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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 7 Jun 2012

Vol. 767 No. 2

Other Questions

Controlled Product Exports

Mick Wallace


6Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation the information that will be made available to the public in relation to the end use of controlled products exported from here; his views regarding the human rights records of some of the countries to which these goods are exported; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27303/12]

In accordance with national and EU legislation, my Department is responsible for issuing licenses for exports of dual use items outside the EU, certain military products both within and outside the EU and for implementing EU trade sanctions. The first report on the operation of the Control of Exports Act 2008 was published in September 2011. One of the most significant aspects of this report is information on the new public access to data on licence applications, the value of licensed goods to be exported and their destination as well as licence denials. This is valuable information for the wide range of stakeholders that rightly expect increasing transparency in the operation of export controls.

At the time the annual report was published I made a commitment to publish on the Department's website every six months summary information about export control licences issued. Summary data in respect of 2011 is on the website and data covering the first six months of 2012 will be put up shortly after the end of June. I can assure the Deputy that human rights and foreign policy concerns are central considerations in the examination of export licence applications. Prior to issuing any export licence for goods intended for a country where there is civil or military unrest, my Department consults with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. This consultation process forms an essential and integral part of the decision making process for any export licence applications. It involves detailed consideration of any human rights implications connected with a possible export.

Human rights are, and have always been, a priority of successive Irish Governments and a cornerstone of our foreign policy. The importance of human rights in the application of export control is reinforced by Article 12 of the dual use regulations. This provides that member states take into account the EU Council's common position defining common rules governing control of exports of military technology and equipment. This includes respect for human rights in the country of final destination as well as respect by that country of international humanitarian law.

The first report under the Control of Exports Act 2008 identifies for both dual use and military goods the numbers of individual licenses issued for each country of destination, the product category to which they relate and a band of values related to issued licences. I will keep under review the possibility of providing additional information but I have to take into account the fact that licence applications involve my Department receiving commercially sensitive product information from a large number of exporters. All exporters have a legitimate expectation that this information will be treated in confidence.

I thank the Minister for his reply. The first report indicated that Ireland had authorised €90 million of equipment for ammunition and arms use, including gun and weapon sensors, between 2008 and 2010, and that €10.6 billion of dual use product licences were also authorised. In that period we gave licences for sales to countries including Libya, Iraq, Egypt, Algeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Lebanon. Most of the contracts involved Britain, the US, Germany and China.

The Minister indicated that reports would be published every six months and from speaking with representatives of Amnesty International, it seems that group is pretty keen for more information to come available in future, and that there would be a greater effort towards achieving transparency. When will the annual report for 2011 due under the Control of Exports Act 2008 be published and will it contain detail not included in the annual report documentation covering 2008 to 2010? Will it contain information on values of actual rather than licensed exports and on end use? We are trying to get on the UN human rights committee, which is important, and it would be good for us to show more transparency.

As I indicated, I will look at the issue. There is quite a bit of transparency in the existing document and, for example, it shows the military licences by destination. None of the countries to which the Deputy referred is on that list. There is quite a bit of information on the different types of products, setting out the criteria used which are pretty robust. The document details all the UN sanctions, respect for international humanitarian law, attitude towards terrorism and the nature of alliances. The criteria used are very clear, and denials are detailed where they have occurred. It complies with the various requirements of EU regulations where dual products are involved.

I am content that the system is robust and I will consider the extent to which we can provide more information. I will revert to the Deputy on a date for publication of the 2011 report, which will go into the level of detail I outlined. We have published the overall figures for 2011, including the number and value of licences in the three broad categories.

Will it include the information on end users and end use?

Each licence is different. Some specify the end user where there is a high level of concern. Some licences are more global, and the country rather than the specific end user is specified. We go into that level of detail to assure ourselves that a dual use product will not go to a country where there is high risk to an end user or if we have questions about the process. There is a level of policing in the system but we do not publish that level of detail.

County Enterprise Boards

Seamus Kirk


7Deputy Seamus Kirk asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation the progress he has made in relation to the abolition of city and county enterprise boards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27523/12]

Dessie Ellis


9Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation the progress made in merging county enterprise boards and Enterprise Ireland. [27328/12]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 7 and 9 together.

