Order of Business (Resumed)

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 739 No. 4

First Page Previous Page Page of 568 Next Page Last Page

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Is the proposal for dealing with No. 17b, Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2011, agreed to?

[794]Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh  It is not agreed. There are a number of proposals being made, several relating to the imposition of a guillotine. Not so many months ago, if those who are now Government Whips had seen proposals for seven guillotines on a single day, they would have been apoplectic. In many cases there is no need for the proposals to guillotine legislation because it will not be opposed and will pass virtually on the nod. The Bills have been exhaustively debated and are not contentious. I am arguing against the imposition of seven guillotines today and ask that even at this late stage, the Chief Whip and Tánaiste consider removing the guillotines. This would allow debate to take place in a proper fashion with every one of the proposals before us, many of which are quite detailed changes in our legislation and require more time for every Deputy to have an opportunity to contribute to the debate.

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins  Zoom on Joe Higgins  I support those comments.

The Tánaiste: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  All of these are pieces of reforming legislation and I would expect Members of the House to support them. One of the proposals, for example, deals with amendments from the Seanad to the child care Bill. I recall last week that Deputy Ó Caoláin specifically asked for those amendments to be made, and they were made in the Seanad.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh  We are not opposing the amendments.

The Tánaiste: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  The House will today agree the amendments made in the Seanad which were proposed by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. It would be somewhat strange for the House to want to delay the implementation of those amendments and important child care legislation.

Deputy Joe Carey: Information on Joe Carey  Zoom on Joe Carey  Hear, hear.

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

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh  The Tánaiste is misrepresenting my comments.

The Tánaiste: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  No. 17b relates to the Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2011 and the proposal will allow the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government to introduce amendments to the Bill which will, for example, deal with the long outstanding issue of the name of Dingle and Daingean Uí Chúis. There are also a number of technical amendments relating to the birds directive.

Deputy Brian Stanley: Information on Brian Stanley  Zoom on Brian Stanley  There are other issues too, such as planning matters.

The Tánaiste: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  The Government has a number of pieces of reforming legislation before the House and there is absolutely no reason this legislation should not be enacted. I see no reason for the Opposition, or parts of it, to want to delay the reforms being dealt with.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh  We are not suggesting a delay. I am dealing with the guillotine.

The Tánaiste: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  The purpose of the guillotine is to get legislation through.

Deputy Timmy Dooley: Information on Tim Dooley  Zoom on Tim Dooley  What is the difference between this and when the Tánaiste was in Opposition?

Deputy Billy Kelleher: Information on Billy Kelleher  Zoom on Billy Kelleher  What a difference 15 metres make.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Comments should be made through the Chair.

[795]The Tánaiste: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  There is a difference.

Deputy Jerry Buttimer: Information on Jerry Buttimer  Zoom on Jerry Buttimer  They are trying to get Micheál out.

Deputy Shane McEntee: Information on Shane McEntee  Zoom on Shane McEntee  Even one metre makes a difference.

Deputy Jerry Buttimer: Information on Jerry Buttimer  Zoom on Jerry Buttimer  They will not be back here for a long time so the Deputies should get used to it over there.

The Tánaiste: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  The difference is that this is good reforming legislation in the public interest.

Deputy Jerry Buttimer: Information on Jerry Buttimer  Zoom on Jerry Buttimer  They are plotting against Micheál already. The poll numbers are not great.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Deputy Buttimer.

Deputy Paul Kehoe: Information on Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  The opinion poll was not good reading.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  We read the papers. I remind Deputies that while all this is ongoing, it is now 11.05 a.m. and all the business to be dealt with will be held up. I ask Deputies for their co-operation.

Question, “That the proposal for dealing with No. 17b be agreed to”, put and declared carried.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Is the proposal for dealing with No. 23, Report and Final Stages of the Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2011, agreed to?

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh  It is not agreed.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  The Deputy has already made his explanation.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh  It is a pity the Taoiseach did not bother listening to me as he misrepresented what I told him.

Deputy Alan Shatter: Information on Alan Shatter  Zoom on Alan Shatter  He is the Tánaiste. The Taoiseach is not here.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh  I apologise, it is the Tánaiste.

Deputy Alan Shatter: Information on Alan Shatter  Zoom on Alan Shatter  The Deputy can telephone the Taoiseach.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh  If the Deputy wishes it, I can do it. The Tánaiste definitely did not listen and misrepresented exactly what I stated. I indicated that most of the legislation was not contentious and would probably go through on the nod because there is agreement across the board on it. I ask that the guillotines be lifted. We have shown in recent months that when guillotines were imposed, they were not required. Where legislation is welcome and not controversial, we have accepted the reasoning——

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  The Opposition was not there.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh  ——behind quick passage. We have agreed with Ministers in putting legislation on the agenda today to facilitate debate. All I ask is that the guillotines be lifted as the legislation will be passed in the timeframe outlined by the Government. There should be ample opportunity to debate the different amendments to these pieces of legislation, which are far-reaching in some cases. We do not want it said, in a number of months, that [796]proper scrutiny was not given to the issue and legislation could be struck down by the Supreme Court.

Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath  We will bring them in next week.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  I presume the Tánaiste’s explanation will be the same as the last time.

The Tánaiste: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  There are a number of pieces of legislation and, in fairness, Deputy Ó Snodaigh is correct in that these Bills are not being opposed, as I understand it. The times we have set down to conclude the debate on each of the pieces of legislation is to provide a form of discipline for the House to ensure we get through all of them.

Question, “That the proposal for dealing with No. 23 be agreed to”, put and declared carried.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Is the proposal for dealing with No. a1, Child Care (Amendment) Bill 2009, amendments from the Seanad, agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 24, Central Bank and Credit Institutions (Regulations) (No. 2) Bill 2011, Second Stage (Resumed), agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with 29a, Criminal Justice (Community Service) (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2011, Order for Report, Report and Final Stages, agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal that the Dáil on its rising today shall adjourn until 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 14 September 2011, agreed to?

Deputy Mary Lou McDonald: Information on Mary Lou McDonald  Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald  It is not agreed.

Deputy Derek Keating: Information on Derek Keating  Zoom on Derek Keating  We will see real hypocrisy now.

Deputy Simon Harris: Information on Simon Harris  Zoom on Simon Harris  Deputy Ó Cuív can start his presidential campaign now.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  It has been customary at this time of year——

Deputy Paul Kehoe: Information on Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  Will the Deputy tell us we should have finished for the summer three weeks ago?

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  ——for Opposition parties to oppose the motion on the adjournment of the Dáil for the summer and try to add to the myth that politicians are on holiday when the Dáil is not sitting in plenary session. I am not going to add to this fable today.

Deputy Michael P. Kitt: Information on Michael Kitt  Zoom on Michael Kitt  Hear, hear.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  I know that other than during a short break, when politicians are——

Deputy Seán Crowe: Information on Sean Crowe  Zoom on Sean Crowe  On the beach.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  ——in recess, we fulfil many of the other functions of our office. That can involve doing research, working in our constituencies or reading important documents that inform the work we have to do. I recognise that those in government will use the break to do much of the work that needs to be done in their Departments. I am sure they will take this opportunity to do work that will be of great importance to the country in the autumn.

Deputy Simon Harris: Information on Simon Harris  Zoom on Simon Harris  That is very presidential.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  It is fair to record that many politicians work between 80 and 100 hours a week. The work we do in this House is a small part of the overall work we do.

[797]Deputy Michael P. Kitt: Information on Michael Kitt  Zoom on Michael Kitt  Hear, hear.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  We all have many roles to fulfil in our constituencies and as public representatives.

Deputy John Browne: Information on John Browne  Zoom on John Browne  Good man, Éamon.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  It is fair to point out that many politicians on both sides of the House have specific briefs that require a considerable amount of work and research. Politics can demand dedication from people other than politicians — it is also required from the family members of Deputies, for example. Politicians are often away from home for days or weeks on end. I accept that the hours are long for Dublin Deputies, but it is fair to recognise that when the House is sitting, rural Deputies are away from home for the best part of the week.

Deputy Colm Keaveney: Information on Colm Keaveney  Zoom on Colm Keaveney  Hear, hear.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  The recess presents an opportunity to work from home, but that does not mean one is not working. I emphasise that regardless of their policies or allegiances, most politicians work very hard and believe in what they are doing.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Thank you, Deputy.

Deputy Timmy Dooley: Information on Tim Dooley  Zoom on Tim Dooley  The Ceann Comhairle is included in that.

Deputy Niall Collins: Information on Niall Collins  Zoom on Niall Collins  He is above all that now.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  I am about to conclude.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  The Deputy is making a very presidential speech.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  I have given the Deputy some latitude, but I have to say the normal practice——

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  He is looking for the nomination.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  ——is for contributions to be made only by Deputies who disagree with the proposal before the House.

Deputy Timmy Dooley: Information on Tim Dooley  Zoom on Tim Dooley  I am sure Deputy Ó Cuív will include you, a Cheann Comhairle.

Deputy Niall Collins: Information on Niall Collins  Zoom on Niall Collins  He will give the Ceann Comhairle a mention at the end.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  I appreciate what Deputy Ó Cuív is saying, but I have given him sufficient time to say it.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  Fianna Fáil has not prolonged the Order of Business this morning.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  I appreciate that.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  We have seen many changes in this Dáil. Deputies on this side of the House will continue to work as a robust Opposition.

Deputy Michael Creed: Information on Michael Creed  Zoom on Michael Creed  Robotic.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  However, I would like to make one request. In view of the major importance of the summit taking place today, the House should reconvene next week.

[798]Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath  Hear, hear.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  The Taoiseach should report to the House on the summit and give us a chance to debate its outcome. Between now and the recall of the Dáil, those of us on this side of the House will continue to work and prepare to come back here as a vigilant and active Opposition. Despite our depleted numbers, we will hold the Government to account.

