Order of Business.

Tuesday, 14 December 2004

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 595 No. 2

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The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It is proposed to take No. 12, Supplementary Estimates for Public Services — Votes 6, 9, 10, 19, 20, 22, 23, 26, 27, 32 and 35 — back from committee; No. 13, motion re referral to joint committee of proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Bovine Diseases (Levies) Regulations, 2004; No. 20, Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Bill 2002 — Order for Report, Report and Final Stages; and No. 21, Social Welfare Bill 2004 — Order for Report, Report and Final Stages.

It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that the Dáil shall sit later than 8.30 p.m. and business shall be interrupted not later than 10 p.m.; Nos. 12 and 13 shall be decided without debate and in the case of No. 12, the Supplementary Estimates for Public Services — Votes 6, 9, 10, 19, 20, 22, 23, 26, 27, 32 and 35, shall be moved together and decided by one question which shall be put from the Chair and any division demanded thereon shall be taken forthwith; Report and Final Stages of No. 20 shall be taken today and the proceedings thereon shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 7 p.m. by one question which shall be put from the Chair and which shall, with regard to amendments, include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform; and Report and Final Stages of No. 21 shall be taken today and the proceedings thereon shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 10 p.m. by one question which shall be put from the Chair and which shall, with regard to amendments, include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for Social and Family Affairs. Private Members’ business shall be No. 45, motion re An Post.

[284]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  There are four proposals to put to the House. Is the proposal for the late sitting agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with Nos. 12 and 13 without debate agreed?

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  When he spoke in the debate on the budget, the Minister for Finance, Deputy Cowen, said he would favour a more radical and comprehensive approach to conducting the business relating to the budget, Estimates and so forth. Has the Minister indicated when he might bring forward proposals in that regard, arising from suggestions made by Deputy Bruton to make the conduct of business more professional? I do not object to the proposal but I seek clarification in this regard.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The Minister for Finance said in his Budget Statement, and since then, that he is prepared to examine proposals in the context of a reform of Dáil business. It can be channelled through the Government Whip. We are ready to start it but we wish to deal with it in the context of general reforms. It makes sense. We have been using this system for a long time and there are some good suggestions for reform.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Is the proposal for dealing with Nos. 12 and 13 without debate agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 20, conclusion of Report and Final Stages of the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Bill 2002, agreed?

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Notwithstanding some improvement since the Minister for Education and Science achieved high office, we have had to respond completely unnecessarily to guillotines on a great many Bills throughout the term. A total of 72 amendments have been tabled to the Bill, of which 34 come from the Minister. The Minister has made more law by amendment than he has by original Bill and we are asked to agree to this process again between now and 7 p.m. I am afraid my party cannot agree. It is completely unreasonable to expect that the legislation will have been subjected to quality scrutiny in the time available.

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Deputy McDowell, takes offence at having to come before the House to have his legislation examined. He thinks he ought to be let off to go back to his office to make laws and diktats and announce them from that location. He thinks the people should recognise the inherent sagacity of that position. We are not prepared to do so and will not agree to the Order of Business for that reason.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  The Green Party opposes the use of the guillotine, especially where it has not been demonstrated to be absolutely necessary. In a demonstration of a practice which is not completely confined to Progressive Democrats Party members of the Cabinet, the Tánaiste acted like [285]an Opposition spokesman in bringing forward so many amendments to the Health Bill 2004. The farce of asking the House to deal with a new thrust in legislation which has not been debated on Second Stage is compounded by the use of a guillotine. As Deputy Rabbitte stated, the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Bill is another case in point. The Government must take stock and cease to introduce legislation to which late amendments indicate was rushed at the drafting stage.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Sinn Féin objects to the guillotining of this highly controversial Bill. We note that the Minister has completely failed to address the concerns raised by the Human Rights Commission and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, both of which organisations have indicated the Bill constitutes a further infringement of fundamental democratic rights and freedoms. While Deputy Rabbitte was correct to refer to the number of amendments tabled, the Bill is 111 pages long and contains 66 sections and seven Schedules. The legislation was first published two years ago. Despite the passage of over a year since Second Stage was completed, the Bill is being rushed through the House before Christmas in 90 minutes. It is disingenuous of the Minister to act in this way.

