Business of Select Committee

I have received apologies from Deputy Pat Deering.

Before I begin, I welcome all the members to this meeting of the Committee on Budgetary Oversight. I am delighted to be selected as chairwoman or chairperson, and I look forward to working with all of the members.

As members will be aware, this committee was established in 2016 to consider national issues affecting public expenditure policy, Exchequer revenue receipts and the overall fiscal position. The aim of this committee is to engage in a meaningful way with the budget process, to offer more transparency on how budgetary decisions are made, and to hold the Government to account for its decisions and, more importantly, how taxpayers' money is spent. I look forward to working with the committee members to develop a focused work programme, especially when it comes to carrying out the scrutiny of budget proposals in advance of the budget.

I now propose to move to the business of the committee and to deal with a number of housekeeping issues.

If I might, first, welcome Deputy Madigan to the committee.

I thank Deputy Calleary.

To be procedurally correct, is Deputy Madigan supposed to be proposed and seconded at the committee?

I inquired of the clerk to the committee and I understand that I was entitled to take the Chair.

That was the precedent previously.

Clerk to the Committee

Under the new D'Hondt system, the Chairs were appointed by the Dáil yesterday. It is not a committee decision.

I wish the Chairman well.

I appreciate that.

The Chairman will get used to us fighting our corner. With a lot of Mayo blood in the Chairman, I expect her support for regional investment in capital plans.

That is fine. As Deputy Calleary will be aware, I have been a member of the Committee of Public Accounts for the past year. It is quite an adversarial committee. I have read the transcripts over the past number of months. This committee is somewhat more salutary.

We are an agreeable committee.

I hope to continue in that vein. I thank Deputy Calleary for his good wishes.

I join other colleagues in congratulating Deputy Madigan on her appointment as our new chairperson. I wish her all the very best with it. Having known her since our election last year, I have no doubt she will do an excellent job.

I appreciate that. I thank Deputy Brophy.

I would like to be associated with those remarks.

I thank Deputy Lahart.

I propose now to move to the business of the committee and to deal with a number of housekeeping issues. We will then resume in public session and meet the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and the National Women's Council of Ireland. Is that agreed? Agreed.

The select committee went into private session at 2.06 p.m. and resumed in public session at 2.22 p.m.