EU-IMF Programme of Financial Support: Motion

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 725 No. 2
Unrevised

First Page Previous Page Page of 181 Next Page Last Page

Minister for Finance (Deputy Brian Lenihan): Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  I move:

[312]

This is a difficult time in our country’s history, but we must not give in to the sense of hopelessness that pervades much public comment. Across the country, citizens are getting on with their lives, their jobs and their businesses. Those of us in leadership positions have a duty in these difficult times to engender hope and confidence and to point out our problems are resolvable. The national recovery plan and the fiscal and banking measures we are taking have established the essential framework for this country’s path back to recovery. We now have the means at our disposal to rectify our economic position and lay the necessary groundwork for sustainable growth. Fundamental to this endeavour is the programme of financial assistance we have agreed with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, IMF.

This motion proposes Dáil Éireann approves the terms of the agreements which comprise the EU-IMF programme of financial assistance and, in particular, the memorandum of economic and financial policies and the memorandum of understanding agreed by the Government. These set out the standards in respect of which a positive evaluation will lead to the disbursement of financial assistance from the EU and the IMF.

The Government agreed to a total package of €85 billion of financial support to Ireland from EU member states through the European Financial Stability Facility, EFSF, and the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism, EFSM, the IMF’s extended fund facility, EFF, and the bilateral loans from the UK, Sweden and Denmark on the basis of specified conditions.

The EU-IMF programme will include up to €50 billion to cover the day-to-day running costs of the State. Up to €35 billion will support the banking system of which €10 billion will be for immediate recapitalisation and the remaining €25 billion provided on a contingency basis. This €25 billion is being provided to address any potential downside risks that may arise through the course of the programme in our banking system.

The State’s contribution to the €85 billion facility will be €17.5 billion, which will come from the National Pensions Reserve Fund, NPRF, and other domestic cash resources. This means the extent of the external assistance will be reduced to €67.5 billion. As set out on numerous occasions, if drawn down in total today, the combined annual average interest rate would be 5.8% per annum. The rate will vary according to the timing of the drawdown and market conditions. The National Treasury Management Agency has issued a technical note on the borrowing costs of the programme.

The purpose of the external financial support is to return our economy to sustainable growth and to ensure we have a properly functioning banking system. The assistance of our EU partners and the IMF is necessary because of the current high yields on Irish bonds, which have curtailed the State’s ability to borrow. Without this external support, the State would not be able to raise the funds required to pay for key public services for our citizens and to provide a functioning banking system to support economic activity. This support is also needed to safeguard financial stability in the eurozone and the EU as a whole.

The programme for support was agreed with the European Commission and the IMF, in liaison with the European Central Bank, ECB. The programme builds on the bank-rescue policies that have been implemented by the Government over the past two and a half years and on the national recovery plan announced in November. It lays out a detailed timetable for the implementation of the measures contained in the national recovery plan. In other words, [313]the national recovery plan is effectively embedded in the programme. This is a key point that needs to be emphasised, as some have suggested that control has been taken out of the Government’s hands. This is not the case.

The details of the programme are set out in the documents listed in the motion. The key documents that set out the conditionality and the level of monitoring that will be required are the memorandum of understanding on specific economic policy conditionality and the memorandum of economic and financial policies. The proposed support will be provided in quarterly tranches on the achievement of agreed quarterly targets.

The programme has two parts — the first deals with bank restructuring, the second, with fiscal policy and structural reform. The requirement for quarterly progress reports covers both parts of the programme. We have already made good progress on the second part concerning fiscal policy with the implementation of the budget. By the end of the week, we will have made a major step forward with bank restructuring with the enactment of the credit institutions legislation.

The programme for the recovery of the banking system will be an intensification of the measures already adopted by the Government. The programme provides for a fundamental downsizing and re-organisation of the banking sector so that it is proportionate to the size of the economy. It will be capitalised to the highest international standards, and in a position to return to normal market sources of funding. The strong focus in the programme on de-leveraging and downsizing of the banks provides a roadmap for achieving the long-term sustainability and viability of the banking system by aligning the size of bank assets with their capacity to fund on a stable basis.

The next step in this process was taken yesterday with the publication of the Credit Institutions (Stabilisation) Bill 2010 which will be debated later. I propose to have it enacted as a matter of urgency by the Oireachtas by the end of this week. It provides the legislative basis for the reorganisation and restructuring of the banking system as agreed in the joint EU-IMF programme.

The programme endorses the Government’s budgetary adjustment plan of €15 billion over the next four years and the substantial €6 billion front-loading of this plan in 2011. The overall adjustment set out by the Government is made up of €10 billion in expenditure savings and €5 billion in taxes. Our plan, based on the latest macroeconomic forecasts of the Department of Finance, envisages the target of having a deficit of under 3% of gross domestic product will be achieved in 2014. However, ECOFIN has acknowledged the EU Commission’s analysis that a further year may be required to achieve the 3% deficit target. This analysis is based on a more cautious growth outlook in 2011 and 2012 and the need to service the cost of additional bank recapitalisation envisaged under the programme. The Council has extended the timeframe by one year to 2015 and, while it is not now envisaged as being necessary, it is a welcome measure if growth does not materialise as planned.

The programme endorses the structural reforms contained in the national recovery plan which will underpin a return to sustainable economic growth over the coming years. We welcome the support thrown to Ireland by our EU partners and, in particular, by the United Kingdom, Sweden and Denmark which expressed their willingness to offer bilateral assistance. The Government also welcomes the assistance of the IMF.

Since this crisis began, the objective of the Government’s actions has been to return to sustainable economic growth and to protect and create jobs. The programme provides the necessary financial assistance to get us through the difficulties we face. We will emerge from our current difficulties a stronger and fitter economy. Many of our strengths as an economy still remain. We have a well-educated and young workforce, high-quality physical infrastructure, [314]favourable demographics, a pro-enterprise environment and a strong high-technology exporting base. Data available to date point to strong exports growth this year; the Department of Finance forecasts export growth of 5% in 2011. Up to 1.9 million persons are in employment, a fact that is overlooked in the doom-laden public debate. We owe it to the others who are seeking employment and cannot find it to put the necessary conditions in place to return this economy to growth. This is what the Government has been doing.

Ireland is still an attractive place to do business. Eight of the top ten global medical technology companies have a manufacturing base in Ireland. Employment in the sector on a per capita basis is the highest in Europe. Eight of the top ten pharmaceutical companies have operations in Ireland. Throughout the past decade, we invested substantially in infrastructure and achieved major improvements, particularly in the quality of road, rail, air and sea transportation. We have also invested in sport and cultural facilities, as well as the educational sector.

These are all factors that add to our competitiveness. Over the past two years we have regained our competitive edge and our healthy exports are proof of that. The national recovery plan identifies the areas of economic activity which will provide growth and employment, and commits to the retention of our 12.5% corporation tax rate. We have every reason to be confident about the future of this economy. This programme provides the funding and support for the necessary reforms we need to take to ensure our future economic recovery.

  1 o’clock

It mystifies me that any party in this House could oppose this programme. The suggestion that the Opposition could negotiate a better interest rate from the IMF is laughable. The rate of interest charged by the IMF is calculated using the standard formula which it applies to all countries. This is a standard calculation and it is completely misleading to suggest that it could be renegotiated. Greece sought to have the terms of its loan adjusted in line with our terms. Perhaps the Opposition parties need to have a discussion about this with their opposite numbers in Greece. The truth is that the only renegotiation possible is on the conditionality of the programme, not the interest rates. On the conditionality of the programme, the crucial figures of the €15 billion adjustment are not open to renegotiation. There may be scope for compositional discussion but any compositional variations in the four year plan would required it to be credible. To suggest, as some parties have, that half of the programme or more could be raised by taxation is frankly incredible because of the devastating impact it would have on employment in this economy.

This year alone we have to borrow €19 billion to fund the State’s expenditure. Any party opposing this motion has a duty to set out its alternative to the programme, without which Ireland would have an immediate €19 billion adjustment this year. I commend this motion to the House as the only realistic basis for our path to recovery.

Deputy Enda Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  I move amendment No. 1:

[315]

Fine Gael recognises the need to sort out the deficit in the public finances created by this Government. We also recognise that the Government’s botched response to the crisis means that external credit lines from the EU and the IMF will be needed until the next Government delivers the policies needed to restore confidence in the Irish public finances and in our financial system.

However, the Government’s so-called recovery plan, which underpins the current EU-IMF rescue package, shows that it has learnt nothing from the crisis of the past two years. We will not restore confidence to our economy unless we credibly cap the taxpayers’ exposure to the banking system, while pursuing new policies to support growth and jobs in parallel to the fiscal adjustments.

The Government’s commitment to continue, and to intensify its failed policies is why the plan in its current form is not workable. In addition, it is why the plan has been greeted with deep scepticism by the financial markets. That is why we cannot support the current agreement. That is also why we welcome the commitment of the EU-IMF to renegotiate, with an incoming Government, aspects of the specific economic policies within the context of our overall support for the deficit reduction targets set out in the agreement.

At the core of the massive loss of confidence in our economy and public finances has been the Government’s commitment of €100 billion to reckless banks: €60 billion in recapitalisation and at least €40 billion from NAMA. The Minister, Deputy Brian Lenihan’s, mantra — that bailing out these reckless banks and their investors was necessary to protect Ireland’s credit rating — proved to be a catastrophic misjudgement. This policy of writing blank cheques for banks has destroyed our country’s credit worthiness.

If it were not for the historical and potential future losses for Irish taxpayers from the bank bail-outs, Ireland’s public finance problems would be judged by the financial markets as being difficult but manageable. The plan asks Ireland to use €10 billion of our National Pensions Reserve Fund, and then potentially to borrow up to an additional €25 billion from the EU and IMF at an interest rate of 5.8% to bail out bank investors and creditors, including those in Anglo Irish Bank.

Between Bank of Ireland, AIB and Anglo Irish Bank alone, there is €25 billion in unguaranteed, unsecured junior debts of €10 billion and senior debts of €15 billion. These debts are not Ireland’s debts. Most of these were temporarily guaranteed by the Oireachtas to provide a period of stability to restructure the banks and to restore confidence, but this guarantee expired last September. Continuing to making the State responsible for the banks’ debts potentially puts an unsupportable burden on taxpayers.

These debts were issued by the banks under private ownership to private investors, including other European banks. A large share of the unsecured senior and junior bonds have now been sold on by the original investors to hedge funds and other risk investors at a fraction of their original value. They are gambling that a weak Irish Government can be strong-armed into paying these bank debts in full. We support a more aggressive bail-in strategy for the banks that forces owners of these debts to participate in the recapitalisation of selected financial institutions.

[316]The Bill published by the Government today — to give the Minister for Finance the powers to write down some of these junior debts in the banks — does not go far enough. There is also a need to negotiate with the senior bond holders to cap further losses for the taxpayer. This can be done while fully protecting the depositors and the functioning of Ireland’s banking system.

This would make the adjustment for the public finances more credible, as well as facilitating a speedier re-entry by Ireland into international capital markets and re-establishing our economic independence, which has been cast away by the current Government.

The Government defends its failure to secure such a deal on the grounds that other European countries and institutions objected to burden sharing by senior bondholders in Irish banks, and fears they had about the impact of such a measure on other banking systems. If such concerns were expressed and are valid, which is arguable, then these countries and institutions should have provided Ireland with the financial incentives and means to pursue further bail-outs.

Offering Ireland nine-year loans at an interest rate of 5.8% to pay off the debts of the banks, many of which are now owned by speculators, is not a fair or credible policy. For example, Iceland has just negotiated a 15-year loan with the UK and the Netherlands, at 3.2%, to pay off some of its own banks’ debts to UK and Dutch depositors. If other countries want Ireland to support the pan-European banking system, then a better deal is necessary.

