Senator Alice-Mary Higgins debates the flaws in the Knowledge Development Box Bill 2016

In January 2017, the Knowledge Development Box Bill 2016 returned to the Seanad.

Following pressure from me at Committee Stage the Minister agreed to publish an annual report on outcomes of the measures implemented under the bill. However, I was disappointed that the Minister would not commit to providing the level of information we need to adequately scrutinise this measure. I was also disappointed that both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael voted against my amendments for Revenue to exchange information with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation around the cost to the exchequer of the measure and the tax forgone. My 'join the dots' amendment which proposed to track whether the Knowledge Development Box is linking up effectively with our wider innovation and employment strategy was also defeated. 

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Cross-party cooperation makes significant progress on domestic violence legislation

The Civil Engagement Group in Seanad Éireann welcomes that the critically important Domestic Violence Bill 2017 has today passed committee stage in the upper house. Among the amendments agreed at committee stage today were the creation of the offence of coercive control, and the acceptance that the closer the abuser is to the abused, the more serious that offence is. This was achieved thanks to the close cooperation of Senators from Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, Labour, the Civil Engagement Group, and independent senators, as well as constructive engagement from Minister David Stanton and his officials in the Department of Justice and Equality.