Estimates for Public Services 2013

I move the following Revised Estimates:

Vote 1 — President’s Establishment (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €3,062,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Secretary to the President, for certain other expenses of the President’s Establishment and for certain grants.

Vote 2 — Department of the Taoiseach (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €22,148,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Department of the Taoiseach, including certain services administered by the Department and for payment of grants and grants-in-aid.

Vote 3 — Office of the Attorney General (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €14,317,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Attorney General, including a grant-in-aid.

Vote 4 — Central Statistics Office (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €39,758,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Central Statistics Office.

Vote 5 — Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €37,414,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Vote 6 — Office of the Chief State Solicitor (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €29,916,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Chief State Solicitor.

Vote 7 — Office of the Minister for Finance (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €33,187,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Minister for Finance, including the Paymaster-General’s Office, for certain services administered by the Office of the Minister and for payment of certain grants and grants-in-aid.

Vote 8 — Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €5,977,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General.

Vote 9 — Office of the Revenue Commissioners (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €322,705,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Revenue Commissioners, including certain other services administered by that Office.

Vote 10 — Office of the Appeal Commissioners (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €442,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Appeal Commissioners.

Vote 20 — Garda Síochána (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €1,272,077,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Garda Síochána, including pensions, etc.; for the payment of certain witnesses’ expenses, and for payment of a grant-in-aid.

Vote 21 — Prisons (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €311,391,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Prison Service, and other expenses in connection with prisons, including places of detention; for probation services; and for payment of a grant-in-aid.

Vote 22 — Courts Service (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €58,324,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for such of the salaries and expenses of the Courts Service and of the Supreme Court, the High Court, the Special Criminal Court, the Circuit Court and the District Court and of certain other minor services as are not charged to the Central Fund.

Vote 23 — Property Registration Authority (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €31,232,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Property Registration Authority.

Vote 24 — Justice and Equality (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €320,072,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Minister for Justice and Equality, Probation Service staff and of certain other services including payments under cash-limited schemes administered by that Office, and payment of certain grants and grants-in-aid, and that a sum not exceeding €287,000 be granted by way of the application for capital supply services of unspent appropriations, the surrender of which may be deferred under Section 91 of the Finance Act 2004.

Vote 25 — Environment, Community and Local Government (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €1,130,116,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, including grants to Local Authorities, grants and other expenses in connection with housing, water services, miscellaneous schemes, subsidies and grants, and for the payment of certain grants under cash-limited schemes, and that a sum not exceeding €43,000,000 be granted by way of the application for capital supply services of unspent appropriations, the surrender of which may be deferred under Section 91 of the Finance Act 2004.

Vote 26 — Education and Skills (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €7,926,906,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Minister for Education and Skills, for certain services administered by that Office, and for the payments of certain grants and grants-in-aid, and that a sum not exceeding €19,000,000 be granted by way of the application for capital supply services of unspent appropriations, the surrender of which may be deferred under Section 91 of the Finance Act 2004.

Vote 27 — International Co-operation (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €495,929,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for certain Official Development Assistance, including certain grants-in-aid, and for contributions to certain International Organisations involved in Development Assistance and for salaries and expenses in connection therewith.

Vote 28 — Foreign Affairs and Trade (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €173,843,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, and for certain services administered by that Office, including grants-in-aid and contributions to International Organisations, and that a sum not exceeding €400,000 be granted by way of the application for capital supply services of unspent appropriations, the surrender of which may be deferred under Section 91 of the Finance Act 2004.

Vote 29 — Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €173,395,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, including certain services administered by that Office, and for payment of certain grants and sundry grants-in-aid, and for the payment of certain grants under cash-limited schemes, and that a sum not exceeding €10,400,000 be granted by way of the application for capital supply services of unspent appropriations, the surrender of which may be deferred under Section 91 of the Finance Act 2004.

Vote 30 — Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €995,068,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, including certain services administered by that Office, and of the Irish Land Commission and for payment of certain grants, subsidies and sundry grants-in-aid and for the payment of certain grants under cash-limited schemes, and that a sum not exceeding €6,000,000 be granted by way of the application for capital supply services of unspent appropriations, the surrender of which may be deferred under Section 91 of the Finance Act 2004.

Vote 31 — Transport, Tourism and Sport (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €1,220,582,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, including certain services administered by that Office, for payment of certain grants, grants-in-aid and certain other services.

Vote 32 — Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €760,589,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, including certain services administered by that Office, for the payment of certain subsidies, grants and a grant-in-aid, and for the payment of certain grants under cash-limited schemes, and that a sum not exceeding €25,000,000 be granted by way of the application for capital supply services of unspent appropriations, the surrender of which may be deferred under Section 91 of the Finance Act 2004.

Vote 33 — Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €250,235,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, including certain services administered by that Office, and for payment of certain subsidies, grants and grants-in-aid, and that a sum not exceeding €1,200,000 be granted by way of the application for capital supply services of unspent appropriations, the surrender of which may be deferred under Section 91 of the Finance Act 2004.

Vote 34 — National Gallery (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €7,677,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the National Gallery, including grants-in-aid.

Vote 35 — Army Pensions (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €208,812,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for retired pay, pensions, compensation, allowances and gratuities payable under sundry statutes to or in respect of members of the Defence Forces and certain other Military Organisations, etc., and for sundry contributions and expenses in connection therewith; for certain extra-statutory children’s allowances and other payments and for sundry grants.

Vote 36 — Defence (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €638,757,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Minister for Defence, including certain services administered by that Office; for the pay and expenses of the Defence Forces; and for payment of certain grants-in-aid, and that a sum not exceeding €900,000 be granted by way of the application for capital supply services of unspent appropriations, the surrender of which may be deferred under Section 91 of the Finance Act 2004.

