Finance Bill, 2002 [ 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, 2002, on a date which is earlier than the fifth day after the date on which the Bill shall have been presented to her.

I thank the Minister for coming to the House and going through the Bill. It is a pleasure to be here with him because he is always so helpful and in such good humour. Unfortunately, this is the last Finance Bill for which I will be here. During the Minister's five years we have enjoyed great prosperity. Through the measures he has introduced, he has allowed Members of the Oireachtas to share in that prosperity.

I thank the Senator for his kind words about my time as Minister. I did not know that he is not going forward for the next Seanad election. I wish him well in his retirement and hope he has a wonderful time. I have known Senator Doyle for many years and found him to be an able person and a good and kind public representative in the great tradition of what his party stands for, even though I am on the opposing benches.

I thank all Senators in the House for their co-operation in passing the Finance Bill. I hope to put through many more Finance Bills but I have enjoyed the debates here on the seven I have already put through more than those in the other House because there is more latitude and better discourse. I also wish to thank my officials and those of the Revenue Commissioners. This is an enormous undertaking every year and I thank everyone concerned.

I would also like to congratulate the Minister on all the Finance Bills he has put through the House. The debates were stimulating with everyone stating their views. The Minister will be remembered for the radical and innovative changes he made in those Bills. The granting of tax relief for investment in sporting bodies and the changes made to provisions for redundancy payments in this year's Bill are very welcome. The Minister has left an indelible mark on both the economy and politics. I am glad to hear him talk of a second coming.

I thank all Senators and the Minister and I concur with what he said about Senator Doyle. He is a great parliamentarian and a gentleman of Irish politics. We wish him well.

Question put and agreed to.