The Government has approved the restructuring of the enterprise supports for the micro and small business sectors with a view to creating an enhanced national enterprise support model. This restructuring will include the creation of a small and micro business division within Enterprise Ireland with a new and enhanced focus on the wider small business sector, and the establishment of local enterprise offices, LEOs, to provide a "one-stop-shop" for small businesses within local authorities.

As agreed by the Government, the county enterprise boards will be dissolved in their current legal format and their functions, assets and liabilities transferred to Enterprise Ireland. Enterprise Ireland is being mandated to work with the local authorities to develop benchmarks for service delivery and enterprise supports, as well as appropriate structures and delivery models for the local offices. In this regard, a detailed formal service level agreement will be put in place between Enterprise Ireland and the local authorities, which will set out how the new enterprise support model will operate in practice. The existing staff of the county enterprise boards will be an integral part of the new arrangements.

There is much detailed work to be done to effect these changes. An implementation working group has been set up under the auspices of my Department to progress the matter. In conjunction with this, my Department is seeking formal advice from the Office of the Attorney General regarding appropriate legislation.

I thank the Minister of State but unfortunately he answered every question but the one I asked. On 7 March, I was told in the Dáil that a steering group was being established to advance the process. Legislation is required to abolish county enterprise boards and set up new structures, and much administrative work must also be done. The work can be done simultaneously.

Currently, county and city enterprise boards, which are doing much vital work in the midst of a significant unemployment crisis, are living under a sword of Damocles, with an element of uncertainty palpable. The people involved know a change is on the way. In order to focus the operation and get it running, I ask on behalf of the people working in county and city enterprise boards if the Minister of State will give some indication of approximately when the new system will be put in place.

As I mentioned in the reply, legislation is required and there is no doubt that will not be published before the summer recess.

That does not take from the mandate enterprise boards currently have. I have been in constant contact and there has been clarification for the CEBs and everyone is clear on the new template that is being introduced. The funding that has been allocated to each board is being used progressively by each county and city enterprise board. This is a major change from 1994 and when the Government has approved the restructuring, there will be a one stop shop facility and the restructuring of services in local government offices will enhance the support services provided to small businesses in each county.

The Government obviously believes this change is vitally important. Surely the Minister must have some idea when it will be able to get through this necessary reform in the context of a huge unemployment crisis?

Will the staff of the new one stop shops consist of the present staff of county enterprise boards and enterprise staff in local authorities? Will there a be a one stop shop in each local authority area? Some local authorities are being merged but there will still be a fair few local authorities. The action plan for jobs indicates there will be.

There will be respect for county boundaries, which is very important. We must get this right. It is vital that all services locally with the involvement of local development offices within the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland cooperate fully to offer a single service and one stop shop facility. The staff of local authorities and enterprise boards will be integrated to give an enhanced service.

I do not want to mislead anyone so when I get clarification of the timeframe from the Attorney General's office, I will pass it on. This is detailed legislation and it is important we get it right. Currently the services offered by enterprise boards are confined and we want to extend the services and incorporate other services that are currently excluded. The remit of the service level agreement being worked out with Enterprise Ireland and the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government is comprehensive. It is vital we get on with this as quickly as possible and the Government is determined to roll out these support services to every county as quickly as possible.

We spend a lot of time in this House discussing issues like the ESM and the debt where the Government acts like a passive bystander and refuses to do any work but when we come to an issue like county enterprise boards, there is an opportunity for the Government to get stuck in. This whole area has been in flux since Batt O'Keeffe was Minister and suggested the reform. The sword of Damocles has been hanging over the county enterprise boards ever since. This is a vital sector, it is the interface between young entrepreneurs and their ability to see their business come to fruition. Right now there is confusion within the sector. It is important we get a better indication of when this will happen. We need an outline for the individuals working in the boards and for local businesses.

Previously, the Minister of State said local authority workers would be involved in county enterprise board work on top of their own work. How will that happen? What will the budget savings be in 2012, 2013 and 2014? The last time we discussed this in February, the Minister of State said there would be a wider range of Enterprise Ireland programmes for companies with rapid growth potential. What did he mean by that?