  [286]5 o’clock

I believe what colleagues have said to be the case. The Minister does not want scrutiny of legislation, especially of this kind. Given the Minister’s recorded acknowledgement that the framework decision on which the Bill is based is fundamentally flawed, we must ask why it is being rushed through. It must require careful scrutiny and a full opportunity to address all amendments which have been tabled. It is likely that the most controversial provisions, which are set out in Schedule 2 on page 74, will not be reached. Clearly, this is a very serious matter indeed and I must record that Sinn Féin cannot accept the application of a guillotine. The Bill requires full airing in the House. I request the Taoiseach to overturn the proposition.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  I take the point. During the session, we have endeavoured to pass legislation while avoiding the guillotine, but it is unavoidable in the last week as we come to the end of the session. Most of the amendments the Minister has tabled to this Bill relate to the European arrest warrant. While it is obvious there will not be much time for debate, it is important to get the legislation through before Christmas.

Question put: “That the proposal for dealing with No. 20 be agreed.”

[285]The Dáil divided: Tá, 73; Níl, 55.

Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  Ahern, Bertie. Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  Ahern, Dermot.
Information on Noel Ahern  Zoom on Noel Ahern  Ahern, Noel. Information on Barry Andrews  Zoom on Barry Andrews  Andrews, Barry.
Information on Seán Ardagh  Zoom on Seán Ardagh  Ardagh, Seán. Information on Niall Blaney  Zoom on Niall Blaney  Blaney, Niall.
Information on Martin Brady  Zoom on Martin Brady  Brady, Martin. Information on Seamus Brennan  Zoom on Seamus Brennan  Brennan, Seamus.
Information on Joe Callanan  Zoom on Joe Callanan  Callanan, Joe. Information on Ivor Callely  Zoom on Ivor Callely  Callely, Ivor.
Information on Pat Carey  Zoom on Pat Carey  Carey, Pat. Information on John Carty  Zoom on John Carty  Carty, John.
Information on Donie Cassidy  Zoom on Donie Cassidy  Cassidy, Donie. Information on Michael Collins  Zoom on Michael Collins  Collins, Michael.
Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  Coughlan, Mary. Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  Cowen, Brian.
Information on John Cregan  Zoom on John Cregan  Cregan, John. Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  Cullen, Martin.
Information on John Curran  Zoom on John Curran  Curran, John. Information on Noel Davern  Zoom on Noel Davern  Davern, Noel.
Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Dempsey, Noel. Information on John Dennehy  Zoom on John Dennehy  Dennehy, John.
Information on Jimmy Devins  Zoom on Jimmy Devins  Devins, Jimmy. Information on John Ellis  Zoom on John Ellis  Ellis, John.
Information on Frank Fahey  Zoom on Frank Fahey  Fahey, Frank. Information on Michael Finneran  Zoom on Michael Finneran  Finneran, Michael.
Information on Dermot Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Dermot Fitzpatrick  Fitzpatrick, Dermot. Information on Mildred Fox  Zoom on Mildred Fox  Fox, Mildred.
Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Gallagher, Pat The Cope. Information on Jim Glennon  Zoom on Jim Glennon  Glennon, Jim.
Information on Noel Grealish  Zoom on Noel Grealish  Grealish, Noel. Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  Hanafin, Mary.
Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  Harney, Mary. Information on Seán Haughey  Zoom on Seán Haughey  Haughey, Seán.
Information on Jackie Healy-Rae  Zoom on Jackie Healy-Rae  Healy-Rae, Jackie. Information on Máire Hoctor  Zoom on Máire Hoctor  Hoctor, Máire.
Information on Joe Jacob  Zoom on Joe Jacob  Jacob, Joe. Information on Cecilia Keaveney  Zoom on Cecilia Keaveney  Keaveney, Cecilia.
Information on Billy Kelleher  Zoom on Billy Kelleher  Kelleher, Billy. Information on Peter Kelly  Zoom on Peter Kelly  Kelly, Peter.
Information on Tony Killeen  Zoom on Tony Killeen  Killeen, Tony. Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Kirk, Seamus.
Information on Tom Kitt  Zoom on Tom Kitt  Kitt, Tom. Information on Michael McDowell  Zoom on Michael McDowell  McDowell, Michael.
Information on Tom McEllistrim  Zoom on Tom McEllistrim  McEllistrim, Thomas. Information on John McGuinness  Zoom on John McGuinness  McGuinness, John.
Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  Martin, Micheál. Information on John Moloney  Zoom on John Moloney  Moloney, John.
Information on Donal Moynihan  Zoom on Donal Moynihan  Moynihan, Donal. Information on Michael Moynihan  Zoom on Michael Moynihan  Moynihan, Michael.
Information on Michael Mulcahy  Zoom on Michael Mulcahy  Mulcahy, Michael. Information on M. J. Nolan  Zoom on M. J. Nolan  Nolan, M. J.
Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  Ó Cuív, Éamon. Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Ó Fearghail, Seán.
Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  O’Connor, Charlie. Information on Liz O'Donnell  Zoom on Liz O'Donnell  O’Donnell, Liz.
Information on Dennis O'Donovan  Zoom on Dennis O'Donovan  O’Donovan, Denis. Information on Noel O'Flynn  Zoom on Noel O'Flynn  O’Flynn, Noel.
Information on Batt O'Keeffe  Zoom on Batt O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Batt. Information on Ned O'Keeffe  Zoom on Ned O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Ned.
Information on Fiona O'Malley  Zoom on Fiona O'Malley  O’Malley, Fiona. Information on Tim O'Malley  Zoom on Tim O'Malley  O’Malley, Tim.
Information on Tom Parlon  Zoom on Tom Parlon  Parlon, Tom. Information on Peter Power  Zoom on Peter Power  Power, Peter.
Information on Mae Sexton  Zoom on Mae Sexton  Sexton, Mae. Information on Brendan Smith  Zoom on Brendan Smith  Smith, Brendan.
Information on Michael Smith  Zoom on Michael Smith  Smith, Michael. Information on Noel Treacy  Zoom on Noel Treacy  Treacy, Noel.
Information on Mary Wallace  Zoom on Mary Wallace  Wallace, Mary. Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  Walsh, Joe.
Information on Ollie Wilkinson  Zoom on Ollie Wilkinson  Wilkinson, Ollie. Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  Woods, Michael.
Information on G. V. Wright  Zoom on G. V. Wright  Wright, G. V.  


