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30/09/2015 [Statements] I welcome the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform and invite him to address the House.[Mullins, Michael]Vol-242 Book-4 Page [176]
30/09/2015 [Statements] I am delighted to be back in the Seanad. It is extremely timely that we are having this discussion in advance of the budget that will be presented to the Oireachtas two weeks from now.
I will begin by setting out the broad fiscal context in which we find ourselves in the run-up to bu...
Vol-242 Book-4 Page [176]
30/09/2015 [Statements] A well educated workforce is one of the economy's strongest attributes and we need to ensure the public finances can support this trend into the future. While we currently enjoy favourable demographics over many other European partners, we will be facing pressures sooner rather than la...Vol-242 Book-4
30/09/2015 [Statements] I thank the Minister for coming to the House. One thing is certain, whatever decisions are made on budget day will be wrong in the sense that we would all have our version of what should and ought to be done. That would vary from person to person within the Labour Party, the Fine Gael...Vol-242 Book-4 Page [180]
30/09/2015 [Statements] That is what divides us politically. Since coming to power, while claiming that it has not increased the income tax rate, the Government has introduced 13 separate increases in tax on income and a total of 45 other separate tax increases. It has also introduced numerous stealth taxes ...Vol-242 Book-4
30/09/2015 [Statements] It is in the script. I have just said it.[Howlin, Brendan]Vol-242 Book-4 Page [181]
30/09/2015 [Statements] I must not have been listening attentively. I apologise. Is it within the figure of €750 million?[MacSharry, Marc]Vol-242 Book-4 Page [181]
30/09/2015 [Statements] Yes.[Howlin, Brendan]Vol-242 Book-4 Page [181]
30/09/2015 [Statements] It will be €450 million of new measures. Now we know that there will be €300 million off the top of the €1.2 billion or €1.5 billion under the Lansdowne Road agreement. It is good to have that clarification.
Will the additional spending commitments required take account of demograp...
Vol-242 Book-4 Page [181]
30/09/2015 [Statements] I thank those in the Fine Gael group who covered my absence during the recent banking inquiry. I also offer my heartiest thanks to former Senator Jimmy Harte for his work here. I have not had an opportunity to do this and wish him and his family well in his retirement.
The entry poi...
Vol-242 Book-4 Page [182]
30/09/2015 [Statements] I do not support electioneering on budgets. There is always a price to pay in the future. It happened in the 1970s with the Lynch Government and we know what happened with the banking collapse and everything since. One of the figures about which I was flabbergasted was that voted exp...Vol-242 Book-4
30/09/2015 [Statements] The Minister is very welcome. I also welcome the opportunity to have a little influence on his thoughts as we approach the budget. I note his ongoing openness and engagement with individual Senators and the House. As he said, it is a time for political choices and options. That is w...Vol-242 Book-4 Page [184]
30/09/2015 [Statements] I support the recommendations contained in the report, Footsteps for the Future, which was authored by Dr. Stephen Kinsella. He took the 2015 spring statement forecast and the CSO's demographic projections to 2021 as his basic data. In the report he discussed the costs and benefits of...Vol-242 Book-4
30/09/2015 [Statements] I welcome the Minister. I also welcome Senators Marc MacSharry and Michael D'Arcy back to the House. They have had a long absence of-----[Hayden, Aideen]Vol-242 Book-4 Page [186]
30/09/2015 [Statements] About one year.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-242 Book-4 Page [186]
30/09/2015 [Statements] Senator Marc MacSharry made a point about the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council. It has agreed with the headline figures. It is for the Government of the day to decide how we spend our resources. The Senator stated that we needed to spread the recovery beyond urban areas. It is importan...Vol-242 Book-4 Page [186]
30/09/2015 [Statements] I come from a family in which there was a saying "Money comes to money". I see absolutely no reason people who have inherited wealth or have been given gifts pay a lower tax rate than somebody who works an extra hour in a supermarket. One of the great things that the Government has do...Vol-242 Book-4
30/09/2015 [Statements] I welcome the Minister and the opportunity to have this debate because in previous years we did not have the opportunity to express our opinion before the budget. There is little doubt that there is a confidence in the country that was not there before. That confidence has come about ...Vol-242 Book-4 Page [187]
30/09/2015 [Statements] Revitalising town centres is something we can do. The Government must be commended for its recent announcement of a €30 million fund to aid the regeneration of towns. I was involved in the Local Heroes project in Drogheda and it was great to see what could be done. The Austrians set ...Vol-242 Book-4
30/09/2015 [Statements] I welcome the Minister of State, Deputy Simon Harris.[Mullins, Michael]Vol-242 Book-4 Page [189]
30/09/2015 [Statements] I, too, welcome the Minister of State. The emphasis of the budget, even more than last year, will be on recovery and building rather than retrenchment. Yesterday we had the announcement of substantial public infrastructural spending. When we think of where we were five years ago, thi...Vol-242 Book-4 Page [189]
30/09/2015 [Statements] I welcome the Minister of State, Deputy Simon Harris, to the Chamber. The Minister, Deputy Brendan Howlin, was here earlier for this discussion. It is certainly an important one to have ahead of the budget, to reflect on where we stand and the fiscal space available to the Government....Vol-242 Book-4 Page [191]
30/09/2015 [Statements] It is moving from the corrective arm which was put in place in November 2011 to the preventive arm which has to do with the debt and budgetary rules pertaining to what the Government can do in the forthcoming budget. The knock-on effect of that was the establishment of the independent ...Vol-242 Book-4
30/09/2015 [Statements] I welcome the Minister and thank him for the opportunity to communicate on this issue. As we approach the budget - it is welcome that the Minister is in the House because I know he will be on the same page as me - I believe it will be one for carers. Family carers have consistently lo...Vol-242 Book-4 Page [192]
30/09/2015 [Statements] On the subject of capital gains tax, CGT, a person in England with a low income who is lucky enough to have a gain such as an inheritance will have a CGT rate of 18%. If one is a high earner, one's CGT rate will be 28%. I ask the Minister to consider taking away this blanket CGT rate....Vol-242 Book-4
30/09/2015 [Statements] Members do not often have the opportunity to engage with the Minister, Deputy Brendan Howlin, although he comes into the House on occasion. When I saw he was in the Chamber, I decided to come and speak on this important subject. The Government has made and is making a priority of home...Vol-242 Book-4 Page [193]
30/09/2015 [Statements] I welcome the Minister of State, Deputy Simon Harris. That is a general welcome because I believe the Ministers, Deputies Michael Noonan, Brendan Howlin and Simon Harris, have done the State some service compared with the situation the public finances were in. I am glad they are opera...Vol-242 Book-4 Page [194]
30/09/2015 [Statements] Let us not have a whole industry of tax lawyers and accountants, the fiscal termites, trying to erode the 12.5% rate.
