Dáil debates

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

11:00 am

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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It is proposed to take No. 17, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income and Capital Gains) (Ukraine) Order 2013, back from committee; No.18, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Exchange of Information Relating to Taxes and Tax Matters (Dominica) Order 2013, back from committee; No. 1, Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) (Amendment) Bill 2013 Seanad - Second Stage; and No. 3, Fines (Payment and Recovery) Bill 2013 - Order for Second Stage and Second Stage.

It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that Nos. 17 and 18 shall be decided without debate. Private Members' business shall be No. 114, motion re education (resumed), to conclude at 9 p.m., if not previously concluded.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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There is one proposal to be put to the House. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 17, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income and Capital Gains) (Ukraine) Order 2013, back from committee, and No.18, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Exchange of Information Relating to Taxes and Tax Matters (Dominica) Order 2013, back from committee, agreed to?

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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It is not agreed. Again, the reason I am raising this is because it has not escaped our notice that there have been significant discussions in the US Senate about the Irish tax structure in so far as it relates to foreign direct investment, which is a key issue for employment creation in this country. There have been fairly lengthy discussions and debates, some very partisan, in the House of Commons in the UK in respect of our taxation structure. I am quite familiar with the practice of double taxation agreements with various countries across the globe, which are an essential part of our taxation structure. It appears, however, that the time has come for this House and Parliament to have a full debate on our taxation structure and full clarification of it, outlining in detail the degree to which the country complies with international tax norms and tax law and our basic strategy relating to corporate taxation and global movements, be they in the eurozone, the G20 or the international situation. We have not had such a debate in this Parliament for a very long time and it would be opportune if we could arrange one.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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These are two particular motions so I take it that Deputy Martin-----

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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They relate to the issue.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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Both motions were taken at the committee last Thursday where there was an opportunity for debate on them. I can confirm to Deputy Martin that this is obviously a matter of great concern to everybody. Arising from comments made in the US Senate and Senate hearings, this matter was raised at the European Council meeting in the closing stages of our Presidency, which I attended. The European Council was very clear in its unanimous decision to work with the OECD on the action plan on base erosion and profit shifting, BEPS. Clearly, legislation has not moved as quickly as the digital world. It is not a case of Ireland standing out in front. It is a case of an international response to different jurisdictional conditions that apply. We are very happy to work with our colleagues in that regard. Deputy Martin will have seen the comments from the chief executive of the OECD confirming that Ireland is not a tax haven and that it is very happy to support that. I do not object to having a debate on it. These are two motions where there was an opportunity to discuss the matter at the committee. It did not happen. I am not objecting to this but it should be done at the appropriate time in the interests of clarity. We have no difficulty in that regard.

Question, "That the proposal for dealing with Nos. 17 and 18, without debate, be agreed to", put and declared carried.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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I call Deputy McDonald on the Order of Business.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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I wish to contribute on the Order of Business.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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My apologies.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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We are facing industrial action in our second level schools. Irrespective of what has been said, the Minister for Education and Skills has threatened to sack teachers if they do not abide by the Haddington Road agreement. I would question the constitutionality of treating teachers differently in the staff room in terms of pay and conditions on the basis of the union to which they belong. That is something that needs urgent clarification. I urge the Taoiseach and the Minister not to continue to undermine the professional status of our teachers. Morale is very low in the classroom.

The workplace relations Bill, which is to provide for reform of statutory workplace relations bodies, is a commitment by the Government in the programme for Government. Given the manner in which Haddington Road was carried out and the relationship between the Minister and the ASTI in particular - we know many side deals were done and divide-and-conquer strategies used, which have left many people sore - I respectfully suggest that the Taoiseach might indicate when this legislation is coming forward, necessary as it is at this stage.

11:10 am

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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The Minister, Deputy Quinn, was being very clear in setting out the fact that the Haddington Road agreement offers protection for members of the public service who support it while those who stand outside it remove themselves from that protection. There is no question of any threats by the Minister to sack teachers, or anything of the kind. He was very realistic in pointing out the situation.

The workplace relations Bill is listed for this session and I expect it to be be published and dealt with in this session.

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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The Minister has been making soundings about forced job losses for teachers.

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Minister, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; Wexford, Labour)
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He has said no such thing.

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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Sometimes I do not know what plane or planet the Taoiseach is on. However, I wish to ask him about something different, namely, his programme for Government's commitment to end long-term homelessness and rough sleeping. He will know that yesterday Dublin Simon Community revealed there has been an increase of 88% in the number of people forced to sleep rough. Will the Taoiseach set out for us what he proposes to do to make good that commitment in the programme for Government to end rough sleeping, and will he indicate whether he will support having a dedicated Dáil debate on the issue of homelessness and public housing, as the crisis escalates for so many people?

