Order of Business (Resumed).

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 681 No. 5

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The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  It is proposed to take No. 1, Harbours (Amendment) Bill 2008 [Seanad] — Second Stage. Private Members’ Business shall be No. 69, motion regarding special educational needs (resumed) to be taken after the Order of Business and to conclude after 90 minutes, if not previously concluded.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  There are no proposals to put to the House today.

Deputy Enda Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  In normal circumstances I would wish the Tánaiste a happy anniversary. It is just a year since the change in the senior personnel in Government. Deputy Coughlan is now the Tánaiste in the worst Government in the history of the State.

Deputy Dick Roche: Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  The Deputy has a short memory.

Deputy Enda Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  She has presided over the most rapid rise in unemployment ever. If the Minister of State, Deputy Roche, wants to laugh about it while the Taoiseach says we are heading towards having 500,000 people out of work——

(Interruptions).

Deputy Enda Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  If Deputy Johnny Brady thinks it is a laughing matter, he should go down to County Meath and tell the people there about it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  Deputy Kenny without interruption.

Deputy Enda Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  If they think the failure of every single Minister to do anything about employment is a laughing matter, they will get their answer on 5 June when those people go to vote in their constituencies.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  Deputy Kenny on the Order of Business.

Deputy Enda Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  This is the most incompetent and worst Government in the history of the State.

Deputy Billy Timmins: Information on Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins  It is like “The Muppet Show” over there.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  Deputy Kenny on the Order of Business.

Deputy Enda Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Does the Tánaiste wish to make any comment about her own Ministry which has failed miserably?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Deputy knows as well as I do that there are no Leaders’ Questions allowed on a Thursday morning and there is little I can do about that.

Deputy Enda Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  That is——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Members of the House make the Standing Orders and I merely comply with them.

Deputy Enda Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Yes, a Cheann Comhairle.

[4]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  I must ask the Deputy to comply with them also.

Deputy Enda Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  You, a Cheann Comhairle, sit in the Chair of adjudication in this House where the Government has treated this House with contempt. Members of the Government do not want to be in here. They do not want to answer any questions, or have any accountability or responsibility for the powers vested in them.

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

Deputy Enda Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Let me return to something that is in order. The finance Bill is to be published today. Will the Tánaiste confirm that people who lost their jobs in the earlier part of the year and received redundancy payments will not be hit by additional income levies in today’s finance Bill? Will this finance Bill deal with the problem of mortgage interest relief?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The contents of the finance Bill cannot be discussed on the Order of Business.

Deputy Enda Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  I am asking about legislation.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Deputy is asking about the contents. The Deputy has long experience and knows exactly what he is saying.

Deputy Enda Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  You are very fast off the mark this morning, a Cheann Comhairle.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  I am not, actually. I am being very patient. I am saying to the Deputy that he must have a question that is in order, which is a fair point for the Chair to make.

Deputy Enda Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  I want to know, because the biggest failure of the Government has been its failure to give reassurance about the future. It has caused terror economically among people who do not know whether they are to be faced with——

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

Deputy Enda Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  ——water charges, property rates, third level education fees, further income levies or whatever.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  I cannot keep going like this.

Deputy Enda Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Will the finance Bill deal with the problem the Government now has of the structure of mortgage interest relief. Many families are losing up to €75 a week? Will it deal with that?

Does the Tánaiste have any concern over the consequences of a price war, which may well result in serious——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  That is three in a row, and they are all out of order.

Deputy Enda Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Hold on a second, a Cheann Comhairle. This may result in serious job losses in the food production industry here.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Deputy will need to propose that the Standing Orders of the House be changed because none of those points is in order.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  They are in order.

[5]Deputy Enda Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  I am not sure if the Ceann Comhairle had his early morning walk this morning.

A Deputy:  Along Banna Strand.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Deputy is not asking anything that is in order.

Deputy Enda Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Does the Tánaiste intend to introduce fair trade legislation to protect the many jobs of the 230,000 workforce involved in the production of Irish food?

