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 Header Item Social Partnership (Continued)
 Header Item Order of Business

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 786 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 109 Next Page Last Page

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Hold on a second.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams Gabh mo leithscéal. The pertinent point is that it says the Ceann Comhairle shall direct that the utterance be withdrawn without qualification and I asked the Ceann Comhairle to do that. I am here with a mandate.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I know you are here with a mandate. I am here with a mandate as well in the Chair, to be fair. Sorry, Deputy; I ask you to resume your seat for one moment.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams I am not standing, a Cheann Comhairle-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I am here to keep order and if someone is out of order I will correct them, but if you are making an allegation that the Taoiseach made a defamatory remark, I am saying to you that I will examine the record and if I believe a defamatory remark has been made, then I will take appropriate action. That is what I have said and that is the way it is. I am moving on to the Order of Business.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams A Cheann Comhairle-----

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

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh A Cheann Comhairle-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I am sorry. That is it. We are not having a debate on this.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh I am not going to have a debate. I refer the Ceann Comhairle again to Standing Order 59. It states that if a Member-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I know about Standing Order 59.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh If a Member highlights an issue at the time when the remark is being made, it is in the Ceann Comhairle's gift at that stage.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Sorry, Deputy.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh At the time the request was being made the Ceann Comhairle was shutting down our leader and telling him to sit down and be quiet and whatever.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Deputy, please resume your seat.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh He was highlighting that a remark had been made and the Ceann Comhairle was not taking it on board at the time.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Deputy, please resume your seat. There is a procedure to be followed here and I will follow the procedure.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh That was following the procedure. If you had allowed the Member to put his point at the time-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett You can question it and raise it at the standing Committee on Procedure and Privileges if you are not happy. I have already told the Deputy in question that I will examine the blacks and if I believe that a defamatory remark has been made I will take appropriate action.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh We will accept that but that is after the fact. If the Ceann Comhairle had listened at the time it could have been dealt with at that stage.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Now, please resume your seat and we will get on with the business. I call on the Taoiseach to present the Order of Business. Thank you.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams A Cheann Comhairle, can I make another point, please?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett No, Deputy, please. It is almost 5.15 p.m. There are other Deputies who have matters to-----

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh They have not been defamed.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams This is from the salient rulings of the Chair to assist the Ceann Comhairle-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I do not need a lecture about salient rulings.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams I am not trying to give the Ceann Comhairle a lecture.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I am making a ruling and I have made a ruling.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams I am standing up for myself. It says that when a Member is making a disclaimer against an allegation made against him, he should be given a good hearing.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Yes.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams I do not consider-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I am giving you a good hearing.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams The Taoiseach knows better. Rather than go through this row - I do not want to be fighting with the Ceann Comhairle - the Taoiseach should be a man and withdraw that remark.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I have already made my ruling. I have said if a defamatory remark has been made and if I see that from the blacks then I will take appropriate action. We are moving on to the Order of Business. It is 5.15 p.m.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny I had no intention of making defamatory remarks about anyone. My comments were made in the context of the raw emotion that Deputy Adams referred to.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams They were not.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny Of course Deputy Adams has a legitimate mandate to be here but I made my comments in respect of what he was saying.

  Written Answers follow Adjournment.

Order of Business

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny It is proposed to take No. 14, motion re referral to joint committee of proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2012; No. 15, motion re referral to select sub-committee of proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the National Pensions Reserve Fund Act 2000 (Suspension of Exchequer Contributions) Order 2012 and Taxation Agreements; and No. 5, Social Welfare Bill 2012 - Order for Second Stage and Second Stage. It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that the Dáil shall sit later than 9 p.m. tonight and shall adjourn not later than 10 p.m. and that Nos. 14 and 15 shall be decided without debate. Private Members' business, which shall be No. 94, motion re confidence in the government, shall take place on the conclusion of the opening speeches of No. 5 or at 7.30 p.m., whichever is the later, and shall adjourn after 90 minutes if not previously concluded.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett There are three proposals to be put to the House. Is the proposal that the Dáil shall sit later than 9 p.m. tonight and adjourn not later than 10 p.m. agreed to?

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin It is not agreed. We are opposing the Order of Business today as a protest against how the House is being dealt with and organised this week. There is an extraordinary attempt to suppress any meaningful articulation of issues around, for example, the Social Welfare Bill. It is being rammed through the House utilising the guillotine approach. On Friday we will have a property tax Bill. What the hurry with that is I simply do not know because it is not due to come in until next May, but the Government seems intent on ramming it through by next Friday at 6 p.m.