Vote 37 — Social Protection (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €13,085,236,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Minister for Social Protection, for certain services administered by that Office, for payments to the Social Insurance Fund and for certain grants, and that a sum not exceeding €1,050,000 be granted by way of the application for capital supply services of unspent appropriations, the surrender of which may be deferred under Section 91 of the Finance Act 2004.

Vote 38 — Health (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €243,742,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Minister for Health and certain other services administered by that Office, including miscellaneous grants.

Vote 39 — Health Service Executive (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €12,312,471,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Health Service Executive and certain other services administered by the Executive, including miscellaneous grants.

Vote 40 — Children and Youth Affairs (Revised Estimate).

That a sum not exceeding €434,072,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2013, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, for certain services administered by that Office and for the payment of grants including certain grants under cash-limited schemes."

I am pleased to have this opportunity to appear before the House to reflect on the Revised Estimates for Public Services 2013, which have been considered by the relevant committees over the last number of weeks. The Revised Book of Estimates sets out gross voted expenditure of €54.6 billion for 2013. The document also sets out an unprecedented level of information about the performance of Departments and offices in their use of last year's funding and the impact that this year's funding will have.

To begin, it might be useful to outline the economic background the Government had to consider in order to formulate the Revised Estimates for Public Services 2013. Following three years of contraction, the Irish economy began to recover in 2011, with strong GDP growth of 2.2% recorded. While growth slowed somewhat in 2012, it remained in positive territory. However, the fragility of the outlook is evident in the recent quarter 1, 2013 national accounts data, which show the economy contracting slightly due to weakness in external demand with domestic demand remaining subdued. More encouragingly, the Irish labour market appears to have stabilised and is now showing tentative signs of recovery. Employment has grown in annual terms for the second successive quarter. In June the unemployment rate was 13.6%, down from 15.1% at the beginning of 2012. It is still at an untenably high level and the Government is determined to continue its stance of helping those who are unemployed by putting job creation at the forefront of all policy measures.

The Government's primary aim in relation to the public finances remains the correction of the excessive general Government deficit by 2015. We have met all our interim deficit targets and this Government remains committed to bringing the deficit below 3% of GDP within the stated time horizon in 2015. The reducing deficit coupled with actions to aid our cash flow means we can look with growing confidence to exiting the EU-IMF programme and returning to a sustainable market-based funding. The actions taken include promissory note restructuring and the extension of maturities for European financial stability facility, or EFSF, and European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism, or EFSM, loans. Growing confidence is shared by investors. We have seen the return of Irish Life to the private sector, the recovery of €1 billion of the taxpayers' investment in Bank of Ireland and the yield on Government bonds returning to levels last seen before the economic crisis. Once the excessive deficit is corrected, fiscal policy in Ireland will be framed in line with the requirement to progress towards the medium term budgetary objective of a balanced budget in structural terms and to keep public debt on a downward path.

Since mid-2008, very difficult action has been taken to tackle the imbalances in the public finances. A series of across the board revenue-raising and expenditure-reducing measures have been introduced. These measures have been wide-ranging and have affected all members and sectors of society. Since July 2008, eight separate policy announcements outlining significant budgetary consolidation have been made and budgetary adjustments designed to yield approximately €28 billion, or close to 17% of 2012 GDP, have been implemented on both tax and expenditure. On the spending side, this has led to a slow-down in the growth of day-to-day public, or gross voted current, expenditure. Spending increased by 12.1% in 2007 but is estimated to contract by just under 2% this year.

That gives one the measure of the adjustment we have made. This reduction has been achieved in the face of considerable pressures associated with elevated high numbers on the live register and the downturn in the economic cycle.

Continuing to borrow at present levels is not a long-term solution. An increasing debt burden leads to higher debt servicing costs, thereby adding to the burden on taxpayers. Continuing this would reduce our productive capacity, increase unemployment and reduce the scope for providing public services in the future. This underlines the importance of continuing to take the necessary action to restore stability to the public finances so that the State's resources are not absorbed in paying ever-increasing debt bills.

To this end, all components of the public finances must make an appropriate contribution to achieving this target, and I think it worthwhile in this context to highlight the contribution of the Haddington Road agreement and the related pay reduction measures provided for under the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2013.

My colleagues and I are very much aware that public servants have already contributed significantly through the pension levy imposed in 2009, the pay reduction imposed in 2010 and with other measures such as head count reduction, reduced salary rates for new entrants and reductions in pension payments to pensioners under the public service pension reduction. Public servants live in the same economy that all workers do, share the same costs, taxes, interest rates that all workers do, and undoubtedly share in the many difficulties that the current crises has caused for individuals and families in the wider economy. Those working in the public service deliver on a daily basis, at all hours of the day and night, vital public services that are of benefit to all of society in an efficient professional way without fear, favour or judgment. We need not look any further for an illustration of the capacity and ability to deliver by our public servants, even in terms of scarce resource reductions, than our recently completed Presidency of the European Union where an excellent Presidency was delivered. This has been widely recognised throughout the European Union.

Notwithstanding the contributions already made, and the excellent work and services provided by our fellow public servants, achieving the general government deficit target of below 3% of GDP by 2015 remains a challenging cornerstone of our economic policy. With pay and pensions accounting for 36% of voted current expenditure, as I have indicated repeatedly in this House, it is clear that a proportionate contribution of €1 billion in savings is needed from the public service pay and pensions bill by 2015.

