Order of Business.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 668 No. 3

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The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  It is proposed to take No. 8, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income and Capital Gains) (Republic of Turkey) Order 2008, back from committee; No. 9, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income) (Malta) Order 2008, back from committee; No. 10, motion re leave to introduce Supplementary Estimates, Votes 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 32, 37, 38, 40 and 41; No. 11, motion re referral of Supplementary Estimates, Votes 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 32, 37, 38, 40 and 41; No. 12, motion re referral to joint committee of proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of a Council Framework Decision amending Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA on combating terrorism; No. 13, motion re referral to joint committee of Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996; No.14, motion re referral to joint committee of proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Council Decision on the strengthening of Eurojust amending Council Decision 2002/187/JHA; No. 15, motion re orders of reference of committee; and No. 2, Finance (No. 2) Bill 2008 — Order for Second Stage and Second Stage. 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.; and Nos. 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15 and subject to the agreement of No. 10, No. 11, referral to select committee, shall be decided without debate and any divisions demanded on Nos. 10 and 11 shall be taken forthwith. Private Members’ business shall be No. 57, motion re small and medium enterprises.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  There are two proposals to be put to the House. Is the proposal that the Dáil sit later than 8.30 p.m. agreed to?

Deputy Enda Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  I agree to that.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  The Labour Party will not agree to any proposal on the Order of Business today until we have an assurance from the Taoiseach that the manner of dealing with the Combat Poverty Agency will be changed. The Minister for Finance announced in his Budget Statement that the Combat Poverty Agency was one of a number of State agencies to be wound up or amalgamated. Since then I have asked on a number of occasions on the Order of Business the legislative provision that would be made for that, whether all of these agencies would be done by separate legislation or a single piece of legislation, and I got various answers. On Friday evening, the Minister for Social and Family Affairs circulated a set of amendments in which she is proposing to add an additional Part to the normal Social Welfare Bill, and that is a Part to dissolve the Combat Poverty Agency.

This agency was established by the late Frank Cluskey. Its purpose was to provide an independent body to deal with issues of poverty and advise government on them. This Government has travelled a long way from Inchydoney in that the first State body it wants to get its thumb into is the body dealing with the issue of poverty. I am extremely disappointed at the cowardly and sneaky way——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Deputy cannot debate the matter now.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  ——it is being done. I want the Taoiseach to give an assurance that it will be withdrawn from the Social Welfare Bill. It can be brought into this House, if he or the Minister for Social and Family Affairs wants to do so, and debated as separate legislation.

[434]It is interesting that the amendments circulated by the Minister for Social and Family Affairs provide for the transfer of everything — staff, resources, money and property — except the functions of the agency.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Deputy cannot debate that now.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  It is neutering the agency but making no savings for the public purse in doing so.

A Deputy:  Hear, hear.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  I call Deputy Ó Caoláin.

Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  I wish to speak to the second matter.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  I call Deputy Enright on the first matter.

Deputy Olwyn Enright: Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright  I agree with Deputy Gilmore’s comments about the Combat Poverty Agency. The Minister for Social and Family Affairs was aware, at least within two days of the Social Welfare Bill being published, that she intended to bring forward these amendments on Committee Stage. It would have been far better if we had at least had the opportunity to discuss it on Second Stage but, in any event, I disagree with what the Government is attempting to do in abolishing the Combat Poverty Agency. It is wrong to do it in this manner that has not allowed for adequate or proper discussion. When we consider what has been done in terms of this agency, the Irish Human Rights Commission and the Equality Authority——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Deputy cannot debate that now.

Deputy Olwyn Enright: Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright  ——it is the agencies that have the ability to criticise the Government that are being affected.

A Deputy:  Hear, hear.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  I reject the contentions made by both Opposition Deputies on this matter. The functions conducted by the Combat Poverty Agency are held by the Minister for Social and Family Affairs. The question of them being incorporated into the office for social inclusion is logical in the circumstances. The amendment that has been put down enables a full discussion to take place during the debate on the Social Welfare Bill. The fact that an amendment was not adverted to on Second Stage did not preclude any Member from speaking on Second Stage about the public announcement that the Combat Poverty Agency would be incorporated into the office for social inclusion. There is nothing underhand in bringing forward an amendment to a social welfare Bill that enables a full debate in this House.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  It is very disappointing.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  I would not accept the contentions made by the Deputy on that basis.

