What is your stance on the need for a home for the elderly in Kilkenny city?
I am fully supportive of a home for the elderly in Kilkenny. It is clear that additional care services are needed for the senior citizens in the city and county.
What is your stance on the Universal Social Charge?
I believe the USC should be reformed. We need to protect those on the lowest incomes and the most vulnerable to ensure they are exempt from this charge.
With the end of funding for the Kilkenny jobfit centre, which was successfully getting people back into employment, what would you do to help the unemployed?
I want to make sure a couple of things happen for the unemployed: I will help roll out for Kilkenny our commitment to provide 70 million nationally for the training of some 20,000 unemployed people who will then work with 100,000 businsses to make their products and services available online. I will also work to extend the Extend the Web Activate Programme, which takes young unemployed people off the live register and trains them to become self employed as service providers, with a target of turning this into a national programme targeting some 100,000 small Irish businesses and training up to 20,000 participants. Sustained funding for retraining and up-skilling for the unemployed through different services. Work with the business community, State agencies and central and local government to make sure viable businesses can expand if possible so as to create new employment. Ensure government policies incentivise businesses to recruit unemployed people where possible. This means reducing employer costs and bureaucracy. Continue to support emerging sectors of the economy such as the green economy where thousands of jobs are being created (20,000 over the past three and a half years), giving new opportunities for people who are out of work.
Apart from yourself, which other four candidates will be elected?
It would be wrong of me to pre-empt the public’s verdict. I would like to see at least two women elected for Carlow/Kilkenny.
In 20 words or less, why should people vote for you?
Reformed the planning system, introduced civil partnerships, created 20,000 green jobs, protected education and I am a hard-working, honest TD.