Order of Business.

Tuesday, 18 October 2005

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 607 No. 97

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The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It is proposed to take No. 14, Criminal Justice Bill 2004 — Second Stage (resumed) and No. 15, Land Bill 2004 [Seanad] — Order for Report, Report and Final Stages. Private Members’ business shall be No. 43, motion re draft animal remedies regulations
2005.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  There are no proposals to be put to the House on the Order of Business.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Will the Taoiseach state when will the regulations governing the regulatory authority announced by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform for estate agents and [1507]auctioneers be published? As all Members of this House are supposed to be equal, when will regulations governing the allocation of unvouched for payments from the Exchequer to Independent Deputies be published?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The regulatory authority for estate agents and auctioneers requires legislation and that will be published next year. I must check the second matter raised by Deputy Kenny.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Does the Taoiseach know the date of Estimates day? Has the Government taken a decision on the IMF request for €800 million to be taken out of the economy?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  Estimates day will be 17 November.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  Before I put a question on promised legislation, will the Taoiseach tell the House whether the Government will ratify the framework convention on tobacco control? An amount of legislation at the end of the list refers to public transport, such as the Public Transport Commission Bill. I understand the Cabinet discussed the metro today. When will it commence, given that a promise was made that it would be in place to Swords by 2007?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  On proposed legislation.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  I hope the Government has approved the project.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The framework convention on tobacco control must be signed by 8 November and it will be done by that date. The Public Transport Commission Bill will be published in 2006. I do not have a more precise date.

Ms O. Mitchell: Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  As the Taoiseach is aware during the past number of months negotiations have taken place between the NRA on behalf of the Government and National Toll Roads as to how, where, how often and for how much the M50 will be tolled and how that money will be divided up. In that context and given that all of this is taking place behind closed doors and no doubt——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  On what legislation is the Deputy asking a question?

Ms O. Mitchell: Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  I am asking about legislation to permit barrier-free tolling which will allow this and undoubtedly will be introduced to suit a deal already made behind closed doors.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  There is no legislation promised on that.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  There should be.

[1508]Ms O. Mitchell: Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  Legislation has been promised to introduce barrier-free tolling. The Minister constantly states it requires legislation.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  What about it?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It is not listed but discussions are taking place. Perhaps we will have it next year. No decisions have been made.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  That is covert.

Ms O. Mitchell: Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  When the deal is done.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Now we see how business is done in the Cabinet. Has the Cabinet seen the Building Control Bill?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  No.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  It was indicated in previous programmes that the Adoption (Hague Convention, Adoption Authority and Miscellaneous) Bill would come up within a 12 month period. Prior to the summer break it was signalled for 2006. Will the Taoiseach confirm that is still the intended date for publication? Is there an explanation for the continual delay——

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

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  ——in bringing forward that important legislation?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The heads of that Bill have been approved and the Bill is being drafted. It is due in the middle of next year.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Will the heads be circulated? The Taoiseach has committed to doing so in the past.

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

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform seems to have an answer for everything. However, he does not have an answer to the question I submitted to him on 29 August that was due for answer on 29 September. I raised the same matter here two weeks ago. The Ceann Comhairle told me I was out of order and that I should submit it for the Adjournment. I submitted it for debate on the Adjournment but it was not selected for discussion. I am still awaiting the information.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy is still out of order on the Order of Business.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  The Minister is out of order.

[1509]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  I suggest the Deputy finds another way of raising the matter.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  On a point of order, the rules of this House do not work. I am entitled to an answer to a Dáil question within three days but I have not received an answer to this one after a month. I want the Ceann Comhairle to investigate this matter.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  It is not a matter for the Chair.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  My rights are not being protected. I want an answer. Will the Taoiseach answer why I have not received an answer to a Dáil question that was legitimately put?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  This does not arise on the Order of Business. The Deputy must find another way of raising the matter.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  On 29 August I was told the information could be supplied on 29 September.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  That was an answer. It might not have been the one the Deputy wanted.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  An indication could be given that Deputy Allen will receive an answer.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  I want the Taoiseach to answer it. One of his Ministers is evading his responsibilities.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Somebody should answer it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  It is a matter for the Minister.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  It is a matter for who?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  It is a matter for the Minister.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  It is a matter for this House when the procedures of this House are not adhered to.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The procedures are being adhered to.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  On a point of order, am I entitled to an answer to a written question within three days?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy is not entitled to an answer on the Order of Business.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  Where can I get the answer?

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Where can he get the answer?

[1510]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy was ruled out of order last week. The Chair has ruled on the matter.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  I was also ruled out of order two weeks ago. I still cannot get an answer.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Standing Orders are being breached.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  There are other ways to raise this matter.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  That Minister thinks he has the answer to everything but he cannot answer a simple question. He is suppressing information.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy must raise the matter in the appropriate way.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  That is disgraceful.