Question put: “That the Dáil shall sit later than 8.30 p.m. tonight.”

[435]The Dáil divided: Tá, 68; Níl, 65.

Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  Ahern, Dermot. Information on Michael Ahern  Zoom on Michael Ahern  Ahern, Michael.
Information on Barry Andrews  Zoom on Barry Andrews  Andrews, Barry. Information on Chris Andrews  Zoom on Chris Andrews  Andrews, Chris.
Information on Seán Ardagh  Zoom on Seán Ardagh  Ardagh, Seán. Information on Bobby Aylward  Zoom on Bobby Aylward  Aylward, Bobby.
Information on Niall Blaney  Zoom on Niall Blaney  Blaney, Niall. Information on Aine Brady  Zoom on Aine Brady  Brady, Áine.
Information on Johnny Brady  Zoom on Johnny Brady  Brady, Johnny. Information on John Browne  Zoom on John Browne  Browne, John.
Information on Thomas Byrne  Zoom on Thomas Byrne  Byrne, Thomas. Information on Dara Calleary  Zoom on Dara Calleary  Calleary, Dara.
Information on Pat Carey  Zoom on Pat Carey  Carey, Pat. Information on Niall Collins  Zoom on Niall Collins  Collins, Niall.
Information on Margaret Conlon  Zoom on Margaret Conlon  Conlon, Margaret. Information on Sean Connick  Zoom on Sean Connick  Connick, Seán.
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 Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Dempsey, Noel.
Information on Tim Dooley  Zoom on Tim Dooley  Dooley, Timmy. Information on Michael Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Michael Fitzpatrick  Fitzpatrick, Michael.
Information on Seán Fleming  Zoom on Seán Fleming  Fleming, Seán. Information on Beverley Cooper-Flynn  Zoom on Beverley Cooper-Flynn  Flynn, Beverley.
Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Gallagher, Pat The Cope. Information on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Gogarty, Paul.
Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley  Gormley, John. 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 Billy Kelleher  Zoom on Billy Kelleher  Kelleher, Billy.
Information on Peter Kelly  Zoom on Peter Kelly  Kelly, Peter. Information on Brendan Kenneally  Zoom on Brendan Kenneally  Kenneally, Brendan.
Information on Michael Kennedy  Zoom on Michael Kennedy  Kennedy, Michael. Information on Tony Killeen  Zoom on Tony Killeen  Killeen, Tony.
Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Kirk, Seamus. Information on Michael Kitt  Zoom on Michael Kitt  Kitt, Michael P.
Information on Tom Kitt  Zoom on Tom Kitt  Kitt, Tom. Information on Michael Lowry  Zoom on Michael Lowry  Lowry, Michael.
Information on Tom McEllistrim  Zoom on Tom McEllistrim  McEllistrim, Thomas. Information on Michael McGrath  Zoom on Michael McGrath  McGrath, Michael.
Information on John McGuinness  Zoom on John McGuinness  McGuinness, John. Information on Dr Martin Mansergh  Zoom on Dr Martin Mansergh  Mansergh, Martin.
Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  Martin, Micheál. Information on John Moloney  Zoom on John Moloney  Moloney, John.
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 Fearghaíl, Seán. Information on Darragh O'Brien  Zoom on Darragh O'Brien  O’Brien, Darragh.
Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  O’Connor, Charlie. Information on Willie O'Dea  Zoom on Willie O'Dea  O’Dea, Willie.
Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  O’Hanlon, Rory. 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, Edward. Information on Mary O'Rourke  Zoom on Mary O'Rourke  O’Rourke, Mary.
Information on Christy O'Sullivan  Zoom on Christy O'Sullivan  O’Sullivan, Christy. Information on Seán Power  Zoom on Seán Power  Power, Seán.
Information on Eamon Ryan  Zoom on Eamon Ryan  Ryan, Eamon. Information on Eamon Scanlon  Zoom on Eamon Scanlon  Scanlon, Eamon.
Information on Brendan Smith  Zoom on Brendan Smith  Smith, Brendan. Information on Noel Treacy  Zoom on Noel Treacy  Treacy, Noel.
Information on Mary Alexandra White  Zoom on Mary Alexandra White  White, Mary Alexandra. Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  Woods, Michael.



