Dáil debates

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

4:05 pm

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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It is proposed to take No. 9, proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2013, back from committee; No. 9a, Credit Reporting Bill 2012, motion to instruct the committee (on supplementary Order Paper); No. 18, Credit Reporting Bill 2012 - Order for Report, Report and Final Stages; and No. 5, Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill 2013 - Order for Second Stage and Second Stage. It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that (1) in the event that a division is in progress at the time fixed for taking Private Members’ Business, which shall be No. 128, motion re electricity infrastructure, the Dáil shall sit later than 9 p.m. and Private Members’ Business shall, if not previously concluded, adjourn after 90 minutes; (2) No. 9 shall be decided without debate; (3) the proceedings on No. 9a shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion after 60 minutes and the following arrangements shall apply: the speech of a Minister or Minister of State and of the main spokespersons for Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and the Technical Group, who shall be called upon in that order and who may share their time, shall not exceed 15 minutes in each case; and (4) the next fortnightly Friday sitting for the purposes of Standing Orders 21(1)(a) and 28(3) shall be Friday, 24 January 2014; the business to be taken on that date shall be the items already selected by lottery to be taken on Friday, 6 December 2013; and there shall be no further lottery for Friday, 24 January 2014. Tomorrow’s business after oral questions shall be the Finance (No. 2) Bill 2013 - Order for Report, Report and Final Stages.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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There are four proposals to be put to the House. Is the proposal for dealing with Private Members' business agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 9 agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 9a agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with the sitting and business of the Dáil on Friday, 24 January 2014 agreed to? Agreed.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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With regard to a number of commitments made under the health section of the programme for Government, could the Tánaiste indicate to me when the hospital insurance fund will be established? When will the legislation for the patient safety authority be brought before us, and when will the authority be established? Regarding the section of the programme for Government dealing with the care of older people and community care, could the Tánaiste indicate when we will see more residential places, home care packages, home help and other professional community care services? We have seen a reduction in such services thus far, not an increase. People are looking for the additional services committed to. When will the integrated care agency be established and when will we see the relevant legislation?

With regard to the area of bio-ethics, could the Tánaiste indicate when he intends to legislate for stem cell research, as committed to? When will he legislate for post mortem procedures and organ retention practices, as recommended in the Madden report? The Government said it would legislate to change the organ donation system to an an opt-out system for organ transplantation rather than an opt-in system? When will this legislation be introduced?

With regard to the wider issue of charities, will the Tánaiste indicate when the Government will commence the charities legislation and establish a regulator under that legislation? The legislation has been passed by the Oireachtas but it has yet to be commenced.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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The Deputy asked quite a lot of questions. If he bears with me, I will go through the Bills we intend to publish. The health (general practitioner medical service) Bill is expected this session. The heads of the Health and Social Care Professionals (Amendment) Bill have been approved by the Government. I do not know the date for the publication. The health identifiers Bill will be in 2013. With regard to the Health Information Bill, the Minister for Health will be bringing forward a revised scheme in view of policy developments. The health insurance (amendment) Bill is expected at the end of the year. The Health Service Executive (Financial Matters) Bill is expected this session. With regard to the human tissue Bill, work is ongoing. A public consultation process on the introduction of an opt-out system of consent was launched in July, with a closing date for submissions of 20 September. It is not possible at this stage to give a date for the publication. The draft heads of the licensing of healthcare facilities Bill are being progressed with a view to having a public consultation process shortly. The Medical Practitioners (Amendment) (Medical Indemnity Insurance) Bill is expected this session. I do not have a date for the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill. Work is progressing on the national paediatric hospital development board (amendment) Bill.

On the public health (alcohol) Bill, preparation of the heads was approved by Cabinet on 22 October. I believe that covers all of the issues raised by Deputy Martin.

4:15 pm

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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It does not. The Tánaiste has just re-announced those Bills that are committed but I asked about commitments in the programme for Government, for example, legislation on a hospital insurance fund, a patient safety authority and the provision of more residential places and home care packages through an integrated care agency. These are three specific commitments in the programme for Government, namely a hospital insurance fund, a patient safety authority and an integrated care agency. In the bioethical field, I asked about legislation that the Government committed to on stem cell research and changing the organ donation system to an opt-out regime.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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I answered those questions. I will go back to what I said on the opt-out issue.