On capital projects, some start was made yesterday, particularly in the later chapters. We must appraise capital investment much more strictly than we did in the past...
Vol-242 Book-4
30/09/2015 [Statements] I welcome this debate and will try to be brief with my comments. I have a great deal to get through. Speaking about recovery would seem like crazy talk to many people, given the struggle everyday life remains for working families, those looking for a job or those who may be caring for...Vol-242 Book-4 Page [196]
30/09/2015 [Statements] There would be no tax cuts for a generation if that happened.[Gilroy, John]Vol-242 Book-4 Page [196]
30/09/2015 [Statements] I feel privileged that I am the only person being talked over here. The argument about savings is redundant following EUROSTAT's comprehensive destruction of the attempt by the Government to have Irish Water counted off the books. The abolition of water charges is not only fair but al...Vol-242 Book-4 Page [196]
30/09/2015 [Statements] I welcome the Minister of State. I agree with Senator Sean D. Barrett that he has made a very fine contribution to the portfolio.
We do not have a bottomless pit but because of the way we do our budgets every year, we give the wrong impression to the public that we do. It is unforgi...
Vol-242 Book-4 Page [197]
30/09/2015 [Statements] Contrary to what the Taoiseach has said, the recovery is not behind every door. I know he would like it to be there, but I know what I am finding behind every door, or many doors. I am finding unresolved debt that no welcome cut in the universal social charge will correct. I am findi...Vol-242 Book-4
30/09/2015 [Statements] There are three other speakers.[Mullins, Michael]Vol-242 Book-4 Page [198]
30/09/2015 [Statements] I apologise.[Eames, Fidelma Healy]Vol-242 Book-4 Page [198]
30/09/2015 [Statements] We need to have it finished.[Mullins, Michael]Vol-242 Book-4 Page [198]
30/09/2015 [Statements] I will take 30 seconds to make a second point on budget reform. When the Government announces its spending caps, it should be announcing targets and saying what aspects of the expenditure of individual Departments worked and did not work in the last term. It is wrong that there is no ...Vol-242 Book-4 Page [198]
30/09/2015 [Statements] Cuirim fáilte roimh an Aire Stáit go dtí an Teach. How long do I have? I assume I have five minutes.[Walsh, Jim]Vol-242 Book-4 Page [199]
30/09/2015 [Statements] The Senator has five minutes, but if he takes all of that time, the remaining speakers will have just two minutes each.[Mullins, Michael]Vol-242 Book-4 Page [199]
30/09/2015 [Statements] Okay. I will try to finish sooner.
I wish to mention a few headline issues. We should look at a number of public expenditure issues that came very much into vogue and into focus when the economic crisis broke. I refer, for example, to the rates of pay across the public service an...
Vol-242 Book-4 Page [199]
30/09/2015 [Statements] That commitment should be honoured.Vol-242 Book-4
30/09/2015 [Statements] The Minister of State is due to respond, but if we could shorten his response to five minutes, we could give two minutes apiece to Senators Paul Bradford and James Heffernan.[Mullins, Michael]Vol-242 Book-4 Page [200]
30/09/2015 [Statements] I requested this debate and strongly pressed the need for such a substantial discussion, but I will allow the Minister of State to reply because it would be ridiculous to try to make sense of budgetary policy or make a coherent argument in two minutes. Without any difficulty or disappo...Vol-242 Book-4 Page [200]
30/09/2015 [Statements] I thank the Acting Chairman. I also thank, on my own behalf and that of my colleague, the Minister, Deputy Brendan Howlin, all Senators from all sides of the Seanad who took the opportunity to engage in this pre-budget debate, which has been very useful. I certainly found it very thou...Vol-242 Book-4 Page [200]
30/09/2015 [Statements] That is great clarification. I thank the Minister of State.[Eames, Fidelma Healy]Vol-242 Book-4 Page [202]
30/09/2015 [Statements] I am happy to provide clarity.[Harris, Simon]Vol-242 Book-4 Page [202]
30/09/2015 [Statements] That makes much more sense.[Eames, Fidelma Healy]Vol-242 Book-4 Page [202]
30/09/2015 [Statements] I am sure the Minister would be happy to provide it a;sp. There are significant education priorities and I am sure we have all had engagements with the Irish National Teachers Organisation and the principal networks, etc. I do not mean to be partisan about the issue, but I am proud of...Vol-242 Book-4 Page [202]
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