Níl
Information on James Bannon  Zoom on James Bannon  Bannon, James. Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Barrett, Seán.
Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Broughan, Thomas P. Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  Burton, Joan.
Information on Catherine Byrne  Zoom on Catherine Byrne  Byrne, Catherine. Information on Joe Carey  Zoom on Joe Carey  Carey, Joe.
Information on Deirdre Clune  Zoom on Deirdre Clune  Clune, Deirdre. Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  Connaughton, Paul.
Information on Noel Coonan  Zoom on Noel Coonan  Coonan, Noel J. Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  Costello, Joe.
Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  Coveney, Simon. Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  Crawford, Seymour.
Information on Michael Creed  Zoom on Michael Creed  Creed, Michael. Information on Lucinda Creighton  Zoom on Lucinda Creighton  Creighton, Lucinda.
Information on Michael D'Arcy  Zoom on Michael D'Arcy  D’Arcy, Michael. Information on Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  Deenihan, Jimmy.
Information on Andrew Doyle  Zoom on Andrew Doyle  Doyle, Andrew. 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 Frank Feighan  Zoom on Frank Feighan  Feighan, Frank. Information on Martin Ferris  Zoom on Martin Ferris  Ferris, Martin.
Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  Flanagan, Charles. Information on Terence Flanagan  Zoom on Terence Flanagan  Flanagan, Terence.
Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Gilmore, Eamon. Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  Hayes, Brian.
Information on Tom Hayes  Zoom on Tom Hayes  Hayes, Tom. Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  Higgins, Michael D.
Information on Philip Hogan  Zoom on Philip Hogan  Hogan, Phil. Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Howlin, Brendan.
Information on Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  Kehoe, Paul. Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Kenny, Enda.
Information on Ciaran Lynch  Zoom on Ciaran Lynch  Lynch, Ciarán. Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  Lynch, Kathleen.
Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  McCormack, Pádraic. Information on Shane McEntee  Zoom on Shane McEntee  McEntee, Shane.
Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath  McGrath, Finian. Information on Joe McHugh  Zoom on Joe McHugh  McHugh, Joe.
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 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 Kieran O'Donnell  Zoom on Kieran O'Donnell  O’Donnell, Kieran.
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 John O'Mahony  Zoom on John O'Mahony  O’Mahony, John. 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 Willie Penrose  Zoom on Willie Penrose  Penrose, Willie.
Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Quinn, Ruairí. Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Rabbitte, Pat.
Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  Reilly, James. Information on Alan Shatter  Zoom on Alan Shatter  Shatter, Alan.
Information on Tom Sheahan  Zoom on Tom Sheahan  Sheahan, Tom. Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  Sheehan, P. J.
Information on Sean Sherlock  Zoom on Sean Sherlock  Sherlock, Seán. 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 Joanna Tuffy  Zoom on Joanna Tuffy  Tuffy, Joanna. Information on Mary Upton  Zoom on Mary Upton  Upton, Mary.
Information on Leo Varadkar  Zoom on Leo Varadkar  Varadkar, Leo.  

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Pat Carey and John Cregan; Níl, Deputies Paul Kehoe and Emmet Stagg.

Question declared carried.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  Is the proposal for dealing with Nos. 8 to 15, inclusive, agreed to?

Deputy Enda Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  I have been examining the list of Supplementary Estimates. On Vote 26 under Education and Science it says excesses which occurred in a number of services, including national teachers salaries and grants to VECs, are offset by savings on schools information and communications technology, the second and third level capital and the strategic innovation fund. The programme laid out for IT for schools is not being followed through.

In the Health and Children Estimate, Vote 40, there is the High Court ruling on the Hickey’s Pharmacies case, where the Minister for Health and Children was advised that there was another way of making serious savings on drugs and drug repayments. That will cost €32 million in 2008 when a different course of action would have meant that case might not have had to be taken.

There is a range of other matters relevant to justice and the Garda Síochána Vote which need to be discussed regarding getting real value for money as distinct from the statements made by the Government at the outset. On that basis I oppose the Supplementary Estimates going through without debate. They should be debated here as we should be able to address the many issues that arise.

Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  I oppose the proposal to take all these matters without debate. With respect, the Government has some neck to expect this House to pass a proposition without debate in this House to vote additional moneys to the HSE.

Deputy Seán Power: Information on Seán Power  Zoom on Seán Power  That is coming from a right one.

Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Meanwhile we see a serious contraction of services across this State, not least in the north east area about which the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Deputy Dermot Ahern, should be very concerned, with the loss of all elective orthopaedic work between now and 2009. We see the continual erosion of services at Monaghan General Hospital and other hospitals. We see the reduction in home help hours.

  5 o’clock

All these matters should be debated in this House. This proposal to refer to the select committee regarding the specific areas for additional funding will also come back here, and the proposition will be to accept the report of the committee without debate. That is what is wrong with the system of health care provision in this State. This House has no real opportunity to properly debate the scandal that is the HSE’s management and oversight of health care. The referral should not take place without debate. We should have a full and proper debate on this Supplementary Estimate on the floor of the House.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  I concur with Deputies Kenny and Ó Caoláin. During these new times in which we find ourselves, the House should debate the Estimates from the various Departments in plenary session.

[437]The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  It is proposed to refer these Supplementary Estimates to select committees in the normal way.

Deputy Paul Kehoe: Information on Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  They are being referred in different circumstances.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  This referral gives the various committees a great opportunity to discuss these issues in detail with the relevant Ministers. In fact, it would be a far more effective debate than if it was in plenary session.

Question put: “That the proposal for dealing with Nos. 8 to 15, inclusive, be agreed to.”

The Dáil divided: Tá, 70; Níl, 66.

Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  Ahern, Dermot. Information on Michael Ahern  Zoom on Michael Ahern  Ahern, Michael.
Information on Barry Andrews  Zoom on Barry Andrews  Andrews, Barry. Information on Chris Andrews  Zoom on Chris Andrews  Andrews, Chris.
Information on Seán Ardagh  Zoom on Seán Ardagh  Ardagh, Seán. Information on Bobby Aylward  Zoom on Bobby Aylward  Aylward, Bobby.
Information on Niall Blaney  Zoom on Niall Blaney  Blaney, Niall. Information on Aine Brady  Zoom on Aine Brady  Brady, Áine.
Information on Cyprian Brady  Zoom on Cyprian Brady  Brady, Cyprian. Information on Johnny Brady  Zoom on Johnny Brady  Brady, Johnny.
Information on John Browne  Zoom on John Browne  Browne, John. Information on Thomas Byrne  Zoom on Thomas Byrne  Byrne, Thomas.
Information on Dara Calleary  Zoom on Dara Calleary  Calleary, Dara. Information on Pat Carey  Zoom on Pat Carey  Carey, Pat.
Information on Niall Collins  Zoom on Niall Collins  Collins, Niall. Information on Margaret Conlon  Zoom on Margaret Conlon  Conlon, Margaret.
Information on Sean Connick  Zoom on Sean Connick  Connick, Seán. 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 Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Dempsey, Noel.
Information on Tim Dooley  Zoom on Tim Dooley  Dooley, Timmy. Information on Michael Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Michael Fitzpatrick  Fitzpatrick, Michael.
Information on Seán Fleming  Zoom on Seán Fleming  Fleming, Seán. Information on Beverley Cooper-Flynn  Zoom on Beverley Cooper-Flynn  Flynn, Beverley.
Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Gallagher, Pat The Cope. Information on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Gogarty, Paul.
Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley  Gormley, John. 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 Billy Kelleher  Zoom on Billy Kelleher  Kelleher, Billy.
Information on Peter Kelly  Zoom on Peter Kelly  Kelly, Peter. Information on Brendan Kenneally  Zoom on Brendan Kenneally  Kenneally, Brendan.
Information on Michael Kennedy  Zoom on Michael Kennedy  Kennedy, Michael. Information on Tony Killeen  Zoom on Tony Killeen  Killeen, Tony.
Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Kirk, Seamus. Information on Michael Kitt  Zoom on Michael Kitt  Kitt, Michael P.
Information on Tom Kitt  Zoom on Tom Kitt  Kitt, Tom. Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Lenihan, Brian.
Information on Michael Lowry  Zoom on Michael Lowry  Lowry, Michael. Information on Tom McEllistrim  Zoom on Tom McEllistrim  McEllistrim, Thomas.
Information on Michael McGrath  Zoom on Michael McGrath  McGrath, Michael. Information on John McGuinness  Zoom on John McGuinness  McGuinness, John.
Information on Dr Martin Mansergh  Zoom on Dr Martin Mansergh  Mansergh, Martin. Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  Martin, Micheál.
Information on John Moloney  Zoom on John Moloney  Moloney, John. 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 Fearghaíl, Seán.
Information on Darragh O'Brien  Zoom on Darragh O'Brien  O’Brien, Darragh. Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  O’Connor, Charlie.
Information on Willie O'Dea  Zoom on Willie O'Dea  O’Dea, Willie. Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  O’Hanlon, Rory.
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, Edward.
Information on Mary O'Rourke  Zoom on Mary O'Rourke  O’Rourke, Mary. Information on Christy O'Sullivan  Zoom on Christy O'Sullivan  O’Sullivan, Christy.
Information on Seán Power  Zoom on Seán Power  Power, Seán. Information on Eamon Ryan  Zoom on Eamon Ryan  Ryan, Eamon.
Information on Eamon Scanlon  Zoom on Eamon Scanlon  Scanlon, Eamon. Information on Brendan Smith  Zoom on Brendan Smith  Smith, Brendan.
Information on Noel Treacy  Zoom on Noel Treacy  Treacy, Noel. Information on Mary Wallace  Zoom on Mary Wallace  Wallace, Mary.
Information on Mary Alexandra White  Zoom on Mary Alexandra White  White, Mary Alexandra. Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  Woods, Michael.



