Order of Business.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 685 No. 3

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The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  It is proposed to take No. 5, Financial Measures (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2009, Order for Second Stage and Second and Remaining Stages; and No. a 10, Financial Measures (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2009 — Financial Resolution, which is on the Supplementary Order Paper. It is proposed, notwithstanding 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 No. a 10 shall be moved immediately on the conclusion of Second Stage of No. 5 and shall be decided [440]without debate. The following arrangements shall apply on No. 5. — the proceedings on Second Stage shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 7 p.m. and a Minister or Minister of State shall be called upon to make a speech in reply which shall not exceed five minutes; the proceedings on the Committee and Remaining Stages shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 10 p.m. tonight by one question which shall be put from the Chair and which shall, in relation to amendments, include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for Finance. In the event a division is in progress at the time fixed for taking Private Members’ business, which shall be No. 75 — motion re children’s hospital funding, Standing Order 117(3) shall not apply and Private Members’ business shall be adjourned after 90 minutes tonight. Parliamentary questions next for answer by the Taoiseach on EU matters shall be taken on the same day as the statements on the EU Council meeting in Brussels, scheduled to be taken on Wednesday, 24 June 2009, and shall be moved to be taken first as ordinary oral questions to the Taoiseach on that day.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  There are five proposals to be put to the House. Is the proposal that the Dáil shall sit later than 8.30 p.m. agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. a 10 agreed?

Deputy Richard Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  The Taoiseach and the Government propose to have a guillotine on this debate and there will be an hour and a half for Committee Stage with 19 amendments having been tabled. This is not trivial legislation; it currently involves a guarantee of €400 billion worth of assets being covered by the State. Few of the amendments will be reached or debated. Contrary to what the Taoiseach stated a moment ago, there has not been any review — or if there has it has not been made available to Members of the House who will be asked to vote on it. There has not been any report on the existing scheme. We have not been offered any guarantee, such as the Taoiseach outlined, that this would be confined to issues of the sort to which the Taoiseach referred. There is no sunset clause on these provisions.

We need to take ourselves seriously as a House. The Taoiseach will come here next week and bleat across the House that every time he comes up with something he is opposed, yet this serious legislation which he has brought to the House will almost inevitably be opposed tonight because most of the amendments seeking the protections that the House wants to debate and have included, if possible, will not have been reached. The Taoiseach must be reasonable with the House. We are attempting to deal with huge changes occurring in our community and are trying to debate them in a reasonable fashion. To be honest, I do not think the Government is interested in this debate. It has an aggrieved sense of self-righteousness. It pushes ahead with everything and dismisses this Chamber as a place to debate these important issues. I am getting fed up with it.

Deputies:  Hear, hear.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  I object to the way this Bill is being taken. The leader of the Labour Party has set out our concerns about the section of the Bill dealing with NAMA and the guarantee. In effect, it enables the establishment of NAMA and loans to be transferred at what will probably be very cheap prices. However, other parts of the Bill seriously deserve detailed scrutiny. Only in the past hour and a half I received from the Department of Finance — finally, after many requests — the schedule of the pension funds of the public bodies that will be transferred to and taken over by the State under this legislation. We will take over assets of €1.75 billion in those pensions funds but the liabilities, of which I have now been given a list, for the end of December 2008 run to more than €3 billion.

[441]Based on a quick reading in the time I have had to glance at it, in the case of FÁS the State will take over assets of €328 million and liabilities of €683 million; in the case of Trinity College Dublin — assets of €245 million and liabilities of €554 million; and in the case of the National University of Ireland- assets of €6 million and liabilities of €13 million. In what Parliament in the world would one find, along with very important banking matters, the taking over of assets of €1.75 billion to give the national balance sheet a bit of a boost under technical EU and ECB rules and, at the same time, the taking over of unexamined pension liabilities of more than €3 billion where some of the pensions funds have a deficit of more than 50%? Everybody knows pensions funds have fallen in the crash.

I am also told in the note that the IPA and the ESRI pension funds will be added on Committee Stage.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Deputy cannot go into detail on the legislation; she has made her point.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  The final section of the Bill has another very important provision to provide very important powers to the regulator on putting a life insurance company into administration. I asked the Department of Finance to explain what this provision is about. Is it about a particular life insurance company——

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

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  ——or a company in this country working in life insurance?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Deputy must raise it later on.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  This is more use of the back door by a Government that is afraid to come in and face the people. Not only do we have one guillotine today, we have six this week. All I can say is that in terms of a functioning democracy if the Taoiseach wants to restore our credibility in the international financial markets this is not the way to do it. Members of the Opposition are not even given a proper briefing until an hour and a half prior to the Bill coming to the Chamber.

Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Last Thursday, when the Taoiseach was not here, we had a proposition to apply a guillotine to the Broadcasting Bill and the Companies (Amendment) Bill. Representatives of the three Opposition parties appealed to the Tánaiste and the Chief Whip not to apply a guillotine because we did not have confidence that the Government had accurately measured the time required. Nevertheless, despite the Tánaiste chiding Opposition voices and the Government proceeding absolutely intent on its own purpose irrespective of what other opinion might be offered, the business of the House collapsed for more than three hours. How can we have confidence in a Government that cannot even measure the length of time required to address the passage of legislation let alone to govern?

Deputy Noel Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  An Opposition that cannot fill the time it seeks.

Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  It cannot even govern the proposition——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  We will deal with this proposition here and now.

Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  ——of ordering business on any given day. Yet here we are again with guillotine after guillotine. We are being asked to rubber-stamp the serious measures contained in the Financial Measures (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill. The Government got it wrong last Thursday about the Broadcasting Bill and the Companies (Amendment) Bill and it [442]has it wrong again today about the Financial Measures (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill and we will not support the guillotine and this approach to very important matters.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  I do not want to get into an argument or a match about it. Last Thursday we provided for too much time because the Broadcasting Bill finished an hour before——

Deputy Emmet Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  We said there was no need for a guillotine.

Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  It was explained repeatedly.

Deputy Emmet Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  The Government insisted on including a guillotine at time when it was unnecessary and we lost three and a half hours debating time.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  The point is that the debate on the Bill ended an hour early. A guillotine becomes operable only if it is required. We had it on the Order Paper that if we reached a certain time, it would come to an end.

Deputy Emmet Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  It is only supposed to be for an emergency. That is the norm.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  It did not come to that and, therefore, the guillotine did not become operative. In any event, that is not the issue under discussion.

Deputy Burton raised the question of the amendment of the Insurance (No. 2) Act 1983 and the Insurance Act 1989. This is being done to address a regulatory gap generally and it is not designed for any specific——

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  To appoint an administrator to a life insurance business.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  For the purpose of being helpful, I was explaining what it was. It is not being introduced for the reason given by the Deputy, which confirms a conspiracy theory she professes on all occasions. It relates to a regulatory gap in the Insurance Acts. Currently, the Financial Regulator can present a petition to the High Court for the administration of a non-life insurance undertaking and the appointment of an administrator, but there is no similar provision for life and reinsurance companies. This legislation will address that deficiency.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  Why the rush?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  Let the Taoiseach finish.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  On the basis that we refer to the need to improve our regulatory provisions, this amendment will do so, and it is not being introduced for any other reason.

With regard to the other matters, it is necessary to proceed with this Bill. I take the point that there is much legislation to be gone through between now and the end of the term. Perhaps it would not be acceptable but if it would help in an effort to show good faith, the debate could be extended from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. but I cannot go beyond that.

Deputy Emmet Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  It needs another day.

Deputy Richard Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  On a point of order, is it not the case that action under the Bill the Taoiseach proposes to rush through tonight cannot be taken without the introduction of a scheme, which must be approved by the Oireachtas, and, therefore, there is absolutely no rush with this legislation because a scheme would have to follow it? The Government cannot act over the summer months without the scheme——

[443]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  That is not a point of order.

Deputy Richard Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  It is.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  As I stated in response to Deputy Gilmore earlier, we are providing for a means by which we can extend the State guarantee beyond 2010. The background to this is the ability to provide such a guarantee in respect of five-year securities that will become available on the money markets but which are not available to us at the moment.

  5 o’clock

A statutory instrument to facilitate eligible debt securities will have to be drafted and it will be presented to the Oireachtas shortly for approval under section 6(5) of the Credit Institutions (Financial Support) Act 2008. The Bill before the House must be enacted before the statutory instrument, subject to the prior approval of the Oireachtas, can be made. That is what we are doing. For us to get to the point for consideration to which the Deputy referred where the statutory instrument will have to be approved by the Oireachtas, we must amend this provision legislatively.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  That is procedural rubbish.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  No, it is not. These are the facts. Statutorily, we cannot provide a debt guarantee beyond September 2010. Issuing five-year money with a State guarantee to our banking system beyond 2010 will not be possible unless the legislation is amended.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Do it the right way and give the legislation a little time.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  The reason we are amending the legislation is that we have been more prudent by issuing a state debt guarantee for only two years compared to others who issued such guarantees for far longer.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  The Government knew this in April.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  That is how bank guarantee schemes developed in other countries following the precedent we set, which was only for two years but with which the Deputy disagrees in principle in any event.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  We were right.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  That is the Deputy’s position, but the fact is it provided us with financial stability at that time.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  The Government has done nothing but pour money into the banks since.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  The facts will prove that in due course.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  It did not work.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  How much has it cost us so far? How many billion euro? It did not work.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  It worked. Had we followed the Deputy’s proposed line of action, we would not have a banking system and, therefore, we would not be having this discussion.

