Private Members' Business. - Confidence in Minister for Finance: Motion (Resumed).

Wednesday, 6 June 1984

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 351 No. 3

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[380] The following motion was moved by Deputy Haughey on 5 June 1984:

“That Dáil Éireann declares, that in view of the revelation that the 1984 budget was falsely based, it no longer has confidence in the Minister for Finance.”

Debate resumed on amendment No. 1:

To delete all words after “Dáil Éireann” and substitute the following:

“reaffirms its confidence in the Minister for Finance”.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Deputy Noonan, Limerick West, moved the adjournment of the debate on the last occasion, but he had concluded his speech. I have a timetable here which I shall put to the House for approval. It has been handed to the Chair by the Whips. 7 p.m. to 7.15 p.m., a Government speaker; 7.15 to 7.35 p.m., a Fianna Fáil speaker; 7.35 to 7.50 p.m., a Government speaker; 7.50 to 8.10 p.m., a Fianna Fáil speaker; 8.10 to 8.15 p.m., a Government speaker; 8.15 to 8.30 p.m., a Fianna Fáil speaker. Are those arrangements agreed to?

Question put and agreed to.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  I now call on a Government speaker.

The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  Before coming to the main points which I want to make, I wish to refer to one matter mentioned by the Leader of the Opposition in his address — if “address” is the correct word — in opening this debate. He said that I proposed to appoint “a politically appointed board or council — call it what you will — to supervise the Central Statistics Office. We reject that.”

I want to put on the record of the House that on Monday, 28 May, I wrote to the Leader of the Opposition a letter [381] in the following terms, explaining first that the Government had decided — and I quote “to establish this council for which provision is made in the Statistics Act, 1926”. I said that I believed the appointment of such a body, comprised of people of eminence in their field and with a suitable range of expertise, could be of considerable assistance in the development of that statistical service. I named the people whom I proposed to appoint: the Deputy Director of the Economic and Social Research Institute; the Director of the Social Policy Centre, NIHE, Limerick; the Professor of Economics from the University of Ulster; Professor Sexton of the Economic and Social Research Institute, formerly on the staff of the CSO; Professor Robert Kelleher, a partner in DKM Economic Consultants employed by the all-party Forum to undertake the economic study for them; Professor Brendan Whelan, head of the survey unit in the Economic and Social Research Institute; and Professor Brendan Walsh, who is an acknowledged expert on demographic and manpower statistics and, indeed, on the question of economics generally.

I went on to say:

As you will see, I have endeavoured to select for the council a group of people with as wide as possible a range of relevant expertise. In view of the crucial importance of the independence of the Central Statistics Office, I thought it right to inform you of my intentions in the matter. Should there be any aspect on which you would wish for further clarification, I would, of course, be very happy to discuss this with you.

I think it is perfectly clear that I intended to ensure, first of all, that the body concerned would consist of people of the highest repute with a relevant range of competence in the different areas that are appropriate for this purpose and that I was more than willing to discuss the matter with the Leader of the Opposition should he have any matters to raise with me.

I told him that I intended to announce the appointment of the council at a statistical [382] seminar on Tuesday last; but, of course, when the debate on this statistical matter came to take place in the House, I had no alternative but to bring forward the announcement, because otherwise I could reasonably have been accused of concealing from the Dáil my intention to take action which might be regarded by some as having some relevance to the matter in hand. The Leader of the Opposition did not, in fact, reply to my letter, but chose instead to stigmatise the proposed council as political. I want to deny that imputation and to regret that he did not have any qualms in the matter and did not communicate with me before the debate in which he must have known that I would have to refer to the council, in view of the fact that I could otherwise be accused of withholding information from the Dáil.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  For the Taoiseach's guidance, I shall be calling the next speaker at 7.15 p.m.

The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  Yes, I understand that. Having said that — and it is important to have that on the record, very important because it is vital that the independence of the Central Statistics Office be maintained — I want now to turn to more political matters and to say that the two outstanding characteristics of the present Opposition are the almost totally negative character of their criticisms and their failure to produce any coherent alternative to the policies which we are pursuing, and shall continue to pursue, with the courage which alone can being us through the multiple crises that we now face. On the rare occasions when a constructive voice is heard from the other side of the House — as for example, in the latter part of the speech that Deputy Reynolds made here on the Adjournment debate last December — it has been dismissed with contumely by the Leader of the Opposition in a manner that must cast doubt upon his understanding of the role of an Opposition, or his comprehension of the process by which Oppositions get themselves returned to Government.

The failure of the Opposition, and in particular their Leader, to evolve any [383] consistent or thought out economic policy has been quite remarkable. Even by the standards of opportunism and party-politics, which perhaps have never been totally absent from political life in this or any other democracy, it has been, I think, almost unique. We have all lost count at this stage of the number of U-turns that the Leader of the Opposition has performed on this subject. If anybody, even on my side of the House, can count them accurately, I shall be interested to have the tally. In so far as one can detect any particular policy stance at the end of this tortuous process, it appears to be one of facing in both directions at once. In one of his more recent utterances on this subject, in an interview with Business and Finance magazine, he outlined a variety of ways in which more money should be spent and more tax reliefs given in order, he suggested, to generate additional growth in the economy. Many of the suggestions were good enough in themselves and, were the money available, the Government might indeed have taken some, at any rate, of the actions which he recommended. Where he completely failed, as on so many occasions in the past, was in facing up to the question of where this money was to come from.

True, on this occasion he stopped short of his familiar proposal of earlier occasions that the money should be borrowed, on top of the debt already being accumulated because of the quite extraordinary and, indeed, disastrous expansion of spending during the period when he was in Government, first as a Minister and then as Taoiseach.

He confined himself in his argument to a simple suggestion that expenditure should be reduced by the amount required to release the sums of money needed for his various projects. As to where these cuts might fall, he was notably silent, anxiously avoiding any of the unpopularity that might fall on his shoulders as a result of making any concrete suggestion even of the most limited kind as to the further cuts in expenditure that he would have recommended over and above those already undertaken by the [384] Government in the pruning operation involved in the recent budget.

It is precisely this unwillingness to face any real issue, and the single-minded determination to avoid reality, that has condemned the Leader of the Opposition to two such electoral defeats and will condemn himself and his party to remain in Opposition until they are prepared to face up to the responsibilities inherent in the political process. The realisation of that, I believe, exists in the Opposition party. There are people who understand or recognise that, but they are inhibited by the particular structures and tensions of that party from doing anything to enable that party to play an effective role in opposition.

As I was dictating these words in my own living room my eye lit upon a green covered Government publication of which for some reason I had two copies, entitled — the irony of it —Development for Full Employment and stamped “Not for publication before 6 p.m., 16th June, 1978”. I went across to my bookshelf, and took down this document and found that in the fifth paragraph of its introduction it says “This Green Paper proposes an ambitious programme for ending unemployment within five years”.

Three years later almost to the day, when they left office in June 1981, so far were Fianna Fáil from having achieved the full employment set out in this document as the target or main objective, something which they meant to do, that although the recession had but begun unemployment, far from having been eliminated as to three-fifths as it should have been if progress had been made towards the programme of full employment, was one-quarter higher than when that Green Paper was published — this despite the fact that during those three years they had doubled the national debt and trebled our borrowing abroad.

That is the inheritance we received from Fianna Fáil. We are having to clear away this rotten foundation in order to rebuild our shattered economy — a painful task, the immediate responsibility for which is being carried by the Minister for Finance with outstanding dedication and skill.

[385]Deputies:  Hear, hear.

The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  In relation to the matter before the House, I would commend to any Government the manner in which it was handled by the Minister. He ensured that when the first indications emerged of an identification in the balance of payments of some capital items as being current in character, he drew attention to this in the publication with the budget. When information came to hand as to the precise magnitude of the adjustments made between the capital and current side, which involved no change in the total flows but only an identification of their character, that information was immediately published by the Central Statistics Office and it was given in the fullest detail to the House. The only intervention which I made in the matter was to ask that the Central Statistics Office would carry the series back to 1970 so as to give us greater continuity in the statistics. However, I felt it wrong that the publication of the figures for the last five years should be held up while awaiting this and, therefore, felt that the figures should be published when available. The earlier revised data would become available in due course when that work had been completed.

In undertaking our task of recovering the economy from the disastrous shape in which it was left by our predecessors in office we have refused to adopt the easy expedience so beloved of the Opposition party under their present leadership. What we have done instead is to lay the foundations for future progress by halving the current deficit as a proportion of GNP which threatened us when we took over office for the first time nearly three years ago and by reducing the level of borrowing in terms of GNP by two-fifths which would have had to be attempted in 1982 if we had not taken things in charge within three weeks of being elected to office in mid-1981.