We are not in flux in any way, we have been clear since the first day we entered government about the need to establish a county enterprise office in every local authority but we cannot just click our fingers and expect these things to happen. The Government has formally approved the restructuring of the existing micro and small enterprise boards. As a result the CEBs will be dissolved in their current legal format and a new micro-enterprise and small business division has been established within Enterprise Ireland with a new and enhanced focus on the wider small business sector. Enterprise Ireland will work with local authorities to establish a new network of local enterprise offices situated in local authority offices to deliver the support functions currently delivered by CEBs and to be the front door for a more embedded culture of enterprise development across the country. EI will work with local authorities to develop a structure, detailed functions and staffing levels. LEOs will have staffing complements from both CEBs and local authorities. That is agreed. Enterprise Ireland will allocate an annual budget to each relevant local authority to contain competitive elements where some part of the allocation will be subject to a bidding process. On foot of the annual budget allocations to each relevant local authority, a formal service level agreement will be agreed between EI and the local authority to contain performance targets and service standards which must be met to ensure a continuous flow of funds.

I have spoken to county enterprise boards up and down the State and they have no idea what is happening. There have been no operational changes and there is no understanding of the plan of action and how it will be implemented. Will there be a centralised structure for the administration of grants? Will it reduce regional flexibility, which is very important? The Minister of State mentioned the bidding system he wants to introduce. With bidding there will be winners and losers so will certain counties have a reduced level of grant delivery as a result of bidding?

Business people are worried about going into a local authority office and being asked about the household charge, planning levies and service charges. There is a relationship between people and the county enterprise boards that transcends such matters and focuses purely on business while the other elements are left at the door. How will those fears be resolved?

There has always been cooperation between the local authorities and the county enterprise boards and an exchange of staff between them. Generally the county manager has been the chairman of the county enterprise board. In my county, the county enterprise board has been very successful but the value of the boards has never been properly recognised. There are enterprises from my county that are multinational corporations that started out as small enterprises with initial support coming from the former country development boards, as they were then.

The restructuring I advocated when I was in government was that the LEADER programme and the former partnership boards should have been subsumed into the county enterprise boards. Does the Minister of State envisage a substantial proportion of the funding from the county enterprise boards will come from the revenue of the local authorities? That is a concern in rural counties.

Funding will come directly from the voted Estimate of the Department; it will not come from the local authority in any way.

That is the impression people have.

There is no ambiguity about this. This Government understands and respects small companies and will provide services for them. The 200,000 small companies are the backbone of the Irish economy.

If people are fearful of going into the local authority office because they might be requested to pay other charges, I would sincerely hope they will pay the social charges they are supposed to pay. Our job is to support small companies and when we look at the charges levied by local government on business, that is an integral part of running a business.

This is an ideal partnership between local government and Enterprise Ireland. The hub will be enterprise driven by Enterprise Ireland. With regard to the allocation of funding, the added value delivered by enterprise boards through mentoring supports currently means we can save money.

Will bidding make a change in the level of funding received by certain county enterprise boards?

it depends on their plan of action and the level of enterprise within particular counties. We want to ensure the allocation of taxpayer's money goes to the most important person, the employer and potential job creator. The job of Government is to enhance opportunities for people who can create jobs.

Job Losses

Brian Stanley


8Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation if the reduction of €772 million on exports in medical and pharmaceutical products in the first three months of 2012 as compared to the same period in 2011 has resulted or may result in job losses in this sector. [27330/12]

Martin Ferris


41Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation if the reduction of more than €1billion on exports in medical and pharmaceutical products to the United States of America in the first three months of 2012 as compared to the same period in 2011 has resulted or may result in job losses in this sector. [27331/12]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 8 and 41 together.

The latest available data from the Central Statistics Office, CSO, indicates that exports of medical and pharmaceutical products to the United States in the first quarter of this year decreased by €1.1 billion and that total exports of these products decreased by €772 million when compared to the corresponding period in 2011. A substantial part of the decline was due to a high value product coming off patent.

