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 Header Item Topical Issue Matters
 Header Item Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage (Resumed)

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 787 No. 5

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Topical Issue Matters

Acting Chairman (Deputy Robert Troy): Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy I wish to advise the House of the following matters in respect of which notice has been given under Standing Order 27A and the name of the Member in each case: (1) Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan - the need to address the problems of rogue taxi drivers through regulation; (2) Deputy Shane Ross - the proposed closure of Stepaside Garda station, County Dublin; (3) Deputy Patrick O'Donovan - the need for lands owned by Shannon Development in Limerick to be transferred to the local authority as part of any restructuring of Shannon Airport and Shannon Development; (4) Deputy Jonathan O'Brien - the effects of the increase in the pupil-teacher ratio from 17:1 to 19:1; (5) Deputy Timmy Dooley - the need to publish the positive ageing strategy; (6) Deputy James Bannon - the need to clarify the position of the future of the family resource centre programme; and (7) Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív - the need to reverse the cuts announced yesterday to the funding for RAPID co-ordinators and to ensure adequate funding for the RAPID programme which is focused on the most deprived urban communities.

The matters raised by Deputies James Bannon, Shane Ross, Timmy Dooley and Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan have been selected for discussion.

Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage (Resumed)

  Question again proposed: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."

Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan: Information on Maureen O'Sullivan Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan This is a very important Bill. It is particularly important for the public, whose taxes are contributing to what we are discussing, and they want greater accountability. There was a need for this Bill to be accompanied by a Bill dealing with parliamentary reform, as we cannot talk about the funding of this organisation without taking a good look at how the organisation does its work. Progress is being made on reducing the budget but this should be accompanied by a reform aspect.

I will use the recent property tax Bill debate as an example, although I will not discuss the property tax. A number of amendments were tabled by Deputies and much work was done by the Deputies and their staff in putting those amendments together, with much work for the Oireachtas staff in achieving the final grouping of these amendments. I am sure that amounted to hours of work. When we came in here to debate the Bill on Tuesday, it quickly became obvious that we would not be discussing any amendments. I am thinking of all the work that went into those amendments, although this is just one example. The debate focused on section 1, with contributions amounting to a talking shop about everything to do with the Bill rather than being relevant to section 1. This occurred instead of a more progressive and efficient way of working through amendments.

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