To have achieved that much in a period of just three years with an interruption of almost a year of Fianna Fáil Government, to have halved the current deficit [386] and reduced borrowing by two-fifths in terms of GNP, while not drastically deflating the economy, is, by any standards, a remarkable achievement and will be seen as such by any objective observer. At the same time, we have not attempted to move too far, too fast. We have tried to judge the pace of progress towards our fiscal targets with a careful eye to the need to ensure during the current year favourable conditions for domestic growth, stimulated by external recovery.

That does not mean that many difficult tasks do not lie ahead. Nobody should be under any illusion that, because of the shape of the budget this year, the problems have been resolved. No, the damage done over those four years of Fianna Fáil will take at least an equivalent number of years to set right and, possibly, longer to set completely right but we have completed a large part of that work already. This year, we have deliberately paced the economy to give it a chance to recover in response to the recovery in the USA. In the years ahead, in accordance with the national plan to be published in the next couple of months, we will be taking further action to narrow the gap between expenditure and revenue, action which inevitably must be concentrated primarily in the expenditure area, given the excessive level of taxation by any objective standards for a country at our stage of development.

Upon these foundations we shall build in the months immediately ahead by producing a plan for the economy based on the recommendations of the independent National Planning Board which we have published in accordance with the principles of open Government which we have sought to adopt. I should like, incidentally, to express my gratitude to the board for their outstanding contribution to the planning process.

Our plans for the future development of this economy will be based upon the solid work of this independent board, due account being taken of any relevant and constructive views upon their recommendations that may emerge either in debate in this House — I hope that during the course of the evening something constructive [387] may emerge — or from other quarters. The plan that emerges from this process will bear little resemblance to such documents as those produced by the Opposition party in 1978, the one of which I have two copies on my bookshelves or, again in 1982, The Way Forward. There will be no easy conjuring of 7 per cent growth rates out of the year, no facile assuming away of problems, no easy options designed to secure popularity rather than results, no use of the words “we envisage” five times on a page as a substitute for decisions and action. By contrast, compared to what the Opposition produced in their recent periods in Government, our plan will be a sober document facing real issues and making hard choices. We shall be content to be judged by its realism and by the results of the policies that will be built upon the foundations that it will lay, which will be solid, not tottering as were the foundations left to us by our predecessors in office.

May I once again recall the words of Mr. Jack Lynch, then Taoiseach, in December 1977, when he told this House on the Adjournment debate of the solidity of the foundations that we left upon which his Government had to build. That was one of the most remarkable tributes ever paid by one Government to a predecessor in office. That is what he thought of our Government from 1973 to 1977. I have told the House what I think of the Government from 1977 to 1981 and the people will decide what they think of the Government of 1982 to 1987. I believe their verdict will be in favour of those willing to take the necessary action to restore the economic health of our society and to bring back some kind of hope for the future, which has been effectively extinguished by the manner in which our affairs were mishandled by Fianna Fáil over those disastrous years.

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  I feel like clapping the Taoiseach myself.

The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  The Deputy is free to do so.

[388]Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  I never cease to be amazed by the Taoiseach or the Minister for Finance coming into the House or going out into the public arena talking about doing U-turns, talking in forked tongues and everything else. The Taoiseach had to finish up talking about 1981. Does he realise we are now in 1984, heading for half way through the term of office of this Government without a policy and a single word about any of the problems which affect the country without a plan on industrial policy, which we were promised last July. We were told then it was before the Cabinet. We have had mark one, mark two and mark three withdrawn and out of the way because there is no agreement at Cabinet level. The only reason the Coalition are holding together and are not falling out is that they have not taken a decent decision since they came into office. They have the hard neck to come in here with that sort of nonsense to try to confuse the issue for the electorate. Judgment will be passed within the next 14 days on whether the Government have made any progress. This is 1984 not 1977, not 1981. It is no wonder the young people and everybody else are turned off with the way politics have developed over the last number of years.

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Order. This is a limited debate. As far as I can I will ensure that everybody gets an uninterrupted run.

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  Fair play to you, I hope you can. All we get from the Taoiseach is lectures. Let me go through some of them. We are asked: “Do we know what the role of Opposition is all about?” Those are the Taoiseach's words. No later than today in the House I tried, in a constructive manner, to follow the role of Opposition and here is what I got. I put down a question to the Taoiseach.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  The Deputy must address the Chair.

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  I know it will annoy [389] you. I put down a question to the Taoiseach asking him how many times the task force of Ministers he established on unemployment had met, the dates of each meeting and what recommendations were made. The Ceann Comhairle, which is his right and I accept it from him, although I cannot agree, said: “I regret that I have to disallow the question you addressed to the Taoiseach regarding the task force of Ministers on employment under his chairmanship. The Taoiseach has no responsibility to the Dáil in this matter”. Does the Taoiseach accept that? Does he believe he has no responsibility to the Dáil in giving me information as to whether this task force of Ministers ever met.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Deputy Reynolds——

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  With all due respect, you ruled me out today. Now you are trying to save the Taoiseach again. If that is the way politics is going to develop in the country it is no wonder the young people are turned off it. Now I will listen to you.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Deputy Reynolds will withdraw the remark that the Chair is trying to cover the Taoiseach. I made that ruling and I will not have my ruling questioned in the House. I invited Deputy Reynolds to come to my office.

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  I was very busy all evening but I will take it up. I do not like the remark that I will not do so.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  The Deputy will not raise that matter again in the House.

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  Now that the Taoiseach is in the House — he was not here earlier today — will he give me the information I sought in relation to the Task Force on Unemployment which he set up under his chairmanship? Did they ever meet? If so, how many times and on what dates? It is not unreasonable to ask for such information and if I am to be denied it I might as well go home and look after the people of Longford-Westmeath because I am [390] wasting my time in this House. Will the Taoiseach give me that information sometime, if not tonight?

The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  The internal workings of any Government are a matter for that Government.

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  Is there no responsibility to the Dáil to tell us anything about it?

The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  I have never heard a Government give an account of something like that.

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  Employment is the biggest single issue and I have not got any positive response from the Taoiseach or his Ministers in relation to it. No wonder he is trying to fob off the people talking nonsense about 0.5 per cent of GNP and 2.5 per cent one way or the other.

The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  Halving the deficit.

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  I did not interrupt the Taoiseach. There is no policy emanating from this Government in relation to employment and unemployment. When I try to get information I am denied it. There is no agreement in the Government on any coherent employment or industrial policy. That is why I cannot get any information. I had four questions at Question Time today to the Minister for Industry, Trade, Commerce and Tourism. He gave the most arrogant reply I have ever heard in this House, to the effect that the information I sought was contained in the Library in the IDA annual reports for the past three years. I suggest that the Taoiseach talk to the Minister. The information I sought is not available in the way I want it. I asked him to be forthcoming with the information so that I could formulate some view on the policy being pursued in relation to industrial development. He fobbed me off by telling me to use the services of the House. The people who elected me would expect a Minister to be prepared to hand that information to an Opposition Deputy. You tried to lecture us on [391] being constructive in Opposition. When you brought in——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  The third person, please.

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  I offered constructive suggestions and I was complimented for it. That is the way this House should work.

The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  Yes, the Deputy did so but his Leader attacked me for complimenting him.

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  No wonder people are turning away from politics. Anyone out campaigning will see that this House is the last institution remaining but it is built on quicksand. The Government must realise that the people expect them to tackle the issues of the day. They should not come along day after day with diversionary tactics. One day it is a contraception Bill or divorce and another day it is Peter Prendergast taking about breaches of protocol. What use is that to the people who are looking for jobs?

The sum of £500 million has gone out of the economy and people expect the Minister responsible to do the honest thing and admit that this is the situation.

Minister for Finance (Mr. Dukes): Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  It was all done last Thursday.

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  It would have been the decent thing to come in and say that was the position.

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  We did so on Thursday.

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  I do not intend to waste time by harking back to what the Minister said in his budget. He and I know what he said.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  Everybody is getting hot under the collar tonight. The truth always hurts and the Chair cannot keep the Government side quiet. I sat here quietly and took it on the chin from those [392] guys and I expect them to take it in return.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  Is there any point in trying to debate anything here tonight if I am not to be allowed to do so? The role of a Taoiseach is to be sincere and sincerity needs to be proven. As far as the people are concerned the sincerity of the Taoiseach and the Minister for Finance is not proven. The credibility of the Government is sinking fast, as they will learn if they campaign in the election. The reason is that they are interested only in diversionary tactics, cosmetic politics and getting their handlers to disseminate new types of information which are of no interest because they have no bearing on the economy. The more the Government keep those media management people around them the more credibility will be lost by this House and every Member. People do not believe anything any more.

