Wednesday, 25 September 2013
When the Minister for Finance spoke yesterday, he said clearly that the Government fully understands the challenges and difficulties being faced by so many people. When the full figures emerge from his area of responsibility and that of the Minister, Deputy Howlin, he will have to take account of the difficulties and concerns that many people face. Clearly, if moneys are available at the end of the presentation of all the figures, the Government will make a decision on the extent to which those moneys can be applied for job creation and getting people back to work. To be honest, as I stand here we do not have all of those figures. Tax returns are starting to come in. Other elements are needed by the Ministers, Deputies Noonan and Howlin, in terms of setting targets for departmental spending over the next 12 months and in terms of the revenue stream that will come in. Deputy Donnelly has spoken in response to Professor Mody's comments. Clearly, the fairest possible balance needs to be struck in the interests of moving our country through this budget, exiting the bailout in December, sending out an international signal that one country has emerged from this and getting back our economic independence. While there will be more challenges ahead, we will be able to move on to make our own decisions in the interests of our people.