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 Header Item Order of Business (Continued)
 Header Item Misuse of Motor Vehicles (Public Spaces) Bill 2012: First Stage
 Header Item Estimates for Public Services 2012: Leave to Introduce

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 785 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 89 Next Page Last Page

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin In the programme for Government, the Government made very strong commitments to Dáil reform. It is very regrettable, therefore, that the Supplementary Estimates for the Department of Social Protection and the Health Service Executive have been rushed through without any debate in plenary session. The Supplementary Estimate for the Department of Social Protection can only be explained by the fact that there are fewer people at work and more people out of work. This is why the €650 million is being sought. We could have done with a debate on that. In terms of the commitments in the programme for Government in respect of the social welfare Bill, could the Taoiseach indicate when he intends to bring that before the House?

The whistleblowers Bill is intended to give freedom to officials and people working in our public services to articulate issues. There is fear and anxiety across the health service in so far as nurses in particular are not allowed to articulate or advocate where patients are at risk. This has been communicated to me. I draw the Taoiseach's attention to the contradiction between driving through a whistleblowers Bill and at the same time gagging nurses and other medical personnel from speaking about what is happening in our hospitals and health service.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett This is not on the Order of Business.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin Can the Taoiseach indicate when we will get the whistleblowers Bill? In respect of the Government's commitment to change legislation in respect of Cabinet confidentiality-----

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae: Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae What is that?

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin That is a very good point.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett We are not having a debate on that.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin The people would like to know where stands the commitment to Cabinet confidentiality because the public would dearly love to see Cabinet confidentiality. The absence of confidentiality in the Cabinet has scared the living daylights of people over recent weeks. They are in terror because Ministers cannot button it and keep their mouths closed and are predicting cut after cut.

(Interruptions).

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Will everyone settle down and not get excited? It is bad for their health. We must yet switch on the Christmas tree lights so can we be given a chance for light on the subject? Could we deal with matters that are in order?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The Supplementary Estimate for the Department of Social Protection will be taken tomorrow in committee. The social welfare Bill will be taken next week and the protected disclosure in the public interest Bill will be published early next year.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams Tá mé ag cur ceiste faoi reachtaíocht atá fógraithe. Can the Taoiseach confirm when the finance (local property tax) Bill will be published? This is the Bill that Fianna Fáil was committed to bringing in after it signed up with the troika and to which it now says it is opposed. When will it be published and when will it be debated in the Dáil?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The Minister will outline the details. As I understand it - if I am incorrect on this, I will advise the Deputy further - the finance (local property tax) Bill will be published on Thursday. Obviously, the announcement will be made tomorrow by the Minister for Finance. If that is not absolutely accurate, I will have it transmitted to the Deputy.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett We have three minutes left. We must move very quickly now. We will have no speeches.

Deputy James Bannon: Information on James Bannon Zoom on James Bannon Given the implications of passing the children's rights referendum recently, could the Taoiseach update me as to when the courts Bill, which hopefully will bring much needed transparency to child care and family proceedings, will come before the House?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The courts Bill is being drafted at the moment and it will be early next year before it can be published.

Deputy Ray Butler: Information on Ray Butler Zoom on Ray Butler When is publication of the housing Bill expected? I read in the newspapers last week that 100,000 families are on county council housing waiting lists.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett The Deputy does not need to talk about the newspapers.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny I can confirm that a great deal of work has been done on the heads of this Bill but it will be next year before it is published.

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae: Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae The Central Bank issued a code of conduct for lending to small and medium-sized enterprises. Where does that leave us given what happened, which the Government Chief Whip knows about-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett What is the name of the Bill?

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae: Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae I am coming to it. Last Wednesday-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I ask the Deputy to be fair to his colleagues. We have one minute left.

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae: Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae A group of thugs acting for an institution beat up a farmer and his 15 year old son last Wednesday night.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I ask the Deputy not to get excited.

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae: Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae That must be addressed.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett What Bill is the Deputy talking about?

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae: Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae Central Bank legislation.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett The Central Bank Bill.

(Interruptions).

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I ask the Deputy to resume his seat.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Bill is on Committee Stage, if this is the Bill referred to by the Deputy.

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae: Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae What about thugs repossessing-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett We do not deal with thugs on the Order of Business.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Bill is on Committee Stage at the moment.

