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 Header Item An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (Continued)
 Header Item Ministerial Rota for Parliamentary Questions: Motion
 Header Item Citizens' Assembly on Gender Equality: Motion
 Header Item Host Country Agreement: Motion
 Header Item Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income and on Capital) (Swiss Confederation) Order 2019: Motion
 Header Item Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income and Capital Gains) (Kingdom of the Netherlands) Order 2019: Motion
 Header Item Animal Health Levies (Pigs) Regulations 2019: Motion
 Header Item Twenty-Fourth Report of the Committee of Selection: Motion
 Header Item Ceisteanna - Questions
 Header Item Cabinet Committee Meetings

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 985 No. 2

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Deputy Tom Neville: Information on Tom Neville Zoom on Tom Neville I welcome last week's broadening and extending of jobseeker's status to include self-employed artists. It recognises the unique creative circumstances of artists in receipt of jobseeker's allowance and gives special assistance during their first year out of work, allowing them to focus on their creative output. This is to come in from September. I ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht whether consideration will be given to extending the scheme to artists who did not previously come under it, people who are already at a resting period or on jobseeker's allowance? Could the Minister please clarify that point?

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan I thank the Deputy for his question. I was very pleased, with the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Deputy Regina Doherty, to announce the scheme last week. The scheme was a pilot that will now be put on a permanent basis and will also be expanded to include other artists. It will not only be artists and writers but will include actors, musicians, choreographers and opera singers. I also pay tribute to the Taoiseach whose idea it was originally.

The 12-month activation period of the scheme will not commence until 1 September so, if people want to apply at that stage, the 12-month delay of activation measures will not kick in for at least 12 months.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Other Deputies outlined earlier how money messages are being used to frustrate the democratic intentions of this House and I agree with them. I want to highlight another blatant disregard of the democratic wishes of this House. On 28 June 2017, this House unanimously passed a motion calling on the Government to instruct the military authorities to immediately cease the administration of Lariam to all Irish soldiers as a drug of first resort. The motion, in fact, went beyond that. It is more urgent now given the fact that a decision was recently taken to send soldiers to Mali. There are soldiers and ex-soldiers who are still suffering the effects of Lariam and others have died, some through suicide. What will the Taoiseach do, as Minister for Defence, to give effect to the decision made by the Dáil two years ago?

The Taoiseach: Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The Government and Oireachtas have their functions but, when it comes to prescribing a licensed medication, the decision on whether it should be prescribed or not is for doctors, whether within the community or the Defence Forces. Whether a doctor prescribes a licensed medication is not a decision for the Government or the House.

Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe: Information on Kevin O'Keeffe Zoom on Kevin O'Keeffe This Chamber agreed last week, through a Private Members' motion, to request the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Deputy Bruton, to talk to An Post about reversing its decision to close the sorting office in Little Island in Cork. When can we expect the Minister to come back to this Chamber with a report and a recommendation that that decision be reversed?

The Taoiseach: Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar As An Post is a State-run enterprise, decisions on such matters are for the company's board and not for Government or the House.

Ministerial Rota for Parliamentary Questions: Motion

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Seán Kyne): Information on Seán Kyne Zoom on Seán Kyne I move:

That, notwithstanding anything in the Order of the Dáil of 12th December, 2017, setting out the rota in which Questions to members of the Government are to be asked, Questions for oral answer, following those next set down to the Minister for Rural and Community Development, shall be set down to Ministers in the following temporary sequence:
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade

Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Minister for Defence

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection
whereupon the sequence established by the Order of 12th December, 2017, shall continue with Questions to the Minister for Finance.

  Question put agreed to.

