Order of Business.

Thursday, 7 November 2002

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 556 No. 5

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Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh): Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  The Order of Business shall be as follows: No. 17b, motion re referral to select committee of proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income and Capital Gains) (Republic of Slovenia) Order, 2002 and Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income and Capital Gains) (Republic of Croatia) Order, 2002; No. 17c, motion re appointment of Members to committees; No. 5, Unclaimed Life Assurance Policies Bill, 2002 – Order for Second Stage and Second Stage; No. 4, Private Security Services Bill, 2001 – Second Stage (resumed); and No. 6, Licensing of Indoor Events Bill, 2001 – Order for Second Stage and Second Stage. It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that Nos. 17b and 17c shall be decided without debate.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  There is one proposal to be put to the House. Is the proposal for dealing with items 17b and 17c without debate agreed? Agreed.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  I fail to understand how a motion proposed under Standing Order 31, which deals with the possibility of war, is not permitted. How does the Government intend to bring before the House the basis upon which Ireland will vote at the UN Security Council meeting tomorrow on a resolution already agreed between the United States and Britain which may well result in a war in Iraq? As war is a matter for the Dáil—

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  That matter is not in order this morning.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  War is a matter for the Dáil to discuss.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  It was the last item discussed on the Adjournment last night.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  There is an agreed motion between the United States and Britain.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  It is not in order now. The Standing Order is specific and

if I—

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Circumstances have changed.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Ireland is sitting on the UN Security Council—

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  If I were to allow Deputy Kenny to go outside Standing Orders, I would be obliged to let everybody else go outside them.

[1200]Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  The Security Council will vote tomorrow and Ireland will vote on this tomorrow.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  I call Deputy Rabbitte.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  There could well be a war in Iraq after tomorrow.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  There were opportunities to raise this matter during the week.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Ireland's representative will vote tomorrow on a motion that is agreed between the United States and Britain.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  The Deputy's colleague, Deputy Gay Mitchell, raised this on the Adjournment last night. I call Deputy Rabbitte.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  It comes before the entire Security Council tomorrow and I am asking the Minister for Agriculture and Food—

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  Deputy Kenny, you are out of order. There are other ways the Deputy can raise the matter. I call Deputy Rabbitte.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Ireland will vote on this tomorrow.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  You have made your point, Deputy Kenny.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  I do not seem to have done it sufficiently clearly.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  There were opportunities to do so during leaders questions over the past two days, within Standing Orders.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  On what basis will Ireland vote tomorrow?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  I am calling Deputy Rabbitte. I ask Deputy Kenny to resume his seat when the Chair is on its feet, please.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  On a point of order—

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  I am not taking a point of order until I have heard from Deputy Rabbitte.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  The former Minister for Public Enterprise, Senator Mary O'Rourke, announced the abolition of CIE and the creation of three operating companies. It was announced again at the mini-CTC inquiry. The current Minister has announced it twice within the past week. One cannot get across this city because of traffic congestion, yet the Minister continues to issue press releases.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  Do you have a question on the Order of Business?

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  I do, Sir, on promised legislation. The Transport (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill [1201] provides for an increase in the borrowing limits for CIE in 2004. If the Minister is to abolish CIE next week why does he need to increase the borrowing limits in two years' time? He will presumably sneak in fare increases at a time when we need to be encouraging people to use public transport more, rather than increasing fares.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  It is not appropriate to discuss the contents of the Bill.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  If the Minister's spin doctors stayed at home there would be less congestion on the streets.

Mr. Walsh: Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  Legislation on this matter will be introduced in the next session.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  Topically, the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Bill will be seen in the light of the proposed attack on Iraq. Will the Government take into account the financing of terrorism through international arms sales totalling $18.6 billion, much of which is coming from US companies?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  I have ruled Deputy Kenny out of order on this matter. Has Deputy Sargent a question on legislation?

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  Will the Minister take into consideration the need in the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Bill to deal with the arms industry?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  As I have ruled, the contents of a Bill cannot be discussed. I call the Minister on the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Bill.

Mr. Walsh: Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  It will be published this session.