The Government’s so-called recovery plan, on which the EU-IMF agreement is based, does not offer any credible plan to protect jobs and growth from the effects of fiscal austerity. Our support for a €6 billion adjustment in 2011 was always conditional on the introduction of a parallel plan to stimulate the economy. The recent decision by the European Commission, after being consulted on the Government’s draft plan, to revise down its growth projection for Ireland in 2011 to 0.9% confirms its own lack of confidence in the Government’s growth policies.

Deputy Brian Lenihan: Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  That is a complete misrepresentation.

Deputy Enda Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  We have had further down-rating by Fitch and an increase of spread in the bond yields, even though we are not in the markets.

There is nothing in this agreement of the scale or ambition of Fine Gael’s commercially financed new economic recovery authority investment stimulus in water, broadband and energy. There are no cuts in VAT on job-intensive services, no cut in the jobs tax for small businesses and no new measures to get credit flowing for business. Neither does the cut in the minimum wage make economic or social sense. Families must be better off in work than on welfare. Fine Gael proposes, instead, to cut employment costs for business by abolishing the jobs tax of 8.5% on employer’s PRSI on employees with weekly earnings up to €356.

That is why we welcome the commitment of the EU and the IMF to strengthen the agreement in the area of jobs, growth and economic reform. The IMF has confirmed that, as a matter of principle, it is open to our NewERA proposals to finance an investment stimulus in energy, water and broadband through the sale of State assets that are no longer strategic to economic development. When the Fine Gael economic team and I met officials of the IMF and the EU, they made it perfectly plain that, in accepting the overall targets — as we do — of 3%, €15 billion and €6 billion in 2011, they are quite open to discussing again and renegotiating elements of the plan for growth, job investment and a more effective public sector to deliver more effective services. They were very open and asked me to confirm that in writing to IMF headquarters in Washington, which I did. For that reason, we cannot support this plan as currently [317]laid out. We accept the overall targets and I recognise the difficulty of attempting to renegotiate interest rates.

In due course, we will seek a mandate from the people for our strategy and we will be in a position to renegotiate elements of that plan, as the IMF confirmed to us face to face, while recognising that, for the foreseeable future, it will be necessary to avail of some of the money on offer under this agreement. If that responsibility is given to Fine Gael, it is my intention to be able to return to the international bond markets as soon as possible and acquire money at a lower rate.

Deputy Noonan will spell out some ideas on bank restructuring. There is a better and alternative way of doing this.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Earlier today, the Taoiseach said this motion is on the agenda today because of a political imperative. It is political. It is a cynical exercise in Fianna Fáil tribalism. In two hours, and with less than 24 hours notice of the wording, the Dáil is expected to debate and vote on the EU/IMF deal. We are doing so, not because the Government has suddenly woken up to the requirements of democracy or the Constitution. This is a purely political exercise for the Fianna Fáil party. This debate, we are told, is about putting it up to the Opposition and making them say how they will run the country without the IMF deal. It is another foretaste of the political posturing we can expect from Fianna Fáil during the election campaign. Fianna Fáil, the Republican Party, is reduced to trying to make political capital out of the fact that it has bankrupted the country, has been forced to seek outside assistance and has been reduced to going cap in hand to the lenders of last resort.

Let us be clear. Such is the mess that Fianna Fáil made of the country that we need outside help. The question is what form of external assistance is agreed and on what terms. Labour’s view is clear. This is a bad deal for Ireland. Because it is a bad deal for Ireland, we will vote against it here and, in the forthcoming election, we will seek a mandate to renegotiate it.

The Labour Party supports the programme’s objectives of achieving fiscal and financial sector stability. We have consistently argued over several years that Ireland faces a three-legged crisis — a banking crisis, a fiscal crisis, and a jobs crisis. We have supported the target of reducing the deficit in line with our obligations as members of the eurozone. We have pointed repeatedly to the need to restore credit in the economy and to fix the banks at minimum cost to the taxpayer. We have said, again and again, that the fiscal crisis and the banking crisis are linked to the jobs crisis and that growth is a vital ingredient in the solution to both.

Our concerns about the deal are not with the objectives or the four key elements of the programme. Our concerns are about the overall structure of the deal, the assumptions that underlie it and whether it will work, as well as with individual components within it.

The test of this deal, therefore, is whether, over the period of the programme, it will result in a return of investor confidence to the point where money will be lent to Ireland at reasonable rates of interest and the banking system will be able to fund itself. In the words of the memorandum, Ireland requires a programme that will “restore domestic and external confidence and thus snap the pernicious feedback loops between the growth, fiscal and financial crises”. That is the stated objective of the programme, but there are strong grounds for doubting that it can achieve that goal.

The programme was constructed in a short period, and in the face of pressure from the financial markets. While Ireland was out of the bond market, the yield on bonds in other eurozone economies increased, such that there was pressure to get the deal done quickly. Because time was short, what we have before us is at best partial and at worst unworkable. This is reflected in market comment, which has questioned the interest rate being applied to [318]the loan, the protection of senior bank debt, the amount, timing and front-loading of the fiscal austerity and the bank-restructuring plan, which lacks clarity in respect of what Irish banking will look like at the end of it.

What is being questioned are the two key assumptions on which the programme is built. The first is that Ireland’s present inability to access the sovereign debt markets is for reasons that can be resolved over a three year period with fiscal consolidation and bank restructuring, making it possible for Ireland to return to the market by 2014, if not sooner. The second is that a recapitalisation of the banking system will automatically lead to the banking system being able to access funding within a short space of time without State or EU/ECB support and that the banks will therefore regain the trust of the markets, function normally and provide adequate access to credit to businesses and households.

If Ireland is to return to the market, then the market must be convinced that the Irish economy can manage its debts. This, in turn, depends on the stock of debt that has been built up, the rate of interest being paid on that debt, and the level of growth being achieved. Growth, in turn, depends on the amount of money being taken out of the economy through fiscal austerity and the extent to which the banking system has been re-organised and can deliver credit to the economy, as well as growth in the world economy and the development of a coherent model for post-crisis growth in Ireland.

While many comments are made about Ireland’s flexibility and historic track record of successful fiscal consolidation, it has to be noted that on this occasion we do not have the capacity to devalue our currency. Moreover, we will export to markets experiencing slower growth and we will come out of a recession induced by a bank crisis. These tend to have a greater long-term impact on trend rates of growth than other types of recession.

Growth is critical to the success of this plan or any viable plan. That is why Labour has highlighted the need for adequate investment in the economy through a strategic investment bank. We have argued that resources must be available for a jobs strategy and against the excessive front-loading of austerity in a €6 billion budget, while accepting that the deficit must be brought under control.

So weak was the Irish negotiating position, and so much ground did Government yield on each issue, that, in the end, we are left with a deal that provides the least possible amount of money, at a high interest rate, with little clarity on how the banking system will lend to the real economy, no bail-in for senior bonds, and an extremely demanding austerity programme drawn up by people who know they will not implement it, and which is 40% front-loaded. In fact, it has been reported in the international media that the IMF itself has doubts about elements of the plan, including the fact that groups of bank creditors are not sharing the burden. It has been suggested that the IMF managed to negotiate with the Commission on the target date for achieving the 3% deficit, achieving an extension of one more year.

This is primarily an Irish problem, and it must be fixed in Ireland. It is also a European problem in which the European Union and the ECB have responsibilities. How was it that European banks were allowed to lend into the Irish property bubble, without intervention from the ECB? Why are European banks being protected from losses in respect of senior bonds while the Irish taxpayer is carrying the can? Europe made its contribution to the problem and must also make a contribution to the solution. It must do so because until there is a solution to the Irish crisis, there will be no overall solution to the euro crisis. That is the reality of inter-dependence. However, some are justifying the deal on the grounds that it will make a profit in light of the high rates of interest that are being charged.

[319]The fact that an IMF bailout comes with conditionality is well known. It is necessary that, for the next three years, the Irish Government will be obliged to work with its lenders on economic and financial policy. The IMF has made clear, however, that this does not remove the element of democratic choice regarding how the core objectives of policy can be achieved. What is also clear is that the next Government will be involved in a process of continual negotiation on the detail of the programme. That will not be easy but it is a task that Labour is ready to take on.

My party will seek a mandate from the people for our vision of what Ireland’s future can be and we will engage with the lenders on the basis of our view of how Ireland can have a prosperous and sustainable economy and a fairer society. We do not subscribe to the view that fairness must always be sacrificed for economic progress. We do not agree that cutting the national minimum wage is the answer to the problems in the labour market. We accept that the public finances must be brought under control but this must be achieved in a manner which is consistent with the broader goal of the programme, namely, that there be room for economic growth.

Fianna Fáil has brought us to the lender of last resort and Ireland has been obliged to apply for a loan. However, the terms and conditions of that loan must be workable. The deal must hang together, with jobs and growth a central part of it. Labour is opposing the motion because what is on offer is a bad deal for Ireland. In the coming election we will seek a mandate to renegotiate the programme.

Acting Chairman (Deputy Charlie O’Connor): Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  The next ten-minute slot will be shared by Deputies Doherty, Maureen O’Sullivan and Finian McGrath.

Deputy Pearse Doherty: Information on Pearse Doherty  Zoom on Pearse Doherty  Cuirim fáilte roimh an deis labhairt ar an cheist seo inniu. I welcome the fact that this motion has been tabled but I wish to indicate that Sinn Féin will be rejecting it when the vote is called. Deputy Ó Caoláin made repeated requests for a debate on this matter and he was continually informed that there was no need for either a debate or a vote in respect of it. Again, it was a threat by Sinn Féin to bring the Government to the High Court in order to prove that it would be unconstitutional to push through the EU-IMF programme without a vote which caused action to be taken. Letters that were sent by Deputy Ó Caoláin on Tuesday of last week eventually had the desired effect and resulted in the motion before the House being tabled.

Perhaps the Minister might provide me with some assistance as I appear to be missing the final page of his speech. I refer to page 5, which, I presume, refers to this being the cheapest bailout in the world and on which it is stated that the worst is over and that we have turned a corner. It may be the case, however, that all of these slogans have been forgotten and that those on the benches opposite are repenting for making such misleading statements in the past.

The Minister stated that we have every reason to be confident about the future of the economy. I fundamentally disagree with him in this regard. I would love to be in a position to support his assertion but the reality is that we cannot be confident about the future of the economy. The motion before the House and the Credit Institutions (Stabilisation) Bill 2010, with which we will deal later, are both designed to underpin failed strategies on the part of the Government in respect of the banks and the structural deficit. The strategies to which I refer have resulted in the country falling ever deeper into a black hole.

Unless the Government really turns the corner and takes us off the one-way street on which we have been moving for the past two years, we can have no confidence in it. Exaggerated claims have been made in respect of what has been done during the past two years. Essentially, what the Government wants to do is transform the banking debt into sovereign debt. It wants [320]to ask the people who took the hit in last week’s budget — namely, the unemployed and those on the minimum wage or low incomes — to bail out the bondholders in our banks. Those bondholders are gamblers who invested their money in the banks. Had their investments been successful, they would have received nice returns. However, the latter did not prove to be the case and now the Government is asking taxpayers to take the hit. It is for this reason that we cannot have confidence in the current Administration.

