Death of Councillor Fullerton. - Finance Bill, 1991 [Certified Money Bill]: Motion for Earlier Signature.

I move:

That, pursuant to subsection 2º of section 2 of Article 25 of the Constitution, Seanad Éireann concurs with the Government in a request to the President to sign the Finance Bill, 1991, on a date which is earlier than the fifth day after the date on which the Bill shall have been presented to her.

This is to ensure that we will have the Finance Bill signed in time so that the President can give an early signature.

I thank Members of the Seanad for their constructive speeches on Second Stage and for the interesting questions and discourses we had on Committee Stage. I am always delighted to come to the Seanad with any Bill where I receive a reasonable response from all sides of the House. I express my sincere thanks and that of my officials to everybody concerned. The Finance Bill is a major operation every year and for the House's courtesy, attention and constructive criticisms I am deeply grateful.

On behalf of this side of the House I thank the Minister for his personal involvement because, apart from a brief periods, he took the Bill himself. We all appreciate the burden of work on Cabinet Ministers and our thanks go to him and to his wide range of advisory staff who were constantly present.

There is increasing frustration in the Seanad in relation to legislation where we cannot effect change. There is a feeling in relation to the Finance Bill, given the time constraints of having it signed into law — we had another example of this last week on the Local Government Bill — that there is a level of rubber stamping involved. We have interesting discussions on different sections, the Minister is helpful with his replies, certain points can be clarified, others are not but, effectively, no recommendations are ever accepted on the Finance Bill in the Seanad. Given the ideal role of this House we should be able to effect real change and await the day we can do that with legislation as important as the Finance Bill.

This is even more pleasant than the Minister was giving us credit for. I hate to hear Senators stand up here and say that we are a rubber stamp. That word, as far as the Seanad is concerned, gives me the shivers. I thank Senator Doyle for her co-operation and warmly thank Minister Reynolds. Senator Doyle referred to the fact that the Minister took the whole Bill; he takes all his Bills through the Seanad himself.

That is appreciated. The rent-a-Minister syndrome is not acceptable to us.

The Minister is not one of them.

Question put and agreed to.