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September 23, 2016

Prospective Dads urged to sign up for Paternity Benefit – Richmond

Fine Gael Senator, Neale Richmond, is encouraging prospective parents in Dublin Rathdown to sign up for Paternity Benefit.

“A national awareness campaign was launched this week by Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar, urging prospective parents in our area and across the country to register for Paternity Benefit and explaining how to apply.

“Paternity Benefit becomes available on September 1st and will be paid at a rate of €230 a week for two weeks, to both employees and the self-employed.

“It’s really simple for prospective parents to apply. Fathers who fulfil the PRSI requirements, are eligible for Paternity Benefit when they take two weeks of Paternity Leave at any time within the first 26 weeks of their child’s life, or following adoption.

“The awareness campaign launched this week, informs prospective parents that they require a Public Service Card in order to apply for Paternity Benefit. And if they are an employee, they need to give four weeks’ notice to their employer to qualify for the accompanying Paternity Leave. All the information on how to apply for Paternity Leave, and how to get your Public Service Card, is available at

“This is a ground-breaking measure, which meets the commitment made in Budget 2016 and in Fine Gael’s Election Manifesto. It is great news for fathers in our area and will afford them the opportunity to be more involved at the earliest stages of a child’s development.

“Fine Gael is also committed to significantly increasing parental leave for parents in our area over the next five years and cutting the cost of childcare. We want to give every child the best start in life and improve the lives of everyone in our area.

“It is vital that prospective Dads are aware of Paternity Benefit and that they actually take it up, European comparisons have shown a disappointingly low number of Dads taking up Paternity Benefit in certain countries like the Czech Republic but in countries like Sweden and Germany the take up has been positive on foot of awareness campaigns like the one launched by Minister Varadkar this week.”


Note to editors
Information on Paternity Benefit is available:

· on twitter using #paternitybenefit
· at
· by calling 1890 66 22 44

August 4, 2016

The EU is for life, not just referendum time – Richmond

Fine Gael Senator and Spokesman on EU affairs in the Seanad, Neale Richmond, has called for an increased focus on EU affairs in the wake of Brexit.

“A week on from the disastrous results of the Brexit Referendum and we are still seeing incredible coverage of the fallout of the vote and of EU Affairs in general.

“However, it is quite clear that a general air of apathy, or at best disinterest, played a serious part in the referendum result. Reports of Leave voters displaying buyers remorse and underestimating the gravity of the vote have been wide-spread.

“We in Ireland are just as guilty of ignoring the impact that decisions made at a European level have on our daily lives; demonstrated by low voter turnouts in our own European referenda, not to mention recent referendum campaigns here being focussed on anything but the issues at hand.

“The European project has had the single most beneficial impact on Ireland since independence, but we often take the benefits for granted. Many wild claims go unchallenged while ‘Brussels’ becomes an easy scapegoat when bad news has to be delivered.

“Such carry on cannot be allowed to continue, or we could just as easily sleepwalk into a similar situation as the UK, who have voted to leave the EU, despite all expert advice warning to the contrary.

“We in Ireland need to realise that the EU is for life and not just referendum time. Programmes such as the Blue Star, Erasmus Plus and the CAP should be supported and made ever more accessible. Our politicians (me included), the media, business leaders and community groups should further increase their awareness of how the EU effects our daily lives and how we can influence this process. The more it is discussed, the less foreign Europe is likely to be.”

July 4, 2016

Post Brexit, Ireland is open for business – Richmond

In today’s Seanad debate (Thursday) on delivering sustainable full employment, Fine Gael Senator, Neale Richmond, has called on all relevant stakeholders to shout it out, loud and clear – Ireland is open for business.

“The result of the UK EU Referendum is extremely important in the context of delivering sustainable full employment here in Ireland; it presents huge challenges but also a few opportunities.

“Ireland’s place in Europe and the wider world is vital to delivering sustainable full employment here and that place has drastically changed in just a week. Since 1999 Ireland has been the only English speaking country in the Eurozone and by 2018 it is likely that we will be the only English speaking left in the EU, pending events in Scotland of course.

“Already we have heard rumours that both Morgan Stanley and HSBC are looking to move up to 3,000 employees from their offices in London to alternative European cities. According to a report in May, Brexit could push about €6 billion of investment into Ireland’s financial services sector. One bank that has already moved some operations to Ireland is Switzerland’s Credit Suisse, which said in December that it would make Dublin its primary hub for servicing hedge funds in Europe and move staff from London.

“Ireland has an excellent reputation in the Financial Services and Fintech sectors and I have asked the Minister for Jobs, and the agencies under her remit, to set up a special unit solely charged with trying to lure businesses that are looking to move from London here to Ireland. Dublin offers the English language, a similar legal system and it is already home to back-office and servicing divisions for many international banks.

“Central to attracting more companies to Ireland, and to encouraging existing companies to expand their operations here, is our corporate tax rate. When the UK does eventually leave the EU, we will be losing a great ally in the fight against efforts from the European Commission and certain other EU Member States like France to bully Ireland into increasing this rate or to join in a harmonised European Corporate Tax Rate. Let no one forget that Ireland has a veto in this area and that there will be no move to alter the rate under this Fine Gael led Government.

“A report from Bloomberg earlier this week compared Dublin with Paris, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Amsterdam and even Edinburgh as possible destinations for financial institutions now looking to relocate from London in a post Brexit world. A glowing recommendation brought just two negative concerns to light: a relative lack of office space and high personal tax rates.

“Our top line personal tax rate of 52% is much higher than the 45% in London or Paris as well as the 42% in Frankfurt. When seeking to attract jobs to Ireland, we need to show that it will be worthwhile for both employees and employers.

“Bearing in mind the events of the past week in the UK, I encourage everyone, please don’t leave it solely to the Minister or the IDA or Enterprise Ireland; let us all shout it out, loud and clear – Ireland is open for business.”

July 4, 2016

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