Let us consider the trajectory on which the Government has placed the country and on what outside forces are saying. Ireland’s debt has been downgraded by the international ratings agencies. It was downgraded immediately after the budget in light of the austerity measures announced in the latter, and to which Fine Gael and Labour have signed up, and the contents of the national recovery plan. The national recovery plan has been discredited because the European Commission has already extended the timeframe relating to it to five years instead of four. The austerity measures to which I refer are strangling the economy. Our exposure to the debts of the banks means that those in the international bond markets have no confidence that Ireland will be in a position to return to those markets or that they will be able to lend to us. This is because they are unsure as to whether we will be able to repay our debts.

A number of actions must be taken. In the first instance, the banking debt must be separated from the structural deficit. The Minister tried to present the bailout in such a way as to make the IMF and the EU appear like knights in shining armour, riding to our rescue on their white horses and providing assistance to Irish citizens. Nothing could be further from the truth. Let us consider a couple of points. Some €35 billion of the money from the bailout will be ploughed directly into the banks. The yearly interest repayments relating to this amount will be in excess of €2 billion and they will have to be met by Irish taxpayers. By the end of the four year plan, the people will be paying €10 billion per year in interest. That is unsustainable. We cannot make such repayments into the foreseeable future.

We have two options. The first of these involves beginning to default in respect of private investments. Such investments are not State bonds and they should never be considered as sovereign debt. We either default on these private investments, which were made by the bondholders in Anglo Irish Bank, or we continue down the one-way street on which we are travelling and at the end of which is a cul-de-sac. If the latter course is taken, then at some point in the future Ireland will be obliged to default on sovereign bonds. None of us wants this to happen. However, we must make the distinction between private investment and investment in the State.

Earlier today, the Taoiseach indicated that the rate which will apply in respect of the bailout from the European financial stabilisation mechanism, EFSM, will be the standard rate. That is not true. The 3% additional interest that we will be obliged to pay is punitive. Under what is proposed, our partners in Europe will profit from the misery of the Irish people. In July, Commissioner Olli Rehn announced a €200 million additional investment in Latvia. The money in question was paid out in September and the lower interest rate applied in respect of it. The Minister for Finance, who represents Ireland at meetings of the ECOFIN Council, has sold the people out. A banner which read “We serve neither King nor Kaiser but Ireland” was once hung outside Liberty Hall. We did not serve them then and we will not serve them now. People throughout the country are demanding that the IMF be sent home.

Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan: Information on Maureen O'Sullivan  Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan  I completely accept that we need money because the consequences of not having the resources necessary to pay bills, wages and the money due to social welfare recipients are just too horrific to imagine. However, there are too many harsh conditions attached to the bailout. I refer, in particular, to the interest rate which will place enor[321]mous pressure on the country in the context of meeting repayments. Between one quarter and one third of the entire tax take will be required in order to service the interest payments on the loan we have been given.

I am of the view that Ireland is being used as a test case in the context of future potential disasters within the eurozone. We are being obliged, unjustly and unfairly, to pay for the mistakes made by the banking sectors here and in Europe in respect of reckless lending. We are the puppets dangling at the end of a string and are under the control of elite groups of bankers who are solely motivated by their own interests and preserving their profit margins. I do not believe that the terms “banking” and “altruism” can be used in the same sentence.

How does taking on further debt assist us in repaying our existing debts? Global justice organisations have long been monitoring the impact of IMF policies, particularly in countries such as Mali, Zambia, Honduras and Guatemala where they have had disastrous consequences. The role of the IMF has been to oversee the transfer of wealth from ordinary people to corporate interests. The agreement into which we are entering will lock Ireland into a specific economic model, dominated by policies which impose suffering on the less well off in society. It also will diminish Irish democracy as it will remove aspects of economic decision-making. Why have the issues of leaving the eurozone and default been dismissed so readily? Why do we not ensure that Ireland has a proper stake in the Corrib gas field and other natural resources estimated to be worth in excess of €400 billion? Will this mean selling off profitable and successful assets such as the ESB and Coillte? It is interesting that a former Taoiseach is chairperson of the International Forestry Fund, which is likely to make a bid for Ireland’s forests. Last year, Members were told that we had turned the corner but it looks as though it was into a cul-de-sac. Ireland will recover but it will be in spite of this measure and not because of it.

Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath  I thank the Acting Chairman for the opportunity to speak on this hugely important debate on the European Union-IMF financial support package. It is a sad day for Ireland to find ourselves in this position. I have major concerns about this deal, as have many of my constituents in Dublin North-Central. This bailout deal is punitive, cruel and ultimately not viable. The debt servicing alone will cripple the economy for generations to come. It is abundantly clear that our so-called European partners have taken the opportunity to force this bailout on our country with exorbitant interest rates and ultimately will use of the bailout as a stick with which to enforce Ireland’s economic policy and reduce its sovereignty. Our country needs leaders to stand up and renegotiate a fair deal for the Irish nation. For example, Iceland has renegotiated a new deal which improves on the one rejected by 91% of Icelandic citizens. It has secured a reduction in interest rates from 5.55% to 3.2% on average. The agreement reached also maintains a ceiling on repayments to a share of its economic output.

As a small peripheral economy, Ireland is being squeezed. While we must take responsibility for a failed regulatory system, a failed financial system and for a Government that allowed the banks to be run as casinos, we are not obliged to take full responsibility for reckless and greedy investors in Irish financial institutions or for gamblers who operated the system in the knowledge that all their bets were guaranteed regardless of the odds. Finally, as a sovereign people, we can say “No” to a debt that cripples us. According to the figures of the Bank for International Settlements, the banks of the periphery owe the banks of France and Germany more than €973 billion. This bailout is not for Ireland but is for the banks of France and Germany and the Irish cannot pay this bill.

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs (Deputy Dick Roche): Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  I am unsure whether that was Deputy Doherty’s maiden speech. It was a fine speech. Unfortunately he rather destroyed it in the last few seconds. However, it was a fine speech nonetheless.

[322]Deputy Pearse Doherty: Information on Pearse Doherty  Zoom on Pearse Doherty  Is the Minister of State projecting——

Acting Chairman (Deputy Charlie O’Connor): Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  The Minister of State, without interruption.

Deputy Dick Roche: Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  I wish to focus on two issues.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh  The Minister of State is encouraging interruptions.

Deputy Dick Roche: Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  My remark was not patronising but was a genuine comment. The Deputy should take a compliment when it is offered to him in this Chamber as they are rare enough.

Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath  It was an excellent speech. The Minister of State should leave it at that.

Deputy Dick Roche: Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  I wish to take up and deal with two points. The first has been the response, led oddly enough by the main Opposition party, to the EU-IMF facility. Second, I wish to comment on the very loose talk in Ireland for the best part of two years on the rather emotive topic of burning bondholders. The approach adopted by Fine Gael over the weekend on the EU-IMF bailout programme and its attempt to justify its position strike me as bordering on the bizarre.

Deputy Michael Noonan: Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  The Minister of State is out of touch.

Acting Chairman (Deputy Charlie O’Connor): Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  The Deputy will have his chance later.

Deputy Dick Roche: Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  A series of Fine Gael spokespersons basically have argued that they could renegotiate a better deal with the EU and the IMF on the basis that Deputy Kenny has some sort of friendship or relationship with the German Chancellor. I note that Deputy Kenny rather retrieved his position of last week in his earlier contribution when he spoke of how difficult it would be to vary interest rates. The leader of Fine Gael entered Dáil Éireann 35 years ago and became a Member of the House only a short time after Ireland became a member of the European Union. One could reasonably have assumed that Fine Gael, which regularly boasts of being the most European of parties, would have gained some knowledge as to how the European Union works in the meantime.

A central feature of the European institutional arrangements is the independence of the European Commission. Once it takes office, the Commission operates on Europe’s behalf and not at the behest of individual member states, individual political leaders or individual political families. The independence of the Commission as an institution is rightly perceived to be one of the protections of the European framework but in particular on of the protections for small and medium countries. Nevertheless, the central point that has been put forward by Fine Gael over the past five or six days is that its members intend to vote against the EU-IMF facility on the basis that if they are in power next year, they will be in a better position to cut a deal for Ireland. The basis for this particular argument is the proposition that Fine Gael is a member of the EPP and Mrs. Merkel’s party also is a member of the EPP. Consequently, the feeling appears to be that Fine Gael can make a telephone call to Mrs. Merkel and that she will put in the fix on behalf of that party with the Commission. I am disappointed by this line of argument, which has been made repeatedly on the other side of the House. The suggestion gives pot-hole politics an entirely new dimension.

The first point that must be made is that the Commission would resist any attempt from any political leader to push it in a particular direction on purely partisan grounds, regardless of whether it was the Chancellor of Germany or the leader of the Fine Gael Party. The second [323]point is that given the recent focus of the German Chancellor’s comments, anyone who thinks that the German political leadership would willingly load any additional burden on German taxpayers to assist an individual member state is living in cloud cuckoo land. The third point which can be made is that not all members of the European Commission are from the same European party or family as are Mrs. Merkel and Deputy Kenny. One is living in a vain world if one believes that an EPP background alone will persuade Commissioners to do one’s bidding. Most importantly, the suggestion that Fine Gael can put in a fix with the Commission is an attack both on the integrity of the Commissioners themselves and, I suggest, on the integrity of the German Chancellor.

Over the last two days, I attended three different Council meetings in Brussels and the commentary which went around about this particular line of argument——

Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  No doubt the Minister of State was swanning it again.

Deputy Michael Noonan: Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  He was boasting about how wealthy we were as a country.

Acting Chairman (Deputy Charlie O’Connor): Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  The Deputy will get his chance.

Deputy Dick Roche: Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  ——was extraordinary. It was interesting to listen to the amusement and derision generated by the Fine Gael line.

Deputy Michael Noonan: Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  They speak of nothing else but Fine Gael in Brussels.

Deputy Dick Roche: Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  Talk of burning the bondholders is good for cheap headlines but bad for Ireland. As Members are aware, in Irish law, senior bond debt obligations of financial institutions rank equal to deposits and other creditors. The danger of unqualified speculation about burning bondholders was well illustrated following Chancellor Merkel’s comments, when bond yields increased dramatically. Fine Gael became so concerned at that time that Deputy Noonan, who I accept has taken a more nuanced line in this regard than some of his colleagues, including the gentleman sitting to his right, urged the Government to use whatever diplomatic levers were available to get a statement on the matter from the Council of Ministers and we succeeded in so doing. Dr. Garret FitzGerald described the German position, which of course is the same position as the unqualified position of Fine Gael, as being completely destabilising.

Dr. FitzGerald has been to the fore in warning about loose talk on burning bondholders. In August 2009, Dr. FitzGerald commented that the 46 economists who had written to The Irish Times had failed to distinguish between subordinated and senior debt. He made the common sense comment in that particular article that “an attempt to resile from our commitment in respect of [senior debt] could prejudice our capacity to continue to borrow from international markets”. The idea that Ireland could unilaterally resile in any degree from this is ludicrous. This is the point to which Dr. FitzGerald has returned more than once. He went on to ask the common sense question as to who would wish to lend any more to us were we to repudiate our senior bonds. Another former Fine Gael leader and Taoiseach, Mr. John Bruton, issued a warning in more unilateral terms recently when speaking about unilateral default. While backing the line taken by the Minister for Finance, he made the point that “if this generation fails to repay its debts, it would be [the worst] betrayal in the history of the country since the Act of Union in 1801”.

However, people in Fine Gael were not listening to senior counsels who were involved in that party and who have a good track record in this area. When speaking on “Morning Ireland”, Deputy Bruton as late as 29 November was critical of the Government and stated “it is displaying very narrow thinking in shielding bondholders from exposure to [debts]”. Later on the same day on “The Frontline”, Deputy Brian Hayes was asked by Pat Kenny about the IMF-[324]EU negotiations and the question of burning bondholders. Deputy Brian Hayes made it clear where he stood by advocating without equivocation that they all should be burned. He went further, because Pat Kenny asked him specifically——

Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  The Minister of State is watching a lot of television.

