Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Labour Party TD for Dublin North Central Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has said that addressing the pressing issue of forced labour in this country must be a priority for the Government. Deputy Ó Ríordáin was speaking after representatives from the Migrant Rights Centre of Ireland (MRCI) briefed Oireachtas members in Leinster House this afternoon.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin stated: “I really believe that this issue must be tackled head on by the Coalition and it must be tackled urgently. Unfortunately, over the past number of years a vacuum has developed in our judicial system and enforcing the laws has become quite difficult because there is no clear law to deal with the problem of forced labour in Ireland.

“It was quite harrowing this afternoon to listen to some of the victims of forced labour explaining what they were subjected to as migrant workers. These people were promised a better life and a chance of a fresh start, only to see these prospects shattered through deceit. In several instances, victims were forced to work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week with no opportunity to even leave their place of work. In one case which we heard today, the only day off which was provided by the employer was Christmas Day. This is a disgrace and it is grossly inhumane to treat anyone in this fashion.

“I would call on the Minister for Justice to urgently address this issue and to bring forward legislation similar to what has been enacted recently in the United Kingdom and I will be making enquiries to the Department of Justice as to when this can be done. Unfortunately, the problems of forced labour are compounded in times of economic turmoil so I believe it’s imperative that we act sooner rather than later.

“Finally, I believe the issue of forced labour is one which can be tackled given the level of cross party support involved. It was very heartening to see representatives of the Government and Opposition at today’s briefing and it is crucial now that we harness that support in order to eradicate forced labour in this country.”

Speaking on social welfare rates in Dáil Éireann

Watch Aodhán's speech here:

Aodhán: I appreciate the sentiments in the motion. However, it would be remiss of me not to mention my uncle, Micheál Ó Ríordáin, whom I buried earlier. He was proud of my achievement in being elected to the House in February. He had campaigned with me since my first election. I reflected earlier as we sat in the church about the life chance he had been given by this Republic. He moved out of the tenement house in which he was brought up to a corporation estate in the 1940s. The Republic owes a life chance to every child, regardless of who they are, where they are from, their religion, the colour of their skin or the income bracket of their parents.

It keeps me awake at night - I am sure this is shared by others - that if we do nothing in the next number of years we will take away the life chance from our children because they had the misfortune to be born over the past few years or in the coming years. We need to change the language we use to describe the economic circumstances in which we find ourselves. I find it offensive that people constantly state that people who are unemployed are costing the Exchequer €20,000 a year and they are a supposed drain on the social protection budget. This is a societal cost, not an economic cost. The impact losing a job and being unable to go to work has on an individual and, by extension, on his or her children is immeasurable. It should not be measured in economic units.

I am proud to be a member of the Government because of the some of the initiatives we have taken. The reversal of the cut in the national minimum wage was not easy and it has not resulted in a huge change but we said we would do it. We are determined to defend the Croke Park agreement because it defends the rights of low paid public servants. Many Members have different views on the joint labour committee system but when we were targeted by representatives of the conservative Catholic right who suggested that members of my party and other parties were in some way anti-Catholic, I wish they had been so vociferous when we protected the rights of those who worked on a Sunday, the traditional day of rest, because they had to work to put bread on the table for their children, and ensured they would be compensated for giving up their Sundays. Commentators on the conservative Catholic right were silent on that issue, which has had more of an impact on the family unit than any of the other stuff they go on with. Poverty has the biggest impact on the family and I wish they would realise that.

I appreciate the motion and I welcome the opportunity to discuss matters relating to children. We are trying to correct the mistakes made in respect of our economy. There is only one chance to be a child. Unlike my uncle, Michéal, and my father, many children do not get the opportunity to fulfil their potential. The social welfare system does not, in many respects, act as an enabler. In many circumstances, it almost acts as a cage. Everyone knows a cage will protect one from the wolves. However, it does not enable a person or set him free. In the context of what we are trying to deliver in respect of the education budget, one of the things of which I am extremely proud is the literacy strategy. We are determined to push that strategy forward because if one cannot read, one cannot play a full role in society.

