Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

Order of Business (Continued)

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 786 No. 3

First Page Previous Page Page of 73 Next Page Last Page

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt Is the proposal for dealing with No. 5, Committee and Remaining Stages of the Social Welfare Bill 2012, agreed to?

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin It is not agreed. We oppose the proposal as it makes a farce of the House. It is now almost 11.30 a.m., yet the proposal is to ram through and guillotine Committee and Remaining Stages of the Social Welfare Bill by 2.30 p.m. This allows but two and a half hours for meaningful discussion on the cut to the respite care grant, which is having a heavy impact, the cut to child benefit and the removal of the PRSI exemption. With regard to the removal of the PRSI exemption, a person earning €25,000 will be hit by a 36% increase while a person on €175,000 will be hit by a 3% increase. How can that be fair? We will have no chance to discuss that at all. There will be no chance to discuss the cuts to the jobseeker's benefit, lone parent allowance and farm assist payment. The cut to the latter benefit is very serious for many farmers on the farm assist scheme across the country.

My point is that all of these measures have not yet been discussed on Committee Stage.

(Interruptions).

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt Order, please.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin The proposal before the House is that every one of these items should be subject to meaningful discussion. These are the issues about which people outside the House are most concerned right now. They are the issues on which Labour Party and Fine Gael Deputies have been suggesting counter-proposals and alternatives in the media.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan They were caused by Fianna Fáil.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin They were telling their Ministers they wanted the proposed measures changed in favour of alternatives. Nobody is getting an opportunity in this House to discuss the measures.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt I ask for brief contributions.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin Let me make this point, because it goes to the heart of what this House is meant to be about.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan If the Deputy had a heart-----

Deputy Timmy Dooley: Information on Timmy Dooley Zoom on Timmy Dooley If Deputy Durkan had a head, he would be dangerous.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin People came into government saying there would be a democratic revolution, no less. That is what the Tánaiste said.

(Interruptions).

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt Could we have order? Only brief contributions are allowed. We are not discussing the detail. I ask Deputy Martin to conclude.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin The reason this is happening is that the Government does not want a discussion on these items.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan Nor does Deputy Martin.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin It does not want the Dáil to have any meaningful discussion, cut by cut. It wants to suppress dissent in its own ranks and ram the legislation through as quickly as it possibly can without regard to the public, who would actually like to hear from Deputies on the cuts. The public will not get that chance.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt Let us have order, please. I call Deputy Mary Lou McDonald.

Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes Zoom on Brian Hayes The stage is Deputy McDonald's.

Deputy Mary Lou McDonald: Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald We, too, object to the guillotining of this very important debate. It is obviously the tactic of the Government to rush these matters through the Dáil to spare the blushes of the Labour Party, in particular, and those of Fine Gael Members with a conscience who might feel some discomfort. It is unacceptable-----


Last Updated: 06/05/2020 11:58:02 First Page Previous Page Page of 73 Next Page Last Page