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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 11 Feb 1999

Vol. 500 No. 3

Bretton Woods Agreements (Amendment) Bill, 1998: Second Stage (Resumed).

The following motion was moved by the Minister for Finance, Deputy McCreevy, on Thursday, 28 January 1999: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time".
Debate resumed on amendment No. 1:
To delete all words after "That" and substitute the following:
"Dáil Éireann declines to give the Bill a second reading on the ground that, while urgent measures need to be taken to address debt relief, the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) cannot be supported on its present form and on the ground that the Bill's proposal to fund ESAF is a direct contradiction of Fianna Fáil's pre-election commitment to continue to withhold funds from ESAF pending reform of the International Monetary Fund."
–(Deputy McDowell).

When I spoke on this Bill this day last week I indicated it was not often that I had the opportunity or inclination to praise Deputy Roche's contribution. The speech he made was an important one which should be read carefully by the Ministers for Finance and Foreign Affairs and all Fianna Fáil backbenchers. He is opposed to the Government making contributions to the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility of the IMF which has had the effect of deepening poverty and the debt of the countries which it is claimed it seeks to help. The Government should agree to withdraw the Bill and argue for the necessary reforms to ESAF before it will consider making contributions to it.

The Jubilee 2000 Campaign indicates that 1 billion people are trapped under a mountain of debt; that African countries spend four times more on interest repayments on loans than on health care; that spending per person in the world's 37 poorest countries has fallen by 50 per cent on health and 25 per cent on education; that debt fuels the drugs trade as poor farmers turn to growing high value cash crops such as opium and cocaine; that the rain forests are being destroyed to provide timber and beef to earn foreign currency to repay debts; that for every £1 given by rich countries poor countries repay nearly £4 in debt repayments; that an estimated 250,000 jobs have been lost in Europe because countries impoverished by debt have been unable to buy our goods, and that more than 500,000 children die each year because of cutbacks in health services.

That is an appalling litany in the modern world in which the resources are available to ensure every person has enough to eat and every child can survive into old age. While the contribution Ireland makes is relatively small, it is important to maintain a principled position on how the World Bank, the IMF and other agencies which seek to help poorer developing countries operate.

The external evaluation of ESAF early last year indicated that its programme was deficient in many critical respects. It has had the effect of making many poor countries poorer by ensuring social, health and education services would have to be cut to meet the criteria established. What is even more galling is that the decision of the Government to contribute to ESAF has resulted in a reduction in the amount paid in direct aid to poor countries. It has been shown that the direct aid programmes operated by organisations such as Concern Worldwide, Trócaire and GOAL are much more effective.

This is the second U-turn the Government has made on international affairs issues. It has reversed the decision made by the Government of which I was a member which refused to make a contribution to ESAF until such time as it was reformed to ensure it did not impact adversely on developing countries. The Government decided recently to join Partnership for Peace, about which I have spoken. These are ominous signals that there is a fundamental shift in the approach of the Government to international relations. I will return to this aspect on another occasion.

The Minister argued that to encourage reform we must get involved and make a contribution to ESAF, that this will enable us to advocate certain courses of action. There is, however, no commitment that if reforms are not introduced we will withdraw our contribution. There is a statement by the IMF that it welcomes the external review of ESAF but there are no proposals to introduce reforms. In their report dated 23 March 1998, vol. 27, No. 6, the directors stated that they agreed that it would be desirable to review the effects of the adjustment measures on poor groups as part of the regular ESAF programme reviews and that they had asked management and staff to explore the feasibility of these suggestions, including the availability of the necessary data, and to assess the ability of the World Bank to provide the envisaged services and to come back to them with operational proposals. That is a weak acceptance of the reality as a result of the ESAF programme.

On a recent programme on Mozambique broadcast by RTE, Myles Dungan made the point to an IMF spokesperson that the debt of poor countries should be cancelled. The response was that it appeared to be a good idea and that he must talk to his bank manager about cancelling his mortgage. If senior IMF officials are of the view that the minor inconvenience of their mortgages is comparable with the appalling deprivation in Africa and other parts of the developing world, I can understand how they can construct programmes which are designed, on the face of it, to ease the situation but which make it worse. They are committed to an ideological stance that nobody should be allowed to get away with debt.

The poor of Africa are not the ones who took on the debt; it was not their decision that bankers would pour billions of pounds into their countries. Much of it has gone on arms sales. In Mozambique much of the debt was built up in fighting a war generated by the apartheid regime in South Africa to protect its flank. Yet, the people of Mozambique are being asked to pay the price by watching their children die because money is not available for health services, for a clean water supply next to their homes or to educate them about hygiene. People have to walk 50 miles daily to get clean water.

It is not acceptable for an Irish Government, which I accept is committed to the idea of ending poverty in the Third World, to pretend the decision to make a contribution to ESAF is of no great importance. It is relatively small in money terms, but the underlying thinking is wrong. Even at this late stage, the Government should withdraw this Bill and insist the IMF reform ESAF before it makes a contribution, not after the fact.

It is extraordinary that the IMF takes into account all the macro-economic indicators; it looks for growth, balance of payments, debt reduction but it does not take into account the literacy levels in a country and how they can be raised; it does not take into account the infant mortality rates in a country when it assesses its progress and it does not take into account the unemployment levels. For example, the IMF insisted that the Mozambique Government sell off all the companies under its control. This was a purely ideological decision and had no basis in real economics. One hundred thousand jobs were lost because of that decision enforced by the IMF. If the Government had not carried it out, the IMF would not have provided any assistance.

This is happening with a nod and wink from this Government. I am not prepared to accept that; I am prepared to vote against this Bill on Second Stage. I urge those in Fianna Fáil who have said in this House they do not agree with this Bill to vote against it. I particularly urge Deputy Cooper-Flynn who took a principled stand in this House last night to do the same on this Bill. Lives are at stake; not reputations, but lives. Deputy Cooper-Flynn and the four Independents who support this Government should make it clear to Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrats that they will vote against this Bill if it insists on pushing it through. It is not a question of reputations or us being good guys in Europe, with the IMF or the World Bank; it is a question of seeking to put in place policies which will save lives in the Third World.

I urge the Government to withdraw this Bill. If it does not, the Independents and the Fianna Fáil Deputies – Deputy Roche made a strong speech against the Bill – should stand up and be counted on this issue. It is not right that the continuation of a dogma of neo-liberalism which is rapidly becoming discredited is being used to cause more death and poverty in the Third World.