People must take the totality of what the Government is doing into account when discussing the possibility of maximising children's potential. As already stated, people only get one chance at childhood. It is not a person's fault if he or she happens to be born in the middle of an economic crisis. That fact must be taken into consideration when discussing the concerns raised in the motion. I wish that every child could have the opportunity to grasp the life chances of which my uncle, Michéal, managed to avail, to live the kind of life he lived and to maximise their potential. This is why I hope that next week we will be able to stand up and be proud of the direction the Government proposes to take.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Growing problem of illiteracy is not just confined to the classroom- Ó Ríordáin

Labour Party TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has stated that the pressing issue of illiteracy in Ireland today cannot be addressed within the classroom alone. Rather, this is a matter which must be tackled nationally in people's homes and in the workplace. Deputy Ó Ríordáin was speaking after facilitating a briefing from the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) for the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said: "First of all I wish to thank the representatives from NALA for taking the time to brief the TDs and Senators of the Labour Party today. I know from discussing this matter with my colleagues following the meeting that there is a real urgency within Labour about addressing this growing problem in our society.

"I believe that in order to tackle this issue we must create a culture of literacy in this country. We as a people have to create a climate where literacy is ingrained in every aspect of our lives. From the home to the classroom and on into the workplace, we must promote and strengthen our literacy standards. This is imperative for the simple reason that every citizen in this country should have a high standard of literacy to go about their daily lives. Whether it be reading the instructions on medication or reading a signpost on a motorway, we all benefit when citizens are equipped with the skills to make them more productive in this society.

"Further, I believe we can achieve our goals in this respect and I believe the Government can drive the change we all seek. This can be done by ensuring that every Government department and agency has a comprehensive literacy and numeracy policy in place. This can be achieved through extensive consultation with stakeholder groups such as NALA and the Department of Education. In addition, we can integrate literacy and numeracy into all publicly funded education and training.

"It is my belief that literacy is fundamentally a matter of equality and empowerment. I know from my time as a school principal in the North Inner City of Dublin how trapped and hopeless people can become. However, if we really tackle this issue by fostering a vibrant and comprehensive literacy strategy for both young and old, we will be giving people more opportunities to improve their lives and allow them to play a more active role in Irish society.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Statement on Cllr Darren Scully

Statement on Cllr Darren Scully:

I would like to outline the rationale for my actions in relation to Cllr Darren Scully today. I understand he has tonight resigned as Mayor of Naas.

Cllr Scully made remarks which to my mind were tantamount to incitement to hatred, as he announced his policy of not engaging with constituents of a 'Black African' background.

As a result, I reported Cllr Scully's actions to An Garda Síochána for them to investigate.

I have received many messages of support through twitter, email and phone messages for my actions.

I have also received many messages condemning my actions, and supporting the views of Cllr Scully. A sample of those emailed messages, without names, can be seen below.

One Fine Gael member contacted me to congratulate me, a Labour member told me he is resigning from the party as a result of my actions.

When I first ran for election in 2004, it was the time of the controversial Citizenship Referendum. That referendum aroused some vile and poisonous attitudes at many doors that I knocked on and I vowed at that stage to challenge racism at every juncture in my political life.

As this issue is now in the hands of the Gardaí I now intend to return to the pressing issue of the upcoming budget and the reasons why I was elected to Dáil Éireann in the first place - to build a real Republic that we can be proud of.

E-mail 1:
Sadly Mr Scully spoke the truth come to our school in Dublin 15 to pick up our irish childern and you will see the ignorance we have imported. Can I now go to the garda station to report you and the labour party for the lies told to the Irish people to get elected. If you even bothered to look at this article and public opinion you may see that the vast majority support Mr Scully. Maybe you would be better off doing the job of looking after the interests of Irish people instead of this publicity stunt for these uninvited visitors. Well done Mr Scully at last a public figure saying what the public think. If we Irish open our mouths we are racict. God help Ireland and the way we are heading. Irish Citizen

Email 2
Darren Scully is dead right to step away from representing certain groups of people if they have accused him of racism. he should have reported them to the guards as this is clearly a racist tactic that certain groups use if they dont get there way...i have heard it myself on a number of occasions over the years being used and being said in a aggressive manner to the person that if they were white they would get what they wanted...and if you have reported darren scully to the guards then going on national newspapers and calling him a racist is Prejudicing any fair investigationand on another note have you resigned your teaching post or is it being kept open for you if and when you loose your TD`s seat