Acting Chairman (Deputy Charlie O’Connor): Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  Deputy, please.

Deputy Dick Roche: Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  Mr. Kenny suggested correctly that the EU-IMF team had set their faces against burning the bondholders and that this was a parameter.

Deputy Michael Noonan: Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  He knows more about Fine Gael than most of the lads in the party.

Deputy Dick Roche: Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  However, Deputy Brian Hayes disputed this.

Deputy Michael Noonan: Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  Send in an application form.

Deputy Dick Roche: Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  He suggested that if this was an exclusive deal with the IMF, that would not be the position but unfortunately the EU sold out on the issue. His view, not for the first time, was entirely misrepresenting the position taken by an international body.

I suggest that Deputy Hayes, in the time between now and Christmas, might pick up a document, “Default in Today’s Advanced Economies: Unnecessary, Undesirable and Unlikely”, which is an IMF publication. The head of the ECB also agrees very firmly with the assessment of Deputy Hayes. In the European Parliament recently Mr. Trichet said finance Ministers were sticking closely to the precedents set by the IMF in dealing with possible sovereign defaults. He told the Parliament Europe’s policies would be fully consistent with IMF policy and practices.

To be fair, the leader of the Labour Party has been one of the first people seeing the difference, unlike Deputy Hayes. When Deputy Joan Burton said she was in favour of burning the bondholders, it was clear that Deputy Richard Bruton was not in favour. Speaking on “Morning Ireland”, he said we cannot and should not default and he made the same point today. The reality is that the grinning Member opposite is very good at getting a high profile and making commentary which he knows makes absolutely no sense.

The idea that Mrs. Merkel has or would ever pick up the telephone and have a quiet chat with a member of the Commission and put in a fix is gombeen politics of a high order. Chancellor Merkel and Finance Minister Schaeuble have made a politically populist point that taxpayers cannot be called on to shoulder burdens and made the same point again yesterday that they would not tolerate——

Deputy Michael Creed: Information on Michael Creed  Zoom on Michael Creed  The Minister of State is asking the taxpayer to shoulder the whole burden.

Deputy Dick Roche: Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  I know that the truth hurts but a tiny bit of forbearance is needed. The European Central Bank, the IMF and various senior spokespersons from across the Union have made the point that the populist and uncomplicated line which has been taken by Fine Gael, namely, that everybody should be burned, is a nonsense policy.

I will return to the first point I made. The idea that European policy will be established within the EPP family is a facile approach to a debate of this importance in this country. It is ludicrous in the extreme to suggest the European Commission will be bid to do the wants of any individual party on this issue. It is undermining a position which Fine Gael has taken over [325]all the years of our membership about protecting the independence of the Commission. To suggest that, somehow, the Commission can be undermined for political reasons is a policy, attitude and boast that will come back to haunt it.

Acting Chairman: Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  Deputy Noonan is sharing time with Deputy Hayes and will have my full protection.

Deputy Michael Noonan: Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  The Minister of State, Deputy Dick Roche, has made the same mistake as all former bureaucrats. He confuses the bureaucracy with the Council of Ministers. The decisions on the bailout were made by ECOFIN. When the Minister, Deputy Brian Lenihan, had to have a conference call on the Sunday night with ECOFIN, it made the decisions and then, on the following Sunday, when he had to fly to Brussels to a special meeting, it was to a meeting of ECOFIN. It makes the decisions. The Commission makes proposals and carries out the decisions of the Council of Ministers. The Minister of State’s great defence of the bureaucracy which might enhance him in Brussels sounded more like a job application for the Commission rather than having any relevance to this debate.

Deputy Dick Roche: Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  The only one is the one mentioned by the Deputy.

Deputy Michael Noonan: Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  This deal is a very bad deal and in one respect it is a downright obscenity. Ireland’s sovereign debt was manageable, but once the banking liabilities incurred by the Government were added to the sovereign debt the situation could no longer be sustained. That is why Ireland could no longer borrow in the markets and why the IMF and the EU are bailing us out. The direct cause of the banking crisis and the bailout is the Government’s banking policy which has led directly to the IMF and EU bailout which we are now discussing.

It is worth recalling the liabilities of the Irish banks which the Government decided to cover since September 2008. They comprise €440 billion of eligible institutions guaranteed under the CIF and ELG schemes; €80 billion of property and associated impaired loans from the banks to be purchased by NAMA in exchange for Government guaranteed bonds; and €31 billion upfront capital support in the form of promissory notes and ISS which has brought the general Government deficit to 32% of GDP, against a 2010 forecast of 11.9%.

The bailout plan has increased the debt burden for the Government and has led to sovereign downgrades. The terms of the bailout insist that a further €17 billion of loans be transferred to NAMA by the end of the year. It has signalled that there will be additional discounts on this tranche of loans, so a considerable additional cost to the Irish treasury will be added to the €33 billion.

There are increased market tensions arising from the bailout, which may add further to Ireland’s debt burden, with increasing concerns that the position will become unsustainable. Despite all this, the Government failed to negotiate a burden sharing arrangement for non-guaranteed bank debt as part of the bailout arrangement. Ireland’s commitments on sovereign debt and debt under guarantee must be honoured in full. What legal or moral compulsion is on Ireland, however, to honour in full debt incurred by Irish banks when there was no State involvement in the arrangements? These loans were entered into freely by willing lenders and borrowers with absolutely no State participation. The interest rate charged represented the risk at the time and there never was a State liability. It is obscene that liability for these loans is now being transferred to the Irish taxpayer, in many respects to the poorest of the Irish taxpayers.

There is €10 billion of subordinated debt in Irish banks and €15 billion of non-guaranteed senior debt. The Irish Government and the taxpayer has no liability whatsoever for these debts, but the bailout deal is now forcing them to accept liability because it puts this imposition on them. In the budget the Minister for Finance reduced social welfare payments, punished the [326]blind, disabled, widows, carers and the unemployed and he taxed the poorest at work, and for what? It was so that the taxpayer can take on liability for debts the country never incurred and arose from private arrangements between private institutions. What a disaster and an obscenity. How can the Government stand over it? How can our European colleagues stand over it? When the deal was agreed, there was an attempt to justify it because any re-negotiation of bank debt in Ireland could have a major adverse effect on banks in Germany, France and the UK that lent to Irish banks. This consideration may have been valid some time ago but it is no longer valid.

The latest available bank data shows that Irish guaranteed bank debt has been sold on at a discount to hedge funds in the USA, the UK and Luxembourg, as well as to smaller speculative investors. If the Minister of State is interested in the data, he will find it through Clearstream and Euroclear. He can track the sale of bonds at discounts. They are no longer being held by European banks that lent the money in the first instance. Rather, they are now in the possession of hedge funds and the Minister of State can find their names on the two websites to which I referred.

Deputy Pat Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  They will make a killing on it.

Deputy Michael Noonan: Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  If, for example, a hedge fund buys Irish unguaranteed bank debt at 80 cent in the euro, it stands to make 25% on its investment if Ireland continues to guarantee to redeem the debt at par. The position has now become indefensible that the Irish taxpayer, even the poorest taxpayers, should be required to underpin the speculation of hedge fund investors.

There must be transparent, open, negotiated burden sharing of bank debt. It must deal with both subordinate debt and non-guaranteed senior debt. If one wants to find the origin of the phrase “burden sharing”, it was Mr. John-Claude Trichet who first used it as chairman of the Paris Club, which was the first international institution involved in the discounting of debt.

If the EU finds this approach unacceptable for fear of a knock-on effect in Europe and if the Irish taxpayer is expected to underpin the banking system in other member states, then where is the quid pro quo? Where was it in the negotiations? The Icelandic Government has negotiated 15 year money at 3.2% from the UK and Dutch Governments for its bank bailout. Ireland is being charged 5.8% and at least one tranche of EU funding has a built-in profit margin of 2.9%.

This is not solidarity or in accordance with the spirit of Article 122 of the treaty. The Government’s negotiations have led to a very bad result and deal. The deal needs to be re-negotiated and Fine Gael, in the election, will look for a mandate to do so.

Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  Since September 2008, every statement by the Minister on the banking situation has proved to be incorrect. Every estimate of the final cost has had to be revised upwards. It has now reached such staggering levels that the solvency of the State itself has been called into question. As Professor Kelly said recently when writing about this crisis, we are now depending “on the kindness of strangers”. The Government’s response to the emerging crisis in the State’s finances this autumn has exactly mirrored its response to the banking crisis. It continued to deny there was a problem, even though nobody was prepared to lend money to it other than at high rates. In recent weeks, the Taoiseach and the Minister for Finance deceived their own Cabinet colleagues and treated the Irish people as fools. Every citizen of this Republic has a right to be angry with this Government’s handling of events surrounding the EU-IMF bailout deal. We are a proud people and we do not like to be made fools of. We [327]do not like our Government to be made eejits of on the international stage, personified most by the Minister of State with responsibility for Europe.

Deputy Dick Roche: Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  When one descends to personal insults, one detracts from one’s argument, even if it is a fatuous one.

Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  Reckless lending——

Acting Chairman (Deputy Charlie O’Connor): Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  Deputy Hayes, without interruption.

Deputy Dick Roche: Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  No, he made a personal comment.

Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  The gross incompetence of the Financial Regulator and the Central Bank and the catastrophic failures of the Government have trashed our economy and brought the country to the edge of bankruptcy. The Government has fractured the basic trust that should exist between citizens and those who govern them. People neither believe this Government nor trust the banks, and with good reason. Far from stabilising the banking system, the Government’s banking policy has fatally undermined confidence in our banks at home and abroad. The President of the European Central Bank, Mr. Trichet, expressed this succinctly in recent times when he said credibility is what matters. Credibility has drained away from the Government and rightly so. Any Government that tries to spin a bailout as a positive development is bereft of credibility and of shame.

The Minister, Deputy Batt O’Keeffe, recently spoke about playing high-stakes poker. I suggest it was more a case of strip poker. The only card the Government had to hold to cover its nakedness was the joker. Having crashed the economy into a brick wall, the Government wants us to forget the crash and talk instead about how the ambulance will help us. No one should be under any illusion about the medicine being dished out in this deal. We should not forget that the Minister for Finance, Deputy Brian Lenihan, wrote and signed the letter of surrender. Our new masters will be checking our wallets every week to see how much cash they can take on foot of the ridiculous deal that has been negotiated by the Government. The Government has been well and truly exposed. The emperor has no clothes. The Government’s banking policy is worth no more than a beaten docket on the floor of the Fianna Fáil tent at the Galway Races. The Government is like our banks — broken and bust. It is time for it to go.

Deputy Dick Roche: Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  The Deputy’s speech contained an impossible cliché.

Deputy Thomas Byrne: Information on Thomas Byrne  Zoom on Thomas Byrne  I would like to share time with Deputy Michael McGrath.

Acting Chairman (Deputy Charlie O’Connor): Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  Is that agreed? Agreed.

Deputy Thomas Byrne: Information on Thomas Byrne  Zoom on Thomas Byrne  The vote that will follow this afternoon’s debate will certainly be one of the most important votes since I was elected to the House. I think it will be one of the most important in the history of the Dáil. I am glad the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party, and subsequently the Government, agreed to the request made by Deputy Michael McGrath and me that this matter should be brought before the Dáil. It should be noted, for the purposes of the record, that we sent a letter to the Taoiseach saying we intended to pursue this important matter six days before the Sinn Féin solicitor’s letter was sent.