Deputy Michael D. Higgins: Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  That is nonsense.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  That is the answer to Deputy Bruton’s point of order.

[444]Deputy Richard Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  The Government cannot have the statutory instrument without a positive resolution of the House.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  That relates to the statutory instrument. We also have to amend this provision.

Deputy Richard Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  The Government could do the two together.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  We are taking the opportunity of this miscellaneous provisions Bill to do that now. The further debate the Deputy wishes to have regarding the detail of the statutory instrument can be had because, as he said, prior approval of the Oireachtas is required for that to become operative.

We are advised by the Bills Office that a financial resolution must be moved on conclusion of Second Stage of this Bill to allow for discussion on amendments that may incur a cost to the public. Those are the arrangements we have. If it would be helpful in an act of good faith to the House, given the level of work to be done by the House and the importance parties are ascribing to this measure, we can undertake to extend the debate until 11 p.m. If not, we can leave it as it is.

Question put: “That the proposal for dealing with No. a 10 be agreed to.”

The Dáil divided: Tá, 73; Níl, 67.

Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  Ahern, Dermot. Information on Michael Ahern  Zoom on Michael Ahern  Ahern, Michael.
Information on Noel Ahern  Zoom on Noel Ahern  Ahern, Noel. 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 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 Ciaran Cuffe  Zoom on Ciaran Cuffe  Cuffe, Ciarán.
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 Jimmy Devins  Zoom on Jimmy Devins  Devins, Jimmy.
Information on Tim Dooley  Zoom on Tim Dooley  Dooley, Timmy. Information on Michael Finneran  Zoom on Michael Finneran  Finneran, Michael.
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 Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Gogarty, Paul.
Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley  Gormley, John. Information on Noel Grealish  Zoom on Noel Grealish  Grealish, Noel.
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 Brendan Kenneally  Zoom on Brendan Kenneally  Kenneally, Brendan.
Information on Michael Kennedy  Zoom on Michael Kennedy  Kennedy, Michael. 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 Conor Lenihan  Zoom on Conor Lenihan  Lenihan, Conor.
Information on Tom McEllistrim  Zoom on Tom McEllistrim  McEllistrim, Thomas. Information on Mattie McGrath  Zoom on Mattie McGrath  McGrath, Mattie.
Information on Michael McGrath  Zoom on Michael McGrath  McGrath, Michael. Information on John McGuinness  Zoom on John McGuinness  McGuinness, John.
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 M. J. Nolan  Zoom on M. J. Nolan  Nolan, M. J.
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 Noel O'Flynn  Zoom on Noel O'Flynn  O’Flynn, Noel. Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  O’Hanlon, Rory.
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 Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  Roche, Dick. Information on Eamon Ryan  Zoom on Eamon Ryan  Ryan, Eamon.
Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  Sargent, Trevor. 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.  


[445]Níl
Information on James Bannon  Zoom on James Bannon  Bannon, James. Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Barrett, Seán.
Information on Joe Behan  Zoom on Joe Behan  Behan, Joe. Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Broughan, Thomas P.
Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  Bruton, Richard. Information on Ulick Burke  Zoom on Ulick Burke  Burke, Ulick.
Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  Burton, Joan. Information on Catherine Byrne  Zoom on Catherine Byrne  Byrne, Catherine.
Information on Deirdre Clune  Zoom on Deirdre Clune  Clune, Deirdre. Information on Noel Coonan  Zoom on Noel Coonan  Coonan, Noel J.
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 John Deasy  Zoom on John Deasy  Deasy, John. 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 Frank Feighan  Zoom on Frank Feighan  Feighan, Frank.
Information on Martin Ferris  Zoom on Martin Ferris  Ferris, Martin. 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 Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  Kehoe, Paul.
Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Kenny, Enda. Zoom on George Lee  Lee, George.
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 Dinny McGinley  Zoom on Dinny McGinley  McGinley, Dinny.
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 Maureen O'Sullivan  Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan  O’Sullivan, Maureen.
Information on Willie Penrose  Zoom on Willie Penrose  Penrose, Willie. Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  Perry, John.
Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Quinn, Ruairí. Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Rabbitte, Pat.
Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring  Ring, Michael. 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 Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  Shortall, Róisín.
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.
Information on Jack Wall  Zoom on Jack Wall  Wall, Jack.  

