I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 3, inclusive, together.
The Central Statistics Office, CSO, has responsibility for compiling the Irish consumer price index, CPI, and in accordance with the Statistics Act 1993 the director general of the office has sole responsibility for, and is independent in, deciding on statistical methodology. The CPI is designed to measure inflation. The CSO advises that to do this accurately the index must reflect the change in the average prices paid to purchase the full range of consumer goods and services available on the market, including tobacco products. This position is fully aligned with international best practice and, in particular, it applies in the compilation of the harmonised index of consumer prices, HICP, at EU level. The CSO compiles a sub-index that excludes tobacco products and it is shown prominently in the monthly CPI statistical release. I understand that some countries use such a sub-index as the reference index in wage bargaining.
As regards discussions with the social partners, the negotiation of pay agreements under social partnership is not linked systematically to the evolution of the CPI. Inflation is, however, a significant consideration in these negotiations and the question of the appropriateness of taking account of a measure that includes tobacco can be considered when the pay terms of Towards 2016 next come up for consideration.