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29/11/2012 [Bills] I welcome the Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Shatter, to the House.[Wilson, Diarmuid]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [138]
29/11/2012 [Bills] Amendments Nos. 1, 13, 14, 38, 39, 53, 59, 60, 94 and 120 are related and may be discussed together. Is that agreed? Agreed.[Wilson, Diarmuid]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [138]
29/11/2012 [Bills] All of these amendments deal with the issue of excluded and excludable debts in the three new debt resolution processes. Amendment No. 1 is designed to bring more coherence to the treatment of certain types of debt hitherto dealt with in the Bill as being excluded from the new debt resoluti...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [139]
29/11/2012 [Bills] We have points of order and information but I have a point of suggestion. It is useful when a Minister comes in on Second Stage with a substantive contribution that we have a copy of the script. Perhaps as we work through the Bill and when there are other groupings of amendments with fairl...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [141]
29/11/2012 [Bills] I thank the Senator for his suggestions.[Wilson, Diarmuid]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [141]
29/11/2012 [Bills] I compliment the Minister on his clear and cogent explanation. A large number of amendments were linked together and it was difficult to physically leaf through them to find them but I found the Minister's logic and in terms of the delivery it was clear and lucid. I had no difficulty in fo...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [141]
29/11/2012 [Bills] In reply to Senator Bradford, it would not be usual on Committee Stage to distribute scripts on each amendment. It would create an enormous burden for staff of the Department and is not practical in the context of us progressing matters today. I am not sure how far we will get today but fo...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [142]
29/11/2012 [Bills] I understand the Minister has some legal qualification. He has locus standi.[Norris, David]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [142]
29/11/2012 [Bills] The Minister to continue, without interruption.[Wilson, Diarmuid]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [142]
29/11/2012 [Bills] On occasions I am sure the odd thing I say is not necessarily always greeted from behind me with enthusiasm. By and large, the background notes I get are very helpful but I would frequently add additional information as I am going through them. I see them as an important roadmap to what I ...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [142]
29/11/2012 [Bills] There would be mass liquidation of riding stables.[Norris, David]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [144]
29/11/2012 [Bills] That is the delineation and much of it is a tidying up process. What is new is the excludable debt compared to the excluded debt and it provides a greater degree of flexibility in dealing with debt issues than under in the Bill in its undeveloped state. It has arisen from what we heard in ...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [144]
29/11/2012 [Bills] The Minister has cleverly anticipated virtually all of what I intended to say in my supplementary contribution. The Minister seems to agree section 2(1)(f) stands out like a sore thumb with the only non-State entity involved. That is reasonable, particularly in light of the fact that manag...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [144]
29/11/2012 [Bills] I thank the Minister for his contributions to date and agree with the point made by Senator Norris. I am satisfied with the attempt to define excludable and excluded. At present, there is flexibility at local authority level on rates. While debts cannot be written off from a legal perspec...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [144]
29/11/2012 [Bills] I have set my mind to thinking of other socially desirable objectives. Destitute loan sharks should be excluded, or perhaps automatically included. People in financial distress have taken out loans from loan sharks, who are endemic and particularly so in our cities, and have run up enormou...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [145]
29/11/2012 [Bills] I have been so focused on the amendments we are taking that I was incorrect on one issue. The Bill has a definition of a domestic support order and it covers all the matters to which I referred. We will not need to amend it further. It includes the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [145]
29/11/2012 [Bills] In full.[Bradford, Paul]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [145]
29/11/2012 [Bills] It is so long since I looked at it that I forgot about the definition section. Regarding Senator Bradford's point, Revenue Commissioner debt remains a priority debt. Such debt remains in its current position but the provision enables someone in serious financial difficulty and trying to co...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [145]
29/11/2012 [Bills] There seems to be, theoretically, envisaged a possibility where some debt resolution should be made in order that these loan sharks, who are people who charge up to 100% and 200% interest, might actually find their bills paid. I do not take the general sanitised view of debt. I think there...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [145]
29/11/2012 [Bills] I pose a question. It may not be entirely relevant to the amendment but the Minister can say whether it is. The Minister mentioned that Revenue debt is a priority debt. I accept that. How are employees who are owed unpaid wages, for example, by a company that has become insolvent classed...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [146]
29/11/2012 [Bills] The latter issues raised by Senator Cullinane are for my colleague, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and his Department. Some of what the Senator is referring to would arise under company law rather than personal insolvency law. If the Senator forgives me, I will not head i...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [146]
29/11/2012 [Bills] I am not going to push the issue, but I am grateful to the Minister for his explanation. Of course, I was thinking of the excludable, which allows flexibility.
The Minister need not reply to this, although if he wants to, he may. Could he look at criminalising loan sharking? I am sure a...
