Thursday, 3 February 2005
Order of Business.
Now that the Taoiseach appears to be intent on having a new outer radial route around Dublin, when is a decision likely to be made in respect of whether we are to have a Dublin metro and when is that Bill likely to be produced?
Second, is it intended that the Government will make time available today for statements in the House following the statement issued last night by the IRA which is an affront to Irish people, North and South? Great resentment is taken at the commencement of the statement, that the leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann makes the following points. There is one Óglaigh na hÉireann in this country and that is the Irish Army and the members of the Irish Army wear that logo with pride on their uniforms. Is it intended that time will be set aside today for statements in the House following this implied threat that the Good Friday Agreement will not be concluded unless the provisional republican movement gets its way in all circumstances?
Obviously these are matters that can be referred to the Taoiseach who speaks on behalf of the Government on them. It is not for me to make further comment except to say that from our point of view it is a matter for the two Governments to discharge their responsibilities in ensuring that the Agreement is implemented in full.
I agree with the suggestion of Deputy Kenny. It would be appropriate if time were made available to discuss the situation in Northern Ireland after what was a petulant, belligerent and somewhat threatening statement last night from the IRA that seeks to lay the blame at everyone else's door for the stalling of the peace process.
It sees nothing wrong with the discharging of its own responsibilities under the Belfast Agreement.
In every Dáil session since spring 2003 the work permits Bill has been promised for that session. Every day and increasingly we hear stories of the most outrageous exploitation of non-national workers in this jurisdiction. That Bill has been promised for publication each session since January 2003. Will the Minister for Finance say when it will come before the House?
On a point of order, a Cheann Comhairle, the Taoiseach and Ministers constantly state that it is a matter for the Whips to order business, but it is not a matter for the Whips, it is a matter for the House. The Government orders the business of the House. Therefore, it is a matter for it to make time available or not.
The Green Party supports the requests for time to be made available to discuss last night's IRA statement, especially because of its belligerent tone and its implication that weapons can be used as some kind of bargaining chip.
I am stating the position of other Deputies. Will the Minister for Finance take the opportunity to correct errors made by himself and the Taoiseach reported in yesterday's Official Report? The Taoiseach made two factual errors in his reply to a question about the M50, stating that something cannot be done——
Given that the Dublin Airport Authority intends to change the terms and conditions of its workers, in contravention of guarantees in the State Airports Act 2004, by ending the receipt of discounted flights by workers, does the Government intend to introduce amendments to the State Airports Act 2004 to facilitate that requirement of the airport authority?
To enable the Government to elucidate on the position at the ESB, is it possible to indicate when the ESB Bill will come before the House? Furthermore, can it be done so as a matter of urgency in order that the House might have an opportunity to discuss the issues which are likely to affect the ESB in future?
Do the Government parties acknowledge that transport problems exist in the south as well as in the east of the country? When will the transport (increase in CIE borrowings) Bill come before the House? In the context of problems with the N72 and N73 in north Cork, when will the national roads infrastructure Bill come before the House?
It is not appropriate to raise issues on the Order of Business which are not promised in the House. We would be here all day if every Member of the House wished to raise an issue either at a national level or concerning his or her constituency.
The fines Bill allows for increases in fines and indexation and so on. The House was promised an attachment of fines Bill on a number of occasions. However, it is not on the list. Will the Minister for Finance indicate if and when it will be added to the list? If we increase fines, we must have some way of collecting them.
I understand the fines Bill will come before the House this year and whether the matters to which the Deputy has referred will be incorporated in the Bill is a matter for debate on Second Stage.
Since the Taoiseach's white elephant of the national stadium has been permanently parked, like many of my constituents on the M50 every morning, we have been waiting for plans for Abbottstown. In that context, when will the Abbottstown sports campus development authority Bill be brought before the House and debated?