Thursday, 22 March 2012
Finance Bill 2012 (Certified Money Bill): Committee and Remaining Stages
Sean Barrett (Independent)
I thank the Minister, in particular for his last remarks which relate to the necessity for reform he inherited. The latest information he has on research and development is welcome. As the Minister mentioned, the commission stated in 2009 that because the research and development tax credit scheme has been in place only since 2004 there is limited information available against which to assess its cost effectiveness. This must be an ongoing exercise, therefore, and must also take in the total research and development package of direct expenditures. It is a vote of confidence in the future providing the herd instinct has not taken over as it did with property. A study of that episode and how it destroyed banks and the public finances would be a very good thing from a national point of view and with a view to preventing a recurrence in any other area. There was a herd factor that infected the entire country.
I will not press my part of the recommendation but am not the only person making it. I welcome what the Minister said and look forward in future years to filling in the information gaps exactly as the Minister noted, finding out what kind of jobs we got, who was employed, where they came from, and so on. Value for money applies just as much to this area as to every other area where the Minister spends directly through the Votes and Estimates passed in this House and in the Dáil.