Of this €1 billion in savings, the pay reduction to those earning over €65,000, which is 13% of the public service workforce, will deliver approximately €210 million. Other central measures, including pension reductions and increment pauses, will deliver some €130 million, bringing the total amount of savings from these central measures to over €340 million.

The agreement will also deliver an unprecedented increase in productivity across the public service, through the provision of almost 15 million additional working hours and a range of other efficiency and reform measures. These additional hours will reduce the requirement for paid overtime hours and agency costs by an estimated €130 million; will allow management to maintain services against the backdrop of decreasing staff numbers, facilitate reductions in staff numbers and the associated annual pay bill cost over the course of the agreement, with a target of savings of some €175 million; and will facilitate the reduction in the costs of supervision and substitution in schools, for the duration of the agreement, which will yield savings of some €125 million.

In addition to these core changes, there have been numerous specific measures agreed at the sectoral level. These measures will help to deliver the greatest return for each sector, both in terms of cost savings and efficiency gains and ensuring that each sector is making a fair contribution to the overall savings target. In total, these sector-specific measures will yield savings of over €230 million.

As a Government, and as a State, there was little choice other than to pursue and secure the proposals that form the Haddington Road agreement. In simple terms, it would not be tenable to shield the public service pay and pensions bill at the cost of necessitating further reductions in expenditure and services provided to meet the needs of the general population.

The Haddington Road agreement protects the core pay of lower and middle income workers in the public service who make up 87% of all public service workers. In this regard, the agreement's provisions reflect many of the concerns expressed by the staff representatives during the negotiations. It seeks to achieve a broad balance of equity across public servants and sectors, notwithstanding the complexity and the diversity of the public service. The measures provide that those at the highest levels of pay contribute the most.

We would all like the agenda to have been otherwise but irrespective of the agenda, I strongly believe that there is an obligation on all employers to sit down openly and honestly with their staff to identify solutions that can address shared problems and generate a collective agreement on a collaborative basis which can enable both employer and employees share in a sustainable future. The Haddington Road agreement is supportive of the worker as a stakeholder in the enterprise that employs him or her in the public service. It provides a framework for the conclusion of fair and balanced collective agreements across all sectors of the public service so that the necessary savings from the pay and pensions bill can be secured on an agreed basis. I welcome the fact that the vast majority of unions and associations representing public servants have now registered collective agreements with the LRC accepting the terms of the Haddington Road agreement and that others are considering their approach in the context of their own internal procedures and processes. This development is a vital contribution to the final leg of our fiscal consolidation efforts and can ensure that our public services are delivered and availed of by all citizens in a climate of continued industrial peace.

The Government's policies are working. We continue to make progress stabilising the public finances and we are creating the necessary conditions to ensure strong and sustainable employment growth. This is borne out by the recently published unemployment rates, which, as I stated earlier, have been reduced to 13.6%. Through our labour market activation and training policies, we have supported employment creation and, encouragingly, the numbers in employment continues to increase.

This improvement to the public finances has required a wide range of difficult decisions to be made by the Government in order to cut spending and raise revenue. These are decisions which will benefit each and every citizen of this country in the longer term.

However, significant challenges remain for Ireland. The large gap that still exists between Government spending and revenue must be closed. Continuing to run large deficits and engaging in a high level of borrowing required to fund such deficits, is simply not viable. To do so would result in unsustainable debt - we will reach a debt level of 123% of GDP this year - and a long-term loss of sovereignty. As a Government, our objective is to recover the economy, regain the sovereignty and ensure that there is a sustainable future for the people.

We are here today to discuss all Government Estimates of expenditures for 2013, except those of Deputy Howlin's Department which were brought through earlier for the specific reasons discussed here at that time.

Interestingly, the Minister's contribution makes no mention of any specific expenditure item in any of the Estimates, Votes 1 to 10, inclusive, and 20 to 40, inclusive, being discussed. There is some discussion about some of his own Department, but his is the only Department not up for discussion here today.

I thought Deputy Sean Fleming wanted the detail of the Haddington Road agreement.

I do. I got some of that, and I will come back to it. I jotted it down and I was adding up the Minister's balance sheet figures.

I promised I would give the Deputy that as soon as we had it and that is what I wanted to do today.

The Minister has done that and we can discuss the details of that further. I accept that those are there.

There is €1 billion of savings to be made in 2015. How much of it - the Minister need not answer today - would he attribute to the Haddington Road agreement? A big element of it, as he mentioned, €170 million, is a backdrop of decreasing staff numbers. That is the targeted redundancy programme which is not part of the Haddington Road agreement. There is nothing in the agreement about targeted redundancy and in a way, that is a Government decision.

The Haddington Road agreement facilitates the reduction in numbers.

Yes, but the reduction in numbers is not in the Haddington Road agreement.

There is no mention of targeted redundancies whatsoever in the Haddington Road agreement, although I accept that the Minister will implement that policy. No trade union voted "Yes" to targeted redundancies. They were not asked to do that because it was not in the Haddington Road agreement. The Minister may say it is implied now that the agreement has got over the line safely.

We are in the second half of the year. The Minister knows well that most of the money in the group of 30 Estimates has already been spent; any amount not expended has already been committed. That is no way to do business. Thank God for Europe and for the changes for 2013. It has nothing to do with the establishment of the Minister's Department or a new way of doing politics; it is as a result of changes imposed from Europe. The Estimates for 2014 will be published on 15 October and hopefully voted through before the end of this year. That is the way to do business.

The essence of today's debate is to discuss the €2 billion of cuts which the Government has sanctioned for this year, 2013, and to which there is no reference in the Minister's opening contribution. These cuts are the equivalent of a reduction in 465 services, or a cash cuts of €1,218 for every household in the country. I refer to the Minister's budget speech on Wednesday, 5 December 2012:

The expenditure adjustments I am announcing amount to just under €2 billion out of an overall adjustment of some €3.5 billion.