Email 3:
Dear sir, I would like to say to you that I believe that Darren Scully is a realist not a racist. You should be charged with wasting Garda Time, Why don't you find something useful to do with your time. Unlike him you must always say what you think is the populist thing to say. Actually you should be fired (of course not possible) for wasting state finances. Grow up

Email 4:
Mr Ó Ríordáin.
I write as a member if the Labour party.While I abhor the stupid comments made by the mayor Scully about dealing with blacks what upsets me more is your attempt to twist it in to a more sinister level; racisim. The ignorant comments by Mr Scully were not racist, they were free speech. Something you should know the difference between. There is something truly nasty in what you have to done or at least attempted to do. It is an insult to those who suffer racisim in this country.You have made me ashamed to be a labour party member and I will be resigning from the Labour party over this matter.

Text on my mobile today at 1.31pm in relation to Cllr Darren Scully

Text on my mobile today at 1.31pm in relation to Cllr Darren Scully:

'Tha mayor is right what exactly are black africans doing in Ireland anyway? Playing the race card for all its worth and milking the system. You PC police really are pathetic pity you arent down here in Clare where your Dublin 4 values would go down like a lead baloon.'

(I have kept name to myself)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Marriage equality is the civil rights issue of our time

"I believe that marriage equality is, without doubt, the most important civil rights issue of our time.

"I am proud of the Labour Party's record of supporting same-sex couples and the steps taken to advance the rights of these couples over the last number of years must be greatly welcomed. However, they simply do not go far enough.

"Same-sex couples still face enormous discrimination in this society. For example, gay or lesbian partners still cannot apply to jointly adopt and parental rights cannot be conferred where a civil partner is not the biological or adoptive parent to the child. This is not just discriminating against same-sex couples, but this represents discrimination against the child as well.

"Further, civil partners face enormous challenges when it comes to property and legal procedures which married couples do not. These are issues which I believe need to be seriously addressed at the proposed Constitutional Convention.

"Finally, I wish to state that I am absolutely convinced of the arguments laid out by the Marriage Equality organisation, with whom I met today, and I would like to sincerely thank their representatives for taking the time to meet with Members this afternoon to address this vital issue."

Child poverty must be a priority for Government - Ó Ríordáin

Labour Party T.D., for Dublin North Central Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has stated that confronting child poverty must be a top priority for Government. Deputy Ó Ríordáin was speaking after a briefing by the children's charity Barnardos revealed alarmingly high figures of children in the State are at risk of poverty.

"Figures supplied to TDs and Senators today at the launch of Barnardos Children's Budget 2012 revealed that approximately 90,000 children in this country are at risk of poverty. This is completely unacceptable and I would call on the Cabinet to make this a top priority on their agenda.

"It is absolutely crucial, in these difficult times, that we ensure that the most vulnerable in this society are cared for. Unfortunately, young children are a group that are particularly at risk of poverty in recessionary times. It is my belief though; that providing supports for children does more than just lift them out of poverty, but it also empowers children and provides them with a better future.

"Therefore, I would like to see a more focused and multifaceted approach to tackling child poverty. I would echo the sentiments from Barnardos in relation to the new Child and Family Support Agency in this regard; however this new agency must be seen to deliver if we are serious about confronting this issue as a society."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Extensive literacy & numeracy programme badly needed in Irish prisons- Ó Ríordáin

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has today urged the Minister for Justice to formulate a comprehensive literacy and numeracy programme to be placed on the curriculum of penal institutions throughout the country. This programme should be compiled in conjunction with the Department of Education and experts in the field of literacy and numeracy.

The Labour Party TD for Dublin North Central was speaking on foot of a reply to a Parliamentary Question from Minister Shatter's department which stated that 52% of the Irish prison population are at Level 1 or Pre-Level 1 literacy standards.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin stated: "Upon reviewing the details and having undertaken visits to institutions such as Mountjoy and St. Patrick's, I believe it is imperative that every penal institution in the country must have a formal literacy policy which is regularly reviewed and updated .The figures supplied to me from the Minister for Justice are really startling. The fact that over half of the prison population are at Level 1 or Pre-Level 1 standard really indicates the failure of the system and our society to tackle this problem.

