Order of Business.

Wednesday, 27 November 2002

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 164 Next Page Last Page

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The Order of Business today shall be as follows: No. 24, National Development Finance Agency Bill, 2002 – Second Stage (resumed); No. 25, Criminal Justice (Public Order) Bill, 2002 – Second Stage (resumed); No. 26, Railway Safety Bill, 2001 – Second Stage (resumed) and No. 1, Dumping at Sea (Amendment) Bill, 2000 [Seanad] – Second Stage. Private Members' business shall be No. 36, motion re terms of reference for tribunal of inquiry into Garda activities in County Donegal, (resumed) to conclude at 8.30 p.m.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  There are no proposals to be put to the House. I call Deputy Enda Kenny.

[370]Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  When is it proposed to publish the Abbotstown sports centre authority bill? It was due for publication before Christmas and it was No. 1 on the pink list published on 7 October.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It has not come back to Government but I know the Minister is anxious to get it out as it is required for the aquatic centre.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Is the Taoiseach today any more amenable to the proposition that candidates for appointment to State boards ought to be required to appear before Dáil committees?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  That does not arise on the Order of Business. I suggest the Deputy submits a parliamentary question on the matter.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Given the faction fighting in the old party of which the Ceann Comhairle used to be a member—

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Deputy Ó Caoláin.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Will the Taoiseach allow time this week for a debate on the need to investigate the role of the multinational pharmaceutical companies in relation to hepatitis C?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Does the Deputy have a question on legislation?

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  No. Will the Taoiseach accommodate an opportunity? We have had conflicting positions—

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  That is not on legislation.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Last night the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform claimed he was in harmony with the Minister for Health and Children on this issue.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy knows the rules and the Standing Orders. He must put a question on legislation.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  This is the only facility left to a Member of the House to ask will there be—

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  There are many facilities and opportunities as the Deputy knows. He has been in the House long enough to know. If he studies Standing Orders he will find them – Question Time, Adjournment debates and so on. Standing Order 26 is quite specific. It has been quoted time and again in the House.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  This is the only opportunity to ask if time will be—

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Chair has ruled on the matter. I call Deputy Deasy.

[371]Mr. Deasy: Information on John Deasy  Zoom on John Deasy  We have all seen the crime figures and are horrified by them. As the Taoiseach mentioned earlier, the first time the Public Order Bill was in the House was on 20 June. That is more than five months ago. It was supposed to the panacea for street violence here. Can he explain to me and the House why it has taken five months for that Bill to come back to the House considering the horrific figures we are reading about?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  I understand the Public Order Bill, which has been around for some time, will be back in the House next week.

Ms Lynch: Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  Given that Blackpool is flooded for the second time in a week today – with up to four feet of water – and that businesses that re-opened for business yesterday are closed again today, with an estimated cost of €250,000 worth of damage, is the Taoiseach prepared to extend the terms of reference of the Supplementary Estimates which are going to committee today, to ensure that people are compensated for the flooding which has devastated homes in Cork coming up to Christmas? Is he prepared to extend the funding to that area?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  It is not strictly in order but we will allow the Taoiseach to respond.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  I received a note from the Office of Public Works on that today but I understand that what the Deputy is requesting, the Minister of State, Deputy Parlon is doing. If I find the note I will give it to the Deputy, but I think I can confirm that the Minister of State is doing what the Deputy is asking for. He has to amend the Order in relation to the dates of flooding and their location.

Ms Lynch: Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  That is exactly the question – the dates are crucial.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Taoiseach has answered the Deputy's question. Deputy Bernard Allen.

Ms Lynch: Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  Will that be amended in the Supplementary Estimate, which is before the committee today?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  That will be a matter for when the Estimate comes before the committee.

Ms Lynch: Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  It is before the committee today.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It will need to be cleared with the Cabinet but, once the Minister extends the Order, that will cover it.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  I was going to ask the same question in relation to Cork. Will the Taoiseach make the same effort in Cork as he did in Dublin to compensate people for the appalling damage that has been done to their homes? Since the question has [372]already been asked, I will not be repetitive and ask it again.