It is noteworthy that since the IMF deal was announced, the Opposition has not used its own time to discuss it. The Government has not done everything right throughout the economic crisis, but it did the right thing in this instance only for the Opposition to say a debate and a vote would be a waste of time. The public, including my constituents, were right to be enraged by the way the Government handled this issue in the middle of November. I hope this debate [328]provides some catharsis at the end of that episode. The manner in which these things were communicated to the public was totally unacceptable. The Government was doing the right thing by the country. It is not always possible for one to play one’s hand in public during a process of negotiation. The public definitely felt aggrieved. I hope this debate and the vote that will follow it will do something for the people.

Last Thursday, when the board of the IMF announced that it intended to postpone its decision as a means of showing respect for the decision of this House, Deputy Kenny came into the Dáil Chamber almost in a panic. He intervened when a division was being called to express his serious concerns about what would happen if the deal failed. The Deputy’s moment of panic shows how much real belief there is within the Opposition. Deputy Gilmore has accepted — for the first time, as far as I know — that a deal is needed but he does not think this deal is the right one. I would describe it as the politics of “yeah but no but yeah but no but yeah but no but”. It is the Vicky Pollard school of politics.

During this debate, not one of the shrill opponents of this deal has spoken about those who are unemployed, those who depend on social welfare, public sector workers or public services. We need to explore what they mean when they say we cannot afford it, starting by setting out what exactly this money will be spent on. Some €10 billion of it will go to the banks, unfortunately. It is possible that this figure will increase to €25 billion. Some €50 billion of it will be used to pay for public services, social welfare, hospitals, schools, gardaí and all the rest. That is a fact. If one says we cannot afford this deal, one is saying we cannot afford our public services. I am not prepared to countenance that.

My form of politics is based on defending the emblems or hallmarks of a cohesive and just society. The Members of this House aspire to defend them, but cannot always do so. That is what this deal is about, in my view. The State, through its public services, should look after the vulnerable. Those who oppose this deal should tell people on social welfare that they are going to take a chance. They should tell public sector workers that they are going to take a chance on their wages. The alternative to this deal is to borrow at 9%, which we cannot afford. If one decides to renegotiate the deal, one will take a chance on the public and on the country.

Rather than elaborating on the positive aspects of the agreement — for example, it mentions improving competitiveness, shrinking the banks at long last, getting lending out and protecting the poor and the vulnerable — I would like to mention an announcement that was made on RTE news this morning. The report in question, which suggested that the interest rate will be three percentage points above the 5.8% rate that has been agreed, was corrected after a time. It was utterly scandalous that an anonymously sourced and inaccurate piece of news which would enrage everybody was allowed to be broadcast. I was shocked by it.

Who is the anonymous source of the information that was given to RTE? Many of those who have placed on the record their opposition to this deal are players in the bond market. Did one of those in the markets who are trying to short the euro, and thereby make money from this crisis, give this inaccurate information to RTE? I understand RTE corrected its report following severe pressure from the Department of Finance. I was in telephone contact with the Department this morning on my way to the Newstalk radio station. This matter is so serious that it deserves to be the subject of a statement from RTE.

We would like a better interest rate. Even if we got €1,000 for everybody in the country, the Opposition would still have a complaint about it. Let us get on with this deal. Let us do it. Let us protect our public services.

Deputy Michael McGrath: Information on Michael McGrath  Zoom on Michael McGrath  I welcome the fact that we are having this debate. It is of fundamental importance to the operation of democracy in this country that the agreement between [329]the EU, the IMF and the Government should be put to a vote of Dáil Éireann. That is why Deputy Byrne and I tabled a motion at a meeting of the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party. I believe the Dáil should remain at the centre of Irish politics. It would be an insult to the House if an agreement of such national importance were not put before it for a meaningful debate and a decision. I welcome the fact that we will have a vote on it this afternoon. I thank the Taoiseach and the parliamentary party for accepting the motion in the spirit in which it was proposed and agreeing to this debate.

The agreement with the EU and the IMF gives us certainty about this country’s funding for the next three years. It comes at a price. It secures a funding stream. It gives us some space to work on reducing our budget deficit. We took a significant step in that regard last week when we passed the budget, which provides for savings of €6 billion in 2011.

  2 o’clock

I would like to pick up on a point that was made by Deputy Byrne. As one listens to the debate, one would think it was all about the banks. Of the €85 billion in question, some €67.5 billion will come from the fund that has been provided. Of that €67.5 billion, some €50 billion will be used for the running of the State. This mechanism will ensure that a replacement source of funding is available when the cash reserves built up by the NTMA expire in the middle of next year. It will enable us to continue to fund social welfare payments and pay public servants, gardaí, teachers, nurses and fire fighters. We owe them a duty to have a clear policy and strategy in place to ensure the State is funded on a stable basis for the next few years.

This plan gives us that opportunity.

There has been a good deal of debate about senior bondholders. The European Union, at present, will not countenance default on senior debt. When the German Chancellor made reference to a new mechanism that would be put in place, we saw how the markets reacted. Subsequently, clarification was given to the effect that any new regime involving burden sharing among senior bondholders would apply only post-2013. The fact is that at present the EU will not entertain a default of senior debt.

As Professor Patrick Honohan pointed out recently, about 5% of total bank debt is accounted for by non-guaranteed senior bonds. It would be wrong, therefore, to characterise the whole debate in terms of the issue of senior debt and defaulting on the senior debt being held by the banks. It appears there is a move within the European Union to put in place a permanent European stability mechanism. That may involve some element of burden sharing even with senior bondholders, but the fact is that such a mechanism is not in place at the moment, and the deal before the House today would not be on the table if the Government insisted on imposing burden sharing on senior bondholders at the present time. That is the reality.

On the issue of the interest rate, we would all like to see this as low as possible. The Spanish ten-year yields yesterday hit 5.54%, which is moving very close to the 5.8% figure contained in this deal. There is growing turbulence in the markets along with question marks about the stability, and the future, of the euro that will have to be dealt with. Countries such as Belgium, Italy, Portugal and Spain are all having to deal with growing concerns about their financial positions, and they are also seeing bond spread increases. The key issue, however, is the alternative to the deal on the table. It would be disingenuous of any politician to seek to misrepresent this deal and attempt to persuade the Irish people that in some way its fundamentals can be renegotiated, because they cannot. The interest rate is not negotiable, and neither is the overall fiscal consolidation of €15 billion nor the achievement of €6 billion in savings in 2011.

Within the parameters of the deal individual elements may be argued about, as well as the details and where the emphasis should lie in terms of taxation increases or expenditure cuts, [330]but the broad thrust of the deal will remain in place and have to be honoured. For any party or politician to make representations to the contrary would be to mislead the Irish people, because it is not possible to fundamentally renegotiate this deal. I have yet to hear a credible alternative being put forward that provides a secure source of funding for this country over the next three years.

In conclusion, we all want to ensure we get back to the markets as quickly as possible. As Professor John FitzGerald pointed out, in a very balanced article in the Sunday Business Post at the weekend, having this facility in place will enable the NTMA to secure short-term borrowing at relatively low interest rates for the country, to ensure we can continue to fund public services and pay social welfare.

Deputy Richard Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  The House needs to acknowledge that catastrophic policy mistakes have brought us to this sorry pass, not only the mistakes made by the Government in the lead-up to the crisis in 2008, but the catastrophic mistakes taken in respect of its banking strategy. With every day that passes, the more the public and objective commentators are made aware of that sad crisis that has come upon us.

The level of despondency is such that many breathed a sigh of relief when told the IMF was coming in, believing it would at last rescue them from a Government that was responding in an ad hoc manner, without any coherence as it went along. Others are beside themselves with anger because they see this as a denial of everything we fought to create in terms of the Republic that is ours. The truth is that being in the hands of one’s creditors is not a happy position to be in. The situation has been brought about through profound failure of the political culture that has been afoot in Ireland, particularly over the last decade. It has not served the interests of the general citizen but rather those of too small a group, devoid of a proper respect for citizens’ rights.

There are those who would look on this crisis as an opportunity to peddle failed philosophies. There are those who are advocating that we take a crude anti-European road, which would be a dreadful cul-de-sac for us in terms of recoiling back into an “ourselves alone” philosophy, that simply would fail in this country. Others see this as an opportunity to create deep division and pit the public sector against the private, the employer against the worker and create division within our communities. That again is a blind alley we must avoid.

The Government is right when it says its policies have led us to a point where no one will lend to us apart from the IMF. That is the sad truth, and in that it is right — this is the only option, and there is no other. Some of the conditions being imposed by the IMF and the EU are amply justified. They simply reflect inaction and an unwillingness to reform, over a long period. Let us be honest about this package and approach, however. In my view, it is founded on a narrow orthodoxy prevalent in Europe at the moment, that is underpinned by major weaknesses. It is based on a belief that rescue packages should contain a penal element within them, and bank resolution should not involve sharing the burden among those who invested in the banks. It is built on the belief that there should not be a growth strategy across Europe. Instead it should be all about export growth by the peripheral countries, so that they may work their way out of their problems, against a background of low inflation and a strong euro.

It is also based on a belief that the ECB must rapidly remove its concessionary liquidity at 1%, which in the Irish case is supporting €160 billion — every 1% increase in that would be the equivalent of €1.5 billion extra our community would have to pay for the lending that is outstanding. It is based also on a belief that countries trying to get back into the borrowing markets after 2013 should have a very strong health warning imposed upon their bond issues. We must question the thinking that underpins this strategy. Will it work, particularly when it [331]is being compounded here in Ireland by an Administration in its death throes, which has little ambition about the scope of reinventing Government or about a genuine jobs strategy that could transform the country? Its Members are marking time until they pass on to other work.

We need to create space to ensure this works. We are committed, as anyone entering Government should be, to honour the changes that need to be made to make our country succeed, but it must be on a much more ambitious basis than is being offered by this Government. That is what makes this agreement deeply flawed. It is not based on anything like sufficient ambition in relation to our problems.

There are those who would suggest we do not need to cut our deficit so severely, but I do not accept that. There are those who say we need to increase taxes more rapidly at this time, but all the evidence shows this does not help a country to recover from a deep crisis such as ours. I shall conclude by saying there will be a revisiting of this strategy over time. There has to be, because not only does Ireland have to honour its side of the deal, but there has to be a deal that works. It is in the interests of every European country that Ireland manages its affairs successfully under this agreement and that we are not imposed with a narrow orthodoxy which inhibits our chance to recover.

Deputy Shane McEntee: Information on Shane McEntee  Zoom on Shane McEntee  Just a week ago, my colleague, Deputy Thomas Byrne and I were discussing this on radio. Bringing this forward today, just two weeks after the incident is a Fianna Fáil tactic to enable its canvassers to look for extra votes on the doors when the general election is called, and to ask, in effect, “What would Fine Gael have done?”. I remind Mr. Byrne that in May 2005 the man to my left, Deputy Bruton, informed this House what was happening, and nobody listened to him. I still have the statement. That is the answer to that, and the tactic of trying to wheel us in to what is definitely one of the worst deals any country could ever make is not going to work with the public.

I was asked earlier, when speaking to 40 young students from Ashbourne who had been in the Visitors Gallery, how big a day today is for Ireland. It is a massive day, as their teachers know. It is the day we hand over that for which we fought. It is ironic that on the day Michael Collins came back from England with a deal in regard to our Independence and sovereignty the then leader of the now Fianna Fáil Party walked out and brought his men with him. Michael Collins did not go to England or anywhere else to collect money. It was from the Irish people he got money, for which he gave them all a receipt, be it for two, five or ten shillings. Today, members of the Fianna Fáil Party will walk up the steps and vote to bring English money into Ireland to keep it going. It is said that a week is a long time in politics. Ninety years is a long time politics. The Fianna Fáil Party claim to be Republicans. They are from one breed while I am from another. While it did not accept the deal obtained by Michael Collins, Fianna Fáil is now turning the wheel and is going to vote for it.