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 No. 5, Order for Second Stage and Second and Remaining Stages of the Financial Measures (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2009 agreed to?

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  I want to make a proposal to the Taoiseach on this item. He proposes to guillotine Second Stage of the Bill at 7 p.m. and Committee and Remaining Stages at 10 p.m. I know the Taoiseach has offered to extend the sitting until 11 p.m and he will guillotine it at that time instead. That, unfortunately, does not meet the requirements. This Bill, for the reasons we stated before and which Deputy Burton has outlined, has a range of issue that require attention.

There is also the critical issue of the proposal to give the Minister for Finance the power to extend the life of the bank guarantee scheme. I suggest to the Taoiseach that we agree to take Second State of the Bill today, take Committee Stage after statements on the European Council tomorrow and take Report Stage on Thursday. That way we would have the opportunity to properly examine the Bill.

I heard what the Taoiseach had to say about access to money and so on. The timeframe to which I referred would allow for proper parliamentary scrutiny of the Bill and would not compromise the need to deal with the Bill reasonably quickly. It would be done this week. I [446]am sure there can be co-operation in the House on the taking of the Bill and this would be a reasonable way to deal with it. Otherwise, the Labour Party will have to oppose the proposal before us, that is, to guillotine Second Stage at 7 p.m. and Committee and Remaining Stages at 10 p.m.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  I have to advise Deputy Gilmore that the ordering of business is the prerogative of the Taoiseach and Government. Deputy Gilmore, under Standing Orders, is not entitled to introduce a new matter now. It is up to the Taoiseach to reply to Deputy Gilmore.

Deputy Emmet Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  Surely a Deputy is entitled to amend the time allocated, which is what is proposed.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  Yes, but Deputy Gilmore is seeking to bring in a new matter for Wednesday and Thursday, which would not be in order.

Deputy Emmet Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  It is a time motion.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  That is not what Deputy Gilmore stated.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  I am guided by the Whip in these matters and I have to be fair to him. He has outlined detailed business for the House during the course of this week, and from now until the recess the schedule is chock-a-block in terms of the business that has to conducted. I am not in a position to improve the offer I have made, unfortunately.

Question put: “That the proposal for dealing with No. 5 be agreed to.”

The Dáil divided: Tá, 73; Níl, 67.

Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  Ahern, Dermot. Information on Michael Ahern  Zoom on Michael Ahern  Ahern, Michael.
Information on Noel Ahern  Zoom on Noel Ahern  Ahern, Noel. 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 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 Ciaran Cuffe  Zoom on Ciaran Cuffe  Cuffe, Ciarán.
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 Jimmy Devins  Zoom on Jimmy Devins  Devins, Jimmy.
Information on Tim Dooley  Zoom on Tim Dooley  Dooley, Timmy. Information on Michael Finneran  Zoom on Michael Finneran  Finneran, Michael.
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 Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Gogarty, Paul.
Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley  Gormley, John. Information on Noel Grealish  Zoom on Noel Grealish  Grealish, Noel.
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 Brendan Kenneally  Zoom on Brendan Kenneally  Kenneally, Brendan.
Information on Michael Kennedy  Zoom on Michael Kennedy  Kennedy, Michael. 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 Conor Lenihan  Zoom on Conor Lenihan  Lenihan, Conor.
Information on Tom McEllistrim  Zoom on Tom McEllistrim  McEllistrim, Thomas. Information on Mattie McGrath  Zoom on Mattie McGrath  McGrath, Mattie.
Information on Michael McGrath  Zoom on Michael McGrath  McGrath, Michael. Information on John McGuinness  Zoom on John McGuinness  McGuinness, John.
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 M. J. Nolan  Zoom on M. J. Nolan  Nolan, M. J.
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 Noel O'Flynn  Zoom on Noel O'Flynn  O’Flynn, Noel. Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  O’Hanlon, Rory.
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 Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  Roche, Dick. Information on Eamon Ryan  Zoom on Eamon Ryan  Ryan, Eamon.
Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  Sargent, Trevor. 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 James Bannon  Zoom on James Bannon  Bannon, James. Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Barrett, Seán.
Information on Joe Behan  Zoom on Joe Behan  Behan, Joe. Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Broughan, Thomas P.
Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  Bruton, Richard. Information on Ulick Burke  Zoom on Ulick Burke  Burke, Ulick.
Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  Burton, Joan. Information on Catherine Byrne  Zoom on Catherine Byrne  Byrne, Catherine.
Information on Deirdre Clune  Zoom on Deirdre Clune  Clune, Deirdre. Information on Noel Coonan  Zoom on Noel Coonan  Coonan, Noel J..
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 John Deasy  Zoom on John Deasy  Deasy, John. 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 Frank Feighan  Zoom on Frank Feighan  Feighan, Frank.
Information on Martin Ferris  Zoom on Martin Ferris  Ferris, Martin. 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 Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  Kehoe, Paul.
Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Kenny, Enda. Zoom on George Lee  Lee, George.
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 Dinny McGinley  Zoom on Dinny McGinley  McGinley, Dinny.
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 Maureen O'Sullivan  Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan  O’Sullivan, Maureen.
Information on Willie Penrose  Zoom on Willie Penrose  Penrose, Willie. Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  Perry, John.
Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Quinn, Ruairí. Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Rabbitte, Pat.
Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring  Ring, Michael. 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 Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  Shortall, Róisín.
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.
Information on Jack Wall  Zoom on Jack Wall  Wall, Jack.  