Níl
Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  Allen, Bernard. Information on James Bannon  Zoom on James Bannon  Bannon, James.
Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Barrett, Seán. Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Broughan, Thomas P.
Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  Burton, Joan. Information on Catherine Byrne  Zoom on Catherine Byrne  Byrne, Catherine.
Information on Joe Carey  Zoom on Joe Carey  Carey, Joe. Information on Deirdre Clune  Zoom on Deirdre Clune  Clune, Deirdre.
Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  Connaughton, Paul. Information on Noel Coonan  Zoom on Noel Coonan  Coonan, Noel J.
Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  Costello, Joe. Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  Coveney, Simon.
Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  Crawford, Seymour. Information on Michael Creed  Zoom on Michael Creed  Creed, Michael.
Information on Lucinda Creighton  Zoom on Lucinda Creighton  Creighton, Lucinda. Information on Michael D'Arcy  Zoom on Michael D'Arcy  D’Arcy, Michael.
Information on Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  Deenihan, Jimmy. Information on Andrew Doyle  Zoom on Andrew Doyle  Doyle, Andrew.
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 Frank Feighan  Zoom on Frank Feighan  Feighan, Frank.
Information on Martin Ferris  Zoom on Martin Ferris  Ferris, Martin. Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  Flanagan, Charles.
Information on Terence Flanagan  Zoom on Terence Flanagan  Flanagan, Terence. Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Gilmore, Eamon.
Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  Hayes, Brian. Information on Tom Hayes  Zoom on Tom Hayes  Hayes, Tom.
Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  Higgins, Michael D. Information on Philip Hogan  Zoom on Philip Hogan  Hogan, Phil.
Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Howlin, Brendan. Information on Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  Kehoe, Paul.
Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Kenny, Enda. Information on Ciaran Lynch  Zoom on Ciaran Lynch  Lynch, Ciarán.
Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  Lynch, Kathleen. Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  McCormack, Pádraic.
Information on Shane McEntee  Zoom on Shane McEntee  McEntee, Shane. Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath  McGrath, Finian.
Information on Joe McHugh  Zoom on Joe McHugh  McHugh, Joe. 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 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 Kieran O'Donnell  Zoom on Kieran O'Donnell  O’Donnell, Kieran. 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 John O'Mahony  Zoom on John O'Mahony  O’Mahony, John.
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 Willie Penrose  Zoom on Willie Penrose  Penrose, Willie. Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Quinn, Ruairí.
Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Rabbitte, Pat. Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  Reilly, James.
Information on Alan Shatter  Zoom on Alan Shatter  Shatter, Alan. Information on Tom Sheahan  Zoom on Tom Sheahan  Sheahan, Tom.
Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  Sheehan, P. J. Information on Sean Sherlock  Zoom on Sean Sherlock  Sherlock, Seán.
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 Joanna Tuffy  Zoom on Joanna Tuffy  Tuffy, Joanna.
Information on Mary Upton  Zoom on Mary Upton  Upton, Mary. Information on Leo Varadkar  Zoom on Leo Varadkar  Varadkar, Leo.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Pat Carey and John Cregan; Níl, Deputies Paul Kehoe and Emmet Stagg.

