Financial Resolution No. 8: Excise Duty (Betting Tax).

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 663 No. 3

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Financial Resolution No. 4 provides for an increase of 0.5% in the standard rate of VAT, increasing the rate to 21.5%, with effect from 1 December next. The change will apply to all goods and services which are currently subject to the standard VAT rate of 21%, such as cars; petrol and auto diesel; electrical equipment; CDs and DVDs; alcohol, cigarettes and tobacco; telecommunications; furniture; cosmetics; and adult clothing and footwear. Approximately 54% of all goods and services are subject to the standard rate of VAT. The effect of the proposed increase of 0.5% in the standard VAT rate is that the price of goods and services subject to that rate will increase by 0.413%. This equates to an increase of 8 cent on a good currently costing €20, or 41 cent on a good currently costing €100. There will be no change to the 0% rate of VAT which applies to a range of goods and services, including most food; children’s clothes and footwear; and oral medicines. Similarly, the 13.5% rate of VAT, which applies to [492]new houses; electricity; gas and home heating fuels; restaurant services; and other labour-intensive services, including hairdressing and small repair services, will be unaffected by this change. It is estimated that the proposed increase in the rate of VAT will raise €208 million in 2009 and €227 million in a full year. It will have a 0.23% impact on the consumer price index, assuming that the increase is passed on in full to the consumer.

Financial Resolution No. 5 provides for increases in the rates of excise duty applying to tobacco products, with effect from midnight tonight. The increase amounts to 50 cent, VAT inclusive, on a packet of 20 cigarettes, with pro rata increases in other tobacco products. The price of a packet of 20 cigarettes, in the most popular price category, will increase to approximately €8.05. This may well be the highest tobacco price in the European union. Ireland’s high tobacco price levels reflect the action that has been taken over the years to ensure that taxation policy plays a part in the Government’s strategy to protect public health by discouraging smoking. After this increase has taken effect, the overall tax take, in terms of excise duty and VAT, from the price of a packet of 20 cigarettes will be approximately €6.37, or slightly over 79% of the sale price. The excise duty element of the price of cigarettes in Ireland will be the highest in the EU, ahead of the UK, and compares to an average excise take across all member states of €2. At present, a packet of 20 cigarettes is approximately 27 cent more expensive in this jurisdiction than on the other side of the Border. This has changed considerably since last year, when the price differential was €1.03 in our favour. That change can be attributed, in large part, to exchange rate changes. Following this increase, the differential will increase to 77 cent.

Careful consideration was given to calls before the budget for substantial increases in the price of cigarettes on health protection grounds. However, account had to be taken of the fact that the high price of cigarettes here can make Ireland an attractive place for cigarette smuggling. The Revenue Commissioners have applied significant resources to tackling all aspects of cigarette and tobacco smuggling. They have engaged with the tobacco industry on this matter. It is estimated that this proposed measure will yield approximately €16 million in 2008 and €105 million in a full year. It will have an impact of approximately 0.21% on the consumer price index. The increase is expected to reduce cigarette consumption next year by approximately 1.3%.

Financial Resolution No. 6 provides for an increase in the alcohol products tax on ordinary strength still wine, with effect from midnight tonight. When VAT is included, the increase will amount to 50 cent on a standard bottle of wine. Pro rata increases are being applied to other wine products and certain other fermented and intermediate products. In comparison to most other EU member states, Ireland applies high excise rates to all alcohol products. Excise duty on wine has not been increased since 1994. The sale of wine has been strong over the past 15 years, particularly relative to other alcohol products. The rates of tax on beer, spirits, cider and perry will not be altered. The estimated yield from this proposal is approximately €31 million in a full year. It will have a 0.05% impact on the consumer price index. Financial Resolution No. 6 also provides for the introduction of a reduced rate of alcohol products tax, of 50% of the full appropriate rates for beer and cider, for lower strength beer and cider. The products in question are those which have an alcohol-by-volume content of 2.8% or less. The estimated cost of this proposed measure is €3 million in a full year.

Financial Resolution No. 7 provides for an increase in the mineral oil tax on petrol, with effect from midnight tonight. When VAT is included, the increase will amount to 8 cent in the price of a litre of petrol. The resolution also provides for an increase in the mineral oil tax on aviation gasoline, with effect from 1 November this year, to set it at the same level as petrol. Excise on petrol and diesel has not been increased since 2003. Over the past 18 months, there [493]has been an unprecedented increase in the price of diesel, at a disproportionate rate when compared to petrol. While fuel prices have generally decreased over recent weeks, the price of diesel has remained higher than that of petrol. Following this proposed increase, the rate of excise on petrol on Ireland will be in the middle range, when compared to a list of EU member states. Assuming currency exchange rates remain stable, petrol in this jurisdiction will be approximately 18 cent cheaper than in Northern Ireland. The expected yield from these measures is approximately €22 million in 2008 and €166 million in a full year. It will have an impact of approximately 0.22% on the consumer price index.

Financial Resolution No. 8 provides for an increase from 1% to 2% in the rate of betting duty, with effect from 1 January 2009. Betting duty is charged on bets, other than on-course bets, placed with a bookmaker. Bets placed with the tote are exempt. The increase in the rate of betting duty is expected to yield approximately €30 million in 2009 and €40 million in full year.

Deputy Billy Timmins: Information on Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins  The dramatic decrease in the level of consumer confidence is one of the issues we have been hearing about over recent months. It represents one of the reasons the Government finances are in such difficulty. I cannot understand why the Government has decided to increase VAT by 0.5%. The Minister gave little away in her speech, but €208 million is to be taken every year from an area that needs a boost. The budget should have included measures that assisted in increasing consumer confidence, but instead it has dampened such confidence.

Resolution No. 5 deals with the old reliable of tobacco. Some people claim that it might be the only pleasure that some people have, but I would still support it. There is also to be an 8 cent rise in the cost of a litre of petrol. I would love to know the full amount the Government takes in excise duty on petrol every year. Most of us must use a car as we do not have access to public transport. Prices have rocketed and the Government seems to have no control over them. The Competition Authority is not doing its job. The former Minister of State, Deputy Browne, spoke about the situation in Enniscorthy and claimed that the board of the authority meets once a week to collude to put prices up. Nothing is done to address this issue. I would like the Government to investigate the fuel price rises in recent years relative to the increase in the cost of a barrel of oil, and compare it to the decrease in fuel prices relative to the decrease in the cost of oil. There does not seem to be an inverse relationship between the two and it might do the consumer some good if we got that statistic.

Fine Gael will oppose resolution No. 4 and resolution No. 7. I have mixed views on the betting tax. Much of Charlie McCreevy’s heritage is being destroyed this evening. Is the Minister concerned that this move will give rise to on-line betting?

Deputy Liz McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  Deputy Timmins wondered how much money in excise duty on petrol is gathered up by the Government. The increase in petrol prices provides rich pickings for the Government. It obtains 55% of the cost of a litre of petrol, while 37% of the cost is due to refining the oil. It is outrageous that the Government can go back to the well and add to its take when it is already receiving such a substantial source of income from this area. Ministers do not seem to understand how difficult it is for commuters who do not have an alternative to using the car. The public transport infrastructure that should be there is something the Green Party Deputies keep talking about, but they have totally failed to make any difference if this budget is anything to go by. The people who depend on driving their private cars are already paying high petrol prices.