In my view this means that the expenditure cuts accounted for 58% of the adjustment and the taxation side accounted for 42%. Fianna Fáil maintains that there should be fairness and equity with regard to the balancing of expenditure cuts against tax increases, in the order of 50%. It is clear from the Minister's budget announcement that 58% of the adjustment has come by way of expenditure cuts of €2 billion. The Minister has attempted to spin it by saying that the €500 million was a capital expenditure reduction, but these are real cuts as well. Capital expenditure leads to employment and improvements in services and facilities. One cannot exclude capital expenditure cuts and pretend they did not happen in order to say a 50% cut in expenditure has been achieved, as well as a 50% saving by way of taxation changes.

I refer to the reply I received to a parliamentary question. I asked the Minister to outline the number of major construction projects that have been tendered but that have not progressed to construction. His reply on 2 July states:

The information sought by the Deputy in relation to public works contracts tendered is held by the individual contracting authorities concerned. They are not required to pass this information to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

When the Minister approves his capital expenditure budget he does not have a mechanism to track whether the project actually happens. That is a shambolic way of doing business. There should be a requirement to inform the Department.

The Minister announced an extra €150 million as a jobs stimulus for expenditure on education, roads and insulation of social housing. There is still a reduction in the capital expenditure budget this year of €350 million. He had previously announced a reduction of €500 million. The budget and these current expenditure proposals are to be voted on. Under no circumstances will Fianna Fáil stand over the choices the Minister made to make those cuts of €2 billion. We will call a vote on this issue. These cuts were not poverty proofed, gender proofed, family proofed or equality proofed. The Minister broke his commitment in the programme for Government.

I wish to highlight a cut introduced this week. Last Thursday morning, the rules for the one-parent family payment were changed. I tabled a parliamentary question to the Minister for Social Protection. Her reply states:

There are currently 83,210 people who receive the one-parent family payment (OFP). The cost of the OFP scheme was €1.06 billion in 2012 and is estimated to be €935 million in 2013. In 2013, on foot of the OFP reforms which came into effect on 4 July, it is expected that up to 9,300 recipients will leave the OFP scheme. Up to 8,000 of these will lose entitlement this month. These numbers reflect the maximum number of cases who may lose entitlement in 2013. This reform is expected to yield estimated savings of €3.94m in 2013.

The Minister's reply further stated: "It is expected that the majority of those who will lose their entitlement to the OFP payment will apply for the jobseeker’s allowance (JA) scheme." The Department of Social Protection issued a press statement on this issue, which stated: "Lone parents who are in part-time employment and are affected by the recent one-family payment reforms who then move to jobseeker's allowance will experience loss of earnings". This is a result of the reduced jobseeker's allowance earnings disregard of €60 versus €110 for the one-parent family payment and the fact that the means-tested jobseeker's allowance is different. This is classic Joan Burton talk. She did not cut the rate of one-parent family payment nor the rate of jobseeker's allowance but she cut people's money by over €50 per week starting last Thursday morning. The Minister's note further stated that approximately one third of that 9,000 were in part-time employment but they will be unable to retain the same level of income now that Deputy Burton has switched them from the one-parent family payment to jobseeker's allowance. Lone parents are recognised as having the highest rate of consistent poverty in Ireland but the Minister for Social Protection has sought to impoverish them even further. This is overseen by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform and by the Government, and we are expected to vote for it today. There is no chance of that happening.

I refer to the changes in the budget for those relying on social welfare services. There is a cut of €325 in the respite care grant. Embedded in these figures are cuts to the mortgage interest supplement of 25%. The figure last year was €55 million in repayments and this has been reduced to €41 million. The Minister does not like that payment and she has made it more difficult for people to get it. The measure was to help people who were likely to go into mortgage arrears, but the Minister now wants people to have been in arrears for 12 months and to make an arrangement with the banks, which will have a veto, before they can receive the payment. That is the only financial contribution this Government is making to people in mortgage arrears this calendar year. There are plenty of guidelines, rules and regulations, but the Government has cut the mortgage interest supplement budget for this year by 25%.

I refer to the cuts in child benefit introduced this year. The rate was €140 for the first and second child and this has been cut by €10 to €130. The rate for the third child was €148 and it has been reduced by €18 to €130. For the fourth and subsequent child the rate was €160 and it is also reduced. A family with three children will see a reduction of €38 per month. A total of €436 is being taken from the mother's hand over a year. That is the cost of what the Minister is asking us to vote for - taking money from people's child benefit. For a family with four children the cut is €696 per year. Under no circumstances should this House vote for that cut.

I cannot understand how the Labour Party would have no problem with conscience when its members vote on issues such as cuts to child benefit, the one-parent family payment, mortgage interest supplement and the carer's allowance. For good measure, the Government last week started to tax maternity benefit for the first time since the foundation of the State, adding insult to injury. I do not know what the Labour Party has against mothers with young children but it was single-handed in targeting them in last December's budget, and it is important to remind people of that.

In the Estimates before us, which were discussed in committee over the past couple of weeks, there is a cut to the back-to-education allowance, and it has effectively been abolished. That was €300 for students and the scheme has been abolished entirely. With regard to the cost of sending children back to school in September and the back-to-school clothing and footwear allowance, there is to be a 50% cut for each child. That again hits families with young children.