It is the lowest form of political opportunism when a mistake has been made to try to blame civil servants and to suggest that civil servants in the Department of Finance withheld information or did not pass it on. That is the kind of innuendo being put out by the Government handlers. It is disgraceful to try to denigrate the Civil Service who have served the country so well. Clearly there is a problem in the CSO. Why not reorganise it? There is enough modern technology to enable the production of monthly statements. It can be done in London in relation to a far more diverse economy than ours. We cannot get the information 18 months later and we are operating on estimates, that is no way to manage the country or even a business. Why not get things right?

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  That is what the Deputy is complaining about.

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  It is political opportunism of the highest order to announce that a watchdog committee is to be appointed. We must get the management of the CSO right. We cannot talk about planning the [393] economy unless the basic statistics are right.

Only two weeks ago I asked a question in this House in relation to emigration figures which are highly relevant in the planning process, if that process ever takes place. The figures are about 18 months out of date. We all know that young people are flocking from this country. They cannot get work permits in America but they are taking their chances with holiday visas. They are going to England where the economy seems to be on the upturn, certainly in some sectors. They are going to France and to Australia, anywhere they can go. Those figures are highly relevant, yet we do not have them. Instead of sorting out these problems we are appointing a watchdog. To try to pass the buck to higher civil servants or people in the CSO is reneging on ministerial responsibility.

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  We have not done anything like that.

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  The Ministers and Secretaries Act of 1924 clearly states that the Minister is responsible for all actions. We should be looking forward, not going back to the past and I am not interested in discussing who did what and when. The Taoiseach talks about how much the national debt has been raised but we know from the Central Bank figures that Coalition Governments of whatever hue and whatever year are responsible for almost 60 per cent of the national debt.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  The Government may think that people are interested but I know they are not. They are interested in Government policies to solve existing problems. If the Government want to bury their heads in the sand like the ostrich, so be it. The people will not tolerate that level of politics much longer.

Mr. Sheehan: Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  We had to clean up the mess after Fianna Fáil.

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  I did not come in to talk about clearing up messes. If the people [394] of West Cork have to keep listening to the Deputy talking that type of nonsense they will not continue to elect him.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  The Taoiseach tried to lecture me on U-turns. I will remind him of a few U-turns which are fundamental to what we are discussing. During the very short period in 1982 when I was Minister for Industry and Energy a Private Members' motion was tabled by Fine Gael on the closure of the Fieldcrest factory. In 1982 they called on me, as Minister, and on the Government of the day to pour millions of pounds of taxpayers' money into an industry that they knew in their hearts and souls could not be sustained. Yet they were prepared for political opportunism and expediency to come in here, and the Taoiseach led them up those steps to vote putting taxpayers' money into an industry that was dead, for which the market had gone and which had no chance. The Government were defeated on that motion. For the first time we exposed the political opportunism. But we do not operate the media handlers or these professionals who go around perpetrating that sort of nonsense.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  That is what the record of this House will show. If the party opposite want to revert to the period 1973 to 1977 there was then an incident in which £10 million of taxpayers' money was invested under the previous Coalition Government when not an ounce of ore was ever mined here as a result.

Later in 1982, when I took the politically courageous decision to close Ardmore Studios, there was another Private Members' motion in this House, supported by Fine Gael and Labour, the great people over there who talk honesty, integrity and credibility. What did they do? They paraded up those steps for the second time saying “Put more taxpayers' money into Ardmore Studios” when everbody knew it was dead and had no relevance to the development of our film [395] industry. Indeed, what is wrong with our film industry here is what is wrong with most other industries in this country — and I hope I shall have time to come to them — that is, the intolerable burden of taxation that is crippling them.

If the people opposite want another one, I might say that I closed Avoca Mines to save taxpayers' money. Then we entered the General Election of 1982 when off went the Taoiseach, his Minister for Education —she is here — and the present Minister for the Environment — here also — down to Wicklow where there was a possibility of them losing their seats. They gave a commitment to pay £1 million of taxpayer's money to the workers of Avoca Mines from whom I had withstood the pressure for three weeks during the election and for six weeks previously.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  The very first thing this Government did on assuming office was to pay out those £1 million to which they had committed themselves during that election campaign. And the Taoiseach comes in here to talk about political opportunism and expediency.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  We have had enough of that; the people of the country are sick and tired of it. If the Taoiseach wants to continue along that road I will take him on for an hour or two any day of the week. What I and the people of this country are concerned about is why this money disappeared — everybody knows it has gone. For anybody to suggest to the intelligent people of this country that it simply does not matter a damn is an insult. It matters to a person receiving a bill for £100 or £1,000 income tax any day this week. It is contended that the collection of tax is so important that there will be court cases; yet when £500 million disappear out of the country without anybody knowing, it does not matter.

I can tell the people opposite that if the “black hole” exposed in this situation [396]— and indeed the bog holes exposed last week and which will be exposed over the next week or so in Laois-Offaly — is not taken seriously by this Government and if they are not prepared to come out with a taxation policy that will restore people's confidence to invest in this country, then that sort of money will continue to flow out of the country.

Legitimate business people here, who have set up firms, have been legislated out of existence because of the taxation policies pursued by the present Minister for Finance — and he does not appear to know what makes anything tick or what makes anything work. Does he know that he is pushing them further into the black economy every day? The white economy is there but is being squeezed out of existence. The black economy is being developed by legitimate business people here because, due to the intolerable levels of VAT, they cannot see a way of remaining in business unless through the black economy. It is those levels of VAT which have driven so much business up to the North of Ireland. For instance, take the town of Clones where 6 per cent of the television sets bought are bought locally, the rest coming from you know where. Take a similar town, Bandon in County Cork, about which some Deputies were shouting a minute ago, 76 per cent of the television sets there are bought locally. We know the loss of money to the Exchequer.

Mr. Molony: Information on David Molony  Zoom on David Molony  Why is VAT so high?

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  There is the outflow of money across the Border. But the Government do not want to listen to reality, which is simply that if they want to continue legislating to push people to the pin of their collars, putting them out of business, the downward spiral of employment in industry will continue. The Government are legislating and taxing them out of existence.

Mr. Farrelly: Information on John V. Farrelly  Zoom on John V. Farrelly  What about VAT at the point of entry?

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  I know the truth hurts. I have listened to the Taoiseach and the [397] Minister for Finance tell us that there is light at the end of the tunnel. We have been hearing that for the past nine months. This evening I ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Finance to ponder: are they sure there is light at the end of the tunnel, or is it a train coming the other way? That is what I believe it is. There is no way in which this economy can be lifted out of the recession until the Government take the fundamentally necessary decisions.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on John J. Ryan  Zoom on John J. Ryan  The Deputy's time is up.

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  Stop cutting capital expenditure——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on John J. Ryan  Zoom on John J. Ryan  Would the Deputy please conclude?

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  I was interrupted for seven solid minutes by the people opposite.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on John J. Ryan  Zoom on John J. Ryan  The Deputy's time is up at 7.35 p.m. It is now 7.35 p.m.

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  It is 7.34 p.m. It depends on which clock one is looking at.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on John J. Ryan  Zoom on John J. Ryan  I cannot look behind my back. I am looking at the clock in front, and the Deputy is still wasting time.

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  There is a difference of one minute between the two; we will split the difference and say 30 seconds.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on John J. Ryan  Zoom on John J. Ryan  The Deputy's time is up. Would he please conclude?

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  I will finish, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle. I know this hurts the Labour Party also because their party pursued policies that have deprived more people of employment than anybody else.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on John J. Ryan  Zoom on John J. Ryan  Would the Deputy please abide by the ruling of [398] the Chair and conclude? Would the Deputy please now resume his seat?

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  I know it gets under their skin in relation to various things said in this House. I shall conclude by saying this: I totally reject that the £500 million do not matter. I totally reject the establishment of a watchdog over the Central Statistics Office. I totally condemn the despicable passing of the buck by the Taoiseach and Minister for Finance. I totally condemn their taxation and economic policies which constitute the basic reason that money is flowing out of the country and will continue to flow out until he changes his mind——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on John J. Ryan  Zoom on John J. Ryan  Would the Deputy please resume his seat.

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  It looks as if he has no intention of changing his mind, in which case the best thing he can do is resign.

Mr. Molony: Information on David Molony  Zoom on David Molony  Where do the Opposition stand vis-á-vis The Way Forward?

(Interruptions.)

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on John J. Ryan  Zoom on John J. Ryan  The Minister for the Public Service to conclude at 7.50 p.m.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  I think Deputy Hegarty wants to make a speech.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on John J. Ryan  Zoom on John J. Ryan  That is Deputy Sheehan.