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 Private Members’ business agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with parliamentary questions next for answer by the Taoiseach on EU matters agreed to?

Deputy Enda Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  I do not want to object to this, but it is a matter relevant to European affairs and I will ask a question on it on the Order of Business. I want to ask the Taoiseach if the Cabinet agreed today to nominate a date for the referendum on the Lisbon treaty.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  I object to this proposal because it cuts across the suggestion I made to the Taoiseach in respect of dealing with the Financial Measures (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, which provides for the extension of the bank guarantee scheme. The explanation the Taoiseach has given us as to why the Government wants to have this Bill dealt with in one sitting today does not stand up. The idea, for example, that it has to be dealt with this [448]evening because the statutory instruments legislation must be dealt with before the statutory instruments are ready does not stand up when it can be dealt with at a more reasonable pace tomorrow and Thursday. The final argument that he put, namely, that somehow he was going to inconvenience the Chief Whip if he agreed to our request and that his hands were tied, is farcical.

We are in a situation where the Government is deciding, as it often does at the end of a parliamentary session, to use its parliamentary majority to force certain measures through the House in a short period of time. There are two reasons this is not appropriate on this occasion.

Deputy Billy Kelleher: Information on Billy Kelleher  Zoom on Billy Kelleher  It is called democracy.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  I am coming to that, Deputy. First, the measure that is proposed to be dealt with here is no ordinary measure. It is to extend a guarantee that the taxpayer is providing for approximately €440 billion beyond the original date. Second — here is the democracy point — the Government now enjoys an approval rating of all of 10%. Whatever authority——

Deputy Thomas Byrne: Information on Thomas Byrne  Zoom on Thomas Byrne  This is nonsense.

Deputy Billy Kelleher: Information on Billy Kelleher  Zoom on Billy Kelleher  Should we tear up the Constitution?

(Interruptions).

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Whatever authority the Government may have had in the past to ram through legislation and to use the guillotine, it certainly does not have the moral and political authority to do it in those circumstances.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  Deputy Gilmore——

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Whatever this hurry is about, it is not about parliamentary procedure and it is not about the Taoiseach being kind to the Chief Whip.

A Deputy:  What is your answer to that, Deputy Kelleher?

Deputy Billy Kelleher: Information on Billy Kelleher  Zoom on Billy Kelleher  The Deputy should read the Constitution.

Deputy Jim O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  You are making a lot of noise considering you are on just 10%.

(Interruptions).

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  This proposal has to do with dealing with parliamentary questions next for answer by the Taoiseach on EU matters. If the Taoiseach wishes to reply, I will give him that prerogative.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  To answer Deputy Kenny on the question of the legislation being taken, I have indicated that early October is the date. We should bring the Bill to the House to enact the legislation and, at that stage, we can state clearly what is the date and the reasons relating to how referenda operate.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  It is related to NAMA. That legislation will be at the same time.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  In regard to Deputy Gilmore’s point, the Minister, Deputy Brian Lenihan——

[449]Deputy Enda Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Can I clarify that the Cabinet did not actually decide on a date today? Is that correct?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  There can only be one intervention. The Taoiseach, without interruption.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  I have explained that we will first bring forward the legislation to the House. In regard to the second matter raised by Deputy Gilmore, the Minister, Deputy Brian Lenihan, will outline the case for the legislation to the House in accurate terms which are not in line with the contention made by the Deputy.

Question, “That the proposal for dealing with No. 5 be agreed to”, put and declared carried.

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

Deputy Enda Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  First, arising from the Taoiseach’s comment, when does he expect the House will be presented with the Bill to deal with the referendum on the Lisbon treaty? Will it be next week or the week after? Is there a conclusion on this and when can we expect the Bill to come to the House?

