Over the last two years 296 detections of breaches of the Minimal Wage legislation has resulted in only one prosecution. While there has been a welcome increase in the number of Labour Inspectors but a nine per cent drop (1,500) in the number of inspections carried out during 2007.
Meanwhile the Government has delayed legislation to protect the rights of agency workers, a promised Law Compliance Bill which has not appeared and Ireland is one of three countries blocking EU directives on temporary agency workers.
These issues were raised by Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore TD during Leaders' Questions in the Dáil this morning (February 13th)
"This is not about parliamentary privilege Taoiseach you are doing this on your own behalf," Eamon Gilmore told the Dáil during Leaders' Questions this afternoon.
He made his comments following the news that the Taoiseach has been granted permission by the High Court to take judicial proceedings against the tribunal.
Deputy Gilmore continued: "It is not correct to equate the Howlin case with what is happening here, Deputy Howlin and the other cases that were spun yesterday went to court to protect the confidentiality of the sources of information they received. Mr Ahern is going to protect the confidentially of the money he received."
Since 1999 the Incidental Payment made to asylum seekers in Direct Provision has remained static and today during Leaders' Questions Eamon Gilmore TD asked the Taoiseach to look at increasing into line to what it would have been eight years ago.
Deputy Gilmore said: "These are people who have no political clout, they do not have a vote and cannot exert political influence. They are in a situation where they cannot work and just have to wait as they are processed. "It is not a great bounty and you won't go wild on it. I needn't remind the Taoiseach the number of times himself and the rest of us have had our salaries increased since 1999.
Yesterday (December 11th) the Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) published a report into the Government's involvement with the CIA 'extraordinary renditions' scandal.
The report states: "The Commission recommends that an effective inspection regime be put in place to ensure that no foreign aircraft which might be suspected of involvement in the illegal practice of 'extraordinary rendition' may land and refuel in Ireland. An effective inspection regime will ensure that no prisoners are transited through the State en route to a situation of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."
Serious delays to important Transport 21 infrastructure projects was the raised by the Labour Deputy Leader Joan Burton TD during Leaders' Questions this morning in the Dail.
Among the delayed projects mentioned were:
The construction timetable for the Cork Commuter rail service to Middleton which has been pushed back to 2009.
The Portlaoise Train depot will not be completed until 2008 instead of 2007.
Tendering issues has pushed the completion date of the Limerick Southern Ring Road back to 2010.
Addressing the Taoiseach Deputy Burton said: "Who in your Government is in charge of delivering the public transport that this country needs and deserves to get on? Do you think Minister Dempsey is up to the job? Where are you Taoiseach on transport?"
During Leaders' Questions in the Dail today Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore TD raised the issue of the Aer Lingus decision to scrap the Shannon to Heathrow route.
Deputy Gilmore said: "In less than three months it will not be possible to get a flight from Shannon to Heathrow and there is no point telling people they can get a flight to Orlando if it is Heathrow they want to travel to.
"Last week British Midland indicated that they don't intend to run a service from Shannon to Heathrow. I'd like to hear from the Taoiseach with what carrier is it proposed to have a service from Shannon to Heathrow? As I understand it, it was either British Midland or Aer Lingus.