Wednesday, 24 March 2010
Order of Business.
The Order of Business is No. 1, Finance Bill 2010 (Certified Money Bill) - Second Stage, to be taken at the conclusion of the Order of Business, on which spokespersons may speak for 20 minutes and all other Senators for 15 minutes and Senators may share time, by agreement of the House. The business of the House shall be interrupted between 1.30 p.m. and 2.30 p.m. and between 6.30 p.m. and 7.30 p.m.
I congratulate the new Ministers who are taking up their positions and especially my county colleague Deputy Seán Connick on being appointed a Minister of State. That said, the Taoiseach made a mess of the reshuffle. There has not been a senior Fianna Fáil Minister from County Wexford since the 1960s when Mr. Jim Ryan was Minister for Finance. We have always been critical of this and the same can now be said of all the surrounding counties in the south east. There is no senior Minister from counties Waterford, Wexford, Wicklow, Carlow, Kilkenny and Tipperary, which means some 500,000 members of the population are not represented by a senior Minister.
That must be a record. I would like the Taoiseach to explain why he has left the south east without a senior Minister. We have had discussions in the House about the lack of an air-sea rescue service in the south east. The service was withdrawn recently. There are serious concerns about the under-resourcing of health care services in the region and infrastructural projects being held up. I demand an immediate debate with the Taoiseach on how he feels about the six counties in the south east that have been completely neglected in the reshuffle. Therefore, I propose an amendment to the Order of Business to this effect.
I also call for an urgent debate on the public sector.
I wish the Members opposite were as vocal when it comes to sorting out the concerns being expressed currently by citizens. They cannot get their passports. They cannot get their medical cards. They cannot get their social welfare issues sorted out-----
-----and the Members opposite think it is funny. I propose an amendment to the Order of Business that the Taoiseach should come into the House to discuss the issue regarding the public sector unions immediately.
I want to record that I believe the former leader of the Fine Gael Party, Garrett FitzGerald, was an excellent Taoiseach who did great work for this country. Not only did he sort out the finances during his term, he made huge-----