Order of Business.

Wednesday, 5 October 2005

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 606 No. 80

First Page Previous Page Page of 201 Next Page Last Page

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It is proposed to take No. 22, Social Welfare Consolidation Bill — Order for Second Stage and Second Stage, to adjourn after two hours, if not previously concluded; No. 1, Interpretation Bill 2000 — Amendments from the Seanad; and No. 21, Railway Safety Bill 2001 — Order for Report, Report and Final Stages. Private Members’ Business shall be No. 48, motion re Report of the Comptroller and Auditor [1619]General for 2004 (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 put to the House on the Order of Business.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  I note the report that the HSE will implement a new subdivision of regions around the country. Will that come before the House or will it require legal effect? It is reported today that the HSE will have four hospital networks as distinct from the original concept of division around the country. Will that require debate here?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  I do not think so. I assume it is covered by the Health Act 2004.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  Shifting the chairs.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  I did not hear the Order of Business. I am sorry, my hearing as well as my other faculties are——

Mr. M. Ahern: Information on Michael Ahern  Zoom on Michael Ahern  The pressure is too much.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Having regard to the controversy that continues to recur about public expenditure decision making, can I ask the Taoiseach whether the Government is contemplating legislative or other changes in terms of the capacity to intervene in advance and assess a major public decision in respect of public expenditure?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  Right across the system there has been an enormous number of changes in how contracts are procured and how work is done. On legislation, there is the infrastructural Bill, which will speed up some of the issues. As far as the accountability and control of public expenditure is concerned, in the past few years there have been significant changes in addition to the recommendations made by the Comptroller and Auditor General, which are always implemented immediately.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  Promised legislation is the main focus of what we are about here today. The website of the European Commission, which I raised earlier, informs us of promised legislation from the Government. The website states that the Irish Government has promised legislation to better regulate the management of sewage treatment plants but this has not yet materialised. Can I ask if the Taoiseach could elaborate and enlighten us, given that so much legislation——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Could the Deputy come to the legislation because there are a couple of Deputies offering?

[1620]Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  I hope we can come to the legislation because that is my question.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy should come to the legislation about which he is talking.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  The list includes many Bills that have no date or any indication when they will be published, such as the communications data retention Bill, the enforcement of fines Bill and the prison service Bill. Is there any explanation as to why legislation, which the European Commission has been told is promised, does not appear, as far as I can see, on the list that we are being given? Who is being told fibs around here? Is it the European Commission or is it us? We should have the same list of legislation that is promised to the European Commission.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  I ask the Deputy to allow other Deputies to ask their questions.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  Is there a separate list promised to the European Commission that is not promised to the Dáil?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  If the Deputy has information on an individual Bill on which there is an EU decision and tables a question to the relevant Minister, the Minister will answer detailing what is happening on it.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  The Taoiseach told us it.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  If Deputy Sargent gives me information on the legislation, I will try to give it.

Mr. Boyle: Information on Dan Boyle  Zoom on Dan Boyle  There is nothing there.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  It is not there.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  Then the Deputy should table a question to the relevant Minister.

Mr. Stanton: Information on David Stanton  Zoom on David Stanton  Can the Taoiseach tell us the position with the third level student support Bill and when it might be published?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  Consultations are taking place between the Department and the relevant stakeholders. I do not have a date for it, but I understand they are endeavouring to secure as much agreement as possible on every aspect to improve the Bill.

Mr. Costello: Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  Can I ask the Taoiseach if he saw the “Prime Time” programme last night in which the Minister of State, Deputy Seán Power, defended the indefensible in explaining how the Government had done a sweetheart deal with the drinks industry so that it would regulate advertising?

[1621]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  That is not a question on legislation.

Mr. Costello: Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  I am coming to the question. The result of such regulation is that the Government would pull the legislation that was in the last section, the alcohol products advertising Bill that would protect children and adolescents from overexposure to alcohol advertising. Considering the roasting the Minister of State and the Government got on this issue, will the Taoiseach restore that Bill?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  I will call an end to the Order of Business in three minutes. There are other Deputies offering. Wherever we are in three minutes, we will finish.

Mr. Costello: Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  It is listed in the summer legislation programme to be published late in 2005 but it has been deleted from the autumn programme. Will the Taoiseach now restore it to the programme?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The reason for that is the Minister has successfully organised a voluntary scheme where we are now getting agreements with the industry on alcohol advertising and Department wishes to hold off the introduction of legislation pending the outcome of these voluntary agreements. For the first time ever, there is an active campaign by the drinks industry to promote sensible drinking habits and stop young people engaging in drinking. This is far more successful than any legislation.

Ms Lynch: Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  Will the drinks industry stop them?

Mr. Gogarty: Information on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Not a hope.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It is paying for the advertisements.

Mr. Sherlock: Information on Joe Sherlock  Zoom on Joe Sherlock  When is it proposed to publish the medical practitioners Bill? We have heard adverse comments about the new system, which is described as the South Doc system.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The heads of the Bill have been approved and the legislation is due to be published in the middle of next year.

Mr. Naughten: Information on Denis Naughten  Zoom on Denis Naughten  When will we see the animal health Bill? It was promised that it would be published this autumn but it now seems to be delayed and there is no date for it. In that context, could the Taoiseach also tell us whether he will facilitate a debate on the animal remedies regulation which is to come before the House before the end of the month?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The first question is in order.

[1622]Mr. Naughten: Information on Denis Naughten  Zoom on Denis Naughten  The second question is on secondary legislation.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The heads of the animal health Bill, which is to consolidate and update the Diseases of Animals Acts, were approved a considerable time ago. The Bill has gone for drafting but we do not have a date for it. I have no information on the second issue.

Mr. Naughten: Information on Denis Naughten  Zoom on Denis Naughten  It is secondary legislation.

Mr. Gogarty: Information on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  We are getting closer to a fatal domestic gas explosion. In that context and given that it has been three years since it was promised, when in 2006 will the Bord Gáis Éireann Bill be published?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  Next year.

Mr. Howlin: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Having regard to the trenchant comments of the Taoiseach in this House last week, can I ask him has he had an opportunity to look at the legislation governing the re-flagging of vessels in order to make it difficult, at least, for people to yellow pack Irish workers and does he propose to introduce amending legislation in that regard?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  I was talking about that today. There are international agreements for seafarers and what the Deputy suggests is not easy to do. As I stated this morning, it is probably not practical. We are looking at some of the other issues such as the protection of employment. With regard to seafarers, the advice I have been getting from both inside and outside the system is that it is not practical.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  In view of the importance of oil prices, will the Taoiseach bring in the national oil reserves agency Bill between now and the end of this session rather than in 2006? It appears every Bill is scheduled for 2006.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The heads of the Bill have been approved and it is in the final stages of drafting. It is hoped to have the Bill early in the new year.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Are the Taoiseach and his colleagues thinking about pensions? The dynamic Minister for Social and Family Affairs made several statements on the issue during the summer. Does the Government intend bringing forward legislation in that regard?

As Hallowe’en approached, this time last year and in previous years, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform indicated that he might bring forward legislation on fireworks. Again this year he has indicated that he is thinking about it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Allow the Taoiseach reply on the legislation. We have to move on.

[1623]Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Every year we get this promise. The Taoiseach knows fireworks are a big problem in Dublin. I ask him to address those two issues.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The social welfare and pensions Bill will be before the House as usual.

Ms Burton: Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  Legislation on fireworks will not be in time for this year’s season. All the bonfires are being built already.


Last Updated: 04/11/2010 03:29:57 First Page Previous Page Page of 201 Next Page Last Page