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)

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 800 No. 4

First Page Previous Page Page of 92 Next Page Last Page

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin There appear to be mixed messages between the Government parties on when water charges are to be introduced. The Water Services Bill, a major item of legislation, is still awaited. The Taoiseach might confirm when it will be introduced. Also, my understanding is Bord Gáis's billing system is ready for use by Irish Water but Ministers are referring to different dates. Is it the Government's intention to publish the Bill and levy water charges in 2014 or 2015?

Will the Taoiseach update the House on the protection of maternal life Bill because there are reports that emergency discussions took place last evening involving the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and the Minister for Health, Deputy James Reilly? There is a Bill which officials in the Department of Health have and discussed with the Ministers of State at that Department, as well as the senior Minister who has denied various newspaper reports on six people interviewing a woman with suicidal ideation.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett We are short of time.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin I seek clarification as to when the Bill will be published and of the Government's intentions in that regard.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny On water charges, the Deputy is aware that the troika is back in town and that there will be discussions between it and the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform on Ireland's programme. The Ministers will make a case to it that water charges should not be applied until 1 January 2015 and that they should be applied quarterly and retrospectively in that they would start from October 2014. In other words, they would be applied three months behind-----

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin Starting from October.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The charge would be levied but paid three months later, from 1 January 2015.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin For the October period.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny Yes, for the October to December period.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin Just after the local elections.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny Ministers have to make that case to the troika and have its approval.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin The Taoiseach can trust the Minister, Deputy Phil Hogan, to organise things that way.

Deputy Phil Hogan: Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan The Deputy's memorandum was very good. His were due to come in on 1 January.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The Bill on water charges will be brought forward later in the autumn.

  On the protection of maternal life Bill, there has been a lot of speculation and comment on it. The Minister expected to have the heads approved yesterday. We had a discussion on the issue. There are a number of matters that we must address to get the Bill as right as possible. I hope this can happen.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin Will there be six or 12 on the panel?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett The Deputy should wait until he sees the legislation. We only have four minutes left.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny I have seen all of the speculation. I do not comment on speculation.

Deputy Phil Hogan: Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan Deputy Eamon Ó Cuív will be on it.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin It is not speculation. I am just trying to have clarity on the issue.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny This is about saving the life of the mother and that of the unborn, the Constitution and the law. It is important to get the Bill right. I do not engage in wild speculation.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin Neither do I, but somebody on the Taoiseach's side is doing so.

(Interruptions).

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett We only have four minutes left and a number of Deputies are indicating.

Deputy Mary Lou McDonald: Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald I am sure nobody wants to engage in wild speculation on the X legislation or the protection of maternal life Bill, but the turn of events in recent days has been most unedifying.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett We are on the Order of Business.

Deputy Mary Lou McDonald: Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald I appreciate that, a Cheann Comhairle. Other than telling us that the anticipated heads of the Bill did not materialise, can the Taoiseach give us more concrete information on the timing of the legislation? We are all anxious to see it, approach it in a constructive manner to get the law right and get through the process. Is there any truth in the speculation that the House may sit for an additional week at the end of July to facilitate the passage of the legislation?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny I share that view. Much of the comment I have heard has been, to say the least, unedifying and not respectful of women. This is an issue on which there should be as much consensus as possible because it is an important one. As I said to other Deputies, if we work backwards from the date of the rising of the House for the summer towards the end of July, there is a raft of legislation to be published, some of which is be enacted. I would like to think we could have the protection of maternal life Bill enacted before the House rises for the summer recess, but I cannot honestly be too prescriptive about this because people may want to have their say and so on. What I would like to see happen is that we can seek approval for the heads from the Government to get the Bill as right as possible, send it to the Oireachtas committee for debate, bring it back and process it through the Houses in proper fashion. I will keep everybody updated on the issue. It is important that everybody has an opportunity to reflect properly, sensitively and with understanding on what is involved. I will keep the Deputy and the House updated on the issue.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I will take Deputies' questions in groups and ask for their co-operation in that regard. There should be no speeches, as there is only one minute remaining.

Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath On the criminal justice (corruption) Bill, is there any update on the investigation into the murder of Fr. Niall Molloy? Does the Taoiseach accept that the only way to resolve the matter for the families and those who want to get to the truth and justice is to have a full and proper inquiry?

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath On the Water Services (Amendment) Bill, I ask the Taoiseach - I am glad the Minister is in the Chamber - if the Government will make any effort to ensure small contractors and self-employed persons-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett That is a different issue.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath It is not. It is very important to have a debate on the issue.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett It has nothing to do with the publication of the Bill.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath Of course, it has. There was a promise that small contractors-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I need the Deputy's co-operation, as other Deputies are waiting.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath On the Children First Bill, the Government has ignored the Supreme Court's decision. Where is the Bill? When will the Government address the Supreme Court's decision in the McCrystal case?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett The Water Services (Amendment) Bill has been dealt with.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The former Fianna Fáil man should know that the Water Services (Amendment) Bill will be introduced later in the year.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath The Taoiseach will be the former Fine Gael man very soon.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The heads of the criminal justice (corruption) Bill were cleared by the Cabinet last June and sent to the relevant committee for discussion. I do not yet have a date for publication. The Children First Bill will be introduced this session.

Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath What about the Fr. Niall Molloy case?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Which?

Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath I asked a question about the investigation of the Fr. Molloy case.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett That is not a matter for legislation.

Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath It comes under the corruption Bill. It is a very important issue.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny I understand the heads of the criminal justice (corruption) Bill were cleared last June and sent to the relevant committee for discussion and observations. There is as yet no date for publication.

Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath And no news on the Fr. Niall Molloy case.

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae: Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae I welcome Mr. Michael O'Sullivan from Gneeveguilla who is in the Visitors Gallery as part of Job Shadow day.

  With regard to changes to be made to the Finance Bill, the capital gains tax applied to the sale of co-operative shares should be reduced to help struggling farmers.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett The Finance Bill was passed. The Deputy will have to wait until the next one.

Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick: Information on Peter Fitzpatrick Zoom on Peter Fitzpatrick When can we expect the defence (amendment) Bill to be published to amend the Defence Act 2006 to specify certain activities associated with the dispatch of personnel overseas which can take place in advance of discussion of the United Nations Security Council resolution?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The defence (amendment) Bill will not be published until next year.

Deputy Michael P. Kitt: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt In view of the number of community alert meetings which have been held throughout the country to deal with the issue of rural crime and the fact that the use of texting has been found to be very useful in apprehending criminals, I understand we must wait for regulations or legislation from the Minister for Justice and Equality or await the signing off by the Garda Commissioner to authorise its use. When will this happen?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Has such legislation been promised?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny I will have to communicate with the Deputy in the matter. I do not have a date, but the point made is a serious one. I will have the Minister respond to the Deputy.

Deputy Michael P. Kitt: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt He can send me a text.

Deputy Frank Feighan: Information on Frank Feighan Zoom on Frank Feighan When does the Taoiseach expect the road transport Bill to be published?


Last Updated: 29/04/2020 08:42:17 First Page Previous Page Page of 92 Next Page Last Page