Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Committee on Budgetary Oversight

Inflation: Discussion (Resumed)

Photo of Neasa HouriganNeasa Hourigan (Dublin Central, Green Party)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Members and all in attendance are asked to exercise personal responsibility in protecting themselves and others from the risk of contracting Covid-19. They are strongly advised to practise good hand hygiene and leave at least one vacancy between them and others attending. They should always maintain an appropriate level of social distance during and after the meeting. Masks, preferably of medical grade, should be worn at all times during the meeting except when speaking. We are actively encouraging members to attend remotely if possible. I ask for their full co-operation in this.

Before we begin I wish to explain some limitations to the parliamentary privilege and the practices of the Houses with regard to references that witnesses may make to other persons in their evidence. The evidence of witnesses physically present or who give evidence from within the parliamentary precincts is protected pursuant both to the Constitution and statute by absolute privilege. If, however, they are giving evidence remotely, from a place outside the parliamentary precincts, as such they may not benefit from the same level of immunity from legal proceedings as a witness physically present does. Witnesses are again reminded of the long-standing parliamentary practice that they should not criticise or make charges against any person or entity by name or in such a way as to make him, her or it identifiable, or otherwise engage in speech that might be regarded as damaging to the good name of the person or entity. Therefore, if witnesses' statements are potentially defamatory in relation to an identifiable person or entity, they will be directed to discontinue their remarks. It is imperative they comply with any such direction.

Members are aware of the note on privilege. Members are reminded of the long-standing parliamentary practice to the effect that they should not comment on, criticise, or make charges against a person outside of the Houses, or an official, either by name or in such a way as to make him, her or it identifiable. I remind members of the constitutional requirements that they must be physically present within the confines of the place where Parliament has chosen to sit, namely, Leinster House, to participate in public meetings. I will not permit a member to participate where he or she is not adhering to this constitutional requirement. Therefore, any member who attempts to participate from outside the precincts will be asked to leave the meeting.

On behalf of the committee I welcome Dr. Karina Doorley, Dr. Niall Farrell and Dr. Kieran McQuinn. I thank the witnesses very much for attending today. The purpose of today's meeting is to examine the topic of inflation. This is the middle session of three sessions during which we will look at this very current issue. The committee would like to discuss the drivers of inflation, policy responses and budget 2022, and the impact of inflation in that context. I will now turn to our witnesses to give their opening statement.