The expiry of the patent on products manufactured by Pfizer unfortunately resulted in the announcement of the loss of 177 positions in Cork this week. My thoughts are with the workers and their families. I have spoken to the company about the situation. These two quality plants in Cork will still employ over 500 people and will be adapting to achieve operational excellence and deliver competitive manufacturing for the company. The company has also confirmed that Ireland remains a key strategic location for it. Factoring in this decision, Pfizer will still employ almost 4,000 people in Ireland across eight locations. In September 2011, the company announced a €145 million investment in its Grange Castle site to develop a new site to expand the Irish manufacturing process for an invasive pneumococcal vaccine.

IDA Ireland has been working for many years to minimise the threat to jobs posed by products coming off patent and has been seeking to diversify Ireland's pharmaceutical base. Its strategy has been to win leading company investment and to diversify the breadth of operations over multi-product sites, including associated services and development of new compounds. Ireland has been enormously successful in attracting eight of the major global players and the world's No. 1 biotechnology company to manufacture from Ireland. IDA Ireland has focused, in particular, on biopharmaceuticals, which represent the next wave of opportunity in the industry, and has been successful in attracting leading companies with the result that Ireland has a globally leading biopharmaceutical cluster in the next generation of pharmaceutical products.

Employment in IDA companies in the pharmaceutical and health care services sector increased by approximately 1,400 in 2011. In the first six months of 2012 alone, Ireland has won five major investments in the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical sectors with the capacity to create 1,175 new jobs. I have been assured by IDA Ireland that it will continue to seek to win new investments in the pharmaceutical industry and to win large scale investments in product development and capability to enable its existing client companies take on new product mandates.

Yesterday, as the Minister said, 177 jobs were lost at Pfizer in Cork. This is a significant blow to the employees and also to the Cork area and should act as a wake up call to the Government regarding the patents cliff, on the edge of which we are perched. A large proportion of the State's GDP comprises products that are coming off patent and this will threaten jobs, growth and our GDP and debt to GDP ratio. The Minister mentioned that five of the top 12 selling medicines in the world are produced in Ireland but it is estimated that more than €100 billion worth of sales of drugs will come off patent before 2015. Chemicals and medicines comprise 60% of merchandise exports. How many jobs could be lost if this were to come to pass? I commend the work done in bringing FDI to the State, especially in this sector. What level of patent replacement is being undertaken?

The IDA has recognised and anticipated this for many years. Part of the response was to shift into biopharmaceuticals, which is a growth area. There are horizon and sunset products in this sector and the trick for the IDA is to make sure we are at the horizon side. For example, Eli Lilly announced an investment of €330 million in a new facility at Kinsale, County Cork, creating 200 jobs. That is an exciting project and it will be particularly effective. Mylan, which will create 500 jobs in both Dublin and Galway is in the generics field. This is the first major generic drugs company to come to Ireland to establish a new niche within the pharmaceutical sector, which is robust and strong in the context of growth. Companies respond in different ways. A number have had products come off patent but have maintained their production and employment levels by introducing new product streams to replace them or by taking on new lines of production. Pfizer is determined to remain competitive in this area. It has a high quality plant and it is determined to remain competitive and support the employment it has but at a lower volume than previously. The challenge for the IDA - and it is what we have been doing - is to make sure we position ourselves to avail of the opportunities in the sector and that is borne out by the increasing employment numbers.

The chemical-medical sector is pivotal for the State but there is an overdependence on it. A total of 60% of our exports emanate from this sector. Putting all our eggs in one basket, as happened previously in the construction sector, is dangerous and could be catastrophic. I asked previously at joint committee meetings what targets the Government has for the creation of patents and the reply was that they are demand-led. However, it is important that the Government stimulates the development of patents not only in the FDI sector but also among domestic businesses. A large number of patents are developed through FDI and not enough is being done to develop and stimulate intellectual property and patents among Irish firms. What will the Government do to change this? Is the Minister confident the sunset products will be matched in future with sunrise products? Is he also confident the patents that are falling off the cliff will be matched at the very least by new patents and jobs will be maintained?