Deputy Simon Harris: Information on Simon Harris  Zoom on Simon Harris  Thank you.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  Democracy requires no less.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  That is reassuring.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  Ba mhaith liom chuile rath a ghuí ar gach éinne i gcaitheamh an tsamhraidh. Tá sé tábhachtach go dtógfadh gach Teachta briseadh mar go dteastaíonn sé. Tá súil agam go ngéillfidh an Tánaiste don iarratas atá déanta agam go dtiocfaimid ar ais ar chúis faoi leith atá thar a bheith tábhachtach don tír.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  A hUachtaráin——

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  Ba cheart dúinn toradh an mhórchruinnithe atá ar bun sa Bhruiséil a phlé.

Deputy Simon Harris: Information on Simon Harris  Zoom on Simon Harris  The Deputy is a real patriot.

Deputy Mary Lou McDonald: Information on Mary Lou McDonald  Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald  That sounded more like an Ard-Fheis speech than a presidential speech.

Deputy Timmy Dooley: Information on Tim Dooley  Zoom on Tim Dooley  Has the Deputy been to one of our Ard-Fheiseanna?

Deputy Mary Lou McDonald: Information on Mary Lou McDonald  Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald  As we pack up our buckets and spades and head off——

Deputy Colm Keaveney: Information on Colm Keaveney  Zoom on Colm Keaveney  The Deputy should speak for herself.

Deputy Mary Lou McDonald: Information on Mary Lou McDonald  Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald  ——for a well earned break——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  I assure the Deputy that I gave up using buckets and spades a long time ago.

Deputy Mary Lou McDonald: Information on Mary Lou McDonald  Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald  ——it is useful to record that while politicians may work hard——

Deputy Niall Collins: Information on Niall Collins  Zoom on Niall Collins  More like buckets and hand grenades.

Deputy Mary Lou McDonald: Information on Mary Lou McDonald  Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald  ——many outside these walls work much harder. It is only fitting to record the fact that hundreds of thousands of low-paid workers will have a very fretful summer on foot of a High Court decision and the failure of the Government to introduce emergency legislation. We do not accept that the House should be adjourned, given that the Taoiseach is today attending an EU summit of immense importance to the State.

Deputy Paudie Coffey: Information on Paudie Coffey  Zoom on Paudie Coffey  He will do a good job.

Deputy Mary Lou McDonald: Information on Mary Lou McDonald  Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald  Many promises have been made by the Government in the course of this Dáil session. It promised to resolve the issue of the interest rate and deal with senior bondholders. We have heard a great deal of rhetoric but seen very little action.

[799]Deputy Paudie Coffey: Information on Paudie Coffey  Zoom on Paudie Coffey  Deputy Kenny is the hardest working Taoiseach we have ever seen.

Deputy Mary Lou McDonald: Information on Mary Lou McDonald  Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald  Reports in the media today suggest something may be brewing in the discussions between France and Germany. It would be unacceptable if the Taoiseach were to fail to present himself before the House to give us a full account of the summit and reassure Deputies and the people as a whole — the taxpayers and citizens of the State — that he has finally taken a stand, done the right thing and represented the interests of citizens fully and fairly.

Deputy Shane McEntee: Information on Shane McEntee  Zoom on Shane McEntee  He will do so.

Deputy Mary Lou McDonald: Information on Mary Lou McDonald  Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald  Rather than adjourning for the summer, the House should reconvene next week to hear a full and frank report from the Taoiseach.

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins  Zoom on Joe Higgins  In the past the proposal to adjourn the Dáil for the summer was often routinely opposed——

Deputy Paudie Coffey: Information on Paudie Coffey  Zoom on Paudie Coffey  The bandwagon is rolling on.

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins  Zoom on Joe Higgins  ——with a level of cynicism and grandstanding that only the Labour Party and Fine Gael could muster.

Deputy Niall Collins: Information on Niall Collins  Zoom on Niall Collins  The Deputy can beat that level.

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins  Zoom on Joe Higgins  On this occasion there is——

Deputy Paul Kehoe: Information on Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  The Deputy has asked me on numerous occasions when the House will be adjourning for the summer.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Sorry, hold on a second.

Deputy Paul Kehoe: Information on Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  He has asked me enough times anyway.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  I ask the Minister of State not to interrupt.

Deputy Paul Kehoe: Information on Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  He asked me many times if we would be sitting for another week.

Deputy Niall Collins: Information on Niall Collins  Zoom on Niall Collins  We heard the Minister of State the first time. He only needed to say it once.

Deputy Alan Shatter: Information on Alan Shatter  Zoom on Alan Shatter  Deputy Higgins’s holidays are booked. He will be in trouble if we sit longer.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  I ask the Tánaiste to ensure his colleagues remain quiet.

Deputy Alan Shatter: Information on Alan Shatter  Zoom on Alan Shatter  The sandy beaches of Cuba are waiting for Deputy Higgins.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Deputy Higgins should be allowed to make his contribution.

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins  Zoom on Joe Higgins  The Government Whip should be giving his back benchers good example.

Deputy Paudie Coffey: Information on Paudie Coffey  Zoom on Paudie Coffey  The Deputy should not be talking out of both sides of his mouth.

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins  Zoom on Joe Higgins  The serious point is that more time is needed on this occasion. I do not deny that many Members are tired and exhausted.

