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 Header Item Order of Business (Continued)
 Header Item Ministerial Rota for Parliamentary Questions: Motion
 Header Item Diseases of Animals (Amendment) Act: Referral to Committee
 Header Item Finance Act 2004 Order: Referral to Select Sub-Committee
 Header Item Topical Issue Debate
 Header Item School Curriculum

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 793 No. 1

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Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams Given the decision to sit beyond midnight, I ask that the bar be closed or that breathalyzer tests be introduced for Teachtaí entering the Chamber.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett That matter is not covered by the Order of Business.

Deputy Frank Feighan: Information on Frank Feighan Zoom on Frank Feighan On a point of order, some members of Deputy Adams's party were in the bar recently when we sat late. I was drinking tea and coffee and was not on any hard stuff. Deputy Adams should speak for himself. Members of his party were in the bar on the night in question.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Deputy Feighan should resume his seat.

(Interruptions).

Deputy Michael Ring: Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring Once a hypocrite, always a hypocrite.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Could we please get back to the Order of Business?

Deputy Derek Keating: Information on Derek Keating Zoom on Derek Keating Deputy Adams is doing the House a disservice.

(Interruptions).

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Deputies should settle down.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams The Teachtaí protest too much.

  On the social welfare and pensions Bill-----

Deputy Paul Kehoe: Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe Which pension is that? Is it the Westminster one?

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams I understand the report of the expert advisory group on tax and social welfare was due to be discussed by the Cabinet today. As I understand it, the report outlines a plan to tax or introduce a two tier system for child benefit. The Taoiseach will recall that the Labour Party famously promised not to cut child benefit.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett We cannot have a debate.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams Was the report discussed at Cabinet? When will it be published and debated? When will the social welfare and pensions Bill be introduced?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The heads of the social welfare Bill will be ready in April and I expect it will be published in the next session. In regard to child benefit, the report in question will be published, I believe, today or tomorrow. It will go to the relevant Oireachtas committee for consultation and will come back to government in due course, probably in April or May.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams What is the position with the bar?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett The matter cannot be discussed on the Order of Business.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath I raise a serious issue which is of concern to people all over the country, namely, the proposed sale of our timber and forestry assets, including those held by Coillte. When does the Government intend to reform and update the legislative framework relating to forestry to support the development of a modern forestry sector? Can it not see the wood from the trees?

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan I thought the Deputy's interest was in metal.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny This session.

Deputy John O'Mahony: Information on John O'Mahony Zoom on John O'Mahony Has progress been made on the gambling control Bill, which is due for publication this year? Has the Cabinet discussed the Bill? We hear every day about the problems of online gambling.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett A number of other Deputies wish to contribute.

Deputy John O'Mahony: Information on John O'Mahony Zoom on John O'Mahony What progress has been made on the Bill?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The Department is working on the heads of the Bill, which is expected later this year.

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae: Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae With regard to student nurses who are being forced into a cheap labour scheme-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett We will not have a preamble.

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae: Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae -----84 applications have been made for 1,000 places and they are being bullied and told their contracts will not be renewed-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I ask the Deputy to co-operate.

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae: Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae -----unless they enter the Government's slave scheme.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett That is a load of nonsense. The Deputy should get on with it.

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae: Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae It is not nonsense.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett We are discussing promised legislation. The Deputy should stop acting the maggot every day.

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae: Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae I am discussing the Health Service Executive.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett The Deputy should table a parliamentary question. To what legislation is he referring?

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae: Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae The Health Service Executive (Governance) Bill.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett What does that have to do with the scheme for nurses?

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae: Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae If the Ceann Comhairle was a student nurse, he would agree it has everything to do with the scheme.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The Health Service Executive (Governance) Bill is on Second Stage.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett If the Deputy read the Order Paper, he would know that.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Last year, the Taoiseach announced the new national paediatric hospital would be located in St. James's Hospital. The remit of the old national paediatric hospital development board ran out on 5 December and new legislation is due, which would give effect to the plans. When is the Bill due?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny I do not have a date for publication. The legislation is being worked on. Obviously, there is a requirement to introduce it quickly.

Deputy Thomas P. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan On the horse racing Bill, which is due this year, has the Taoiseach spoken to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Deputy Coveney, about the welfare of horses-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Thank you, Deputy.