I am confident, although I acknowledge this has not been an easy year by any means. However, the evidence is that despite our difficulties, this sector, which employs 25,000 people, increased employment by 1,400 last year. We are, therefore, beating the trend about which the Deputy is worried. A total of 1,200 new job approvals have been announced so far this year. It is not true that we are over reliant on the pharmaceutical sector. It produces a high proportion of our exports but, as an employment creator, it is an important sector and it has become a strong cluster. We can attract new opportunities because we have the skills base. It is recognised that we have good people in this sector and, therefore, it is not true to suggest we are over reliant on it or that it is a bubble sector.

We are in terms of exports but not jobs.

I agree with the Deputy that more patents need to be generated. The Minister of State, Deputy Sherlock, and I have gone through the research prioritisation exercise and tomorrow he will launch the IP protocol to make it easier for small companies to access higher education research in order that it can be rolled out into commercial products. Enterprise Ireland backs technology clusters that bring together small indigenous companies as well as foreign companies to identify the opportunities for innovation. There is a great deal happening in the innovation space and, like the Deputy suggested, we want to sweat it to get more patents and commercial ideas out of the investment we make.

Question No. 9 answered with Question No. 7.

Job Creation

Sean Fleming


10Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation his views on the success of the jobs initiative; if it and other measures have had an impact on the number of long term unemployed and the number of youth unemployed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27542/12]

The Government's jobs initiative of May 2011 was aimed at restoring confidence in the economy, providing opportunities for re-skilling those who had lost jobs and assisting people in getting back to work. Key measures in the jobs initiative included halving the rate of employer's PRSI on earnings up to €356 per week, a reduction in the lower rate of VAT on certain goods and services, targeted capital spending on labour-intensive projects, and the introduction of the national internship scheme, JobBridge. Additional education and training places were also provided for those seeking to upskill.

The impact of these measures is being seen across a range of sectors, but particularly in the tourism and hospitality sectors where the latest quarterly national household survey, published today, shows a year-on-year increase of 8,700 in the numbers employed in the accommodation and food service sectors. Almost 7,500 interns have commenced placements under the JobBridge programme since it was launched last July. Feedback from the Department of Social Protection indicates that 966 of the 2,575 people who have already completed JobBridge have gone directly into employment with the host organisation or elsewhere. More than 3,500 people recently graduated from the first round of Springboard programmes, which were put in place in 2011, and the Minister for Education and Skills, Deputy Ruairí Quinn, recently announced a further roll-out of the Springboard initiative with an additional 6,000 places in 2012.

The Government has built on the jobs initiative this year with its action plan for jobs and the Pathways to Work strategy, adding a significant range of actions to promote employment and assist those seeking work. Pathways to Work places a particular focus on the long-term unemployed, while the new €20 million labour market education and training fund will include specific provision for those under 25 years of age. FÁS has issued a call for expressions of interest from training and education providers in regard to this fund.

In the three years prior to the Government taking office, more than 300,000 jobs were lost. This scale of job loss cannot be reversed overnight, but we are systematically delivering on the commitments we made in the action plan for jobs and Pathways to Work. While employment may fluctuate from quarter to quarter in this transition phase of our economic recovery, the significant job announcements since January - which include BSkyB, Mylan, Apple, Eli Lilly, PayPal and others - point to the return of a level of confidence in the Irish economy that will translate into an increase in the number of people in employment as the jobs come on stream.

We have had a number of jobs initiatives at this stage. The last budget was referred to as a jobs budget, after which we had the action plan for jobs. In the wake of all of this, however, the quarterly national household survey figures released this morning show that unemployment has crept up to 14.8% and, more significantly, that the number of long-term unemployed - those out of work for more than a year - has increased by 10% in the past 12 months and now constitutes 60% of the total number of unemployed. The data indicate, moreover, that the numbers unemployed for more than two years have also increased and now make up some 40% of the total unemployment figure. Given that more than 200 people per day are leaving the country, it is clear that emigration is the only thing preventing an even higher rate of joblessness.

The Minister of State is correct that the number of people in training schemes has increased. In fact, I understand an additional 12,000 to 14,000 training places have been filled since the start of the year. The corollary of that, however, is that there are up to 14,000 more people without jobs.

Does the Deputy have a question?

