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Martin, Micheál

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Financial Resolution No. 15: General (Resumed) (Continued)

Irish people have shown time and again that they are willing to accept hard choices. They understand there is no easy way out of an unprecedented crisis which has engulfed Ireland and much of Euro...More Button

Last year, having won a mandate from the people promising a radical and progressive Government, Fine Gael and the Labour Party chose to abandon their promises and introduced by far the most regre...More Button

In the ever growing mountain of documents and press releases which have accompanied this year’s budget one thing is already clear. This is a deeply unfair budget presented by a Government that h...More Button

Yet again, the Labour Party and Fine Gael used true, half true and completely false leaks during negotiations. Their growing band of Malcolm Tucker wannabees were constantly on the telephone to ...More Button

For all of its smug sense of having prevailed over its coalition partner, the Fine Gael Party must also explain the reason it did not lift a finger to try to stop a family home tax, which the Tao...More Button

No, we did not. The memorandum of understanding refers to a completely different type of tax from the one the Government has introduced.More Button

The only Government strategy evident this week is a public relations strategy.More Button

The Government has been putting its trust in the idea that people will not compare the claims it is making-----More Button

I did not interrupt the Taoiseach and I would appreciate an opportunity to make my contribution to the House.More Button

The Government has been putting its trust in the idea that people will not compare the claims it is making with the substance of what it has decided to do. Most Ministers have been making claims w...More Button

The overall fiscal framework for next year is widely accepted and we believe it to be correct. It did not originate from the troika but is a required next step in bringing the deficit to a susta...More Button

We are all somewhat amused by the Tánaiste's use of the phrase that we are 85% there, given the fact that, year after year, the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and their parties voted against 80% of that j...More Button

They always claimed that there was a better and easier way.More Button

Labour and Fine Gael made reckless commitments and promises before the election that they could not fulfil.More Button

While the targets are correct, there is reason to believe that they might not be met and that public support for them has been undermined by the crass and growing inequity of the decisions being ...More Button

On the revenue side, last week's figures showed a serious undershooting of key taxes, particularly the €300 million deficit in income tax receipts. For 2012, the combination of overspending and ...More Button

One of the most striking elements of the budget is how little it has to say about the economy. Beyond empty generalities, there is no analysis of the direction of growth or employment or discuss...More Button

This year, targeted growth of 2.5% will actually be less than 1%. The target of 3% growth for next year has been halved. These are not cold, irrelevant statistics. They have a real impact on p...More Button

Last year, the Government claimed that it was all about jobs. It had a jobs budget, which it downgraded to an initiative, and the Budget Statement was almost entirely given over to claims of job...More Button

In this debate last year, the Government was told that implementing these policies would damage the economy, but it went ahead with the measures anyway. Let no one be in any doubt - the policies...More Button

What is also striking is that the Government is silent on the vital issue of debt sustainability. We are apparently seeking a deal to make our debt sustainable, but no member of the Government h...More Button

Domestic demand and confidence are the most important elements that we require to build a strong recovery, but the situation in Europe is also important. To date, the Government's approach to Eu...More Button

In spite of the claims made since June, nothing was agreed in respect of Ireland's debts and the news this week from Brussels marks a significant setback. The German Minister explicitly stated t...More Button

The number of promises broken by both parties in this budget is even larger than anyone imagined. The defence being trotted out is the usual one, in that they are being forced to break their pro...More Button

The overpowering cynicism of their campaigns is summed up by Labour's "Every Little Hurts" advertisement. In the closing days of the campaign and as the Taoiseach well remembers, Labour decided ...More Button

The report card shows that every one of those cuts and charges has been delivered.More Button

Labour even went so far as to say that there were red lines-----More Button

-----it would never cross. Everyone should replay the current Tánaiste's interview with RTE about child benefit.More Button

The Tánaiste was absolute about it.More Button

Let us also remember the response of the current Minister for Finance, Deputy Noonan, at the time.More Button

At a press conference, the Minister had journalists rolling in the aisles as he found new and creative ways to dismiss Labour's warnings as empty scaremongering. How right he was about Labour's ca...More Button

Less than two years later, we know that every little does hurt. Labour has implemented everything it claimed it would never do.More Button

Due to the mounting wave of negative commentary about the Government's regressive policies and lack of any real innovation in almost two years, it yesterday unveiled a new tactic. This involved ...More Button

Yesterday, there was messing with the presentation of figures in a range of areas from fiscal adjustments to the reduction in public service numbers. However, the brass neck award must go to the...More Button

Yes.More Button

When one takes the time to read the annexe, one discovers that our tax system is progressive only because of two budgets against which every member of the current Cabinet voted.More Button

The Government is right about the system being progressive, but its members voted against every measure in the two key budgets that made it so.More Button

If one includes just the budgetary decisions of Fine Gael and Labour, one finds a deeply regressive impact.More Button

The backing away from a real reform of the political and budgetary process has been obvious to anyone paying attention. Last year’s budget fortnight has been abandoned and a traditional budget day...More Button

What the final budget decisions reveal is a Government that holds many meetings with outside groups but rarely ever listens to what is being said. How else could one explain all the meetings with ...More Button

Yesterday’s announcement that 100 Garda stations will be closed will rightly lead to demonstrations throughout the country. When closing stations the Government repeatedly said they were only ma...More Button

