Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Questions (23)

Paul Murphy


23. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Taoiseach if he will report on the work of his Department with the National Economic and Social Council. [50373/19]

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Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

The National Economic and Social Council is an independent statutory agency operating under the aegis of my Department. The Council analyses and reports on strategic policy matters relevant to Ireland's economic, social, environmental and sustainable development.

The NESC is a valuable forum where economic, social and environmental issues can be discussed between a variety of actors and Government Departments.

The Council's work focuses on the strategic and longer-term view and its current work programme comprises four themes: Ireland’s Transition to a Low-Carbon and Digital Future; Reforms to the Irish Social Welfare System; Land-use, Land value and Urban development; and Climate Change.

Future Jobs Ireland 2019 also includes a request for NESC to develop policy recommendations for the operation of Transition Teams to manage the impact of economic transition on vulnerable workers and sectors. The project will provide a forward look at the economy in the context of a transition to low-carbon and more digital future.

I present Council reports to Government prior to publication, or prior to laying before the Houses, as in the case of the Annual Reports. Council Reports published in 2019 include "Transport-Orientated Development: Assessing the Opportunity for Ireland" and "Climate Change Policy: Getting the Process Right".

I appoint members to the Council under the National Economic and Social Development Office (NESDO) Act 2006 and the NESC (Alteration of Composition) Order 2010 - SI 603/ 2010.

Each of the following sectors nominates three representatives to the Council: business and employer interests, ICTU, farming and agricultural interests, community and voluntary sector, environmental sector.

A further six members are public servants, mainly Secretaries General, and must include a representative of my Department and the Department of Finance. The Secretary General of my Department is the Chair of the Council and an Assistant Secretary of my Department is the Deputy Chair.

There are also seven independent members on the Council.

Since becoming Taoiseach, I have made twelve appointments to the NESC, in line with the legislation and the Guidelines on Appointments to State Boards.

The Council is funded through my Department’s Vote and my Department also has governance responsibilities regarding the Council.

Questions Nos. 24 to 48, inclusive, resubmitted.