Mr. R. Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  I note that the special report by the Ombudsman on redress for taxpayers appears on today's Order Paper. When does the Government intend to announce the actions it will take to ensure that taxpayers receive proper redress, as the Ombudsman has requested? Is it not the case that the Minister for Finance has known about this dispute for a considerable time and has had plenty of opportunity to formulate a well thought-out position?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  As the Deputy's question relates to a matter that appears on the Order Paper today, it will be allowed.

Mr. Walsh: Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  The Minister for Finance is currently examining this matter and will be considering the results of the examination in the context of the Finance Bill.

Mr. Sherlock: Information on Joe Sherlock  Zoom on Joe Sherlock  In view of the continuing protests by IFI workers over their claim for increased redundancy payments, will the promised legis[1202] lation on redundancy payments be introduced soon?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  Is legislation promised?

Mr. Walsh: Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  In 2003.

Mr. Sherlock: Information on Joe Sherlock  Zoom on Joe Sherlock  What year?

Mr. Walsh: Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  Next year.

Mr. Morgan: Information on Arthur Morgan  Zoom on Arthur Morgan  Before the Order of Business is agreed, I seek clarification concerning the role of the Tánaiste in the House under the new Standing Orders. I understand that when the Taoiseach—

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  That is not appropriate. The Deputy is out of order. I call on Deputy Crawford who I am sure has a matter appropriate to the Order of Business.

Mr. Morgan: Information on Arthur Morgan  Zoom on Arthur Morgan  Why will the Tánaiste not answer questions?

Mr. Crawford: Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  Are there proposals to introduce changes to the Local Government Bill with regard to the dual mandate issue?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  The Deputy has raised this matter twice this week already.

Mr. Crawford: Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  When will the Local Government Bill come before the House to allow us to discuss the 20% social housing element and the two-year limit on planning permission? Those matters need to be changed as a matter of urgency.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  The contents of a Bill cannot be discussed on the Order of Business.

Mr. Crawford: Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  The dual mandate is being discussed everywhere outside the House.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Not in here.

Mr. Walsh: Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  Legislation is not promised.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  We heard the Taoiseach say that yesterday. The Minister was not listening.

Ms McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  It has been promised on RTE and in the newspapers that we will have secondary legislation to restrict smoking in restaurants and pubs. The only place we have not heard any detail about it is here in our national Parliament. When will this secondary legislation be introduced and will the Minister guarantee that there will be a debate on it? This legislation will have a major impact, so it is important to have a full debate. The Minister should not think he can slip the legislation through the House without a proper debate just because he has gone public on the issue elsewhere.

[1203]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  We do not need a Second Stage speech on the matter.

Mr. Walsh: Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  The regulations governing smoking in extended areas will be introduced by statutory instrument. It is a matter for the Whips to decide when a debate can take place on the matter.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh  In the light of serious shortcomings that have been identified by the Equality Authority in current employment legislation regarding protection against the exploitation of immigrant workers, is it proposed to amend the Employment Equality Act to extend protection to those workers?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  Is such legislation promised?

Mr. Walsh: Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  Yes, legislation will be introduced in 2003, early in the next session.

Mr. Ring: Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring  The Taoiseach appears to be on a FÁS scheme, working one day on and one day off in this House. Will legislation be introduced to allow postmen to open people's private mail in their own houses?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  That does not arise on the Order of Business.

Mr. Ring: Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring  Will legislation be introduced for that?

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  It is a good question.

Mr. Ring: Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring  As the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources is sitting beside the Minister, Deputy Walsh, perhaps he will communicate with him on it.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  Deputy Ring was always a man of letters.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  I am calling Deputy Gilmore.

Mr. Ring: Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring  The Minister was a man of democracy, but now he is a dictator.

Mr. Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  The backbenchers taught him a lesson yesterday.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  Once Deputy Gilmore has been called by the Chair he is entitled to be allowed to make his contribution, if it is appropriate to the Order of Business, of course.

Mr. Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  The Housing (Private Rented Sector) Bill is promised for early 2003. I understand that the Bill was given to the parliamentary counsel at the beginning of this year. What is delaying its publication?

Mr. Walsh: Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  The heads of the Bill were approved earlier this year and the parliamentary [1204] counsel is still working on it. It is comprehensive legislation and it will be introduced early in the next session.

Mr. Gogarty: Information on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  When I raised the matter of the Education for Persons with Disabilities Bill some time ago, the Taoiseach was his usual evasive self, so I would like to ask another question.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  Do you have a question on the legislation?

