Thursday, 5 July 2012
Order of Business
It is proposed to take No. 15, European Arrest Warrant (Application to Third Countries and Amendment) and Extradition (Amendment) Bill 2011 - Order for Report, Report and Final Stages; No. 5, Personal Insolvency Bill 2012 - Order for Second Stage and Second Stage, to adjourn at 2.30 p.m. today, if not previously concluded; No. 16, Dormant Accounts (Amendment) Bill 2011 [Seanad] - Order for Report, Report and Final Stages; and No. 17, Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Bill 2011 [Seanad] - Order for Report, Report and Final Stages.
It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that: (1) the Dáil shall sit later than 5.45 p.m. and shall adjourn on the conclusion of oral questions; (2) Report and Final Stages of No. 16 shall be taken today and the proceedings thereon shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 4 p.m. by one question which shall be put from the Chair and which shall, in relation to amendments, include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government; (3) Report and Final Stages of No. 17 shall be taken today and the proceedings thereon shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 5.30 p.m. by one question which shall be put from the Chair and which shall, in relation to amendments, include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for Education and Skills, and the order shall resume thereafter with the Topical Issue debate and oral questions; (4) in relation to the Freedom of Information (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2012, the Second Stage of which shall be considered tomorrow, the following arrangements shall apply: (i) the opening speech of the main spokespersons for Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, the Technical Group and of a Minister or Minister of State, who shall be called upon in that order and who may share their time, shall not exceed 15 minutes in each case; (ii) the speech of each other Member called upon shall not exceed 15 minutes and such Members may share their time; (iii) a Minister or Minister of State, who may speak twice, shall be called upon not later than 1 p.m. to make a speech which shall not exceed 15 minutes; (iv) the main spokesperson for Fianna Fáil shall be called upon to make a speech in reply which shall not exceed 15 minutes.
There are four proposals to be put to the House. Is the proposal that the Dáil shall sit later than 5.45 p.m. agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 16, Report and Final Stages of the Dormant Accounts (Amendment) Bill 2011 agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 17, Report and Final Stages of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Bill 2011 agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for the sitting and business of the Dáil tomorrow agreed to? Agreed.
The Minister is aware of the plight of a number of trainee pilots who have been stranded in the United States after their families paid a king's ransom in fees for their course. Has the Government had any engagement in the situation, in particular the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade? Will the Government arrange for the consular section of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to get those people together to talk-----
I wish to ask the Minister about the Joint Committee on Investigations, Oversight and Petitions. As he is aware, there is a commitment in the programme for Government that this would be a powerful committee to receive petitions in respect of public bodies. Ironically, there has been much foot dragging on this very committee that was flagged by the Government as a landmark innovation. Why are the Chief Whip and others dragging their feet and why has a motion not yet been brought forward to set in place the Standing Orders for this committee to allow its members to get ahead and do the work of a powerful committee, as the Government described it?
I thank Deputy Mary Lou McDonald for her question. I am informed by the Chief Whip that the Committee on Procedure and Privileges will meet next week to deal with the matter. The details of the arrangements made will be conveyed to her.
It has been announced that the European Stability Mechanism will recapitalise banks directly. Will this require a change to the ESM treaty and an amendment to the European Stability Mechanism Act 2012? If so, is that amendment likely to be brought before the House soon?
A number of gas Bills have been proposed, including the common arrangements for gas Bill. Bord Gáis Éireann is transferring work to a company called Balfour Beatty. Subcontractors and employees have been treated shamefully.
Has progress been made in bringing before the House the collective investment schemes (consolidation) Bill, having particular regard to the need to tighten legislation in that area? What about the criminal law (human trafficking) (amendment) Bill which has been promised and seems to have achieved a higher prominence than heretofore?
Is having a minimum price for alcohol Government strategy and does the Government intend to introduce legislation in this regard? Why did the Minister decide not to have a schools summer works programme this year, given that for the past seven or eight years-----
A statutory instrument to amend copyright law was introduced via ministerial order and passed without a vote. Yesterday the European Parliament rejected the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement. All Labour Party MEPs voted against us, while all four Fine Gael MEPs supported us. Was there a Government line on the vote and what is the status of the statutory instrument?
I wish to ask about two Bills. First, the working group on the X case was to revert to the Government with recommendations this month. When will the legislation be enacted? Second, the heads of a Bill on transgender rights were due to be laid before the Dáil in June. When will the legislation be brought before the House?