Dáil debates

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

8:00 pm

Photo of Liz McManusLiz McManus (Wicklow, Labour)

I find this debate quite puzzling. I have listened intently to both Ministers and after all their effusive compliments about the motion framed by Deputy Coveney, I did not get what their problem is with it and why they cannot support it. The Minister, Deputy Ryan, and the Minister of State, Deputy Cuffe, told us how they welcomed the motion, but the only inkling I got was a misunderstanding concerning Fine Gael's "New Era" economic stimulus plan. I have a difficulty with the "New Era" document but I do not have a difficulty with this motion because all it seeks is to frontload investment in domestic energy infrastructure. I have a difficulty with the approach of these two Government Ministers. They are so stuck in a rut that when a good motion comes forward outlining the essential problems we face in the pending energy crisis, they cannot bring themselves to accept it. If they were more seasoned and experienced Ministers they might have the good grace to adopt a good idea when they see one. I am sure Deputy Coveney would be happy to withdraw the phrase as outlined in Fine Gael's "New Era" economic stimulus plan, if it upsets the Minister, Deputy Ryan. We have a problem, however, in that the Green Ministers cannot let go of the idea that somehow they have the Holy Grail and that nobody else can think as well or as smartly about energy issues as they can.

May I tell the Minister of State, Deputy Cuffe, what he should be doing? If he has a problem with the number of roads being built in this country he should talk to his colleague, the Minister for Transport. I did not suggest an outer orbital route, but the Minister, Deputy Dempsey, did. He proposed to finish it before it got to County Wicklow, which would have isolated us and caused tremendous difficulties. If the Minister of State wants to promote buses and bikes, he should look at the record.


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