ORDER OF BUSINESS, 15 JANUARY 2014

I, too, wish everyone a happy new year. 
 
I warmly welcome the establishment of the Child and Family Agency and was surprised to learn this morning that it was to be branded with the new name Tusla, which apparently is a completely new word reflecting a shared desire for a new beginning and forging a new identity.  I wonder why we cannot call things what they are.  Why must we make up a word in order to brand the agency? 
 
On the Child and Family Agency, the good news is that at the Joint Committee on Health and Children I established with the Minister for Health that no historic deficit will be transferred to the new agency.  However, that is where the good news ends.  The agency has a budget of €545 million.  We established yesterday that the budget does not meet the anticipated costs for 2014 and we are not giving the agency a fighting chance.  It has not even got off the starting line.  There is an agency that is to herald a new start with a €545 million budget and we are not giving it a fighting chance.  In parallel, there is Irish Water where several Ministers and officials have defended, and even supported, the establishment costs which, according to the briefing document of September 2012, are €180 million.  Establishment costs are important.  The Child and Family Agency got zero for establishment costs.  It has no start-up budget.  Its funding is not sufficient.  No doubt it will have a deficit this year.  Are we throwing out the baby with the bath water?  I would ask that the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs clarify what is the budget, where are our priorities and will we wait until January next year when we will have a furore over what happened in the Child and Family Agency.

The Lancet

In July 2021, Jillian co-authored an article in the world-renowned medical journal “The Lancet”