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  I indicated previously that if we did not see a reduction in prices I would consider legislative measures. However, while there have been announcements on the reduction in prices, I welcome what has been said publicly that this would not be to the detriment of Irish suppliers. However, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and I will keep a very keen eye on the situation. I agree with the Deputy that the issue of assurance to our suppliers is very important if we are to have opportunities to support the food sector. At the same time it is equally opportune that we see reductions in prices.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  What is the status of proposed legislation to establish NAMA as a toxic bank for failed loans to developers? It has been reported in the media that the Minister has appointed a shadow chief executive to NAMA. We have obtained independent legal advice that it is not possible for a shadow NAMA to function because under the terms of the laws dealing with the Financial Regulator there is no permission to divulge confidential information on bank loans or on the banks’ books to anybody other than the authorities designated in the legislation. A shadow NAMA was described as scoping the extent of the problem and the valuation of the banks’ debts. We have very clear legal advice indicating that is not legally possible. Does the Government propose to introduce legislation in respect of NAMA and, if so, when? Has the Government received advice from the Attorney General on the creation of this shadow NAMA authority, which will eventually cost the taxpayer, according to the IMF, between €25 billion and €40 billion if it is done wrongly?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Deputy has made her point.

  11 o’clock

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  That is my first issue. I wish to ask the Tánaiste about a number of pieces of legislation. I wish to ask about the bilateral arrangements and the legislation governing the protection of children. I know the Tánaiste will be sympathetic to this. It is in the matter of foreign adoptions, particularly those involving the Republic of Vietnam and Russia. As the Tánaiste probably knows the bilateral arrangements for thousands of Irish couples, many of whom have spent five to six years in the adoption process getting vetted, are now at a standstill. The bilateral arrangement with Vietnam expired on 1 May mainly because the Government did not have a sufficiently high-level contact between the Government and the Vietnamese Government. The issue with Russia relates to the post-adoption contact and supervision required by the Russian authorities. The administrative arrangements put in place by the HSE and the Adoption Board of Ireland are inadequate. I ask the Tánaiste to personally undertake to investigate this as a matter of urgency.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Deputy has made her point now.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  We have Ministers circumnavigating the globe. A Minister or Minister of State should go to Vietnam and Russia.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Deputy is beginning to circumnavigate, herself. I must ask the Tánaiste to reply.

[6]Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  My third issue relates to the proposal contained in the previous budget to merge the National Consumer Agency and the Competition Authority. This matter is in the Tánaiste’s Department. Mr. Eddie Hobbs tendered his resignation to the National Consumer Agency, NCA. What does the Tánaiste propose to do? A series of quangos were to be merged, but we have heard nothing more about it. What is the current position in respect of the merger of the Competition Authority and the NCA?

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  The Government is working on the issue of the NAMA legislation and has been advised by the Attorney General that it will be published this session.

The matter of the bilateral agreement has been dealt with by the Taoiseach and the Minister of State, Deputy Barry Andrews. We are actively progressing it as quickly as possible——

Deputy Jim O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  The Government must do better than it has been doing.

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  ——while appreciating the absolute necessity of ensuring and assuring that not just parents, but——

Deputy Enda Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  The Minister of State has failed completely to deal with it.

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  ——children are protected. Regarding the legislation in my Department, I hope to have it by this session if possible. It has to do with the amalgamation of the NCA and the Competition Authority.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  I have two questions. Will the Government send a Minister to Vietnam to sort out the issue, as that is what is required?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  We cannot go into that matter now. In any event, a number of Deputies have submitted it for an Adjournment debate this evening.

Deputy Charles Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  The Government has left matters lying around for over a year and has done nothing about it.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  The Government has no legal authority to set up a shadow NAMA agency, which will dwarf the cost——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  We cannot have an argument about that now. The Tánaiste can only answer the question asked. I must call on Deputy Crawford.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  ——of all other proposals that any Government has entertained.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  Deputy Burton must raise the matter in another way. We have had ample opportunity. Deputy Crawford is next.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  It will cost the taxpayer between €25 billion and €40 billion.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Tánaiste has answered the questions inasmuch as she can.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  Has the Tánaiste received legal advice on the shadow NAMA authority?

Deputy Seymour Crawford: Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  I wish to raise three issues. In light of the fact that a 93 year old blind person’s home carer will not be replaced while the carer is in hospital, when will the eligibility for health and personal social services Bill be introduced? It is vital that this issue be covered.

[7]Since we in County Monaghan have been promised that no hospital services will be removed until services that are as good as those available, or better, when will the health information Bill be introduced so that we can be told the truth?