The Minister should have labelled the Estimates for 2013 as an attack on families with young children and especially mothers, as it is the essence of what we are discussing today. These are the Minister's choices, and he indicated on 5 December last year, "The expenditure adjustments I am announcing amount to just under €2 billion out of an overall adjustment of €3.5 billion." Fine Gael won the day and got its way while the Labour Party suffered, and the party is now making the people relying on State services take the brunt of cuts. There were also cuts to the household benefits package, which helps pay for the telephone, gas and electricity bills for elderly people. That took €61 million from the pensioners of Ireland and people with household benefits packages, including those on certain invalidity or disability payments.

There was a commitment given before the last election when the Minister for Education and Skills, Deputy Quinn, signed his name on a placard outside Trinity College. There was no reference to the following issues by the Minister today, but under the Estimates the student contribution to fees will rise by €250 in 2013 and an additional €250 in 2014 and 2015. We do not agree with it. I loved the Minister's line on student grants, which epitomises the doublethink of the Labour Party, and it is interesting that most of the cuts are being made by Labour Party Ministers. The leaflet issued by the Minister for Education and Skills, Deputy Quinn, on the day of the budget indicated that there would be no reduction in the payment rates for student grants in 2013, although the next sentence indicated that the income thresholds for eligibility for student grants would be reduced by 3%. People will be cut from the scheme but the rate will not be changed, meaning money will be saved by imposing a 100% cut on people who will no longer be eligible. There were also changes to the income disregard for payments to people on the farm assist programme.

I have provided an example of what this Estimates debate is about. These are €2 billion in cuts that did not have to be made. They were the choices of the Government, as the troika did not seek the €2 billion in expenditure cuts. They are the result of discussions of the Minister, his party leader, the Minister for Finance, Deputy Noonan, and the Taoiseach. They informed other members of the Government of the decision to put 58% of the adjustment on the people by way of expenditure cuts, and those who could have paid more were not asked to do so. That is why we have all the alarming cuts before us today, many of which could have been avoided if there had been a fifty-fifty adjustment of expenditure cuts and taxation measures. As the Government chose not to follow that path, we will vote against this motion.

In April this year the Minister published the Revised Estimates for the public service for 2013 and, as set out, they provide Members with a little more detail and information on each Department's budgetary allocation as noted in the expenditure report for 2013, published on budget day last December. It is worth remembering that Fine Gael and the Labour Party's programme for Government committed to opening the budget process to the full gaze of public scrutiny in a way that would restore confidence and stability. Nevertheless, the announcement of the 2013 budget last December was shrouded in secrecy. The Minister for Health's failure to set out even in the broadest brush strokes the detail of his package of cuts was scandalous and much commented on at the time. I can only hope that lessons have been learned from that episode.

The addition of what the Minister deems "key performance" information regarding programme outputs is of course helpful to Members in analysing Departments' spending and output targets; however, he consistently over-eggs the depth of information provided. We can take the Department of Social Protection as an example. The 2013 expenditure report provides a single page to set out €452 million in cuts, and the 2013 output targets data as set out in the Revised Estimates take up just a third of a page. That is hardly in-depth information. This additional detail is helpful but it is a cursory glance over departmental budgets and in many instances very broad policy commitments which fall short of specific targets, and not much more.

The new format assists Members and committees in holding Ministers to account, but it is an overstatement to claim these measures will significantly improve the management of public resources. There is much management-speak coming from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and we could be forgiven for thinking the Minister is drowning in data on public sector outputs, strategic management and fiscal frameworks.

The Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Bill due to conclude in the Seanad will now give legal standing to the existing multi-annual departmental ceilings. This legislation, we are told, will anchor other reforms to multi-annual budgeting and will allow for sensible structural planning and prioritisation within each area of public expenditure, encompassing full public input and parliamentary oversight and affording the Government the flexibility to ensure that the appropriate fiscal stance is taken. We have a new public spending code that sets out the rules and procedures underpinning value for money, ensuring current and capital expenditure are both subject to rigorous value for money appraisal. Committees are to be presented with these assessments at some point in the future to assist members in scrutinising public spending. A new comprehensive expenditure review is promised for this year - although it has not yet started - to lay the foundations for the three-year multi-annual ceilings. Focused policy assessments have been introduced and the Irish Government economic and evaluation service and the public service evaluation network have been established, with statistics published online by Ireland Stat. To be frank, it is a wonder the Minister gets any work done while overseeing such a myriad of management mechanisms, and it seems clear he is getting lost in the labyrinth. Management is a tool for the Government and the public service to deliver on social and economic commitments that serve the public interest, but it is not an end in itself. The kind of management-speak that has come to mark the Department and the Minister's tenure there demonstrates that the Government has lost its way somewhat. We can consider how even the wealthiest profit-driven multinationals embrace corporate social responsibility as a concept and yet the newly formed Department of Public Expenditure and Reform rarely makes mention of the very citizens it was set up to serve.

Many of those people who voted for the Labour Party in 2011 did so because they wanted to soften the edges of a Fine Gael-led Government. Labour Ministers were to be the check and balance in a conservative Cabinet. Nevertheless, we find ourselves drowning in data, with little or no mention of the savage impact of five austerity budgets on families and women in particular across the State and across the social spectrum. A total of €452 million has been taken out of the Department of Social Protection, €1.1 billion from the Department of Health, €123 million from the Department of Education and Skills and €16 million from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. There have been reductions in social welfare entitlements, back-to-school allowances and the respite care grant, which was mentioned already and debated mightily at budget time. Of the menu of cuts, it was the most mind-boggling.