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

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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A human tissue Bill is in preparation and I have already told the Deputy that I am not in a position to give him a-----

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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That Bill will not deal with stem cell research.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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The long-standing practice is that Deputies wait to see a Bill before discussing what it does or does not contain.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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It will deal with post mortems.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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All of the issues in the programme for Government are being progressed. Some of them will be covered by the legislation to which I have already referred but all of the issues are being progressed by the Minister for Health.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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I now call Deputy Adams.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Minister, Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources; Dublin South West, Labour)
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Fianna Fáil must have a fierce amount of policy work going on.

Photo of Dara CallearyDara Calleary (Mayo, Fianna Fail)
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There is a lot going on.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Minister, Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources; Dublin South West, Labour)
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Some Fianna Fáil Deputies must be preoccupied with policy preparations.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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I have simply been reading the programme for Government, that is all.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Allow Deputy Adams, please.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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I accept that it is fantasy more than reality. I accept that point.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Would the Deputies mind-----

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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Deputy Martin would know all about fantasy.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Would the Deputies mind if I chaired the session?

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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The Tánaiste's response illustrates that the programme for Government is fantasy now and not reality.

(Interruptions).

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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If the Deputies do not mind, I would like to continue chairing this session. I ask the Deputies to stay quiet, please. I have called Deputy Adams.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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It reads like something from another planet.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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That applies to Deputy Martin. He has had a fair run, at eight minutes.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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I apologise, a Cheann Comhairle, but clearly when I read out the programme for Government commitments, it sounded like something from another planet to the Tánaiste.

(Interruptions).

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy Martin has had eight minutes, which is more than adequate.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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At least when he is attacking Deputy Rabbitte, he is leaving me alone. At last month's meeting, the North-South Ministerial Council issued a statement which was very supportive of the Narrow Water Bridge project. The Tánaiste will be aware that this project also enjoys widespread support across all political sectors in Louth, south Armagh and south Down, as well as across civic society, including Unionist communities. It has the potential to be a massive economic driver for-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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To what is the Deputy referring?

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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This concerns the North-South Ministerial Council.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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We do not deal with such matters on the Order of Business.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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I have raised this before on the Order of Business.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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I would suggest a parliamentary question be tabled on this matter.

Photo of Patrick O'DonovanPatrick O'Donovan (Limerick, Fine Gael)
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The Deputy ran away with it before.

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry South, Independent)
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He will not get away with it today.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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We will not have speeches, just ask the question, please.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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The Tánaiste has acknowledged that the Border region is the most disadvantaged region so, for this to work, the Government must act upon the North-South Ministerial Council commitment. It must become a champion of this project. I am asking, before the opportunity passes, whether the Government will become a champion for the Narrow Water Bridge project.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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I have even better news for Deputy Adams - the Government has been a champion of the Narrow Water Bridge project for quite some time.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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When will the Government close on the project?

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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Deputy Adams knows the position on this. The position is that a value-for-money issue arose. The Government and the Northern Ireland Executive continue to support the project. Work is now being done at a technical level which I hope will be completed reasonably soon. That will then enable the issue to be examined again. As far as the Government is concerned, we support the Narrow Water Bridge project.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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Can the Tánaiste give us an estimate of when the technical work will be completed?

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Sorry, Deputy Adams, but this is totally out of order. If I let Deputy Adams in again on this, I will be plagued by everybody else. The rules must be applied equally. The Deputy got his answer. Deputy Calleary is next.

Photo of Dara CallearyDara Calleary (Mayo, Fianna Fail)
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The Tánaiste made commitments at the weekend regarding mandatory collective bargaining. I ask him to outline the legislative schedule for that or to detail when the Government plans to introduce the industrial relations (amendment) Bill. Does the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Employment plan to introduce that to the House in this session?

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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I expect the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to bring proposals to Government shortly.

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry South, Independent)
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I wish to ask about two items of promised legislation. In light of recent very worrying events, what legislation does the Government propose to introduce to provide for a regulator for charitable associations?

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Is the Deputy referring here to promised legislation?

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry South, Independent)
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I thought there was legislation promised.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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We are awaiting the commencement order.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy Healy-Rae has the same list as most other Deputies. I suggest he reads it.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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We are waiting for the commencement order.