Second, has the Taoiseach any further detail on whether the Dáil will be recalled in September to deal specifically with the NAMA legislation? That seemed to be the indication last week.

Third, on 20 March last, the then Minister of State with responsibility for fisheries, Deputy Seán Power, made an announcement to the effect that the Government had decided to restructure the inland fisheries sector, which I support. He also said at the time of that announcement that the Government had made a decision to prioritise the legislation dealing with the amalgamation of the various elements of that sector. What is the situation with regard to the production of that legislation which the then Minister of State said would be given priority by the Government?

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  Regarding the legislation, I understand the heads were approved in March and the detailed legislation should be later this year. On the other question, I expect we would take that Bill in the House the week after next.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  When I raised earlier the matter of the Financial Measures (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, the Taoiseach in reply told me the Bill must be enacted tonight in order for the relevant statutory instruments to be made. Will the statutory instruments arising from this Bill be laid before the House tomorrow?

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  I understand this Bill goes to the Seanad tomorrow. The statutory instruments which were envisaged by Deputy Bruton will be presented to the House in due course and will have to be approved by the House.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  We have just had a number of exchanges about the great rush to take all Stages of this Bill today. The Taoiseach’s explanation for this is that it is to facilitate the presenting of the statutory instruments. When will the statutory instruments be laid before the House?

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  As soon as possible.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  But——

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  Sorry, Deputy, if I may——

[450]Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  The Taoiseach said he wanted the legislation passed by 10 p.m. today and now he——

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  I have explained on a number of occasions the position with miscellaneous provisions Bills and I have explained the meaning of the particular section to which Deputy Gilmore refers. I have explained why the Bill must be enacted, namely, it must be enacted before a statutory instrument under section 6(5) of the other Act, to which I referred in a previous intervention and which will set out the issues in detail, can be brought to the House for approval. This section by way of introduction enables the statutory instrument to be brought to the House in a way that is statutorily compliant.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  My question——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Standing Orders are very clear in regard to this matter. The Taoiseach is entitled under Standing Orders to defer answering any question in regard to the making of secondary legislation to another day.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  I asked when the secondary legislation will be laid before the House.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Taoiseach made a fair answer.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  No, he told us——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  They are the rules. I can only implement the rules.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  I know the Ceann Comhairle must observe the rules and I will try to help him with that. However, the Taoiseach has during the course of our exchanges kept telling us that the reason the legislation must be passed by 10 p.m. today is to facilitate the bringing before the House of the statutory instruments. When will the statutory instruments be brought forward? Clearly, this is a matter of considerable urgency. I would have thought that if the legislation has to be passed tonight, we would see the statutory instruments tomorrow. All I asked for in my proposals earlier——

Deputy Noel Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Which were voted down.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  ——was that we would take the week to deal with the Bill, with Committee Stage tomorrow and Report Stage on Thursday. Clearly, there is such an urgency in getting these statutory instruments before us that even that reasonable proposal was not acceptable. When will we see the statutory instruments? Terms such as “as soon as possible” and “in due course” or any of that old waffle is not the answer I am looking for.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  That does not accord with the Standing Order.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  In respect of arrangements such as this which provide a state aid, state aid rules must be adhered to by the EU, with which discussions must also take place, and the statutory instrument that is brought to the House will be in compliance with all of those issues——

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  So what is the hurry this evening?

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  It is because we need to get on with it. We need to make sure that we have a statutory basis.

[451]Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  This has been around since 7 April. What has the Taoiseach been up to?

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  We have a fundamental difference of opinion here. It is the Deputy’s belief that we do not need State guarantees for anything and that we should never have had them. That is the Deputy’s position and he claimed he was right in that position.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  That is not it.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  It is the Government’s position that what it did in September was correct and that it was prudent in issuing them for a two year period.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  That is why the Taoiseach is changing it now.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  It did not work either.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  It is also the belief of the Minister for Finance that the situation now, in line with developments in the EU states subsequent to the initiative taken by the Government, for which the Deputy gives it no credit, requires change. In due course it will require a statutory instrument that gets approval in the House and which is approved by the EU under state aid rules in the same way as we enacted legislation in the House on 29 September and subsequently got state aid approval.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  When?

