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Order of Business (Continued)

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 786 No. 2

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An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Is the proposal for dealing with No. a16 agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 30 agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 5 agreed to?

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin It is not agreed. The reply we got to our opposition to proposal No. 1 was not satisfactory. The Taoiseach needs to direct the answers to the questions asked. We have seen the inadequacy and the appalling manner in which the Social Welfare Bill is being rammed through the House to suppress dissent, maintain cohesion within Government ranks and facilitate Government Deputies in order that they can go home at the weekend with the Social Welfare Bill having been put through the House. I have offered the Taoiseach the suggestion that our Whip, along with the other Whips, would be willing to meet and, if necessary, put aside some items for today and tomorrow to give more time to the Social Welfare Bill. It is absolutely farcical by any yardstick to provide eight minutes per amendment.

Deputy Michael McNamara: Information on Michael McNamara Zoom on Michael McNamara Even by Deputy Martin's standards.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin There are only eight minutes for each amendment in the Social Welfare Bill and that is only for the spokespersons.

(Interruptions).

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

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin That does not allow any Deputy aside from the spokespersons to speak.

Deputy Alan Shatter: Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter How many Bills did Deputy Martin guillotine in his time?

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin What I am anxious to do-----

(Interruptions).

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Would you please allow the Deputy to make his point with a short statement? Thank you.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin I am anxious to allow time to speak for many Deputies in the House, particularly Labour Party and Fine Gael Deputies who have voiced significant opposition to child benefit cuts and the respite care grant cuts.

Deputy Barry Cowen: Information on Barry Cowen Zoom on Barry Cowen They are wrestling with their conscience.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin Not only will they not have an opportunity to vote against it, they will not even have an opportunity to voice their concerns or reservations about elements of the Social Welfare Bill.

Deputy Alan Shatter: Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter How can he keep a straight face when saying that?

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin They have agreed to go along with it through voting. They are hoping there will be silent acquiescence and that those in government will then be out the gap. However, they will not be out the gap because the people concerned are watching them. This gives a bad message to the public to the effect that there is no such thing as Dáil reform.

Deputy Alan Shatter: Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter That is pathetic.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin There is no such thing as meaningful debate on fundamental Bills, including the Social Welfare Bill and the property tax Bill, which is due on Friday.

Deputy Billy Kelleher: Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher They are silencing Deputy McNamara and Deputy Colm Keaveney.

Deputy Alan Shatter: Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter Fianna Fáil destroyed the economy.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Minister, please.

Deputy Michael McNamara: Information on Michael McNamara Zoom on Michael McNamara Does Deputy Kelleher want to come down to discuss it?

(Interruptions).

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Minister, you will be taking an early bath if you are not careful - and you too, Deputy Dooley. The two of you are shouting at each other while I am calling on Deputy Adams. Will you settle down, please? Settle down. Thank you. Deputy Adams without interruption.

Deputy Timmy Dooley: Information on Timmy Dooley Zoom on Timmy Dooley We are trying to defend the people's right to hear the views of elected representatives.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett You will be getting your holidays next week, so cool down.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams In every part of the State citizens are discussing this legislation at length, except in this institution, which is responsible for bringing in the legislation. The Taoiseach offered several reasons for rushing it through. He said that we had to get our business done because this had to go to the Seanad. It is up to this Chamber to order our own business. The Taoiseach does not even want the Seanad to be there. It is up to this Chamber to order our own business and for the Seanad to fit into our timetable.

  The Taoiseach said there were no takers for the debate time provided for the X case and the A, B and C v. Ireland case. We gave formal notice that none of our Teachtaí Dála wanted to talk on that issue and that we had talked on that issue but we wanted to see the legislation. We gave notice and we asked for a debate on the Social Welfare Bill and particularly on the budget.

  Finally, the Taoiseach said this had to be passed to allow social welfare payments to continue. That is not true. There is legislation to allow social welfare payments to continue. I call on the Taoiseach to withdraw that remark. We need to have a debate that reflects the seriousness of what the Government is doing, which is in direct opposition to what it was mandated to do. Those who want to vote for this should be able to stand up and argue why they want to take money off carers and reduce child benefit, why they want to tax maternity benefit, why they want to take money from children through cuts to the back-to-school clothing and footwear allowance and why the Government wants to put a tax on the family home as opposed to on the wealthy.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett I put it to the Taoiseach and the Minister for Justice and Equality that Fianna Fáil's miraculous conversion on the road to righteousness and political transparency is not the issue.

(Interruptions).

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Can Deputies stay quiet for one minute?

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett Those double standards are not the issue. The Government promised no less than a democratic revolution in how we do business in the House.

Deputy Robert Troy: Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy He is breaking promises made.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett The Taoiseach is not only betraying promises he made to the families of those with disabilities and promises made by the Labour Party on child benefit; he is now betraying the promise to have a new kind of politics. Will the Taoiseach please allow a debate on the Social Welfare Bill? It will seriously affect the lives of hundreds of thousands of families in the State. He should allow us to debate whether there might be some alternatives that could lift this terrible burden off those families. Will the Taoiseach please allow that debate and discuss it with the Whips or whatever needs to be done? There are ways to find more time for this discussion. The Taoiseach should have the courage and show a commitment to his own pre-election promises to allow for that debate to take place.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The have been significant changes in the way politics are conducted in here and there will be more changes to come.

A Deputy: What are they?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny We have now spent two hours at this; we have been here since 10.30 a.m. These matters were raised on Leaders' Questions. We have a good deal of business to conduct.

Deputy Billy Kelleher: Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher That is nonsense. Deputies everywhere want to speak on this issue.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The Whips gave notice last week of the arrangements for this week. It is time now to get on with it and move it through.

Deputy Timmy Dooley: Information on Timmy Dooley Zoom on Timmy Dooley Those Deputies should speak up now. They had a good deal to say during the weekend.

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 The Government is laying down the law of what is on the agenda. There is no discussion.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Is the proposal for dealing with No. 5 agreed to?


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