I urge the Government to withdraw this Bill and to get its act together once and for all. It should listen to the organisations on the ground who have written to every Deputy in the House, saying this Bill is bad, for example, the Irish Missionary Union, which represents dozens of religious organisations who operate in the Third World. They see the effects of the ESAF programme on a daily basis and speak from experience. I urge the Government to take on board what they have to say.

I also urge it to take on board what the Debt Coalition has to say – a body which is representative of many organisations who think it is necessary, as a matter of urgency, to deal with the question of debt. It is urging that debt be cancelled to enable these countries to provide health and education services and water, the only basis on which these countries can develop. I appeal to the Government to withdraw the Bill and to the Fianna Fáil Deputies to stand up and be counted when it comes to the vote on Second Stage to ensure this Bill is defeated.

I will refrain from going through the list of horrendous circumstances in Third World countries outlined by Deputy De Rossa. Every Member of this House is aware of it and subscribes to looking for solutions; everyone is extremely concerned about the Third World. However, we must look at our options. One is to continue as we have done for years in calling for debt cancellation and other such solutions; or we can do what the Minister for Finance and the Minister of Foreign Affairs are doing, which is to bring forward solutions which will help, solutions which will cost us some money but which will at least start the process of alleviating the difficulties being faced by these people. I welcome the provisions in the Bill for our contribution to the international task of debt relief.

The problems of many of the developing countries stem from a time when they were encouraged and facilitated in huge borrowings which were often wastefully invested or defrauded. Democratic governments are labouring under the burden of debt and are often prevented from investing in the type of infrastructure that countries desperately need by the actions of their predecessors.

However, it is not so long since we had a similar problem; although not to the same extent. We were wasting our energy and finances trying to keep civil control of the country. We were wasting millions of pounds patrolling the Border when people were waiting for health services and educational opportunities. We can understand to a small extent what is happening. We tend to forget, when we outline how these people cannot access education and health services because of their debt burden, that in 1987 we were paying a third of all income tax raised to service our debt. Even now we tend to forget we have a national debt and that we owe £28.8 billion. Despite falling interest rates and the fact that the figure has decreased slightly in the past year, it still cost more to service that debt last year than in the previous year.

We paid that and witnessed the difficulties of not having the facilities which would have been available if the taxes collected were used in a better fashion. We tend to lecture these countries about how they should handle their problems, but internal strife here cost us; and waste throughout the 1970s and 1980s by Governments and all parties cost us. We are in a position to reach out and help; we should understand. We needed finance from abroad; we got it from European funding and we must repay some of it. Rhetoric is easy and sounds good; it grabs headlines and eases our consciences. I welcome this Bill.

We are making a positive gesture. None of us is happy that it is the end of the road. There should be a formal mechanism for raising this issue on a regular basis in this House and in the Seanad. I ask the Minister to ensure, at a minimum, an annual debate on this issue. The countries that stand to benefit from this initiative have problems far greater than ours. I emphasise that before I am compared with the gentleman who wanted to abandon his mortgage. We can understand their plight. It is only through concerted international effort, drawing on the expertise of the World Bank, the IMF, the UN and the European Union that it can be resolved. Decisions will have to be taken in their home countries but they will need help.

In the mid-1980s we came into the MacSharry era and started to win the battle against poverty. We have to help the people in these countries in a practical fashion, as we were helped. As Deputy De Rossa said, Ireland has an honourable tradition in direct assistance to many countries which have experienced famine and national disasters. To match the commitment of individuals and groups who do good work, programmes such as that contained in the Bill are needed.

Many friends of mine have laboured abroad and on their return outlined the situation in Third World countries. Debt cancellation is one of the options they suggest. Is that achievable? I commend the debt relief initiative and look forward to further progress in that area.

A second important feature of the Bill is the provision to enable the Central Bank to accept the one-time allocation special drawing rights by the IMF. I have full confidence that such a draw will not be necessary in the future but it bolsters the case for international solidarity in times of financial crisis. That may impinge on us more than we expect or wish.

I was intrigued to hear recently that Mr. George Soros, who was once credited with breaking sterling, has in his book, The Price of Global Capitalism, called for greater international regulation of the financial markets. The ability of the financial markets to move huge sums of capital around the world quickly in search of speculative profits causes grave concern to anyone who is concerned about attaining or maintaining real economic growth to benefit society. We have witnessed attacks on our currency and have been vulnerable at certain times during the past ten years. We are a small nation but we must do what we can to support any actions to restrict the George Soros of this world and we have to work with the major bodies in that. To protect the vulnerable countries from speculative attack the greatest solidarity is needed between states of the IMF. It is easy to criticise the larger bodies and say they are not pursuing the correct policies and cancelling debt and that we should plough a lone furrow. Participation will strengthen our hand and allow us have a say. We should continue to do that.

I welcome the decision to participate in the international support package for Brazil. The stand taken recently by Brazil against the speculators has been a lonely one. It has seen the currency of many of its South American neighbours, as well as far eastern countries, fall victims to huge waves of selling. This is the effect that can be brought about by individuals and corporate bodies. We have to play our part, not through rhetoric, media headlines, or speeches but through positive action. That is what we are beginning to take.

The crisis faced by Brazil is not a remote problem. Failure to support the Brazilian currency could lead to a renewed global economic crisis considerably worse than that witnessed last year, which sent tremors through the financial institutions. Such a crisis would lead to a round of competitive devaluations which could plunge the world economy into recession. The promised $50 billion support package for Brazil will go a long way to preventing that crisis. We must be seen to support these actions.

The Bill is further confirmation of Ireland's commitment to international prosperity. Whether in debt relief or currency support, Ireland is demonstrating a willingness to play its part in restraining the world excesses of global capitalism and encouraging international development. We have a proud record mainly of individuals, religious and voluntary groups working in these countries. As the Minister for Finance outlined in his opening speech, it is time to take positive action and move forward.

With your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, I wish to share time with my colleague, Deputy Michael Ahern.

Is that agreed? Agreed.

We can talk or we can take positive action. In the period 1985-7 when this country was rattled, people could see no way out of the quagmire. That period enables us to empathise with the people in Third World countries. We must be prepared to say where we can help and proceed to do it. The aid workers who have met and lobbied all of us have called for cancellation of the debt. If I thought we could achieve that I would be happy to vote aginst this Bill but it is not achievable in the circumstances. For that reason I support the Bill and wish to see it implemented.

I repeat my call to formalise a procedure to debate issues such as this not once every three or four years but once a year to document and evaluate our contribution towards these countries, rather than wait for major international change. I welcome the steps taken. I have no argument with those who point out the horrendous situations existing in these countries and call for a different solution. This is costing us little enough money but is a gesture in the right direction.