"I would like to see the Minister entering into discussions with the Department of Education in order to formulate a programme that would ensure all prisoners engaged in educational programmes are literate and numerate by the end of their stay. This is not just about rehabilitating our prison population, but it is also about supplying inmates with the basic right to learn that they may have missed out on in their early years.

"The Department of Education has a pivotal role in this regard. The Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn has embraced the cause of literacy and numeracy so readily and the comprehensive Literacy and Numeracy for Learning and Life initiative is a real game changer for our education system. My hope is that the same vigour for literacy and numeracy will be embraced by the Department of Justice and the benefits of this programme can be extended to our prison population."

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Raising the matter of sports funding with Minister for Finance

Aodhán: I appreciate the opportunity to raise the matter of the horse and greyhound fund in the context of overall sports funding and promised legislation on online gambling.

Approximately €30 million a year is raised through a levy on gambling in Ireland. Regardless of what one’s bet is placed on, the levy goes directly to the horse and greyhound fund under the terms of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Act 2001. This is despite the fact that only 10% of bets placed relate to these two industries. A total of 80% of the fund goes to the horse racing industry and the vast bulk of this is spent on prize money. The prize money on offer in the Republic of Ireland is 60% higher than that in the UK. Also, the chief executive of Horse Racing Ireland received a pre-tax bonus of €57,000 in 2009.

This year, Irish Sports Council funding amounts to €25.6 million for 57 national governing bodies, 32 local sports partnerships and 18 high performance sports. Given our sporting endeavour, next year’s Olympic Games and the fact we all enjoy sports so much, one could argue that in the current recession sport is one of the only things keeping communities alive. It keeps children occupied and families entertained and gives us all a lift. This Friday, everybody’s eyes will be turned towards Tallinn hoping the Irish soccer team can go halfway towards qualifying for the European Championships.

The Minister for Justice and Equality indicated a levy on online betting will be introduced in spring next year. We believe this could raise approximately €90 million. Can I have a commitment that it will be spent on sports funding? Does the Minister intend to investigate the current funding criteria for the horse and greyhound industry? Has he asked the industry for indications of how the money is spent? Everyone accepts that the horse racing and greyhound industries are of great benefit, are fantastic employers and act as wonderful tourism magnets. At the same time, can we justify a situation where the vast bulk of the funding goes to prize money and the money spent on prize money is 60% higher here than in UK? I also referred to the figures on bonuses for the chief executive of Horse Racing Ireland.

There is inequity in sports funding, with €25 million going to the Sports Council, which looks after so many national governing bodies, local sports partnerships and high performance sports. At the Olympic Games next year we will talk about the performance of our athletes, how they are funded and how well they have performed. Is it justifiable that €25 million of our taxpayers’ money goes to that while €30 million of taxpayers’ money goes to the horse and greyhound industry? Is it justifiable that 100% of the levy raised on betting in this country goes to an industry when only 10% of the bets placed relate to that industry? If Paddy and Joe put €5 on Manchester United versus Chelsea, the levy raised on the €5 bet goes to the horse and greyhound industry.

Will the proposed levy on online gambling be funnelled back into the sports industry? Can we be assured it will not go in the same manner to the horse and greyhound industry and that it will be more equitably distributed?

Minister for Finance: Some of the issues raised by Deputy Ó Ríordáin are more appropriate to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine. I will reply to the matter in respect of a levy on online gambling and we can have a conversation about the other issues.

I am pleased to take this opportunity to speak on the subject of extending the betting duty to remote betting firms, including betting exchanges that offer their services to consumers in the State. Work has been ongoing in the context of the draft betting (amendment) Bill towards widening the tax base in respect of betting duty with the view to extending the duty to remote bookmakers and betting exchanges. This widening of the base has always been regarded as difficult to do from a legal and practical perspective because online and phone betting services are primarily offered by offshore, out-of-State entities.

