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 Header Item Leaders' Questions (Continued)
 Header Item Order of Business

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 800 No. 4

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  11 o’clock

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath Does the Taoiseach intend to stand over the cowardice on the part of the Minister? The then Minister for Finance, Deputy Lenihan, God be good to him, said that if they would not do it themselves, he would legislate for it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Thank you, Deputy. I ask the Deputy to resume his seat as he is a minute over time.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath Will he legislate for it or stop this outrageous charade that is going on in the Burlington Hotel today and all over our country? Have we become a refuge for failed bankers from other countries?

Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath Hear, hear.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Before the Taoiseach replies I want to put on the record that under Standing Order 59 it is not allowed to name people in this House unless the Deputy gives prior notice to the Ceann Comhairle of the day and a good reason for doing so. I ask Deputies to respect the Standing Orders. This is not a Chamber where people's reputations are taken asunder. I will not sit here and allow people's reputations to be taken away, irrespective of who they are. My job is to ensure that we adhere to the Standing Orders of this House, and there is a good reason there is a Standing Order which protects the reputation of individuals. I will not allow Deputies to use this Chamber, under the cover of privilege, to make allegations against members of the public who are not here to defend themselves. It is up to other people outside this Chamber to deal with this issue, or else the Members can change Standing Orders but I apply Standing Orders.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny I understand the Ceann Comhairle's ruling. Deputy McGrath's Second Stage speech outside the church gate sounds very well-----

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath The Taoiseach is good at it himself.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny -----but he refuses to accept or recognise that he, Deputy Mattie McGrath, was party to a proposition and a Government which left this country with the highest deficit on the planet of 32.5% of GDP when it was thrown out of office.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath History.

(Interruptions).

Deputy Arthur Spring: Information on Arthur Spring Zoom on Arthur Spring That is the legacy we have.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny Deputy McGrath has the temerity to come in here and to accuse the Minister, Deputy Noonan, of cowardice.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath What else is it?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny I want to tell the Deputy one thing; he can accuse the Minister of many things but he can never accuse him of cowardice.

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

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny He is the Minister who, on behalf of Government, put in place the process to try to do something about a situation which was inherited by the Government because contracts were approved and signed off by the previous Fianna Fáil Administration and because of that process, the Government commissioned a report into bankers' pay, conditions, salaries, pensions and so on. That report was conducted by Mercer and it reported to Government. The Government made its recommendation through engaging with the Minister, the Department of Finance and the banks and because he has that process in train, he expects to have the recommendation responded to in the next two weeks. My understanding is that there will be a substantial and significant contribution from the leadership of banks in respect of pay and pensions. That is something that everybody here would welcome. These banks are only in existence because of the taxpayer and it is right and proper that Government would force and require banks to reduce their cost base in order that they can become solvent again and play a part that they should be able to play in the development of our economy for the times ahead.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath The Taoiseach has a short memory. I remember he and his party voting-----

(Interruptions).

Deputy Arthur Spring: Information on Arthur Spring Zoom on Arthur Spring Deputy McGrath supported the bank guarantee.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath Can I speak? I have always acknowledged that I made a mistake in voting for the bank guarantee but the Taoiseach voted for-----

Deputy John Lyons: Information on John Lyons Zoom on John Lyons On the next occasion the Deputy will say sorry and it will all be okay; that is great then.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath It does not make it okay.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Will the Deputy put his supplementary question?

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath I am; I am just correcting the record and stating the facts. The Taoiseach and all those on his Front Bench and his backbenchers or those who were Members at the time, voted for it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Will the Deputy put his question? This is Leaders' Questions.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath Unlike his colleagues, the sheep on the Labour Party benches are making noises, but what will they do? What action will they take?

(Interruptions).

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath How can the Taoiseach or the Minister, Deputy Noonan, possibly retain any shred of credibility? The Minister has a 15% shareholding in the bank on behalf taxpayers and he had the opportunity to do something today. We have once again put the fox in charge of the chickens. We have once again exposed ourselves to the charge that we are not really serious about banking reform. It is indefensible.

Deputy John Lyons: Information on John Lyons Zoom on John Lyons Just because the Deputy says he is sorry does not make it okay.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Will Deputy McGrath put his question?