The following are the words of a missionary friend:

"The culture of debt has got a new life here in Malawi. I am just too tired burying people. The villagers, old and young alike, who need not die, have little time for anything else. The disease is caused by so-called structural adjustments by the international monetary fund and the country's finance ministers working together. Structural adjustment means how tightly can you tighten your belt."

What underlines all of this is the decision by the IMF to insist that the Government should not subsidise fertiliser for maize production. This has resulted in a drastic drop in the maize harvest of up to 50 per cent in many areas as small farmers cannot afford to purchase fertiliser. This means six months of hunger.

Following the oil crisis of 1978, great sums of money flowed into the banks around the world. To put them to profitable use the international banks sent their sales people to Third World countries to offer cheap loans. In many cases the loans were used for unviable projects or were siphoned off by corrupt politicians. In the following years, interest rates doubled twice as the value of the dollar increased. The Third World countries were unable to repay the hugely increased sums. Since then, Africa and other Third World countries have carried that overweaning burden.

Africa spends four times more repaying interest on its loans than on health care. For every £1 given in aid by rich countries, poor countries spend nearly £4 in debt repayments. It is estimated that 500,000 children die each year due to cutbacks in health services in these countries. It is further estimated that cancelling the unpayable debt of the 20 worst affected countries will cost the creditors about £4.5 billion, less than the cost of one Stealth bomber. The cost to this State for settling Army deafness claims has been estimated at £1 billion. This gives an indication of how miniscule, in world terms, is the debt problem of those 20 countries.

The burden of debt repayment has meant the channelling of resources away from basic services such as education, health care, agriculture, food and water security. The structural adjustments I mentioned earlier are forcing the poorest people in those countries to suffer and die. A new approach is needed to help these countries. The IMF enhanced structural adjustment facility is not that new approach.

The Bretton Woods Agreements (Amendment) Bill proposes to authorise this Government to contribute £7 million to the IMF enhanced structural adjustment facility. Is the Minister satisfied this contribution will be used for the benefit of the poorest people of the countries which will get these loans? Has he considered whether that money could be more beneficially used by giving it to aid agencies who are working at the coalface and with the people who are in dire need?

I accept the debt issue must be addressed, but not at the cost of millions of lives. I look forward to discussing this Bill in more detail on Committee Stage. Ireland is contributing money to the IMF and the World Bank to tackle the problem of debt repayment, but I would like to be reassured that the Government is satisfied the money is being used for the maximum benefit of the people for whom it is meant. We have a moral duty to speak for the downtrodden.

I welcome the opportunity to speak on this Bill and I congratulate the Government backbench Deputies who made important and considered contributions to the debate. Deputies Michael Ahern and Roche reflect a view which they reached following representations by various bodies, particularly the Debt and Development Coalition in Ireland and a number of religious organisations. These groups are directly involved in the delivery of assistance in underprivileged parts of the world which have been devastated by disasters.

It is worth putting on record some of the Debt and Development Coalition's observations on this Bill. The group's main concern is the contribution of £7 million. It is also concerned that the Bill will permit the Minister for Finance to make further payments to the IMF and the World Bank without reference to, or agreement of, the Oireachtas. There is no provision for accountability by the Minister to the Oireachtas on policies pursued by Ireland in the IMF and the World Bank.

The coalition opposes the Bill for other reasons. It believes the IMF programmes undermine democracy. They are designed by the IMF in its Washington offices and the IMF deals mainly with finance ministers and governors of central banks rather than with elected members of parliaments. IMF monetary policy does not take into account the human development needs in these countries. The results are seen in reductions in primary school attendance, increases in malnutrition, the collapse of local industry and widespread unemployment. As Deputy De Rossa said earlier, some of the comments of IMF personnel about debt cancellation are disrespectful and include throwaway remarks about mortgages, as if there were relativity between the debts of the world's poorest nations and one's mortgage repayments.

The Bill authorises the Minister to make further payments. No contribution should be made without the agreement of the Oireachtas. Contributions should not be made to organisations which operate behind closed doors. The provisions in the Bill, if implemented, could have a devastating effect on severely disadvantaged countries. The IMF response to the debt crisis – the enhanced structural adjustment facility – has created more problems than it has solved. In some countries where the ESAF has been used to reform economies, the debt burden has increased.

Irish society is open and responsive to debt and financial crises. Irish people are recognised for their generosity, particularly in times of crisis. Our biggest charitable organisations are those devoted to raising funds for and carrying out relief and development work in Third World countries. Irish people have also always understood the need to assist people suffering the consequences of various disasters, regardless of our national debt. We have often disregarded other difficulties such as high unemployment and poverty at home. We have always been extremely generous and have a proud record of intervening and helping in some of the world's worst natural disasters. Irish missionaries and relief agencies were among the first to highlight the level of poverty and suffering which was, and still is, prevalent in the sub-Sahara region of Africa.

When the Labour Party was in Government I was proud of its record in increasing the State's contribution to overseas development aid. Throughout its participation in Government, the ODA budget increased from 0.2 per cent to 0.31 per cent of GDP. Given a booming Celtic tiger economy, to use a familiar phrase, Ireland is now in a financial position to increase this contribution further towards the UN recommended level of 0.45 per cent of GDP. I regret that when this Government took over the reins a new attitude was adopted. The 1999 Book of Estimates showed some shocking reductions in budgets for relief and development in Third World countries. The Minister of State, Deputy O'Donnell, who put her position on the line to have the budgets increased, managed only to secure cash limits for ODA expenditure over the next three years. As pointed out in the House by our spokesperson on finance, Deputy McDowell, the reality of setting cash limits means that our overall contribution to ODA will fall from the current level of approximately 0.33 per cent of GDP to as low as 0.225 per cent or 0.23 per cent of GDP. In an economy such as ours, which is set to continue to grow into the next century, this position is unacceptable.

Against this backdrop we know that ESAF can have damaging implications for many developing nations. Where there is a clear will among the people to support developing nations, I do not see any need to support this Bill. Instead of supporting a subscription to ESAF, we, as a national Parliament, should vote to give more of our budget to development and relief work where it is most needed. The tried and trusted practice of donating money and support to countries where there is a genuine crisis should not be scuppered. Ireland has built up a relationship over many years with countries where, because of war, climatic conditions, natural disasters and oppression, there is consistent poverty. There is no reason we should break this relationship by turning to a new form of so-called support.