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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This issue has been raised by a number of organisations that work in this area, providing extensive and very valuable support. Approximately €15 million is being spent every year in this area. I have listened to the figures given for those people deemed to be the new homeless, as distinct from those who may sleep rough on a temporary basis. The Minister of State with responsibility for housing, Deputy Jan O' Sullivan, and the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Deputy Phil Hogan, will work with the agencies and organisations concerned to see how the situation might be improved and how we might get best effect from the money that is being spent. The issue is clearly one that must be reflected upon in the budget. I understand the Minister is to meet with NAMA today in respect of the potential for acquiring units of housing to help in this matter.

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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Which Minister?

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Deputy Phil Hogan, and the Minister of State, Deputy Jan O' Sullivan.

Photo of Denis NaughtenDenis Naughten (Roscommon-South Leitrim, Independent)
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I refer to promised secondary legislation relating to the fair deal scheme. Currently there are seven telestroke diagnostic machines in storage which could save the HSE approximately €55 million. In the interests of stroke patients - and of the health budget - when will these machines be unpacked? Is it the Government's intention to proceed with the fair deal commencement orders under the Health (Amendment) Act 2013, given that1.6% of the total health budget is going on the nursing home care of people with a stroke?

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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I do not have the details of the location of the machines the Deputy mentioned. They should not be in their packaging at this stage.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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That is more appropriate for a parliamentary question.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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I will ask the Minister for Health to respond to this. I recall asking similar questions on many occasions when I was on the other side of the House. The process is that it is decided to order and acquire machinery and have staff to operate it and it is in the interests of patients that, once acquired, such machines should be used.

Photo of Mattie McGrathMattie McGrath (Tipperary South, Independent)
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I refer to the Road Traffic (No. 3) Bill. In this new legislation the deadline for declaring off-road used vehicles is the end of this week, which is causing enormous trouble. I compliment the staff of local authorities and the tax office who are trying to deal with this matter. I appeal to the Ministers for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and Transport, Tourism and Sport to give an extension that will allow people to be compliant. There was enough information but, as usual, the Bill was rushed through the House.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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This matter is not strictly in accordance but I will try to get an answer for the Deputy.

Photo of Mattie McGrathMattie McGrath (Tipperary South, Independent)
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I thank the Ceann Comhairle.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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That Bill has been enacted.

Photo of Mattie McGrathMattie McGrath (Tipperary South, Independent)
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I know it has been enacted but I am asking for an extension in time. It is a huge topic. Deputies will know that from their constituencies.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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It has been enacted and we have discussed it. I call Deputy Michael Healy-Rae.

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry South, Independent)
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I refer to the family relationships and children Bill. Is there any proposal by the Government in that Bill to ban beauty pageants for young children? This is of concern to many people in the country. Children could not attend these beauty pageants unless their parents brought them. Is it the Government's intention to allow these pageants to continue?

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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We are not into pageants here. When is the Bill due?

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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That is not a matter for Government. There is no date yet for the publication of the family relationships and children Bill, mentioned by the Deputy.

Photo of Derek KeatingDerek Keating (Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
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I refer to legislation that I believe was due some years ago and which is now long overdue, namely, proposed legislation in respect of lobbying. This issue often features in the media and I feel strongly about it because it is important. Lobbying often has negative connotations but I wish to make a point about positive lobbying. The Taoiseach will be aware, because we have walked the lands-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Thank you, Deputy. This is not for the Order of Business.

Photo of Derek KeatingDerek Keating (Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
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Please allow me to finish a sentence. With respect, the Ceann Comhairle allowed Deputy McDonald a fair bit of latitude. I wish to say one sentence. The Taoiseach had the opportunity, for which I thanked him, of visiting-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Deputy is not listening to me. He is entitled to ask a question when-----

Photo of Derek KeatingDerek Keating (Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
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This refers to positive lobbying. We are at a stage when the lands in question are to be sold tomorrow.

A Deputy:

In the Liffey Valley.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Will the Deputy try to raise this issue in another way?

Photo of Derek KeatingDerek Keating (Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
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It is in the power of the relevant Minister-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Deputy is not listening to me. He should resume his seat.

Photo of Derek KeatingDerek Keating (Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
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-----to have that sale-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Resume your seat, please.

Photo of Derek KeatingDerek Keating (Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
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I am asking the Taoiseach-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Resume your seat. In future, when I ask you to resume your seat please do so and show some respect for the procedures.

Photo of Derek KeatingDerek Keating (Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
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I do show respect, a Cheann Comhairle.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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You did not show it there.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform held a public seminar on the regulation of lobbying Bill some time ago. The draft heads of the Bill have been prepared and have gone for consideration to the committee which deals with public expenditure and reform.

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry South, Fine Gael)
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I refer to amending Bill on road safety. Will the Government prioritise this legislation in view of the fact that yesterday-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Thank you very much.