[287]Níl
Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  Allen, Bernard. Information on Dan Boyle  Zoom on Dan Boyle  Boyle, Dan.
Information on James Breen  Zoom on James Breen  Breen, James. Information on Pat Breen  Zoom on Pat Breen  Breen, Pat.
Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Broughan, Thomas P. Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  Bruton, Richard.
Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  Burton, Joan. Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  Costello, Joe.
Information on Jerry Cowley  Zoom on Jerry Cowley  Cowley, Jerry. Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  Crawford, Seymour.
Information on Sean Crowe  Zoom on Sean Crowe  Crowe, Seán. Information on Ciaran Cuffe  Zoom on Ciaran Cuffe  Cuffe, Ciarán.
Information on Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  Deenihan, Jimmy. Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Durkan, Bernard J.
Information on Damien English  Zoom on Damien English  English, Damien. Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright  Enright, Olwyn.
Information on Martin Ferris  Zoom on Martin Ferris  Ferris, Martin. Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Gilmore, Eamon.
Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley  Gormley, John. Information on Tony Gregory  Zoom on Tony Gregory  Gregory, Tony.
Information on Joe Higgins  Zoom on Joe Higgins  Higgins, Joe. Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  Higgins, Michael D.
Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Howlin, Brendan. Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Kenny, Enda.
Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  Lynch, Kathleen. Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  McCormack, Padraic.
Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath  McGrath, Finian. Information on Paul McGrath  Zoom on Paul McGrath  McGrath, Paul.
Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  McManus, Liz. Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  Mitchell, Olivia.
Information on Arthur Morgan  Zoom on Arthur Morgan  Morgan, Arthur. Information on Gerard Murphy  Zoom on Gerard Murphy  Murphy, Gerard.
Information on Denis Naughten  Zoom on Denis Naughten  Naughten, Denis. Information on Dan Neville  Zoom on Dan Neville  Neville, Dan.
Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  Noonan, Michael. Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh  Ó Snodaigh, Aengus. Information on Fergus O'Dowd  Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd  O’Dowd, Fergus.
Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Jim. Information on Brian O'Shea  Zoom on Brian O'Shea  O’Shea, Brian.
Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  O’Sullivan, Jan. Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  Pattison, Seamus.
Information on Willie Penrose  Zoom on Willie Penrose  Penrose, Willie. Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  Perry, John.
Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Quinn, Ruairí. Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Rabbitte, Pat.
Information on Seán Ryan  Zoom on Seán Ryan  Ryan, Seán. Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  Sargent, Trevor.
Information on Joe Sherlock  Zoom on Joe Sherlock  Sherlock, Joe. Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  Shortall, Róisín.
Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  Stagg, Emmet. Information on David Stanton  Zoom on David Stanton  Stanton, David.
Information on Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins  Timmins, Billy. Information on Mary Upton  Zoom on Mary Upton  Upton, Mary.
Information on Jack Wall  Zoom on Jack Wall  Wall, Jack.  

