Friday, 27 March 2020
An Bille um Bearta Éigeandála ar mhaithe le Leas an Phobail (Covid-19) 2020: Céim an Choiste agus na Céimeanna a bheidh Fágtha - Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages
I move amendment No. 49:
In page 28, to delete lines 19 to 21 and substitute the following: “ “applicable period” means—(a) the period of 12 weeks commencing on 26 March 2020, and
(b) such other period (if any) as may be specified by order under subsection (20);”.
Amendments Nos. 49 and 56 try to put in legislation the idea that rather than just extending the period by the Minister's will, the Minister would have to go back to the Houses of the Oireachtas to get permission from time to time to do that. The wording is that the Houses may, by a vote of approval, extend the period, but it would not totally be at the Minister's discretion. It is not that I doubt the Minister. It would mean the Minister would come back to the Houses to ask for permission occasionally to do what he is doing. I hope I may be here but I do not know who will be here. It is not a bad thing to have some control of the Houses over what the Executive is doing.