Then there are cuts to State pensions, primary health care provision and the list goes on and on, as the public is only too well aware. This is only one side of the balance sheet for families because we are not even dealing with the increases in taxes and charges during the years or the failure of Governments, past and present, to deal with the issue of mortgages in distress. Labour Party Ministers were to act as the checks and balances in a conservative Cabinet. The party's Members anticipated this and I suspect that is why last year's party conference called for the annual budget to be equality proofed by undertaking a distributional analysis of proposed budgetary measures of all income groups and for the evidence generated as part of the proofing process to be published as an integral part of the budgetary documentation. I have raised this commitment given by the Minister's party with him regularly because I cannot understand why he has not acted on that sensible and well thought out instruction.

The Minister's bottom line mentality is not delivering. It is clearly at odds with the aims of Labour Party policy or the posturing of the party. He can bamboozle the House with all the data his Department can muster, but it will not matter one whit if he has not delivered on his own policy agenda during the lifetime of the Government, a policy agenda that those who voted for the Labour Party assumed was driven by fairness, social equity and inclusion, even in times of strict budgetary constraint. That was the expectation, to which the party has failed comprehensively to live up. The programme for Government states its commitment to ensuring the rights of women and men to equality of treatment and participate fully in society are upheld. The measure of any reform agenda, including budgetary reform, will be the experience of citizens in seeking and accessing services. The Minister needs to hear this because he has a window to make a difference not only in people's lives but also to fundamentally change the budgetary process in the public interest.

Measures that are implemented must be subjected to an equality audit quantifying the impact of cuts on all income groups and this information should inform budgetary decisions and should be published. It should be fully accessible by Oireachtas Members and the public. Sinn Féin recently introduced legislation that would place equality impact assessment schemes and consultation on a statutory compulsory basis for all Departments and public bodies when introducing new measures, be they policy or budgetary related. These measures would ensure the adverse impacts of the annual budget, for example, on specific groups in society were not only exposed but dealt with to remove the entrenched inequality in good times and in bad. It is worth acknowledging that there was inequality in the good times and that it has deepened and been exacerbated in these difficult and bad times.

The Minister cannot continue to set his face against equality budgeting. If he wants something to be reformed and radically different and which has a prospect of success to deliver for citizens with the fairness that was the mantra of his party on entering government, it would be a logical action for him to take. We oppose the Revised Estimates. We have opposed the Minister's austerity approach at every turn and will continue in that vein, not to be negative for the sake of it - something of which the Minister often accuses me - but because we witness at first hand the negative impact this agenda is having on people's lives and their security in society and on the economy. It is a deflationary, flawed and ill-conceived approach.

I refer to the detail provided of the Haddington Road agreement savings. I would like that information to be broken down further. I am sure the Minister's officials have access to it. His valiant defence of the agreement was that it would only hurt high earners, as it only affects those earning €65,000, but based on the limited information he has provided, 20% of the envisaged savings will come from the pay cut, while 80% fall across the board. He has made a virtue of the fact that he has protected the core pay of low paid workers, but he has taken his pound of flesh from them once again. The information he presented reflects this.

I wish to share time with Deputies Stephen S. Donnelly and Catherine Murphy.

Margaret Thatcher was often referred to as somebody who was not for turning, regardless of the impact of her disastrous experiments in neoliberal economics, which set the scene for much of the disaster that she caused, along with Ronald Reagan, which ultimately culminated in the madness that produced the global economic crash. It seems the Government parties have inherited that trait of being not for turning, even when it is increasingly clear that the approach they have adopted to deal with the economic crisis is not working. It is the Minister's job to talk it up and paint a rosy picture. It would be wonderful if one could be enthusiastic about the measures to which he points and say they are hopeful signs amidst the €28 billion worth of pain inflicted on the people since 2008, which he has acknowledged. Billions of euro in adjustments have been introduced by the Government since it came to power and billions of euro more are promised in forthcoming budgets. If there were hopeful signs, one could argue it had all been worthwhile, but the little glimmers to which the Minister has pointed are fast evaporating.

As others have said, we are aware of the human consequences of this year's budget cuts on top of those that preceded them. The victims have been many, including pensioners, lone parents, families through child benefit cuts and those who look after the disabled and the vulnerable. The rent cap has not been mentioned and the disaster that has resulted in my area, with people being increasingly driven into homelessness week after week.

By the way, if the Minister is looking for savings that would not cost anything, I have told him repeatedly that if we built some council houses and put into State coffers the rent revenues which currently go into the pockets of private landlords we could not only save money but would generate some employment and deal with the housing crisis. The Minister consistently ignores that plea.

Those are the human costs. At the macro level on which the Minister has concentrated I do not see how he can sustain his view that the plan is working and that he should not turn away from the path of austerity. He says the employment situation is stabilising; I put it to him that the tiny reduction in the level of unemployment can be explained for the most part by the very high levels of emigration

There are increased numbers in employment.

I am talking about the unemployment figures. As the Minister knows, much of that work is part-time, replacing jobs that in many cases had been full-time ones. It includes people going on education and training programmes, which I welcome. Are there real jobs for the hundreds of thousands out there, jobs that will generate economic growth and so on?

At the beginning of this year there were the small signs of economic growth and recovery to which the Minister pointed but these have completely evaporated and we are back in recession territory. The European economy is in increasing trouble as austerity of the kind that was applied here is applied throughout the rest of Europe. It is not working.

In conclusion I point at the two big elephants in the room. The servicing of our debt is costing us €8 billion this year. The Minister says his primary goal is to deal with the deficit. Will he not acknowledge the big problem? At the end of this year, although we will have a primary budget surplus we will still have a huge deficit because of interest on debt which is largely not ours. Then there is the fiscal treaty. The Minister says we are towards the end of the austerity path. Why does he not admit that afterwards we must reduce the deficit further by subscribing to the terms of the fiscal treaty? That means years more of austerity.

