Questions in relation to communications are a matter for the Minister for Communications. The situation in regard to Irish Life is well known. I have discussed it many times with the unions concerned and indeed it has been discussed at Congress. The most recent development in this context has been the establishment, following the meeting of ICTU with the Taoiseach, myself and other Ministers on 27 March, of a working group under the Central Review Committee. That group was given the task of reviewing the role and contribution of State companies, economic development and job creation. I am examining the possibilities that exist to improve the performance of State companies, including the possibilities for developing large-scale indigenous companies capable of exploiting the single European market.
As I have said, the question of Irish Life is well known. I have invited tenders from the outside world and I have published a Bill that will come before the Oireachtas. Our position in that regard under the Programme for Government has not changed. I will put again on the record of the House what was said in relation to commercial State enterprises. The Government are committed to the maintenance of a viable and profitable commercial semi-State body. Any changes in the ownership structure of particular State companies will only take place if it is in the public interest, in the best interests of the company and their employees and following consultation with the social partners. The Government decided last year to restructure the Irish Life company, which was originally in the private section. That process is in train and the options after restructuring will be further examined.
Mr. Rabbitte rose.