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  It is the very same procedure. If the Deputy wants simple A, B and C answers to what are complex issues he cannot get them but he is being advised of very clear procedures outlined by the Minister, Deputy Lenihan, at the time of the supplementary budget. Consistent with that and with which he is proceeding this evening, a statutory instrument requiring the approval of the Oireachtas in compliance with EU state aid rules will be required. It is something that will require further consultation with the Commission in due course as with previous schemes which met with its approval.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  I call Deputy McManus. I have set out the ruling and I must adhere to it.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  It is not. I will not detain the Ceann Comhairle.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Deputy must adhere to the rules the same as I or anybody else.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  I do not want to get into an argument.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  This was announced on 7 April. It is now 23 June and we are told it has to be done immediately to facilitate the introduction of statutory instruments. I asked the Taoiseach what was not a complicated question but simply when the statutory instruments will appear and he cannot tell me. This is not about the position the Labour Party took in September. We know that and I am quite happy to defend that anywhere. This is about whether the Taoiseach and the Government knows what it is doing in this whole area and if it is up to doing it.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  We know exactly what we are doing.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  The Government is now introducing a legislative measure announced in April.

[452]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  I call Deputy McManus. Deputy Gilmore is engaging in repetition which I cannot allow.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  The Deputy should get a little responsibility.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  The left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. It is pure incompetence.

Deputy Liz McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  One year ago while introducing the Broadcasting Bill the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources made a commitment that there would be provisions to deal with premium rate phone and text services.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  We cannot deal with that now.

Deputy Liz McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  These are the subject of many scams and thousands of complaints have been made on behalf of customers who have been scammed. A commitment was made by this Government and I am entitled to ask about legislation.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Deputy will have to take up the matter with the line Minister.

Deputy Liz McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  It relates to legislation.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  I realise it does, but the content of the legislation is a problem and we cannot discuss it.

Deputy Liz McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  The Broadcasting Bill was to have introduced these provisions and that did not take place. It has now been passed into law.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  I cannot discuss that now.

Deputy Liz McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  I am asking the Taoiseach about the legislation which will now deal with this issue and which we welcome. We do not oppose the Bill, we simply wish to see it published. However, we also wish to ensure there is provision in the Bill for refunds to be made to customers.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Deputy will have to raise the matter when the times comes.

Deputy Liz McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  The Taoiseach can provide such an assurance and allay many fears related to the legislation.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  He cannot do so because it is a matter for the line Minister. We have been clear enough about the matter and the Deputy cannot bring this any further.

Deputy Liz McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  I am sorry but I can do so.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Deputy is dealing with the content of the legislation which is out of order.

Deputy Liz McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  The Ceann Comhairle should have listened to what I said.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  I listened very carefully and the Deputy is talking about the content of the legislation.

Deputy Liz McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  I asked specifically about legislation.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  I know exactly about what the Deputy asked and I listened carefully.

[453]Deputy Liz McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  About what did I ask?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Deputy talked about the content of the legislation as opposed to the coming into being of the legislation.

Deputy Liz McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  No, that is not it. I will give the Ceann Comhairle another chance.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Deputy wanted an assurance that the Taoiseach would introduce an amendment in respect to the issues raised. I have it fully off and it is out of order.

Deputy Liz McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  I asked about legislation.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The Deputy should ask about different legislation.

Deputy Liz McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  Will I tell the Ceann Comhairle what it is?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  Do, please; that would be wonderful.

Deputy Liz McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  I will do so. I was asking about the communications regulation (amendment) Bill.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  Now the hare is up the field.

Deputy Liz McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  We are both happy now.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  To continue the metaphor, on the red collar. We expect it to be produced during this session.

Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  There is a scandalous situation applying to child protection and family support services within the State, as revealed in an article in The Irish Examiner last week, in which internal HSE documents were published citing a litany of inadequate supports, including a situation in which children could have been at risk. The issue of children at risk is one of the most serious and one with which we should be concerned today. I refer not only to the historic situation but the current situation. Will the Government bring forward the Child Care Bill and progress the content of the Bill and the serious deficiencies in the current arrangements?

On a second matter, we have now signalled significant cuts in respect of Bus Éireann and Bus Átha Cliath fleet and staff numbers with some 320 redundancies in the coming weeks——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  Is this about legislation? I must move on.

Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Will the Government recognise the importance of addressing this matter on the floor of the Dáil before the summer recess?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  We cannot deal with that because it is a matter for the Whips.

Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Will the Government introduce the public transport regulation Bill to facilitate the address of the serious steps now being taken?

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  The public transport regulation Bill will not be taken until later this year as it will not be ready until then. The first Bill is expected shortly.

Deputy Ruairí Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  I refer to three items of legislation. First, the student support Bill which passed on Second Stage this month last year. The reason for the delay in its re-introduction to the House is, we are told by the Minister for Education and Science, that there are certain [454]amendments he wishes to be made. Have these amendments been passed by the Cabinet? I refer to third level fees which are on the boil, but we have yet to be told whether a memorandum has been brought to Government. Two primary schools in north Dublin, completing their first year at the end of this month, have no legal basis on which to function because the legislation to provide for the VECs to become a patron at primary school level has not been introduced.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  Approval was given to the drafting legislation in respect to the third matter. There is no decision on the question of the second matter. On the first issue, I am not aware of whether the amendments have come before the Cabinet. I do not believe they have but I will check.