Vol-219 Book-3 Page [146]
29/11/2012 [Bills] A Bill to that effect was introduced in the Dáil but it was voted down.[Cullinane, David]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [146]
29/11/2012 [Bills] May I tease out Senator Norris's point? Would the Minister consider that in the current climate and in the recent past, many banks might fall into the category of loan shark?[O'Donovan, Denis]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [146]
29/11/2012 [Bills] Does the Minister have anything more to say on the amendment?[Coghlan, Paul]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [147]
29/11/2012 [Bills] No, I think we have visited the zoo long enough. I am conscious that much work remains to be done. I know Senator Norris is fishing in troubled waters but I do not wish to torpedo this conversation.[Shatter, Alan]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [147]
29/11/2012 [Bills] Will the Minister please stop mixing his metaphors? One moment he is in an aquarium and the next he is in a zoo.[Norris, David]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [147]
29/11/2012 [Bills] So long as we do not drown it is important that we get on with the business.[Shatter, Alan]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [147]
29/11/2012 [Bills] The Minister gave the term shark legs by calling it an animal. We must be careful.[O'Donovan, Denis]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [147]
29/11/2012 [Bills] It has fins rather than legs.[Bacik, Ivana]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [147]
29/11/2012 [Bills] It is a mammal, I am told.[O'Donovan, Denis]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [147]
29/11/2012 [Bills] Amendments Nos. 2 and 132 will be discussed together.[Coghlan, Paul]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [147]
29/11/2012 [Bills] Amendment No. 2 amends the definition of security in section 2 in order to provide clarity in relation to the status of guarantees or pledges of the type referred to in section 35(8) of the Credit Union Act 1997. There has been some confusion as to whether such guarantees or pledges should ...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [147]
29/11/2012 [Bills] Amendment No. 3 is a technical drafting amendment. I am advised by Parliamentary Counsel that the amendment is necessary to improve the text and make clear which creditor and which debt is concerned by any protective certificate that is issued.[Shatter, Alan]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [148]
29/11/2012 [Bills] Amendments Nos. 4 and 134 are related and may be discussed together.[Coghlan, Paul]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [148]
29/11/2012 [Bills] I move amendment No. 4:
In page 13, before section 6, to insert the following new section:
"6.---No aspect of the Debt Relief Notice, Debt Settlement Arrangements or Personal Insolvency Arrangements may be used to remove from or otherwise impair the employment status of the debtor or their s...
Vol-219 Book-3 Page [148]
29/11/2012 [Bills] Senator Barrett has tabled an interesting amendment. With regard to the three new forms of voluntary debt settlement mentioned in the amendment - the debt relief notice, debt settlement arrangement and personal insolvency arrangement - which form the centrepiece of the legislation, the Mini...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [149]
29/11/2012 [Bills] I support the two amendments. Amendment No. 4 appears to be general, while amendment No. 134 specifies that people should not have their employment terminated, nor should they be excluded from any trade or profession. In other words, they will not be kept out of employment as a result. Th...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [149]
29/11/2012 [Bills] What Senator Norris said in conclusion is exactly what I had intended to say. Where persons enter into these arrangements, it is a sign of their intent to keep their financial house in order in so far as they can. It is strong proof that these people are responsible citizens. Although the...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [149]
29/11/2012 [Bills] I accept that. I did not say there were many. The Bill we discussed last night sought to deal with a clear case of an unscrupulous employer who had victimised his employee. There are circumstances-----[Cullinane, David]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [149]
29/11/2012 [Bills] Senator Bradford to continue, without interruption.[Coghlan, Paul]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [150]
29/11/2012 [Bills] If there was a word or fact checker in the House, it would be found that the words "unscrupulous" and "employers" are generally linked in Senator Cullinane's lexicon. I do not believe there are many of them. It is more, rather than fewer, employers that are needed in this country.
I appr...
Vol-219 Book-3 Page [150]
29/11/2012 [Bills] I thank Senator Barrett for raising this issue. It is worth spending a few minutes discussing it. The amendment is about debt relief notices, debt settlement arrangements and personal insolvency arrangements. It is designed to ensure that somebody who enters into one of them is not remove...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [150]
29/11/2012 [Bills] I appreciate the Minister's openness and thank him for considering the amendments I tabled. Amendment No. 4 is in my name only and I will not press it as the Minister indicated he will seek the advice of the Parliamentary Counsel and act on it. I have used the phrase "or otherwise impair t...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [153]
29/11/2012 [Bills] The argument is somewhat repetitive of the argument on amendment No. 4. The country disproportionately relies on foreign direct investment in the export sector and on the employment practices of multinational companies. Many multinational companies have clauses stating that persons who bec...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [153]
29/11/2012 [Bills] I thank the Minister for undertaking to seek advice from the Parliamentary Counsel.
From my perspective, I am not overly concerned about contracts of employment. I do not think it will be an issue on which employees will be fired. The amendment also refers to "or otherwise impair the emp...
Vol-219 Book-3 Page [153]
29/11/2012 [Bills] I support amendment No. 134 tabled by Senators Crown and Barrett. Employees of multinationals would be at a disadvantage relative to others. This also applies to members of the legal profession.