The Joint Committee on Climate Change and Energy Security has carefully examined why petrol prices do not seem to follow oil prices when they fall. They have come down to some [494]extent, but the Government take is inordinately high. The cost of diesel has uniquely been higher than that of petrol, but rather than deal with that issue, the Government has simply decided to raise the price of petrol. That will cause difficulties for people who are trying to manage on incomes that are limited. When the significant increase in tax from this source was pointed out to the Taoiseach, he said they are not spending money on other things. However, it does raise the issue of fuel poverty. The most disappointing aspect to the budget is the fact that there is no recognition of the reality of fuel poverty. People are facing into winter with significantly increased costs in electricity and gas — there are more increases to come — and we get a derisory €2 increase in the fuel allowance. There is nothing else to support people who are struggling.

There is a reference in the section on climate change to the programme known as the home energy savings scheme. This is about insulation. We have argued strenuously for a national insulation programme that would provide energy efficiency across the board and would provide work for many construction workers. That would make sense at a time when we have such difficulties in construction and in meeting our climate change targets. There is a con trick in these figures. We were told in the budget speech that €15 million is going into this energy efficiency scheme, but then we discover in the appendices of the budget that €15 million is being taken out of the greener homes scheme. Windscale was changed to Sellafield, but the leopard never changed its spots. In this case, the Government is putting money into one scheme which is supposed to save energy and taking it away from another scheme which is supposed to save energy. It is a sham.

Deputy Pat Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  I cannot believe the Green Party would go along with that.

Deputy Liz McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  Not only have they gone along with that, but they have rolled over on the delivery of their agenda. It is pathetic. It is having a social impact, because people will not be able to afford to pay for fuel over the winter months, but neither is it dealing with the major environmental challenges posed by climate change. The only way we will see a significant change on climate change is to have legislation that pins the Government down, so that Ministers do not come in here with con tricks at budget time that leave people in the lurch in terms of fuel poverty.

Deputy Seymour Crawford: Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  I usually welcome the opportunity to say something, but I do not think anybody can welcome the opportunity to say something about this budget. VAT has been increased by 0.5%, which may not look like that much, but it will have a negative effect in a declining market where shop owners are laying off workers. The 5.2% VAT return to farmers has not been re-examined. I am promised every year that this would be re-evaluated, but I do not see any sign of it at all. In light of the fact that farmers are being penalised in every way in this budget, in areas such as the farm retirement scheme, insulation aid and other structures, the VAT refund would have been a useful benefit.

As one who comes from a Border constituency, just like the Tánaiste, one of the benefits is that petrol prices have been somewhat lower in the South recently. This has encouraged shoppers and others to do business around the Border areas. That opportunity will quickly disappear because of this increase. It is sad this is being done by our Government. Many people from Cavan-Monaghan must go to work in Dublin. They will be further penalised. Jobs have not been created for them in their own constituency. I know the Tánaiste will announce a couple of hundred jobs next week. I hope that unlike decentralisation these jobs will come to fruition, but that is another day’s work.

[495]There is a major question over the structures of the petrol companies. The banks and the lack of leadership shown by them have been the talking point for the past few weeks, but there must be collusion in fixing the price of petrol and diesel. I acknowledge there is a small difference in the prices. I do not think price fixing is being organised at local level but rather by the companies. Many of the people at the petrol pumps have gone out of business in recent years. They are not the ones making a fortune but the big companies certainly are. I ask that this be investigated.

I have no major problem with the resolution on the price of tobacco and wine, considering the health implications of tobacco and the increased consumption of wine at home.

County Monaghan certainly will not get any decentralisation and the barracks are to be closed. For those people in the barracks the price of petrol or diesel will not be an issue. The closure is an absolute scandal.

Deputy Seán Sherlock: Information on Sean Sherlock  Zoom on Sean Sherlock  On the price of tobacco, the Labour Party will support the measure on the basis that it will act as a deterrent. However, in an effort to curb tobacco consumption, we should encourage people to use substitute products and allow those products to be free of VAT. Products such as Nicorette should be delisted — as currently they can only be sold in pharmacies — and allowed to be sold in supermarkets and to a wider range of people. I called for such a measure in the previous budget. I suspect one of the things at play here is that the Irish Pharmaceutical Union is firmly in control of that issue. I take the measure at face value if it is a question of equity but it should be considered in a wider context if it is considered as a health measure.

If I were an average Fianna Fáil voter, a male, who liked to back a horse, maybe enjoyed a glass of wine——

Deputy Billy Timmins: Information on Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins  And had bought a new house just last week.

Deputy Seán Sherlock: Information on Sean Sherlock  Zoom on Sean Sherlock  ——and drove a petrol car——

Deputy Willie O’Dea: Information on Willie O'Dea  Zoom on Willie O'Dea  With an extra mortgage rate.

Deputy Seán Sherlock: Information on Sean Sherlock  Zoom on Sean Sherlock  ——and I was a lower or middle income earner, I would be apoplectic when studying this budget. Many people who fit that demographic voted for Fianna Fáil in the last election and now they will think seriously about how they will vote the next time. I am also pleased that the Government did not put any VAT on children’s clothes or footwear because, by God, if it did, we would definitely be going back to the 1980s.

Deputy Paul Kehoe: Information on Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  I assure Deputy Sherlock one would not have to be a Fianna Fáil voter to be disappointed with this budget. People are very disappointed because the most vulnerable in society have again been hit. I am annoyed with the proposals for VAT, cigarettes and petrol. The Minister went for the soft target with regard to VAT as it will hit a wide range of areas and many middle-income earners will be affected. The poor and the vulnerable will also be affected. The Ministers were thinking of their own comfort zone when this budget was being considered at Cabinet. They do not have to go to the petrol pump and fill up the car because they have ministerial cars. The Government is completely at sea. I refer to the 8 cent per litre increase on petrol against a backdrop of rising prices for petrol. I am surprised the Minister did not hit diesel prices as well. The Government has not considered areas which would provide more money for the Exchequer. The price of cigarettes will be increased by 50 cent and this is a health consideration and the price of a bottle of wine will be increased by 50 cent. I ask the Tánaiste to say what action the Government has taken in recent years to curb under age [496]drinking. It has done nothing. Will an extra 50 cent on cigarettes stop the teenager from smoking? I do not think so. The same number of teenagers will smoke tomorrow as did today.

Deputy Arthur Morgan: Information on Arthur Morgan  Zoom on Arthur Morgan  The Minister for Finance claimed that he is trying to build this economy and yet he introduced a VAT rate of 21.5%. Aside altogether from low income and working families and the nature of the impact of this increase on that category of people — goodness knows, they are very hard hit in today’s budget — the small business sector will be affected and it is already crucified with steep charges. I see no encouragement for small business in these proposals and this is a regressive measure. It is the wrong direction to take; the Government should have made a reduction in VAT to 20% or less rather than adding to that scourge of both the small business sector and low income families. I note the resolution proposes that it shall take effect as and from 1 December 2008, so we do not even get Christmas out of it. This is a case of bad Santa. This is a regressive move which is most unfortunate.

The additional cost of fuel and petrol is regressive. It is an attack on workers who have no public transport because, by and large, public transport was neglected by this Government for all of these years. Yet people are supposed to put their hands in their pockets and pay this additional cost.