Fine Gael has a plan to create 100,000 jobs, which it will put to the people. We have a plan that will ensure the ECB and IMF are out of Ireland as quickly as possible. A child would do better, in terms of the deal done here some weeks ago. Let no Member of this House or business person tell me one cannot renegotiate a deal. The banks are doing it day-in and day-out in terms of writing down loans of €50 million to €20 million. When this day is over the ECB and IMF, who came here not alone to save Ireland but Europe, will have to write off €45 billion of this financial support.

Deputy Kieran O’Donnell: Information on Kieran O'Donnell  Zoom on Kieran O'Donnell  In the brief time available to me, I will address the negotiated interest rate of 5.8%, which not sustainable. It is prohibitive. The question that arises is what is required to secure a decrease in this rate. From my perspective, the key element here is the banking crisis. We must separate sovereign debt from State debt. We must choose between [332]solvency of the banks or solvency of the State. We must deal with the banks. What is required, in terms of going to Europe, is a Europe-wide resolution mechanism to deal with debt restructuring for insolvent banks and involving all bondholders. There is a mood of change within Europe which recognises that the rescue fund may not be large enough and that these issues need to be addressed.

We have €10 billion of subordinated debt and €15 billion of unguaranteed senior debt. Guaranteed senior debt will have to be honoured. If this situation were to arise, it would bring certainty to the banks and would draw a line under the cost to the Irish taxpayer and the Irish State. The bond markets would then take cognisance of this and our interest rates would come down. We could then go back to the EU and renegotiate for a shorter term. This would bring down interest rates and enable us to get back into the market. This is the type of thinking required. The rate being put forward is not sustainable for the taxpayer, the State or for Europe. Europe wants this money repaid.

This Government, which is in its last days of office, is weak and lacks credibility. We need a Europe-wide decision on the issue of restructuring insolvent banks in terms of debt for equity swaps and a range of other measures. We need it now. The incoming Government will have to find a mechanism to bring down interest rates. Fine Gael’s proposals will ensure certainty. We should deal first with the banking crisis, following which we can resolve the interest rate situation. Our economy is fundamentally sound but the banking crisis is dragging it down.

Deputy Michael Kennedy: Information on Michael Kennedy  Zoom on Michael Kennedy  I wish to share time with Deputy Michael Kitt.

Acting Chairman (Deputy Charlie O’Connor): Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  Is that agreed? Agreed.

Deputy Michael Kennedy: Information on Michael Kennedy  Zoom on Michael Kennedy  I welcome the opportunity to contribute to this debate. It is important that our EU partners recognise that the Irish Parliament is endorsing the IMF deal signed by the Government on behalf of the Irish people and in the national interest.

I have listened to several contributions from the Opposition side. I deplore the attitude that there is a simple solution or different option open to us. It is ridiculous for any of the Opposition to suggest that they can come up with a simple solution. The reality is that we are spending €20 billion more than we take in tax. Sinn Féin has told us how it would solve the problem. Anyone with a grasp of simple mathematics knows that one cannot spend €50 billion if only taking in €30 billion. Perhaps Sinn Féin propose to rob the banks, as it did in the old days. Clearly robbing Irish banks is not currently a good proposition. Perhaps it proposes to tax people out of existence.

The Labour Party has provided us with a plan for only one year. It acknowledges the need to get to 3% of GDP by 2014 and has set out figures for 2011 only, ignoring the other three years. It has also set out proposals for savings of €4.5 billion, €2.25 billion of which will be raised by way of taxes. Perhaps the Labour Party can explain to the Irish people on whom they will impose this tax and where they propose to find the millionaires. While there were millionaires around in the Celtic tiger days there are not too many of them around now whom the Labour Party could tax significantly.

Perhaps Fine Gael will explain how it proposes to raise its €6 billion. It plans is to sell off State assets next year. In this regard, how could one achieve the best price in the short space of time about which we are speaking? Fine Gael has stated it proposes to bridge the gap on the €6 billion with savings on welfare fraud, which is fantasy economics. It is time the Irish people realised they are being conned by the Opposition.

[333]It has been suggested that this deal could be renegotiated. All informed economists and people involved in high finance, including Mr. Sutherland and previous Members of the Fine Gael Party such as Mr. Alan Dukes and Dr. Garret FitzGerald, have stated that renegotiation is not possible. It is downright insulting to the people for Fine Gael to suggest that if it is in office next year, it could ring up Angela Merkel and have the deal renegotiated. Fine Gael are living in fantasy land.

Any plc can negotiate an overdraft with its bank but to suggest the any new chief executive officer of that plc would get a better deal on the basis of the same balance sheet, assets and liability——

Deputy Ruairí Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Different management.

Deputy Michael Kennedy: Information on Michael Kennedy  Zoom on Michael Kennedy  Anyone that has ever worked in business knows that is not possible. What galls me is that many Members of this House have never worked a day in their own business and have never written a PAYE or VAT cheque.

Deputy Kieran O’Donnell: Information on Kieran O'Donnell  Zoom on Kieran O'Donnell  Deputy Kennedy should check his sources. I have been self employed for the past 12 years.

Deputy Michael Kennedy: Information on Michael Kennedy  Zoom on Michael Kennedy  They come in here and lecture people.

Deputy Ruairí Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  The Deputy should speak for himself.

Deputy Michael Kennedy: Information on Michael Kennedy  Zoom on Michael Kennedy  What business experience does Deputy O’Donnell have? Has he ever written a PAYE cheque?

Deputy Kieran O’Donnell: Information on Kieran O'Donnell  Zoom on Kieran O'Donnell  Deputy Kennedy should check his facts.

Acting Chairman (Deputy Charlie O’Connor): Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  Please allow Deputy Kennedy to continue without interruption.

Deputy Michael Kennedy: Information on Michael Kennedy  Zoom on Michael Kennedy  On Fine Gael’s suggestion that Anglo Irish Bank be closed immediately, who will pick up the €71 billion tab?

Deputy Kieran O’Donnell: Information on Kieran O'Donnell  Zoom on Kieran O'Donnell  Half of it is going in NAMA. The Deputy should check his facts.

Deputy Michael Kennedy: Information on Michael Kennedy  Zoom on Michael Kennedy  The Irish taxpayer will pick it up. Let us deal with reality.

On the Labour Party plan for the national recovery bank, which proposes to take €2 billion from the National Treasury Management Agency, from where would it get the liquid cash to lend to people? Anyone who knows anything about economics knows that one cannot lend one’s capital. They will have to rob the depositors from AIB and Bank of Ireland. We have learned in the past two months that €21 billion has disappeared from the deposit accounts of both banks. For the Labour Party to suggest that this magic national recovery bank will solve all of our problems is ridiculous and they know it. Let us tell the people the truth.

Deputy Kieran O’Donnell: Information on Kieran O'Donnell  Zoom on Kieran O'Donnell  Now that we have such a bad deal, the Deputy was obviously with the negotiating team.

Deputy Michael P. Kitt: Information on Michael Kitt  Zoom on Michael Kitt  I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the debate, which I welcome. I would also welcome the endorsement of the programme by the House, which is important. In my time in the House, I have heard strong criticism of the IMF and I have criticised the organisation, which has always been regarded as the bad wolf. I heard much of the criticism at the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, of which I was a member [334]for 20 years. I chaired a sub-committee on overseas development and I served as a Minister for State with responsibility for the Irish Aid programme. There were good reasons to criticise the conditions, for example, imposed on developing countries by the fund. However, the IMF has gone into other European countries, including the UK, our nearest neighbour, and it has been of assistance.

There was a great deal of praise for the organisation on “Morning Ireland” where it was not considered to be as bad as the ECB or the EU. It is interesting that there are various views on the IMF. It was always mentioned in the same breath as the World Bank and people often referred to the difficult conditions it imposed in economic partnership agreements. Some of them did not favour poorer countries as much as they should. However, an €85 billion fund will be provided. Ireland would have had to borrow €50 billion in any event to provide public services. Of the remaining €35 billion, we will provide half and the Minister for Finance stated clearly that €10 billion will be used to recapitalise the banks. That has also been subject to criticism but we have had serious problems in the domestic banking system, which, at its peak, was five times the size of the economy, and it is under severe pressure. It is important that we should address the banking issues as well as the broader economic issues.

The IMF-EU programme of financial support for Ireland is a good deal and it ensures that we have the necessary funds to maintain key public services overseen by the Departments of Social and Family Affairs, Health and Children and Education and Skills, which are big spenders. I refer to views expressed by Irish MEPs in the European Parliament when they discussed this issue. Mr. Gay Mitchell MEP welcomed the arrival of the EU and the IMF and said, “Up until now, credit rating agencies and markets have been deciding what happens to governments so I am glad to see these private sector agencies being replaced by public agencies like the ECB, EU and IMF”. Mr. Jim Higgins MEP claimed that if the IMF had come in two years ago, it would have saved a great deal of pain and repayments. The media is reporting important debates in the European Parliament and they have stated clearly what is happening.

This programme concludes that Ireland requires a strong performance to restore domestic and external confidence and it is important to reorganise the banking sector. The Minister stated that we need to fundamentally downsize this sector and there has to be a programme for growth and job creation. This package and the four-year national recovery plan will put our public finances on a sound footing and will promote job creation. Getting people back to work is the most pressing priority of the Government.

Deputy Michael D. Higgins: Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  I wish to share time with Deputy Quinn.

It is important that we leave this debate with a semblance of hope for the many thousands of people who have been contacting Deputies on all sides, that we tell them there is a future for Ireland and a future for Europe beyond the incredible failure into which we have sunk. A real social Europe can be created. That social Europe is not a common market, but a European union where Article 122 will mean something, which is that countries that have signed the treaties “in a spirit of solidarity” will respond to each other. That is important.

Out of the chaos into which we have been plunged by a Government that was uncaring and incompetent, a real republic can be created. It is not a matter of us having lost something that has to be recovered now. Right through the history of this State we have dodged building a real republic. Such a republic would have, for example, a deliberative discourse where citizens and what they say would count. Put more simply, after this mess, will it be easier for people to feel that their concerns and worries and their aspirations and hopes for the future will be taken into account? That is part of the deliberative discourse of a republic.

[335]Equally, citizens will require that institutions come into existence that are genuinely transformative. It is the difference, for example, between the petty narrow nationalism in the early years of the State and those like Seán O’Casey, James Connolly and others who felt that a republic should be emancipatory and there should be a social floor below which people will not fall in health and housing. We are not hearing that now; we are hearing about a deal that was done rather badly.

If the Government believed in a real republic, it would go out with optimism and it would not operate with evasion. It would not say, “Politics in general has failed. What we need now is a set of celebrities”. It would not say in an insulting way that only young people can envisage where we might go to now. This involves people of all ages. I speak from a position of authority. The Government would not say, for example, that because we have a disgraceful absence of women in this Chamber, this is a matter for young women only. There are those of us who know and respect the older women who took on the burden of feminism here and fewer still, whom can I easily identify, who stood with them in making the case for feminism.

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

Deputy Michael D. Higgins: Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  The response in the future involves us all. It also involves a cute evasion — those who say it is not a matter of left or right any more. This is a cop-out. This is to say, “You are afraid to say that a party of the left, the Labour Party, gave its vote in September 2008 against an indiscriminate guarantee, unbounded, from which flows most of these difficulties.” There is a strange hesitation in those would-be opportunists also of the left, who would like to say, “Maybe now in the anger that is there, we could defuse it somewhat; maybe what is required are celebrities, people untouched by the fact that they ever stood for election, people that we might recognise by some kind of competence and so forth”.