Recently the Minister and I discussed the Croke Park agreement in the Chamber. At the time I said I supported the targeted reduction in public expenditure of €300 million. I would go further in that an end goal for me, as a societal rule, would be that there should be no difference between public and private sector remuneration, after adjusting for education, jobs and experience. However, I also said I did not believe it was reasonable at this time to further reduce public sector wages when there was so much non-wage inefficiency that could be tackled first. In his reply at the time, the Minister described this search for non-wage inefficiency as a "con job" and referred to the move to shared services as a "radical change".

The Minister is a highly experienced politician and public representative, who has spent 26 years in the Oireachtas. For me, coming in here new, both the Oireachtas and politics are teeming with waste - unvouched expenses and all sorts of things.

It may be that after so much time any of us would simply not be able to see the waste. This is not a personal jibe at the Minister. I hope that when he described the systematic identification of non-wage inefficiency as a con job that was a rhetorical flourish. I doubt if he necessarily believes that.

I would like to take some minutes to explain the idea further because I really believe that if we could achieve this the very significant cuts in public expenditure which are required to balance the budget could be found in ways that do not reduce some of the services other Deputies have mentioned. The move to shared services is very welcome but it is not radical. It is something the private sector did 20 years ago. That is part of the problem. In Ireland, the public sector lags behind international good practice by some ten to 20 years in terms of efficient operations. If we can jump that and move the public sector in Ireland up to international good practice there are enormous opportunities for us to balance the budget without having to cut badly needed services.

I acknowledge some of the important changes made, for example, better and more publicly available financial information, the introduction of performance metrics and other measures. My suggestion is that if we can achieve a radical shift in culture, combined with some of the mechanical changes being made, a genuine step change in how money is spent by the public services in Ireland can be achieved. It is my experience that we must train workers to be able to systemically identify and target inefficiencies. Critically, they must be given sufficient authority and control of their own jobs and environments to be able to reduce or get rid of those inefficiencies. I have had the honour of working with public servants abroad on issues such as this. It may come as a surprise to some commentators that public servants are just as keen on reducing waste of public sector money as anybody else but they need training and authority to do this. I will give the Minister a quick example, if I may. I spoke about this on "The Frontline" programme last year and a gentleman in the audience came up to me afterwards and told me he was a council engineer who made an 80 km round trip to give physical cheques to his team every week. For years he had been telling the management there was no need to do this, that it could be done by electronic transfer which would save a lot of money. Then he told me nobody was really interested and he was not authorised to make the change. It is by finding those kinds of occurrences in schools, hospitals, county councils - and here within the Oireachtas - that this cultural shift can be achieved. There are other examples from my own work experience I can share with the Minister later, if he wishes.

What I propose is a radical change in culture. It involves giving public servants more control, trusting them more and holding them accountable. There is more but I will finish on this point as I do not want to take any more time. I offer this in good faith. There really is a great opportunity to create a step change in this regard.

I regret there is so little time to deal with the issue. Anybody looking on would say that given the amount of time slotted for this, as compared that given to the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill, important as it is, we have skewed priorities in how time is ordered.

I refer in particular to Vote 25, how we spend our money and value for money. There are 100,000 individuals or families on housing waiting lists, for example. These lists will grow if we see repossessions this year arising from other legislation. The amount of money in that fund will reduce by €65 million this year yet we are leasing houses and paying money to private landlords. Some of this is reasonably good value but some needs questioning.

In the country 43% of those on waiting lists are in certain counties - Dublin city and county, Cork city and county and Kildare. The counties with the shortest waiting lists tend to be Leitrim, Roscommon, Sligo, etc. There does not seem to be a targeted approach. The top six counties are those where rents are highest. There must be a more nuanced approach. A person told me his apartment is being rented on an RAS scheme for €150,000 over 15 years after which it will be handed back to him. One would not buy the place for that but that is what it is worth today. This needs to be examined because it does not make sense.

There is a cut of €35 million in grants for home adaptation. This is a bad move because it impacts on employment on the very level we need it. There is a reduction of €500,000 for homeless people who have nowhere to sleep, wash, cook or feel safe, who have no address when they are looking for a job. That is wrong.

In respect of the local government fund, the general purpose grant of €640 million is being increased by €3 million. That does not stack up when the Minister talks about the motor tax fund that is supposed to be ring-fenced for that purpose. There is supposed to be an increase of €70 million this year from the increases people are paying, yet €150 million is being taken from that fund to pay the national debt. At the same time the Government is asking people to pay property tax, from which they do not see an obvious return. We are told that the income of €136 million from the household charge was "a valuable pathfinder" to local property tax. I love the language used.

I repeat what Deputy Mary Lou McDonald said about the cumulative effect of many of these items on households and the absence of an equality budget and consideration of how much disposable income people will have. There will be water charges and the introduction of a sustainable funding model to support much needed investment. I know the investment is needed and that there needs to be sustainable funding, but people also have to have a sustainable sum of disposable income on which to live.

There is one small item which is a bugbear of mine and I will take the opportunity to raise it. There is income to be gained from the civil registration records. I have said this at the Select sub-Committee on Public Expenditure and Reform. We have not published them in digital format and I am not saying they should be free. We already pay for them and should invite others to pay for them, too. When the 1911 census returns were made available online, there were 4.5 million hits in the first 48 hours. If one goes to the records office today to see a record, one will pay €4. There is a lot of money to be gained from the small initiative of digitising the records, inviting people to download and pay for them with hard cash. I do not understand why that kind of measure is not a feature when we are considering cut-backs all the time and can identify items that could actually make money and perhaps bring people to the country, too.