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry South, Independent)
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Where is the commencement order?

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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The legislation has been passed but not commenced.

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry South, Independent)
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Exactly.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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I think the Tánaiste answered that question earlier.

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry South, Independent)
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No, he did not.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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He did not answer any of my questions.

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry South, Independent)
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No, I was listening and he did not answer it.

Photo of Tom HayesTom Hayes (Tipperary South, Fine Gael)
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Deputy Martin is recruiting now. He is on a recruitment drive.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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We are watching very carefully.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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What is the Deputy's second question?

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry South, Independent)
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My second question concerns a very sensible proposal to bring forward good Samaritan legislation.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Good Samaritan legislation?

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry South, Independent)
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Yes and I am sure the Tánaiste knows what I mean by that.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Perhaps Deputy Healy-Rae will translate it for us.

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry South, Independent)
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As the Ceann Comhairle said the other day, I will decode it. There was a proposal for legislation to protect good Samaritans, that is, people who might be performing a life-saving act, for example-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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We will have to check that out for the Deputy.

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry South, Independent)
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The Ceann Comhairle is aware of it himself. He knows what I am talking about.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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I do not really, to be honest.

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry South, Independent)
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The legislation was to protect good Samaritans who were assisting in a situation-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Is the Deputy referring to a Private Member's Bill?

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry South, Independent)
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-----and thereby exposing themselves to the risk of being sued.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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That is very foreign to the Labour Party, that kind of talk. It is short of good Samaritans at the moment.

Photo of Patrick O'DonovanPatrick O'Donovan (Limerick, Fine Gael)
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Is Deputy Martin one himself?

(Interruptions).

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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We live the Gospel.

Photo of Patrick O'DonovanPatrick O'Donovan (Limerick, Fine Gael)
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We saw where that led his party before.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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I ask the Tánaiste to do the best he can.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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I think the legislation to which Deputy Healy-Rae refers was a Private Member's Bill and there is no Government commitment in that regard. On the Charities Act and issues relating to commencement, I will seek a reply for Deputies Healy-Rae and Martin.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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Deputy Burton made a statement on it last week.

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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I wish to ask about two items of promised legislation, the first of which is the Garda Síochána (compensation) Bill and the second of which is the housing (miscellaneous provisions) Bill. The latter deals with local authority shared-ownership loans, which is of pressing urgency. I ask the Tánaiste if the heads of both Bills have been approved by Cabinet and when they are expected to be brought before the House.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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The heads of the Garda compensation (malicious injuries) Bill have been approved by the Government and it is expected to be published early next year. The heads of the housing Bill are expected by the end of the year.

Photo of Sandra McLellanSandra McLellan (Cork East, Sinn Fein)
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The programme for Government commits to ending long-term homelessness and the need to sleep rough. Following the recent tragic death of a man in Dublin's Phoenix Park, it is clear that tackling homelessness remains a key challenge for Irish society. There are reports of huge increases in homelessness in Dublin and Cork but the Government has cut €233 million from the social housing budget since taking office.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Thank you Deputy. We cannot have speeches now. The Deputy is asking about the homeless Bill.

Photo of Sandra McLellanSandra McLellan (Cork East, Sinn Fein)
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Local authorities do not have sufficient housing to prevent people from becoming homeless. When will adequate funds be released to meet the programme for Government target to ensure that nobody is forced to sleep rough?

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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The Government has a target to end homelessness. Nobody should have to sleep rough. It is very tragic that anybody has to sleep rough. On the issue of public housing, the Government has, in this year's budget, recommenced a public housing programme.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Louth, Fianna Fail)
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That will build only 300 houses.

Photo of Ray ButlerRay Butler (Meath West, Fine Gael)
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When is publication of the consumer and competition Bill expected, which will make provision for a statutory code of conduct for the grocery goods sector. I raise this in the context of food labelling because a lot of multinationals in this country are putting "made and packed for" on labels, whereas people wanted to know where goods are "made in"? This is having a hugely negative effect on Irish companies, the economy and jobs.