Deputy Michael Creed: Information on Michael Creed  Zoom on Michael Creed  On the public airwaves this morning the Tánaiste responded to the crisis in the food and drink industry and job losses in the sector by indicating her Department was planning an initiative to curb the power of the multiples, which are giving a bad deal to both the private producer and to consumers. Will this involve a legislative initiative or a voluntary code?

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

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  No legislation is promised yet in that area.

Deputy Michael Creed: Information on Michael Creed  Zoom on Michael Creed  Nothing is to be done?

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  That is not the case.

Deputy Michael Creed: Information on Michael Creed  Zoom on Michael Creed  Are a further 2,000 jobs to be lost in the sector?

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  The Deputy can ask a parliamentary question on the matter.

Deputy David Stanton: Information on David Stanton  Zoom on David Stanton  I refer to No. 83 in the Order Paper which calls for the restoration of a practice which allowed Members to ask a supplementary question on the Adjournment. This would make the process more realistic. Will the Government allow time to allow this to be debated? The matter would take approximately five minutes to pass.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  I suspect that is a matter for the Whips.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  It is a matter for the Whips but I encourage Deputy Stanton’s position to be supported.

Deputy David Stanton: Information on David Stanton  Zoom on David Stanton  It is on the Order Paper today. Is this not a point for the Taoiseach to decide?

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  If it were left up to me alone there would be no problem.

Deputy Kathleen Lynch: Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  Will the Taoiseach ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs to take over the handling of the inter-country adoption agreement between Vietnam and Ireland before the summer is out? I realise I am being bold and that I am trying the patience of the Ceann Comhairle but the Ceann Comhairle is aware as well as I am that hundreds of people——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  The problem is if I allow Deputy Lynch to make a point on this matter everyone else must be allowed the same opportunity.

[455]Deputy Kathleen Lynch: Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  We need the clout of the Minister for Foreign Affairs because the Minister responsible does not appear to be doing anything about the matter.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  We cannot deal with that now.

Deputy Kathleen Lynch: Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  I simply seek an answer to where it is or whether there is any possibility of it being concluded.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  A request has been made to the Vietnamese Government to enter into an interim international adoption agreement and we are awaiting a reply. That request is now a matter for the Vietnamese Government and as such it would be improper for the Irish Government to seek to influence or to interfere with that decision-making process. However, the Minister of State with responsibility for children and youth affairs and the Minister for Foreign Affairs are working through diplomatic channels to progress the matter and to bring greater clarity to the situation.

The Government is most aware of the concern and anxiety which this process is causing to prospective adoptive parents but it is firmly committed to ensuring that arrangements between Ireland and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam protect the best interests of children, their families and prospective adoptive parents.

Deputy Richard Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  I wish to raise two issues. The Master of the High Court has talked of an avalanche of new cases of home repossessions happening in October. He has said that the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform should be considering changing the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court to prevent those cases going through an expensive High Court procedure which, as we have already seen, is being abused. Is it the Government’s intention to make this change before the summer recess?

On foot of raising a hare, the issue of the statutory instruments is not a trivial one. I am sure the Taoiseach has had the experience of his daughter asking to go to a concert and asking for a loan of his credit card. Technically one can deny the bills when they come back a month later. However, the difficulty is that we will be presented with a scheme which will be afait accompli because commitments will have been made in the intervening period. This is why the foreclosure of this debate is a mistake.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  I have dealt with this matter on a number of occasions this evening. It is not a mistake to ensure we have a statutory basis to take up debt securities over a period which puts us in line with our competitors. There is nothing wrong with that.

Deputy Richard Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  It is not a mistake.

The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  This is what we are considering tonight in respect of that part of the legislation. In respect of subsequent statutory instruments that require EU state-aid rules approval from the Commission and must be brought before the House, there will of course be an opportunity to discuss that detail in that context at that time. The problem at present is that we need to give a proper statutory basis in primary legislation to enable this to happen and that is all that is happening this evening.

It would never be a view of mine that Deputy Bruton would run unsighted — to use coursing parlance — but a short slip in this case would be more appropriate.

Deputy Richard Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  Is there any proposal to deal with the issue of the High Court jurisdiction?

[456]The Taoiseach: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  The Deputy has brought to my attention that some statements have been made but I am sure the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, will consider what appropriate action he can take in this matter.


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