Thursday, 13 December 2018
Local Government Bill 2018: Report and Final Stages
I am not trying to tie anyone's hands but I am trying to make sure that the will of the people, as expressed in the plebiscite, is reflected in the reports made by any future Government.
The Minister of State said it would not be politically feasible for someone to ignore that. I understand that a plebiscite is different from a referendum. I agree that it is important that we specify that any report that is brought should be in accordance with the vote taken by the people in the plebiscite because at the moment absolute discretion is afforded to the Minister either to bring a report that proposes to bring forward and enact legislation for directly elected mayors or not to do so, regardless of the outcome of the vote. That is how it reads and that is the issue I raised on Committee Stage. I want to tighten up the provision. I am not in any way trying to be difficult. I believe the amendment improves the Bill. I do not believe it ties anyone's hands. The amendment is in order and so it can be accepted. I went through the point at length on Committee Stage. I intend to press the amendment.