The main provisions of the betting (amendment) Bill are to amend the Betting Act 1931 with the objective of bringing remote betting, including betting exchanges, within the existing regulatory framework, including measures to enforce the regulatory framework. It provides that any remote bookmakers or betting exchanges that wish to offer their services to consumers in the State must obtain a licence to do so. A condition of that licence will be to pay betting duty or betting intermediary tax in respect of bets accepted that originated in the State.

Betting duty of 1% on turnover has applied to bets placed with traditional bookmakers since 2006. The 2006 legislative provision also moved the liability for the tax from the punter to the bookmaker, the context for this being an attempt to stem the migration of consumers from traditional bookmakers to remote bookmakers. However, the lowering of the rate to 1%, together with a significant reduction in betting activity due to the downturn in the economy and a growing share of bets being placed over the phone or online with offshore non-taxed entities has seen betting duty receipts fall from a high of €54 million in 2007 to an estimated €30 million this year.

Historically, betting receipts have been tied to funding for horseracing through the horseracing and greyhound fund. This fall in betting receipts has widened the gap between the level of Exchequer funding seen as desirable for the sector. Some €57 million has been provided in 2011, along with the receipts from the betting duty. What is now being proposed will allow us to recapture much of the revenue lost to online or remote outlets. The extension of betting duty to remote bookmakers is necessary to ensure, first, that firms that offer their betting services to residents in the State, regardless of what platform is used, are treated equally in terms of the taxation of that activity and, second, that the extension of the betting duty will widen the tax base and protect the Exchequer from the leakage of potential tax revenue.

The Deputy will be aware that what is being prepared by my Department for the provision of a regulatory and licensing regime to enable the taxation of remote betting is an interim solution, pending the outcome of the major overview on the regulation of all gambling in the State being conducted by the Minister for Justice and Equality. In this regard, in July the Government approved proposals from the Minister for Justice and Equality for the preparation of a comprehensive Bill on gambling, which will include, inter alia, the regulation of remote gambling services, including betting services, and provide for the repeal the Betting Act 1931, as amended.

Consequently, the Finance Act 2011 contained measures to allow for the extension of the betting duty to remote bookmakers and betting exchanges, including respective licence fees, which are based on the level of turnover, and annual commission earnings, respectively. The provisions in the Finance Act 2011 are subject to a ministerial commencement order. The provisions in the Finance Act cannot be commenced, however, until the betting (amendment) Bill, which contains the necessary regulatory and licensing provisions, is enacted.

The level of taxation provided for in the Finance Act is 1% on turnover in respect of remote betting firms, the same level that currently applies to their bricks and mortar counterparts. To take account of the particular business model of betting exchanges, a tax on the commission an exchange charges its customers will apply. This is in line with the level of tax elsewhere.
Enforcement and compliance will be a key aspect to the successful regulation and taxation of remote betting firms. Those potential difficulties in that regard should not be underestimated, especially with regard to firms that have no presence in the State. However, it is desirable to make such offshore providers subject to the betting tax.

Aodhán: A cross-departmental response is required. What is the Minister’s instinct in respect of the equity of sports funding? The Minister’s response shows that €57 million has been provided this year for the horseracing and greyhound fund. No one wants to question the justification of funding for that industry, which is a wonderful industry and one Ireland is famous for. However, how does the Minister square giving €57 million to that industry in the current crisis, in view of the prize fund amounts, with the €25 million given to the Sports Council, which looks after 57 national governing bodies, 32 local sports partnerships and 18 high performing sports? Does the Minister accept there is an anomaly and will he commit to investigating a way in which we can address it?

Minister for Finance: These are the figures in the Estimate put together by the previous Government in the last budget in December 2010 for 2011. The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Brendan Howlin, is negotiating with line Departments on the appropriate amount for each head for next year. In that context, he has had discussions with the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine. I am sure discussions included this issue. My responsibility is simply to enact legislation and it is up to the two other Ministers to decide what the expenditure should be. Up to now, the principle was that whatever was raised by the levy went into the fund. There was a shortfall and, instead of the Estimate of €47 million being raised, the fund dropped to €30 million. That was as a result of what happened in 2006, when the then Minister for Finance reduced the levy from 2% to 1% without applying a new tax to the online aspect of the betting industry which was then taking much of the activity. In the last Finance Bill, my predecessor sought to correct this but the correction was subject to separate legislation being brought in for on-line betting. Those sections in the Finance Bill would be implemented subjected to a ministerial order. The on-line betting Bill has not been produced yet and obviously the new Government will have to have sight of it before the issues of principle and detail in it are ratified. I will try to get things done quickly and, if possible, in advance of the budget.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Ó Ríordáin welcomes €10 million flood relief fund

“I greatly welcome the €10 million flood relief fund announced today by the Government which will aid those homeowners affected by the recent flooding. The fund will be of most comfort for those families left without house insurance since the last major flooding problems of July 2009.