Last, but by no means least, I asked a couple of weeks ago whether any effort would be made to hold a full debate on the collapse in agriculture, particularly the dairy sector. I was promised that it would be considered. In light of the fact that the Tánaiste is back in her old haunt with the president and general secretary of the IFA, will she give the House some idea as to whether the issue can be addressed as a matter of urgency?

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  On the first two Bills, we are not in a position to say when they will be available. Any debates promised are a matter for consideration between the Whips.

Deputy Tom Hayes: Information on Tom Hayes  Zoom on Tom Hayes  What about the IFA?

Deputy Billy Timmins: Information on Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins  I wish to raise two issues. Some time ago, the Taoiseach gave a commitment to hold a second referendum on the Lisbon treaty in the autumn. When can we expect a referendum Bill before the House? This must be done shortly if the Taoiseach is to stick to the timeframe.

A Fine Gael Party delegation under our leader, Deputy Enda Kenny, visited Israel and Palestine in recent weeks. We saw some disturbing things. Will the Tánaiste agree to allow a few hours next week for statements on the situation in Gaza and the West Bank?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  On the first matter. The second is not in order.

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  The referendum Bill will be this session. We will accommodate statements, if the Whips can agree.

Deputy Billy Timmins: Information on Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins  I thank the Tánaiste.

Deputy Jan O’Sullivan: Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  I will be entirely in order. The Adoption Bill is due to come to the House from the Seanad. It relates to the question of Vietnam and Russia. If we can deal with it as speedily as possible, the long-term situation will be helped. When does the Tánaiste expect the Bill to be before this Chamber and does she expect it to be enacted before the summer recess?

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  As the Deputy has indicated, the Bill is before the Upper House, where we hope to have Report Stage next week. This would allow the Bill to be debated in this House as quickly as possible. I would like to do it this session.

Deputy Joe Costello: Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  Regarding the companies that manage apartments and the deterioration in the situation, given the recession and the fact that so many apartment owners are unemployed and defaulting on exorbitant management company fees, services are being cut drastically. The first thing to go is the lift. Since lifts are not working, pregnant women must climb stairs——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Deputy knows that we cannot discuss that matter on the Order of Business. He must ask about legislation.

Deputy Joe Costello: Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  ——in five, six or seven-storey buildings in my constituency. Cleaning is not being done. When will the regulation of management companies Bill be introduced?

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Hear, hear.

[8]The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  We will have it this session.

Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  There are two issues. Will the planning and development Bill, which is on the clár, address management companies and the councils’ failure to take estates in charge? As Deputy Costello has pointed out, services are deteriorating and estates are being led by management companies five, six, seven or eight years after their completion.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The point has been made.

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  The multi-unit developments, MUDs, Bill is complex. We had hoped to bring it to finality this week——

Deputy Emmet Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  It has taken the Government four years to get this far.

Deputy Joe Costello: Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  The Government has been talking about it for the past five years.

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  ——with a view to it being before the House in this session. The planning Bill will be introduced this session.

Deputy Joe Costello: Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  Will it definitely be this session?

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  Yes, even if it kills me.

Deputy Mary Upton: Information on Mary Upton  Zoom on Mary Upton  In 1999, a lung transplant unit was set up in the Mater Hospital. Since then, it has carried out just one cystic fibrosis lung transplant. Some 14 young adults are on the unit’s waiting list, which is static. What is occurring and why?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  I am afraid that the Deputy must raise this matter with the Minister for Health and Children.

Deputy Mary Upton: Information on Mary Upton  Zoom on Mary Upton  When will the human tissue Bill be enacted?

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  We do not have a date for the human tissue Bill.

Deputy Seán Sherlock: Information on Sean Sherlock  Zoom on Sean Sherlock  In light of the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food’s visit of a few months ago to the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, where he wielded a draft animal health and welfare Bill, when will it be published?

Given the laying before the House of the Financial Services Ombudsman’s report and in light of the Minister for Finance’s announcement in the last budget that Sir Andrew Large would be appointed to oversee the regulatory framework for financial services, has his appointment been made and have meetings between the said gentleman and the Minister occurred?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Tánaiste should not answer the last question, as we cannot discuss appointments now.