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

Photo of Ray ButlerRay Butler (Meath West, Fine Gael)
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People want to see what country the items are made in, not for whom they are made.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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The consumer and competition Bill is expected to be published this session.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Louth, Fianna Fail)
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It is generally accepted that the regeneration of the rural economy will benefit from the expansion and development of the dairy industry post-2015. The targets that have been set out in Harvest 2020 are part and parcel of that. A number of issues have arisen, including for instance, land leasing regulations, although the primary legislation is already in place and is fine. The leasing of land has been incentivised to encourage-----

4:25 pm

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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To what Bill is the Deputy referring?

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Louth, Fianna Fail)
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The Finance Bill. It relates to a proposed relief to be made available for non-active farmers who rent land to active farmers. The category of people-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy, we cannot have a speech on this. You know that yourself, having sat in this Chair for long enough.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Louth, Fianna Fail)
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I know that, but it has been pointed out that the incentive does not extend to companies that own agricultural land. Will the Tánaiste encourage the Minister for Finance to look at this anomaly in the legislation?

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Finance Bill will be discussed tomorrow. I have to apply the rules fairly and equally. That question is not in order.

Photo of Seán Ó FearghaílSeán Ó Fearghaíl (Kildare South, Fianna Fail)
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Ireland’s ratification of the Antarctic treaty has been raised on several occasions with both the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Taoiseach. More than 40 countries have signed up to the Antarctic Treaty System. The Government cannot claim to be very strong on matters environmental. In a recent response from the Tánaiste-----

Photo of Patrick O'DonovanPatrick O'Donovan (Limerick, Fine Gael)
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Fianna Fáil took a man out of Antarctica today.

Photo of Gerald NashGerald Nash (Louth, Labour)
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Siberia, more like.

Photo of Seán Ó FearghaílSeán Ó Fearghaíl (Kildare South, Fianna Fail)
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-----he stated that the administrative costs associated with signing the treaty would be problematic. I have tabled parliamentary questions to various Departments on this, only to be informed that no cost-benefit analysis was carried out.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Where are we going here?

Photo of Seán Ó FearghaílSeán Ó Fearghaíl (Kildare South, Fianna Fail)
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I was just wondering-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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We do not wonder on the Order of Business. We ask questions.

Photo of Patrick O'DonovanPatrick O'Donovan (Limerick, Fine Gael)
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Is it about the South Pole Bill?

Photo of Seán Ó FearghaílSeán Ó Fearghaíl (Kildare South, Fianna Fail)
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The Antarctic treaty is an important international treaty. When does the Tánaiste propose to introduce legislation and sign up to it?

Deputy McLellan raised the important point that we have seen in the last week in the capital city two acts of utter depravity.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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I know that, but we have dealt with the matter.

Photo of Seán Ó FearghaílSeán Ó Fearghaíl (Kildare South, Fianna Fail)
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There was the burning of a horse following by the burning of a human being two days later.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Please, Deputy; I need your co-operation.

Photo of Seán Ó FearghaílSeán Ó Fearghaíl (Kildare South, Fianna Fail)
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You have it, a Cheann Comhairle. Will the Tánaiste assure us that the Garda will have sufficient resources to tackle those two acts of utter depravity?

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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There are other ways of raising this issue. Not on the Order of Business.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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They were two acts of utter depravity which everyone condemned. As far as Garda resources are concerned, the Minister for Justice and Equality has secured approval from the Government for the recruitment, for the first time in a long time, of additional gardaí. The advertising for this recruitment process will be proceeding shortly.

The question of the Antarctic treaty is not so much an issue of administrative costs but the range of legislation that would need to be introduced. Signing up to any treaty requires quite an amount of legislation. I am examining this. It is not about administrative costs but about the body of legislation that will have to be put in place across several Departments.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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I worked on the legislation to sign up to the treaty when I was in the Department.

Photo of Patrick O'DonovanPatrick O'Donovan (Limerick, Fine Gael)
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A Eurovision entry.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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Deputy Martin was there a while but he did not get around to signing it either. I am working on it and I am happy to answer any questions Deputy Ó Fearghaíl might have on it.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Minister, Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources; Dublin South West, Labour)
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Deputy Martin must be wanting to get out the huskies. Does Fianna Fáil have a base down there in the South Pole?

Photo of Patrick O'DonovanPatrick O'Donovan (Limerick, Fine Gael)
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The "March of the Penguins".