I note the Green influence in the Government is negated with the additional parking fees at Iarnród Éireann stations. One is ripped off as soon as one goes in the gate to avail of fairly shoddy public transport. The Government is having another go. Somebody on that side of the House should say this is crazy. I agree with Deputy Seymour Crawford’s point about the significant custom given to Border petrol stations by people from the other side of the Border. With the introduction of this measure, the days of lengthy queues at petrol stations in Border counties will be well and truly finished. This is most unfortunate. It will penalise people trying to travel to work who must drive because public transport is inadequate.

Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  The increase in the standard rate of VAT from 21% to 21.5% will be punitive for a significant swathe of people who will find it increasingly difficult to afford the additional outlay they will be obliged to make in respect of consumables and their household needs. This will not merely have the effect of discouraging further spending by people who come within the remit of the Exchequer. Deputies Morgan and Crawford referred to the increase in the excise duty on petrol and while there has been a steady rise in sales at filling stations in this jurisdiction in recent years as a result of the differential between the price in the North and that which obtains in the South, the reality is that a significant number of people who live in counties immediately on this side of the Border now do their shopping in the North. This is a fact of life.

An increase in VAT will encourage people from Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan, Monaghan and Louth who shop in the Six Counties to continue doing so. This increase is an incentive for those individuals to leave their local areas and travel north of the Border. It is proposed in Financial Resolution No. 7 to increase the excise duty on petrol by 8 cent per litre, which will act as a disincentive for traffic from the Six Counties to travel south. This will prove to be a double whammy to local economies in Border counties from Donegal to Louth.

I am deeply concerned with regard to the effect the propositions in Financial Resolutions Nos. 4 and 7 will have. The consequences will be extremely severe. Financial Resolution No. 7 is unquestionably a tax on those who need to use their cars to travel to work. There is no public transport infrastructure whatsoever in the Border counties and the overwhelming majority of people who live there need their cars in order to travel to work. An 8 cent increase in the price of a litre of petrol and a 4% increase in motor tax — dealt with in a later financial resolution [497]— on all cars with engines below 2.5 litres will prove extremely punitive. Ordinary people will find it not just difficult, but impossible to cope. Financial Resolution No. 7 is a disincentive to work.

The collective weight of all these measures will undoubtedly lead people to face the financial reality that, in light of the budget, they would be better off out of work rather than trying to maintain and sustain their families by remaining in employment. I strongly oppose both financial resolutions.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  There are 11 listed speakers and less than 30 minutes remaining for the debate on this group of resolutions. I wish to allow the Tánaiste some time to reply. If Members are not mindful of the time, it is likely that the names of those towards the end of the list will not have an opportunity to contribute.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Any increase in VAT will have a negative impact on business at a time when the latter can ill afford it. Business has come through an extremely difficult time during the past 12 months, particularly in the context of increased oil prices, transport costs, etc. To pile on something of this nature, which will impact on both consumers and those in the business sector, at this stage is hugely negative. This is not a wise decision and I do not know why it was made. It was indicated that the increase will lead to the accrual of €227 million in a full year. That is a considerable sum. When consumers realise the import of what is proposed, the Government will subjected to a reaction that will bear little resemblance to what it received from its backbenchers following the Minister for Finance’s Budget Statement.

I am a smoker and I must declare an interest in Financial Resolution No. 5. Everyone welcomes the increase in the excise on tobacco. However, I wish to highlight a matter to which previous speakers did not refer, namely, the old age pensioners who smoke and who received a miserable 3% increase as a result of the budget. These people will lose that increase in its entirety when they buy one packet of cigarettes. Elderly people like their comforts. I accept that smoking may be a bad habit but it is a habit nonetheless. I cannot understand what they have done wrong that they should be punished in this way. Those on the Government benches will feel self-righteous about this matter but they should try to see the other side. It will not be a laughing matter for those who will be directly impacted upon by this particular exercise. The same applies, but not to the same extent, with regard to the increase in the duty on wine.

The increase in the duty on mineral oils will bring in an additional €166 million in 2009. That amount will increase thereafter. Two issues arise in this regard. First, unfortunate motorists are being treated as if there were an alternative mode of transport available to them

Deputy Kathleen Lynch: Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  There is an alternative, namely, the horse.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  There is no such alternative available. Pretending that there is by providing a grant in respect of bicycles — a proposal with which they Green Party came up — will prove cold comfort for motorists. I hope the bicycles in question will all have saddles——

Deputy Billy Timmins: Information on Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins  The Tánaiste’s bike will not be safe.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  ——or people will be even more uncomfortable.

No group in society has been hammered more often during the past two to three years than motorists.

Deputy Kathleen Lynch: Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  Cars are only a luxury.

[498]Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  They are not a luxury. They are being treated that way but they are a necessity. People who use their cars to travel to work and to drop their children to school or college will be hit hard by this provision.

During the past couple of years, the price of diesel has been higher than that of petrol. In a cunning way, the Government has decided to impose an increase in the duty on petrol because it is of the view that this will also drive up the price of diesel. I cannot see what will stop the latter from happening. The price of diesel has been greater than that of petrol for the past two or three years. Does this increase mean that the prices will be brought level or will there be an automatic increase in the price of diesel? Those in the transport sector and everyone else will be hammered if there are parallel increases in the price of both fuels. The Tánaiste knows that will be the case.

Deputy Pat Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  The Minister for Finance has taken the baton from his predecessor, the Taoiseach, Deputy Cowen, and crashed straight into a wall. The more I consider the macro figures, the more I understand why Ministers were whey-faced on their way in and out of Government Buildings during the past three weeks. The position is disastrous. The Government had a choice involving making expenditure cuts, doing something with the borrowing requirement and introducing tax increases. In my opinion, it got the balance wrong and has chosen to raise taxation at every hand’s turn by means of direct tax increases, levies, charges or whatever. When the entire thrust of VAT is towards uniformity, I do not know how the Government can justify increasing the rate of VAT to 21.5%. This move is almost impossible to defend.

Deputy McManus reminded people on the opposite side of the House how expensive it has become to live in this country. Most Members on the Government benches cannot remember when they last filled their cars with petrol on a filling station forecourt.

Deputy Mary Coughlan: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  I filled mine with diesel last weekend. We all drive.

  9 o’clock

Deputy Pat Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  It is beyond belief when one considers that 8 cent will be added to the price of a litre of petrol. The price of oil is falling at present, partly as a result of the financial turmoil. However, there has not been a commensurate decrease in the price charged for petrol and diesel at filling stations. The Government is now going to drive the price up again by imposing this 8 cent increase. People need their cars to travel to work or to bring their children to their places of education. As Deputy Durkan stated, these people have no alternative and yet the Government is piling on increases willy-nilly.

The Government is going to tip the economy over altogether. For months it denied that the economy was in recession. As the Tánaiste knows, we are now in recession and the Government will tip us over into a depression with the amount of money it is taking out of the economy through the options taken in this budget.

Will the Tánaiste tell us the cumulative effect on the consumer price index of the group of resolutions before us? What do they cost and what will they add to the CPI? Will the Tánaiste explain how the betting tax will be collected and whether it is simply a doubling of the existing 1% charge?

The tobacco and alcohol levies will make a significant enough contribution to the CPI but it would be hard to oppose those measures for arguments that are well known. Representatives of the Irish Cancer Society were in the House recently and several of the Tánaiste’s colleagues met them. The representatives argued for a steeper increase in the tax on cigarettes. I am very doubtful about the argument that was advanced to them about such a measure enhancing smuggling in the Republic.