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  On the agricultural legislation, the matter has not been finalised. It is a large Bill on which there is ongoing consultation.

Deputy Shane McEntee: Information on Shane McEntee  Zoom on Shane McEntee  Is the Tánaiste aware that the cheapest loan available to any small business from the four banks that we have propped up has an interest rate of 4.8%? The people who borrowed billions of euro to buy property outside the country have a rate of 2.1%.

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

[9]Deputy Shane McEntee: Information on Shane McEntee  Zoom on Shane McEntee  Until such time as the Minister for Finance ensures the fair treatment of all businesses, it will not be safe.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Deputy understands that we cannot go into that matter now.

Deputy Shane McEntee: Information on Shane McEntee  Zoom on Shane McEntee  It is covered in the Finance Bill and is truthful. A rate of 4.8% is the cheapest at which most people can get money, but the people with the large borrowings can get a rate of 2.1%.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Hear, hear. Well done.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  We cannot go into the detail of the issue now. I strongly suggest that the Deputy visit the legislation when it arrives and when there is a discussion on it.

Deputy Denis Naughten: Information on Denis Naughten  Zoom on Denis Naughten  On promised legislation and given my understanding that the Tánaiste is to withdraw funding from the valuable Skillnets programme, which provides training and reskilling to workers, will she indicate when No. 3, the industrial relations (amendment) Bill, will be tabled in the House and will she rescind this additional cutback?

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  The legislation will be this session.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  I am not sure that the Tánaiste is fully aware of the scope of the aforementioned planning and development Bill. Will she indicate to the House whether the Bill has been discussed in Cabinet, the heads have been agreed or when that is likely to occur? I am trying to encourage the Green Party Ministers into the House so that they can be involved in this legislative area. I would like an answer to my question on promised legislation, namely, No. 7.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The question has been answered already.

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  It will be published this session.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  That does not answer my question. Have the heads of the Bill been discussed in Cabinet and have they been approved?

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  Of course they have.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Why will the Tánaiste not answer this question?

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  One cannot publish a Bill unless the heads have been passed by the Cabinet.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  No, that was not my question. I said——

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  This is the question the Deputy asked me.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Have the heads been discussed in Cabinet?

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  Of course they have.

Deputy Charles Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  The Chair is attempting to snooker the Deputy.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  The next item is closer to the Ceann Comhairle’s heart and he will be delighted I am raising it. The greyhound industry (amendment) Bill is to give effect to the recommendations of the Dalton report and it has been running around for a considerable time.

[10]Deputy Brendan Smith: Information on Brendan Smith  Zoom on Brendan Smith  It is not out of the traps yet.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  The Government’s legislative programme states that publication is expected in late 2009. Has this Bill been discussed in Cabinet? It has been around for sufficiently long whereby it should have been discussed by someone somewhere.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  Those dogs are still running.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Perhaps the Tánaiste will enlighten the House as to whether the heads have been approved, or if the Bill already has been discussed in Cabinet and if not, why not. If this item is so vague, why does it appear on the Order Paper?

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  It has been approved and it will published during the next session.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Good.

Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath  Just after the election.

Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  Last week, 398 people were lying on trolleys and last year, 216,000 bed days were lost, which is the equivalent of St. James’s Hospital being closed for a year.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Deputy must address this matter to the Minister for Health and Children.

Deputy Charles Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  The Minister for Health and Children cannot be seen.

Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  When will the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Bill, which has been repeatedly promised in the past, return to this House and when will its provisions be put in place? I hope it will address the issue of such delayed discharges. There are 250 unused beds available within the community in the greater Dublin area.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Tánaiste, on the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Bill.

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  The Bill is on Report Stage and the Government hopes its passage will be completed this session.

Deputy Joanna Tuffy: Information on Joanna Tuffy  Zoom on Joanna Tuffy  As for the issue of management companies and managing agents, I do not know whether the Government is aware of a recent court case. My understanding is that it found that the Private Residential Tenancies Board has a role in adjudicating between apartment owners and management companies. This is because a legal landlord-tenant relationship was judged to exist between apartment owners and management companies. Is the Government aware of this judgment and how does it affect the planned legislation pertaining to management companies and agents?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Deputy must discuss that when the legislation comes up because the House cannot discuss its contents now.


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