Constitution & Money Bills Vs IMF/EFSF

Lord Wellington

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Constitution & Money Bills Vs IMF/EFSF

I’m not sure if others think this an avenue worth pursuing.

However, it seems to me that no “deal” can be done with the IMF/EFSF unless it is presented to the Dáil as a Money Bill, passed by the Houses of the Oireachtas and signed into law by the President.

I have (selectively) quoted from the Constitution below.

There are timing and other issues in the Constitution here;

http://www.taoiseach.gov.ie/attached_files/Pdf%20files/Constitution%20of%20Ireland.pdf

Article 17 makes clear that Dáil Éireann cannot pass a Bill “for the appropriation of revenue or other public moneys” unless recommended by the Taoiseach.

Article 22 defines a Money Bill as “a Bill which contains only provisions .... the imposition for the payment of debt or other financial purposes of charges on public moneys or the variation or repeal of any such charges”.


I’ll put it this way. Can there be any doubt that a “deal” with the IMF/EFSF is a deal that fits the definition “.... the imposition for the payment of debt or other financial purposes of charges on public moneys or the variation or repeal of any such charges”?

If you agree that that is the case then the only question is can the Executive (Cabinet or individual Minister) concluded such a deal without the proviso that it must be voted on by the Houses of the Oireachtas?

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Article 17

2. Dáil Éireann shall not pass any vote or resolution, and no law shall be enacted, for the appropriation of revenue or other public moneys unless the purpose of the appropriation shall have been recommended to Dáil Éireann by a message from the Government signed by the Taoiseach.

Article 22

1. 1° A Money Bill means a Bill which contains only provisions dealing with all or any of the following matters, namely, the imposition, repeal, remission, alteration or regulation of taxation; the imposition for the payment of debt or other financial purposes of charges on public moneys or the variation or repeal of any such charges; supply; the appropriation, receipt, custody, issue or audit of accounts of public money; the raising or guarantee of any loan or the repayment thereof; matters subordinate and incidental to these matters or any of them.

2. 1° The Chairman of Dáil Éireann shall certify any Bill which, in his opinion, is a Money Bill to be a Money Bill, and his certificate shall, subject to the subsequent provisions of this section, be final and conclusive.

2. 2° Seanad Éireann, by a resolution, passed at a sitting at which not less than thirty members are present, may request the President to refer the question whether the Bill is or is not a Money Bill to a Committee of Privileges.

3° If the President after consultation with the Council of State decides to accede to the request he shall appoint a Committee of Privileges consisting of an equal number of members of Dáil Éireann and of Seanad Éireann and a Chairman who shall be a Judge of the Supreme Court: these appointments shall be made after consultation with the Council of State. In the case of an equality of votes but not otherwise the Chairman shall be entitled to vote.

4° The President shall refer the question to the Committee of Privileges so appointed and the Committee shall report its decision thereon to the President within twenty-one days after the day on which the Bill was sent to Seanad Éireann.

The decision of the Committee shall be final and conclusive.

6° If the President after consultation with the Council of State decides not to accede to the request of Seanad Éireann, or if the Committee of Privileges fails to report within the time hereinbefore specified the certificate of the Chairman of Dáil Éireann shall stand confirmed.
 


Nemi_

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Two thoughts.

Am I right in saying certain payments in respect of 'Central Fund' services don't require specific authority from parliament. Judicial salaries and pensions are one example - which is why there was all that stuff about the judges being able to avoid any pay cuts, unless they consented. Another Central Fund service (I think) is repayment of the national debt.

Second thought is that, presumably, all that's happening at present is that terms are being agreed for the cost of borrowing from EU/IMF. The actual borrowing will only take place on foot of the Budget, which will be voted on by the Dail.

So (leaving the banks aside for a moment) the Dail could decide to reduce expenditure so that the deficit is eliminated, thus meaning that borrowing would not be necessary. If this deal is done, then the Dail knows that any deficit it mandates will be funded at whatever interest rate has been agreed.

On the banks, as we know the Dail did approve the bank guarantee. I take it that they would need to vote again to abrogate the guarantee. If they don't, then there's actually an obligation on Government to find money somewhere to honour the commitment given by the elected representatives of the Irish people to make good any bank losses.
 

Lord Wellington

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Nemi_

I cannot find any reference to “Central” in the Constitution.

I find one reference to “fund”.

It is Article 11.

Article 11

“All revenues of the State from whatever source arising shall, subject to such exception as may be provided by law, form one fund, and shall be appropriated for the purposes and in the manner and subject to the charges and liabilities determined and imposed by law.”

The first thing of this I see is.

It requires revenue.

So if there is fund it is by revenue not debt.

That is the Constitution.

Article 22 addresses debt and how it might be acquired by government under a Money Bill.