[499]Deputy Kathleen Lynch: Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  The budget hits a particular group of people who can ill afford to be hit with the type of increases the Government proposes. The charge that will affect virtually everybody is the increase in VAT. That increase, as well as the increase in the tax on petrol, suggests that petrol is a luxury item and that VAT is only applied to luxury goods, but that is not the case. VAT is levied on clothing, footwear and many other everyday items and the increase will hit everyone.

The combination of increases proposed here, namely the 8 cent increase on a litre of petrol, the increase in VAT and the €200 charge for a parking space, which is not in front of us now but which will be introduced and which will affect those who, for example, work in factories and are provided with car parking spaces, are harsh. Taxes are being imposed on people on very limited incomes and they will only realise it next year.

A total of €227 million will be raised by the Government through the increase in VAT, which is quite a significant sum. The 1% levy on income is probably the one provision which none of us in Opposition can understand. Had the Minister for Finance said that a 2% levy would be imposed on those earning above a certain threshold, that would be fine.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  I ask the Deputy to deal with the financial resolutions that are currently before the House.

Deputy Kathleen Lynch: Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  However, the 1% levy will be applied to everyone’s income, even those on minimal incomes, which is outrageous.

The increases in VAT and petrol tax will bring in significant income for the Government but we are not sure what will happen to that income. The implication of these increases is that they apply to luxury goods, which defies reason. An increase in VAT at a time when people’s incomes are being reduced is illogical. An increase in the price of petrol when we do not have an adequate public transport system is difficult to understand. When the full implications of this budget start to sink in, the average earner or the person who is unemployed and looking for work will be very annoyed.

Deputy Ruairí Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  I gather from these resolutions that the Government has effectively abandoned any prospect of getting a pay agreement through the social partnership process. This resolution is levelling an inflationary, regressive tax on the backs of increasingly overburdened working people. In that context, I must assume that is the Government’s position on the pay agreement.

On the basis of the figures supplied and subject to correction by officials, I calculate that we are looking at a 0.77% increase in the rate of inflation. There is no figure given for the betting tax, but most of the figures relating to betting are works of elaborate fiction anyway. It appears that the Government is determined to go down a regressive road. The thinking behind this budget, as manifest in this resolution, indicates that the Government has failed the test. This will not correct the main problem that we have, namely, the structural gap between revenue and expenditure. The Government’s temporary 10% cut in salary is simply a sop, with no reference made to the postponed pay increase vis-à-vis pensions and salaries.

The Government is dealing a major blow to the tourism industry by increasing costs. That will affect the west in particular, which has become highly uncompetitive as a tourism destination.

I ask the Tánaiste what the critical threshold was with regard to increasing the tax on tobacco. The increase proposed is actually quite small. With regard to smuggling and the criminality associated with it, I was given to understand that the Garda has had a handle on that for some time now and that the kind of smuggling that occurred eight or ten years ago has been dealt [500]with. Would the Tánaiste agree that the Government could have imposed a higher levy on cigarettes, given the extra resources and experience of the Garda in this area?

While this is not directly relevant to the resolutions before us, I ask the Tánaiste to clarify an issue for the House. I presume the €200 per year charge for a car parking slot will apply to these premises and to the entire Civil Service. Will that mean that we will all have a designated car parking space?

Deputy Pádraic McCormack: Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  It appears that not much thought went into the preparation of this budget. The Government has taken the easy options, particularly in resolution No. 4 which increases VAT. I will confine my remarks to resolution No.7, which imposes an 8 cent levy on a litre of petrol.

Deputy Timmins asked how much of the price of a litre of petrol is tax and he was kindly answered by his constituency colleague. Can the Tánaiste confirm that the figures cited are correct, namely that 55% of the price of every litre of petrol is tax? The proposal in resolution No.7 is anti-rural. Many of those who work in Galway city, for example, come from areas in Connemara including Clifden, Carraroe, Lettermullen and so forth. They work in factories, hospitals, the health service, the local authority and so forth and will be penalised for using their cars to get to work. Many travel between 30 and 50 miles per day and soon they will not be able to afford to travel to work. It will be better for them to stay at home and go on the dole or engage in farming rather than travel to work in Galway city. The €200 charge for a parking space will affect many of the same people. Will those working in factories, for local authorities or in the health services be charged for parking? Will the HSE be obliged to charge €200 to all of the people who crowd out the car park of the University College Hospital every day? I ask the Tánaiste to clarify these matters in her response to our concerns about the 8 cent increase in the price of a litre of petrol. That increase will make it almost uneconomical for people who travel long distances to work to continue to do so. This is particularly true in my constituency of Galway West where many of those who work in the city live up to 50 miles outside it. Such people are being crucified.

Deputy Charles Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  With regard to the VAT increase, the motions before us and the previous motions, there is no doubt that this is a turning point for Fianna Fáil. This is the day the Charvet shirt has been replaced by the hairshirt.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Nettles.

Deputy Charles Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  I find it extraordinary that we should have such a blunt instrument in increasing VAT across the board in the manner proposed on the basis that this will add to inflation in 2009. Is this factored into the Government’s computations? It is unfortunate that the Celtic tiger years did not treat the taxpayer or hard-pressed families any more favourably than to see VAT stay in its current form for the past number of years. The highest it has ever been in the history of the State was 23%. During the past number of years we heard from the Government benches about the success, the celebrations and the corking of the champagne bottles. Now, VAT is on the rise again after a long number of years. It is particularly regrettable that goods and services which are so important for families will be hit in this way.

The 8 cent increase in the price of a litre of petrol will have serious consequences, particularly for people commuting to Dublin. People in my constituency bought into the developer’s dream of moving down the country to purchase an affordable house while holding on to their jobs in Dublin. These people will now fork out €100 per tank of petrol to get them to work or college. Their houses on the outskirts of every town and village within a couple hours of Dublin are in [501]negative equity, their jobs are on the line and the response of the Government is to burden them with further increases, in particular a cost on commuting to work.

They have no choice given the absence of an alternative quality public transport. The trains which pass up and down through my constituency are invariably late, overcrowded and utterly unreliable. People have been forced back into their cars and are now faced with car parking charges, be they parking at the station at home or in Dublin. The applause given to the Minister for Finance, Deputy Brian Lenihan, by his colleagues on the Fianna Fáil benches, the Green Party and the remaining Progressive Democrat will come back to haunt them in the not too distant future.

Deputy Ciarán Lynch: Information on Ciaran Lynch  Zoom on Ciaran Lynch  What we are witnessing here is the type of economics written on the back of a cigarette box. We saw it earlier with the calculations of the Minister for Education and Science, Deputy Batt O’Keeffe, on the reintroduction of third level fees. We see it here again this evening with calculations made on a crisis-driven basis rather than with a strategic approach, particularly one to get the country out of the situation the Government to which has brought us.

I will refer to the matters in hand, particularly the increase of VAT to 21.5 % and the 8 cent increase in the price of a litre of petrol. This is a double whammy because the cost of petrol has increased and the increase of VAT to 21.5% is, in itself, an additional increase. The Government is hoodwinking the public because they are not being hit with an 8 cent increase, but an 8 cent increase with an increase in VAT to 21.5% on top of it.