Mr. Gogarty: Information on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Yes, although I presume I will not be able to ask whether qualified teaching staff can be brought within the terms of the Bill because we cannot discuss the contents of legislation.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  The content of the Bill is not appropriate now.

Mr. Gogarty: Information on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  That is right. I cannot do that so, specifically, I would like to ask if the Minister can provide a detailed timeframe as to when the Bill will come before the House? Will it be in late November, early December or after Christmas?

Mr. Walsh: Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  It will be published in this session.

Mr. Gogarty: Information on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Christmas week?

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  Now that the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party has had its say regarding the dual mandate, what are the Government's plans for the dual mandate?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  That has already been dealt with every day this week.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Callely: Information on Ivor Callely  Zoom on Ivor Callely  Talk to Deputy Ring.

Ms O'Sullivan: Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  In the ongoing context of revelations about child sexual abuse, one of the most heartfelt concerns of all victims is that this should never happen to any child in the future.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  Do you have a question appropriate to the Order of Business?

Ms O'Sullivan: Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  Yes. There is a Bill on the list of promised legislation called the Register of Persons who are Considered Unsafe to Work with Children Bill and the list states the publication of the Bill is expected in 2003 – it is within the ambit of the Department of Education and Science. Would it be possible to bring that legislation forward in view of the obvious concern on the issue?

Mr. Walsh: Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  Yes, this will be brought forward in 2003.

Mr. Healy: Information on Seamus Healy  Zoom on Seamus Healy  In view of the wholesale abuse of work permits by meat factories and recruitment [1205] companies and the direct sacking of Irish workers who are replaced by foreign workers, will the Government bring forward the Employment Permits Bill urgently before the House?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  Is legislation promised?

Mr. Walsh: Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  Yes, the heads of the Bill have been approved and the legislation will be introduced next year.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Tens of thousands of consumers and parents have lost their money in a project called Winter Wonderland. Will the contemplated companies legislation provide any redress to them? I am sure the Minister will agree that in the wake of the budget we will all need access to a wonderland for a while.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  When will the companies legislation come before the House? Is any legislation promised?

Mr. Walsh: Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  Yes, the Companies Bill in 2003.

Mr. Timmins: Information on Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins  When can we expect to see the Veterinary Medicines Bill? Before the summer recess I asked on the Order of Business if we could have from the Government a list of legislation that was passed but not implemented, and there is a great deal of it. When the Minister is on his feet, he might tell me when, if ever, the National Beef Assurance Scheme Bill, which was passed in 1999, will be implemented?

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  When will the ship to Egypt sail?

A Deputy:  It is long gone.

Mr. Walsh: Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  The heads of the Veterinary Medicines Bill have been approved. The Bill is being drafted and we intend to introduce it next term. The National Beef Assurance Act is being currently processed and in the process of implementation.

Mr. Boyle: Information on Dan Boyle  Zoom on Dan Boyle  On today's Order Paper, there is the formal tabling of the Supplementary Estimate for the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment which the House agreed the other day. Is it the Government's intention that this will be the only such Supplementary Estimate? Does the Government have plans to meet the expected redundancy costs of the workers in the IFI plants in Marino Point and in Arklow? Does it have plans to cover the additional shortfall costs in terms of environmental costs where there is not even a standard fire crew available at Marino Point as of now?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  It is not appropriate to discuss the content of Supplementary Estimates. Is there any promised legislation?

Mr. Walsh: Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  There is no promised legislation in this area.

[1206]Dr. Upton: Information on Mary Upton  Zoom on Mary Upton  In the light of the Tánaiste's statement on “Morning Ireland” this morning that we should endeavour to encourage top-class scientists to return to Ireland, when can we expect the Industrial Development (Science Foundation Ireland) Bill to set up Science Foundation Ireland as a separate legal entity?

Mr. Walsh: Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  The heads have been approved and it will be introduced this term.

Mr. Coveney: Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  When will the Residential Institutions Redress Board begin its hearings? It was promised, under the Residential Institutions Redress Bill, that hearings would begin in December. There are literally people dying while waiting for this redress board to start.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  The question of when the hearings are to start is not appropriate to the Order of Business.

Mr. Coveney: Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  There was a promise.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  It would be more appropriate to a parliamentary question. I would also point out that the matter was debated here on the Adjournment yesterday.


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