Ross, Shane

Thursday, 12 March 1998

Seanad Éireann Debate
Vol. 154 Nbr. 13


Order of Business.

Members may not forgive me for raising a matter relevant to the Order of Business but I will dare to do so.More Button

I support Senator Manning's remarks but I will suggest a compromise. We are supposed to debate all Stages of the Central Bank today but on principle it is dangerous to do this, particularly on suc...More Button

Sit down then.More Button

Central Bank Bill, 1997: Second Stage.

Will the Minister of State explain the significance of the correction?More Button

What does it say?More Button

What does that mean?More Button

Will the Minister of State explain the significance of this? Perhaps it is just a misprint but I have not been able to find it in the Bill.More Button

What is being deleted and what is being put in?More Button

No.More Button

On a point of order, what the Minister of State has said is mumbo jumbo. Perhaps if we——More Button

It is important to deal with this on Second Stage if there is any significance in the change. It would help the House if an explanation for the change could be given in layman's language. It is ve...More Button

Yes, but what alterations are we agreeing to make? What is the misprint?More Button

So it has no other significance?More Button

Will the Minister of State provide an explanation on Committee Stage?More Button

I am suspicious of political consensus on issues of this sort. It is striking that the debate about EMU and the European Central Bank has taken place outside these Houses. That is not necessarily...More Button

There is a belief throughout the State that anything to do with Europe is good for Ireland. To some extent we are on the take and this is part of the same philosophy. I believe nothing is further...More Button

This debate is not about the technical issues involved in the small print, it is about the sacrifice of Ireland's economic independence. Every party in this and the other House is in favour of surr...More Button

In his speech the Minister's stated: “The provisions of the Bill are designed to cater for the streamlining of the independence of the Central Bank.” What does “streamlining” mean? It means giving ...More Button

The Minister went on to speak in the European mumbo jumbo to which we have become accustomed. This confuses people, they do not read it because they are turned off by it. Most of the Minister's sp...More Button

What strikes me about this debate is the feeble nature of the arguments in favour of EMU. The best argument I have heard in favour of it in the House today is the worst I have heard in favour of ...More Button

I do not wish to insult the ESRI, it is full of extremely bright and hard working people. However, it has two problems. First, it is fallible like all economists. Second, it is the Government's p...More Button

I looked elsewhere for arguments in favour of EMU but I could not find any. I understood Senator Finneran's argument about exchange rates. However, that argument is not about the macro economy, i...More Button

First, let me deal with the Minister's speech and why I found it somewhat offensive and, to a certain extent, insulting. The language used by the Minister is full of bland generalisations which ex...More Button

The Minister went on the speak about the independence of the European Central Bank. He stated: “This independence will generate confidence in the euro as a stable and secure currency.” This is as ...More Button

The Minister made a bold statement about the fate of sterling which few Members would make, let alone a Minister. He stated: “Clearly the sterling issue is important but we must be careful not to...More Button

Recently ten economic commentators were asked at what level sterling would stand this time next year. Nine had a shot at answering the question while the tenth gave the only answer which an honest...More Button

The remainder of the Minister's speech is full of rhetoric, something we understand in the context of politics. It contains a certain amount of extremely feeble advice which is not reassuring. The...More Button

Towards the end of his speech the Minister made reference to hedging, but it is only possible to hedge for a short time; is very expensive and can be a complete waste of money. It decreases profit...More Button

I was not only struck by the jargon of the Minister's speech and the failure to think the issue through but by the fact that the Government is bankrupt of ideas about what to do in the event of EMU...More Button

The worst possible date we could have picked was 1 January 1999 for entering EMU as our growth rates are phenomenal. German and French growth rates — those which matter in Europe — are...More Button

This is a time of immense prosperity and success. The economy is booming and we have man-aged it reasonably well. I am one of the few Independents who applaud the Minister's management of the ec...More Button

We are going to give away control of interest rates, the other vital control on our economy. One speaker said we have not had too much control of interest rates so far, but we have had a fair input...More Button

The most crucial weapon we are surrendering is devaluation. Nobody knows the reason for the current boom. Economists will give four or five reasons, including EU funds, social partnership, multin...More Button

There is some truth in the claim that speculators forced that devaluation on us. They only forced it on us for two reasons. First, because they thought the value of the pound was too high and sec...More Button

The euro will fluctuate wildly against sterling. There are two possible scenarios. I am not foolish enough to say which way it will fluctuate. Predicting currency fluctuations is foolhardy. I kn...More Button

The consequences of this inflation will be particularly interesting for the social partnership and for the various national wage agreements. One economist, using a Central Bank model, has predicted...More Button

The second scenario is even more threatening. We all know what the consequences will be if sterling falls against the euro. In the old days we could have devalued to become more competitive agains...More Button

We are not as dependent today on native, labour intensive industry as we were 20 years ago because we have multinationals and the dangers to these industries are not as apparent today. The wealth ...More Button

Multinationals will not be here forever and they can leave at dawn in slippered feet. Their loyalty is based solely on who can offer them the best deal. They look for an area which offers them th...More Button

Let me explode another myth which was mentioned by the Minister and Senator Finneran. It is assumed that the euro will be a strong currency.More Button

All the great europhiles, like Peter Sutherland and others, have urged us to join the EMU. They say it will result in a stable currency, low inflation rates and the euro will be comparable to the...More Button

If there is a weak euro this time next year there will be a reverse of the situation which has been predicted for so long. The ECB will panic due to a run on European reserves and will raise inter...More Button

The details of the Bill will be decided on Committee Stage. I am worried by the position of the Governor of the Central Bank. I do not know even from reading this Bill what the composition of the...More Button

The Governor will be not be accountable for what he does here. He will be answerable to various committees here but not in relation to the ECB. I do not want the Minister to say afterwards that ...More Button

The Governor of the Central Bank will supposedly represent our interests in Europe, but in effect will not be accountable to us for representing them. It is a strange contradiction and the Bill co...More Button

Without prejudice to the objective of maintaining price stability — [This is a general overall hope to keep inflation down which means raising interest rates if the currency is under pressure...More Button

This means the European Central Bank, including our representative, would have to pursue general economic policies dictated by Europe, not monetary policies. We are not only giving up our independ...More Button

The Bill is not just anti-independence or about sacrifice, it could oblige the Governor of the Central Bank to work directly against the interests of the Irish people because he and the bank are ma...More Button

The Central Bank will still exist as there will still be a building on Dame Street with people going in and out every day looking important and making the right sounds, but probably failing to pro...More Button

I have been critical in the past of the bank's role in supervision. It was extraordinary that there was not a single prosecution under the exchange control rules even though they were in operation...More Button

Banks have gone bust under its supervision, such as the ICI debacle under Allied Irish Banks, the Gallagher bank and the Irish Trust Bank. It was not immaculate or impeccable in its policing of th...More Button

The alternative is simple. We could do what the British are doing. Senator Finneran alluded to the fact that they are making preparations for entry into EMU. That is not the case as they have in...More Button

Behind the scenes the Germans maintain that Ireland is a sterling satellite and it should do what the British are doing. We do not like to hear that but it is what they are telling us to do. If w...More Button

We had the option of staying out and linking to sterling while tracking the euro currency. That would be quite feasible and easy to do and it is probably what the British are going to do. If we ...More Button

I vehemently oppose this Bill. It is the height of folly, taken by cowardly politicians who have not thought out this issue.More Button