Citizens' Assembly on Gender Equality: Motion

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): Information on David Stanton Zoom on David Stanton I move:

That Dáil Éireann:

approves the calling of a Citizens’ Assembly to consider the following matter and to make such recommendations as it sees fit and report to the Houses of the Oireachtas:

— to advance gender equality by bringing forward proposals that:
— challenge the remaining barriers and social norms and attitudes that facilitate gender discrimination towards girls and boys, women and men;

— in particular, seek to ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in the workplace, politics and public life;

— recognise the importance of early years parental care and seek to facilitate greater work-life balance; and

— examine the social responsibility of care and women and men’s coresponsibility for care, especially within the family;
following on from the above, to prioritise the proposals, which may include policy, legislative or constitutional change, having regard to the legal requirements and the costs versus the potential impact; and

notes that:

— membership of the Assembly will consist of 100 persons as follows:
— a Chairperson to be appointed by the Government;

— 99 citizens entitled to vote at a referendum, recruited at national level and randomly selected in accordance with best recruitment practice, as advised by industry experts so as to be broadly representative of Irish society; and

— membership of the Assembly will not include participation by politicians;
— the maximum length of service for Assembly members other than the Chairperson, who will be appointed for a 12 month term, will be six months and the work programme for the Assembly will be developed in accordance with this, however, in the event of unforeseen circumstances, membership may continue until active consideration of a topic has been completed;

— members will receive a nominal stipend on a per weekend basis for each meeting attended, to recognise their civic commitment;

— substitutes may be appointed subject to the selection criteria above, who will be entitled to contribute to the proceedings and vote in their own name;

— the Assembly will agree its own rules of procedure for the effective conduct of its business in as economical a manner as possible;

— the Assembly will operate in an open and transparent manner, including live streaming of public proceedings and the prompt publication of relevant documentation and material;

— the Assembly will make a report and recommendation(s) on the matter set out above to the Houses of the Oireachtas, which on receipt, will refer the report for consideration to a relevant Committee of both Houses and the Committee will, in turn, bring its conclusions to the Houses for debate;

— the Assembly will spend a minimum of two meetings considering the topic assigned to it and will report in any event not later than one year from the date of the first Assembly meeting;

— the Assembly may also be asked to consider such other matters as may be referred to it by the Houses of the Oireachtas;

— a new Expert Advisory Group will be established for the topic being considered to assist the work of the Assembly in terms of preparing information and advice;

— the Assembly may invite and accept submissions from the general public and interested bodies and will seek such expert advice as it considers desirable;

— the Assembly will engage independent researchers to monitor and record, amongst other things, the perceived deliberative quality of the Assembly;

— all matters before the Assembly will be determined by a majority of the votes of members present and voting, other than the Chairperson who will have a casting vote in the case of an equality of votes; and

— the Government will provide in the Houses of the Oireachtas a response to each recommendation of the Assembly and, if accepting some or all of the recommendations, will indicate the timeframe it envisages for the holding of any related referendum.”

Deputy Mary Lou McDonald: Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald I move amendment No. 2:

To insert the following after “co-responsibility for care, especially within the family;”:

“— scrutinise the structural pay inequalities that result in women being disproportionately represented in low pay sectors;”

  May I say something about the amendment?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher The Deputy may only move the amendment; there will be no debate.

Deputy Mary Lou McDonald: Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald I move and I sit.

  Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Catherine Martin: Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin I move amendment No. 1:

To insert the following after “that facilitate gender discrimination towards girls and boys, women and men;”:

“— identify and dismantle economic and salary norms that result in gender inequalities, and reassess the economic value placed on work traditionally held by women;”

  Amendment agreed to.

  Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Host Country Agreement: Motion

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Ciarán Cannon): Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move:

That Dáil Éireann approves the terms of the Host Country Agreement between the Government of Ireland and the Permanent Court of Arbitration, signed at Dublin on 5th March, 2019, a copy of which was laid before Dáil Éireann on 14th December, 2018.

  Question put and agreed to.

Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income and on Capital) (Swiss Confederation) Order 2019: Motion

Minister of State at the Department of Finance (Deputy Michael D'Arcy): Information on Michael  D'Arcy Zoom on Michael  D'Arcy I move:

That Dáil Éireann approves the following Order in draft:
Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income and on Capital) (Swiss Confederation) Order 2019,
a copy of which was laid before Dáil Éireann on 19th June, 2019.

