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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 16 Apr 1969

Vol. 239 No. 10

Decimal Currency Bill, 1969: First Stage.

I move:

That leave be granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to provide for the introduction of a decimal currency in the year 1971 and to provide for matters connected with such introduction and for other matters connected with currency and coinage.

The text of the Bill will be circulated within the next few weeks and I hope to publish the designs of the new coins next week and circulate copies to Deputies.

When is it proposed to take the next Stage?

I wish to raise a point before that question is answered. Does the Minister realise in connection with the Decimal Currency Bill, which, I think, most of us in the House realise must be introduced and implemented, that we in Ireland are in a most peculiar position in regard to the multiplicity of small businesses who depend for their systemisation on cash registers and that, unlike British or other industrial countries, the burden of reequipping cash registers will be positively appalling? Cash registers constitute a capital charge on small business people who are already very hard pressed in the highly-competitive situation obtaining in the retail distributive trade throughout rural Ireland. In preparing this legislation, has the Minister had regard to that peculiar facet of our economic circumstances and has he not contemplated any provision, partial or entire, to meet it?

This whole situation, of course, can be fully discussed when the legislation comes before the House. At this stage, I should not like to say any more than to indicate that in all the decisions we have taken so far about the changeover to decimalisation, we have had the problems confronting our traders and, in particular, our small traders, very much in mind. A number of our decisions have been very much influenced by that consideration. We are also keeping in mind the possibility of affording relief in the cost involved through the tax code.

I withdraw the opposition expressed.

Question put and agreed to.
Second Stage ordered for Wednesday, 7th May, 1969.