The Minister has five minutes to reply.

Alas, only five minutes. I will gallop through as many of the comments as I can. I thank everybody for his or her sincere comments.

Deputy Sean Fleming likes to disaggregate things as if one could make the staff reductions and the savings in staff reductions without the Haddington Road agreement. The whole idea behind the extra hours worked is that we can then provide the same service with fewer people. We cannot do this without the Haddington Road agreement. The staff reductions, including not only getting rid of numbers of whole-time workers but also agency workers and so on, require the Haddington Road agreement, which is why it is such an important tool.

The Deputy made much of the percentage reduction in our targets. Before the last election, our party wanted to see a reduction on the basis of a 50:50 balance for expenditure and taxation. Fine Gael had a different view; it had a 3:1 policy. On page 11 of the budgetary documentation for 2013 it is much closer to 50:50 than 3:1 or even 2:1. It is interesting to note that in the Fianna Fáil national recovery programme it was two thirds spending cuts to one third taxation. It also wanted a very significant additional cut in social welfare, the very items the Deputy listed. The cuts would have been much deeper had Fianna Fáil's policy been implemented, but that is the beauty of opposition. A very senior and significant member of the Deputy's party said it was not captured by the tyranny of consistency; therefore, it can have a policy that is appropriate to the day.

Deputy Mary Lou McDonald is just wrong about the budgetary process. The process, as Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly acknowledged, has been transformed, although it has not yet been fully embraced. The data are there to have a much more meaningful analysis of expenditure.

Deputy Catherine Murphy referred to the lack of time. All of these Estimates were referred to individual committees which Ministers attended them and they went through the Estimates line by line. It is much more useful and utilitarian if one wants to go through the social welfare or education budget to do so with the line Minister and the officials of that Department who are more seized of the individual component parts and subheads. That is why we have the committee system and it works in that way.

Deputy Mary Lou McDonald talks about management capacity. We do need management. I make no bones about having proper management oversight and transparency in the way the public service works because it was not a cohesive whole until my Department had a cohesive look at it because it was part of a Department of Finance that always had other priorities. The restructuring and reform of the public service are now a dedicated front and centre priority of a significant Department led by a Minister. That is important. I reject the notion that the social economy is not at the heart of what we are doing. I refer constantly to the citizen.

It is very hard to be right. Deputy Mary Lou MacDonald says she is drowning in data. Every time I attend a committee meeting Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly wants more data. All of these are important.

To respond to Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett, we are creating real jobs, an additional 2,000 real jobs a month. That is after losing 250,000 jobs in the three years before we came into office. That is important.

I am sceptical when Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly wants to reduce the pay bill but does not want to cut wages or numbers.

I still want to reduce expenditure.

I know that, but it is very hard to do it through eliminating waste. One offends nobody by saying that and, of course, we want to drill down and eliminate waste. However, that is like saying I am going to go further than you, but I am not going to touch your wages and numbers. It is not achievable in the timeframe we have, but I welcome any suggestion the Deputy has to make and we will consider it carefully.

Deputy Catherine Murphy mentioned the pressure on families. We try to look at the cumulative impact of measures in order that we do not impact on families. That is how we approached the Croke Park agreement because it would have an excessive impact on the complexity of the public service. I have taken careful note of what the Deputy said about housing. I have long discussions with the Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, Deputy Jan O'Sullivan, who shares the Deputy's views on that issue. I hope to see that sort of change migrating through in policy in the coming months and years.

I am required to put the following question in accordance with an order of the Dáil of this day: "That the Estimates for Public Services, Votes 1 to 10, inclusive, and Votes 20 to 40, inclusive, for the year ending 31 December 2013 be agreed to."

Question put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 79; Níl, 43.

  • Bannon, James.
  • Barry, Tom.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Butler, Ray.
  • Buttimer, Jerry.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Byrne, Eric.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Conlan, Seán.
  • Connaughton, Paul J.
  • Conway, Ciara.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Costello, Joe.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Deenihan, Jimmy.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Dowds, Robert.
  • Doyle, Andrew.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Feighan, Frank.
  • Ferris, Anne.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Hannigan, Dominic.
  • Harrington, Noel.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Hayes, Tom.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Hogan, Phil.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Humphreys, Kevin.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Seán.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lawlor, Anthony.
  • Lynch, Ciarán.
  • Lynch, Kathleen.
  • Lyons, John.
  • McCarthy, Michael.
  • McGinley, Dinny.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Maloney, Eamonn.
  • Mathews, Peter.
  • Mitchell, Olivia.
  • Murphy, Dara.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Nash, Gerald.
  • Neville, Dan.
  • Nolan, Derek.
  • O'Donnell, Kieran.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • Penrose, Willie.
  • Perry, John.
  • Phelan, Ann.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Quinn, Ruairí.
  • Reilly, James.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Shatter, Alan.
  • Spring, Arthur.
  • Stagg, Emmet.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Tuffy, Joanna.
  • Twomey, Liam.
  • Varadkar, Leo.
  • Wall, Jack.
  • Walsh, Brian.

Níl

  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Colreavy, Michael.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Donnelly, Stephen S.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Flanagan, Luke 'Ming'.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Fleming, Tom.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Higgins, Joe.
  • Keaveney, Colm.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Kitt, Michael P.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McDonald, Mary Lou.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McLellan, Sandra.
  • Martin, Micheál.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Ó Fearghaíl, Seán.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Troy, Robert.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Emmet Stagg and Paul Kehoe; Níl, Deputies Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Seán Ó Fearghaíl.
Question declared carried.