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry South, Fine Gael)
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Excuse me, a Cheann Comhairle, I have a very important-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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One does not make speeches on the Order of Business. This piece of legislation will be produced.

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry South, Fine Gael)
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I wanted to raise the very important issue of the predicted 13% increase in road fatalities in 2013.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Yes, but not on the Order of Business.

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry South, Fine Gael)
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No, but it is very important-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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It is not on the Order of Business. Resume your seat.

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry South, Fine Gael)
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As Deputies, we do not have a proper forum to raise matters-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Get the Order of Business changed then.

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry South, Fine Gael)
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The Ceann Comhairle should look to broadening-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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It is not up to me. Thank you.

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry South, Fine Gael)
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I wanted to ask-----

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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What about the Chief Whip?

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Thank you. Resume your seat.

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry South, Fine Gael)
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The promised legislation-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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I have to be fair to everybody. Resume your seat now or else you will find yourself outside the Chamber.

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry South, Fine Gael)
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I want to put this piece of legislation into context.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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I am telling you to resume your seat.

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry South, Fine Gael)
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I will resume my seat but-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Resume your seat, I said.

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry South, Fine Gael)
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I was putting the piece of promised legislation to which I had referred into context.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy, next time you do that you will find yourself outside the Chamber.

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry South, Fine Gael)
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It is a very serious matter.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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You will adhere to the rules, like everybody else. I apply the rules. You do not make them. Other people make them. You can raise this in other fora.

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry South, Fine Gael)
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It is a serious matter. You cut me off. Deputy Keating made the same point.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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I can confirm for Deputy Griffin that the this amending Bill on road safety has already been prioritised and is listed for this session. For the information of all Deputies, when the legislative programme is produced at the commencement of each session, that information is on the website for all Deputies to see. If they check there they will see the roads (amendment) Bill is listed for publication in this session.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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People are not going to abuse the Order of Business to make speeches.

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry South, Fine Gael)
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I was not-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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I said the Deputy should resume his seat.

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry South, Fine Gael)
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I was not abusing the Order of Business,

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Deputy will leave the House.

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry South, Fine Gael)
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It is of public-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Leave the House, please.

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry South, Fine Gael)
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This is-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Leave the House.

Photo of Derek KeatingDerek Keating (Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
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On a point of order-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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You will leave the House too if you do not resume your seat.

Photo of Derek KeatingDerek Keating (Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
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Deputy McDonald spoke uninterrupted for several minutes. I listened to Deputy Billy Timmins speaking on the Order of Business yesterday-----

11:20 am

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Please resume your seat.

Photo of Derek KeatingDerek Keating (Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
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It is just not fair, with respect.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Get your party to change the rules and I will apply them fairly.

Photo of Mattie McGrathMattie McGrath (Tipperary South, Independent)
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They have a majority.

Photo of Derek KeatingDerek Keating (Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
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All I am asking is that the rules apply to everybody.

Photo of Michael KittMichael Kitt (Galway East, Fianna Fail)
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What legislation will the Government be bringing before the House to deal with our current housing waiting lists? There is no Bill in section A and section B of the programme of legislation to deal with very long housing waiting lists. For example, there is a waiting list of eight years east or west of the city of Galway. There has been a reference to an 88% increase in homelessness in recent years. What legislation will be brought before the House to deal with those issues?

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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The housing assistance Bill is due in early 2014.

Photo of Seán Ó FearghaílSeán Ó Fearghaíl (Kildare South, Fianna Fail)
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The Government has promised for some time to amend the Defence Act 1954 and to deal therein with a number of disciplinary related issues. When is it intended to bring forward the defence (amendment) Bill?

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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It is still intended to bring it forward, but I cannot give the Deputy a date right now. I will get an update and advise him.

Photo of Willie O'DeaWillie O'Dea (Limerick City, Fianna Fail)
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Yesterday, Deputy Martin raised the timing of legislation for an open competition for the appointment of a Secretary General and Clerk of the Dáil and the overhaul of the top level appointments commission, TLAC, system. Deputy Martin wrote a comprehensive letter to the Taoiseach on 12 July-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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This is not going to be debated on the Order of Business.

Photo of Willie O'DeaWillie O'Dea (Limerick City, Fianna Fail)
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-----about the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) (Amendment) Bill 2013. This Bill can be amended to ensure there is a competition on merit-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Will you please resume your seat?

Photo of Willie O'DeaWillie O'Dea (Limerick City, Fianna Fail)
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-----to appoint an officer of this House. Does the Taoiseach intend to take this opportunity to amend that legislation, to bring the appointment of officers of this House into the 21st century?