[800]Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  The Deputy should speak for himself.

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins  Zoom on Joe Higgins  If one wants proof of this, one can look at the faces of the people from the media present. They cannot wait to get out of here.

Deputy Anthony Lawlor: Information on Anthony Lawlor  Zoom on Anthony Lawlor  The Deputy is blaming them again.

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins  Zoom on Joe Higgins  The same can be said of some Members. It has been a difficult year. However, more time is needed for three strong reasons. First, the EU summit will probably decide to continue the policy of the leaders of the European establishment, which is to continue to force working-class people in this country and elsewhere in Europe to salvage a rotten financial system. The Taoiseach should report back to us and give us an opportunity to discuss the outcome of the summit. Second, approximately 250,000 low-paid workers, among the most vulnerable workers in our society, have been left without the protection of the joint labour committees and the employment regulation order system which the bosses had struck down in the Supreme Court. This is the busiest and most pressurised time of the year in the hotel and restaurant sectors and other areas. Tens of thousands in these sectors are open to pressure and exploitation. It is shameful for the national Parliament to adjourn for the summer without giving these workers the protections they need. Third, an opinion poll published this morning suggests 55% of the people are dissatisfied with the Government. Significantly, a majority of Labour Party supporters are dissatisfied.

Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath  Ouch.

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins  Zoom on Joe Higgins  Is it any wonder, considering that we have had four months of putting the burden of salvaging the European financial system on the backs of ordinary working people?

Deputy Brendan Griffin: Information on Brendan Griffin  Zoom on Brendan Griffin  What level of support did the Socialist Party receive in the poll?

Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath  It is on a figure of 17% in Dublin.

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins  Zoom on Joe Higgins  We need more time to deal with these issues.

Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath  That is the latest figure.

Deputy Colm Keaveney: Information on Colm Keaveney  Zoom on Colm Keaveney  How did the Finian Party get on? Finian Fáil.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  I call Deputy Boyd Barrett.

Deputy Anthony Lawlor: Information on Anthony Lawlor  Zoom on Anthony Lawlor  We have heard from the Technical Group.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett  Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett  Everybody deserves a break. Whatever differences I have with the Members on the other side of the House, I recognise it has been a fairly intense few months in here and all of us have a difficult situation to deal with. I do not doubt that Members have been working hard in their own way by their own lights in order to attempt to deal with the situation.

Also, it is important to dispel the myth that politicians will all be swanning off for the next six or eight weeks on holidays. They deserve a break and no doubt will take one, but many of them will be working for most of that time, either in their constituencies or on the issues that affect the country.

That being said, however, there is a strong and legitimate case for keeping the Dáil convened for a few more days. First, the issue of the European summit is a serious matter. While there [801]are some positive noises about what may happen there in terms of trying to deal with the debt crisis, there have been similar sounds before previous summits which turned out to be quite other than what people hoped and the contagion spread. People are anxious and deserve to hear a full report and to have this House interrogate fully the outcome of that summit.

In particular, one element of the Taoiseach’s speech yesterday in terms of what might come out of that summit alarmed me greatly and if any such arrangement is put in place, it is certainly something that we need to discuss. It is that if there was any talk of lengthening the maturities on loans and lowering interest rates, it may include a collateral arrangement where appropriate.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  We do not discuss the full issues.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett  Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett  I just want to make a point. That is a very serious question. That means assets of the State would be used as collateral against changes in interest rates. That is a serious business and we need to know if that is the case.

Deputy Anthony Lawlor: Information on Anthony Lawlor  Zoom on Anthony Lawlor  Deputy Boyd Barrett is not correct.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett  Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett  Another reason is the issue of the JLCs and the uncertainty that faces those low-paid workers.

Another reason is the Dáil owes it to a vulnerable section of society to clarify whether it will have the educational supports it needs come September. Heading into the summer, parents of children with special needs who have been refused applications for special needs assistants need to know whether they will have them in the autumn. There are 400 or so held over, but it is uncertain for many parents whether they will have them. The Dáil has an obligation to the parents of the most vulnerable children in this country to clarify that situation before the summer break.

  11 o’clock

Lastly, I have asked since the publication of the McCarthy report for some discussion in this House about what State assets may be on the chopping block for sale in order to pay off the bankers and bondholders and I have been referred constantly to the Chief Whip. We have asked the Chief Whip in meeting after meeting to have this discussion and the Government consistently refuses to discuss the question of billions of euro in State assets that may be up for sale. We should not adjourn the Dáil until that matter is discussed and clarified and the public gets a chance to know what may be up for sale to pay off bondholders.

The Tánaiste: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  We should acknowledge that the House, since the general election, has sat for 38% longer than was previously the case. The recess that is being proposed for this summer is the shortest that I certainly can recall, and I am in the House 22 years. The date originally proposed by the previous Government for the adjournment of the Dáil for the summer was 7 July and the date for resumption was 29 September. What we are talking about is a much shorter recess.