Deputy Thomas P. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan -----given that the Minister does not have fundamental basic statistics, for example, on the number of horses slaughtered and exported?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Deputy, please co-operate. We are over time and another Deputy wishes to speak.

Deputy Thomas P. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan This is an important issue.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The Bill has not yet come to the Government and is due later in the year.

Deputy Pearse Doherty: Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty I understand the Minister has a draft of the Mercer report on the remuneration of high ranking bankers and banking officials. When will the report be published and when will legislation on it be introduced? The Taoiseach's statement that there will not be compulsory redundancies at Irish Life does not lay to rest the fears of 2,800 workers in Irish Life and Canada Life, many of whom are low paid, given the announcement today that there will be voluntary redundancies. When will high ranking officials in the banks have their wages slashed, as promised by the Government?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett We are not having speeches. To which Bill is the Deputy referring?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny He is referring to the review of remuneration practices and frameworks. Deputy Pearse Doherty received a letter dated 15 February indicating what is the current position, namely, the office of the Minister for Finance is in discussions concerning the draft report presented by the consultants to the Department. It is hoped the report will be finalised very soon. The Minister is committed to publishing the details which underpin the remuneration review in view of the public interest in this matter. That should not be too long.

Ministerial Rota for Parliamentary Questions: Motion

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

  That, notwithstanding anything in the Order of the Dáil of 9 March 2011, setting out the rota in which Questions to members of the Government are to be asked, or in the Orders of the Dáil of 6 February 2013 and 12 February 2013, Questions for oral answer, following those next set down to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, shall be set down to Ministers in the following temporary sequence:
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform

Minister for Finance

Minister for Social Protection

Minister for Justice and Equality

Minister for Education and Skills

Minister for the Environment,Community and Local Government

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Minister for Defence

Minister for Health

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
whereupon the sequence established by the Order of 9 March 2011, shall continue with Questions to the Minister for Transport,Tourism and Sport.

Question put and agreed to.

Diseases of Animals (Amendment) Act: Referral to Committee

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

That the proposal that Dáil Éireann resolves that section 17A (inserted by section 2(1) of the Diseases of Animals (Amendment) Act 2001 (No. 3 of 2001)) of the Diseases of Animals Act 1966 (No. 6 of 1966) shall continue in force for the period ending on 8 March 2014, be referred to the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, in accordance with Standing Order 82A(4)(j), which, not later than 5 March 2013, shall send a message to the Dáil in the manner prescribed in Standing Order 87, and Standing Order 86(2) shall accordingly apply.

  Question put and agreed to.

Finance Act 2004 Order: Referral to Select Sub-Committee

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

That the proposal that Dáil Éireann approves the following Order in draft:
Finance Act 2004 (Section 91) (Deferred Surrender to the Central Fund) Order 2013,
copies of which have been laid in draft form before Dáil Éireann on 11 February 2013, be referred to the Select sub-Committee on Public Expenditure and Reform, in accordance with Standing Order 82A(3)(b) and (6)(a), which, not later than 7 March 2013, shall send a message to the Dáil in the manner prescribed in Standing Order 87, and Standing Order 86(2) shall accordingly apply.

  Question put and agreed to.

Topical Issue Debate

School Curriculum

Deputy Anthony Lawlor: Information on Anthony Lawlor Zoom on Anthony Lawlor I thank the Ceann Comhairle for selecting this topic. It is highly relevant given that the Minister of State is visiting Kinvara today to launch a CoderDojo club. Approximately 4,000 young people are involved in CoderDojo, which emerged as a result of a deficiency in science and computer science subjects in the education system. I welcome the emphasis on the STEM - science, technology, engineering and mathematics - subjects in the new junior certificate cycle and the introduction of standardised testing for the science subjects from 2016 onwards.

The rationale for science is that it contributes to a balanced and broad educational experience for students, extending their experience at primary level. It is concerned with the development of scientific, literacy and associated science process skills and an appreciation of the impact science has on our lives and the environment. In an era of rapid scientific and technological change, the study of science is fundamental to the development of the confidence required to deal with the opportunities and challenges such changes present in a wide variety of personal and social contexts.

In 2006, Dr. Carol Gibbons, a former deputy chief scientific adviser, stated that we must foster and grow an interest in science at a very early age. Dr. Gibbons is now senior investment adviser at Enterprise Ireland and her statement remains relevant. In my area, the Kerry Group is generating technology jobs and Intel and Hewlett Packard are major employers.


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