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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 13 May 1986

Vol. 366 No. 4

Finance Bill, 1986: Financial Resolutions.

I move:

That provision be made in the Act giving effect to this Resolution so as to restrict, in the manner and to the extent specified in that Act, relief from income tax and corporation tax in respect of capital allowances on leased machinery or plant.

This relates to amendment No. 7 for the Report Stage debate and, as we have provided a distribution of time which should allow us to debate all these amendments, I do not think there is any great need for me to elaborate on this.

I have but one point to make on Resolutions Nos. 7, 8 and 9 which follow directly as a consequence of the issuing today by the Minister of a further booklet of amendments. That makes the whole examination of the Finance Bill impossible. It is the first time in my experience, which is more considerable than the Minister's, that we have had Resolutions being brought in in the last few hours to give effect to further amendments that have been coming in on the Bill right up to lunchtime and afterwards. If that does not demonstrate that the Minister who was to bring about Dáil reform is making a total nonsense of it, nothing else could. It is not possible to address ourselves to these Resolutions. I appeal to the Minister and, through him, to the permanent staff to ensure that the House is never again treated with such contempt and mockery in the course of a debate on a Finance Bill. Booklets of amendments arrived at lunchtime today.

The Deputy is treating the House with contempt and the intelligence of the people also. The Resolutions relate to amendments of which notice was given last week. An indication was given last week of the subject matter of those amendments. Furthermore the amendments were circulated in good time yesterday.

At lunchtime.

It is interesting that Deputy O'Kennedy who is making a complaint on this occasion circulated amendments later than the ones I circulated and about which he is complaining. In the last hour or so he circulated amendments.

An amendment about one single figure.

The Deputy is complaining about amendments I circulated yesterday that I gave notice of a week ago. The Deputy is making a big issue of his being in favour of Dáil reform while at the same time he breaks his own rules. To my mind that does not make any sense at all.

My amendment concerns one figure. The Minister has 20 pages of amendments and that is a big difference.

The Deputy would not have time to think out any more amendments than that. The fact that he has not produced a large number is simply an indication of his own lack of industry and not an indication of his adherence to Standing Orders because if he would he could, but he cannot. The fact is that the Deputy circulated amendments later than mine without giving notice in the same way as I gave it last week. The purpose of the Report Stage debate is to enable amendments to be introduced. It is quite reasonable that, having given notice a week ago and circulated the amendments yesterday, I should be introducing them today. There is nothing abnormal about that. In fact, it has happened every year there has been a Finance Bill that amendments have been circulated in this way.

The only amendment in my name today, as distinct from those already on the Order Paper, is one to change one figure in the Bill by way of tax allowance. I do not think any Minister would need very much notice in respect of that, even the Minister. I contrast that with the fact that since the House rose last Thursday the Minister has introduced five different series of amendments, totalling 45 to 50 pages. This is the first time that, in a debate on a Finance Bill, it was necessary to introduce three Financial Resolutions at this point. Previously they were introduced at the outset of the debate on the Finance Bill. This is a matter of shame for the Minister and should never be allowed to happen again.

I do not have the slightest intention of giving any assurance of the kind sought by the Deputy. I am quite concerned to ensure that points made either in debates or in representations I receive during the passage of a Finance Bill — if I am convinced they will improve, as the ones before the House are designed to, the climate for investment and job creation here — are introduced up to the last moment possible in the form of amendments. That is my job.

As it is 4.15 p.m. I must put the following question: "That the motions for Financial Resolutions related to the Finance Bill set down by the Minister for Finance are hereby agreed to".

Question put and declared carried.
The following were the motions set down:
That provision be made in the Act giving effect to this Resolution so as to secure, in the manner and to the extent specified in that Act, that any interest or other distribution in respect of certain securities shall not be treated as a distribution for the purposes of corporation tax.
That, for the purposes of income tax and value-added tax, provision be made in the Act giving effect to this Resolution whereby a person who holds a fixed charge on the book debts of a company may incur liability for payment of a relevant amount in the manner and to the extent specified in the said Act.