The debate on the Bill in the Seanad was very good and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation will consider the points raised. Confidence in the business world, the creation and retention of jobs and the effective recapitalisation of the banks are important. The State will provide €7 billion this year and €8 billion next year for areas where the banks may have a concern. It will help the critical sector of the Irish economy that employs 700,000 people.
I welcome the debate. The most important effect of the Bill will be in the area of job creation. Where a bank might have had a concern about lending, the State will give a guarantee. The Bill will complement the banking sector and make lending viable.
I thank all Senators for their contribution to the debate. As a Minister of State with responsibility for small business, it is important for me to listen to the views of Senators and to take them on board. The Bill will make a considerable difference.
The Microfinance Loan Fund Bill will also be a very welcome piece of legislation. It will allow people who have been refused loans by banks to borrow up to €25,000. The measures in that Bill will be separate from the credit guarantee scheme but the two together will add considerably to the suite of opportunities for people who are hoping to develop their businesses.
I compliment the officials in my Department who have done trojan work on the Bill. They worked late at night and during weekends. People assume legislation is simply done. This is a skilled piece of legislation. It had to be fine tuned and various approvals sought. We are fortunate to have such officials. Since my appointment as Minister of State dealing with the SME sector, I have worked with the Minister and the Minister of State, Deputy Sherlock. The commitment of the Taoiseach has been wonderful. Our team is complemented by the extraordinary civil servants. By 2016, we will make Ireland one of the best economies in which to establish, grow and develop a business. Since my appointment, I have seen what one will not see on the front pages of the newspapers, namely, the extraordinary determination of Irish business people to succeed.
The Enterprise Ireland report that was launched last week should be discussed in the Seanad. It is an extraordinary document. I will go to Donegal on Thursday next for the regional launch of the document. There is extraordinary determination among Irish business people. Irish exports are valued at €18 billion per annum.
The Bill, when enacted fully and operated by Capita Asset Services, will complement the banks and the Credit Review Office. I appeal to people who have been refused loans by the banks to appeal the refusal externally to Mr. John Trethowan. The Credit Guarantee Bill will complement the banking sector which has been recapitalised by the Government.
Thank you, Acting Chairman. I am delighted the Bill has passed all Stages.