Today saw the last Leaders' Questions as the Dáil prepares to recess for the summer on Friday. Despite the fact that the Dáil will not sit again until September, we are still waiting on details of the Government's economic recovery plans.
The Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore TD criticised the Taoiseach for not publishing the McCarthy report (on An Bord Snip Nua) and details of NAMA (National Assets Management Agency) before the summer recess.
"The Taoiseach has come in here and told us that he does not want to defer decisions but he has done nothing else. This is not the Taoiseach's own business or a matter for private discussion by the Government. It is public business.
The ongoing issue of the banks crisis was discussed during Leaders' Questions this morning when the Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore questioned the Taoiseach about shady dealings in Anglo Irish Bank.
While Deputy Gilmore acknowledged that problems in banking and the economy are happening worldwide he added that 'we do see in other countries that wrongdoing is outed and illegality is punished'.
He reiterated the call made by Deputy Joan Burton, Labour's Spokesperson on Finance, that a High Court inspector should be appointed to investigate Anglo Irish Bank, a proposal which was voted down by the Government.
Deputy Gilmore then asked the Taoiseach:
What investigations are underway in respect of Anglo Irish Bank?
This morning saw the last Leaders' Questions in the Dáil for six weeks. Given the growing crises across the board during the spirited debate the Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore TD asked the Taoiseach Brian Cowen if he was serious about closing the House for that length of time.
Eamon also pressed Gilmore again on what exactly the terms of the banks deal are, on what cuts we can expect in our health system and what exactly is contained in the Government's economic recovery plan.
You can view Eamon's contribution in the video and later on the full exchange will be available on the Oireachtas website.
The last couple of months have shown that we are not living in ordinary times; this week alone saw 37 homes lost through repossession in the courts. It is clear that these times call for extraordinary measures.
During his key speech at our recent party conference the Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore spoke of actions that could and should be taken to ensure that people who are struggling in the current economic times do not lose their homes. Most people fear losing their job but this is surpassed by the thought of losing your home.
As the threat of repossession is hanging over some people the numbers of people on local authority waiting list climbs.
During Leaders' Questions today Eamon called this 'the biggest social ticking timebomb'.
During Leaders' Questions in the Dáil this morning, the Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore TD focused on the role of banks given the serious state of the economy.
"When the economy was booming, the banks were in the driving seat and you could get a loan for anything and they were pushing money at people. Now that the economic circumstances have changed somewhat the tune of the banks has also changed and it appears they are behaving in a way that could add to our economic difficulties.
Today the ESRI came out and said what many had been thinking: Ireland is in recession.
Brian Cowen, who until April was Minister for Finance, has led us to the worse economic results in 25 years. Speaking in the Dáil today, the Leader of the Labour Party, Eamon Gilmore TD, was looking for any sign at all that the Government has a plan to get us out of the recession they created through their mismanagement of the property boom.
This week has seen more bad news on the economic front. As the downturn intensifies, the amount of money coming into the Government coffers is falling, and people are loosing their jobs. Redundancies are up by one third in the first two month of this year, and unemployment is climbing. The question is who will bear the burden of these changes?
The economy must be put back to the top of the political agenda, Labour Leader Deputy Eamon Gilmore told the national executive of SIPTU today. He said out economic prospects have become more uncertain and against the background of increasing turmoil, there is an urgent need for Ireland to consider afresh our economic future. He said that over the next year Labour would be developing and advancing a new socio-economic agenda.