New planning reforms will provide a jobs boost for construction sector – Keane

Fine Gael Dublin South West bye-election candidate, Senator Cáit Keane, has welcomed new planning reforms, saying that they will lead to more jobs for workers in the construction sector.

“Under the proposed new legislation, 10% of units in new housing schemes will be set aside for social housing,” she outlined. “Additional measures include a levy on sites that are left vacant, which will encourage developers to complete sites which have been zoned for development.

“Developers will be liable to pay a 3% tax on the value of sites that have been left vacant,” Senator Keane continued. “This will kick-start the commencement of some now derelict sites in Dublin South West, and lead to job creation for construction workers in this area.

“I welcome these reforms. Under the new legislation, developers will be legally bound to meet their social housing targets. The provision of decent housing is a huge issue in this area and currently, we have a shortage of supply. These measures will go some way to provide new houses, particularly for low income families and may also impact on curbing rent increases.

“The Planning Bill is part of the Government’s Construction Strategy which aims to provide affordable homes by tripling the housing output by 2020 and adding up to 60,000 jobs to the construction sector. We won’t solve this problem overnight, but we are moving in the right direction,” Senator Keane added.

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Keane is campaigning for a second free pre-school year -2nd free pre-school year would represent up to €3000 free childcare for parents and would generate thousands of new jobs

Fine Gael bye-election candidate for Dublin South West, Senator Cáit Keane has confirmed that she is campaigning for a second free pre-school year.

“There is an increasing body of Irish and international evidence proving the benefits of early intervention for pre-school children in terms of improving outcomes and delivering significant returns to the state, both in terms of economic and societal benefits. The existing free pre-school year has benefitted thousands of families in Tallaght, Terenure, Citywest and Firhouse – providing educational and social stimulation for pre-schoolers, allowing parents time to work, knowing their children are in a safe and nurturing environment,” she stated.

“I believe a second free pre-school year brings positive educational and developmental outcomes for children of this area, equipping them with the tools for learning that will stand to them throughout their lives

“In addition to the obvious benefit to the children, the provision of a second free pre-school year free of charge would save parents between €2,500 and €3,000 in playschool or montessori fees per year. As uptake on the year is likely to be high, additional staff would have to be recruited, generating between 4,000 and 5,000 jobs around the country.

“This is something I have raised with my Fine Gael colleague, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. James Reilly TD,” Senator Keane continued. “From my discussion with him, I understand that a full review of the existing free pre-school year must be completed in the first instance, but the extension of the scheme to run for a 2nd year is something he is also in favour of, so we will be working together to try to achieve this goal,” Senator Keane concluded.

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Local sports clubs to benefit from extension of rate exemptions – Keane

Fine Gael Dublin South West bye-election candidate, Senator Cáit Keane has today, (Wednesday) welcomed the announcement by Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Simon Harris TD, that an amendment is to be made to ease the rates burden on many local sports clubs.

“An amendment to the Valuation (Amendment)(No.2) Bill 2012 will mean sports clubs that previously paid rates on its bar and on sporting buildings, will now only pay rates for the part of the building that generates income i.e. the bar in most cases. In practical terms this will reduce significantly the size of the building for which sports clubs must pay rates and it will provide a welcome boost for clubs provided by volunteers for volunteers.

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