A number of Members have referred to the important meeting taking place today in Brussels of the Heads of State and Government. It is an important meeting that has been convened by President Van Rompuy. First, the fact that the meeting is taking place represents a significant achievement for this country and for the Government. For some time we have been seeking to have the debate about the debt crisis moved from being dealt with on a country-by-country basis to being dealt with on a European-wide basis, seeking a European solution to a European problem. The fact that we are at a point today where there is a summit meeting taking place which is addressing a European solution to that crisis represents a very significant achievement for the country, for the Government and for the diplomatic work that we have been doing over the course of the past four months or more in that area.

[802]Second, I am sure everybody in the House will wish the Taoiseach well in the discussions taking place in Brussels today——

Deputies:  Hear, hear.

The Tánaiste: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  ——and express the hope that there will be a positive outcome for Ireland from that meeting. I certainly hope that there will be such a positive outcome and if there is, I hope it will be welcomed, not only by those of us who are on the Government side of the House but right across the House. Much work has gone in over a long period of time to reach the point where today, hopefully, this country will get a positive outcome from the meeting that is taking place in Brussels.

I am proposing that the House itself, in terms of its formal plenary session, will adjourn today and reconvene on 14 September. However, it is appropriate that the outcome of the summit meeting today is considered by the parliamentary system. I understand it is proposed that there will be a meeting of the Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform on Tuesday at 4 o’clock to discuss the outcome of the summit. As the House will be aware, every Member of the House is entitled to attend meetings of committees. If it is the case that the number of Members interested in attending that committee is more than what would be accommodated in the committee room, we can have that meeting of the committee here in the Chamber so that any Member of the House who wants to discuss the outcome of today’s summit, from which, hopefully, there will be satisfactory conclusions, can do so here in the House. We can use the Chamber for the meeting of that committee and Members can be here in the Chamber at 4 o’clock on Tuesday next.

Deputies:  Hear, hear.

The Tánaiste: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Finally, on the issue of workers and the outcome of the High Court decision on the JLCs, as we stated here on a number of occasions the Government is preparing legislation to deal with that issue and we hope to have that legislation before the House early in the new session.

Question put: “That the Dáil on its rising today shall adjourn until 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 14 September 2011.”

The Dáil divided: Tá, 68; Níl, 31.

Information on James Bannon  Zoom on James Bannon  Bannon, James. Information on Tom Barry  Zoom on Tom Barry  Barry, Tom.
Information on Pat Breen  Zoom on Pat Breen  Breen, Pat. Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Broughan, Thomas P.
Information on Ray Butler  Zoom on Ray Butler  Butler, Ray. Information on Jerry Buttimer  Zoom on Jerry Buttimer  Buttimer, Jerry.
Information on Joe Carey  Zoom on Joe Carey  Carey, Joe. Information on Paudie Coffey  Zoom on Paudie Coffey  Coffey, Paudie.
Information on Sean Conlan  Zoom on Sean Conlan  Conlan, Seán. Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  Connaughton, Paul J.
Information on Noel Coonan  Zoom on Noel Coonan  Coonan, Noel. Information on Marcella MarcellaCorcoran Kennedy  Zoom on Marcella MarcellaCorcoran Kennedy  Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  Costello, Joe. Information on Michael Creed  Zoom on Michael Creed  Creed, Michael.
Information on Jim Daly  Zoom on Jim Daly  Daly, Jim. Information on John Deasy  Zoom on John Deasy  Deasy, John.
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 Alan Farrell  Zoom on Alan Farrell  Farrell, Alan.
Information on Frank Feighan  Zoom on Frank Feighan  Feighan, Frank. Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  Flanagan, Charles.
Information on Terence Flanagan  Zoom on Terence Flanagan  Flanagan, Terence. Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Gilmore, Eamon.
Information on Brendan Griffin  Zoom on Brendan Griffin  Griffin, Brendan. Information on Noel Harrington  Zoom on Noel Harrington  Harrington, Noel.
Information on Simon Harris  Zoom on Simon Harris  Harris, Simon. Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  Hayes, Brian.
Information on Tom Hayes  Zoom on Tom Hayes  Hayes, Tom. Information on Michael Healy-Rae  Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae  Healy-Rae, Michael.
Information on Martin Heydon  Zoom on Martin Heydon  Heydon, Martin. Information on Heather Humphreys  Zoom on Heather Humphreys  Humphreys, Heather.
Information on Kevin Humphreys  Zoom on Kevin Humphreys  Humphreys, Kevin. Information on Colm Keaveney  Zoom on Colm Keaveney  Keaveney, Colm.
Information on Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  Kehoe, Paul. Information on Seán Kenny  Zoom on Seán Kenny  Kenny, Seán.
Information on Seán Kyne  Zoom on Seán Kyne  Kyne, Seán. Information on Ciaran Lynch  Zoom on Ciaran Lynch  Lynch, Ciarán.
Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  Lynch, Kathleen. Information on John Lyons  Zoom on John Lyons  Lyons, John.
Information on Michael McCarthy  Zoom on Michael McCarthy  McCarthy, Michael. Information on Shane McEntee  Zoom on Shane McEntee  McEntee, Shane.
Information on Nicky McFadden  Zoom on Nicky McFadden  McFadden, Nicky. Information on Tony McLoughlin  Zoom on Tony McLoughlin  McLoughlin, Tony.
Information on Peter Mathews  Zoom on Peter Mathews  Mathews, Peter. Information on Mary Mitchell O'Connor  Zoom on Mary Mitchell O'Connor  Mitchell O’Connor, Mary.
Information on Michelle Mulherin  Zoom on Michelle Mulherin  Mulherin, Michelle. Information on Dara Murphy  Zoom on Dara Murphy  Murphy, Dara.
Information on Denis Naughten  Zoom on Denis Naughten  Naughten, Denis. Information on Dan Neville  Zoom on Dan Neville  Neville, Dan.
Information on Aodhán Ó Ríordán  Zoom on Aodhán Ó Ríordán  Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán. Information on Patrick O'Donovan  Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan  O’Donovan, Patrick.
Information on Fergus O'Dowd  Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd  O’Dowd, Fergus. Information on John O'Mahony  Zoom on John O'Mahony  O’Mahony, John.
Information on Joe O'Reilly  Zoom on Joe O'Reilly  O’Reilly, Joe. Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  O’Sullivan, Jan.
Information on Willie Penrose  Zoom on Willie Penrose  Penrose, Willie. Information on John Paul Phelan  Zoom on John Paul Phelan  Phelan, John Paul.
Information on Brendan Ryan  Zoom on Brendan Ryan  Ryan, Brendan. Information on Alan Shatter  Zoom on Alan Shatter  Shatter, Alan.
Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  Shortall, Róisín. Information on Arthur Spring  Zoom on Arthur Spring  Spring, Arthur.
Information on David Stanton  Zoom on David Stanton  Stanton, David. Information on Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins  Timmins, Billy.
Information on Liam Twomey  Zoom on Liam Twomey  Twomey, Liam. Information on Jack Wall  Zoom on Jack Wall  Wall, Jack.
Information on Brian Walsh  Zoom on Brian Walsh  Walsh, Brian. Information on Alex White  Zoom on Alex White  White, Alex.



