Dáil debate on release ruled out


Opposition calls for a Dáil debate on the release of information in Germany about new taxes in Ireland have been ruled out of order.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin called for Taoiseach Enda Kenny to come into the Dáil and explain what he described as an “absolutely unprecedented situation”.

The document released to the Bundestag's finance committee referred to the intention to raise the top level of VAT by 2 per cent to 23 per cent, the €100 a year household charge and a reform of capital gains tax.

Mr Martin asked if the issues in the document were discussed at the meeting this week in Berlin between the Taoiseach and German chancellor Angela Merkel

“Could somebody explain to us the legal obligations that the German finance ministry obliged them to put that document before the Bundestag in advance of it coming before the Dáil?” he asked.

The Fianna Fáil leader added that he had been complaining for a number of weeks about how “all aspects of the budgetary framework this year”, including the capital programme and the fiscal framework, had been published outside the House.

“And now the actual Budget itself has been put before a member state parliament, the German parliament, before it’s put before this House.”

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said the issue was damaging.

“Public confidence is not assisted in any way when politicians and legislators from Germany have access to information and budgetary measures that will affect the citizens of this State [before Irish citizens],” she said.

It was ironic she said, that the Oireachtas finance committee was in session yesterday when it heard news of the document being released to the German parliament’s finance committee.

The Dáil is sitting today to debate a Fianna Fáil Bill banning corporate donations.

However, when Mr Martin called for the Minister present in the Dail - Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan - to agree to change the Order of Business, Leas Cheann Comhairle Micheal Kitt said Mr Hogan “had no role” in this because the Order of Business for today was set in the Dáil yesterday.