What should have happened — let me make this clear because it has been a matter of record for some time — is that prior to the Government altering the VAT bands, it should have examined what is included in them. I will give an example of an item which has increased in price, and prices are an extremely relevant issue for those who might be termed “Mr. and Mrs 1%” on the minimum wage who are affected by the budget. Their cost of living has not only increased by 1% with the levy, but also by 0.5% in VAT. This is a 1.5% automatic increase in the cost of living for people on the minimum wage as a result of the budget.

A car owner with a child is legally required to place a safety seat in the car. The VAT on this item has increased to 21.5%. It should not be at the top rate of VAT. In fact, it should not be subject to VAT at all because it is a legal requirement for a parent to have it in the car.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  I am anxious to allow another Deputy to speak.

Deputy Ciarán Lynch: Information on Ciaran Lynch  Zoom on Ciaran Lynch  I have a final point. The community and voluntary sectors, which cannot claim back VAT, buy photocopying machines and equipment. They will find their costs have increased as a result of this measure. There was no examination of the VAT system; it was slapped on. This is the back of a cigarette box economics and hence the cost of living has increased for community groups and those on the minimum wage.

Deputy Tom Hayes: Information on Tom Hayes  Zoom on Tom Hayes  To say the least, this budget contains draconian measures. The worst is the decision with regard to the medical cards for the over 70s which is unfair to the people concerned. Another measure I consider harsh is the increase in third level registration fees. To introduce such a large increase while we are conducting a review of the cost of third level education is a slap in the face to every parent and young child in the country.

With regard to this resolution, I require clarification from the Minister on the changes made with regard to low level alcohol beer and cider, particularly with regard to cider as it affects my constituency. We have a good story from the cider industry in Tipperary. We have major [502]investment in a modern plant which, for various reasons, has been under extreme pressure to make profits for the past number of years.

Deputy Emmet Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  I wish to comment briefly on resolution No. 5 as a contributor to the €105 million which the Government will collect from the tobacco industry and from smokers directly. This is not a health measure. This is a direct revenue raising measure.

Deputy Ruairí Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Hear, hear.

Deputy Emmet Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  Last year, the Government had the nonsense of increasing the cost of a packet of 20 cigarettes by 30 cent to save us all from ourselves. However, the Government also stated it intended to take €63 million extra out of our pockets for it. When I stated this last year there were headlines that “Stagg proposes a €3 increase on packet of cigarettes”. If the Government was serious about applying this as a health measure, then the increase would be much greater. Let us see this for what it is. The increase represents what the traffic can bear and what will maximise the take for the Government. It will bring in €105 million in one year.

With regard to resolution No. 8, as Deputy Charles Flanagan stated, the Government’s plans forced people out of Dublin——

Deputy Michael D. Higgins: Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  That is right.

Deputy Emmet Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  —— into the suburbs and then to Kildare, Laois, Westmeath and other areas. It forced them there because it would not control land prices. The price of housing was allowed to increase while planning was encouraged in these areas. The Government party in particular was active in this regard. Now, it will penalise them for travelling and they do not have public transport as an alternative.

In my constituency, there is inadequate public transport to get to and from Dublin. The Government has not done the work on the roads and when one gets near Dublin, the traffic stops. One uses up what will be very expensive petrol in the traffic jams. It will cost commuters coming to Dublin to work approximately €5 per fill, and one needs to fill twice per week to come from where I do in north Kildare. This green envy tax will now affect those commuters coming into Dublin. Out of pure envy and spite, the Green Party could not let it go and wants €200 from everyone who can park for free near their place of work. This is nothing other than Green Party envy and should be labelled as such.

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Deputy Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  Betting tax is currently 1%, collection of which falls on the bookmaker. That will remain the case when it increases to 2%. Deputy Pat Rabbitte asked about the amalgam on the effect of the consumer price index. It is 0.7% but the overall budgetary framework is 0.6%, which is on the basis of a projection of inflation of 2.5% next year. This also includes mortgages.

The reduced excise duty of 50% for low alcohol beer and cider, for beverages with a volume of 2.8%, is to encourage people to move to these products. This is what the industry wanted and I am sure it will be accepted.

Deputy Charles Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  They will be drinking cider instead of champagne on the other side of the House.

Deputy Mary Coughlan: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  It will work both ways.

Deputy Willie O’Dea: Information on Willie O'Dea  Zoom on Willie O'Dea  I gave up the drink.

[503]Deputy Billy Timmins: Information on Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins  Will the Minister, Deputy O’Dea, be cycling the back-streets of Limerick?

Deputy Mary Coughlan: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  Between cycling, no smoking and a reduction in alcohol consumption, we will be the healthiest people and, as a consequence, reduce our expenditure in the health sector.

Deputy Pat Breen: Information on Pat Breen  Zoom on Pat Breen  That is a very healthy argument.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Please allow the Tánaiste to conclude as we have very little time.

Deputy Willie O’Dea: Information on Willie O'Dea  Zoom on Willie O'Dea  I do not need to cycle.

Deputy Mary Coughlan: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  Choices had to be made. There has been a deafening silence on the other side of the House. They do not want any measure that will create revenue but, at the same time, not one of them has said they want to reduce expenditure or want more borrowing.

Deputies:  Yes we have for the past ten years.

Deputy Charles Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  That does not wash.

Deputy Pádraic McCormack: Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  That is not the point.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  The Tánaiste without interruption.

Deputy Mary Coughlan: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  What services do they want reduced? What further cuts do they want outside of today’s budget?

Deputy Emmet Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  That is not true.

Deputy Mary Coughlan: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  Regarding the increase in VAT, compared to other EU member states, Ireland applies a considerably lower VAT rate to an extensive range of goods and services. I indicated earlier the goods and services on which this will impact. It is a matter for revenue creation. I do not necessarily agree it will reduce consumer confidence or be a reason for people not to purchase certain items and goods. Its impact will not be as large as some Members have suggested. Basic and important items have not been touched by this increase.

Deputy Ruairí Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Yes, they are being touched. It is the standard VAT rate.

Deputy Simon Coveney: Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  It is fuelling inflation.

Deputy Mary Coughlan: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  It will not affect food and children’s clothes.

Deputy Willie O’Dea: Information on Willie O'Dea  Zoom on Willie O'Dea  It is only a 50 cent increase on every €100.

Deputy Mary Coughlan: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  Yes, it only comes to 50 cent for every €100.

Deputy Emmet Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  Pass her another note to guide her.

Deputy Pádraic McCormack: Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  Ask Ger Loughnane how this will affect the price of hurleys.

Deputy Mary Coughlan: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  Many of the Border Deputies raised the increase in the price of petrol.

[504]Deputy Ruairí Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  She is back on automatic pilot. She cannot do this on her own.

Deputy Mary Coughlan: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  I am aware of that issue. However, when cross-Border petrol prices are compared, there will still be a difference of 18 cent. That figure is based on stability in the foreign exchange rates.

Several Members pointed out that when there is a reduction in fuel prices, it is not seen at the pumps. I agree this is an issue of grave concern to us all, particularly as consumers.

Deputy Emmet Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  The Minister is supposed to be in charge of that.

Deputy Liz McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  The Government is the main cause of this problem.

Deputy Mary Coughlan: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  It is on the basis of that——

Deputy Kathleen Lynch: Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  We need another regulator.

Deputy Mary Coughlan: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  We do not need any more regulators; we have enough of them.

Deputy Kathleen Lynch: Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  We do not have enough regulators in certain areas.

Deputy Simon Coveney: Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  We need to change the regulators.