(Interruptions).

The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  Deputy O'Kennedy should come in more often and get to know people.

Minister of the Public Service (Mr. Boland): Information on John Boland  Zoom on John Boland  Nothing could better exemplify the confusion of the Opposition on this, as on so many other matters, as the simple fact that when presented with two clocks in the one room Deputy Reynolds becomes totally confused.

(Interruptions.)

[399]Mr. Boland: Information on John Boland  Zoom on John Boland  That, of course, could only be compounded by the fact that, despite his many years in this Chamber, Deputy O'Kennedy has yet to know the names of prominent Members of the Government party.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Boland: Information on John Boland  Zoom on John Boland  Listening to Deputy Reynolds I could not help but think that the weaker the argument the stronger the words. There is nothing involved in this motion except that, once again, the Opposition have invited the House to contribute to the debasing of the political system and of politicians generally. It is being done for two clear, current reasons, one, the fact that there is a European election campaign taking place, perhaps badly for some of the former Ministers for Finance who are candidates in that election.

Mr. Molloy: Information on Robert Molloy  Zoom on Robert Molloy  Is it Deputy Richie Ryan the Minister is talking about? That is most unfair to a former colleague.

Mr. Boland: Information on John Boland  Zoom on John Boland  Deputy Molloy need never worry about the danger of being Minister for Finance anyway. The second is the fact that there is a necessity on the part of the Opposition to take the heat off their leader in view of the most recent events that have happened within that sad Parliamentary Party.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Boland: Information on John Boland  Zoom on John Boland  Have we not now reached the stage at which motions of no confidence have been debased? The entire coinage of the concept of motions of no confidence has fallen into disrepute in view of the fact that consistently since 1980 motions of no confidence of one kind or another have been tabled regularly in the Leader of the Opposition, not by this party, not by the Labour Party, not by any other group in this House but consistently from within the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party at boringly regular intervals — motions of no confidence of [400] one form or another have been tabled and debated ad nauseam within and without the Fianna Fáil Party both at parliamentary and grassroots level.

Mr. N. Andrews: Information on Niall Andrews  Zoom on Niall Andrews  The party opposite will get their vote of no confidence on 14 June next.

Mr. Boland: Information on John Boland  Zoom on John Boland  Indeed the Leader of the Opposition now holds the record within this House as being the only leader of a political party who has twice had a motion of no confidence passed in him by the people at general elections.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Boland: Information on John Boland  Zoom on John Boland  In that context is it not realistic to ponder what this motion of no confidence today is all about? The motion of no confidence is, as the Taoiseach said earlier, coming from people who promised in 1978 to abolish the concept of unemployment within five years. It is from the people who two years ago added a new word to the English language, gubu. It is from the people whose record in Government was one of a continuous litany of sorrows, of errors, of staggering from one crisis to another, of cant, humbug and, above all else, of failing to face up to realities.

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  What about the £500 million?

Mr. Boland: Information on John Boland  Zoom on John Boland  Let us have a look at the position. In 1980 Deputy O'Kennedy suggested that the balance of payments deficit might be higher or lower than 1979.

Mr. E. O'Keeffe: Information on Ned O'Keeffe  Zoom on Ned O'Keeffe  He calculated correctly.

Mr. Boland: Information on John Boland  Zoom on John Boland  By mid-year he said there would be no improvement. His successor gave the figure as being £881 million.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  I never said that.

Mr. Boland: Information on John Boland  Zoom on John Boland  The Deputy had gone at that stage. He had escaped. He produced the figures and bolted.

[401]Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  The Minister should point out where I said the deficit might be higher or lower. The Minister should not mislead.

Mr. Boland: Information on John Boland  Zoom on John Boland  Deputy O'Kennedy's budget was the one that suggested that the current budget deficit would be £353 million but it turned out to be £515 million. Deputy O'Kennedy's budget was the one that suggested the Exchequer borrowing requirement to be £896 million but it was over 33? per cent more than that, £1,217 million. He read about that later. He was the one who suggested that the Exchequer borrowing requirement, as a percentage of GNP, would be 10.4 per cent but it was 14.5 per cent. It is a good job that the Deputy did not take up a career as an airline pilot because one would expect that if he had headed for Tipperary he would be lucky to end up in Sligo.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Boland: Information on John Boland  Zoom on John Boland  Deputy O'Kennedy was succeeded by Deputy Gene Fitzgerald who said in his budget statement that the balance of payments deficit could increase. In fact, the figures published were £1,389 million and they were revised last week to £1,595 million. He was followed by Deputy MacSharry, another candidate in the European elections. Deputy MacSharry suggested there would be no change in the balance of payments deficit. In fact, the forecast came out as £1,041 million but the deficit turned out to be £1,316 million. Are they the type of people who can quote figures to us now as being sacrosanct? The leader of their party said last night that liaison between the Department of Finance, the Central Bank and the Central Statistics Office was shown to be lamentable but later he said that up to now the country had always totally objective impartial statistics produced by a completely independent office. We have to decide whether or not the statistics are accurate.

Fianna Fáil produced a document, The Way Forward, and in the foreword to that document, produced in October [402] 1982, the Leader of Fianna Fáil who was then Taoiseach said that the plan had been prepared with great care and with the aid of the best advice available. He said that all relevant facts and figures had been assembled and all the calculations carefully made. They are the same calculations that were made on the information available from the Central Statistics Office, information which was, as we recognised some months ago, incomplete and has now been corrected. However, the information was claimed at that time by that Taoiseach to be the best possible advice carefully compiled. Yet in the House last night he put forward arguments in relation to the operation of the Central Statistics Office on the one hand and, on the other, objected to the appointment of a statistical council to improve the position.

I had some difficulty in following Deputy Haughey's argument last night just as I had some difficulty in following the argument of Deputy Lenihan who arrived fresh from the debate to expel the prophet O'Malley from the promised land of Fianna Fáil and spoke about the difference in ideology between the parties in Government. The ideological gulf within the Fianna Fáil Party is so immense that it is difficult to assess. However, it was an improvement on the part of Deputy Lenihan in that it was the first time we had discovered that he realised there was such a thing as a political ideology in the operation of practical politics. Later in his contribution that Deputy told us that politics were about serious business. It was nice for us to discover that after 25 years the light of the Holy Ghost had dawned upon him to give him that piece of information.

Mr. Molloy: Information on Robert Molloy  Zoom on Robert Molloy  That is a rather frivolous comment.

Mr. Boland: Information on John Boland  Zoom on John Boland  The economic background to the budget earlier this year drew attention to this problem and the fact that the figure may need to be revised later in the year, a signal that does not seem to have dawned on the Opposition until much later. What has happened, as was explained last night, is not that [403] money has been lost but that money has at last been properly identified.

The motion of no confidence has been tabled by a party that has in its ranks former Ministers for Finance who presided over the debacle of the public finances in the late seventies and early eighties; Deputy O'Kennedy, who is with us, and Deputies Gene Fitzgerald and MacSharry who are busily campaigning to leave here and go to another place.

The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  To get out.

Mr. Boland: Information on John Boland  Zoom on John Boland  They are perhaps the first indication that there is some merit in emigration. Deputy Reynolds spoke about the national handlers. I hesitate to mention names in the Chamber but one should think about the handlers since 1977, Martin O'Donoghue, Tony Fitzpatrick, Ken Ryan, Martin Mansergh, Jock Haughey, Pat O'Connor, Peter Owens and P.J. Mara. Fianna Fáil should not talk about the national handlers.

Mr. Molloy: Information on Robert Molloy  Zoom on Robert Molloy  On a point of order, is the Minister for the Public Service in order in naming the people he has named and in the fashion he did so with the implications he has attached in naming them?

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Molony: Information on David Molony  Zoom on David Molony  The Deputy is being very sensitive.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on John J. Ryan  Zoom on John J. Ryan  There is a convention that names are not mentioned and I would prefer if the Minister, Deputy Boland continued without interruption.

Mr. P. Barry: Information on Peter Barry  Zoom on Peter Barry  The Leader of the Opposition mentioned them last week.

Mr. Boland: Information on John Boland  Zoom on John Boland  I did not make any remarks whatever about those gentlemen except to say that they had been associated with the Fianna Fáil Party since 1977. If that is an insult to them — I imagine in the case of some of them at least at this stage they might think it was an insult to them — then I apologise to [404] them. I did not make any other remark about them beyond what Deputy Molloy might think privately.