Question declared carried.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  When does the Taoiseach propose to introduce the Bill to take medical cards from people over the age of 70? He indicated that the measure would require legislation. I presume the approach that was taken in the case of the Combat Poverty Agency legislation, which was sneaked in, will not be adopted in this instance. When will the medical cards Bill come before the House?

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  It is due in this session. I cannot be any more specific.

Deputy Joanna Tuffy: Information on Joanna Tuffy  Zoom on Joanna Tuffy  A couple of weeks ago——

(Interruptions).

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  I ask the Members in the lobbies to continue with their journeys.

Deputy Joanna Tuffy: Information on Joanna Tuffy  Zoom on Joanna Tuffy  ——I asked the Taoiseach whether the Government planned to implement the Kenny report, in line with the main recommendation in the All-Party Committee on the Constitution’s report on property rights. This morning, I received a letter from the Minister, Deputy Gormley, in response to the question I asked in this House. I understand from the letter that there are no plans to introduce legislation to implement the Kenny report. The Minister pointed out in the letter that a range of mechanisms is already in place under the Planning and Development Act 2000 to secure planning gain for local authorities and communities when planning decisions are made. That is a major U-turn by the Government. When Deputy Bertie Ahern was Taoiseach, he set up the committee to tackle the issue of alleged land speculation. As part of its policy in opposition, the Green Party said it would implement the Kenny report.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Deputy should ask a question.

Deputy Joanna Tuffy: Information on Joanna Tuffy  Zoom on Joanna Tuffy  In light of the mess we are in because of unrestrained land speculation, does the Taoiseach propose to implement the Kenny report and deal with the issue of land speculation for once and for all?

[439]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  Is legislation promised on foot of the Kenny report?

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  I am not aware that it is promised.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  It has come to my notice that a number of banks and building societies are highlighting a clause in mortgage protection policies to the effect that they are only valid for a year after the main earner falls ill or loses his or her job. Since it is promised to transfer responsibility for this from the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government to the Department of Finance in the financial services (miscellaneous provisions) Bill, could the Taoiseach bring the legislation to the House more urgently than has been suggested to date to bring about a scenario where banks and building societies are prevented from repossessing houses in those circumstances? The Minister for Finance knows what I am talking about.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  I understand it is due next year.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Early next year.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  I did not say “early”.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  On promised legislation, I noticed the resolute manner in which the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform proposes to deal with beggars. While begging is a nuisance, I am not certain it requires the rapid response the Minister proposes.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Deputy can discuss that when the Bill comes before us.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  He proposes to put beggars in prison and I presume he has referred to the Vagrancy Act. I refer to the introduction of the criminal justice (amendment) Bill, which could be brought before the House to put real criminals in prison where they belong.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  The criminal justice (public order) (amendment) Bill is due next year.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  I referred to No. 64, the criminal justice (amendment) Bill, which gives effect to certain provision of the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  I understand that will also be next year.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Next year for everything.

Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  I refer to No. 54, eligibility for health and personal social services Bill. The income threshold for medical cards has not increased for years outside of the consumer price index and it is causing hardship for people. When will the Bill be introduced? Is it intended to review it?

The Taoiseach, the Minister for Health and Children and the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government will be aware of the growth of Rasta and hemp shops, which are selling pills and various mind altering substances that are not legislated for. Has the Minister for Health and Children plans with the Irish Medicines Board to outlaw these shops? Has the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government plans to introduce planning laws to restrict the setting up of shops to sell these products?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  Is legislation promised in the latter area?

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  I do not think so.

[440]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  Is legislation promised on the previous issue?

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  There are proposals to be submitted to Government next year on the matter but it seems to be at a preliminary stage.

Deputy James Bannon: Information on James Bannon  Zoom on James Bannon  Given the confusion caused to the public——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  There is no need for prologues.

Deputy James Bannon: Information on James Bannon  Zoom on James Bannon  ——by repeated Government misinformation in the health area, when can we expect the publication of the health information Bill?

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  There is no date for that legislation.

Deputy Jan O’Sullivan: Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  Will the adoption Bill be published before Christmas?

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  That was the intention but I cannot confirm it with certainty.

Deputy Jan O’Sullivan: Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  Is it not supposed to be this session?

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  Yes, it was expected but I cannot assure the Deputy that will be the case.


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