Labour Blog

Labour Blog

Government's proposed extra Dáil sitting week not acceptable says Gilmore

Posted on June 17, 2008 at 06:19 PM

Speaking ahead of tonight's Private Members' Motion which has been tabled by the Labour Party seeking an extension of the Dáil sitting time over the summer period, the Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore TD told the House how the lengthy summer recess is unacceptable given the serious economic problems facing the country.

Deputy Gilmore said: "Ireland is now facing big problems; the Live Register has passed the 200,000 mark, the biggest increase in unemployment over the last year in 40 years. Jobs are being lost in our economy at a rate of 235 a day, 1600 a week.

"On top of that we have a huge change in our public finances; we were €5b in surplus two years ago, we are €1.5b behind this year; our economy is heading for a recession.

"Against that background it is unthinkable and irresponsible that the Government is effectively proposing that Dáil Éireann is closed down for public business for three months this summer. The Labour Party has proposed in our Private Members Motion for the house to sit towards the end of July and be back at the beginning of Sep

"The Government has tabled an amendment to that which effectively provides for an extra weeks sitting for statements on the National Development Plan. Against the scale of the problems that we are now faced with in this country; that is not acceptable.

"Can the Taoiseach explain to the people of this country who are worried sick about jobs and businesses and rising prices and all of the other problems the countries is confronted with, why are going to up sticks the second week of July and not do any public business until the end of September?

"Don't you think in circumstances where there has been a huge erosion in confidence in political leadership in this country that we ought to be here addressing the serious problems that are facing our nation, the consequences of last week's decision and where we are going as a country?

You can see Eamon's full contribution to Leaders' Questions in the accompanying You Tube video and you can read the full exchange later on the Oireachtas website.

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