“I have been campaigning on this issue for many years and I know too well the enormous hardship that so many homeowners and small businesses have experienced because of flooding.

“I also wish to point out that this new fund has come about because the Labour Party are in Government. I want to thank the Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton for listening to the concerns of residents, particularly in areas in my own constituency like Donnycarney and Artane.

“I will continue to work hard on this issue and I also plan to continue to push for a comprehensive flood defence programme to be initiated, which is ultimately the end goal.”

Monday, November 07, 2011

Clontarf Flood Barrier Update

Dear Clontarf Residents,

As you may be aware, Dublin City Council have revised their plan for flood defences in Clontarf and my colleague Cllr Jane Horgan Jones may have already contacted you with an update on the flood defences issue.

The following is a summary of the situation as we see it:

- The original plan cannot and will not go ahead. It was the result of a consultation process that we exposed to have been completely unacceptable and deeply flawed.

- My demand that the consultation process be declared null and void has already been made on the floor of Dáil Éireann and is still being pursued.

- Continued efforts are being made to ensure funds are ring fenced so decisions can be taken without artificial time pressures.

- The new plan as presented is still not acceptable to me or to Cllr Jane Horgan-Jones

The new plan will be on display in four separate information sessions, to be held in St. Anthony’s from 7-9pm on the 16th, 17th, 21st and 23rd November. I understand that the information will include detailed visual representations of what is proposed.

I would urge you to go and view the new plans and we will be there personally for the duration of each session to take your reaction to them.

I will meet as many people as possible at the information sessions to listen to the response of the community to the revised plans.

I can also be contacted by phone or email at any time. I look forward to hearing from many of you soon.

For your information, I am also including the interim report on the Clontarf Flood Defences that will be given by Council officials to the full City Council meeting tomorrow evening (Monday). The meeting starts at 18:45 and can be viewed live online by webcast at the following link.

I have secured a written commitment from the City Manager that no further steps will be taken in advance of full consideration of the proposal at the December City Council meeting.

Please be assured of my continued support for the community on this issue.


Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Greater Efforts Needed To Increase Rates Of Participation In Education In Irish Prisons

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, Labour Party TD for Dublin North Central, has called for greater efforts to be undertaken to increase the participation rates in education throughout Ireland’s prison system. Deputy Ó Ríordáin was one of several Deputies and Senators who undertook a visit to Mountjoy Prison and St. Patrick’s Institution this afternoon.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said: “I wanted to state that I really enjoyed the visit to Mountjoy and St. Patrick’s today with the Justice Committee, as it was a great opportunity to see first-hand the state of our prison services.

“However, this tour only reaffirmed my belief that our society should be doing much more to encourage the men and women currently in our prisons into the education system. To think that, on average, just 35% of the prison population take part in education is extremely worrying. Moreover, this figure drops as low as 14% for Mountjoy Prison here in Dublin City. These figures are simply unacceptable if we are serious about altering the climate and culture in our prison system.

“From speaking with some of the officials in Mountjoy and St. Patrick’s this afternoon, it is clear that we can and should be doing more to improve the prison education system. In addition, a particular emphasis on literacy would be invaluable to any education programme.

“We are all aware that a first class education can have enormous benefits in a society and there is no reason why we can’t extend these benefits to the prison population in order to ensure that inmates can rebuild their lives when they are released.

“I understand that the Inspector of Prisons recommended in his annual report last year that an independent audit be commissioned by the Irish Prison Service and I eagerly await the conclusion of this review. It is my hope that when this review is published that the Department of Justice and Department of Education undertake greater measures to drastically improve the levels of participation over the lifetime of this Government.”