Committee Reports::Report No. 10 - Youth Employment::26 April, 1978::Proceedings of the Joint Committee



Dé Céadaoin, 3 Bealtaine, 1978

Wednesday, 3rd May, 1978

1. The Joint Committee met at 4 p.m.

2. Members Present.

The following members were present:

Deputies Clinton (in the Chair), Daly, Flanagan, Noonan, O’Keeffe, Quinn and Woods; Senators Harney, Hussey, Mulcahy, Robinson and Eoin Ryan.

Deputy Brosnan and Senator Brugha, Members of the European Parliament, also attended.

3. Draft Report on Youth Employment.

The Joint Committee resumed consideration of Senator Robinson’s Draft Report, as amended.

(i) Paragraphs 1 to 14 inclusive, agreed to.

(ii) Paragraph 15.

Paragraph read as follows:

“15. Its request for detailed proposals would seem to indicate the Council’s acceptance of the principle of aid along lines outlined in the Commission’s communication of 20th October, 1977. The Joint Committee regards the Community’s commitment to the principle of aid for wage subsidies to promote employment as a most important development which it warmly welcomes. However, it considers that the initial budgetary appropriations proposed are inadequate. While national measures are costing about 350 million EUA annually it is unlikely that the expected payment of 40 million EUA from the European Social Fund in 1979 will prove of more than marginal benefit.”

Amendment proposed (Senator Robinson):

“To delete the last sentence of the paragraph and substitute the following:

‘When it is recalled that Member States are already spending 350 million EUA annually the proposed Community contribution, welcome though it may be, is hardly likely to solve the problem’.”

Amendment agreed to.

Paragraph, as amended, agreed to.

(iii) Paragraph 16 agreed to.

(iv) Paragraph 17.

Paragraph read as follows:

“17. In the Joint Committee’s view the Community’s adoption of the principle of aid for wage subsidies raises an important issue for Ireland namely, whether, apart from the present Employment Incentive Scheme and the creation of posts in the public sector, some more direct aid is required for the creation of jobs. Hitherto, Ireland has relied heavily on capital grants supplemented by favourable tax laws to create employment. While grants at higher rates are provided for projects with a high labour content, the overall effect may be to distort the market economy in the direction of a lower ratio of capital to labour costs than would otherwise exist. While there can be no question of abandoning the system of capital grants, the Joint Committee considers that the matter should be examined to see if some of the resources so employed might in future be more properly diverted to direct subsidisation of labour, possibly supplemented, perhaps, by a tax structure favouring firms giving high employment. It seems to the Joint Committee that such an examination should be undertaken as a matter of urgency, particulary in view of the likelihood of aid being made available from Community resources.”

Question—“That the paragraph stand part of the Report”—put: the Committee divided: For 3; Against 8.

For:—Deputy Quinn and Senators Hussey and Robinson.

Against:—Deputies Clinton, Daly, Flanagan, Noonan, O’Keeffe, and Woods and Senators Harney and Mulcahy.

The Question was declared negatived accordingly.

(v) Paragraphs 18 to 23 inclusive, agreed to.

(vi) New Paragraph.

Amendment proposed (Senator Robinson):

“Before paragraph 24 to insert a new paragraph as follows:

Debates in the Houses

The Joint Committee believes that the Commission’s proposals for Community aid to subsidise wages are of particular importance to Ireland where the problem of youth employment is not merely more acute but also likely to be more enduring than in the rest of the Community. In its view it would be appropriate for the Houses to review in the light of the Commission proposals the various measures being taken in this country at present to increase employment opportunities. Accordingly it recommends that both Houses be given an early opportunity of debating the matter and of expressing their views on the Commission proposals’.”

Amendment agreed to.

(vii) Paragraph 24.

Paragraph read as follows:

“24. In view of the importance of the subject to Ireland the Joint Committee believes that an opportunity should be given to Members of both Houses to express their views on the Commission’s proposals. Accordingly, the Joint Committee recommends that a debate be arranged in each House at an early date.”

Paragraph deleted.

(viii) Paragraphs 25 to 27 inclusive, agreed to.

(ix) Appendix agreed to.

Draft Report, as amended, agreed to.

Ordered: To report accordingly.

7. Adjournment.

The Joint Committee adjourned at 5 p.m.