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Before I call on the Taoiseach to answer this, I am being dragged into a controversy over this matter and I resent it very much. The 1959 Act was amended by the 2003 Act, which obliges me in law to perform certain functions. There were amendments to that Act in 2006 and 2009 and nobody made any changes. I am obliged by law under the current 2003 Act to perform certain duties. I tried to do so by calling a meeting of the commissioners and they were briefed before the meeting, so the shambles that took place means that I am now in a very awkward position so that I am going to apply the 2003 Act, which I can, where I do not exercise my right and it will now be a matter for the Taoiseach in accordance with that Act. It is not the 1959 Act but the 2003 Act that should be looked at.

I am appearing in newspapers. People are leaking stuff following a consultation process that took place within the law. The content of the leak was totally improper and incorrect, and an attempt to blacken my good name. I have to sit here and take this abuse without having any right of response. This is not in order on the Order of Business.

Photo of Willie O'DeaWillie O'Dea (Limerick City, Fianna Fail)
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Can I-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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You can raise this matter in other fora, but not in here.

Photo of Willie O'DeaWillie O'Dea (Limerick City, Fianna Fail)
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Just to clarify, a Cheann Comhairle, I am not trying to reflect on you in any way.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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This is where the blame is coming and I am not taking it anymore.

Photo of Willie O'DeaWillie O'Dea (Limerick City, Fianna Fail)
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I regret that and I am not directing my remarks at you in any shape or form. I am simply asking the Taoiseach if he will take the opportunity to amend the legislation, so-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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There is no promised legislation in this area.

Photo of Willie O'DeaWillie O'Dea (Limerick City, Fianna Fail)
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There is a commitment, as I understand it.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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There is no promised legislation.

Photo of Willie O'DeaWillie O'Dea (Limerick City, Fianna Fail)
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There is legislation which can be used to amend the system. I am simply asking the Taoiseach-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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I am dealing with promised legislation under the Order of Business.

Photo of Willie O'DeaWillie O'Dea (Limerick City, Fianna Fail)
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I understand that.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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There is promised legislation in the form of the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) (Amendment) Bill 2013. It is there.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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It is not on this issue.

Photo of Willie O'DeaWillie O'Dea (Limerick City, Fianna Fail)
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There is legislation which enables this issue to be dealt with.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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It is in the context of that legislation that is he asking the question. The Minister, Deputy Howlin, is not-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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This is the third or fourth time this matter has been raised on your side of the House. You are obviously being briefed. I am the piggy in the middle.

Photo of Willie O'DeaWillie O'Dea (Limerick City, Fianna Fail)
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There is nobody briefing me-----

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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We are entitled to raise issues in respect of public appointments.

Photo of Willie O'DeaWillie O'Dea (Limerick City, Fianna Fail)
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Yes, we are.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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The Minister promised to bring forward legislation. That is what we are asking and nothing else.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Under the 2003 Act, the Minister, Deputy Howlin, has no role in this matter.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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No, but he has a role in other legislation. He is the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. He is the Minister who can bring in legislation-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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I am sorry, Deputy. You should not be on your feet. You were not called.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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This is not personal.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Taoiseach, will you answer the questions about the public appointments commission or whatever?

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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It is not personal. It is a matter of what is right and wrong-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Please resume your seat.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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I respect the complete independence of the Ceann Comhairle in this fashion. I regret the fact that there have been comments attributed in sections of the media about the Ceann Comhairle. He has a constitutional responsibility to chair this House in a proper fashion, which he does.

I can confirm to Deputy O'Dea that the Minister will bring a memo to the Government very shortly on this matter. It is our ambition to have an open and transparent conclusion to this matter.

Photo of Peter FitzpatrickPeter Fitzpatrick (Louth, Fine Gael)
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When does the Taoiseach expect the publication of the criminal law (sexual offences) Bill to implement recommendations of the second interim report of Joint Committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children and further protect vulnerable persons against exploitation and abuse?

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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That Bill is listed for next year.

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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I have a question on three items of promised legislation. Is it intended to have all Stages of the pyrite levy Bill passed through the Dáil in preparation for signing it into law? Is it the same case for the Employment Permits (Amendment) Bill 2012, which will consolidate existing legislation and take account of evolving jurisprudence and cater for future accession to the EU and people seeking employment from other jurisdictions? The third Bill is the health information Bill, which was promised to provide the legislative framework for the better government and health information initiatives, including data mapping and health information resources for use in the health services, which is very important.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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The health information Bill will be early next year. All sections of the other two Bills will be taken in this session.

Photo of Jerry ButtimerJerry Buttimer (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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When are we likely to see the publication of the sale of alcohol Bill? Will it include any reference to marketing or promotion of alcoholic products by companies?

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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I dealt with this yesterday. The Minister of State, Deputy White, is due to report next week to the Cabinet sub-committee which deals with this.