[287]Tellers: Tá, Deputies Kitt and Kelleher; Níl, Deputies Neville and Stagg.

[287]Question declared carried.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Is the proposal for dealing with No. 21 agreed?

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  It is not agreed. In regard to Report and Final Stages of the Social Welfare Bill, we are asked to accept a guillotine to this very important legislation of 10 p.m. The Social Welfare Bill, and all the amendments thereto, should receive a full airing in this House and, accordingly, I cannot accept a guillotine in this case. I point out that the use of the guillotine has become almost standard over the past few [288]weeks and, as we indicated previously, that is not the way to proceed with critical business. We do not oppose it totally, but this Bill and the legislation on the guillotining of which we expressed our opinion are very important Bills which require full address by the House. Accordingly, I oppose the imposition of a guillotine on Report and Final Stages of the Social Welfare Bill.

Mr. Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  We also oppose the guillotine of this matter.

Question put: “That the proposal for dealing with No. 21 be agreed.”

[287]The Dáil divided: Tá, 70; Níl, 55.

Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  Ahern, Bertie. Information on Michael Ahern  Zoom on Michael Ahern  Ahern, Michael.
Information on Barry Andrews  Zoom on Barry Andrews  Andrews, Barry. Information on Seán Ardagh  Zoom on Seán Ardagh  Ardagh, Seán.
Information on Niall Blaney  Zoom on Niall Blaney  Blaney, Niall. Information on Johnny Brady  Zoom on Johnny Brady  Brady, Johnny.
Information on Martin Brady  Zoom on Martin Brady  Brady, Martin. Information on Seamus Brennan  Zoom on Seamus Brennan  Brennan, Seamus.
Information on Joe Callanan  Zoom on Joe Callanan  Callanan, Joe. Information on Ivor Callely  Zoom on Ivor Callely  Callely, Ivor.
Information on Pat Carey  Zoom on Pat Carey  Carey, Pat. Information on John Carty  Zoom on John Carty  Carty, John.
Information on Donie Cassidy  Zoom on Donie Cassidy  Cassidy, Donie. Information on Michael Collins  Zoom on Michael Collins  Collins, Michael.
Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  Coughlan, Mary. Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  Cowen, Brian.
Information on John Cregan  Zoom on John Cregan  Cregan, John. Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  Cullen, Martin.
Information on John Curran  Zoom on John Curran  Curran, John. Information on Noel Davern  Zoom on Noel Davern  Davern, Noel.
Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Dempsey, Noel. Information on John Dennehy  Zoom on John Dennehy  Dennehy, John.
Information on Jimmy Devins  Zoom on Jimmy Devins  Devins, Jimmy. Information on John Ellis  Zoom on John Ellis  Ellis, John.
Information on Frank Fahey  Zoom on Frank Fahey  Fahey, Frank. Information on Michael Finneran  Zoom on Michael Finneran  Finneran, Michael.
Information on Dermot Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Dermot Fitzpatrick  Fitzpatrick, Dermot. Information on Mildred Fox  Zoom on Mildred Fox  Fox, Mildred.
Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Gallagher, Pat The Cope. Information on Jim Glennon  Zoom on Jim Glennon  Glennon, Jim.
Information on Noel Grealish  Zoom on Noel Grealish  Grealish, Noel. Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  Hanafin, Mary.
Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  Harney, Mary. Information on Seán Haughey  Zoom on Seán Haughey  Haughey, Seán.
Information on Máire Hoctor  Zoom on Máire Hoctor  Hoctor, Máire. Information on Joe Jacob  Zoom on Joe Jacob  Jacob, Joe.
Information on Cecilia Keaveney  Zoom on Cecilia Keaveney  Keaveney, Cecilia. Information on Billy Kelleher  Zoom on Billy Kelleher  Kelleher, Billy.
Information on Peter Kelly  Zoom on Peter Kelly  Kelly, Peter. Information on Tony Killeen  Zoom on Tony Killeen  Killeen, Tony.
Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Kirk, Seamus. Information on Tom Kitt  Zoom on Tom Kitt  Kitt, Tom.
Information on Michael McDowell  Zoom on Michael McDowell  McDowell, Michael. Information on Tom McEllistrim  Zoom on Tom McEllistrim  McEllistrim, Thomas.
Information on John McGuinness  Zoom on John McGuinness  [289]McGuinness, John. Information on John Moloney  Zoom on John Moloney  Moloney, John.
Information on Donal Moynihan  Zoom on Donal Moynihan  Moynihan, Donal. Information on Michael Moynihan  Zoom on Michael Moynihan  Moynihan, Michael.
Information on Michael Mulcahy  Zoom on Michael Mulcahy  Mulcahy, Michael. Information on M. J. Nolan  Zoom on M. J. Nolan  Nolan, M. J.
Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  Ó Cuív, Éamon. Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Ó Fearghail, Seán.
Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  O’Connor, Charlie. Information on Liz O'Donnell  Zoom on Liz O'Donnell  O’Donnell, Liz.
