Thursday, 30 June 1994
Seanad Éireann Debate
Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Mr. Dempsey): Earlier I referred to the anomaly that has arisen in relation to Deputies from Dublin and the payment of their travel claims. It has been the practice for many years to allow Members to claim travelling expenses in respect of journeys between a temporary holiday home and Leinster House. It has now emerged that while the legislation covers such journeys by those Members of Dáil Éireann who do not reside in their constituencies, it does not appear to cover similar claims by Deputies who reside within their constituencies. The amendment removes that anomaly.
Mr. Dempsey: It is a standard section and to my knowledge nobody has questioned it before. It is designed to ensure that Governments do not by sleight of  hand get regulations through the Oireachtas. It tries to give Members of the House adequate time to ascertain the content of a Bill or an Order when it is passed and to allow them to annual it. It does not prevent the Bill or the Order coming into effect. It can come into effect immediately and perhaps be annulled later.
Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Mr. Dempsey): In case I do not return to the Seanad before the summer recess, and speaking in my capacity as Government Chief Whip, I thank Senators for their co-operation with my Office and with the Government in dealing with legislation during this session. I also thank the Members and staff of the Seanad for allowing the facilities of this Chamber to be used by Select Committees.
A number of Bills were initiated in the Seanad this year, although not as many as I had anticipated. That practice will be continued as much as possible. I formally apologise to the Seanad for withdrawing at the last minute a Bill which was due to be initiated here. I was obliged to withdraw the Bill because of lack of business in the other House.
Mr. Manning: I thank the Minister. The Minister recently produced elaborate and welcome plans for the restructuring of the House. A report on the future of the Library was also produced and there is a danger that the proposed immediate changes in the report could be delayed because of the Minister's plan.  Would the Minister in the next session address the House about the plan and about how the immediate changes that must be made in the Library services can be expedited?
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