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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

Senator Dolan raised the issue of disability and young people in nursing homes. The point he made on the number of young people in nursing homes is one on which we should actively promote change. I thank the Minister of State, Deputy McGrath, for coming to the House today to discuss the disability strategy. I gave the Senator a commitment to have this debate early in the term and to be fair to the Minister of State, and not just because he is here, he is very much of the view that he should come here to debate with us in respect of issues relating to his Department. I thank him for that.
Senator Noone raised the issue of VAT on sun beds and sun cream. I am sure the Minister of State, Deputy McGrath, or the Minister, Deputy Harris, would have a view on that. We must reduce the numbers of people who develop skin cancer. The prevalence of skin cancer is increasing. We need to be very vigilant and very strong in sending a message in respect of that issue. Senator Noone's point is valid.
Senator Humphreys raised the issue of breast feeding and the initiative which the HSE has ended. We have one of the lowest rates of breast feeding in the world. Even in the city of Dublin there is a disparity between south, north, east and west. There are discrepancies across the country, between urban and rural, and east and west. We need to examine why that is happening. I am of the view that the HSE's five-year action plan needs to be reviewed and, if necessary, updated and changed. I cannot give the Senator an explanation as to why the initiative was stopped, but I would be happy to have that debate, if possible, in a couple of weeks' time.
Senator Davitt raised the issue of the rates of valuation. That is continuing and we are seeing, in some cases, a positive change, although in other cases we are not. I would be happy to have the Minister come to the House.
Senator Butler raised the issue of diabetes and the need for an open day in Leinster House. I am sure the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission will be anxious to work with all of us to ensure that we get the message out about diabetes, along with skin cancer. We can play a role in that. The Government is looking at the issue of a sugar tax and we have also seen the issue of school meals being addressed by the Government in recent days. It is important to recognise that. We can make a change ourselves in respect of diabetes and our eating habits, collectively and individually.