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Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation (20 Oct 2021)

Richard Bruton: I believe the Taoiseach would be very appreciative of the role local media have played in providing accurate and reliable information throughout the Covid-19 process. There is an intense interest in work of the Future of Media Commission. I understand the Taoiseach met the chairperson. When will we see the product of its work? Will the Government be making an announcement in that regard?

Select Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2021: Committee Stage (19 Oct 2021)

Richard Bruton: It was about the section, rather than the amendment, so will I wait to comment?

Select Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2021: Committee Stage (19 Oct 2021)

Richard Bruton: Regarding this section, why has the proposed authority not been asked to advise the Minister or the Government on policy developments in this area? It would be a normal sort of thing to put into the functions, although there is a possibility for the Minister to ask for such advice. Returning to the comment made by Deputy O'Reilly earlier, there are different types of authority. The...

Select Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2021: Committee Stage (19 Oct 2021)

Richard Bruton: I thank the Minister of State for that response. I am happy with it. Turning to the matter of a function to advise Ministers, that would seem to be a fairly normal thing. It could be useful because this is a technical area and we might miss an opportunity if Ministers are not getting up-to-date appraisals of how legislation is moving in other countries.

Select Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2021: Committee Stage (19 Oct 2021)

Richard Bruton: I think so. It is the case in respect of several bodies. I imagine it is there in the case of the CPCC, and it might also be useful in this context. The Minister can obviously ask for such advice of his or her own accord, but having a statutory basis for advising the Minister does seem to be sensible.

Select Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2021: Committee Stage (19 Oct 2021)

Richard Bruton: Okay. I thank the Minister of State.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and COP26: Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications (19 Oct 2021)

Richard Bruton: I thank the Minister and wish him every success at the COP26 summit. He seemed to paint a reasonably optimistic view of the non-EU blocs and their approach to this session, particularly the US and China. I have heard from some European colleagues with whom I am still in contact that there is a slight lack of conviction at EU level about the commitment of some of those countries. Is that a...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and COP26: Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications (19 Oct 2021)

Richard Bruton: May I ask for clarification on one matter?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and COP26: Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications (19 Oct 2021)

Richard Bruton: I am interested in the issue of biogenic methane versus carbon dioxide. It seems to me that there is a profound difference between a measure that actually cools the climate and a measure that slows down the pace of deterioration. That difference does not seem to be properly recognised in the way the EU measures things. If we can achieve a reduction in biogenic or, indeed, any other source...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and COP26: Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications (19 Oct 2021)

Richard Bruton: I am sorry; is there not a profound difference between the two things? If the EU continues to measure it the way it is, we are locked into a system that does not recognise the very significant value, from an Ireland Inc. and global Inc. point of view, of managing to reduce methane, particularly in agriculture, which is the biggest generator of it. If we continue to undervalue that then it...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Early Childhood Care and Education (14 Oct 2021)

Richard Bruton: I thank the Ceann Comhairle for the opportunity to raise this matter. I am pleased to have been associated with the establishment of a Fine Gael policy lab, which is essentially policy research that deals with first-hand experience. In the case of childcare, we spoke to more than 2,500 providers, parents and staff in the system. The conclusion was resounding. The message was that the...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Early Childhood Care and Education (14 Oct 2021)

Richard Bruton: I thank the Minister of State and am encouraged to hear about all that work. One thing I did not hear mentioned, and this should be the starting point, is the need to start with the well-being of children. We need to embed in any such agency what the well-being of children is and how it will be measured and monitored in order that all this activity generates an outcome, especially for...

Written Answers — Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection: Social Welfare Payments (14 Oct 2021)

Richard Bruton: 140. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will consider introducing some disregard in the means test for disability allowance for a person who is in a position to rent a room within their home. [50249/21]

Written Answers — Department of Justice and Equality: International Protection (14 Oct 2021)

Richard Bruton: 153. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if she will consider the recommendations of an organisation (details supplied) in respect of the new programme for families in Afghanistan in order that the lessons from previous experiences can be applied. [50341/21]

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: General Scheme of the Circular Economy Bill 2021: Discussion (Resumed) (14 Oct 2021)

Richard Bruton: First, I thank both our speakers for their contributions. The first question is to Ms O'Brien. I would like to get an understanding of how prescriptive legislation should seek to be in some of these areas. Should we consider giving the Minister enabling powers so that in the future as opportunities evolve, measures can be introduced with regard to virgin plastic, requirements regarding...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: General Scheme of the Circular Economy Bill 2021: Discussion (Resumed) (14 Oct 2021)

Richard Bruton: Can Ireland do that on its own?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: General Scheme of the Circular Economy Bill 2021: Discussion (Resumed) (14 Oct 2021)

Richard Bruton: In European experience has a provision such as comply or explain ever been used in these areas, where a general obligation can be created but for a number of years there is an option of not complying but offering an explanation as to why it has not been possible? It avoids regulations being so rigid that they become unenforceable but it changes the obligation towards better practice.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of the Consumer Rights Bill 2021: Discussion (13 Oct 2021)

Richard Bruton: How, in layman's terms, will it be easier to enforce? Is it still the small claims court? Does the CCPC just take issues of public concern rather than individual complaints? An issue which keeps coming up is the difficulty of contacting some of these providers. With many providers of online services you simply just cannot contact them. If you want to change your terms, you face...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of the Consumer Rights Bill 2021: Discussion (13 Oct 2021)

Richard Bruton: My apologies, Chairman, but one if not two of my questions were not answered, so perhaps I may come back in again with them.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of the Consumer Rights Bill 2021: Discussion (13 Oct 2021)

Richard Bruton: I wish to return to the issue of the difficulty in contacting many of these providers of services. It seems that they do this without any regard to consumers. This is important in the context of rising energy prices. Since people can reduce their costs significantly if they switch providers, this is a deliberate attempt to try to lock people in and put them at a disadvantage by using...

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