Seanad debates

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Social Welfare Bill 2019: Report Stage


10:30 am

Photo of Alice-Mary HigginsAlice-Mary Higgins (Independent) | Oireachtas source

I have a seconder. The case for this amendment was discussed in the context of amendment No. 1. I am concerned about the tone of the language being used. As I said earlier, a new kind of language is being introduced and I hope this does not lead to a new kind of practice or a change in practice. That is a concern. While I am not going to press all of these amendments, I have a concern that relates to a number of them. The Minister has repeatedly said that any suggested course of development or action will be agreed with the person. On that basis, I am using the Minister's language in amendments Nos. 6 and 11 to suggest that the word "agreed" be used rather than the word "prescribed". The Minister has already provided for other caveats in this section by using words like "appropriate" and "subject to". Obviously, it is not the case that anything can be agreed. There is a requirement for people to accept reasonable offers. In that context, I hope the Minister might agree to substitute the word "agreed" for the word "prescribed". The Minister has spoken about this issue. I am not going to press my amendments in this group other than those in which I am adopting the language suggested by the Minister.


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