Given that the average house price, nationally is more than €200,000 and, in Dublin more than €260,000—

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  That is not a question on proposed legislation.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  It is in fact – No. 106.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  It would be better if the Deputy named the legislation rather than the number.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  The Landlord and Tenant Bill.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Landlord and Tenant Bill. The Taoiseach to reply.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  I did not explain why I asked about it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy should tell the House why he is asking about it.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  Given that most people will be dependent on the private rented sector, will the Taoiseach give it priority?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It is hoped we will circulate the heads of the Bill after Christmas so it is available in mid 2003.

Mr. Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  The Taoiseach told the House last year that the heads of the bill had been approved.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  That does not arise. The Taoiseach has answered the question, I call Deputy Jan O'Sullivan.

Ms O'Sullivan: Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  Whenever other Deputies and I asked the Taoiseach about the education for persons with disabilities Bill, we were told it would be published this year. It featured prominently in the Government's legislative programme. Last Thursday morning, the Tánaiste first said it would be published this year and later – I checked the record – she said next year. Will the Taoiseach clarify the situation? Are people being lied to again in this regard?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The word “lie” is not appropriate in the House.

Ms O'Sullivan: Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  I am sorry, a Cheann Comhairle. Have we been told an untruth? It featured prominently in media reports. May I have clarity please?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Will the Deputy please allow the Taoiseach to reply?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It is still intended to publish the Bill by Christmas but a number of the disability [373]organisations have recently made written submissions and sought meetings. The Minister wishes to ensure the Bill he brings forward has as much consensus as possible. He can either bring forward the Bill or complete the consultation process with the concerned groups. I feel sure the Deputy will agree it is better to resolve as many issues as possible with those groups. That is the only reason for delay and that consultation process is still ongoing.

Ms O'Sullivan: Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  Was the Tánaiste not aware of that?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy's question has been answered. I call Deputy Sargent.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  Does the Taoiseach intend to use regulations or the proceeds of corruption Bill to disallow Ministers in future from accessing brandy and cigars or other resources from—

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  We are moving on. I call Deputy O'Dowd.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  My question referred to the proceeds of corruption Bill. Will it be published before Christmas?

A Deputy:  Which Christmas?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The Bill is not likely to be published before Christmas.

Mr. O'Dowd: Information on Fergus O'Dowd  Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd  In view of the 28% increase in convictions for the sale and supply of drugs, when will the drug offenders Bill, which will allow for the registration of drug dealers, come before the Dáil

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The drug offenders Bill is at a preliminary stage of examination. I do not have a date for it but it will obviously take some time.

Mr. Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Will the Taoiseach clarify the position regarding the housing (private rented sector) Bill? I understood from him last year that the heads of the Bill had been approved by the Government and that it had been sent to the Parliamentary Counsel. I am unclear as to the present position, arising from the Taoiseach's reply to Deputy Allen. Will he clarify if the heads have been approved, where the Bill is and when it will come to the House?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The heads of the housing (private rented sector) Bill were approved earlier in the year. Deputy Allen asked about a different Bill.

Ms O. Mitchell: Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  One of the objectives of the previous Government was the establishment of an authority to deal with transport and land use in the greater Dublin area. Is legislation still planned in that regard? Given the traffic problems now being endured in Dublin, the matter is [374]all the more important. Is this issue being driven by the Taoiseach's Department?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  That legislation is being drafted and the heads of the Bill are expected in the spring 2003. It will probably come to the House later that year.

Ms McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  The tobacco control Act provided for secondary legislation to restrict tobacco consumption in a wide range of areas. When will that secondary legislation appear and will it include a ban on Ministers giving out free cigars?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Is there promised legislation, Taoiseach?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  I have no legislation listed.

