Tuesday, 15 February 2005
Dáil Eireann Debate
The Taoiseach: It is proposed to take No. 11, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Finance Act 2004 (Section 91) (Deferred Surrender to Central Fund) Order 2005; No. 11a, motion re by-elections for Kildare North on the Supplementary Order Paper; No. 4, Criminal Justice Bill 2004 — Order for Second Stage and Second Stage. It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that No. 11 shall be decided without debate, the proceedings on No. 11a shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion after 40 minutes and the following arrangements shall apply: the speeches shall be confined to the Minister for Finance and the main spokespersons for the Fine Gael Party, the Labour Party and the Technical Group who shall be called upon in that order. Speeches shall not exceed ten minutes in each case and Members may share time. In the event of the motion for the by-election for Meath being moved, the proceedings thereon shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion after 40 minutes and the following arrangements shall apply: the speeches shall be confined to the main spokespersons for the Fine Gael Party, the Labour Party and the Technical Group and the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, who shall be called upon in that order and who shall not exceed ten minutes in each case. Members may share time. Private Members’ business shall be No. 44, motion re waiver scheme for domestic refuse charges.
An Ceann Comhairle: Is the proposal for dealing with No. 11, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Finance Act 2004 (Section 91) (Deferred Surrender to Central Fund) Order 2005, to be taken without debate, agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 11a, motion re by-election for Kildare North agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 12, motion re by-election for Meath agreed? Agreed.
Mr. Kenny: I have two questions for the Taoiseach. Newspaper reports indicate that the visit of the President to the North of Ireland is in doubt. Has that matter come before the Cabinet for the normal approval that is given for presidential visits?
Mr. Kenny: Last week in the Dáil the Fine Gael deputy health spokesman, Deputy Neville, raised a number of important issues which he has continued to raise for some time regarding mental health. In response to a question, the Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, Deputy Tim O’Malley, said that Deputy Neville spoke about stigma——
An Ceann Comhairle: Deputy Kenny should ask a question appropriate to the Order of Business. He had an opportunity to raise the matter on Leaders’ Questions. He may submit a question to the line Minister.
Mr. Sargent: Many people would be interested in the Charities Bill finally seeing the light of day after many years. I will not talk about the Minister, Deputy Cullen, again, but fundraising needs to be put in proper order.
Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Will the Taoiseach clarify the position regarding immigration legislation? He will note that it has been reported in recent days that legislation will be introduced to bring in a green card system for immigrant workers. Last week in this House in response to questioning from me the Taoiseach said work permits would move from employers to workers.
Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Will two separate legislative items be required or will comprehensive legislation be introduced incorporating access to work permits by employees rather than employers, as the Taoiseach has promised?
The Taoiseach: The work permits legislation is separate legislation which is due before the House this session. The immigration and residence Bill is being prepared and I hope it will be available later this year. A discussion document is being prepared at the moment which will allow for public consultation on the issue.
Mr. Gilmore: I have asked the Taoiseach for a number of months about the possibility of a debate in the House concerning the report of the All-Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution regarding the cost of building land. When I asked him about this before Christmas he said he was waiting for the NESC report on housing. The NESC reported before Christmas. Is the Taoiseach now in a position to indicate when the House might at last debate the related issues of housing and the cost of building land?
Mr. Wall: There is great disappointment and concern among the more than 1,000 families who are affected by the closure of Carlow sugar factory. Will the Taoiseach and the Minister for Agriculture and Food intercede with Greencore to postpone the closure of the factory for another year to allow everyone time to come to grips with the problems which will arise as a result?
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