Deputy Ruairí Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  George Lee.

Deputy Michael D. Higgins: Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  We need to demystify expertise and to hand back information and knowledge to citizens. What is interesting about this notion, and what they are saying is, now at this time when there is a prospect of real change, when the Labour Party, a party of the left offers not just a return to what was there before and what was falling apart, but something that can deliver a real republic as I have described it, the notion is that we all can go somewhere else for wider expression. If this was just some kind of innocence it would be all right. It is evasive philosophically and bad political science.

Those who regard it as political science to say that this Government is the most unpopular in recent history are also upset at the Opposition. So what? Let them do their political science and abandon their evasion and fear of being able to know the difference between right, left and centre. Let them look at the banks, who interests them and who seeks to influence legislation. Let them do a critical examination of the interest groups and, for example, of the group of people identified by TASC, the 50 people who are on each other’s remuneration committees. This is the stuff that is being avoided.

I have listened to various speakers, including from the Opposition, saying that this is a matter of a new political culture. It is far more a matter of moral courage and of people being free. Those who wish to squander this moment of real and effective change and who ask for the votes of the left to be scattered are delaying the moment when we will have a Labour Party-led Government making the changes that are necessary. That is important.

With regard to what was called by a Fianna Fáil backbencher “the package”— I love it — the ECB was not asked or forced to take its responsibility for the €130 billion that had to be dealt with. The negotiations were poor. The European architecture that will be required will [336]in itself require a renegotiated deal, not just for us but in the best interests of the future of Europe.

Deputy Ruairí Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  I am the last speaker on behalf of the Labour Party. I wish to put on the record the Labour Party’s full endorsement of the contribution made by its leader, Deputy Gilmore.

The Labour Party recognises reality; it recognised it in the past and over the last two and a half years. We called decisions as we saw them and, sadly, we were right and Fianna Fáil and the Green Party in Government were wrong. That series of errors has brought us to our current sorry state. We recognise the plight in which we now find ourselves. The disastrous policies of the Fianna Fáil Party over the last 13 years have betrayed the Republic, of which we are all so proud. The Fianna Fáil Party has come to an extraordinary point in history, in that its legacy for the future will haunt it for generations. It has betrayed the Republic.

The Labour Party will stand by the Republic and help to have it rebuilt in a difficult and hard time. We recognise the journey that must be travelled, the responsibilities we face and the macroeconomic context in which the economy finds itself. Deputy Gilmore has already said as much, not just in this debate but repeatedly. We dispute, and we did so at the time, the right of a failed Administration that is facing defeat in the ballot box to tie the hands of destiny for future generations beyond the next election. As the Fine Gael Party leader said, we met with the representatives of the IMF and the EU institutions and discussed with them our commitment to the restoration of sound finances in this country and our refusal to be tied in the future by the poor negotiations of an outgoing Administration that is morally and intellectually bankrupt.

I remind Members that it was the rainbow coalition Government in 1997 that left an unprecedented legacy of prosperity, competitiveness and growth that no previous incoming Administration ever had in the history of this State. It squandered it. Ours was the most competitive economy in Europe in 1997. We were earning our way in the world in a way of which Seán Lemass would have been proud. He once said this country is not owed a living by the rest of the world, but this Government has beggared the country to the extent that we are depending on this aid and assistance on difficult terms to rescue ourselves. We will do our duty in the future, as we have done in the past. I hope the Irish people, particularly this generation, will realise that the people on the other side of this House, who proclaim their virtue of republicanism, have destroyed the Republic that was proclaimed in 1916.

Deputy Paul Gogarty: Information on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  I am sharing time with Deputy Seán Power.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  The Deputies have three minutes each.

Deputy Paul Gogarty: Information on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  When the details of this bailout were leaked by the international press to the Irish media our Taoiseach had an opportunity to tell the country that our European colleagues are bullying and putting pressure on us to protect the eurozone and European stability, and that we would help them as a sovereign nation and member of the Union but we would do so on our terms. That was not done, and it is part of the reason the Green Party announced it is leaving the Government. We believe this Government has reached the end of its shelf life. Once we have done our duty for this country, we will go to the people.

However, in doing our duty we recognise that we must pass this deal. One can argue until the cows come home whether an interest rate of 6.7% from the European Union is unfair or whether the overall rate of 5.8% is a good deal. It was the best deal that could be done in the [337]circumstances. Any leverage we had of a political nature should have been announced beforehand. What is available is now before the people.

To argue that we can somehow partially default on what we owe in the open markets is absurd. We will either have to pay a 9% rate or default. If it is a full default, we will get no more loans and, overnight, the shops will close, the tills will stop ringing, the ATMs will not work and people’s wages will be cut by at least 50%. Do people want that? I do not believe so.

If we partially default, we will first have to extricate ourselves from the euro and float our own currency. That currency would devalue so even if we only owed half of what we had owed previously, it would still cost twice as much because our currency would only be worth half the value of the euro. It makes no sense.

It is fair enough if this country were, like Iceland, not a member of the eurozone and the European Union. Let us consider Argentina, a country with a level of debt similar to what confronts this country. In Argentina, the number of people below the poverty line increased from 30% to over 50% in the period from 2001 to 2004. The country went through a period of massive austerity. In our succession of unfair budgets, our standard of living is gradually being lowered to a realistic level. It is a soft landing. If we wish to play “Texas Hold’em” with our country, we will vote against this bailout. We will risk default and the country falling into a cataclysmic situation. We are guaranteed an income with a 5.8% interest rate over three years. There might yet be a sovereign default, but let it be a default in conjunction with our European Union partners. Otherwise, we will not survive as a nation. It is the patriotic duty of Members of the House not to play politics but to consider the reality of the situation that confronts us and support this deal.

Deputy Seán Power: Information on Seán Power  Zoom on Seán Power  Regardless of why or how we have come to be discussing this matter in the House today, it is the right option. Many people throughout the country have expressed their views on this motion and many of them have strong views on it. In yesterday’s newspapers I read that the main Opposition party will refuse to support the motion. It gave three reasons for that, one of which was that it had better contacts in Europe and would be in a better position to renegotiate. That is one of the most ridiculous comments I have encountered in recent times.

Last week the Government introduced the toughest budget this country has ever seen. It gave me no pleasure to take money away from thousands of social welfare recipients or to reduce the minimum wage. However, I supported the budget because I believe that such decisive and tough action is required if this country is to recover. While attempts were made in recent years to deal with our difficulties, they have often been too little, too late. The truth is that if we introduced last week’s budget two years ago, we would not be debating the arrival of the IMF. Money will have to be borrowed for the foreseeable future to pay for the running of this country. While we saw interest rates rise throughout the past 12 months and some people felt the markets were behaving irrationally, those markets were sending us a clear message. The message was that they did not believe we were capable of resolving our difficulties on our own. Many of the projections and forecasts that we gave to our European colleagues were changed shortly after they were given.

The arrival of the IMF was one of the blackest days this country has ever seen. We denied for a long time that outside assistance was required, or indeed being sought.

Deputy Ruairí Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Who is the “we” here?

Deputy Seán Power: Information on Seán Power  Zoom on Seán Power  I am speaking as a member of the Fianna Fáil Party.

[338]Deputy Ruairí Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Thank you. Let the record show that Fianna Fáil is not the nation, just a political party that failed.

Deputy Seán Power: Information on Seán Power  Zoom on Seán Power  When Patrick Honohan announced on the national airwaves that an offer would be made to the Government, it came as no surprise to the vast majority of our people. The decision of the Government to accept funding from the IMF and the EU was the first real admission that we were no longer able to deal with our own difficulties. It was an admission that past policies had not worked and that help from overseas was now needed.

I have no difficulty with the interest rate being charged by the IMF. We never saw it as being a charity, but we must look at what is being charged by the European Union. When we joined the EEC, the standard of living here was very poor. Schemes were put in place so that the standard of living and the infrastructure of this country could be improved, and we have all witnessed those improvements taking place. The same sort of understanding and support that was available when we joined seems to be sadly lacking now. I cannot understand how the money could not be provided at a more affordable rate than that being sought.

The package agreed with the IMF and the EU is not ideal, but it gives this country the opportunity to deal with its problems and if recovery occurs quickly, we will have the opportunity to re-engage with the markets.

Minister for Finance (Deputy Brian Lenihan): Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Not surprisingly, this has been a profoundly dreary and dispiriting debate. Deputies need to deal in reality. Our capacity to avoid the pressing and difficult issues is remarkable. Worse than that, the use of our difficult position to score cheap political points is frankly depressing. I heard Deputy Kenny opening his contribution today by announcing that Ireland was bankrupt. That is simply not in accordance with the facts. The State was and is well funded into next year, but the decision to enter the facility was a wise and precautionary decision which ensured that economic continuity is maintained in this country, so that we do not find ourselves in a position of wondering whether the Pass machines would produce or that the State pensions would be paid.

The Government acted prudently throughout these negotiations. The Government was not rushed into these negotiations, but carefully protected its position to ensure, for example, that the question of our corporation tax rate was not on the agenda. The insistence that this programme was necessary only because of the banks is risible. The fact is that €50 billion of the €67.5 billion we are getting from the IMF and the EU will go to the running costs of this State over the next three years. We all know that this problem has been with us since 2008. We all know in this House that there is a need for a budgetary correction, but time and again, reality has been denied by the Opposition parties on this issue. Time and again, a magic solution has been held out to the people which is an illusion. Time and again, every measure the Government brought in to restore the budgetary position has been opposed.

Deputy Arthur Morgan: Information on Arthur Morgan  Zoom on Arthur Morgan  That is because the Government held out the wrong solution.

Deputy Brian Lenihan: Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  The Sinn Féin solution is to tax at 70% and destroy whatever jobs are left in the country.

Deputy Arthur Morgan: Information on Arthur Morgan  Zoom on Arthur Morgan  Only those who can afford it.

Deputy Brian Lenihan: Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  We know where that policy of excessive taxation will lead. It is most unlikely that any lenders will lend us any money to fund the State with a policy like that. You know this and you keep misleading people with these foolish economic policies.

Deputy Arthur Morgan: Information on Arthur Morgan  Zoom on Arthur Morgan  You should not talk about misleading people.

[339]Deputy Brian Lenihan: Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Excuse me, Deputy.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Please, allow the Minister to make a contribution.

Deputy Brian Lenihan: Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  I am entitled to reply to points that are made in the debate.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Only through the Chair.

Deputy Brian Lenihan: Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  A Leas-Cheann Chomhairle, public expenditure in this country has reached an unsustainable level. That is a fact that any Government must face. If the measures that were taken in recent years had not been taken, our borrowing requirement would have been 20% of our GDP. That is the factual position since 2008. In my budget speech, I set out the analysis of our economic problems that has been accepted by the Government. We accept that public spending had increased on the back of taxes that were not sustainable.

The parties opposite never criticised increases in social welfare provision or spending on public services. Indeed, it was quite the opposite as they called for more. I recall the last election poster from Fine Gael: “More Nurses, More teachers, More Gardaí”.

Deputy Damien English: Information on Damien English  Zoom on Damien English  Based on reform.

Deputy Brian Lenihan: Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Now they have the audacity to suggest——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Allow the Minister to make his brief contribution.

Deputy Brian Lenihan: Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  ——that we are not reducing numbers enough in the public sector, having campaigned with these expensive posters about more nurses, teachers and gardaí.

Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  These are front line staff.

Deputy Brian Lenihan: Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  I recall the 2002 election when Deputy Noonan led a campaign for compensation of Eircom shareholders. That was utter madness. If the electorate had not scotched that particular promise, God knows where we might be today.

Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  Why does the Minister not throw in 1977 as well?

Deputy Brian Lenihan: Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  That would have been an interesting twist to our banking difficulties. Without the funds in the joint programme, the adjustment that Ireland would require would be much larger.

Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  Decentralisation, e-voting, does the Minister want me to go on?

Deputy Brian Lenihan: Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  The joint programme will supply the necessary funds to assist in the restructuring and recapitalisation of our banking system. It will facilitate the implementation of the necessary budgetary and reform strategies set out in the national recovery plan.

Deputy Damien English: Information on Damien English  Zoom on Damien English  What will NAMA cost us?

Deputy Brian Lenihan: Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  The international team with whom we negotiated the joint programme agreed wholeheartedly with our national recovery plan, and the fiscal and banking measures that we have taken so far. The IMF described our measures as a clear and realistic package of policies to restore our banking system to health and put our public finances on a sound footing.

The interest rate being paid on the loans is 5.8%, on the basis of the market rates at the time of the agreement. This rate was set out on the day of the announcement of external [340]assistance and it remains the interest rate today. The rate of interest charged by the IMF is calculated using the standard formula which it applies to all countries. This is a standard calculation. Greece sought that the terms of its loan be adjusted in line with what Ireland is receiving. This shows the good deal Ireland has negotiated.

In May of this year, the ECOFIN agreed that the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism would have a margin. This was a general provision based on lending in a last resort situation. It applies to the Irish loan and it will apply to any future loans as well. The interest rate has been calculated at a level to ensure that it does not act as an impediment to economic growth.

This financial assistance is provided at a far lower cost than we would be able to access in the financial markets. At the moment, the yield on Irish Government bonds is over 8% in the secondary markets——

Deputy Kieran O’Donnell: Information on Kieran O'Donnell  Zoom on Kieran O'Donnell  Why?

Deputy Brian Lenihan: Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  ——compared to the rate of 5.8% at which we will borrow under this facility.

The agreement provides the terms of a facility under which Ireland can choose to draw down moneys. A future Government is not obliged to avail of any drawdown. Therefore, future executive action of Government is not fettered nor is the legislative freedom of the Oireachtas. Furthermore, a future Government is free to seek moneys from a different source, including the market. My point is that any putative government opposing this joint programme has a duty to set out for the electorate its alternative source of funding for this country over the next few years.

Deputy Ruairí Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  And we will.

Deputy Brian Lenihan: Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  There is an obligation on the parties opposite to lay before the people a plan as credible and realistic as the four year plan for recovery the Government has already submitted. The Government’s plan, which is extraordinarily detailed, has not been matched by any equivalent document from the Opposition parties. Instead, we hear vague talk from the Fine Gael Party about their extensive contacts in Europe. Fianna Fáil are members of the European liberal group and we have extensive contacts——

Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  They laugh at you. You are being laughed at internationally.

Deputy Dick Roche: Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  You are the laughing stock.

Deputy Brian Lenihan: Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  You are associated——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Through the Chair. The Deputies will not shout down the speaker.

Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  He was provoking us.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  No.

Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  Yes.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  You will either leave the House or you will have some respect for the Chair.

[341]Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  I am respecting the Chair, but he is provoking us and we will reply accordingly.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  No, you will not shout down Members.

Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  But he will not——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  The Chair will have the argument on that.

Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  You must protect both sides.

Deputy Kieran O’Donnell: Information on Kieran O'Donnell  Zoom on Kieran O'Donnell  A Leas Cheann Chomhairle, could we hear the Minister?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  I will insist on order in this House——

Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  You will get it.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  ——and I will not be bullied into it.

Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  Neither will I.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Then you will leave the House.

Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  I will not be bullied by anyone.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  If you disrespect the Chair, you will leave the House.

Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  You are wasting time. Let him finish.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  The Deputy will not address the Chair in that fashion. You will have some respect for the Chair.

Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  I have respect for the Chair. I ask the Chair not to point in my direction.

Deputy Paul Gogarty: Information on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  A Leas-Cheann Comhairle, he is trying to avoid having to vote.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  The Chair will be respected.

Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  The Chair is respected.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Then please remain silent while the Minister concludes his contribution.

Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  Continue.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  I beg your pardon? The Chair will determine——

Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  Good.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  The Chair will call the speaker, if the Deputy does not mind.

Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  I appreciate that.

Deputy Dick Roche: Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  He is a prat.

Deputy Thomas Byrne: Information on Thomas Byrne  Zoom on Thomas Byrne  That is unbelievable.

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

[342]Deputy Brian Lenihan: Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Any putative Government opposing the joint programme has a duty to set out for the electorate its alternative source of funding for this country over the next few years. I have referred to various assertions about European contacts that the principal Opposition party has made in the course of this debate. I was about to make the point that the most influential and important contact of the Fine Gael Party is the German Christian Democratic Union and Chancellor Merkel, whose intervention played a large part in the escalation of our bond prices this autumn. I urge Fine Gael to use its influence in that regard.

Deputy Kieran O’Donnell: Information on Kieran O'Donnell  Zoom on Kieran O'Donnell  With due respect, it was because of Government policy on the banks, and the Minister knows it.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Allow the Minister to conclude his contribution.

Deputy Brian Lenihan: Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  I urge Fine Gael to use its influence in that regard.

There has been much commentary about the need for senior bondholders to accept a share of the burden of this crisis. When those who deplore the gradual erosion of the deposit base of the Irish banking system reflect on it, they will see the substantial contribution that was made to that process by the unhelpful level of domestic noise about this matter. Yet again, the principal Opposition party played a leading part in that — in contrast, I must say, to the relatively responsible attitude taken by the Labour Party.

Yesterday, I published the Credit Institutions (Stabilisation) Bill. The draft legislation provides broad powers to the Minister for Finance to act on financial stability grounds to effect swift restructuring actions and recapitalisation measures as envisaged in the programme. That Bill will be debated in the Dáil later today and I propose to answer questions raised on that Bill at that time.

Deputy Damien English: Information on Damien English  Zoom on Damien English  It will be shoved through.

Deputy Brian Lenihan: Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  There is simply no way this country, whose banks are so dependent on international investors, can unilaterally renege on senior bondholders——

Deputy Paul Gogarty: Information on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Hear, hear.

Deputy Brian Lenihan: Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  ——against the wishes of the European Central Bank. In any country in which such experiments have taken place, the central bank has stood behind the affected banks throughout the resolution of the resulting crisis. Those who think we could unilaterally renege on senior bondholders against the wishes of the ECB are living in fantasy land.

  3 o’clock

The idea that somehow there are no costs associated with default is entirely incorrect. This country is hugely dependent on foreign direct investment. These companies have large funds and investments in Ireland and, directly and indirectly, employ a quarter of a million people in this economy. Any default on senior debt and the uncertainty that would cause would undoubtedly have an impact on the future investment decisions of these companies. Subordinated debt bondholders are in a different position, and the legislation we will discuss later has a particular provision in this regard.

Of the €85 billion facility negotiated with the IMF and our European partners, €50 billion is to cover the financing of the State. The facility also includes up to €35 billion for support for the banking system —€10 billion for immediate recapitalisation, with the remaining €25 billion provided on a contingency basis. Deputy Noonan stated that the contingency amount was not sufficient. I must point out that the Central Bank’s statement of 30 September 2010 on the prudential capital assessment review requirements for Irish banks estimated their capital [343]requirements in view of all the elements of the banks’ loan books, including the mortgage loan book.

Question put: “That the words proposed to be deleted stand.”

The Dáil divided: Tá, 81; Níl, 75.

Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  Ahern, Bertie. 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 Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  Cowen, Brian.
Information on John Cregan  Zoom on John Cregan  Cregan, John. Information on Ciaran Cuffe  Zoom on Ciaran Cuffe  Cuffe, Ciarán.
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 Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Gogarty, Paul.
Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley  Gormley, John. 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 Michael Kitt  Zoom on Michael Kitt  Kitt, Michael P.
Information on Tom Kitt  Zoom on Tom Kitt  Kitt, Tom. Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Lenihan, Brian.
Information on Conor Lenihan  Zoom on Conor Lenihan  Lenihan, Conor. Information on Michael Lowry  Zoom on Michael Lowry  Lowry, Michael.
Information on Tom McEllistrim  Zoom on Tom McEllistrim  McEllistrim, Thomas. 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 John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  O’Donoghue, John.
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 Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  Sargent, Trevor. 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 Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  Bruton, Richard.
Information on Ulick Burke  Zoom on Ulick Burke  Burke, Ulick. Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  Burton, Joan.
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 Michael D'Arcy  Zoom on Michael D'Arcy  D’Arcy, Michael. Information on John Deasy  Zoom on John Deasy  Deasy, John.
Information on Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  Deenihan, Jimmy. Information on Pearse Doherty  Zoom on Pearse Doherty  Doherty, Pearse.
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 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 Shane McEntee  Zoom on Shane McEntee  McEntee, Shane. Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath  McGrath, Finian.
Information on Mattie McGrath  Zoom on Mattie McGrath  McGrath, Mattie. Information on Joe McHugh  Zoom on Joe McHugh  McHugh, Joe.
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 Kieran O'Donnell  Zoom on Kieran O'Donnell  O’Donnell, Kieran.
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 Maureen O'Sullivan  Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan  O’Sullivan, Maureen.
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 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.
Information on Jack Wall  Zoom on Jack Wall  Wall, Jack.  

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

Question declared carried.

Amendment declared lost.

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

The Dáil divided: Tá, 81; Níl, 75.

Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  Ahern, Bertie. 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 Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  Cowen, Brian.
Information on John Cregan  Zoom on John Cregan  Cregan, John. Information on Ciaran Cuffe  Zoom on Ciaran Cuffe  Cuffe, Ciarán.
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 Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Gogarty, Paul.
Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley  Gormley, John. 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 Michael Kitt  Zoom on Michael Kitt  Kitt, Michael P.
Information on Tom Kitt  Zoom on Tom Kitt  Kitt, Tom. Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Lenihan, Brian.
Information on Conor Lenihan  Zoom on Conor Lenihan  Lenihan, Conor. Information on Michael Lowry  Zoom on Michael Lowry  Lowry, Michael.
Information on Tom McEllistrim  Zoom on Tom McEllistrim  McEllistrim, Thomas. 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 John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  O’Donoghue, John.
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 Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  Sargent, Trevor. 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 Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  Bruton, Richard.
Information on Ulick Burke  Zoom on Ulick Burke  Burke, Ulick. Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  Burton, Joan.
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 Michael D'Arcy  Zoom on Michael D'Arcy  D’Arcy, Michael. Information on John Deasy  Zoom on John Deasy  Deasy, John.
Information on Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  Deenihan, Jimmy. Information on Pearse Doherty  Zoom on Pearse Doherty  Doherty, Pearse.
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 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 Shane McEntee  Zoom on Shane McEntee  McEntee, Shane. Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath  McGrath, Finian.
Information on Mattie McGrath  Zoom on Mattie McGrath  McGrath, Mattie. Information on Joe McHugh  Zoom on Joe McHugh  McHugh, Joe.
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 Kieran O'Donnell  Zoom on Kieran O'Donnell  O’Donnell, Kieran.
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 Maureen O'Sullivan  Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan  O’Sullivan, Maureen.
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 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.
Information on Jack Wall  Zoom on Jack Wall  Wall, Jack.  

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

Question declared carried.


Last Updated: 31/03/2011 16:08:49 First Page Previous Page Page of 181 Next Page Last Page