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Financial Resolutions 2020

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Budget Statement 2021

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Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice

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Snippet Contents:

I welcome this opportunity to speak on today's budget. Like most people who have spoken on the supports for businesses affected, I welcome what has been provided. The devil will be in the detail of all of this, however. I state that because many people this evening think that something like €5,000 will jump out to them every week if they are shut down. From what I have seen, however, over the last few years in politics, things do not come that handy. I am fearful of the red tape that will be involved in all of this.
I also welcome other aspects of the budget, such as those in the areas of the fuel allowance and the living alone allowance. One thing that struck me, however, when the Minister referred to business supports and infrastructure, was that only two ports were mentioned. Ireland does not work on only two ports, namely, Dublin and Rosslare. No mention was made of anywhere else, such as Cork, Foynes, Galway, Killybegs or Drogheda. Those places do not seem to exist. We seem to be once again tilting Ireland heading towards Dublin, and because the other port is included in the trans-European transport network, TEN-T, we will talk about it a bit.
Turning to the HSE, and I have heard the debate here this evening, we hear about all of this money being provided. I refer to €4 billion or €4.5 billion. Most of the beds, however, are already allocated. I think that is something like 120 beds or perhaps 130 beds. In the same way as is the case with the N4 in Sligo, that job is done. I am sick of listening to budgets over the last three years that have been concerned with that infrastructural road. It is done and dusted and the diggers are gone so let us not be announcing infrastructural works four or five times. We seem to be a dab hand at doing that.
There was talk about the giveaway budget today, but a few months ago there were kids, and some of them still are kids, who could not be carried to school because of the so-called green agenda. We talk, then, about the DART and intercity rail. We talk about everything. Let us go back some two months, however. What was wrong then that we would not bring those children to school? We are now, however, going to do the devil and all in putting money into this, that and the other. Many of these announcements are already programmed, such as the infrastructure for schools, which is all laid out over a five-year programme. We should be honest with people in what it is we are doing. Among many possibilities, I will call this endeavour today one thing.