“the imposition for the payment of debt or other financial purposes of charges on public moneys or the variation or repeal of any such charges”

A “Central Fund” may exist in a bureaucracy but I do not see it in the Constitution.

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I will read further.
 

Buddies

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22.2.2

Those guys have nothing to lose either way at this stage, if that house is to be abolished!
 

Lord Wellington

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22.2.2

Those guys have nothing to lose either way at this stage, if that house is to be abolished!

Seanad Éireann, by a resolution, passed at a sitting at which not less than thirty members are present, may request the President to refer the question whether the Bill is or is not a Money Bill to a Committee of Privileges.


Yes.

I don't understand what you mean by quoting 22.2.2.

Is there something there?
 

powderfinger

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The Investment of the National Pensions Reserve Fund & Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2009 allows Lenihan to appropriate the NPRF for directed investment into the banks.
The public interest becomes a remote abstraction when one ministerial seal holds such an excess of powers.
 

Lord Wellington

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Nemi_

“Second thought is that, presumably, all that's happening at present is that terms are being agreed for the cost of borrowing from EU/IMF. The actual borrowing will only take place on foot of the Budget, which will be voted on by the Dáil.”

You are accurate in your present presumption.

“The actual borrowing will only take place on foot of the Budget, which will be voted on by the Dáil.”

Exactly.

Which begs the question.

Why did the present government refuse a vote on the “Four Year Plan”?

Is that not a budget? A Money Bill?

Is it because the next government can also have a vote on a (say) six year plan?

Now here’s the really funny thing.

I can’t find the word “budget” in the Constitution.

Can you?

The Constitution does not contain the word “Budget”.

It is precise and specific about money.

It defines “Money Bill”.

It does not recognise “Budget”.

It does not recognise “Central Fund”.

Correct me if I am wrong.
 

Lord Wellington

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The Investment of the National Pensions Reserve Fund & Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2009 allows Lenihan to appropriate the NPRF for directed investment into the banks.
The public interest becomes a remote abstraction when one ministerial seal holds such an excess of powers.

Indeed. That is Statute.

You will agree that Statute in error has been and will be overturned by Constitution.

You will also agree that I did not refer to the "public interest".
 

Lord Wellington

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Nemi_

“So (leaving the banks aside for a moment) the Dail could decide to reduce expenditure so that the deficit is eliminated, thus meaning that borrowing would not be necessary. If this deal is done, then the Dail knows that any deficit it mandates will be funded at whatever interest rate has been agreed.”


“So (leaving the banks aside for a moment) the Dail could decide to reduce expenditure so that the deficit is eliminated, thus meaning that borrowing would not be necessary.”

Indeed. It could. No doubt there would be social and order implications.

But yes. The Dáil could decide.

No offence but Mickey Mouse could make the same decision.

“If this deal is done, then the Dail knows that any deficit it mandates will be funded at whatever interest rate has been agreed”

That is rather my point.

This can only happen by the Dáil passing a Money Bill.

There is no other way.

No Taoiseach or Minister for Finance has the authority to burden the Citizen with this debt.

Do you see?

There has to be a vote.

That vote requires every and single deputy in Dáil Éireann to decide.

Will each and every of them decide to burden the Citizen with this debt?

It is their choice not mine.

I am Citizen. I vote when they allow it. I am not one that would put my fellow Citizen into debt for the next 40 years.

I just want to know how each of them votes.

I would know the names of the Traitors by vote.
 

Lord Wellington

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Nemi_


“On the banks, as we know the Dail did approve the bank guarantee. I take it that they would need to vote again to abrogate the guarantee. If they don't, then there's actually an obligation on Government to find money somewhere to honour the commitment given by the elected representatives of the Irish people to make good any bank losses.”

“On the banks, as we know the Dail did approve the bank guarantee. I take it that they would need to vote again to abrogate the guarantee.”

Yes.

And just as the guarantee was created out of thin air so it may vanish into thin air.

If that is not the case then the original vote and guarantee have no meaning.

“If they don't, then there's actually an obligation on Government to find money somewhere to honour the commitment given by the elected representatives of the Irish people to make good any bank losses”

Yes.

And then we know the Traitors by name.
 

Cilldara_2000

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I think we're barking up the wrong tree here. First off, the four year plan is not a bill of any description. It is only a plan for the next four budgets. In order to implement it they need to pass all these individual budgets. Similarly, the deal with the EU/IMF is not a bill of any description and I suspect that it falls under the 3rd subsection of the section of Article 29 that everyone is talking about, IE it's only a technical or administrative agreement.

Either way, the Dáil will have its oppurtunity to vote (a number of times) on the budget. Immediately on the evening of the budget will be the various financial resolutions to implement the customs and excise and other immediate changes. That's when they can show their opposition.
 


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