Shane Ross

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Archive for November, 2005

Childcare: A Pre-Budget Submission

You can now download my pre-Budget submission on the subject of Childcare to Minister for Finance Brian Cowen by clicking here: childcare-and-the-budget.pdf

Ireland: A Tax Haven?

A large head of steam is building up on both sides of the Atlantic, and has been prominent in the media in the past few days, concerning the activities of multinationals in this country and the tax rate they enjoy. It appears, because of what is happening in the United States, and here as well, that there is danger in the undergrowth of some fundamental change in the treatment of multinationals, not necessarily in Ireland, but in the United States. (more…)

Odds Stacked against the First-Time Buyer in Property Market

The building, buying and selling of property comprise a big jungle of which people have a pretty ropy understanding. The system seems to suit the developers, sellers, landowners and everybody except the first-time buyer or the person who actually needs a house in which to live. It would be preferable if it suited the latter.

The odds in this jungle are stacked very heavily not just against the first-time buyer but also against the person buying a home in which to live. I do not want to lay all the blame on the Government for the young first-time buyer not always being able to buy a property but there are circumstances in which it is obviously fair that the Government interfere in what is known as the free market. There are social circumstances in which this applies and it certainly applies in the case in question. (more…)

Open the Gates: Use the Nuclear Option

We need an urgent statement from the Minister for Transport about what is happening in respect of the M50. Talks have been taking place concerning the West Link toll plaza at a torturously slow pace between the National Roads Authority and National Toll Roads. NTR is dragging its feet and trying to delay matters as much as possible, at which it is being very successful.

We should also be aware that the original agreement ties the Government to an extraordinary degree. However, it contains an option of which the Government should now avail. This is referred to as the nuclear option by those in the transport world. The option is for tolls on the M50 to be set at zero. (more…)

Trinity Fellow to Head New Authority

Prof. Margaret O’Mahony, a fellow of Trinity College and head of the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, has been selected by Minister for the Environment, Martin Cullen, to recruit and chair the Dublin Transport Authority. The authority is expected to have a wide remit, and will aim to harmonise Dublin’s public transport system.

Seanad Debates my Motion on Childcare

As Budget 2005 approaches, I am calling for greater resources for childcare, to give parents real choices about whether to rejoin the workforce or to care for their children themselves. I secured a Seanad debate on childcare on Wedndesday 26 October. The debate was responded to by Michael McDowell, the Minister for Justice.

While the Seanad has already debated problems with creche facilities and the cost of childcare, I wanted also to emphasise the value of parents who give up work or work part-time in order to take care of their children. It’s clear that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to childcare. (more…)

RIA Medals to Trinity Thinkers

President Mary McAleese presented the inaugural Royal Irish Academy Gold Medals to two of Ireland’s leading thinkers: Prof. Michael Coey and Prof. John Dillon, both from Trinity College. The medals acclaim Ireland’s foremost contributors to the world of learning. They are awarded by the RIA and sponsored by the HEA and the Irish Independent.