Information on Noel O'Flynn  Zoom on Noel O'Flynn  O’Flynn, Noel. Information on Batt O'Keeffe  Zoom on Batt O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Batt.
Information on Ned O'Keeffe  Zoom on Ned O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Ned. Information on Fiona O'Malley  Zoom on Fiona O'Malley  O’Malley, Fiona.
Information on Tim O'Malley  Zoom on Tim O'Malley  O’Malley, Tim. Information on Tom Parlon  Zoom on Tom Parlon  Parlon, Tom.
Information on Peter Power  Zoom on Peter Power  Power, Peter. Information on Mae Sexton  Zoom on Mae Sexton  Sexton, Mae.
Information on Brendan Smith  Zoom on Brendan Smith  Smith, Brendan. Information on Michael Smith  Zoom on Michael Smith  Smith, Michael.
Information on Noel Treacy  Zoom on Noel Treacy  Treacy, Noel. Information on Mary Wallace  Zoom on Mary Wallace  Wallace, Mary.
Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  Walsh, Joe. Information on Ollie Wilkinson  Zoom on Ollie Wilkinson  Wilkinson, Ollie.
Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  Woods, Michael. Information on G. V. Wright  Zoom on G. V. Wright  Wright, G. V.



[289]Níl
Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  Allen, Bernard. Information on Dan Boyle  Zoom on Dan Boyle  Boyle, Dan.
Information on James Breen  Zoom on James Breen  Breen, James. Information on Pat Breen  Zoom on Pat Breen  Breen, Pat.
Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Broughan, Thomas P. Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  Bruton, Richard.
Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  Burton, Joan. Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  Costello, Joe.
Information on Jerry Cowley  Zoom on Jerry Cowley  Cowley, Jerry. Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  Crawford, Seymour.
Information on Sean Crowe  Zoom on Sean Crowe  Crowe, Seán. Information on Ciaran Cuffe  Zoom on Ciaran Cuffe  Cuffe, Ciarán.
Information on Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  Deenihan, Jimmy. Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Durkan, Bernard J.
Information on Damien English  Zoom on Damien English  English, Damien. Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright  Enright, Olwyn.
Information on Martin Ferris  Zoom on Martin Ferris  Ferris, Martin. Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Gilmore, Eamon.
Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley  Gormley, John. Information on Tony Gregory  Zoom on Tony Gregory  Gregory, Tony.
Information on Joe Higgins  Zoom on Joe Higgins  Higgins, Joe. Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  Higgins, Michael D.
Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Howlin, Brendan. Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Kenny, Enda.
Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  Lynch, Kathleen. Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  McCormack, Padraic.
Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath  McGrath, Finian. Information on Paul McGrath  Zoom on Paul McGrath  McGrath, Paul.
Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  McManus, Liz. Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  Mitchell, Olivia.
Information on Arthur Morgan  Zoom on Arthur Morgan  Morgan, Arthur. Information on Gerard Murphy  Zoom on Gerard Murphy  Murphy, Gerard.
Information on Denis Naughten  Zoom on Denis Naughten  Naughten, Denis. Information on Dan Neville  Zoom on Dan Neville  Neville, Dan.
Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  Noonan, Michael. Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh  Ó Snodaigh, Aengus. Information on Fergus O'Dowd  Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd  O’Dowd, Fergus.
Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Jim. Information on Brian O'Shea  Zoom on Brian O'Shea  O’Shea, Brian.
Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  O’Sullivan, Jan. Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  Pattison, Seamus.
Information on Willie Penrose  Zoom on Willie Penrose  Penrose, Willie. Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  Perry, John.
Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Quinn, Ruairí. Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Rabbitte, Pat.
Information on Seán Ryan  Zoom on Seán Ryan  Ryan, Seán. Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  Sargent, Trevor.
Information on Joe Sherlock  Zoom on Joe Sherlock  Sherlock, Joe. Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  Shortall, Róisín.
Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  Stagg, Emmet. Information on David Stanton  Zoom on David Stanton  Stanton, David.
Information on Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins  Timmins, Billy. Information on Mary Upton  Zoom on Mary Upton  Upton, Mary.
Information on Jack Wall  Zoom on Jack Wall  Wall, Jack.  

