I propose to take Questions Nos. 110, 132 and 158 together.
Following the announcement of my proposals for reform of public transport to the public transport partnership forum in November 2002, I have had a series of discussions with the CIE board, the subsidiary boards and representatives of the CIE unions. In advancing the restructuring of the CIE over the next few weeks, I will be establishing a restructuring implementation group, including representatives from the Department of Finance, my Department, CIE and its three operating subsidiaries, to take forward the detailed administrative and legislative groundwork necessary to give effect to restructuring.
The starting point will be the consultancy report into the technical and financial implications of a proposed restructuring of the CIE companies. The report highlights that a number of key issues, including the treatment of debt, claims liability, pensions and property allocation will determine the success of the restructuring. No final decisions have been taken on dealing with these issues as yet. It will be a matter for the restructuring implementation group to address these issues and ensure the effective implementation of the restructuring. It is not possible for me to put an exact cost on the restructuring of CIE. However, given the constraints on the Exchequer it would be my intention to conduct the restructuring without imposing any great additional cost burden on either the Exchequer or the CIE group. The level of accumulated debt in CIE was €224.8 million at 31 December 2001.