In representations made to me by many of the organisations who carry out relief work, it has been brought to my attention that some ESAF programmes are produced without any reference to civil society and are undemocratically negotiated without reference to any elected parliament. Is the Minister concerned about this type of development?

Fianna Fáil made a pre-election commitment to the effect that it would continue to withhold funding from ESAF. There is no basis for any U-turn in terms of Government commitment to ESAF and I ask the Minister to clarify the position without further delay in the interests of social justice and the stable development of some of the most disadvantaged nations in the world.

The Government should reconsider its position on the Bill. As Deputy De Rossa said, it should consider withdrawing it so that there can be consensus in this Parliament on how we should meet our obligations to Third World countries and other countries in need of our assistance. Direct assistance from us might be more beneficial than this enhanced structural adjustment facility of the IMF.

(Dublin West): I am totally opposed to the Bill and the Government should withdraw it. It seeks to tie in this State with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the major agencies which dictate the terms and conditions of loans to the poorest countries in the world.

The Bill is a logical outcome of the thinking in the Department of Foreign Affairs for many years. It is not accidental. The White Paper on foreign policy, published some years ago, states: "The heavy burden of debt carried by many developing countries is a major issue for the international community which needs to be tackled at global level". It goes on to state: "The Government [this was brought in under the Government in which Deputy Spring was Minister for Foreign Affairs] will support the efforts being made by the international financial institutions to resolve the problem through our membership of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund". That was a clear statement that it is to those institutions one should turn to deal with the catastrophic problem of indebtedness in the poorest countries of the world.

The Bill seeks to provide money for multilateral debt relief through the World Bank and the IMF and commit moneys to the enhanced structural adjustment facility of the IMF. What is the International Monetary Fund? In 1994, its managing director likened the IMF to a friendly international credit union. The record shows that the opposite is the case. The IMF and the World Bank, in the experience of the poor of the Third World who have been crushed by the savage conditions imposed along with their loans, would be regarded more as loan sharks rather than the local friendly credit union. They dress up their programmes in fancy names – the enhanced structural adjustment facility of the IMF. It may sound impressive but what is ESAF? It is a vicious programme of conditions put on the indebted countries as a result of the loans they have from the powerful institutions of the west.

This programme involves the ruthless reduction of government deficits, savage cuts in public spending and sweeping privatisation of publicly owned institutions. The fancy name of restructuring means a trail of destruction when it comes to the living standards and the quality of life of the poor who are at the mercy of these institutions.

South Korea, for example, coincidental with the crisis of capitalism in south-east Asia, was subjected to the tender mercies of the IMF and its restructuring programmes. What was the result? In 1998, unemployment in South Korea more than doubled to approximately two million in a country where unemployment and other welfare benefits are almost non-existent. Tens of thousands of migrant workers who were essential to the economy of South Korea in its Asian tiger phase were unceremoniously booted out of South Korea. They had to go back to the poverty they had previously experienced in Pakistan, India, the Philippines, Vietnam and other poor countries. As far as the working class in South Korea is concerned, it meant dire poverty and homelessness to an acute degree.

The loans given under the aegis of the IMF to the tune of almost $60 billion were not given in an impartial fashion for the well-being of either the peoples or the capitalists of Korea. Through the aegis of the IMF, the major international banks and industrial conglomerates of the west broke rival companies in South Korea and opened up the markets to American and Western goods. The main interest of the IMF is to defend the interests of the American, European and Japanese banks.

The IMF insisted on drastically high borrowing rates in South Korea. In January of 1988 alone, it drove 3,000 indebted Korean companies into bankruptcy, thereby creating the conditions where Western companies could take more of the market. It is a ruthless operation which fits in with the nature of global capitalism, serviced by the IMF and the World Bank.

In October 1998, Oxfam released a report which was a damning indictment of IMF policies in Asia, outlining how it has drastically exacerbated the economic crisis in south east Asia.

There was a dramatic collapse of 20 per cent in gross domestic product in Indonesia. The victims were the low income workers in the cities and the rural poor. By the end of last year, 100 million Indonesians were living below the poverty line – four times the total in 1996. Food prices had risen dramatically, hunger had escalated, child malnutrition increased and children dropped out of school in their hundreds of thousands. No wonder Oxfam said the IMF prioritised the claims of commercial bank creditors in the United States over the social and economic needs of Indonesia with devastating implications for poverty. Its priority could not be any clearer.

The report states that the United States has linked its $460 million to Indonesia to the purchase of American cotton, soya beans, flour, wheat and corn. Australia has provided financing in the same areas, as much to protect its market share as to meet the real needs of the Indonesian economy. This is the real agenda of the IMF, the World Bank and the Western agencies which dominate and dictate the policies of those institutions.

It is shameful that the White Paper states that this Government will support the efforts being made by the international financial institutions to resolve problems through our membership of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, in spite of the glaring evidence of what those institutions mean for the people of these countries.

Every country in the developing world has its own story. Oxfam examined the IMF programme in the Philippines, which was described as imposing stringent financial discipline on the Philippine economy. What was the result? Drastic cuts in public health programmes. The prevent ative health care budget for malaria was slashed by 27 per cent, the result of which was an estimated 29,000 extra deaths from malaria per year in the Philippines. The preventative health care budget for tuberculosis was slashed by 36 per cent. That should strike a chord with our people, considering our experience of the tragedy of tuberculosis only a few decades ago. The result was 90,000 extra untreated cases of tuberculosis. The litany goes on: 500,000 children losing their vitamin A supplements, 750,000 not receiving the iodine supplements essential to their health. These programmes impact on the men, women and children of those countries unfortunate enough to find themselves in the grip of the IMF and the World Bank.

Far from resolving the problems of the Third World, these institutions create more poverty, deprivation and suffering as a result of the harsh terms they implement. Their programmes are causing more and more serious problems. Recently Nicaragua and Honduras endured horrific floods and hurricane conditions. These were explained away as natural disasters. There is an element of natural disaster but the consequences of the hurricane and the flooding are increased one hundred fold as a result of the policies of the IMF and the World Bank, because of the impact on the environment of what the people of poor countries are forced to do to survive. The horrific death toll in Honduras and Nicaragua was increased as a result of the mud slides caused by the deforestation of the countryside as the rural poor were forced to cut down the vegetation to survive. Those two countries are sunk in debt to the tune of hundreds of millions of pounds.

