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 thank Senator Horkan for raising this issue. I think the Senator was present in the Chair for the debate that I had with Senator Clifford-Lee earlier. At any other time, the change that the Senator is looking for would already be contained in the legislation. I can imagine very few other circumstances in the future in which we would have legislation that would vest this kind of power in the Executive. The sole reason for this is because there are conceivable circumstances in which it would not be possible to reconvene the Oireachtas to look for consent to make these decisions. As I said in a debate earlier this afternoon, if one looks at the equivalent economic legislation that was conceived during the economic crisis, it required a degree of engagement with the Oireachtas. That shows what exceptional times we are in.