Last night the Leader of the Opposition suggested that inflation had not come down significantly but had fallen somewhat. Let us again have a look at the record of Ministers for Finance since 1979. The estimate in that year was that inflation would be 8.6 per cent but it was 13.2 per cent. In 1980 Deputy O'Kennedy said prices would go up and, in his half year review, said the rate would fall but it went from 13.2 per cent to 18.2 per cent. In 1981 Deputy Gene Fitzgerald said it would be slower and half-way through the year he said it would be moderated later on but inflation turned out to be 20.4 per cent, not exactly very successful statistics from previous holders of the office. Yet, the forecast made by the present Minister in his budget last year has been realised. The country is on target in the most difficult situation imaginable. I do not think we are in a situation where the publication of these revised figures——

Mr. E. O'Keeffe: Information on Ned O'Keeffe  Zoom on Ned O'Keeffe  What about the 200,000 people who are unemployed?

Mr. Boland: Information on John Boland  Zoom on John Boland  ——will faze either the comely young maidens and virile young men at the crossroads in Ireland any more than they have fazed the international financiers. I want to reject the serious allegation made last night that the Minister for Finance deliberately endeavoured to suppress figures which were available to him earlier this year. The economic background to the budget, published in conjunction with the budget, clearly shows that that was not the situation as did the Minister's reply to Deputy O'Kennedy's parliamentary question on 7 February last. Having worked with the Minister for Finance I do not think any Minister could have been expected to give greater application, attention or dedication to his task than the Minister has done. His record, and his performance on a daily basis, contrasts extremely well with the record of the Deputy I suspect will speak next and of his colleagues who are at present [405] campaigning for election to another parliament. Having listened to the contributions from the Opposition benches I say that their grasp of public finances, no more than their grasp of the political realities, would make one think that in comparison to them headless chickens would qualify for the final of Mastermind.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on John J. Ryan  Zoom on John J. Ryan  Deputy Molloy, to conclude by 8.05 p.m.

Mr. Molloy: Information on Robert Molloy  Zoom on Robert Molloy  It is to be regretted that an occasion should arise or be allowed to arise where it was incumbent on the Opposition parties to place a motion of no confidence on a Minister in Government. I do not believe that my party had any choice other than to proceed with a motion of no confidence in view of the monumental blunder which has emerged in the balance of payments deficit and in the budget which the Minister for Finance brought before this House which was based on figures other than what are now known to be the correct figures. It is possibly evidence of the concern felt by the Government that, to justify their defence of their Minister and their falsely based budgetary strategy, they have sought to descend to some personal attack on people in and outside this House. It would have been more appropriate if they had confined their remarks to the matter under debate. Last night the Minister said in his speech:

We knew at that stage that a revision of the balance of payments figures would be required but we did not know what the size of the revisions would be. We knew at that stage that the revision would be on the current side.

It is clear from what the Minister said then that the true situation was known for a considerable time and, as Deputy Haughey rightly alleged in his contribution, the Minister presented a budget based on information known to be false. Surely this is sufficient grounds for our demand that he resign. Last night the Minister for Finance effectively admitted that there had been a cover-up.

[406]Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  The Opposition have been over that ground several times.

Mr. Molloy: Information on Robert Molloy  Zoom on Robert Molloy  He said:

I want to say categorically that I have not withheld information——

and that he knew about the revision of the balance of payments and that it would be on the current side. The residual outflows of the “black hole”, as it has properly been called, were identified in the Central Bank report for the fourth quarter of 1983, before the budget, as £837 million. If the Minister knew the revision would be on the current side, that means that he knew that over 50 per cent of the £837 million identified by the Central Bank or at least £500 million extra would be on the current side, that is the balance of payments. Despite this, he continued to make claims about the balance of payments deficit being only £350 million or 2.5 per cent of GNP when he knew that it would be at least £850 million. It turned out to be £863 million. Therefore, he was making claims he knew to be fraudulent.

Over the years the balance of payments deficit has always been a major factor in determining budgetary policy and it is incredible to hear the Minister for Finance telling us that it matters little whether the deficit was £350 million or £850 million. It may be embarrassing for the Minister to admit to the real effects such a balance of payments deficit will have, but the Minister's embarrassment is of little concern when the credibility of our financial institutions is at stake. What other country in the world would allow a Minister for Finance to pass up such a grave blunder as not being of any great consequence?

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  The credibility of our financial institutions is not being questioned.

Mr. Molloy: Information on Robert Molloy  Zoom on Robert Molloy  Our parliamentary system is based on the principle that Ministers are accountable to Parliament for all their actions. Parliamentary tradition would have it that Ministers who make serious blunders would themselves offer their [407] resignations. I think that I am in a position to call on the Minister to do the honourable thing on this occasion.

It has been a constant plea of this Government that severe taxation levels and restrictions on Government expenditure would have to be imposed until the national finances were brought back into line. The implementation of this rigid policy has made bankrupt hundreds of firms, put tens of thousands out of work, made Ireland a very unattractive place to invest, removed the incentive to work and stifled initiative, brought poverty and idleness to thousands of homes where these were never experienced previously, wiped out half the building contractors in the country and put nearly one in every two building workers on the dole. It has resulted in the Government abandoning their stated policy of providing 30,000 new homes and added to the misery of thousands of families who will now have to wait years before getting suitable accommodation. The misery of hunger, idleness and homelessness has been the result of this Government's policy of so-called financial rectitude. Yet this Minister, who lectures us on these matters, has got his sums wrong, not just to the extent of a few thousand pounds or even a few million pounds but to the extent of £500 million, a sum so large, so daunting that few people can comprehend its magnitude.

The Minister for Finance time and time again has told us how much out of line our balance of payments was, that it represented too high a percentage of GNP and how necessary it would be to reduce the deficit. We were led to believe that this Government planned their budgetary strategy on this basis. Up to last week we were told that the evidence of success of Government policies was to be seen in the reduction in the balance of payments from 8.5 per cent of GNP to 2.5 per cent of GNP. What then are we expected to believe of this Government's policies if the evidence is now, on the Minister's own admission, seen to be false and inaccurate to the extent of £500 million? That is equivalent to 6.5 per cent of GNP and not the 2.5 per cent boasted up to last [408] week. The blunder of the Minister for Finance is monumental and cannot now be dismissed by the Government's sudden conversion to the belief that the size of the balance of payments does not matter anyway and will not affect the overall financial strategy in their budget. This Government's credibility is now at stake. To restore confidence they should remove the person who presided over this blunder and, through the appointment of a new Minister for Finance, seek to restore some credibility and confidence in their administration and their policies.

The most disturbing aspect of the difficulties affecting the Irish economy at present is that neither the Taoiseach nor the Minister for Finance seems to know how to deal with the problems successfully. Economic commentators once favourable to the Government are now forecasting an economic crash in 1986. All the signs are that things will not improve without a major shift in Government policies and in the philosophies to which they have been adhering, but must we all sit and wait until all of this happens? Surely the Minister for Finance carries the greates responsibility to those who have already become unemployed or are employed and now facing redundancy, and also to businesses caught between the Government-imposed increased costs and falling consumer demand caused by excessive Government-imposed taxes. The citizens of this country are at the mercy of a Government who are failing to fulfil their responsibilities but who, despite this, will continue in office. Why? Because of the support of a pathetic group of discredited Labour Party Deputies who are already scared stiff to go out and face the electorate, had to postpone local elections and are trembling at the outcome of the European elections which they could not avoid and which must take place next week.

The Minister for Finance controls the financial allocations to each Government Department. Investment strategy is determined by him, controlled by him and regularly monitored and revised by him. Every penny spent from Exchequer [409] sources supplied through his Department has the explicit approval of the Minister for Finance. He alone is in the ultimate responsible for advising his colleagues in Government on the extent of the funds available and the potential for further revenue raising, and he alone reports on income and expenditure trends evident in the economy. If the Minister for Finance gives wrong, misleading or inadequate information to his colleagues in a Cabinet meeting to decide Government expenditure strategy, then surely he is guilty of gross incompetence and negligence and only one honourable course is open to him, which is to resign. That is the time-honoured course for men of honour to take who blunder in the portfolio with which they have been entrusted.

The tragedy of Ireland today is quantified by the numbers of people unemployed and the ever-increasing number of those people who, because of the length of time they are unemployed, are now suffering a major drop in their standard of living. When there is a transfer from unemployment benefit to the smaller unemployment assistance payments, long-term unemployment has a demoralising effect on families. It increases despair resulting in higher crime levels and, sadly in some cases, even suicide.

There is an urgent need to deal with this problem and we are entitled to criticise the Government who so far do not seem to have grasped its extent and the need for immediate positive measures to deal with it. Instead, we have had a series of Government decisions reflecting lack of faith in our people's ability to respond to the problem.

