I propose to take Questions Nos. 24, 25, 29, 39 and 53 togther.
I have already touched on some of the points regarding the justification for renewal of the legislation. I will not read the text of my reply again because the Deputy is already familiar with it, and I will not waste his time and the time of those in the Gallery by not responding to the questions.
On the particular point put to me by the Deputy regarding the status of people who joined our public service at various points during the crisis we went through, for one employer - namely, the State - its resources and ability to hire people were very badly affected because of the crisis we were in at that point. As was the case with other employers who also found themselves facing difficulty, employees were taken on in changed circumstances.
In reply to Deputy Calleary, I said that the Lansdowne Road agreement puts in place processes and ways in which representatives of employees - that is, unions - can deal with their employer, which in this case is the Government. We made progress in that area a short while ago regarding the status of issues raised by firefighters. I have now indicated to the House that meetings took place yesterday regarding the INTO and TUI on that very issue. We will now determine how and whether we can work with unions on that matter.
I want to acknowledge the significant contribution that public servants make to our country every day. I refer to the stark figures I outlined to the Deputy earlier. The immediate repeal of all of the measures taken across that phase of our emergency actions would cost €2.2 billion per year. I cannot reconcile that figure with the need to fund all the other public services that the House wants me to deliver.