Dáil Éireann - Volume 340 - 03 March, 1983

Order of Business.

The Taoiseach: It is proposed to take business in the following order, Nos. 1, 3 and 4 (resumed).

Mr. Gene Fitzgerald: I wish to raise on the Adjournment the subject matter of Question No. 83 on yesterday's Order Paper to the Minister for the Public Service on the question of the new tax on job applicants.

An Ceann Comhairle: The Chair will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. Prendergast: I wish to raise on the Adjournment the imminent closure of Mattersons in Limerick which is of grave concern to the people in my constituency.

An Ceann Comhairle: The Chair will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. Gregory-Independent: I should like to ask the Taoiseach when it is intended to introduce the Bill setting up the Dublin inner city authority and if the news reports this morning stating that the allocation for the authority will be cut by £300,000 indicates that the Government have no indication of reintroducing the [1672] Bill. Will the Taoiseach clarify the position?

The Taoiseach: The matter has not yet come before the Government.

Mr. Gregory-Independent: The Minister of State at the Department of the Environment——

An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy has already asked a question on the Order of Business which was quite relevant and he got an answer.

Mr. Gregory-Independent: I accept that, but the Taoiseach's reply contradicts a statement made to the Dáil by the Minister of State——

An Ceann Comhairle: We cannot have a debate on that.

Mr. Haughey: The Deputy need not worry about contradictions. They are at it all the time.

Mr. Lenihan: Part of the confusion.

Mr. Begley: I should like to raise on the Adjournment the question of a Spanish fleet being leased by an Irish company and fishing off the west coast of Ireland.

An Ceann Comhairle: The Chair will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. De Rossa: I wish to raise on the Adjournment the subject matter of Question No. 255 of 16 February 1983 which relates to the provision of temporary accommodation for single and homeless persons.

An Ceann Comhairle: The Chair will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. Shatter: I wish to raise on the Adjournment the subject matter of Question No. 16 in the Official Report of 10 February 1983 and the continued failure of the Minister for Social Welfare to make unemployment benefit payments to the person in question.

[1673] An Ceann Comhairle: The Chair will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. Leyden: I should like to ask the Taoiseach if the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs will make a statement today in relation to the cutbacks in the installation of telephones for 1983 and the effect this will have on the employment situation in the Department.

An Ceann Comhairle: That does not arise on the Order of Business.

Mr. Haughey: There was an announcement on the radio this morning about major cutbacks in capital expenditure. As far as we can ascertain it does not appear in any of the newspapers. Can the Minister for Finance say what the position is? Has he announced some major programme of cutbacks in capital expenditure which he issued in the small hours of the morning or what is the position?

Minister for Finance (Mr. Dukes): The revised Public Capital Programme has been published and the information has been got from that.

Mr. Haughey: When was this revised programme published? To whom was it issued and what form did it take? There seems to be some great mystery about it.

Mr. Dukes: There is no mystery about it. The revised Public Capital Programme was published yesterday.

Mr. Haughey: When?

Mr. Dukes: It was released yesterday for publication and it was published in the normal course of events.

Mr. Haughey: Normally we would get in my office and in our press office statements of this nature but we have received nothing. As far as I know the newspapers did not receive anything. The only reference we have to it was something on [1674] the radio this morning. Was it issued only to Radio Éireann and nobody else?

Deputies: Deputy Ted Nealon.

Mr. Dukes: I will look into the matter of the revised capital programme which was published in the normal way. If it appears that there have been leaks in advance of the proper publication and circulation of the document I will look into it.

Mr. Gene Fitzgerald: I should like to ask the Taoiseach if it is intended to give Government time to discuss all the new appointments to the various Government Departments which were announced over the last few weeks.

An Ceann Comhairle: That does not arise on the Order of Business.

Mr. Gene Fitzgerald: Can the Chair tell me how I might be able to raise this issue in the House?

Mr. Cooney: The Deputy knows well how to raise it.

An Ceann Comhairle: I suggest that the Fianna Fáil Whip might approach the Government Whip.

Mr. Gene Fitzgerald: It is a matter of serious concern because of its magnitude and the huge cost involved at a time of financial restraint. It should be discussed in the House.

Mr. N. Andrews: Has the Taoiseach allocated special responsibilities to his Minister of State? If he has, will he tell us what they are in each Department so that when we make representations we will know to whom to make them?

An Ceann Comhairle: This does not arise on the Order of Business.

Mr. N. Andrews: Can I ask the Taoiseach——

An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy could ask the Taoiseach anything but if [1675] Deputies were allowed to do that it would create chaos.