Africa has been ravaged by the west for hundreds of years since the dark days of slavery when its people were dragged in chains to America and elsewhere, the tragic obscenity of colonialism. Now there is colonialism in a new form – the slavery of debt imposed by the World Bank and its agent the IMF. The foreign debt of sub-Saharan Africa now stands at $235 billion. More goes out in debt servicing per annum than is available to meet the basic needs of health, education, food, water and sanitation. That is blind piracy of resources taken from the mouths of the poorest of the poor to bloat the already bloated profits of Western banks and financial institutions.

It is not as if these agencies did not know the results of their policies. The World Bank said of Zambia that 70 per cent of the people lived below a line of absolute poverty and yet in Zambia last year, more went on servicing its massive debt than on all health and education programmes combined. In a 1995 survey the World Bank found that 800 million people go hungry daily and stated the figure will increase. On current trends, the World Bank claims that by the year 2000, 1.3 billion people will be expected to survive on less than $1 a day. These are the people targeted by the IMF and the World Bank for the massive interest payments and vicious programme of cuts in the most basic health care and education programmes. These are the poor, leeched on by international financial institutions, to whom this Government wants the State to cause more suffering. The backbreaking labour and poverty of hundreds of millions of poor people go, not to feed themselves or to provide security, shelter or a better quality of life for their families, but to bloat the profits of international institutions. The debt initiatives of the IMF and the World Bank are not intended to alleviate that poverty and suffering; the direct result of their policies is to maintain the enslavement of the world's poorest people. That is shameful in the extreme and not something of which the Irish people would wish to be a part.

The alternative is the cancellation of the debt, and I stand for that cancellation. We must, however, be realistic. Will the financial vultures who control the international banking system cancel the debt? One might as well ask a hyena to part with its carrion. They will keep their claws deeply embedded in the flesh of the poor people of the Third World until they get every last drop of blood.

This Bill should not just be booted out of sight; I hope the Minister withdraws it in light of the arguments made. Appeals to the heartless bankers and financiers of the world will not sort out the terrible suffering of the people of the Third World. A revolution of people power from the millions of oppressed and downtrodden against the dictatorships that have abused and enslaved them in this debt is necessary. A dictatorship of global capitalism dictates the debt and its terms. The poor of the Third World should not appeal to the IMF, the World Bank or the bosses of global capitalism. They should appeal to, and join with, the organised working classes and poor of the West, so that we can rise to dictate to Governments and international banking institutions that human need comes before the greed of these institutions.

This measure represents the most significant change in this country's policy on the developing world for many years. This proposal will officially put this country and the Government at variance with the position of many voluntary agencies and non-governmental organisations that have worked tirelessly over the years to collect money, to send volunteers to the developing world, to develop programmes and to encourage and work with the Government to make a real contribution towards the developing world. It will also put the Government at variance with the policy enunciated for many years by Ireland in relation to the developing world. Remarkably, it is a measure that is even at variance with Fianna Fáil's pre-election commitments to the people.

Irish people have repeatedly shown interest in, and enthusiasm for, projects in the developing world. They have put their hands in their pockets when emergencies arise and they have a sense of fairness towards those parts of the world which are less developed and less fortunate than Ireland. A large part of our current prosperity rests on their underdevelopment. In this measure, the Government is betraying the trust of many Irish people and is failing to give the leadership that is expected in relation to overseas development aid and debt repayment.

It is significant that the Bill is being taken by the Minister for Finance. It is remarkable that a measure, which is essentially one of development aid, traditionally the preserve of the Department of Foreign Affairs, where it has been handled remarkably well over the years, is now being piloted through the House by the Department of Finance. That shows the commitment this country has traditionally given to gradually increase our share of gross national product for overseas development aid is being abandoned. In the past year the commitment to increase the share of GNP for overseas development aid has been abandoned. The same applies to the commitment given by Fianna Fáil before the election that, in office, it would endeavour to reach the target of 0.45 per cent by 2002.

We know the Minister for Finance has insisted that cash limits be put on the amount of overseas development aid. The apparent logic is that it is too generous, at a time of economic growth, to commit ourselves to a share of GNP and that increases in GNP for overseas development aid mean more and more money will be given to overseas development aid.

That is the point of expressing overseas development aid as a share of GNP and was the logic behind the approach adopted by the United Nations which Ireland supported. The logic was that the more prosperous countries would give more generously towards overseas development aid and as a country's prosperity increased so too would its financial, moral and political responsibility towards the developing world. It is shameful that this Government is doing an about-turn on that commitment and is, effectively, reversing the share of GNP that will go towards overseas development aid. Figures were announced earlier this year in response to the spat between the Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs with responsibility for overseas development and the Minister for Finance. Those figures which superficially appeared to resolve an internal political conflict in the Government will inevitably mean, even with modest economic growth, the share of GNP will gradually reduce.

By the time this Government leaves office – if it lasts its full term, which is becoming increasingly doubtful – the level of aid will be back down to where it was in the early 1990s. For a country enjoying increased economic prosperity and growth, which has always sought to give a certain degree of moral and political leadership in the international community on ODA, that is shameful.

It is also shameful that the measure before us, which was rejected by the previous Government as a means of addressing the debt problem in the developing world, is being reintroduced by this Government. I strongly support the amendment tabled by the Labour Party to the Second Stage of the Bill. The Government is essentially supporting the IMF approach to debt repayment, which is market driven. Its assessment of the economies of developing and beneficiary countries is made on the basis of conservative and traditional economic indicators. No account is taken by the IMF of the human and social conditions or the extent of poverty in the countries concerned. Essentially, the IMF's objective is to keep the southern hemisphere safe for capitalism, to maintain stability for the global market economy in the developing world, not to address poverty and the underprovision of health and education or to use the resources of the richer part of the world to lift people and enable them to lift themselves out of their appalling trap. Our prosperity in this part of the world is due to a large extent to the fact that we benefit from the exploitation of poor people in developing countries. The economic tools and measures in our prosperous and thriving economies are inappropriate for those countries.

I regret that the Government is doing a volte face on traditional Irish policy on ODA and abandoning the many organisations, NGOs, voluntary groups, and individuals who have worked tirelessly over the years to develop an overall Irish ODA programme and a significant contribution to the developing world. It is a betrayal of the people who have been working in that area. It is also a further demonstration that what Fianna Fáil says on the eve of an election bears no relationship to what it does when it gets the reins of power. In many cases, the party's hope and expectation is that it will get away with it, that a Bill ostensibly introduced as a financial measure by the Minister for Finance, titled in obscure terms, will not attract the attention of the public. However, there is a keen awareness among the people that the measure before the House, which the Government is attempting to slip through, represents a significant retrograde step in our approach to ODA. People are ashamed of it and in the course of time they will let the members of the Government parties know their position.