In the environment area Government action has resulted in one negative decision after another, sledgehammer blows to morale and confidence. The whole local government system is collapsing. Funds have been withdrawn, long-standing schemes for essential services have been cancelled or severely restricted, the main and county roads are breaking up and the tarring of country lanes in western counties has practically come to a [410] halt. Major water and sewerage schemes are being curtailed and essential treatment works are being omitted, in some cases leading to pollution of our beautiful waterways. Group water supply schemes are at a standstill throughout the country. The number of local authority houses being built is being reduced. Road workers are being made permanently redundant in county councils and corporations. Water charges have been imposed by this Minister to compensate for the failure of his Government to fulfil obligations to provide adequate funds for local councils. Local elections have been put off to avoid having to answer to the people for the destruction of local democracy.

We have seen the influence of the Minister for Finance in the withdrawal of Gaeltacht road grants. We have seen his refusal to give adequate funds to Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann. We have seen the reduction and the withdrawal of farmers' dole in thousands of cases in the west, reducing the people's poor standard of living even further. The lime subsidy has been withdrawn and the farm modernisation scheme made ineffective.

The list is endless and it all rests at the door of the Minister for Finance because all of these decisions were influenced by the allocations made available by the Department of Finance with his approval, his personal decisions.

Last week we heard of the Government's refusal to provide promised jobs at Ballyforan peat briquette factory in the west. In reply to a parliamentary question today I was informed that the Minister for Finance has decided to let the ESB close down the turf burning electricity station at Screeb near Rossmuck in the Connemara Gaeltacht. Week after week these decisions are emanating from the Government with the approval of the Minister for Finance, and indeed influenced by him. Two hundred men in my constituency supplied turf to the Screeb station, managing to supplement their incomes. That station is to be closed, to become another empty building, another monument to the failure of the Minister for Finance, who is a subject of this motion of no confidence.

[411] I am informed also that the Minister has decided to close down the Miltown Malbay generating station. All I can say is shame on him, shame on his Government who let him do this. The people of Connemara have received a vote of no confidence from the Minister for Finance and will fully support me tonight in my expression of no confidence in him. He was a disaster at bookkeeping, a disaster for Ireland and a particular disaster for the people of the west of Ireland.

The answers of Coalitions in the past was emigration. Sadly, as we saw here earlier this week, the President of the great United States of America came as a descendant of one of those emigrants. Nowhere in Ireland has suffered as much from emigration as the western counties, particularly mine, because it was the policy of all Coalitions to encourage emigration. The failure of the Government in every area means that they are offering emigration once again to the youth of Ireland. We in Fianna Fáil brought emigration to an end. We stopped that haemorrhage of our youth, of our people, who had to leave home since the time of the Famine, that terrible drain on which people wrote books about the disappearing Irish. Because of the policies adopted by this Government it seems that emigration will again be the only hope for our youth.

I ask the House fully to support our motion which is justified on all the grounds I have given and because of the reasons given by other members of my party, and on many other scores. I regret the occasion arose but it was necessary to put down this motion of no confidence.

Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. P. Barry): Information on Peter Barry  Zoom on Peter Barry  I want to take up a point made by Deputy Molloy about money being missing and sums wrong. What is the point in coming in here and repeating something he knows to be incorrect? This charge was made last week by the leader of his party. It was explained clearly, in simple terms that even Deputy Molloy could understand — Deputy Haughey understood it — by the Minister for Finance last week, and all correspondents [412] since then got it right. But Deputy Molloy comes in here and talks about sums wrong and money missing. He should know that is not correct. Deputy Reynolds waxed eloquent half an hour ago. He said politics was being brought into disrepute. Deputy Molloy has just added his shovelful of dirt to that disrepute. Shame on him. Look who has contributed to this debate. They are people who had the cheek to contribute to a debate on a motion of no confidence in the Minister for Finance — Deputies Haughey, Lenihan, Reynolds, Molloy and, I presume, Deputy O'Kennedy will conclude.

Everyone of these was a member of Fianna Fáil Government between 1977 and 1981 when the damage done to this country and its economy and the future of our young men and women will not be removed for almost a generation. Those people presided over that downward plunge of the economy, but have the cheek to come in here tonight to support a vote of no confidence in the Minister for Finance. They should be ashamed to come into the House at all, even as backbenchers, not to mind contributing to a vote of no confidence in the Minister for Finance. There have been two notable exceptions from the debate tonight and yesterday, Deputy Gene Fitzgerald, who is present, and Deputy MacSharry——

Mr. Molloy: Information on Robert Molloy  Zoom on Robert Molloy  Did the Minister ever hear about the 120,000 unemployed?

Mr. P. Barry: Information on Peter Barry  Zoom on Peter Barry  They were Ministers for Finance in Fianna Fáil Governments. Let us consider why those two gentlemen did not contribute.

Mr. Gene Fitzgerald: Information on Eugene Fitzgerald  Zoom on Eugene Fitzgerald  The Minister was never more than a mud slinger.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. P. Barry: Information on Peter Barry  Zoom on Peter Barry  I think I put the thorn in the flesh. Why are Deputy Fitzgerald and Deputy MacSharry, two Ministers for Finance, not contributing to the debate? Why do they not tell us, or were they not nominated by their party to come in? Deputy O'Kennedy might give Deputy [413] Fitzgerald some of his time to tell us what he knows as a former Minister for Finance. I am exonerating Deputy O'Kennedy because, as we heard earlier, he went to Europe early when he had a look at the books and saw the mess the economy was getting into. He went to Europe and left Deputy Gene Fitzgerald to carry the can. If there was something wrong about which Deputy Molloy has been blaming Deputy Dukes, Deputy Fitzgerald must know something about it and Deputy O'Kennedy should give him time to explain his role in this, and that of Deputy MacSharry. Deputy Reynolds told us that industry here has been ruined. This comes from a member of a Government that placed the greatest load ever imposed on industry here, the VAT at the point of entry. Deputy Reynolds said business confidence has been lost. That, more than any other measure imposed by any other Government, damaged industry here, with the exception of one other thing, the famous Talbot deal. Think of the stroke that did for confidence in industry here. Those gentlemen over there should be out apologising to the youth of the country for the damage they have done to their future.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  This motion of no confidence is tabled by us on the basis of assertions made by the Minister to the Dáil when he knew or ought to have known that those assertions were not true. In his Budget Statement on 25 January he not only understated the balance of payments deficit for 1983 but used the grossly understated deficit to proclaim that confidence had been considerably boosted by the reduction achieved in the Exchequer borrowing requirement and by the improvement in the balance of payments in 1983. He said that the balance of payments deficit was reduced from 8½ per cent of GNP in 1982 to about 2½ per cent in 1983.

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  And our revised figures reduced it from 11 per cent to 6 per cent.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  It is clear that the Minister was referring specifically to the balance of payments deficit on current [414] account, as many of his predecessors did in that context, and not on the capital side which the Minister and the Taoiseach have tried to introduce at this stage as a red herring.

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  On a point of order, the Deputy is totally wrong in saying that.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on John J. Ryan  Zoom on John J. Ryan  That is not a point of order.

Mr. Molloy: Information on Robert Molloy  Zoom on Robert Molloy  It is more arrogance from the Minister.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  Before we have any more of this I will make the point that I did not interrupt the Minister and that I am entitled to the same courtesy as was extended to him.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on John J. Ryan  Zoom on John J. Ryan  The Deputy shall not be interrupted again.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  It was clear, too, that the Minister was basing his “neutral” budget strategy on that alleged achievement but the disastrous effect of that “neutral” budget after the particularly oppressive budget of 1982 can be seen everywhere — in terms of unemployment, taxation, the lowest of investment for 15 years and renewed emigration.

Mr. Sheehan: Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  Who created the problems?

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  Deputy Sheehan, now that I have his name, can make his speech some other time. In the Economic Background to the Budget which was issued by the Department of Finance on the instructions of the Minister, which is the way it is always done, it was stated that there was a further improvement in the balance of payments for 1983 which reflected in part the reduction of three percentage points in the relative size of the Exchequer borrowing requirement. We are now seeing a linkage based on a mis-stated balance of payments deficit and an Exchequer borrowing requirement. Evidently, if one is wrong so is the other.

(Interruptions.)

[415]Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  I am quoting from the Minister's speech but he cannot take that.

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  I will stand over every word.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  In the budget the Minister increased the Exchequer borrowing requirement from £1,756 million in 1983 to £1,884 million in 1984. He increased the current budget deficit to £1,089 million compared with the outturn for 1983 of £960 million which, as we all know, was already £63 million more than the 1983 budget estimate. These figures alone make a nonsense of the Government's claim to reduce the current budget deficit and the Exchequer borrowing requirement much less eliminate them as was promised in their election programme.