Deputy Mary Coughlan: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  We are reducing regulation and the number of regulators. We have enough regulators. I have asked the National Consumer Agency to undertake an investigation——

Deputy Michael D. Higgins: Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  Yet another study.

Deputy Emmet Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  Another survey.

Deputy Mary Coughlan: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  ——into this issue and to deal with it as expeditiously as possible.

Deputy Michael D. Higgins: Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  The Minister should not forget the car parks.

Deputy Mary Coughlan: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  Regarding fuel poverty, the increase will not impact on home heating oil.

Deputy Kathleen Lynch: Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  The increase in VAT will impact on it.

Deputy Mary Coughlan: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  It just deals with petrol.

The tax on car parking is for the facility of car parking in large urban areas, taking cognisance of the fact that in other areas where there is no public transport, this issue will not arise.

Deputy Ruairí Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Who will decide that?

Deputy Mary Coughlan: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  That has been set down by the Department. A Member of this House or a person who has that facility can give it back and not pay the €200 tax.

Deputy Michael D. Higgins: Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  That is great. We can all cycle to the bus.

Deputy Emmet Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  We will all be travelling by green bicycle from now on.

Deputy Mary Coughlan: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  There is nothing to stop any Member of the House following the proposed cut in ministerial salaries.

[505]Question put: “That Financial Resolution No. 4 be agreed to.”

The Dáil divided: Tá, 84; Níl, 69.

Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  Ahern, Dermot. Information on Michael Ahern  Zoom on Michael Ahern  Ahern, Michael.
Information on Noel Ahern  Zoom on Noel Ahern  Ahern, Noel. Information on Barry Andrews  Zoom on Barry Andrews  Andrews, Barry.
Information on Chris Andrews  Zoom on Chris Andrews  Andrews, Chris. Information on Seán Ardagh  Zoom on Seán Ardagh  Ardagh, Seán.
Information on Bobby Aylward  Zoom on Bobby Aylward  Aylward, Bobby. Information on Joe Behan  Zoom on Joe Behan  Behan, Joe.
Information on Niall Blaney  Zoom on Niall Blaney  Blaney, Niall. Information on Aine Brady  Zoom on Aine Brady  Brady, Áine.
Information on Cyprian Brady  Zoom on Cyprian Brady  Brady, Cyprian. Information on Johnny Brady  Zoom on Johnny Brady  Brady, Johnny.
Information on John Browne  Zoom on John Browne  Browne, John. Information on Thomas Byrne  Zoom on Thomas Byrne  Byrne, Thomas.
Information on Dara Calleary  Zoom on Dara Calleary  Calleary, Dara. Information on Pat Carey  Zoom on Pat Carey  Carey, Pat.
Information on Niall Collins  Zoom on Niall Collins  Collins, Niall. Information on Margaret Conlon  Zoom on Margaret Conlon  Conlon, Margaret.
Information on Sean Connick  Zoom on Sean Connick  Connick, Seán. Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  Coughlan, Mary.
Information on John Cregan  Zoom on John Cregan  Cregan, John. Information on Ciaran Cuffe  Zoom on Ciaran Cuffe  Cuffe, Ciarán.
Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  Cullen, Martin. Information on John Curran  Zoom on John Curran  Curran, John.
Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Dempsey, Noel. Information on Jimmy Devins  Zoom on Jimmy Devins  Devins, Jimmy.
Information on Tim Dooley  Zoom on Tim Dooley  Dooley, Timmy. Information on Frank Fahey  Zoom on Frank Fahey  Fahey, Frank.
Information on Michael Finneran  Zoom on Michael Finneran  Finneran, Michael. Information on Michael Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Michael Fitzpatrick  Fitzpatrick, Michael.
Information on Seán Fleming  Zoom on Seán Fleming  Fleming, Seán. Information on Beverley Cooper-Flynn  Zoom on Beverley Cooper-Flynn  Flynn, Beverley.
Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Gallagher, Pat The Cope. Information on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Gogarty, Paul.
Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley  Gormley, John. Information on Noel Grealish  Zoom on Noel Grealish  Grealish, Noel.
Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  Hanafin, Mary. Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  Harney, Mary.
Information on Seán Haughey  Zoom on Seán Haughey  Haughey, Seán. Information on Jackie Healy-Rae  Zoom on Jackie Healy-Rae  Healy-Rae, Jackie.
Information on Máire Hoctor  Zoom on Máire Hoctor  Hoctor, Máire. Information on Billy Kelleher  Zoom on Billy Kelleher  Kelleher, Billy.
Information on Peter Kelly  Zoom on Peter Kelly  Kelly, Peter. Information on Brendan Kenneally  Zoom on Brendan Kenneally  Kenneally, Brendan.
Information on Michael Kennedy  Zoom on Michael Kennedy  Kennedy, Michael. Information on Tony Killeen  Zoom on Tony Killeen  Killeen, Tony.
Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Kirk, Seamus.  Kitt, Michael P.
Information on Tom Kitt  Zoom on Tom Kitt  Kitt, Tom. Information on Conor Lenihan  Zoom on Conor Lenihan  Lenihan, Conor.
Information on Michael Lowry  Zoom on Michael Lowry  Lowry, Michael. Information on James McDaid  Zoom on James McDaid  McDaid, James.
Information on Tom McEllistrim  Zoom on Tom McEllistrim  McEllistrim, Thomas. Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath  McGrath, Finian.
Information on Mattie McGrath  Zoom on Mattie McGrath  McGrath, Mattie. Information on Michael McGrath  Zoom on Michael McGrath  McGrath, Michael.
Information on John McGuinness  Zoom on John McGuinness  McGuinness, John. Information on Dr Martin Mansergh  Zoom on Dr Martin Mansergh  Mansergh, Martin.
Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  Martin, Micheál. Information on John Moloney  Zoom on John Moloney  Moloney, John.
Information on Michael Moynihan  Zoom on Michael Moynihan  Moynihan, Michael. Information on Michael Mulcahy  Zoom on Michael Mulcahy  Mulcahy, Michael.
Information on M. J. Nolan  Zoom on M. J. Nolan  Nolan, M. J. Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  Ó Cuív, Éamon.
Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Ó Fearghaíl, Seán. Information on Darragh O'Brien  Zoom on Darragh O'Brien  O’Brien, Darragh.
Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  O’Connor, Charlie. Information on Willie O'Dea  Zoom on Willie O'Dea  O’Dea, Willie.
Information on Noel O'Flynn  Zoom on Noel O'Flynn  O’Flynn, Noel. Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  O’Hanlon, Rory.
Information on Batt O'Keeffe  Zoom on Batt O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Batt. Information on Ned O'Keeffe  Zoom on Ned O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Edward.
Information on Mary O'Rourke  Zoom on Mary O'Rourke  O’Rourke, Mary. Information on Christy O'Sullivan  Zoom on Christy O'Sullivan  O’Sullivan, Christy.
Information on Peter Power  Zoom on Peter Power  Power, Peter. Information on Seán Power  Zoom on Seán Power  Power, Seán.
Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  Roche, Dick. Information on Eamon Ryan  Zoom on Eamon Ryan  Ryan, Eamon.
Information on Eamon Scanlon  Zoom on Eamon Scanlon  Scanlon, Eamon. Information on Brendan Smith  Zoom on Brendan Smith  Smith, Brendan.
Information on Noel Treacy  Zoom on Noel Treacy  Treacy, Noel. Information on Mary Wallace  Zoom on Mary Wallace  Wallace, Mary.
Information on Mary Alexandra White  Zoom on Mary Alexandra White  White, Mary Alexandra. Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  Woods, Michael.



