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 Header Item Business of Dáil (Continued)
 Header Item Government's Priorities for the Year Ahead: Statements

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 833 No. 1

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Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin I do not want to delay proceedings further, but I ask the Taoiseach to clarify whether there will be time for questions and answers after each Minister's contribution, which is what was suggested earlier.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny This matter was agreed to yesterday over the telephone with Deputies Seán Ó Fearghaíl and Aengus Ó Snodaigh. Then Fianna Fáil wanted to change the arrangement again, which is why I read out a revised Order of Business today in order that Opposition spokespersons could come in directly after Ministers. That is why it was changed, despite the fact that it had been agreed to by the Fianna Fáil Whip yesterday over the telephone.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin In fairness, that is not happening in the case of the Ministers for Health, the Environment, Community and Local Government and Children and Youth Affairs. Our spokespersons will not come in on the issues of health, the environment and children, mainly because of the availability of Ministers and so forth. That will not actually happen, even though the Taoiseach mentioned that there would be questions and answers.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny This was agreed to yesterday. Then the Deputy wanted it to be changed and I have changed it for him.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin Yes, but the Taoiseach mentioned that there would be questions and answers. I take it that-----

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny No. We are now going to have statements.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin Just statements.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny There will be plenty of time to ask plenty of questions.

Deputy Barry Cowen: Information on Barry Cowen Zoom on Barry Cowen We cannot ask questions.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt I received no notice of any of this. I am now going to go ahead.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny Deputy Barry Cowen should calm down.

Deputy Barry Cowen: Information on Barry Cowen Zoom on Barry Cowen Of course, we cannot question the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government. He is bringing in water charges, about which we cannot ask questions.

(Interruptions).

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt Order, please.

Deputy Barry Cowen: Information on Barry Cowen Zoom on Barry Cowen The Government doesn't want to be reminded of that matter.

Deputy James Bannon: Information on James Bannon Zoom on James Bannon The Deputy should go back to his brother.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny Deputy Cowen was one of the good ones.

Government's Priorities for the Year Ahead: Statements

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny I am happy to have this opportunity to inform the House of the Government's priorities for the year ahead. This comes on the same day as the Government has published its third annual report, After the Bailout, which catalogues the substantial progress it has made since 2011. When this Government of Fine Gael and the Labour Party entered office, we faced the toxic legacy of years of economic mismanagement. Ireland faced an enormous economic, financial and social crisis. Unemployment was reaching record highs; the public finances were out of control and our international reputation was in tatters. The nation had to endure the ignominy of a bailout from the European Union and the IMF to keep the economy and the country afloat.

The first task facing the Government was to restore financial stability and return the economy to growth in order for Ireland to successfully exit the EU-IMF bailout. Thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of the people, that central national objective has been achieved. On 15 December 2013 Ireland left the bailout programme.


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