Each one of the welfare cuts imposed in the budget could have been avoided if the proposal to target the highest income earners had been adopted. Instead, Fine Gael insisted that social welfare ...More Button

-----is justifying cuts which are dramatically more severe and targeted against the most vulnerable. When challenged about cutting basic support for clothing and footwear, her callous response is ...More Button

The mounting evidence that the Department of Health is out of control is clear to everyone in the country but the Taoiseach.More Button

Even other Cabinet Ministers are saying that the Minister for Health, Deputy Reilly, is turning tough conditions into a crisis. In this budget we see more about the truth of a regressive and cynic...More Button

The Minister, Deputy Reilly, tabled a motion demanding an extension to medical card eligibility and said it was merited because-----More Button

This is what the Minister said-----More Button

-----“Those are the people who made this country what it is today....They raised us, nursed us when we were sick, protected us from violence, grew our food”. That is what the Minister said not so ...More Button

I have all the Taoiseach's speeches in a large file, demonstrating his hypocrisy and lack of sincerity.More Button

The Minister, Deputy Reilly-----More Button

The Minister's speech might well rate in history alongside the visit by the Minister for Education and Skills, Deputy Quinn, to the front gate of Trinity College for breathtaking cynicism.More Button

That was the breaking of a promise made before the election, the trebling of prescription charges does that and adds to it the breaking of a post-election announcement.More Button

One should remember that the Minister, Deputy Reilly, was only days in office when he summoned journalists to hear that he intended not just cutting, but abolishing prescription charges.More Button

The prescription charge is €1.50. Many pensioners are on medication and use six to nine items a month. The Government might not have cut the old age pension but through this measure alone it is t...More Button

The cut in the respite care grant is callous when added on top of the cut to home help. How could the Government distribute thousands of leaflets claiming to have delivered a fair budget when it h...More Button

----interrupting the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Howlin-----More Button

-----with a passion and conviction that left the Minister speechless.More Button

I ask the Taoiseach to reverse the cut.More Button

Mistakes were made in the previous budget as well. There were appalling attacks on DEIS schools. The most disadvantaged schools were affected in last year's budget.More Button

We fought a campaign against that and the Government eventually reversed the cuts to DEIS schools. The Minister for Education and Skills, Deputy Quinn, came to the House and apologised for what he...More Button

I put it to the Taoiseach that he must examine the matter again. The saving identified is approximately €26 million.More Button

If I might continue, €26 million is involved. People watching are not interested in that kind of tomfoolery, they are interested in whether anything can be done about the respite grant.More Button

It can be done and it should be done.More Button

I plead with the Taoiseach on the matter today. This is what the debate is about; for people to listen to what we are saying and to take on board some of it, at least a bit of it. Of all the thin...More Button

In the third-largest Department, Education and Skills, cuts are once again being targeted at disadvantaged families and communities. The increases in third level fees will continue and now an ef...More Button

It is true.More Button

I was in Castlebar three weeks ago and a young student doing biomedical engineering in UCG said he was contemplating leaving because the grant had not come through and he had no information about i...More Button

Students have no confidence in the Minister of State, Deputy Costello.More Button

The only image that is embedded in the minds of students is the Minister for Education and Skills on the steps of Trinity College, Dublin, swearing blind and signing on the dotted line that he woul...More Button

The increase in the charge is regressive. We need to encourage people to get through education.More Button

The Minister is talking about the past 14 years. The most important statistic to come out in the past three weeks about Irish education is that we now have a 90% completion rate in second level. ...More Button

Our second level participation rates have moved from 78% to 90% in a decade. We want to do the same with third level. We have one of the highest participation rates of second level students going...More Button

Yesterday, there was a bit of delegation going on with the budget. The Higher Education Authority was given a €25 million cut but it was claimed no services would be impacted, which is simply not ...More Button

The same goes for the unspecified cut of €13 million for the vocational education committees.More Button

When it happens on the ground, it will not be the Minister who will be blamed but some anonymous group.More Button

We did. The Minister is wrong. That is a spurious political claim. We costed our budget proposals and tabled parliamentary questions to get more information.More Button

I hope the Minister of State is not suggesting parliamentary replies are untrue or inaccurate. Is that what he is suggesting?More Button

We look at the replies in good faith that they are accurate and tell us the truth. Maybe they do not.More Button

I will acknowledge we have had to use freedom of information requests much more frequently because of the reluctance of the Government to give information to the House.More Button

This year's shambolic introduction of a household charge proved there is no public acceptance of a family home charge. As the troika has repeatedly said, it is up to the Government to decide how...More Button

Before the election, Fine Gael said such a tax is unfair and would not be introduced. Labour said nothing should be done before 2014 and that it must, under no circumstances, be a flat tax.More Button

The Government's proposal is for an unjust tax which is weighted against urban areas. It does not have and will not earn public support because of its unfairness and it could cause much wider prob...More Button

As Fianna Fáil set out in its pre-budget document, the measures announced yesterday are not inevitable. They are the product of political choices between parties manoeuvring for position and the...More Button

One of the most unmistakable traits of this budget is how it is lacking in new ideas or a major initiative. Many small things are being done in order that claims can be made to visionary leaders...More Button

They have not. The Taoiseach took his severance pay. I waived mine.More Button

That is true. I apologise.More Button