[289]Tellers: Tá, Deputies Kitt and Kelleher; Níl, Deputies Neville and Stagg.

[289]Question declared carried.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  In his speech to the Fianna Fáil Ard-Fheis two years ago, the Taoiseach made a central point of the necessity for an impetus on major infrastructural projects. Out of that came the national infrastructure Bill. I understand the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform has put a damper on the incinerator for Ringsend, with the approval of the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government who is currently in Buenos Aires discussing climate change.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  This matter is not appropriate to the Order of Business.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  It is very appropriate.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  The Minister for Transport, who was in Ballina yesterday, emphasised the necessity for infrastructure to be developed speedily and on time and of getting value for money. Will [290]the Taoiseach, therefore, explain why the Bill, which was published and brought before the Cabinet, has been withdrawn? Why has it not proceeded to a point where the House can debate it?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The Minister has been re-examining the Bill and looking at why there are delays in the legislation. He said there are more delays in the courts than in the planning process. The House will be delighted to hear that the Bill will be back after Christmas.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Is the Government making representations to the United Kingdom Government regarding the Bill published in pursuit of the Weston Park agreement in respect of Mr. Pat Finucane?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  Yes. We cannot give our support to the Bill in its present form. It is not in line with what was agreed in Weston Park. We will continue to oppose the Bill and work with some [291]of the Northern Ireland MPs to try to have the Bill changed during its passage in Westminster.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  Will the Taoiseach correct the impression given in newspaper reports that the infrastructure Bill is dead? That is not what he just said. During Question Time, Opposition Members attempted to raise the matter of Aer Lingus. On the basis of the Goldman Sachs report——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  That matter does not arise on the Order of Business. I call Deputy Crawford.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  There is an air navigation and transport Bill. I am talking about promised legislation.

Mr. Boyle: Information on Dan Boyle  Zoom on Dan Boyle  The Taoiseach last week promised a debate on the Goldman Sachs report.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  I am talking about a promised debate and promised legislation. I cannot see how that is not in order. I am asking a straight question and I would like a straight answer regarding when we will have the debate and whether legislation will be introduced or the issue will be debated on its own merits.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It will be debated in the new year. I am not certain legislation is required. We will have a debate in the new year.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  What will be the structure?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  I have replied to that question.

Mr. Gormley: Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley  After Christmas. The Taoiseach said it was off the agenda.

Mr. Crawford: Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  I refer to the desecration of a crib and other objects in Clones as a result of drunken misbehaviour. When will Alcohol Products (Control of Advertising, Sponsorship and Marketing Practices/Sales Promotions) Bill be taken so we can have a full debate on the problem of drunkenness and disorder?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The heads of the Bill have been approved. It is being drafted and should be available in the spring session of next year.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  I have asked this question a number of times but I am asking it again in view of the continued sustained activity in the construction industry and record outputs in most sectors. The building control Bill has been promised for almost two and a half years. It will cover a number of sectors of relevance and importance to different professions and consumer safeguards. The traditional response has been that it will be published some time in 2005. Is there new [292]urgency regarding its introduction because it would add a dimension of protection for citizens, which they require?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The Deputy is correct that I have replied to him about this a number of times. I will take it up with the legislative committee.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  One of the commitments in the programme for Government under the heading, working for peace, is the implementation of an all-Ireland travel scheme for pensioners resident in all parts of the island. Where does that commitment stand? Is legislation required? Why is it taking so long to implement such a relatively straightforward provision?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  That commitment has been made and it is being discussed with the Northern authorities.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  How soon will it be implemented?