In view of these horrendous statistics and given that employment fell by 18,100 in the past year and now stands at its lowest since 2003, does the Minister of State agree the various jobs initiatives have not been a success?

Traditional manufacturing is an area in urgent need of assistance, with the increase in VAT in the last budget, in particular, creating immense difficulty for certain enterprises. Yesterday a provisional liquidator was appointed to Flair International in Bailieborough, County Cavan, a company which manufactures quality bath and shower screens. This development endangers the jobs of the 52 people currently employed there, following the unfortunate laying off of 26 workers last January. I appeal to the Minister of State and the Minister, Deputy Bruton, with whom I was in contact previously regarding this company, to ensure that the Department and Enterprise Ireland provide all possible support to it. The employment it provides is of great importance to the town. Enterprise Ireland has, at my request, done some work with the company in the past. Will the Minister of State undertake to ensure that Enterprise Ireland is as proactive as possible, with the support of the Department, in seeking to protect the jobs at this enterprise?

I agree with the Minister of State that it is impossible to reverse the jobs crisis overnight. However, the reality is that some 450 nights have passed since this Government took office. Every time I ask the Minister and his colleagues questions about the action plan for jobs, their answers are phrased largely in the future tense.

The Deputy must put a question to the Minister of State.

We are told that various matters are being reviewed. Is it not the case, including in the matter of procurement, that what is needed, instead of round-table discussions, analyses, meetings and the provision of some training, is action? The Go-2-Tender programme has been in place for some years now, yet we remain seven times out of kilter with the European average on public tendering. Does the Minister of State agree it is past time to take this matter by the horns?

On Deputy Brendan Smith's question, the Minister, Deputy Bruton, has informed me there is no difficulty with an engagement between the Department and the company to which the Deputy referred.

I am particularly concerned that Enterprise Ireland should be involved.

Yes. A dialogue can be entered into in that respect.

On the question of whether the jobs initiatives introduced by the Government are proving a success, the central point is that this is a ship which will take a long time to turn around. We acknowledge the figures and are bold and honest enough not to bury our heads in the sand in that regard. We are seeking to implement a set of policy prerogatives in the form of labour market activation measures and education-related measures. The latter include JobBridge, Pathways to Work and Springboard, while the former includes the extension of the PRSI incentive scheme in a way that incentivises employers to engage employees and interns. We are also concerned with identifying skills shortages and seeking to address those through the education sphere. All of that will take time.

On the procurement issue, the action plan for jobs includes a range of deliverables for the end of 2012, to which I respectfully ask Deputy Peadar Tóibín to have regard. If he does not accept what I am saying, he should speak with representatives of the State agencies tasked with these actions, who will demonstrate the actions they are undertaking at the behest of the Government. There is a reporting mechanism attached to the deliverables which sees the Cabinet sub-committee on economic recovery and jobs reporting directly to the Taoiseach. It is not at all accurate to say our activities in this regard are based merely on aspiration. With respect to the Deputy, my response pointed to the clear action points we are driving in regard to procurement.

Proposed Legislation

Charlie McConalogue


11Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation if a decision has been made on whether the media mergers aspect of the Consumer and Competition Bill will be dealt with by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources; the date on which this Bill will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27530/12]

In July 2011 my proposals for reform of consumer and competition legislation were approved by Government. These embodied two commitments given in the Programme for Government, namely, the merger of the National Consumer Agency and the Competition Authority and the introduction of a legislative base for a code of practice in the grocery sector. In addition, the proposals gave effect to the recommendation of the advisory group on media mergers and updated certain elements of competition and consumer law.

Under the proposals, responsibility for the application of the public interest test in respect of media mergers will transfer to the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. The Bill is currently being drafted by the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel. The consolidation of the various elements of consumer and competition law into a single Act is entirely in keeping with the principles of better regulation and with the trend within Government to consolidate and simplify legislation for ease of reference for all users.

All of the elements of the package are important measures to be delivered. I see no benefit in progressing a stand-alone item of legislation for one element, to be followed in due course by a more comprehensive package of reforms. I expect the consumer and competition Bill to be published later this year.

The Dáil adjourned at 8.40 p.m. until 2 p.m. on Tuesday, 12 June 2012.