Níl
Information on Richard Boyd Barrett  Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett  Boyd Barrett, Richard. Information on John Browne  Zoom on John Browne  Browne, John.
Information on Dara Calleary  Zoom on Dara Calleary  Calleary, Dara. Information on Joan Collins  Zoom on Joan Collins  Collins, Joan.
Information on Niall Collins  Zoom on Niall Collins  Collins, Niall. Information on Michael Colreavy  Zoom on Michael Colreavy  Colreavy, Michael.
Information on Barry Cowen  Zoom on Barry Cowen  Cowen, Barry. Information on Sean Crowe  Zoom on Sean Crowe  Crowe, Seán.
Information on Clare Daly  Zoom on Clare Daly  Daly, Clare. Information on Pearse Doherty  Zoom on Pearse Doherty  Doherty, Pearse.
Information on Stephen Donnelly  Zoom on Stephen Donnelly  Donnelly, Stephen. Information on Tim Dooley  Zoom on Tim Dooley  Dooley, Timmy.
Information on Martin Ferris  Zoom on Martin Ferris  Ferris, Martin. Information on Seán Fleming  Zoom on Seán Fleming  Fleming, Sean.
Information on Tom Fleming  Zoom on Tom Fleming  Fleming, Tom. Information on Joe Higgins  Zoom on Joe Higgins  Higgins, Joe.
Information on Michael Kitt  Zoom on Michael Kitt  Kitt, Michael P. Information on Mary Lou McDonald  Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald  McDonald, Mary Lou.
Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath  McGrath, Finian. Information on Sandra McLellan  Zoom on Sandra McLellan  McLellan, Sandra.
Information on Catherine Murphy  Zoom on Catherine Murphy  Murphy, Catherine. Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  Ó Cuív, Éamon.
Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Ó Fearghaíl, Seán. Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh  Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
Information on Jonathan O'Brien  Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien  O’Brien, Jonathan. Information on Willie O'Dea  Zoom on Willie O'Dea  O’Dea, Willie.
Information on Maureen O'Sullivan  Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan  O’Sullivan, Maureen. Information on Thomas Pringle  Zoom on Thomas Pringle  Pringle, Thomas.
Information on Brendan Smith  Zoom on Brendan Smith  Smith, Brendan. Information on Brian Stanley  Zoom on Brian Stanley  Stanley, Brian.
Information on Mick Wallace  Zoom on Mick Wallace  Wallace, Mick.  

Tellers: Tá, Deputies John Lyons and Paul Kehoe; Níl, Deputies Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Seán Ó Fearghaíl.

Question declared carried.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Are there any other matters on the Order of Business?

Deputy Pearse Doherty: Information on Pearse Doherty  Zoom on Pearse Doherty  On a point of order, will the Tánaiste clarify that the Taoiseach will be here on Tuesday to answer questions and to brief Members?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  That is not a point of order.

Deputy Pearse Doherty: Information on Pearse Doherty  Zoom on Pearse Doherty  It is the protocol of the House to have the Taoiseach brief Members on European summits. Last December, the Tánaiste demanded that such an approach be taken.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  That is not a point of order Deputy. Resume your seat.

