Dáil debates

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

7:00 pm

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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As the next business ordered is the Report Stage of the Finance Bill to be preceded by a number of financial resolutions and as it is not possible to proceed to that business at this time, there being no further business before the House, I ask the Minister of State to move the adjournment.

Photo of Michael NoonanMichael Noonan (Limerick East, Fine Gael)
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Before the Minister of State moves the adjournment, may I ask what is the schedule for Report Stage tomorrow and whether a voting schedule has been drawn up. We seem to have moved very rapidly this evening and there are not many matters of substance that need much time on Report Stage. I do not want to agree any schedule that ties us into a lengthy sitting that may not be necessary.

Photo of Martin ManserghMartin Mansergh (Minister of State with special responsibility for the Arts, Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism; Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Department of Finance; Tipperary South, Fianna Fail)
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Looking back on the day, perhaps the House did not allow enough time for the early sections, but I feel the later sections have been dealt with adequately in the time allotted. It was originally planned that completion of Committee Stage would be at 11 a.m. tomorrow but as it has now been completed Report Stage will start at 10.30 a.m. tomorrow instead of 11 o'clock and will proceed for six hours. I gather a meeting has been arranged between party representatives and officials before 10.30 a.m. tomorrow to prepare for Report Stage.

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Dublin West, Labour)
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Sections 1 to 38 at the beginning of the Bill are of most interest to Members and include the changes to pension provisions, the universal social charge and section 23 tax breaks. Today's schedule allowed very little time for that part and considerable time for areas including giving Revenue extra powers in combating tax evasion and so on. We should devote most of the time to sections 1 to 38 because many Members want to contribute on those and, as the Minister of State knows, the debate on Report Stage is truncated anyway. If three or four hours are being allocated to Report Stage, on behalf of the Labour Party I ask the Minister of State to consider, together with the Whips, devoting the bulk of that time to sections 1 to 38 because there was not enough time for Members to raise any queries or make any point today.

Photo of Martin ManserghMartin Mansergh (Minister of State with special responsibility for the Arts, Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism; Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Department of Finance; Tipperary South, Fianna Fail)
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There will be six hours tomorrow.

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Dublin West, Labour)
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I suggest the bulk of that time be devoted to sections 1 to 38 because the later sections have been adequately addressed and I believe that is the feeling of most Members.

Photo of Martin ManserghMartin Mansergh (Minister of State with special responsibility for the Arts, Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism; Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Department of Finance; Tipperary South, Fianna Fail)
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I believe the answer to that is "Yes", with three to four hours on sections 1 to 38.

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Dublin West, Labour)
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I believe an hour would be adequate for the others.

Photo of Arthur MorganArthur Morgan (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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Could we have approximately five hours for sections 1 to 38?

Photo of Martin ManserghMartin Mansergh (Minister of State with special responsibility for the Arts, Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism; Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Department of Finance; Tipperary South, Fianna Fail)
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That can be discussed between the Whips.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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The order specifies conclusion at 5 p.m. tomorrow.

Photo of Arthur MorganArthur Morgan (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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We need not box the various sections in the way we did on Committee Stage and can have it open on Report Stage. Is that the case?

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Whips will be meeting.

Photo of Michael NoonanMichael Noonan (Limerick East, Fine Gael)
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I agree to that suggestion.

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Dublin West, Labour)
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It was very frustrating today that the major budget provisions were all packed into an hour with very little opportunity to discuss them.

Photo of Martin ManserghMartin Mansergh (Minister of State with special responsibility for the Arts, Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism; Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Department of Finance; Tipperary South, Fianna Fail)
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I did not have any time to reply.

Photo of Arthur MorganArthur Morgan (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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Many sections were not reached in those earlier stages.

Photo of Martin ManserghMartin Mansergh (Minister of State with special responsibility for the Arts, Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism; Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Department of Finance; Tipperary South, Fianna Fail)
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I am in agreement with the other side of the House on this matter. That was the part of the discussion that was truncated.

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Dublin West, Labour)
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I am satisfied with the last section because I believe there is unanimous agreement that unless the Minister has Report Stage amendments, we do not need more than ten or 15 minutes on that.