Ms McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  Secondary legislation which is imminent is of great interest to the public.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  I am sorry, I do not have a list of secondary legislation with me. It relates to an order which will be required.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Taoiseach is entitled to defer that question on secondary legislation or European legislation.

Mr. Crawford: Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  When will the pharmacy Bill come forward? In light of major cutbacks by the Government in aid to the Third World, when will the charities Bill be discussed in the House to enable Members express their views on Third World aid?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The pharmacy Bill will update and rationalise the Pharmacy Acts, 1875 to 1977. Discussions are ongoing with regard to the heads of the Bill with those involved in the sector. It is hoped to introduce the Bill some time next year.

Mr. Crawford: Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  What is the position on the charities Bill?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The Bill is to reform the law in relation to the administration of the regulatory authorities along the lines of the Costello report. A public consultation process is envisaged prior to preparation of the draft heads of the Bill. The target date for drafting the heads is June 2005.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  Will the Taoiseach give further clarification on the greater Dublin land use and authority Bill? Last week, the Tánaiste said it was not due until the end of next year. It had been promised for this year. Have the heads of that Bill been agreed? In view of the growing traffic gridlock in the Dublin area, will the Taoiseach prioritise the Bill?

Ms O. Mitchell: Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  The Taoiseach spoke earlier of next spring.

[375]The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  No, the heads of the Bill are expected next spring and, as I said, the legislation is due next year. I will pass on the comments of both Deputies who raised this matter. The time from producing the heads to completing the Bill will take most of a year.

Mr. Naughten: Information on Denis Naughten  Zoom on Denis Naughten  The Bill to which the Taoiseach referred will impact on deregulation and competition in relation to Dublin Bus. Will the Taoiseach expedite that legislation so we can discuss that issue? On another matter, in light of the fact that RTE is now getting rid of 75 jobs in television services, is the Taoiseach aware of the impact this will have on the regional studios in Athlone, Sligo and Limerick? Does he realise that will gag rural Deputies who will not have the opportunity of raising issues on the national airwaves? When will the radio communications Bill come before the House?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The radio communications Bill will allow for a more modern and liberal approach in its environment. The heads of the Bill are expected in late 2003.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  When will the next education Bill come before the House whereby a plan could be put in place to address the issue of the large number of schools throughout the country identified by the INTO a year ago as being in need of urgent refurbishment?

Mr. Timmins: Information on Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins  On the same issue and in relation to No. 12a on today's Order Paper, Supplementary Estimates for first level education, will the Taoiseach confirm that no schools building projects will go ahead in the foreseeable future? I received a reply to a Dáil question—

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Deputy Durkan's question on legislation is appropriate. Deputy Timmins will have to find another way to raise his issue.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  On Deputy Durkan's question, the education for persons with disability Bill is the only relevant Bill due shortly. I hope it will be ready in the next session.

Mr. Coveney: Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  Is the Taoiseach aware that we are now at the bottom of the European scale in relation to the provision of telecommunications infrastructure in this country? Will he indicate when the roads (control of roadworks) Bill, which aims to give strengthened powers to local authorities to lay cabling in the ground, will be brought before the House? The Order Paper does not indicate when the Bill will be introduced.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  Preliminary work is under way on the heads of the Bill. I expect these to be delivered at this time next year. The legislation will not be before us until the following year.

[376]Mr. Stanton: Information on David Stanton  Zoom on David Stanton  In the light of the crime figures, will the Taoiseach indicate when the Drug Offenders Bill and the Intoxicating Liquor Bill will come before the House and is the Government considering legislation to amend pub opening hours at this time?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It is not possible to give a date for the Drug Offenders Bill. Work is at a preliminary stage on that legislation. The Intoxicating Liquors Bill is a response to recommendations of the Commission on Liquor Licensing. Discussions are still taking place within the review group and the Bill depends on the recommendations it brings forward. Those recommendations will be included in the Bill.


Last Updated: 10/09/2010 16:29:36 First Page Previous Page Page of 164 Next Page Last Page