  Question put and agreed to.

Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income and Capital Gains) (Kingdom of the Netherlands) Order 2019: Motion

Minister of State at the Department of Finance (Deputy Michael D'Arcy): Information on Michael  D'Arcy Zoom on Michael  D'Arcy I move:

That Dáil Éireann approves the following Order in draft:
Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income and Capital Gains) (Kingdom of the Netherlands) Order 2019,
a copy of which was laid before Dáil Éireann on 19th June, 2019.

  Question put and agreed to.

Animal Health Levies (Pigs) Regulations 2019: Motion

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Seán Kyne): Information on Seán Kyne Zoom on Seán Kyne I move:

That Dáil Éireann approves the following Regulations in draft:
Animal Health Levies (Pigs) Regulations 2019,
a copy of which was laid in draft form before Dáil Éireann on 10th June, 2019.

  Question put and agreed to.

Twenty-Fourth Report of the Committee of Selection: Motion

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Seán Kyne): Information on Seán Kyne Zoom on Seán Kyne I move:

That Dáil Éireann approves the Twenty-Fourth Report of the Standing Committee of Selection in accordance with Standing Order 27F, copies of which were laid before Dáil Éireann on 4th July, 2019, and nominates members to Committees accordingly.

  Question put and agreed to.

Ceisteanna - Questions

Cabinet Committee Meetings

 1. Deputy Michael Moynihan Information on Michael Moynihan Zoom on Michael Moynihan asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if Cabinet committee C (European Union including Brexit) met in June 2019. [25596/19]

 2. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the number of times Cabinet committee C (European Union including Brexit) has met in 2019. [26860/19]

 3. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar when Cabinet committee C (European Union including Brexit) last met; and when it is scheduled to meet again. [27549/19]

 4. Deputy Brendan Howlin Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if Cabinet committee C (European Union including Brexit) met in May or June 2019. [27636/19]

The Taoiseach: Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 4, inclusive, together.

  The remit of Cabinet committee C covers EU and international issues, including Brexit. Cabinet committee C last met on Thursday, 21 June 2018.

  Given the significance of Brexit for the country, it is important that all Cabinet Ministers are fully across what is happening. Consequently, over the past 12 months, Brexit has been discussed more than 25 times at full Cabinet level rather than Cabinet committee level.

  Several other important EU and international issues, including the EU budget and future strategic direction, and Global Ireland 2025, have also been discussed at full Cabinet level in recent months.

  I also meet regularly with individual Ministers, or groups of relevant Ministers, to focus on particular issues, including those relating to Brexit and other EU and international issues, with a view to seeing how Government can best ensure the delivery of priorities and commitments.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin I do not think the Taoiseach quite answered the question. Did he mention the number of times Cabinet committee C met in his reply? I think he said the committee met on 21 June but the question I asked was how many times did it meet in 2019. The Taoiseach might answer that in his response to my points because it is important.

Today, for the second day in row, we have had front-page stories in newspapers briefed by Government about how it is supposedly now stepping up its preparations for a no-deal Brexit. These stories are indistinguishable from the ones which were briefed to newspapers this time last year. In fact, on at least four occasions now, the Government has announced it was redoubling preparations for a no-deal scenario. However, the evidence is that, on 29 March last, Ireland was not ready for a no-deal Brexit. The question is what has been done to ensure that the gaps that were evident in March are fully addressed in time for the new deadline. Why has no new survey been published on levels of preparedness in Irish businesses? These surveys were supposed to be regular but, for some unexplained reason, stopped last year.

If preparations for a no-deal Brexit are serious, they have to include a target and the baseline assumption for the number of businesses that are prepared for handling a no-deal situation on 31 October.


Last Updated: 18/06/2020 14:43:19 First Page Previous Page Page of 94 Next Page Last Page