Brendan Howlin – Minister for Public Reform and Expenditure
- Working on investment in public services, reform of our politics, and reform of the public sector
- Reform of the public sector has been achieved, increasing productivity and delivering savings of €1 billion
- Recruitment is under way again in the public services, and the Haddington Road agreement will deliver pay increases for low and middle-income public servants.
- Delivering a new bank to promote lending to small businesses – the Strategic Banking Corporation
- Political reform – Brendan has overseen wholesale reform in the public sector and in how our politics operatess. Reforms include new protections for whistleblowers, strengthening the Freedom of Information laws, and new measures to regulate lobbyists.
Alan Kelly – Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government
- Building homes – delivering the largest ever State investment in social housing, with €4 billion earmarked to 2020 to provide 35,000 new social housing units
- Tackling homelessness – funding to combat homelessness increased by 20% in Budget 2015 to €55 million
- Continuing to put in place the ‘Housing First’ Homelessness Implementation Plan with a view to eliminating involuntary homelessness by 2016.
- Reforming local government & planning systems – overhauling the planning system with a permanent planning regulator
- Climate change – First-ever climate legislation in the Oireachtas
- Promoting rural development
Jan O’Sullivan – Minister for Education and Skills
- Implementing an ambitious programme of educational reform to provide opportunity for all our children.
- There is a new focus on educational quality at pre-school level, continued investment in the literacy and numeracy strategy at primary level and an extensive building programme to ensure our schools have the best facilities to serve a growing young population
- Additional 1,700 teachers and SNAs to be recruited in 2015
- No increase in pupil-teacher ratio at non-fee paying primary or secondary schools, even during worst of economic recession.
- 70 major school building projects will commence in 2015 as Labour continues to invest in new schools and significant school expansions
- Every second-level school has been provided with high-speed broadband, free of charge.
- Initiated a ground breaking Literacy and Numeracy Strategy in all of our schools
- Established a new Apprenticeship Council to lead the work in creating a new set of 21st century apprenticeships.
Alex White – Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
- Alex’s focus includes closing the digital divide by bringing high-speed broadband to every home, school and business in Ireland to promote jobs and support the economy
- Standing up for consumers in the energy market and tackling energy poverty: Better Energy schemes have seen €600m investment in buildings, 3,800 jobs maintained over the past 5 years and 250,000 homes upgraded
- Ensuring a free media – New media merger guidelines enhance the regulation of media mergers in the State and introduce a requirement for media plurality into the regulatory framework.
Ged Nash – Minister for Business and Employment
- Work should always pay. This is central to Ged’s agenda as Minister for Business and Employment. Ged has set up the Low Pay Commission, which will be responsible for advising the Government on the appropriate rate of the National Minimum Wage
- Promoting workers’ rights is also a key aspect of Ged’s agenda. He brought forward collective bargaining legislation, which will enhance workers’ rights. Additionally he has commissioned a study into the prevalence of precarious zero-hours contracts and importantly their impact on workers
- As Business Minister, he is supporting small businesses and cutting the administrative burden and costs of doing business for them – to allow them to grow and create more quality jobs
Kathleen Lynch – Minister of State with responsibility for Primary Care, Social Care (Disabilities & Older People) & Mental Health
- Kathleen is overseeing the roll-out of free GP care to under-6s and over-70s. This is the first step along the way to ensuring that all our citizens will have free GP cover
- In mental health, she has introduced legislation providing for a comprehensive reform of the law on mental capacity, replacing the Wards of Court system with a new legal framework
- She is introducing a new strategy framework for suicide prevention.
- Planning underway for work on new Central Mental Hospital
- Prioritised the reform of our mental health services with the provision of an additional €125 million and some 1,100 posts
Kevin Humphreys – Minister of State for Employment, Community and Social Supports
- Working with the Tánaiste in the Department of Social Protection, Kevin’s job is to help those out of work back into a job or self-employment
- We are spending €1.1 billion this year in employment supports to help people and communities across Ireland get back into work and provide local services
- Kevin additionally ensured the passage of the progressive Gender Recognition Bill through the Oireachtas, allowing members of the transgender community to avail of the opportunity to have their preferred gender formally recognised by the State
Sean Sherlock – Minister for Development, Trade Promotion and North South Co-operation
- Sean has worked hard to open up new trade markets abroad for Irish companies and create new jobs
- Sean has played a key role for the Irish Government in helping to further peace in Northern Ireland
- Under Sean’s Ministry, Ireland continues to excel in delivering effective aid and punches above its weight on global development issues
- We have provided financial support to build the institutions of a Palestine State; to promote peace building and to meet the immediate needs of the Palestinian people.
Aodhán Ó Ríordáin – Minister of State with responsibility for New Communities, Culture, Equality and Drugs Strategy
- Making it a priority to address the Direct Provision System for refugees and asylum seekers, Aodhan has established a Working Group to look at the protection process as a whole
- He has established the Labour Party 1916 Centenary Commemoration Committee to oversee Labour’s role in the commemorations
- To champion the diversity that Polish people bring to Ireland, Aodhán established a very successful nationwide festival: PolskaEire2015.
Ann Phelan – Minister of State at the Departments of Agriculture, Food and Marine and Transport, Tourism and Sport with Special Responsibility for Rural Economic Development (implementation of the CEDRA Report) and rural transport
- For the first time in this state, a ministry has been created with a sole focus on rural Ireland and the revitalising our local towns, villages and communities
- Ann has concentrated on ensuring that all Departments, stakeholders and agencies such as the IDA and Enterprise Ireland, rural-proof their plans
- She is focused on safeguarding rural Ireland’s position in the overall recovery of Ireland’s economy, working to bring economic development and stimulate job creation in rural areas
- The LEADER elements of the Rural Development Programme for the 2014-2020 period will provide €250 million to support poverty reduction, social inclusion and economic development in rural areas.