Order of Business (Resumed).

Thursday, 21 February 1991

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 405 No. 5

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Mr. Howlin: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  In relation to promised legislation yesterday the Taoiseach informed the House that one local government reform Bill would be enacted before the summer. Will an order to defer the local elections be brought before the House before that Bill is enacted, and what is the final date before which a final decision in relation to the date of the local elections can be made?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  We have had this before.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  Yes, we have had this before. I am glad to assure the Deputy that the local elections will be held this year. The legislation reforming local government will be enacted before that. I cannot help him in any other way.

Mr. Howlin: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  I have just one other question in relation to the legislation. Will it encompass the request from many urban authorities to have boundary extensions? Will it be possible to include that in the legislation before June this year?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  The Deputy is pushing his luck a little. My duty is to inform him of the progress of the legislation, not its contents.

Mr. McCartan: Information on Patrick McCartan  Zoom on Patrick McCartan  Could I ask the Taoiseach or through him the Minister for Tourism, Transport and Communications, if it is intended to bring an order or motion before this House under the 1983 Telecommunications Act in [1229] respect of his announcement and of directives to An Post in view of the fact that——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy is raising again a matter which the Chair has ruled out of order.

Mr. McCartan: Information on Patrick McCartan  Zoom on Patrick McCartan  I am asking whether——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I am sorry, the Deputy will pursue that matter in another way.

Mr. McCartan: Information on Patrick McCartan  Zoom on Patrick McCartan  I would have thought it was in order to ask at this stage whether orders or motions under the Act are intended to be brought before this House. It deals with Government time.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy was seeking to circumvent the ruling of the Chair earlier. I say the Deputy will have to raise that in another way.

Mr. Farrelly: Information on John V. Farrelly  Zoom on John V. Farrelly  The Minister, Deputy Burke, told them to go ahead with the proposals a year ago.

Mr. McCartan: Information on Patrick McCartan  Zoom on Patrick McCartan  Fifteen hundred jobs have now been sacrificed and the Minister has given an indication to An Post that they can proceed with the axing of those jobs. I think it is important——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The matter of the policy of An Post does not arise now, Deputy.

Mr. M. Higgins: Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  When will the implementing ministerial orders in relation to the child care and protection legislation be issued to health boards and local authorities?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Is it promised?

A Deputy:  It is not legislation.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  It is not promised.

[1230]Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  It is delegated legislation.

Mr. M. Higgins: Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  With respect, Sir, I will not delay you. It is very clear that contained in the body of the legislation discussed and passed by this House are the implementing measures, namely the ministerial orders. In so far as the ministerial orders are part of the legislation, when will these ministerial orders be made and communicated to health boards and local authorities in that they affect the welfare of children? It is a very simple question.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  Sir, subject to your ruling I suggest the information the Deputy is seeking should properly be pursued by way of Dáil question. I think you and I are quite well aware there is a consistent attempt here to turn the Order of Business into a second Question Time.

(Interruptions.)

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  The question Deputy Michael D. Higgins is asking concerns legislation but in order to be helpful I point out to him that the Child Care Bill is going before the Seanad today.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  May I, through the Taoiseach, ask the Minister for Industry and Commerce if the competition legislation will be introduced before the Finance Bill, which will contain the increases in VAT on electricity, telecommunications and gas? Will we at least have the Bill before we are asked to approve the tax increases?

Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. O'Malley): Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  I expect to be in a position to publish the Bill in about two weeks from now.

Mr. Currie: Information on Austin Currie  Zoom on Austin Currie  Not wishing to be out of order and being new to the job, maybe, Sir, you will help me in my effort to find out from the Minister for Tourism, Transport and Communications——

(Interruptions.)

[1231]Mr. Currie: Information on Austin Currie  Zoom on Austin Currie  ——what he intends to do about the order which apparently he intends to make on time charging of telephone calls. What does he intend to say to Telecom Éireann in that respect?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Currie, please.

Mr. Currie: Information on Austin Currie  Zoom on Austin Currie  I am only trying to assist. It is very important.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  My office will be in touch with you, Deputy. If you wish to get in touch with my office we will facilitate you in raising that matter properly.

Mr. Browne: Information on John Browne  Zoom on John Browne  (Carlow-Kilkenny): Twelve months ago when the 10 per cent VAT was imposed on the ESB the Taoiseach——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Browne. I thought the Deputy had something to raise——

Mr. Browne: Information on John Browne  Zoom on John Browne  (Carlow-Kilkenny): He promised last year——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Browne, please desist. I am proceeding to the business ordered.


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