Turning to the series of statements the Minister made in the House subsequently, I asked him specifically to comment on the unrecorded outflow of at least £800 million — it was in fact £863 million——

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  Unrecorded, not unexplained.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  ——out of the country in 1983 and he replied, as reported at column 1817 of the Official Report for 7 February last:

......the revisions are unlikely to alter significantly the improvement in the trend to date.

The Minister thereby deliberately repeated the false statement that had been circulated by his Department in paragraph 15 of the Economic Background to the Budget which was issued two weeks previously. When I challenged him again on that same date specifically on the components of that unrecorded outflow, mentioning especially the repatriation of profits by multinationals, unrecorded outflow to Northern Ireland and money being transferred illegally from the country, the Minister replied that he did not accept that the level of this residual indicated [416] uniquely or unambiguously any of the things to which I had referred. In the meantime the Central Statistics Office report which has greatly embarrassed the Government——

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  It does not embarrass us one bit.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  ——demonstrates that each of the situations can be attributed to those three areas.

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  They cannot be attributed uniquely to any one of them.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  These are apart from the as yet unidentified residual of £293 million to which I shall return later. They were deliberate misstatements of fact on the part of the Minister on two occasions. At that time even the most casual perusal of the Central Bank Bulletin issued two weeks earlier would have confirmed both the size and the components of the deficit. Subsequent newspaper comments to which I referred the Minister in the course of the questions of 7 February confirmed that also. Months later the CSO merely confirmed something that was evident before the Budget Statement.

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  That is the first time the Deputy has said that in this whole debate.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  That report has confirmed that there was an unrecorded outflow of £863 million, £513 million of which was due to the repatriation of profits. The Minister and the Government owe an explanation not only to the Dáil for these misrepresentations but perhaps even more seriously to our creditors abroad from whom we borrowed £677 million in the early months of this year and with whom we renegotiated the terms of existing loans in those crucial months.

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  That was good management.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  The renegotiations were conducted on the basis of a stated [417] balance of payments deficit which even then was known to be £500 million less than the actual figure. So much for the Minister's story of confidence and of creditworthiness. The Minister claimed in his Budget Statement, in referring to the reduction in current budget and balance of payments deficits, that this performance had restored credibility to the whole budget process. Not only is this assertion manifestly untrue but it makes a mockery of the credibility which is vital to our national and international creditworthiness. The Minister was forced to acknowledge publicly for the first time yesterday and I quote:

We knew at the time that the balance of payments revision would be on the current side... I said the figures would finally bear out the underlying trend and that proved to be so.

That is an indefensible assertion. Any Minister who was capable yesterday evening, even in the face of all these facts, of saying that those figures would bear out the underlying trend and it proved to be so, has already forfeited the confidence of this House.

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  They do. That is what I said in January this year and that is what I still say.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  If one repeats the lie does that make it more defensible?

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  It is not a lie.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  If one persists in misstating the facts, as this Minister has done, does that make it more defensible?

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  Withdraw the word “lie”.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  It makes it the more indefensible. The Minister for Finance regrettably persists——

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  The Deputy has accused me of lying.

(Interruptions.)

[418]Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  I withdraw the word “lie”.

Mr. Lyons: Information on Denis Lyons  Zoom on Denis Lyons  Even if he does withdraw it, the whole country knows it.

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  The country knows that he does not know the facts and that he is searching around——

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Leyden: Information on Terry Leyden  Zoom on Terry Leyden  You would not know the truth if it hit you in the face.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  If the Minister persists in misrepresenting the facts which the record of the House establishes, then he has already forfeited the confidence of the Dáil and the people, irrespective of the outcome of the vote this evening. Even before these facts emerged, the Government's lack of any coherent policy had seriously damaged the economy. We had the promise of a plan but we are still waiting for some policy. Last night the Minister referred to the fact that he was adhering to his policies. We are entitled to ask what policies? Where are they? The fundamental obligation of Government is to create a climate in which people will do for themselves——

Mr. Sheehan: Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  What about The Way Forward?

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  The people are waiting and many of them are leaving the country. Apparently the Taoiseach prepares and dictates his speech in his living room. He might leave his living room and look at the reality all around him. He should talk to businessmen and workers and anyone who is concerned about the future of the nation and not rely on the impression he gets from the books in his living room in Dublin 4. Then he might be conscious of the need to present policies.

Mr. Molony: Information on David Molony  Zoom on David Molony  What about the Opposition's policies?

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  The Deputy is from Dublin 6 himself.

[419]Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  The hostile tax climate has choked investment and driven badly needed funds out of the country. The balance of payments deficit and current account for all it discloses at this stage does not disclose the flood of Irish money abroad for investment in the major construction companies. Why are they investing abroad and not here? Why are the biggest manufacturing companies abroad and not here? Why are service enterprises in other more receptive economies? We used to boast about attracting investment to Ireland. What we are now achieving is frightening our own domestic funds out of the country by the short-sighted hostile tax climate introduced by the Government. Whatever projection the Minister introduces cannot be relied on, not just because he cannot be relied on but because the GNP projections have to be revised.

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  We revised the ones the Deputy's party used in 1979, 1980 and 1982.

Mr. P. Gallagher: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher  The Minister was proved to be wrong.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  Our GNP is the test by which we know what the residents of the country are achieving. There is a growing gap between GDP, which will include what is being transferred abroad, and GNP. That is why the people cannot see other than depression, lack of incentive——

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  This is absolute economic nonsense.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  There is no growth. There is no incentive for Irish companies to invest at home or for foreign-based companies to reinvest their profits here.

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  Tell them about GNP and GDP.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  It is only since the advent of this Government — and this is another unpalatable fact——

[420]Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  In contrast to what we heard so far.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  ——that we have witnessed a huge growth in the repatriation of profits which would be available for reinvestment here if the climate was favourable. We must provide appropriate incentives so that profits made will be invested here in such things as product development, research and development and marketing to ensure that they stay in this country.

The Joint Committee on Public Expenditure was prevented from investigating this matter after it had been proposed by honourable members of the Minister's party who were concerned about it. It is time to establish a Dáil committee to review the Government's foreign borrowing and foreign exchange policy. In the first three months of this year the Government borrowed abroad £677 million or 85 per cent of last year's total foreign borrowing. In view of the fact that the Government are using taxpayers' money, as every Government does, at a level of £1½ billion to remunerate foreign borrowing, it is time to establish control over their level of public expenditure. Our total foreign indebtedness at the end of 1983 was £8,960 million, an increase of £2,000 million on the total at the end of 1982. The Government's disastrous devaluation decision, which we clearly and resolutely opposed in March 1983, has added significantly to the level of inflation.

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  Which Irish industry clearly and resolutely supported.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  Resign. Do the honourable thing.

Mr. Molony: Information on David Molony  Zoom on David Molony  The record will not show Deputy Haughey smiling.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  The Minister is a fraud. Resign.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on John J. Ryan  Zoom on John J. Ryan  Deputy [421] O'Kennedy without interruption from either side.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  If the Government are not prepared to face these facts now, pending an opportunity for the people to make them face these facts we are prepared to agree, as we have done in all the committees which are trying to regulate what the Government cannot do, to take part in any committee set up to deal with the Government's exchange policy or whatever, so that there will be some degree of consistency in the House.

Mr. Sheehan: Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  Will the Deputy have Deputy Gregory on it?

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  The Deputy lost his chance last night.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  The publication from the CSO discloses a further residual — that is the euphemism the Minister used in February this year — of £293 million which not one member of the Government made any attempt to explain during the course of this debate. They all went back three or four years but did not refer to this other unexplained residual of £293 million which has emerged.

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  I referred specifically to it last Thursday.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  The Government clearly have no policies. It is not surprising that people have no hope. Pending the return of a Government with policies for renewal and development and a [422] Government who know that their fundamental obligation is to create a climate in which the people can do for themselves, not a Government which has a Minister for Finance who says his priority is to “regulate and control tax revenue”, will the Government allow us in the various committees to agree on fact and work together to achieve what they obviously cannot?

We have evidence of them trying to appeal to various influences. We had the extraordinary statement by the Tánaiste when he tried to create a diversion by attacking the banks for abusing the people. Who are abusing the people? Can the Government speak with one mouth? Can they speak with a consistent mouth and give us the facts as they are and not as they distort them as they did on this issue? We would wish, in discharging our obligation, to argue all these issues on the basis of facts as we have——

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  The Deputy has not tried very hard.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  This Government should never again conceal the facts from this side of the House and more significantly from our creditors abroad, much less distort the reality which the Minister has persisted in doing. Eventually it had to be acknowledged. That is what we have to face this evening. I hope the House will face up to that reality and support our motion.

