Seanad debates

Thursday, 12 May 2022

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

 

10:30 am

Photo of Jerry ButtimerJerry Buttimer (Fine Gael)

We will not mention Páirc Uí Rinn last Saturday night.

I acknowledge and pay tribute to the women and men of the nursing fraternity and profession on International Nurses Day. I thank them for their work not just during Covid, but in general. I acknowledge that the Covid pandemic payment needs to be paid and expedited as a matter of urgency. I hope the Leader will bring that request from the Seanad back to the Minister for Health, Deputy Stephen Donnelly, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Michael McGrath, and the Minister for Finance, Deputy Donohoe. It is important we pay tribute to nurses working in all aspects of healthcare.

I have made my next contribution previously but I want to do so again in light of the potential rise in ECB interest rates and the fact that inflation in this country reached a 22-year high today. As the world, and Europe in particular, wrestles with the war in Ukraine and our reliance on Russian energy, I am calling for a debate on fiscal policy and budgetary and economic matters as a matter of extreme urgency. There is the Committee on Budgetary Oversight in the Oireachtas but Seanad Éireann can play a role in the framing and preparation of the budget. Although this House does not have a specific budgetary role under the Constitution, we can facilitate a debate in terms of fiscal policy for October. I hope that between now and the summer recess the Leader will consider and, perhaps, facilitate a range of debates on economic, budgetary and fiscal matters. It is important that we do so. As all present are aware, prices have gone up and people are wrestling with balancing their household or business budgets.

Today is an important day for nurses and I hope the House will send a strong message to nurses in all aspects of healthcare that we acknowledge, thank and pay tribute to them. They are a pivotal and important part of all aspects of healthcare, from public health nursing to hospital care and from elderly care to care for young children.I thank our nurses. I am proud to be the son of two nurses who were devoted to their profession. Like so many members of that profession, they continue to be so, and I thank them today.

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