Thursday, 19 March 2020
Gnó na Dála - Business of Dáil
Simon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
I heard earlier from many Members of the House that they wanted to see what is commonly referred to as a sunset clause in respect of the emergency powers. I indicated on the record of the House a willingness to do that. We obviously just want to make sure it is done correctly. There are quite a few amendments down, all endeavouring, from my interpretation, to achieve the same effect, that the emergency health powers would have a time limit and if the time limit were to be extended it would require the consent of these Houses. We need to do that right. There are a number of amendments we believe would have unintended consequences in terms of where they are placed in the Bill, including a number that we believe would interfere with the social welfare provisions, which nobody wishes to do. My officials are working with the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel and the likes to propose a ministerial amendment that I would present to the House. To do so, a Cheann Comhairle, we are seeking a little more time.