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Local Government (Maternity Protection and Other Measures for Members of Local Authorities) Bill 2022: Second Stage (1 Dec 2022)

Denise Mitchell: I welcome this legislation. It is a really progressive step. I thank the Minister of State and his officials. I take the opportunity to commend both the Association of Irish Local Government, AILG, and the Local Authority Members Association, LAMA, on all the work they have done as representatives of the voice of councillors. They have kept this issue on the Minister of State's agenda for...

Local Government (Maternity Protection and Other Measures for Members of Local Authorities) Bill 2022: Second Stage (1 Dec 2022)

Louise O'Reilly: I thank the Acting Chair for the opportunity to speak on this very important legislation. It drives me mad sometimes, and it is very often the case, that we sit in the Chamber late on a Thursday afternoon to discuss what is very much a woman's issue.

Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2022: Second Stage (Resumed) (1 Dec 2022)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl: Perhaps the Minister of State, Deputy Noonan, will work on it. If the Deputy wants to table it for Tuesday, we will do that. I call the Minister of State to respond to the debate.

Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2022: Second Stage (Resumed) (1 Dec 2022)

Malcolm Noonan: Before I reflect on the contributions of Deputies, I give my commitment to Deputy Lowry that if he passes on the details, I will do all I can. It is a heartbreaking story and my thoughts are with that young boy's family and with him. It is a traumatic time. For end-of-life care, it is critical there is coverage throughout the country. The manner in which the family’s wishes are...

Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2022: Second Stage (Resumed) (1 Dec 2022)

Question put and agreed to.

Local Government (Maternity Protection and Other Measures for Members of Local Authorities) Bill 2022: Second Stage (1 Dec 2022)

Local Government (Maternity Protection and Other Measures for Members of Local Authorities) Bill 2022: Second Stage (1 Dec 2022)

Peter Burke: I move: “That the Bill be now read a Second Time.” I am delighted to bring before the House today the Local Government (Maternity Protection and Other Measures for Members of Local Authorities) Bill 2022. The Bill represents an important legislative change which primarily will give elected members of local authorities a statutory entitlement to maternity leave. The Bill is...

Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2022: Second Stage (Resumed) (1 Dec 2022)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl: That is a heart-rending story. If the Deputy wishes to table that for a Topical Issue matter on Tuesday, I guarantee I will select it. We will do our best to ensure that some of the Ministers from the Department of Health will be here to deal with it. That is not something that should have to be brought up to the floor. I appreciate the fact that the Deputy saw no other alternative. It...

Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2022: Second Stage (Resumed) (1 Dec 2022)

Michael Lowry: Thank you, a Cheann Comhairle. I appreciate that. I appreciate that the Minister of State will do his best. The reason I raised it is because of the urgency of the situation. If it has to go through officials without encouragement from the Minister, I do not think we will get a result in time.

Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2022: Second Stage (Resumed) (1 Dec 2022)

Gino Kenny: I am disappointed that there is not a Minister with responsibility for the health portfolio here. It is not acceptable. We should have been notified before the debate. I am not blaming the Minister of State as I do not think he should be in this position, but we should have been told in advance that there would not be a Minister present. It makes a bit of a mockery of the debate really....

Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2022: Second Stage (Resumed) (1 Dec 2022)

Michael Lowry: Paying for health insurance is an expense that increasing numbers of Irish people now equate to the importance of paying their mortgage or rent. In excess of 2.3 million people now have some form of health insurance. Between April 2020 and March 2021 at the height of the pandemic, private health insurance companies gained almost 38,000 new customers. Ironically, also due to Covid-19,...

Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2022: Second Stage (Resumed) (1 Dec 2022)

Richard Boyd Barrett: The only reason we need this legislation is because of the shameful fact that we have a two-tier health system. Consequently, huge numbers of people, nearly half the people in this country, are so frightened of what will happen to them when they get sick, given the state of the public health system, that they feel it necessary to pay out large sums of money every year in order to have...

Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2022: Second Stage (Resumed) (1 Dec 2022)

Jennifer Murnane O'Connor: This annual legislation is necessary to support the community-rated health insurance market in Ireland. The risk equalisation credit and stamp duty levies are critical to the sustainability of our health insurance market, which is designed to be equitable and fair by spreading the cost of health insurance across the entire insured population. This ensures everyone pays the same price for...

Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2022: Second Stage (Resumed) (1 Dec 2022)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl: Deputy Boyd Barrett is sharing time with Deputy Gino Kenny.

Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2022: Second Stage (Resumed) (1 Dec 2022)

Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2022: Second Stage (Resumed) (1 Dec 2022)

Question again proposed: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."

Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2022: Second Stage (Resumed) (1 Dec 2022)

Róisín Shortall: I was waiting for a Minister from the Department of Health to come in.

Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2022: Second Stage (Resumed) (1 Dec 2022)

Malcolm Noonan: I apologise. It is an issue of availability on the Front Bench.

Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2022: Second Stage (Resumed) (1 Dec 2022)

Róisín Shortall: Is anybody from the Department of Health available today?

Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2022: Second Stage (Resumed) (1 Dec 2022)

Malcolm Noonan: No.

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