Deputy Patrick Nulty: Information on Patrick Nulty Zoom on Patrick Nulty I have asked the Taoiseach several times and he has yet to give me a date as to when the Government will bring forward a commitment to provide for a statutory right to collective bargaining, which is a core element of the programme for Government.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny I do not have an answer to the Deputy's question.

Deputy Róisín Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall Could the Taoiseach give an assurance to the House that tomorrow's budget has been fully poverty-proofed? Will he undertake to publish this poverty proofing as part of the budgetary documentation, which has been the practice over recent years?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I do not think that is in order on the Order of Business.

Deputy Róisín Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall When we can expect publication of the finance Bill and when is that scheduled to be taken?

Deputy Barry Cowen: Information on Barry Cowen Zoom on Barry Cowen Reilly-proofed.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The finance Bill will be published in the new year. Obviously, the best attempts are always made to proof all budgets on all fronts, although it is never possible to do these things perhaps as one might like.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin We saw that.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny As I said during Leaders' Questions, this budget will be presented as an opportunity to move the country further towards retrieval of our economic sovereignty and independence and create opportunities for investment and job opportunities and creation.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I call on Deputy Broughan.

Deputy Róisín Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall Perhaps the Taoiseach might answer the question. I asked him whether he can give an assurance to the House that tomorrow's budget has been fully poverty-proofed as is required and as successive Governments have committed to doing.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett The Deputy cannot do that on the Order of Business.

Deputy Róisín Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall Maybe the best attempt is not enough. Will it be poverty-proofed in a professional way, as has been done before, and will the Government publish that documentation?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Through the Chair. I am calling on Deputy Broughan to speak.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny We are very conscious of those who are vulnerable.

Deputy Róisín Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall That is not what I asked the Taoiseach.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett This is the Order of Business. I ask Deputy Shortall to resume her seat.

Deputy Róisín Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall There has been a commitment by successive Governments to poverty-proof all initiatives coming from the Government. I am asking the Taoiseach whether tomorrow's budget has been poverty-proofed. Can he give that assurance?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I ask Deputy Shortall to resume her seat. The Taoiseach cannot give her an assurance on the Order of Business.

Deputy Róisín Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall I asked the Taoiseach a straightforward question.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I will not ask Deputy Shortall a third time. I am asking the Deputy to resume her seat and she refuses to recognise the Chair. It is out of order. I call Deputy Broughan.

Deputy Róisín Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall It is a reasonable question to ask. Has the Government poverty-proofed the budget?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I will cut it off now because we are over time. The Deputy must make up her mind. Has Deputy Broughan a question?

Deputy Thomas P. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan Yes.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Will he put it?

Deputy Róisín Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall Has the Government poverty-proofed the budget?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett We will move on. The Deputy must wait until tomorrow.

Misuse of Motor Vehicles (Public Spaces) Bill 2012: First Stage

Deputy Dessie Ellis: Information on Dessie Ellis Zoom on Dessie Ellis I move:

That leave be granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to give powers to An Garda Síochána to deal with the use of motor propelled vehicles in areas designated public spaces by local authorities.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Is the Bill opposed?

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney No.

  Question put and agreed to.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Since this is a Private Members' Bill, Second Stage must, under Standing Orders, be taken in Private Members' time.

Deputy Dessie Ellis: Information on Dessie Ellis Zoom on Dessie Ellis I move: "That the Bill be taken in Private Members' time."

  Question put and agreed to.

Estimates for Public Services 2012: Leave to Introduce

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I move:

That leave being given by the Dáil to introduce the following Supplementary Estimates for the service of the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2012:-

Vote 25 — Environment, Community and Local Government

Vote 37 — Social Protection

Vote 39 — Health Service Executive

Deputy Billy Kelleher: Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher Is this the motion to refer the Supplementary Estimate for the Health Service Executive to the select sub-committee?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett That is correct.

Deputy Billy Kelleher: Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher We object to this in the strongest possible manner. We believe this is sweeping ministerial incompetence under the committee room carpet. We oppose this motion.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett This is the motion requesting leave to introduce.

Deputy Billy Kelleher: Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher We are opposing the motion on the grounds that we feel there should be a full debate in plenary session on this very important issue with regard to a Supplementary Estimate of €360 million in the Department of Health.


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