The Minister should look after all employees. As my colleague, Senator Cullinane, states, we...
Vol-219 Book-3 Page [154]
29/11/2012 [Bills] The provision that any arrangement with creditors is sufficient to disqualify a person from employment has been well aired. I am also very conscious of contracts that would not necessarily relate to multinational companies. As far as I am aware, prison officers and members of the Garda are...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [154]
29/11/2012 [Bills] Senator Cullinane is absolutely dedicated to upsetting Senator Bradford by repetitively referring to unscrupulous employers. I can see them having cavernous meetings at night with candles to concoct some conspiracy against the employees of Ireland.[Shatter, Alan]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [154]
29/11/2012 [Bills] I understand Senator Barrett will withdraw the amendment.[van Turnhout, Jillian]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [155]
29/11/2012 [Bills] Yes. I thank the Minister for his response.[Barrett, Sean D.]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [155]
29/11/2012 [Bills] I propose to add a new paragraph to section 9 to make provision for the functions of the insolvency service under the new Part 5, to authorise individuals to carry on practice as personal insolvency practitioners, to supervise and regulate personal insolvency practitioners, and to perform ot...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [155]
29/11/2012 [Bills] I fully support the amendment which makes eminent sense. Just about an hour ago, I had a conversation with Mr. David Duffy, the chief executive officer of AIB, who attended an internal Fine Gael meeting. I spoke to him afterwards and it would appear that AIB is already setting up processes...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [155]
29/11/2012 [Bills] The Senator should discuss the amendment.[van Turnhout, Jillian]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [156]
29/11/2012 [Bills] Yes, I am coming to it. The type of supervisory measure proposed in the Minister's amendment is worthwhile and welcome.[Conway, Martin]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [156]
29/11/2012 [Bills] My colleague opposite has raised a curious question which was raised here a number of weeks ago by Senator Jim Walsh and me concerning the engagement by the banks. The banks are already ahead of the curve in going out to meet these personal insolvency people to get them on side. There seem...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [156]
29/11/2012 [Bills] I welcome this amendment. A number of organisations have expressed significant concerns about the regulation of personal insolvency practitioners, or PIPs. Would the Minister consider going somewhat further? There are concerns about those acting in their capacity as PIPs and their profes...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [156]
29/11/2012 [Bills] The Minister does not have to reply but if he wishes to do so, he is more than welcome.[van Turnhout, Jillian]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [156]
29/11/2012 [Bills] I would like to reply briefly to both Senators, starting with Senator Hayden. There are detailed provisions on PIPs that we are putting into Part 5 of the Bill. We can discuss those provisions when we get to them to ensure that we do have a proper regulatory structure. We promised that we...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [156]
29/11/2012 [Bills] I thank the Minister for his reply and understand what he is saying about the engagement with the banks. My specific question was about the engagement with the banks on this particular Bill and what they asked to have put in in order that we could discern what elements were, or were not, pu...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [157]
29/11/2012 [Bills] Does the Senator have any idea what he is talking about as regards section 9 and the banks? He has not a notion of what he is talking about.[Shatter, Alan]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [157]
29/11/2012 [Bills] I must interrupt as it is 1.30 p.m. and in accordance with the Order of Business, I must ask the Senator to report progress.[van Turnhout, Jillian]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [157]
29/11/2012 [Bills] The Minister is making an accusation but I am trying to convey that Senator Conway pointed out that he discussed this with the banks. We have raised the issue of the banks in the Seanad.[Daly, Mark]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [157]
29/11/2012 [Bills] This section is about the regulation of the personal insolvency agency.[Shatter, Alan]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [157]
29/11/2012 [Bills] Is the Minister saying the information will not be made available outlining what the banks tried to have included in the Bill and what they did not want included in the Bill?[Daly, Mark]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [157]
29/11/2012 [Bills] I ask the Senator to report progress as it now 1.30 p.m.[van Turnhout, Jillian]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [157]
29/11/2012 [Bills] Will the Minister not answer?[Daly, Mark]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [157]
29/11/2012 [Bills] I have answered the question in morbid detail.[Shatter, Alan]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [157]
29/11/2012 [Bills] I would like the answer in writing. I would rather await the morbid detail and get it in writing.[Daly, Mark]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [157]
29/11/2012 [Bills] This is Government legislation, not the banks' legislation.[Shatter, Alan]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [157]
29/11/2012 [Bills] What did the banks ask to have included in the Bill?[Daly, Mark]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [157]
29/11/2012 [Bills] I ask the Senator to resume his seat.[van Turnhout, Jillian]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [157]
29/11/2012 [Bills] Will the Minister provide that information?[Daly, Mark]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [158]
29/11/2012 [Bills] We look forward to seeing Senator Daly at 10 a.m. tomorrow when the debate on the Bill will resume.[Bradford, Paul]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [158]
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