I thank Deputies for the interesting and thought provoking interventions they made on this important legislation. This Bill marks a departure – it represents the first occasion when the Government of Ireland will participate with its multilateral partners in the provision of debt relief to those deserving countries in the Third World whose development is being constrained by the crippling burden of debt. I have grouped the themes touched on by Deputies and will respond to them under the following headings: policy principles on Third World debt; the performance of the main actors in HIPC implementation; the preferred economic model of the IMF; instruments of debt relief; the process and model of development; EU participation in the HIPC debt initiative; participation and consultation with civil society; focus and volume of Ireland's ODA budget; and specific points of clarification, including the BIS facility, the Cologne debt initiative and aggregation clauses.

I detect from the House a strong sense that it is broadly supportive of the principles the Government has announced concerning Irish Third World debt policy. It is clear Deputies agree that debt relief should become an integral part of Ireland's overall overseas development aid strategy. Deputies also emphasised the importance of the fundamental goal of poverty elimination, which must be achieved in a manner consistent with environmental sustainability and gender equality. The World Bank itself has indicated:

debt relief should be seen as an integral part of the broader development agenda, and integrated into an overall strategy of poverty alleviation. A key element of all strategies to reduce poverty must be a well-specified plan of reform in countries, which has broad political support.

(Dublin West): It will do the opposite. The Minister should open his eyes.

Deputies stressed their concern that the IMF, in particular, would need to take human development indicators into account in designing its programmes. The Government has already incorporated this concept into its principles on Third World debt and I will continue to advocate these approaches in the course of my ongoing dialogue with the fund.

The commentaries of Deputies in regard to the main actors in the debt relief process are mixed. It is clear that, overall, this House strongly endorses the type of approaches adopted by the World Bank and, in particular, the International Development Association in regard to the alleviation of debt in the Third World. That social sector expenditures are taken into account in the design of their programmes has been favourably acknowledged.

By contrast, the IMF is not held in the same esteem. In fact the House has been strongly critical of the fund for a variety of reasons. It is perceived to be aloof, removed, authoritarian, and uncaring in the manner in which it plans, designs, and implements its programmes. This message must be conveyed to the IMF. Even if it is based on an incomplete appreciation of all the facts or false perceptions, nevertheless the clear message coming to me from this debate is that the International Monetary Fund needs to become more customer friendly and more in tune with the needs of developing countries and to engage more effectively with civil society. It is also perceived as being uncaring in regard to the social impacts of its policies, although it should be noted that the deputy managing director of the fund hotly contested this in a recent address.

The private sector, including the international banking community, is also seen by Deputies as having contributed to the creation of the debt crisis in the first instance. I agree that the international community must find ways to ensure the private sector bears an appropriate share in preventing and resolving future financial crises.

The IMF has been singled out for criticism for the model of economic development that it pursues. The so-called "Washington Consensus Model"– the "Milton Friedman Model" as it has been characterised in this House – stands accused of favouring certain types of political and economic ideologies to the detriment of the Third World. I can understand where some of these sentiments come from, but let us not get too carried away by sentiment. There is much in the Washington Consensus Model that has stood Ireland in good stead and should not be decried and dismissed out of hand. To achieve improved economic performance, countries must follow sound macroeconomic and structural adjustment policies, pursue appropriate industrial and inward investment policies, adopt open trading relationships and facilitate the free movement of goods, services, capital and people. It goes without saying that such policies must be underpinned by appropriate social safety nets and social inclusion policies and must be predicated on appropriate consultation with and participation of civil society. Good governance and the rule of law are also critical underpinnings for successful economic and social development.

(Dublin West): Under Standing Orders, will the Minister give way?

(Dublin West): Will the Minister agree the experience of Third World countries that have been subjected to IMF policies, is that they resulted in an increase in poverty and the opposite of what he has said?

I do not agree with the Deputy. However, it is clear that the economic model which the IMF employs must be adapted to take account of local conditions, local cultures and particularly the stage of development of the country concerned. The old fashioned approaches which suggested a "one size fits all" policy prescription is no longer sustainable.

Regarding the instruments for alleviating debt, the clear message coming from the House is that the HIPC debt initiative as currently constructed does not go far enough. The cri de coeur coming from the House is well made, well motivated and appropriate in light of the crisis these countries are suffering. There is clear recognition that the debt initiative in itself represents a significant step forward, but clearly it does not extend as far as most Members would like. The Government is prepared to engage in a rational debate on the whole issue of debt cancellation. The full implications of such a move, particularly in relation to multilateral debt, will have to be considered in detail. The particular needs of the middle income countries and the effect such cancellation would have on the funding capacity of the IMF and the World Bank would have to be fully teased out. As far as bilateral debt is concerned, there is growing support for more extensive relief, including cancellation, and I can support this.

I note, with satisfaction, that the Cologne Debt Initiative put forward by Chancellor Schröder is to be put before the G7 members for approval soon and that US Vice President Al Gore has signalled a shift in US policy on the matter of debt relief. Evidence is now emerging that the international community is actively engaging in the debt cancellation debate and is prepared to move forward from strongly held positions of the past. I will continue to press the international community, the IMF and the World Bank to provide the deepest possible level of debt relief to HIPC countries who are prepared to engage in appropriate economic and social reform programmes. However, it must be recognised that the degree of funding to be provided by donors is the critical determinant of the level of debt relief that will be made available in the final analysis. Hence the need for Ireland and this House to approve the debt relief package contained in the Bretton Woods Bill.

Regarding ESAF, the instruments through which the international financial institutions make their contributions to the debt initiative have also come in for criticism. The ESAF is singled out for particular odium. It is not my intention to stand here in defence of the IMF's programme as such, but equally it is completely unfair to visit all the woes of Africa on the IMF and the enhanced structural adjustment facility. A single factor analysis of the crisis of Africa is inadequate and does not do justice to the complexity and diversity of challenges facing the region. I would also remind Deputies that our contribution to ESAF at this juncture is to endorse and encourage the changes for which we have been calling and which are now being embarked on. For example, in the area of the social impact of adjustment, the external evaluators argued that reform programmes should take into account more detailed and systematic analysis on the likely impact of specific reforms on the poor. In this area, the evaluators suggested that the IMF should rely on the expertise of the World Bank.

Work is now under way to develop ex-ante social assessments of specific adjustment policies and integrate the findings into programme design, including in the design of well targeted social safety nets. Initially, the focus on this work is on six pilot cases in which staff of the IMF and the World Bank are collaborating closely. Thereafter, the lessons gained could be used to extend the coverage of this work in the design of all adjust ment programmes supported by the ESAF. In addition to this work in pilot cases, IMF staff have been called upon to strengthen their analysis of the social content of all ESAF supported programmes, including the quality of public spending, in collaboration with the World Bank and other agencies. These are welcome initiatives.