Our spokesperson has estimated that in respect of the amendments tabled for the Social Welfare Bill each Deputy will only have 13 minutes and there are probably only four or five Deputies who will get in on Committee Stage. This is aside from any other Member who many wish to speak independently of the spokespersons from the main Opposition parties.

In the programme for Government, the Government promised more effective financial scrutiny, that the Dáil would be in a position to hold the Executive to account and that it would tackle the extensive overuse of guillotines. The Chief Whip and Minister of State, Deputy Kehoe, said the overuse of the guillotine was one of the great frustrations for Deputies. It will be used in abundance this week to ram the budget through. The only conclusion we can come to is that the reason this is being done is to ensure Labour Party backbenchers and some Fine Gael backbenchers do not get another weekend at home prior to any further decisions having to be made either in the Social Welfare Bill or regarding budget decisions.

Deputy Derek Keating: Information on Derek Keating Zoom on Derek Keating It is as a result of Fianna Fáil's incompetence.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin The Government wants to ram this thing through this week, suppress dissent and use the guillotine until it gets this thing safely through by Friday evening.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams I rarely have much sympathy for An Teachta Martin's view of what the Government is doing because, after all, it is implementing Fianna Fáil policy, but in this case I believe he has a point. We made it clear last week following the time set aside for the X case and A, B and C v. Ireland debate that none of our Teachtaí Dála wanted to speak on that issue, that we had said what we wanted, and that we thought the time should be set aside to talk about the budget and these scathing cuts. We actually suggested that it should be done yesterday, on Monday. I am advised by our Whip that the Government Whip came in and just upended all of that. The whole thing is running on a conveyor belt with the Government - we saw what occurred earlier - refusing to allow Oireachtas Members to advise on our view of the budget and to allow us try to get the Government to change its mind on aspects of the budget to which, we believe, there are good alternatives.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett I add my voice to the protest against the guillotine being imposed on this issue. In the programme for Government, the Taoiseach promised a democratic revolution, no less, a new type of politics and a new level of accountability. We are discussing a Bill that will touch deeply on the lives and quality of life of vast numbers of our most vulnerable citizens. I appeal to the Taoiseach at the least to be true to his word on allowing real debate, accountability and transparency on these most important and sensitive of matters and to allow a more open-ended discussion and certainly not to try to truncate the debate on these issues. The Taoiseach would be doing himself a favour if he did so and if he showed some willingness to listen to the views of the public and those affected on this issue. It would not be a climbdown. Rather, it would show a little courage from the Government if it allowed for a debate and, God knows, even better, it would allow time for the Government to reconsider some of these measures.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The Dáil sits until 11.15 p.m. tomorrow night and until 2 p.m. on Thursday to deal with the Social Welfare Bill. It has to go to the Seanad next week in order that the changed rates of unemployment assistance and social welfare protection can take effect on 1 January.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin It can be changed.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett We cannot have a debate on this.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin I do not want a debate. This is a serious issue.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett You cannot hop up and down on the Order of Business. There is a procedure.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin There will be agriculture questions at 8.50 p.m. on Thursday night.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Thank you.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin That is how farcical and ridiculous this entire programme is for the week.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett That is a separate issue. You can take that up through your Whip.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin It can be changed.

Deputy Paul Kehoe: Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe Deputy Martin should look back at the record of his Government.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Deputy, please resume your seat.

(Interruptions).

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin Never mind anything else. The Government should do what it said it would do.

Deputy Paul Kehoe: Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe Deputy Martin should look back at his record.

Deputy Niall Collins: Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins The Government should do what it said it would do.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Deputy Martin, please resume your seat. You have had your say on proposal No. 1.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin We have not had our say. We want a reasonable opportunity to debate the Social Welfare Bill which we are not getting.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett The proposal is that the Dáil shall sit later than 9 p.m. tonight and shall adjourn not later than 10 p.m. Now, please resume your seat.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin Deputy Keaveney wants to speak. Deputy McNamara wants to speak.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I am now putting the question.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin They will not get any opportunity to discuss it.

Deputy Paul Kehoe: Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe They will.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin They will not.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Please resume your seat, Deputy.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin The Chief Whip is ordering business but there is no consultation with anyone.


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