Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Enda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
The point I made to Deputy Boyd Barrett was that the reduction from 95% to 35% in the debt to GDP ratio during the 1990s was not brought about by an austerity programme. It was brought about by a programme of growth. That is the fundamental issue in the action plan for jobs and business, which was produced by the Government yesterday. I was asked when the Attorney General will come back to the Government. If I were to say to the House that I attempted to influence the work of the Attorney General, Deputies would have a very different story to tell me, and rightly so. The Attorney General is a constitutional officer of this State. The Government has responded properly and formally to the requirement that she be asked for her formal legal advice on this matter. No pressure is being put on the Attorney General to complete those deliberations within a certain timescale. She will come back to the Government in her own good time. I will report to the House and to the people immediately, just as I did when I referred the text through the Cabinet to the Attorney General for her advice the morning after it had been agreed by 25 of the 27 EU member states.