Motor Vehicle (Duties and Licences) Bill 2008: Second Stage (Resumed) 26 Feb 2008
I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak on the Motor Vehicle (Duties and Licences) Bill. I congratulate the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Deputy Gormley, on the initiative he is taking in bringing about changes to the VRT regulations for greener and more fuel-efficient cars. His initiative will, over time, bring about a considerable change in the attitude of the public towards energy efficient motoring and eventually will have a similar impact, but on a much larger scale, to the plastic bag levy introduced by his predecessor as Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government a number of years ago. However, the proposed VRT changes contain a number of anomalies which I hope the Minister will consider before finalising his proposals.
Motor Vehicle (Duties and Licences) Bill 2008: Second Stage (Resumed) (26 Feb 2008)
This time when I changed, I went green. I am delighted with my choice as diesel engines have become very fuel efficient. To anyone considering changing their car, I recommend they choose the diesel option.
Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2008: Second Stage (Resumed) (21 Feb 2008)
I welcome this opportunity to discuss this Bill and the general issue of immigration. I commend the Minister, Deputy Brian Lenihan, on presenting this Bill to the House and recognise the work the Minister of State, Deputy Conor Lenihan, with responsibility for integration has carried out with the immigrant community to date. I wish him well in the future, as this will be an important area. He has a important role to play in this regard.
I am delighted to get the opportunity to make a contribution to the debate on the deployment of the Irish peacekeepers to Chad. I listened to the debate as it developed throughout the day and I support my colleague, Deputy O’Rourke, in her comment that there is no such thing as a safe mission. I have great confidence in the ability and professionalism of the Irish troops in the role they will play in ensuring that this operation will be a success.
I am delighted to get the opportunity to make a statement on Transport 21. I thank Deputy Reilly for his comments on the Taoiseach and, in particular, for quoting him. I am sure that if the Taoiseach had stated anything other than what he had stated at that time, Deputy Reilly would have been on his feet as well. It was ironic that Deputy Reilly went on to spend approximately three minutes listing some of the projects currently underway as part of Transport 21. Sometimes as I sit here I feel there is a mass delusion occurring on the Opposition side. Most of us travel by car to get here and I am sure those opposite use many of the fine new roads which have been opened over the past number of years and which are currently under construction. Transport 21 is well on its way.
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