Reynolds, Albert

Friday, 5 July 1991

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 410 No. 5

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Estimates 1991. - Vote 1: President's Establishment (Revised Estimate.)

I move the following Estimates:More Button

Estimates 1991. - Vote 2: Houses of the Oireachtas and the European Assembly (Supplementary Estimate).

I move: That a supplementary sum not exceeding £31,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment in the year ending 31 December 1991 for the salaries and expenses of the Hou...More Button

Estimates 1991. - Vote 39: International Co-operation (Supplementary Estimate).

I move: That a supplementary sum not exceeding £600,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment in the year ending 31 December 1991 for contributions to International Orga...More Button

These are the issues I want to address first and I will proceed to speak about the Finance group of Estimates proper later in my contribution.More Button

Let me begin by saying that I reject outright the suggestion made both inside and outside this House over the past week that the 1991 budget was unsound from its inception. (Interruptions.)More Button

Hysterical condemnation of the budgetary over-run rings very hollow coming from the parties opposite while they continue to call day after day for increased spending on one service or another.More Button

That is a glaring financial irresponsibility coming from the other side of the House.More Button

It is terribly easy to say, with the benefit of hindsight, that a budget slippage was predictable.More Button

Ireland has an abundance of hindsight decision-makers both inside the outside this House. Any forecast is based on assumptions which are open to be proved invalid after the event. I made it very plai...More Button

——that this year we had to frame a policy against a background of unusual uncertainty and certain critical assumptions had to be made.More Button

I assumed an international slowdown would restrict our growth rate to not even half of the 1990 rate and I did not try to disguise the risk that it could be worse than I had allowed for nor the fact t...More Button

It is terribly easy to say, with the benefit of hindsight, that a budget slippage was predictable. Ireland has an abundance of hindsight decision-makers both inside and outside this House. Any forec...More Button

It is in circulation.More Button

It is on its way.More Button

That is absolute nonsense. (Interruptions.)More Button

I will not give any response.More Button

I assumed an international slowdown would restrict our growth rate to not even half of the 1990 rate——More Button

——and I did not try to disguise the risk that it could be worse than I had allowed for nor the fact that this would adversely affect us. Again, I drew attention to the manner in which such a slowdown...More Button

They are on their way.More Button

I recall general suggestions that growth might be slower or faster depending on what forecasts one reads than predicted in the budget, and mention of certain risks, but who “got it right” about the s...More Button

Budgetary slippage this year is also happening in many other EC member states — for example, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Greece and Portugal. It is important to place things in perspe...More Button

It is important to put things in perspective and I want to set out exactly where we stand on the budget front this year. The end of June Exchequer returns issued last Monday indicated that at the hal...More Button

The main contributors to the disappointing budgetary picture over the first six months were tax revenues, where depressed consumption tax yields were rather lower than envisaged, and supply issues, w...More Button

They are different from the usual ones only in that the link between an adverse external development and its domestic budgetary consequences is even more direct. This does not mean that these consequ...More Button

I introduced three budgets in this House, in case the Deputy forgets. This one is not out at all yet.More Button

Let me again demonstrate our progress by looking at the record. By 1990 Exchequer borrowing, at £462 million, was reduced to 2 per cent of GNP, a reduction of £17 million. That compares very favoura...More Button

The overhang of debt from previous years not only took a large part of our current national resources out of our control — I know the truth hurts — but also left us continually exposed to adverse move...More Button

At this point I would like to make a general comment. It is extraordinary how quickly some commentators focus on public service pay when difficulties arise in the public finances, as if the public se...More Button

——which are clustered tightly around an output growth rate of about 2 per cent, the range being from 1.75 per cent from the Central Bank to 2.25 per cent from the OECD. I might add that those in the ...More Button

Our people will not thank the Deputy for his sneering attitude to one of the most serious problems in society. (Interruptions.)More Button

I want to emphasise, however, the key source of the worsened live register trends. They are our clearest sign of the effects of the UK recession. The recent census figures show that net emigration in...More Button

Let me say, firmly, that if it is not to be “the axeman” then we will have to face up to the alternative, “the taxman”. The course our society chooses on spending determines the burden of taxation. ...More Button

Turning now to the Finance group of Estimates, I might first explain to the House that as usual——More Button

In the unruly start of my address to this House I made it quite clear that the corrective process that just began last Tuesday would resume this afternoon and would continue for whatever period is nec...More Button

Nothing is easy.More Button

We will not do the bank holiday flip as the Government did in 1983-84, with the food subsidies and so on. Fine Gael disappeared and left the Labour Party Leader, Deputy Dick Spring, to try to satisf...More Button

Yes, he did; fair play to him.More Button

Turning now to the Finance group of Estimates, I might first explain to the House that, as usual, the Minister of State at my Department, Deputy Vincent Brady, will deal separately, later in the debat...More Button

If I recall correctly, Tullamore is getting something. If they do not want it, they should send it back and we will send it somewhere else.More Button

This policy is of major significance in the social and economic life of the provinces. In setting the level of the Revenue Vote this year I have allowed for the costs of the decentralisation programm...More Button


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