Question put: “That the amendment be made.”

Barnes, Monica.
Barrett, Seán.
Barry, Peter.
Begley, Michael.
Bell, Michael.
Bermingham, Joe.
Birmingham, George Martin.
Boland, John.
Bruton, John.
Bruton, Richard.
Burke, Liam.
Carey, Donal.
Cluskey, Frank.
Collins, Edward. [423]Donnellan, John.
Dowling, Dick.
Doyle, Avril.
Doyle, Joe.
Dukes, Alan.
Durkan, Bernard J.
Enright, Thomas W.
Farrelly, John V.
Fennell, Nuala.
FitzGerald, Garret.
Flaherty, Mary.
Flanagan, Oliver J.
Glenn, Alice.
Griffin, Brendan.
Harte, Patrick D.
Hegarty, Paddy.
Hussey, Gemma.
Kavanagh, Liam.
Keating, Michael.
Kelly, John.
Kenny, Enda.
L'Estrange, Gerry.
McGahon, Brendan.
McGinley, Dinny.
McLoughlin, Frank.
Manning, Maurice.
Mitchell, Gay.
Conlon, John F.
Connaughton, Paul.
Coogan, Fintan.
Cooney, Patrick Mark.
Cosgrave, Liam T.
Cosgrave, Michael Joe.
Coveney, Hugh.
Creed, Donal.
Crotty, Kieran.
Crowley, Frank.
D'Arcy, Michael.
Deasy, Martin Austin.
Desmond, Barry.
Desmond, Eileen. [424]Mitchell, Jim.
Molony, David.
Moynihan, Michael.
Naughten, Liam.
Nealon, Ted.
Noonan, Michael (Limerick East).
O'Brien, Fergus.
O'Brien, Willie.
O'Donnell, Tom.
O'Keeffe, Jim.
O'Leary, Michael.
O'Toole, Paddy.
Owen, Nora.
Pattison, Séamus.
Prendergast, Frank.
Ryan, John.
Shatter, Alan.
Sheehan, Patrick Joseph.
Skelly, Liam.
Spring, Dick.
Taylor, Mervyn.
Taylor-Quinn, Madeline.
Taylor-Quinn, Madeline.
Timmins, Godfrey.
Treacy, Seán.
Yates, Ivan.

Ahern, Bertie.
Ahern, Michael.
Andrews, David.
Andrews, Niall.
Aylward, Liam.
Barrett, Michael.
Barrett, Sylvester.
Brady, Gerard.
Brady, Vincent.
Brennan, Mattie.
Brennan, Paudge.
Brennan, Séamus.
Briscoe, Ben.
Browne, John.
Burke, Raphael P.
Byrne, Hugh.
Byrne, Seán.
Collins, Gerard.
Conaghan, Hugh.
Coughlan, Cathal Seán.
Daly, Brendan.
De Rossa, Proinsias.
Doherty, Seán.
Fahey, Francis.
Fahey, Jackie.
Faulkner, Pádraig.
Fitzgerald, Gene.
Fitzgerald, Liam Joseph.
Fitzsimons, Jim.
Flynn, Pádraig.
Foley, Denis.
Gallagher, Denis.
Gallagher, Pat Cope.
Geoghegan-Quinn, Máire.
Gregory-Independent, Tony.
Harney, Mary.
Haughey, Charles J.
Hilliard, Colm.
Hyland, Liam.
Kirk, Séamus.
Kitt, Michael.
Lemass, Eileen.
Lenihan, Brian.
Leonard, Jimmy.
Leonard, Tom.
Leyden, Terry.
Lyons, Denis.
McCarthy, Seán.
McEllistrim, Tom.
Mac Giolla, Tomás.
Molloy, Robert.
Morley, P.J.
Moynihan, Donal.
Nolan, M.J.
Noonan, Michael J. (Limerick West).
O'Dea, William.
O'Hanlon, Rory.
O'Keeffe, Edmond.
O'Kennedy, Michael.
O'Leary, John.
O'Malley, Desmond J.
Ormonde, Donal.
O'Rourke, Mary.
Reynolds, Albert.
Treacy, Noel.
Tunney, Jim.
Wallace, Dan.
Walsh, Joe.
Walsh, Seán.
Wilson, John P.
Woods, Michael.

[425] Question declared carried.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Is motion No. 17, as amended, agreed to?

[426]Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  Definitely not.

Question put: “That the motion, as amended, be agreed to.”

Barnes, Monica.
Barrett, Seán.
Barry, Peter.
Begley, Michael.
Bell, Michael.
Bermingham, Joe.
Birmingham, George Martin.
Boland, John.
Bruton, John.
Bruton, Richard.
Burke, Liam.
Carey, Donal.
Cluskey, Frank.
Collins, Edward.
Conlon, John F.
Connaughton, Paul.
Coogan, Fintan.
Cooney, Patrick Mark.
Cosgrave, Liam T.
Cosgrave, Michael Joe.
Coveney, Hugh.
Creed, Donal.
Crotty, Kieran.
Crowley, Frank.
D'Arcy, Michael.
Deasy, Martin Austin.
Desmond, Barry.
Desmond, Eileen.
Donnellan, John.
Dowling, Dick.
Doyle, Avril.
Doyle, Joe.
Dukes, Alan.
Durkan, Bernard J.
Enright, Thomas W.
Farrelly, John v.
Fennell, Nuala.
FitzGerald, Garret.
Flaherty, Mary.
Flanagan, Oliver J.
Glenn, Alice.
Griffin, Brendan.
Harte, Patrick D.
Hegarty, Paddy.
Hussey, Gemma.
Kavanagh, Liam.
Keating, Michael.
Kelly, John.
Kenny, Enda.
L'Estrange, Gerry.
McGahon, Brendan.
McGinley, Dinny.
McLoughlin, Frank.
Manning, Maurice.
Mitchell, Gay.
Mitchell, Jim.
Molony, David.
Moynihan, Michael.
Naughten, Liam.
Nealon, Ted.
Noonan, Michael (Limerick East).
O'Brien, Fergus.
O'Brien, Willie.
O'Donnell, Tom.
O'Keeffe, Jim.
O'Leary, Michael.
O'Toole, Paddy.
Owen, Nora.
Pattison, Séamus.
Prendergast, Frank.
Ryan, John.
Shatter, Alan.
Sheehan, Patrick Joseph.
Skelly, Liam.
Spring, Dick.
Taylor, Mervyn.
Taylor, Mervyn.
Taylor-Quinn, Madeline.
Timmins, Godfrey.
Treacy, Seán.
Yates, Ivan.

Ahern, Bertie.
Ahern, Michael.
Andrews, David.
Andrews, Niall.
Aylward, Liam.
Barrett, Michael.
Barrett, Sylvester.
Brady, Gerard.
Brady, Vincent.
Brennan, Mattie.
Brennan, Paudge.
Brennan, Séamus.
Briscoe, Ben.
Browne, John. [427]Fitzsimons, Jim.
Flynn, Pádraig.
Foley, Denis.
Gallagher, Denis.
Gallagher, Pat Cope.
Geoghegan-Quinn, Máire.
Gregory-Independent, Tony.
Harney, Mary.
Haughey, Charles J.
Hilliard, Colm.
Hyland, Liam.
Kirk, Séamus.
Kitt, Michael.
Lemass, Eileen.
Lenihan, Brian.
Leonard, Jimmy.
Leonard, Tom.
Leyden, Terry.
Lyons, Denis.
McCarthy, Seán.
McEllistrim, Tom.
Mac Giolla, Tomás.
Burke, Raphael P.
Byrne, Hugh.
Byrne, Seán.
Collins, Gerard.
Conaghan, Hugh.
Coughlan, Cathal Seán.
Daly, Brendan.
De Rossa, Proinsias.
Doherty, Seán.
Fahey, Francis.
Fahey, Jackie.
Faulkner, Pádraig.
Fitzgerald, Gene.
Fitzgerald, Liam Joseph. [428]Molloy, Robert.
Morley, P.J.
Moynihan, Donal.
Nolan, M.J.
Noonan Michael J. (Limerick West).
O'Dea, William.
O'Hanlon, Rory.
O'Keeffe, Edmond.
O'Kennedy, Michael.
O'Leary, John.
Ormonde, Donal.
O'Rourke, Mary.
Reynolds, Albert.
Treacy, Noel.
Tunney, Jim.
Wallace, Dan.
Walsh, Joe.
Walsh, Seán.
Wilson, John P.
Woods, Michael.

Question declared carried.


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