Mr. Timmins: Information on Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins  Roadstone is one of the companies that admitted to illegal dumping on its property and it may not be prosecuted. Has the Taoiseach plans to amend the legislation in this area? When will the companies Bill be published?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Taoiseach may answer the second question.

Mr. Timmins: Information on Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins  He might like to comment on the first question.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  That question is more appropriate to the line Minister.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The heads of the Bill are expected after Christmas. It will be called the company law (consolidation and reform) Bill and it will be introduced later next year.

Ms McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  The Taoiseach promised legislation relating to the charges for nursing home care in reply to Deputy Kenny last week. Will the legislation be rushed through the House before Christmas? The Health Bill 2004 has just been rushed through the House in a most disgraceful manner. Will the Taoiseach clarify whether there will be an even faster track for legislation to address this issue, which should have been dealt with years ago?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The Deputy is probably correct. If the Act had been amended in the 1970s, we would not have been talking about it every decade since.

Mr. Howlin: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  What about the past seven years?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The Attorney General has given advice that we must stop raising the charges [293]and that primary legislation is required. The Government’s view is that we should legislate now. The Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children will discuss it with the health spokespersons and the Government Chief Whip will discuss it with the other Whips later.

Ms McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  Will we deal with this before Christmas?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The Government would like to take the legislation before the recess.

Mr. Gormley: Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley  The Taoiseach stated the Government would re-examine the strategic national infrastructure Bill and it would be re-introduced after Christmas. Will the Bill come back to the House in some shape or form? How will it be re-examined?

I refer to the International Criminal Court Bill, which was published in August 2003. Does the Taoiseach share my concern about reports from Fallujah that napalm is being used to terrorise the citizens and that this legislation is needed to bring the United States to heel, even though it does not support the court?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  That issue does not arise on the Order of Business. The Deputy can raise it when the Bill comes before the House.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The International Criminal Court Bill 2003 is awaiting Committee Stage. I am not sure what is holding it up at the committee. The Minister will report on his proposals regarding the critical infrastructure Bill in the new year.

Mr. Gormley: Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley  Is it coming back to the House?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  Yes.

Mr. J. Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins  Zoom on Joe Higgins  Will it include incinerators or has the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform put that off the agenda?

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  When will the Postal (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2001 be brought before the House notwithstanding the recent explanation of the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources? Will there be a dramatic input by the Minister into the plethora of legislation promised by his Department, because nothing will happen this year?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  I do not have a date for the Postal (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2001.

Mr. Crawford: Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  It is in the post.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It is some time since the Bill was ordered for Second Stage and I do not know what is the latest position.

[294]Mr. Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  In recent days, the National Roads Authority has been running Michael O’Leary style advertisements regarding the M3 issue, which is currently under consideration by a committee of the House.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Has the Deputy a question relevant to the Order of Business?

Mr. Gilmore: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  Has the money to pay for the advertisements been voted by the House?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  That does not arise on the Order of Business.

Mr. Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  It does. The House votes the money allocated to the NRA, which has no other source of——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy should table a question to the Minister for Finance or the Minister for Transport.

Mr. Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Has the money been voted or is a Supplementary Estimate required?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Is a Supplementary Estimate promised?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  No, but the costs of the NRA is a matter for the authority.

Mr. Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  It is a quango so it does not need the approval of the House.

Mr. Cowen: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  The Labour Party has a problem with the facts. It does not want the public to know the facts.

Ms McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  The problem is the public does not know them.

Mr. Connolly: Information on Paudge Connolly  Zoom on Paudge Connolly  Given the great difficulty experienced in recruiting and retaining overseas nurses to work in our hospitals, will the issue of their spouses being allowed to work in the State be dealt with under the immigration and residence Bill?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  As I understand it, they can work here.


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