Tuesday, 8 October 2019
Budget 2020: Statements
Anthony Lawlor (Fine Gael)
I am very critical of our behaviour as people. When we go shopping, we see stuff that has come from all over the world. We talking about climate action and climate change, yet we are importing and using air miles for foodstuffs that are regularly seen in all our supermarkets.
One point that is dear to my heart is that we passed the Judicial Council Bill. We rushed it through the House in July yet nothing has happened since. I welcome the decision by the Minister for Justice and Equality to allocate funding for the establishment of the council. I am disappointed with the negative words of Chief Justice Frank Clarke. He needs to get off his high horse and realise that one of the reasons every citizen in this State is paying higher insurance charges is that there is more money being given out by the Judiciary to claimants in courts. Fianna Fáil introduced an amendment in the Lower House to reduce to three months the timeframe within which the council must have its first meeting, if I am correct. If the Chief Justice does not act on that, he will have failed in his civic duty to the people. Finally, I have a question regarding Naas General Hospital, which has great staff and facilities. However, we are still awaiting the endoscopy unit that was promised in the capital plan. I urge the Government to ensure that project is progressed this year. I was given assurances over the past seven years that it would be done, but we are still waiting. I hope to be in either this House or the other House when the unit is opened and to get a chance to turn the first sod.