Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Capital Taxation Proposals.

Wednesday, 22 May 1974

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 272 No. 13

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[1930]15.

Mr. Brennan: Information on Joseph Brennan  Zoom on Joseph Brennan  asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will make a statement in relation to the call at a recent management conference for a new philosophy of private enterprise; and if he will place on the record of the House the purport and tenor of the feedback received from industry in relation to the Government's proposals for capital taxation.

Mr. Keating: Information on Justin Keating  Zoom on Justin Keating  With regard to the first part of the question, the Deputy's reference is not specific but if he is referring to the conference last month in Killarney I am aware that some speakers dealt with aspects of the social responsibility of private enterprise. This idea can hardly have come as a surprise to the Deputy as the Government Statement of Intent, published 7th February, 1973, stated our aim to make Ireland into a modern progressive society based on social justice.

As to the second part of the question, responsibility for taxation proposals rests primarily with the Minister for Finance. The views of the Confederation of Irish Industry on these proposals have been conveyed to him and also to me but as these views have already been publicised I see no need to re-state them here.

Mr. Brennan: Information on Joseph Brennan  Zoom on Joseph Brennan  The Minister surely is aware—he referred to the vagueness of the first part of my question— that I am referring to the opening address at the IMI Conference in Killarney recently where the chairman pointed out the uncertainty which exists at present in regard to private enterprise and the absolute schizophrenia which is bedevilling society as to whether we are going to be a private enterprise or a doctrinaire socialist state in future and this certainly is not creating a climate——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  A question please, Deputy.

Mr. Brennan: Information on Joseph Brennan  Zoom on Joseph Brennan  ——that is conducive to industrial development and will the Minister not agree that [1931] arising out of his own background as a doctrinaire socialist our industrialists and those who would be potential investors——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy is engaging in argument rather than asking a question.

Mr. Brennan: Information on Joseph Brennan  Zoom on Joseph Brennan  ——must find themselves in a dilemma with regard to the future of private enterprise in the future?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy has made a long speech.

Mr. Brennan: Information on Joseph Brennan  Zoom on Joseph Brennan  I am asking whether the Minister, in view of that background, does not consider it absolutely essential to allay the uncertainty which exists and which has not been dispelled by anything the Minister has done in recent times?

Mr. Keating: Information on Justin Keating  Zoom on Justin Keating  As the Deputy will be aware, I have daily and intimate contacts with Irish industry and I am not aware of any such uncertainty. This economy, as it has been for a very long time, and as I understand was central to the policy on which Fianna Fáil originally came to power, is a mixed economy—that is understood—with a balance of private interest and public interest. Irish industry understands that very well and the response of indigenous Irish industry and of overseas investors in the last 14 months, while I have been in this Department, indicates they understand it perfectly well. They are satisfied with the industrial and investment environment in this country and they have not any of the sort of uncertainty the Deputy is seeking to stir up.

Mr. Brennan: Information on Joseph Brennan  Zoom on Joseph Brennan  Would the Minister not agree that statements frequently made in this House and outside it which almost give a dirty ring to the words “private enterprise” are doing no good? We are on the one hand engaging in a socialist economy and on the other attempting to generate more wealth from private enterprise.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy is engaging in an argument. He will [1932] have to find another opportunity for debating this matter. Question No. 16.

Mr. Keating: Information on Justin Keating  Zoom on Justin Keating  I totally reject that suggestion.

Mr. Colley: Information on George Colley  Zoom on George Colley  The Minister is suffering from bodhaire Uí Laoghaire.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Question No. 16 has already been called.

Mr. J. Gibbons: Information on James M. Gibbons  Zoom on James M. Gibbons  Is the Minister really saying that Irish industry has no need to fear the application of any Marxist theory.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Has the Deputy a question to ask?

Mr. J. Gibbons: Information on James M. Gibbons  Zoom on James M. Gibbons  Is that what the Minister is saying?

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Will Deputies please allow Questions to continue? Question No. 16.


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