Seanad debates

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

 

10:30 am

Photo of Jerry ButtimerJerry Buttimer (Fine Gael)

I support Senator Seery Kearney in her demand for the issue to be dealt with as a matter of urgency.

I have repeatedly asked about this matter and I am tempted to table an amendment to the Order of Business that we would have a debate in this House on Covid. It is of such importance that we cannot just have commentary by media and sound bites. As Members of the Upper House, we need a substantive debate on what is happening in our country now. For example, in the hospitality sector, the employment wage subsidy scheme should be retained. If that is to happen, how will it be continued?

This morning, 14 counties, including those containing the capital and the second city, have no testing facilities available. The HSE is giving mixed messages. It is important for us to have a debate on how we can continue to beat Covid-19 because our vaccination programme has worked. I would like the Ministers for Health and for Enterprise, Trade and Employment to come to the House to debate the impact and import of Government decisions on Covid. I hope this can happen next week. I will table a motion calling for an amendment to the Order of Business. We are legislators of the upper House and we should have an input into the debate on what is happening with Covid.

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