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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According to the Sunday Independent last weekend, Deputy Rabbitte will be on his way to Antarctica soon.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Will those who wish to have a chat go out to the lobby? I call Deputy Feighan.

Photo of Frank FeighanFrank Feighan (Roscommon-South Leitrim, Fine Gael)
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When will the regulation and valuation of land Bill, which will merge the Property Registration Authority, the Valuation Office and Ordnance Survey Ireland, be introduced?

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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It is intended to introduce that Bill next year.

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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We have been waiting for Report Stage of the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) (Amendment) Bill 2013 for several months now. It appears the reason for the delay is the Government’s decision to piggyback legislative changes to public sector certified sick leave arrangements, due to be implemented in the new year. This matter was the subject of a Labour Court recommendation. However, the court did not recommend that the new arrangements be applied retrospectively to 1 January 2010, as I understand the Government is seeking to do. When will we see the sick leave legislation? Will the Tánaiste confirm whether is the Government’s intention to apply this legislation retrospectively?

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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My understanding is that Report Stage of the Bill in question is to be taken before the recess.

Photo of Pearse DohertyPearse Doherty (Donegal South West, Sinn Fein)
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There has been much talk about the recent top-up payment scandal in the Central Remedial Clinic and possibly in other charities. The first function of the Charities Regulatory Authority is to increase public trust and confidence in the management and administration of charitable trusts and organisations. Will the Tánaiste agree that the commencement order for the Charities Act 2009 must be made as soon as possible? Will he clarify when it will be signed? Has the board of the regulatory authority been populated, as the Minister for Justice and Equality suggested in July would happen before the end of the year? If the Government is dealing with this matter, why has the board not yet been established to restore public trust and confidence in the management and administration of charitable trusts and organisations across the State?

Will the Government allow for the scheduling of a debate, with accurate information provided, on the recent asset quality test of the banks undertaken by the Central Bank? More questions than answers seem to have arisen because of this exercise.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Is the Deputy seeking a debate?

Photo of Pearse DohertyPearse Doherty (Donegal South West, Sinn Fein)
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We know that when the banks did not provide detailed information in the past, they got this State into serious trouble. It is important to reassure every Member that the review shows that the banks are adequately capitalised.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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What is the Deputy looking for?

Photo of Pearse DohertyPearse Doherty (Donegal South West, Sinn Fein)
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A debate on the information contained in the asset quality review of the banks.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Will the Deputy ask his party’s Whip to raise it at a Whips' meeting? This is the Order of Business.

Photo of Pearse DohertyPearse Doherty (Donegal South West, Sinn Fein)
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I am asking under the Order of Business that Government time be used to schedule such a debate.

Photo of Emmet StaggEmmet Stagg (Kildare North, Labour)
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Sinn Féin has a very good and effective Whip.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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Earlier, I told Deputies Martin and Healy-Rae that I will get an answer for them on the commencement of the Charities Act. I will include Deputy Pearse Doherty in that.

There are several ways in which the Deputy can pursue the other issue he raised. I am sure the Minister for Finance would have no difficulty in responding on the issue.

Photo of Pearse DohertyPearse Doherty (Donegal South West, Sinn Fein)
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What about the board of the charities regulatory authority?

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Thank you, Deputy. I call Deputy Boyd Barrett.

Photo of Richard Boyd BarrettRichard Boyd Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, People Before Profit Alliance)
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The report that the number of people sleeping rough in Dublin has doubled in the last while is a shocking indictment of the failure of the Government’s policy in homelessness and housing.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy, this matter will be dealt with on Topical Issues after the Order of Business.

Photo of Richard Boyd BarrettRichard Boyd Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, People Before Profit Alliance)
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When will the housing Bill come before the Dáil? I have raised this on numerous occasions but I just get vague answers. Given the current housing crisis, will the Tánaiste bring forward the housing Bill so we can have a policy for the area as well as a proper debate about this most urgent of crises?

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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The housing Bill will be taken early next year.

We are not awaiting any legislation with regard to provision for homeless people. The Government has already provided additional beds for the homeless. The situation of those sleeping rough needs to be dealt with. It is not an issue of legislation but of dealing with a problem.

Photo of Sandra McLellanSandra McLellan (Cork East, Sinn Fein)
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Not enough has been done.