asked the Minister for Finance the date of (a) the coming into force and (b) the publication of the Fourth Programme of Economic Expansion in view of the fact that the Third Programme expires on 31st December, 1972.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Economic Expansion Programme.
It has been envisaged that a fourth programme, covering the years 1973 to 1975, could be published about the end of this year. Present indications, however, suggest that it will be some months before it could be published.
Does the Minister not consider it an anomalous position that there will be possibly six to eight months next year which will not be covered by a programme for expansion, and that if these programmes mean anything there should be one to begin when one ends?
I do not think that is essential.
What is the reason for the delay?
The availability of up-to-date information on the statistical basis of the programme has been delayed and this in turn has held up discussions on the draft programme in relation to organisations in the private sector.
When will we deal with Motion No. 17 on the Order Paper:
That Dáil Éireann approves the statement of economic and social aims contained in the Third Programme: Economic and Social Development, 1969-72, and endorses the measures proposed for their achievement.
That does not arise on the question.
The programme is due to expire in a few weeks.
The Deputy may not make his own rules in the Dáil. There are certain rules governing a debate of this kind. The Deputy is asking a separate question which has nothing to do with the question before the House. He can raise it in another fashion.
Why have we not got the statistics? We were able to have them for previous programmes. Why not for the new programme?
The Deputy will appreciate there have been a number of varying factors arising at this time which did not arise on previous occasions, in particular the effect of what is happening in the northern part of the country. Therefore, statistics need to be brought up to date and projections made from them must not be affected——
Which statistics would be affected in this way? This is a programme for economic expansion.
Is the Deputy telling us he is not aware that our economy is being affected very seriously by what is happening in the North?
Our economy is being affected seriously by all sorts of factors all the time. I can see no justification whatever for this delay. It just shows that the Government are not serious about their programmes. The whole thing is a charade, an election platform.
Will the Minister say when we can take this motion?
The Deputy might consult his Whip.