Shane Ross

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Democracy Bypassed: Hurray!

Posted on: June 22nd, 2004

The Government, employers and trade unions have reached agreement on a pay deal without consulting a single Member of this or the other House. It is quite an achievement and it should be acknowledged. If they want to bypass democracy, that is something about which we should be concerned and perhaps debate here.

We should have a debate on pay deals here before they are agreed rather than after they are agreed. We should ask why concessions have been made on the tax band in the next budget already, a long time before that occurs, without consultation with this House and how on earth issues such as Aer Rianta got to the top of the agenda in a pay deal. Aer Rianta has absolutely nothing to do with a pay deal. This tells us who is writing the agenda for the other issues which concern this nation, rather than the pay deal.

I would like a serious debate on where democracy lies so we can ask why these people are writing legislation and budgets and why no Member is having an input into one of the most important agreements for the next few years, which are simple questions.