Deputy Pearse Doherty: Information on Pearse Doherty  Zoom on Pearse Doherty  On a point of clarification, will the Taoiseach be before the House on Tuesday?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Please resume your seat.

Deputy Pearse Doherty: Information on Pearse Doherty  Zoom on Pearse Doherty  Will the Tánaiste answer the question?

[804]The Tánaiste: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Deputy Doherty just voted against the recommendation that I made.

Deputy Pearse Doherty: Information on Pearse Doherty  Zoom on Pearse Doherty  Will the Taoiseach be here to take questions on one of the most important European summits to take place?

Deputy Paul Kehoe: Information on Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  Deputy Doherty voted against it.

Deputy Pearse Doherty: Information on Pearse Doherty  Zoom on Pearse Doherty  Will the Taoiseach present himself before the House?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Deputy Doherty, resume your seat.

Deputy Pearse Doherty: Information on Pearse Doherty  Zoom on Pearse Doherty  Why is the Taoiseach refusing to come before the finance committee?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Deputy Doherty, did you hear me?

Deputy Pearse Doherty: Information on Pearse Doherty  Zoom on Pearse Doherty  He has been requested by the members of the finance committee to come before it.

(Interruptions).

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Deputy Doherty, resume your seat.

Deputy Pearse Doherty: Information on Pearse Doherty  Zoom on Pearse Doherty  He is refusing to come before the finance committee. The Taoiseach is refusing to come before the finance committee.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  I am moving on to the Revised Estimates for Public Services.

Deputy Pearse Doherty: Information on Pearse Doherty  Zoom on Pearse Doherty  The Tánaiste will not clarify whether he will be here next Tuesday.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  I am not putting up with this.

Deputy Paul Kehoe: Information on Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  Deputy Doherty is grandstanding.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  It is grandstanding for sure.

Deputy Pearse Doherty: Information on Pearse Doherty  Zoom on Pearse Doherty  He is refusing to come before the finance committee.

Deputy Paul Kehoe: Information on Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  This is just grandstanding.

Deputy Pearse Doherty: Information on Pearse Doherty  Zoom on Pearse Doherty  Can the Tánaiste confirm if the Taoiseach is refusing to come before the finance committee to brief Members on one of the most important European summits on the week we will inject €19 billion of taxpayers’ money into the banks?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Deputy Doherty, you will be taking an early bath if you do not resume you seat. Resume you seat. You are totally out of order and I do not think it is funny.

Deputy Pearse Doherty: Information on Pearse Doherty  Zoom on Pearse Doherty  The Taoiseach is out of order and in breach of protocol for not coming into the House.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Will you learn to have manners, stick to Standing Orders and respect the Chair, please?

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins  Zoom on Joe Higgins  On the matter of arrangements for the sittings the Tánaiste gave us the impression and explained that the finance committee would be a substitute for the Dáil. It was taken in good faith and we assumed this meant the Taoiseach would be here. Otherwise, what is the point of it?

[805]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Will you resume your seat, please? Thank you very much. Is there something you wish to raise on the Order of Business?

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins  Zoom on Joe Higgins  It is on the Order of Business. I seek a response from the Tánaiste.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  We are discussing promised legislation.

Deputy Mary Lou McDonald: Information on Mary Lou McDonald  Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald  Yesterday, the Taoiseach and the House set out in the clearest and most strenuous language that the abuse and sheltering of abusers which has come to light in respect of the Roman Catholic Church will not be tolerated and that any undue interference by the Vatican would not only be viewed negatively, but would have negative consequences for the relationship between this State and that one. I acknowledge fully the sincerity of Ministers Shatter and Fitzgerald in respect of the State’s obligation to protect fully our children. We demand of the church or any other private institution that they respect the laws of the land. We have to be very sure that the laws of the land are robust and are implemented. In that respect, when we come back in the autumn, I ask that the child welfare and protection agency Bill, the children first Bill and the national vetting bureau Bill have realistic timetables, and that, having castigated the church, we do not have a situation in which the State fails our children.

The Tánaiste: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  As far as this Government is concerned, the State will not fail our children. The Government has responded very quickly to the Cloyne report and its implications. The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and the Minster for Justice and Equality have set out the legislative measures the Government will take, and they will be progressed. The Taoiseach yesterday set out very clearly the Government’s reaction to the interventions by the Vatican. As the Deputy is aware, I have sought a formal response in respect of that from the Vatican.

With regard to the legislation, the children first Bill is being worked on as a priority and we expect the heads of that Bill will be before the Government shortly.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  Three referenda are promised. My understanding was that they would be run with the presidential election. The time is getting very short. What plans are there to have the consultation process set up by the commission and to have these referenda, allowing that we are not coming back until 14 September? Will the Tánaiste clarify whether these referenda will go ahead on 21 October, the date which I understand is proposed for the presidential election?

The Tánaiste: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government has not yet set a date for the presidential election. It is intended that the three referenda will be held on the same date as the presidential election and this will mean that the legislative provisions for those referenda will be before the House when we come back. The Taoiseach has given an undertaking to party leaders that when texts are settled, there will be consultation after that.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  It is a very tight timeframe.

