“Economic meltdown not some coincidence; decisions made by those entrusted to secure our futures” – Keane on Banking Inquiry

“Economic meltdown did not happen because of some coincidence. It happened because of decisions made by those entrusted to safe-guard our way of life and to secure our futures” – Cáit Keane on the Banking Inquiry

The following is Senator Keane’s statement on the release of the Banking Inquiry report,  as part of a debate in Seanad Éireann on January 27th, 2016. Continue reading

Keane calls for increased funding for early childhood care and education

Below is a speech delivered by Senator Keane as part of a debate in Seanad Éireann on February 2nd, 2016.

In my first week in the Seanad in 2011, I spoke about the importance of education, particularly early childhood education. A report today in The Irish Times by Peter McGuire points to the difference in funding for primary, secondary and third level education. The author notes that primary schools receive 92 cent per pupil per day while secondary schools receive twice that. For every €8 spent on primary education, €11 is spent at secondary level and €15 at third level.

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“important to support bodies dedicated to providing the homes we need” – Keane

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht today published its Report on the General Scheme of the Housing (Regulation of Approved Housing Bodies) Bill 2015.

Welcoming the launch of the report, Senator Cáit Keane highlighted the importance of the Approved Housing body sector in providing further supply of good standard homes in the Irish housing market. “In these days when housing supply is such an issue, it is particularly important to support those bodies dedicated to providing the homes we need. It is equally important however, that the need for increased supply does not open the door for unsuitable construction projects. Our recent past has enough examples of unregulated builds. The housing market we are building now is one which is both sustainable and of a standard we should expect in a confident and prosperous Ireland.” Continue reading

Childcare facilities only providing ECCE scheme are also exempt from commercial rates

Fine Gael Dublin South West Senator Cáit Keane, has announced that childcare facilities only providing the Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme (ECCE), are also exempt from paying commercial rates. Senator Keane was speaking after raising the issue of commercial rates for preschool facilities in the Seanad last Thursday (28th) with the Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald TD, as responsibility for the Valuation Office transferred to the Minister’s Department with effect from 1 January 2016.

“I have highlighted the inconsistences in interpretation and implementation of commercial rates on preschool facilities in the various local authorities right throughout the country.  In November 2014, the Government approved a Seanad amendment to the Valuation Act 2001, which gave an exemption from rates to properties occupied by parties that provide early childhood care and education on a not-for-profit basis. However I felt that this did not go far enough. The many for-profit childcare facilities around the country offer an equally valuable service to the community, which should be supported. Continue reading