This is a very special occasion for two reasons. It is the first time that a budget has been delivered outside of the august surroundings of Leinster House. We again thank the authorities here in the Convention Centre Dublin for facilitating us. It is also a special day because our distinguished head usher, Colm O'Rourke, is attending for his last sitting day in the House. All will agree that Colm has given outstanding, distinguished and sterling service to the Houses of the Oireachtas over the past 14 years. He will be greatly missed. His will be a very hard act to follow and we wish him and his wife, Blaithín, many long years of happy retirement together.
Before calling on the Ministers for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform to present their budgets, I must in accordance with precedence remind Members that the documentation, including the Ministers' speeches, is being circulated in the Chamber strictly on the condition that the information contained therein remains confidential until the Ministers have referred to it in the House. The documentation should not be removed or sent by any means from the Chamber before the Ministers' speeches. I suppose that is in case "Morning Ireland" or the national media missed anything so far.
I must ask everyone in the Chamber to respect the confidentiality of the information being supplied to them. I now have great pleasure in calling on the Minister for Finance, Deputy Donohoe to make his Budget Statement.