The Tánaiste: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  It is.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  The Tánaiste said there is no official date but we are all aware that a date was mentioned at a certain party convention. If it is a later date, so be it, but there is a finite date by which the presidential election must be held because the seven years will be up.

Is it possible to get a detailed timetable of what is proposed in terms of the date for the legislation, getting it through both Houses, how much debate we will have and the details of the setting up of the commission?

[806]Deputy Damien English: Information on Damien English  Zoom on Damien English  Does Deputy Ó Cuív want to plan his campaign?

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  All of this takes time. Given what the Tánaiste has said, it would appear that from the time the Dáil recommences the Government has exactly one month and seven days, which is a very short timeframe to get legislation through both Houses, deal with basic issues and satisfy all the constitutional requirements for having a referendum.

The Tánaiste: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  When we are in a position to do so, we can communicate a timetable to the Opposition parties. Again, it is for the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government to set the date and that date has not yet been set.

Deputy Timmy Dooley: Information on Tim Dooley  Zoom on Tim Dooley  I seek the assistance of the Ceann Comhairle in clarifying the situation next week in regard to a report from the European meeting today. The Tánaiste has been helpful in indicating that the finance committee——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  I will ask the Tánaiste to repeat what he said earlier.

Deputy Timmy Dooley: Information on Tim Dooley  Zoom on Tim Dooley  As a member of the finance committee, I would like to know the procedures, whether the committee is due to sit and whether the Minister for Finance or the Taoiseach will come before the committee to address the matter.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  This is not a place to discuss committee business. However, to be helpful, the Tánaiste might clarify what he has already said.

The Tánaiste: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  The information I have been given is that the finance committee will convene next Tuesday at 4 p.m. and that it will consider the outcome of the summit today. First, we do not yet have an outcome. As other Members have said, some summit meetings can be entirely predictable and the issues concern the conclusions that are reached, their form or whether further work must be done later. We cannot predict the outcome of that meeting other than to say we very much hope there will be a positive outcome from that summit meeting today. That has been the way in which the Government has prepared for it.

This is really a matter for the committee. I do not know who the committee has invited and that is a matter for it. Obviously, the Government will decide who will make a presentation to the committee, and that will to some extent depend on the outcome of the summit.

Deputy Brendan Ryan: Information on Brendan Ryan  Zoom on Brendan Ryan  Is the proposed review of the impact and possible re-balancing of the universal social charge under way as yet? What will be the terms of reference of that review? Who is best placed to assess the impacts of those charges and, therefore, best placed to carry out the review? When will the review be complete? It is important——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  We are dealing with promised legislation.

Deputy Brendan Ryan: Information on Brendan Ryan  Zoom on Brendan Ryan  It is important, given the possibility of other charges such as property charges, that the impact is integrated into any discussion on those charges.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Is there legislation in this area?

The Tánaiste: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  The review of the universal social charge will be considered as part of the preparations for the budget.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  I call Deputy Higgins. Is the Deputy all right?

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins  Zoom on Joe Higgins  I was going to suggest the arrangement for a full report back from the EU leaders summit next week would necessitate the Taoiseach being present. I was a member [807]of the finance committee and Deputy Boyd Barrett and I are going to request the Chairman to request that the Taoiseach be in attendance.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  That is fine. You can do what you like.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett  Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett  The Chairman told us yesterday he was going to be there.

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins  Zoom on Joe Higgins  We cannot have a real report back unless the Taoiseach is there because he will be the man who has been at the summit.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  We have dealt with that issue. I call Deputy Crowe.

Deputy Seán Crowe: Information on Sean Crowe  Zoom on Sean Crowe  In view of the summer weather we are having——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  You must be living in a different country than I am.

Deputy Seán Crowe: Information on Sean Crowe  Zoom on Sean Crowe  Is legislation needed regarding the establishment of an early flood warning system?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  I suggest you had better talk to the man above.

Deputy Seán Crowe: Information on Sean Crowe  Zoom on Sean Crowe  There is a serious aspect. Is legislation needed to establish the early flood warning system body? There was a previous Fine Gael Private Members’ motion in the House on the issue. This body is supposedly being established.

The Tánaiste: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  I do not believe legislation is promised in this regard and I am not sure legislation is necessary. The issue of early flood warnings can be pursued with the Minister responsible for the Office of Public Works.

Deputy Willie O’Dea: Information on Willie O'Dea  Zoom on Willie O'Dea  I understood the Tánaiste to say he expects the legislation on the JLCs to be prepared in time for the return of the Dáil. Do I take it that this legislation will be debated here in September?

The Tánaiste: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  What I said is that the Government is treating the preparation of that legislation as a matter of priority. As Deputy O’Dea is aware, it is quite complex, particularly given the nature of the judgment given by the courts. It is a priority for the Minister and we hope to have that legislation early in the new session.


Last Updated: 08/03/2013 19:23:49 First Page Previous Page Page of 568 Next Page Last Page