It is proposed to take business in the following order: Nos. 1 and 7 (resumed). By agreement, it is proposed that there will be a sos today from 1 p.m. to 1.30 p.m.
Order of Business.
In view of the position of the economy and the catastrophic predictions regarding it, is it the Taoiseach's intention to make time available to the House in order to give him an opportunity of putting his Government's proposals to rectify the situation before the country?
There will be an Adjournment Debate in which the state of the economy can be debated and considered.
The Taoiseach apparently thinks we can go on as we are until then.
We cannot continue the debate at this stage.
Does the Taoiseach not regard the situation as a matter of extreme urgency when every informed source states that the economy is in a very serious condition and that the future of our people is in considerable jeopardy?
The world economy in general is entering into a period of recession. This creates considerable difficulties for us, but it is ridiculous to use words like catastrophic and phrases of that sort which in this context are meaningless. The position is, as I have outlined from time to time, that the economic outlook is difficult but we intend to take the necessary measures to deal with the situation. As I already said, there will be a full Adjournment Debate shortly and the House can avail of that occasion to deal with the situation in whatever way it wishes.
Would the Taoiseach not accept——
I cannot have a debate at this stage. It is not relevant.
I do not intend to have a debate.
I allowed Deputy Cluskey to ask a question.
The Taoiseach objected to my using the word "catastrophic".
We will not debate it at this stage. The Deputy is now trespassing on the generosity of the Chair in allowing the question to be asked. The Chair allowed the question.
Our people are facing a decline in their standard of living and job prospects are already in danger. While this is happening the Taoiseach objects to the use of the word "catastrophic".
Sorry, Deputy, we cannot have a debate on this matter now. The Deputy may ask a question if it concerns the Order of Business. That is all.
On a point of order, you permitted the Taoiseach to make a statement uninterrupted about the relationship of our economy to world economy, which is correct.
A question was asked and I permitted the Taoiseach to answer it.
Does the Taoiseach not accept that the Central Bank forecast suggests a growth rate of our economy at less than half of that of OECD countries and that the purchasing power of our national output is predicted to fall by a lot more than in any year during the last 20 years?
We cannot start to debate something that is not in the Order of Business.
It would probably greatly please the leaders of both Opposition parties for their political purposes if our economy were to be seriously damaged but I can assure them that we will not permit that to happen.
Uimhir a haon.
Is the Taoiseach now stating——
This matter is now finished. We cannot debate this matter any further. I have called uimhir a haon.
Can the Taoiseach state——
The Taoiseach cannot because it is not relevant at this stage.
On a point of order, surely it is relevant on the Order of Business for the Taoiseach to indicate whether or not, in view of the very serious situation the country is facing, he is prepared to come into the Dáil and make a statement on the proposals his Government have to deal with the economy?
The Taoiseach has answered the question and it is not relevant to have a debate on any matter at this stage.
It is relevant when the Fianna Fáil benches think the economic conditions a laughing matter.
Could the Taoiseach not indicate whether or not he is prepared to come into the House and put his proposals before it?
That matter is now concluded.
I have indicated that the House can debate this matter during the Adjournment.
Apparently there is no sense of urgency as far as the Government are concerned.
That matter is now concluded. I am dealing with item No. 1.