Mr. Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  A critical infrastructure Bill is listed for publication next year. The national development plan to which it relates is under review. Which will be published first, that critical infrastructure Bill or the review of the national development plan?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  A critical infrastructure Bill is due early next year if I recall correctly what the Minister recently stated. The national development plan is under preparation. I hope the Bill will be published first.

Mr. Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  On what basis is the national development plan being reviewed? Is it on existing legislation or——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy cannot discuss the contents of what might be in the Bill. I suggest the Deputy submits a question to the appropriate Minister.

Mr. Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  The Bill will speed up planning for critical infrastructure projects, which are obviously subject to the national development plan.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  We cannot discuss the content of it on the Order of Business.

Mr. Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  On what basis is the Government reviewing the national development plan? Is it on existing legislation or the assumption that the new legislation——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  I suggest the Deputy submits a question to the appropriate Minister.

Mr. Eamon Ryan: Information on Eamon Ryan  Zoom on Eamon Ryan  Was it because of the rebellion of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party last week, the opposition to fisheries industry rep[1511]resentatives or the pleas from the banks for us to be lax on European regulations that it was decided——

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

Mr. Eamon Ryan: Information on Eamon Ryan  Zoom on Eamon Ryan  ——to pull the fisheries and maritime jurisdiction Bill last week. If the pun can be excused when may we expect it back and will it be filleted, given that it was withdrawn in the first place?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It is still listed for this session.

Mr. Eamon Ryan: Information on Eamon Ryan  Zoom on Eamon Ryan  Why was it pulled?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy will allow Deputy Durkan speak, without interruption.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It is not pulled. It is still listed for this session.

Mr. Eamon Ryan: Information on Eamon Ryan  Zoom on Eamon Ryan  It was due on Thursday, but was pulled.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  The postal services (miscellaneous provisions) Bill was promised a year and a half ago. It was on the Order Paper as promised legislation and like much else under that category has disappeared. It now looks as if it will be necessary to focus on the postal services with the possibility of industrial action. Will the Taoiseach say whether it is possible for the Minister to reintroduce that Bill so that the House may discuss how the postal services will be governed in the future?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The Minister took that particular Bill off the legislative list about six months ago. There is no legislation in train, at present.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Has the Bill gone missing?

Dr. Twomey: Information on Liam Twomey  Zoom on Liam Twomey  It is in the post.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  We stopped it.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  It is not even in the post.

Mr. Sherlock: Information on Joe Sherlock  Zoom on Joe Sherlock  When does the Taoiseach propose to restore the ground rents Bill to the Government legislation programme? Will he also indicate the position on the Shirley Estate case that was before the High Court, which was the reason the Bill was withdrawn?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  That matter does not arise under the Order of Business. In fact it does not arise in the House, it is a matter for the courts.

[1512]Mr. Sherlock: Information on Joe Sherlock  Zoom on Joe Sherlock  That was the reason that the ground rents Bill was withdrawn from the programme.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  Nothing has changed as regards that Bill. It is not proceeding at present. The Supreme Court decision has implications for it and it is not being moved.

Mr. Sherlock: Information on Joe Sherlock  Zoom on Joe Sherlock  Has a decision been made?

Mr. Gormley: Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley  There was a briefing this morning in the Department of Health and Children for Opposition spokespersons on the possible influenza pandemic. I thank the Tánaiste for that. However, there was some disturbing news. We were told that in the event of a ’flu pandemic, a general election could not be held. Under the circumstances, could the date for a general election be brought forward?

Ms Harney: Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  Clearly, that will be based on medical advice.

Dr. Twomey: Information on Liam Twomey  Zoom on Liam Twomey  The Government will not allow the birds to be killed.

Mr. Costello: Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  Is the Taoiseach aware of today’s statement by the Rossiter family that it would be unable to participate in the inquiry established by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform into the death of their son in Garda custody? Will he make provision to enable them to be represented or will he arrange for an inquiry to resolve the situation under the Commission of Investigations Act?

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

Mr. Costello: Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  This relates to legislation.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Will the Deputy say which legislation?

Mr. Costello: Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  It relates to the Commission of Investigations Act 2004 under which the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform established the inquiry.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The legislation is enacted. The Deputy should raise the matter with the Minister.

Mr. Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  I want the assistance and guidance of the Ceann Comhairle in this matter. On 27 April I received information from the Tánaiste through a parliamentary question to the effect that the home help for a person in Kildare had been cut by 40%. On 13 October the Tánaiste told the House that there had not been any cuts in home help hours. How may we clarify these differences in information from the Tánaiste?

[1513]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  I suggest the Deputy submits a question to the Minister for Health and Children.

Mr. Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  Will the Government consider making time available to the Tánaiste so that she may clarify the contradiction between her two answers?


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