Wednesday, 13 February 2013
I am delighted to speak on this motion. I will not go into the minute details of the deal. This is a very good deal for business and for jobs. People are wondering whether this will benefit them. Of course it will. Last Monday, I spoke to a business person in Cork with whom I deal regularly. He said he had been contacted by one of the pillar banks for the first time in almost four years. An official in the bank asked to call out to his business to discuss his finance needs with him, which was absolutely momentous. This is what happens at the cutting edge. The businessman in question said it was fantastic that he could finally stop living in a shell and start expanding his business in a proper fashion. This is what it is about. It did not happen by accident. It happened because confidence is building in our society, regardless of what some people say.
In the shop were packets of crisps which, at the time, had a price of 2 pence written on the packet. The price should be written on the packet today also, as this might get rid of some of the price variations, but that is another story. In any case, crisps were 2 pence a packet, whereas today a packet would cost north of 80 cent. Inflation happens whether we like it or not, and growth rates also happen. That 40-year period is almost half the existence of this State, yet that is how far it is being pushed out.
It is a bad day for the Opposition. I am not particularly referring to Fianna Fáil, which recognises the validity of this, but to those who oppose it. It is bad day for Opposition Members in a number of ways because it exposes the very people who oppose everything. I am sure that some day they will look up and oppose the colour of the sky. It shows their lack of credibility and lack of business awareness. This is a great day for business – that is a fact.
I will simplify this even further for those people because I do not believe they understand. There is an Irish phrase, if the House will pardon the pun in these times, “Live horse and you will eat grass”. Essentially, we must get through today if we want to have a future. There is no point in sinking the ship today and having no future ahead.
There are some who complain their children will be paying for this yet, at the same time, they say they will not pay their taxes. I suggest that if the children take after the parents, they will not be paying for anything at all. One cannot be a member of society and not pay taxes. Some people just do not want to contribute to society and all they want to do is criticise.
To use the celebrity model, which we have often seen on television, in dealing with financial problems, people are told, first, to cut up the plastic cards and live within their means. This country is €12 billion beyond its means so we must get to that point. Second, they are told to renegotiate their debts and stretch them over a longer period of time. I am surprised some of the Deputies who have criticised this have not even watched Eddie Hobbs on television as they might have learned a lesson. I am trying to make it as simple as I can for them because they cannot grasp the concept.
The rating agencies, the most serious of people, have looked at this and said it is going in the right direction. We secured a banking deal and a CAP budget deal last week. This is an indication of how seriously the Government is being taken in Europe. We are 40 years in Europe and, thanks be to God, our experience is showing now and we are leading the way.
In conclusion, I ask that we look at the people who created this mess. We cannot, in conscience, let the people who created this mess away with it. Now that the financial side is being sorted, I suggest we spend the time to bring those people to justice. What they have done to this country is simply unforgivable.