Thursday, 30 July 2020
Civil Law and Criminal Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2020: Second Stage
I will not delay the House for long. I wish the Minister the best of luck in her new position. If she is to leave a mark with the new Government, she has an opportunity to do so this evening. I ask her to listen to the previous speaker, Deputy McGuinness, and to read the amendments that have been tabled, whoever is able to get to whoever from the banking sector in the Department. This is phenomenal. There is no legislation brought in that can facilitate people who want to go through the Insolvency Service of Ireland. That is not being facilitated in any legislation being pushed through here. However, it will now be ensured in the courts, as has been pointed out, that this bit of paperwork will save the vulture funds from coming in in person, whether the case involves a business, an ordinary person with his or her house or a farmer with land, whereas a middleman, such as Link Asset Services or all these others acting for the big vulture funds, can walk in, and that will do. The piece of paper will cover everything. In fairness to all Members here, they do not have problems with the rest of the legislation. My God, though, as public representatives who deal with this in every county across the country, we have to stand up and be counted.
I know the Minister did not write the legislation.
Some senior civil servant has written this. Someone has got to them from the banking side of things and they must have serious power to be able to do that. Ministers are for making the hard decisions and this is a decision the Minister can make this evening. Nobody asks the Minister to abandon it. We are asking her to park it to one side until it goes through the different procedures, as has been pointed out by the Deputies this evening. That is all I am asking. I do not want to criticise the rest of the Bill and I will not do so, excepting that section. What has happened in this country over the past five, six, seven or eight years is that some of those vulture funds, which every one of us has encountered in representing people, have mowed through the system and this is an opportunity for us. It is not a lot to ask somebody to walk into a court and confirm that it was they themselves who gave the money in question but to rely on a piece of paper means it is there for flouting every day of the week. I ask the Minister to pull that section.