New Irish government pledges action on pension reform

first_imgThe draft programme, leaked to national media outlets last week, categorised pensions as one of several “long-term challenges” facing the country the administration should seek to address.The programme said the Irish political system remained “too focused on the short term” and failed to accommodate long-term thinking on policy areas including housing, long-term funding of health and education, and pension policy.It is possible further detail of any pension reform could be contained in ministerial strategy statements, which the programme pledges each department will draft, consulting on its contents with stakeholders and fellow lawmakers.Despite Fine Gael’s reliance on a grouping of independent parliamentarians to form a minority government, discussions on the rollout of a universal second-pillar pension system may still succeed.The main opposition party, Fianna Fáil, has agreed to support Kenny’s administration on budget matters, and both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael pledged to introduce an auto-enrolment-based supplementary pension system in their manifestos ahead of February’s inconclusive election.Preliminary work on the reform began more than a year ago, when the previous government launched the Universal Retirement Savings Group (URSG) to advise on the design of a new occupational pension system.The Irish Pensions Authority has separately pledged to publish a document on pension reform by the summer, outlining how the sector could be regulated in future. Housing and sovereign wealthThe draft programme for government also said the country’s sovereign development fund, the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), would be one of the partners in a new scheme to boost private sector housing construction, working alongside the European Investment Bank and the Central Bank of Ireland to draft the new ‘Help to Build’ programme within the government’s first year.It added: “We will support the Irish Strategic Investment Fund [sic] to encourage the delivery of housing-related enabling infrastructure in large-scale priority development areas.”The ISIF has already backed a €500m residential housing venture with KKR, which it hopes will see the development of more than 11,000 new homes. Ireland’s new government has pledged to continue work on a universal second-pillar pension system despite the Fine Gael-led administration’s lack of a majority in Parliament.Enda Kenny, who won support last week for a second term as Taoiseach, or prime minister, following an inconclusive general election in February, has named Leo Varadkar minister for social protection, succeeding Joan Burton after five years in the role.Varadkar, a former transport and health minister, told public broadcaster RTÉ on 7 May the introduction of a universal pension system would be one of his priorities while at the Department of Social Protection.The pledge comes despite the briefest of mentions of pension reform in a draft government programme, outlining the legislative programme of the Fine Gael-led minority government.last_img read more

Dominica State College to honour its sportsmen.

first_img Tweet Sharing is caring! 31 Views   no discussions EducationNewsTertiary Dominica State College to honour its sportsmen. by: – May 17, 2011 Sharecenter_img Share Share Dominica State College. Photo credit: GIS NewsStudents of the Dominica State College (DSC) have demonstrated that life at DSC goes beyond mere academics by excellent representation of the college in various sporting competitions organized by the Sports Division of the Ministry of Sports and Culture.This year, the college has done exceptionally well in these competitions winning a total of five (5) championships. These are as follows:1.   Men under 20 Basketball;2.   Men under 20 Cricket;3.   Men under 20 Volleyball;4.   Women under 20 Netball; and5.   Women under 20 Basketball;A number of DSC sports student received various awards and accolades and a number of them went on to represent Dominica in various sporting disciplines.Most notably of these is Mr. Kavem Hodge, an outstanding DSC cricketer, who was selected to the West Indies Youth team and was awarded the 2010 Youth Sportsman of the Year at the National Sports Awards.  Mr. Hodge recently represented the West Indies Youth team in Australia and Dubai and from all reports he made an impressionable statement to the cricketing world and is expected to be a full-fledged member of the West Indies senior cricket team in the not too distant future.Unique in some way to our college, is the volunteering of some of our students, who in some cases may have passed the age to participate in the competitions organized by the Sports Division, as Student Coaches.The Office of the President in collaboration with the Student Services of the Dominica State College will be honouring all the students who represent the DSC in sports this year with a Sports Honouring Ceremony to be held on Friday May 20, 2011 at 4:30pm at the Gazebo, DSC Stock Farm campus.The format of the ceremony should include a formal session with Dr. Donald Peters, former West Indies CEO as the feature speaker and a cocktail/ party. In the formal session every student who participated in Sports on behalf of the DSC will receive the President certificate of honour and all student coaches as well as top performers will receive a plaque for their outstanding performances. This event should be well covered by the media and should be an annual college event.The Dominica State College is extremely proud of the achievements and contribution of its students in sports and looks forward to this continued trend in the future.Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more