Written answers

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Legislative Measures

Photo of Cormac DevlinCormac Devlin (Dún Laoghaire, Fianna Fail)
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3. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment when new legislation to introduce a more streamlined insolvency process for persons and businesses will be finalised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23299/21]

Photo of Robert TroyRobert Troy (Longford-Westmeath, Fianna Fail)
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With regard to corporate insolvency, while the State’s long-standing preventive restructuring framework, examinership, is internationally recognised and has proven to be a successful tool for restructuring in its current form, I know that the costs can be prohibitive for smaller businesses.

That is why the Tánaiste wrote to the Company Law Review Group in July 2020, requesting that it consider the issue of rescue for small businesses. Membership of the CLRG, a statutory body, is representative of a broad range of stakeholder experts, making it uniquely well positioned to advise on company law. The CLRG completed its work within an accelerated timeframe reporting back to the Tánaiste and I in October 2020. The report set out its recommendation for a proposed new process for the rescue of small companies, distinct from the existing examinership legislation. Since then my Department has been developing a General Scheme of Bill and which was also informed by a public consultation in February.

The Companies (Amendment) Bill providing for a dedicated rescue process for small companies is included in the priority summer legislative programme. Given the urgency of the proposed legislation to assist viable companies remain in business, I will bring the General Scheme of Bill to Government shortly.

In so far as personal insolvency is concerned, the Programme for Government committed to introduce the necessary reforms to our personal insolvency legislation and ensure that sufficient supports are in place for mortgage holders with repayment difficulties.

The Minister for Justice has brought forward the Personal Insolvency (Amendment) Bill 2020 which seeks to make it easier for insolvent persons, including those in financial difficulties arising from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, to avail of the Personal Insolvency Act effectively. The Bill has completed all stages in the Seanad and is currently awaiting Second Stage in the Dail.

A further Personal Insolvency (Amendment) Bill is included in the Government’s summer legislation programme. That is a larger Bill to address comprehensively the recommendations arising from the statutory review of the Personal Insolvency Acts which is currently being carried out by my colleague the Minister for Justice. Among the issues raised by submissions to the review are proposals to simplify and streamline the overall personal insolvency process. The report of the review is expected to be completed this summer, and work will then begin on the General Scheme of that Bill, with a view to submitting proposals to Government before the end of the year as set out in the Justice Plan 2021.


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