Some Deputies spoke on the myriad of causes that have led to the present difficulties. The 1998 Human Development Report indicated the main causes of poverty in Africa, affecting about 45 per cent of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa are economic stagnation, slow employment growth, increasing income disparities, the lack of socially balanced economic growth, marginalisation from global trade and financial flows, high fertility, the spread of HIV/AIDS, degradation of natural resources, and the consequences of violent conflict, including displacement of people and violation of human rights.

Deputies have also adverted to gross economic mismanagement and corruption, the excesses of dictators, white elephant infrastructural projects and the lack of well developed democratic structures as being at the root cause of the debt crisis.

(Dublin West): All supported by the United States.

It is clear that it would be unfair and a misrepresentation to saddle ESAF with the entire woes of Africa. Clearly a multiplicity of actors must severally shoulder the blame.

The Secretary General of the United Nations in his report to the Security Council on the Causes of Conflict and the Promotion of Durable Peace and Sustainable Development in Africa in April 1998 indicated that Africa had begun to make significant economic and political progress in recent years but in many parts of the continent progress remains threatened or impeded by conflict. The Secretary General's analysis of the historical legacy shows that the colonial history in Africa, the establishment of frequently artificial states drawn from disparate communities, economic production to meet requirements of colonial powers and interference in Africa for ideological reasons have all contributed to the underdevelopment of the continent. Clearly we need to engage with Africa on a wide variety of dimensions. We must adopt a multifaceted approach in partnership with the regions concerned to address the most significant challenges ahead. The best model that we can point to with credibility is the proposed successor to the Lóme IV Convention.

In the ongoing negotiations regarding successor arrangements for the present Lóme Convention, the EU has made far-reaching proposals for new global partnership with Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, which include three components; political dialogue, support for development, and economic and trade co-operation. The EU will adopt a supportive role in the preservation of a political environment conducive to peace. The eradication of poverty has to be the central concern, to be achieved through more sustained development and greater competitiveness as well as the development of the private sector, and improved access to social services.

As regards trade and economic co-operation, the EU proposals aim at progressively transforming the old form of trade co-operation limited to a system of preferences into a real economic partnership. The EU proposal is to negotiate partnership agreements covering free trade areas and an enhanced co-operation in trade related matters, including intellectual property rights, competition policy, investment protection and promotion etc., with such groupings that are engaged in a regional integration process. The EU is proposing to manage the process with a maximum of flexibility. Ireland has been among the strong supporters in the EU for developing a regime for the least developed countries that will mean that by 2000 virtually all imports from these countries will enter the EU free of duties.

Ireland has also been actively engaged with the European Union in the context of its participation in the HIPC initiative. Ireland has strongly pressed for an early engagement by the European Union in the initiative and this is taking place. We also strongly advocated participation by the European Investment Bank in the debt initiative and I am glad to report to the House that the president of the bank has now concluded that there are no legal obstacles in the way of the bank doing so. This is a welcome development. It underlines the multilateral context of the initiative and the importance of ensuring that each actor bears its proportionate share of the burden.

Other general themes picked up by Deputies are issues of the transparency of the International Monetary Fund, the role of civil society and, in particular, its participation in the development, design and implementation of the IMF and World Bank programmes.

I wish to place on record the substantial progress made by the president of the World Bank under the strategic compact to implement such principles in so far as the World Bank is concerned. The same cannot be said of the International Monetary Fund. It is time that the fund adopted more consultative, participative and co-operative approaches both in regard to the programmes it supports, including ESAF, and also in regard to the wider community of interests which it serves. Free market liberalism without adequate controls and social safety nets to protect the most vulnerable people in society is no longer a viable option.

I will now turn to the question of Ireland's official development assistance, ODA. Total ODA will rise from £137 million in 1998 to £158 million this year. On the basis of the best estimates currently available ODA will increase in the year 2000 to £173 million and in 2001 to £196 million. Thus, in this three year period ODA will increase by £59 million or 43 per cent. On the bilateral aid programme, the Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and I have reached agreement on a multi-annual basis for funding the programme through the years 1999, 2000 and 2001. In 1999 the budget will amount to over £104 million. In 2000 it will increase to £136.4 million. In 2001 it will amount to £159.2 million. The scale of the increase is perhaps best appreciated by pointing out that the relevant subheads in 1992, only seven years ago, amounted to £23 million.

Deputies also raised the issue of the Government's intention of reaching an interim target of 0.45 per cent of GNP on the way to the ultimate UN target of 0.7 per cent ODA to GNP. We remain committed to both – to reaching the interim target in the life of the Government and to making progress toward the UN target. However, a priority to which we must also give attention, against this background of unparalleled GNP growth, is the need for our aid to grow in a planned way, in keeping with capacity in our programme and especially in line with our reputation for delivering quality aid. We are committed to delivering substantial, steady growth of ODA, without making any compromises in terms of quality. Ours is a planned, manageable growth strategy.

I am particularly pleased to note that Deputy McDowell has expressed support for Chancellor Schröder's Cologne debt initiative. This initiative represents a significant step forward for Germany in regard to the issue of third world debt. I am, however, surprised by the inconsistency in Deputy McDowell's position which finds expression in support for Chancellor Schröder's initiative while maintaining a position of opposition to Ireland's debt relief package. The elements of both packages are identical, subject to two important caveats. Germany has bilateral ODA and commercial debts with the third world which it now proposes should be considered for cancellation as part of a group effort under the aegis of the Paris Club. Ireland has minimal obligations under the Paris Club. We have always welcomed and encouraged efforts towards debt cancellation under the Paris Club.

Chancellor Schröder's initiative corresponds directly with the Irish initiative in that it contains express commitments on the part of the German government to work towards the alleviation of multilateral debt by making significant contributions to the World Bank's HIPC trust fund and also commits itself to funding the enhanced structural adjustment facility of the IMF. I should add that Ireland has always gone beyond Germany in regard to the sale of gold by the International Monetary Fund and will continue to do so.