Níl
Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  Allen, Bernard. Information on James Bannon  Zoom on James Bannon  Bannon, James.
Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Barrett, Seán. Information on Pat Breen  Zoom on Pat Breen  Breen, Pat.
Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Broughan, Thomas P. Information on Ulick Burke  Zoom on Ulick Burke  Burke, Ulick.
Information on Catherine Byrne  Zoom on Catherine Byrne  Byrne, Catherine. Information on Joe Carey  Zoom on Joe Carey  Carey, Joe.
Information on Deirdre Clune  Zoom on Deirdre Clune  Clune, Deirdre. Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  Connaughton, Paul.
Information on Noel Coonan  Zoom on Noel Coonan  Coonan, Noel J. Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  Costello, Joe.
Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  Coveney, Simon. Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  Crawford, Seymour.
Information on Michael Creed  Zoom on Michael Creed  Creed, Michael. Information on Lucinda Creighton  Zoom on Lucinda Creighton  Creighton, Lucinda.
Information on John Deasy  Zoom on John Deasy  Deasy, John. Information on Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  Deenihan, Jimmy.
Information on Andrew Doyle  Zoom on Andrew Doyle  Doyle, Andrew. Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Durkan, Bernard J.
Information on Damien English  Zoom on Damien English  English, Damien. Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright  Enright, Olwyn.
Information on Frank Feighan  Zoom on Frank Feighan  Feighan, Frank. Information on Martin Ferris  Zoom on Martin Ferris  Ferris, Martin.
Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  Flanagan, Charles. Information on Terence Flanagan  Zoom on Terence Flanagan  Flanagan, Terence.
Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Gilmore, Eamon. Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  Hayes, Brian.
Information on Tom Hayes  Zoom on Tom Hayes  Hayes, Tom. Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  Higgins, Michael D.
Information on Philip Hogan  Zoom on Philip Hogan  Hogan, Phil. Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Howlin, Brendan.
Information on Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  Kehoe, Paul. Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Kenny, Enda.
Information on Ciaran Lynch  Zoom on Ciaran Lynch  Lynch, Ciarán. Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  Lynch, Kathleen.
Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  McCormack, Pádraic. Information on Dinny McGinley  Zoom on Dinny McGinley  McGinley, Dinny.
Information on Joe McHugh  Zoom on Joe McHugh  McHugh, Joe. Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  McManus, Liz.
Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  Mitchell, Olivia. Information on Arthur Morgan  Zoom on Arthur Morgan  Morgan, Arthur.
Information on Denis Naughten  Zoom on Denis Naughten  Naughten, Denis. Information on Dan Neville  Zoom on Dan Neville  Neville, Dan.
Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  Noonan, Michael. Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh  Ó Snodaigh, Aengus. Information on Fergus O'Dowd  Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd  O’Dowd, Fergus.
Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Jim. Information on John O'Mahony  Zoom on John O'Mahony  O’Mahony, John.
Information on Brian O'Shea  Zoom on Brian O'Shea  O’Shea, Brian. Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  O’Sullivan, Jan.
Information on Willie Penrose  Zoom on Willie Penrose  Penrose, Willie. Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  Perry, John.
Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Quinn, Ruairí. Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Rabbitte, Pat.
Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  Reilly, James. Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring  Ring, Michael.
Information on Alan Shatter  Zoom on Alan Shatter  Shatter, Alan. Information on Tom Sheahan  Zoom on Tom Sheahan  Sheahan, Tom.
Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  Sheehan, P. J. Information on Sean Sherlock  Zoom on Sean Sherlock  Sherlock, Seán.
Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  Shortall, Róisín. Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  Stagg, Emmet.
Information on David Stanton  Zoom on David Stanton  Stanton, David. Information on Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins  Timmins, Billy.
Information on Joanna Tuffy  Zoom on Joanna Tuffy  Tuffy, Joanna. Information on Mary Upton  Zoom on Mary Upton  Upton, Mary.
Information on Leo Varadkar  Zoom on Leo Varadkar  Varadkar, Leo.  

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Pat Carey and John Cregan; Níl, Deputies Paul Kehoe and Emmet Stagg.

Question declared carried.

Question, “That Financial Resolution No. 5 be agreed to”, put and declared carried.

Question, “That Financial Resolution No. 6 be agreed to”, put and declared carried.

Question put: “That Financial Resolution No. 7 be agreed to.”

The Dáil divided: Tá, 84; Níl, 68.

Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  Ahern, Dermot. Information on Michael Ahern  Zoom on Michael Ahern  Ahern, Michael.
Information on Noel Ahern  Zoom on Noel Ahern  Ahern, Noel. Information on Barry Andrews  Zoom on Barry Andrews  Andrews, Barry.
Information on Chris Andrews  Zoom on Chris Andrews  Andrews, Chris. Information on Seán Ardagh  Zoom on Seán Ardagh  Ardagh, Seán.
Information on Bobby Aylward  Zoom on Bobby Aylward  Aylward, Bobby. Information on Joe Behan  Zoom on Joe Behan  Behan, Joe.
Information on Niall Blaney  Zoom on Niall Blaney  Blaney, Niall. Information on Aine Brady  Zoom on Aine Brady  Brady, Áine.
Information on Cyprian Brady  Zoom on Cyprian Brady  Brady, Cyprian. Information on Johnny Brady  Zoom on Johnny Brady  Brady, Johnny.
Information on John Browne  Zoom on John Browne  Browne, John. Information on Thomas Byrne  Zoom on Thomas Byrne  Byrne, Thomas.
Information on Dara Calleary  Zoom on Dara Calleary  Calleary, Dara. Information on Pat Carey  Zoom on Pat Carey  Carey, Pat.
Information on Niall Collins  Zoom on Niall Collins  Collins, Niall. Information on Margaret Conlon  Zoom on Margaret Conlon  Conlon, Margaret.
Information on Sean Connick  Zoom on Sean Connick  Connick, Seán. Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  Coughlan, Mary.
Information on John Cregan  Zoom on John Cregan  Cregan, John. Information on Ciaran Cuffe  Zoom on Ciaran Cuffe  Cuffe, Ciarán.
Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  Cullen, Martin. Information on John Curran  Zoom on John Curran  Curran, John.
Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Dempsey, Noel. Information on Jimmy Devins  Zoom on Jimmy Devins  Devins, Jimmy.
Information on Tim Dooley  Zoom on Tim Dooley  Dooley, Timmy. Information on Frank Fahey  Zoom on Frank Fahey  Fahey, Frank.
Information on Michael Finneran  Zoom on Michael Finneran  Finneran, Michael. Information on Michael Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Michael Fitzpatrick  Fitzpatrick, Michael.
Information on Seán Fleming  Zoom on Seán Fleming  Fleming, Seán. Information on Beverley Cooper-Flynn  Zoom on Beverley Cooper-Flynn  Flynn, Beverley.
Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Gallagher, Pat The Cope. Information on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Gogarty, Paul.
Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley  Gormley, John. Information on Noel Grealish  Zoom on Noel Grealish  Grealish, Noel.
Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  Hanafin, Mary. Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  Harney, Mary.
Information on Seán Haughey  Zoom on Seán Haughey  Haughey, Seán. Information on Jackie Healy-Rae  Zoom on Jackie Healy-Rae  Healy-Rae, Jackie.
Information on Máire Hoctor  Zoom on Máire Hoctor  Hoctor, Máire. Information on Billy Kelleher  Zoom on Billy Kelleher  Kelleher, Billy.
Information on Peter Kelly  Zoom on Peter Kelly  Kelly, Peter. Information on Brendan Kenneally  Zoom on Brendan Kenneally  Kenneally, Brendan.
Information on Michael Kennedy  Zoom on Michael Kennedy  Kennedy, Michael. Information on Tony Killeen  Zoom on Tony Killeen  Killeen, Tony.
Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Kirk, Seamus.  Kitt, Michael P.
Information on Tom Kitt  Zoom on Tom Kitt  Kitt, Tom. Information on Conor Lenihan  Zoom on Conor Lenihan  Lenihan, Conor.
Information on Michael Lowry  Zoom on Michael Lowry  Lowry, Michael. Information on Dr Martin Mansergh  Zoom on Dr Martin Mansergh  Mansergh, Martin.
Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  Martin, Micheál. Information on James McDaid  Zoom on James McDaid  McDaid, James.
Information on Tom McEllistrim  Zoom on Tom McEllistrim  McEllistrim, Thomas. Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath  McGrath, Finian.
Information on Mattie McGrath  Zoom on Mattie McGrath  McGrath, Mattie. Information on Michael McGrath  Zoom on Michael McGrath  McGrath, Michael.
Information on John McGuinness  Zoom on John McGuinness  McGuinness, John. Information on John Moloney  Zoom on John Moloney  Moloney, John.
Information on Michael Moynihan  Zoom on Michael Moynihan  Moynihan, Michael. Information on Michael Mulcahy  Zoom on Michael Mulcahy  Mulcahy, Michael.
Information on M. J. Nolan  Zoom on M. J. Nolan  Nolan, M. J. Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  Ó Cuív, Éamon.
Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Ó Fearghaíl, Seán. Information on Darragh O'Brien  Zoom on Darragh O'Brien  O’Brien, Darragh.
Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  O’Connor, Charlie. Information on Willie O'Dea  Zoom on Willie O'Dea  O’Dea, Willie.
Information on Noel O'Flynn  Zoom on Noel O'Flynn  O’Flynn, Noel. Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  O’Hanlon, Rory.
Information on Batt O'Keeffe  Zoom on Batt O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Batt. Information on Ned O'Keeffe  Zoom on Ned O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Edward.
Information on Mary O'Rourke  Zoom on Mary O'Rourke  O’Rourke, Mary. Information on Christy O'Sullivan  Zoom on Christy O'Sullivan  O’Sullivan, Christy.
Information on Peter Power  Zoom on Peter Power  Power, Peter. Information on Seán Power  Zoom on Seán Power  Power, Seán.
Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  Roche, Dick. Information on Eamon Ryan  Zoom on Eamon Ryan  Ryan, Eamon.
Information on Eamon Scanlon  Zoom on Eamon Scanlon  Scanlon, Eamon. Information on Brendan Smith  Zoom on Brendan Smith  Smith, Brendan.
Information on Noel Treacy  Zoom on Noel Treacy  Treacy, Noel. Information on Mary Wallace  Zoom on Mary Wallace  Wallace, Mary.
Information on Mary Alexandra White  Zoom on Mary Alexandra White  White, Mary Alexandra. Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  Woods, Michael.



Níl
Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  Allen, Bernard. Information on James Bannon  Zoom on James Bannon  Bannon, James.
Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Barrett, Seán. Information on Pat Breen  Zoom on Pat Breen  Breen, Pat.
Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Broughan, Thomas P. Information on Ulick Burke  Zoom on Ulick Burke  Burke, Ulick.
Information on Catherine Byrne  Zoom on Catherine Byrne  Byrne, Catherine. Information on Joe Carey  Zoom on Joe Carey  Carey, Joe.
Information on Deirdre Clune  Zoom on Deirdre Clune  Clune, Deirdre. Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  Connaughton, Paul.
Information on Noel Coonan  Zoom on Noel Coonan  Coonan, Noel J. Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  Costello, Joe.
Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  Coveney, Simon. Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  Crawford, Seymour.
Information on Michael Creed  Zoom on Michael Creed  Creed, Michael. Information on Lucinda Creighton  Zoom on Lucinda Creighton  Creighton, Lucinda.
Information on John Deasy  Zoom on John Deasy  Deasy, John. Information on Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  Deenihan, Jimmy.
Information on Andrew Doyle  Zoom on Andrew Doyle  Doyle, Andrew. Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Durkan, Bernard J.
Information on Damien English  Zoom on Damien English  English, Damien. Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright  Enright, Olwyn.
Information on Frank Feighan  Zoom on Frank Feighan  Feighan, Frank. Information on Martin Ferris  Zoom on Martin Ferris  Ferris, Martin.
Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  Flanagan, Charles. Information on Terence Flanagan  Zoom on Terence Flanagan  Flanagan, Terence.
Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Gilmore, Eamon. Information on Tom Hayes  Zoom on Tom Hayes  Hayes, Tom.
Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  Higgins, Michael D. Information on Philip Hogan  Zoom on Philip Hogan  Hogan, Phil.
Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Howlin, Brendan. Information on Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  Kehoe, Paul.
Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Kenny, Enda. Information on Ciaran Lynch  Zoom on Ciaran Lynch  Lynch, Ciarán.
Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  Lynch, Kathleen. Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  McCormack, Pádraic.
Information on Dinny McGinley  Zoom on Dinny McGinley  McGinley, Dinny. Information on Joe McHugh  Zoom on Joe McHugh  McHugh, Joe.
Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  McManus, Liz. Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  Mitchell, Olivia.
Information on Arthur Morgan  Zoom on Arthur Morgan  Morgan, Arthur. Information on Denis Naughten  Zoom on Denis Naughten  Naughten, Denis.
Information on Dan Neville  Zoom on Dan Neville  Neville, Dan. Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  Noonan, Michael.
Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín. Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh  Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
Information on Fergus O'Dowd  Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd  O’Dowd, Fergus. Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Jim.
Information on John O'Mahony  Zoom on John O'Mahony  O’Mahony, John. Information on Brian O'Shea  Zoom on Brian O'Shea  O’Shea, Brian.
Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  O’Sullivan, Jan. Information on Willie Penrose  Zoom on Willie Penrose  Penrose, Willie.
Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  Perry, John. Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Quinn, Ruairí.
Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Rabbitte, Pat. Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  Reilly, James.
Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring  Ring, Michael. Information on Alan Shatter  Zoom on Alan Shatter  Shatter, Alan.
Information on Tom Sheahan  Zoom on Tom Sheahan  Sheahan, Tom. Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  Sheehan, P. J.
Information on Sean Sherlock  Zoom on Sean Sherlock  Sherlock, Seán. Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  Shortall, Róisín.
Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  Stagg, Emmet. Information on David Stanton  Zoom on David Stanton  Stanton, David.
Information on Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins  Timmins, Billy. Information on Joanna Tuffy  Zoom on Joanna Tuffy  Tuffy, Joanna.
Information on Mary Upton  Zoom on Mary Upton  Upton, Mary. Information on Leo Varadkar  Zoom on Leo Varadkar  Varadkar, Leo.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Pat Carey and John Cregan; Níl, Deputies Paul Kehoe and Emmet Stagg.

Question declared carried.

Financial Resolution No. 8 agreed to.

Deputy Mary Coughlan: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  I move the following Financial Resolutions:


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