Business of Select Committee

We have received apologies from the Chairman and from Deputy Pearse Doherty.

I would remind members to ensure that their mobile phones are switched off. This is important because it interferes with the broadcasting. In respect of non-microphone seats, members are reminded that if they speak from positions that do not have microphones in the room their contributions cannot be included in the Official Report. For the purposes of the Official Report, I have been requested to identify members when they are called to speak. Members are requested to remove their face-coverings when speaking to ensure that their contributions can be recorded adequately before replacing their face-coverings.

I welcome the members and also viewers who may be watching the proceedings on Oireachtas TV to the public session of the Oireachtas Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach. Members are reminded of the long-standing parliamentary practice to the effect that members should not comment on, criticise or make charges against a person outside the House or an official either by name or in such a way as to make him or her identifiable. Parliamentary privilege is considered to apply to the utterances of members participating online in a committee meeting when their participation is from within the precincts of Leinster House. For this purpose, the parliamentary precincts are considered to be the assigned accommodation to the member in the Leinster House complex or its vicinity, or another location in Leinster House 2000. I ask the members to note that members may participate remotely in proceedings held in public only from the located listed earlier as privilege to their utterances only applies when participating from these locations. It is also important to note that in order to participate in a division in committee, members must be physically in this chamber.

On behalf of the Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach, I welcome the Minister for Finance, Deputy Donohoe, and his officials.

In order to provide for the smooth running of the meeting, I draw the committee's attention to a couple of housekeeping points. If any member is acting in substitution for a member of the committee, he or she should notify the clerk to the committee now if he or she has not already done so. Divisions will be taken as they arise and members attending this meeting in accordance with Standing Order 106(3) should be aware that pursuant to the Standing Order, he or she may move his or her amendment but cannot participate in voting on that amendment. That is in relation to those who are deputising.