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath I have one question. Is the Government beholden to Mr. Boucher?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Thank you, Deputy.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath He gave the Government a dig out last year in regard to the promissory notes. Is the Government totally beholden to him? Is the Government to be beholden to him or to the troika, our European colleagues?

Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: Information on Aodhán Ó Ríordáin Zoom on Aodhán Ó Ríordáin The Deputy is an embarrassment.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath The Government members are embarrassing themselves. Are they beholden to Mr. Boucher to the extent that they allow him to have a reckless-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Did the Deputy totally ignore what I asked him to do, namely, not to mention names?

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath I did not. This matter is being discussed at the moment down in the Burlington Hotel.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett But not in this Chamber under my chairmanship.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath It is covered in every newspaper. Are we going to be silenced in here and let the bankers ravage our country?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I call the Taoiseach to reply but I do not know to what question he is to reply.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny First, I want to confirm that it was not because of the bleatings of Deputy Mattie McGrath that the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine was able to put €1 million extra on the table yesterday to deal with the fodder shortage for hard pressed farmers.

Second, when the Deputy speaks of courage, he did not have the courage to put his name behind the Fianna Fáil banner and stand before the people. He ran because he was afraid to face the people with that brand on his forehead.

Deputy Brendan Howlin: Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin He got off the sinking ship.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny He was afraid-----

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath I stood up for what I felt was wrong.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny -----to knock on doors in Tipperary and say "I represent the Fianna Fáil Party".

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath They are waiting for the Taoiseach to come back with Deputy Hayes.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny He showed absolute cowardice and lack of courage and far be it from him to come in here and preach about others. The Deputy proved it himself; he did not have the gumption to say "I was selected by the party, I represent the party".

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath Answer the question.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The Deputy fled in the face of the people because of the brand image that the party carried with it at the time.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath What happened in the case of the lady the Taoiseach brought into the bank who wanted to take out a mortgage?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The Minister, Deputy Noonan, put in place the process for attempting to deal-----

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath What about the lady the Taoiseach brought into the bank in Meath to get a mortgage? What did she get?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny -----with banking contracts that were signed before this Administration's time and that process is in place. The Minister will attend at the AGM, I understand, but because it is his understanding that the response to the recommendation he made arising out of the Mercer report to Government is that there will be a substantial and significant contribution from bank leadership, he has made a decision in that regard. I expect that to be a significant and major contribution-----

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath Live horse and you will get grass.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny -----and it is right that it should be because these are extraordinary salaries.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath He had his chance this morning at the AGM.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett That completes Leaders' Questions.

Order of Business

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny It is proposed to take No. 18, Revised Estimates for Public Services 2013, Votes 11 to 19, back from committee; No. 20, Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Bill 2012 [Seanad] - Order for Report, Report and Final Stages; No. 2, Companies Bill 2012 - Second Stage (resumed); and No. 3, Non-Use of Motor Vehicles Bill 2013 - Order for Second Stage and Second Stage, to be taken not later than 5.30 p.m. today.

It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that in relation to No. 18 the proceedings shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion after 20 minutes; Votes 11 to 19, inclusive, shall be moved together and decided by one question which shall be put from the Chair and any division demanded thereon shall be taken forthwith; and the following arrangements shall apply: the speech of a Minister or Minister of State and of the main spokespersons for Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and the Technical Group, who shall be called upon in that order and who may share their time, shall not exceed five minutes in each case. Private Members’ business shall be No. 99, motion re public sector pay and conditions, resumed, to conclude at 9 p.m. tonight, if not previously concluded.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett There is one proposal to be put to the House. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 18, Revised Estimates for Public Services 2013, Votes 11 to 19, back from committee agreed to?

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin It is not agreed. We raised this last week and objected to the procedure and process being engaged in by Government whereby it referred all these Estimates to committee last week generally without any debate at plenary session. We requested a debate last week because it was in the aftermath of the rejection of the Croke Park II pay deal by public sector workers. Public servants need to know that in essence, as described last week in terms of these Estimates, in each Estimate for each Department, including in respect of one Department today, there is a proportion of the Estimate which relates to the pay deal that was rejected. In essence, what is being attempted to be voted through in respect of one Department contains Croke Park II provisions within that Estimate.


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