Deputy McDowell raised very specific questions in regard to the continuing justification of Irish participation in the BIS facility in favour of Brazil. EU involvement in the BIS facility was initiated by the Austrian Presidency under the First Pillar of the European Union, acting through the ECOFIN Council, and not under the aegis of the common foreign and security policy. Ironically, the form of participation is inter-governmental rather than being institutionally or European Union based. Individual member states accepts full responsibility for their own participation in the facility, although each is conscious that its involvement was initiated by the Presidency to show European Union solidarity with an external country experiencing economic difficulty. The fact that the Union's procedures are sufficiently flexible and robust to allow for such forms of co-operation must be seen as a strength. However, the Deputy is correct in stating that this development creates a precedent, a welcome one from my perspective, and one which will need to be formalised over time. Participation in the facility by EU member states is still justified on the basis that it is essential that confidence be restored in the Brazilian economy without delay.

A number of Deputies raised concerns about the inclusion of a number of aggregation clauses in the Bill. The suggestion is that such mechanisms are a ruse to bypass the House. This is a misinterpretation I would like to correct. Such aggregation clauses are frequently used as a control mechanism under various legislative codes to ensure that the relevant Minister must come before the Oireachtas for specific approval to move beyond certain specified expenditure levels. They are intended to provide a degree of flexibility, with the consent of the Oireachtas, but equally to limit this flexibility. They are, therefore, moves in the direction of, rather than away from, Oireachtas accountability. Such provisions should not be misconstrued as efforts to prevent the Oireachtas from availing of other mechanisms to review the activities of the Bretton Woods institutions on a regular basis. I propose to move an amendment on Committee Stage to facilitate the Oireachtas in this important task.

Deputy Roche and others spoke eloquently on the need for express accountability to the Oireachtas in respect of Ireland's participation in the Bretton Woods institutions. Their points were well made. My intention is to satisfy this request by moving an amendment on Committee Stage to include an annual reporting mechanism to the Oireachtas in respect of Ireland's engagement in the Bretton Woods institutions. The provision of an annual report would allow the various joint committees the opportunity to review annually the progress being made on key issues affecting the Third World, the newly industrialising countries, proposals to reform the international financial architecture as well as such facilities as the enhanced structural adjustment facility of the IMF.

Section 4 of the Bill allows the Minister to make payments to the ESAF trust and the HIPC debt initiative trust fund. Section 6 allows the Minister to authorise the Central Bank to make payments on behalf of the Government to the HIPC trust. No provision is contained in the Bill to allow the Minister to make a payment direct to the HIPC trust. It would be important to remedy this deficiency on Committee Stage. It is, therefore, my intention to move an amendment to section 4 to allow the Minister to make unspecified payments to the ESAF-HIPC trust subject to an aggregate limit of £10 million. I should add that, while I have no immediate intention of making such a payment in the foreseeable future, an enabling provision would allow the Government to decide to deepen its financial contribution to multilateral debt relief.

I thank Deputies for the in-depth contributions they made on this important debate. The Bill before the House represents a carefully balanced package of assistance for debt alleviation in the Third World. It is particularly important that Ireland plays its role and shoulders its proportionate part of the financial costs of the international co-operative efforts being made to alleviate debt. These are part of a wider framework of development efforts to secure the economic and social development of the HIPC countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa. Deputies were strongly of the view that, given our new-found economic standing, Ireland should use its voice assertively in the international arena on behalf of the developing and less well-off countries. I could not agree more. Such a responsibility can no longer be considered as an option, it has indeed become a moral imperative.

Question put: "That the words proposed to be deleted stand part of the main Question."

Ahern, Bertie.Ahern, Michael.Ahern, Noel.Ardagh, Seán.Blaney, Harry.Brady, Johnny.Brady, Martin.Brennan, Séamus.Briscoe, Ben.Browne, John (Wexford).Callely, Ivor.Carey, Pat.Collins, Michael.Cooper-Flynn, Beverley.Coughlan, Mary.

Cowen, Brian.Cullen, Martin.Davern, Valera, le.Dempsey, Noel.Dennehy, John.Doherty, Seán.Ellis, John.Fahey, Frank.Fleming, Seán.Flood, Chris.Foley, Denis.Fox, Mildred.Gildea, Thomas. Hanafin, Mary.


Haughey, Seán.Healy-Rae, Jackie.Jacob, Joe.Keaveney, Cecilia.Kelleher, Billy.Kenneally, Brendan.Kitt, Michael.Kitt, Tom.Lawlor, Liam.Lenihan, Brian.Lenihan, Conor.McCreevy, Charlie.McDaid, James.McGennis, Marian.McGuinness, John.Martin, Micheál.Moffatt, Thomas.Moloney, John.Moynihan, Donal.Moynihan, Michael.

Ó Cuív, Éamon.O'Dea, Willie.O'Donnell, Liz.O'Flynn, Noel.O'Hanlon, Rory.O'Keeffe, Batt.O'Keeffe, Ned.O'Kennedy, Michael.O'Malley, Desmond.O'Rourke, Mary.Power, Seán.Roche, Dick.Ryan, Eoin.Smith, Michael.Treacy, Noel.Wade, Eddie.Wallace, Dan.Wallace, Mary.Walsh, Joe.Woods, Michael.Wright, G. V.


Ahearn, Theresa.Barnes, Monica.Bell, Michael.Belton, Louis.Bradford, Paul.Broughan, Thomas.Browne, John (Carlow-Kilkenny).Bruton, Richard.Burke, Ulick.Carey, Donal.Connaughton, Paul.Cosgrave, Michael.Coveney, Simon.Crawford, Seymour.Creed, Michael.Currie, Austin.De Rossa, Proinsias.Deenihan, Jimmy.Dukes, Alan.Durkan, Bernard.Farrelly, John.Finucane, Michael.Fitzgerald, Frances.Flanagan, Charles.Gilmore, Éamon.Gormley, John.Gregory, Tony.Hayes, Brian.Higgins, Joe.Hogan, Philip.Howlin, Brendan.

Kenny, Enda.McCormack, Pádraic.McDowell, Derek.McGahon, Brendan.McGinley, Dinny.McGrath, Paul.McManus, Liz.Mitchell, Gay.Mitchell, Jim.Mitchell, Olivia.Moynihan-Cronin, Breeda.Naughten, Denis.Neville, Dan.Noonan, Michael.Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghin.O'Sullivan, Jan.Owen, Nora.Penrose, William.Perry, John.Quinn, Ruai.Rabbitte, Pat.Ring, Michael.Ryan, Seán.Sargent, Trevor.Shatter, Alan.Sheehan, Patrick.Shortall, Róin.Stagg, Emmet.Stanton, David.Timmins, Billy.Upton, Pat.Wall, Jack.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies S. Brennan and Power; Níl, Deputies Stagg and Sheehan.
Question declared carried.
Amendment declared lost.