across the poster and this was emphasised by the Tánaiste and Party Leader Eamon Gilmore when he said: "I don't claim that the Stability Treaty is the solution to all our problems. But it's a very important part of the solution. For a stable euro, for investor confidence and for recovery, for a vote of confidence in our future, I urge everyone to support it."
[Listen below for a short audio file of the Tanaiste speaking after the launch.]
What is the Stability Treaty? The Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and monetary Union was agreed in January 2012. It will enshrine fiscal rules in Irish law to create confidence and stability in the euro.
What are the goals of the Stability Treaty? It is intended to foster budgetary discipline (balanced budgets), strengthen coordination of economic policies, improve governance of the euro and support the achievement of the EU's objectives for sustainable growth, employment, competitiveness and social cohesion.
How many States have so far supported it? 25 EU States, including Ireland, supported the Treaty. Only the Czech Republic and UK opposed it; neither have the euro as their currency. Ireland is the only State to have a referendum.