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 Header Item Questions on Promised Legislation (Continued)
 Header Item Business of Dáil
 Header Item Message from Seanad

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 939 No. 2

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Deputy Richard Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I regret I will have to come back to the Deputy on that. There is a substantial technology plan, but I cannot provide the Deputy with a blow-by-blow account of how it is being rolled out. I will get the information for the Deputy.

Deputy Imelda Munster: Information on Imelda Munster Zoom on Imelda Munster I refer to the programme for Government and a change of policy in the HSE. It has instructed pharmacies to dispense prescriptions only on a weekly basis, despite the fact that patients have monthly prescriptions. Can the Minister confirm whether pharmacies will issue four separate dispensing fees instead of a monthly fee? Will that involve an extra financial cost?

Does the Minister accept that the change will create multiple layers of bureaucracy and affect patients with mobility issues, such as MS, and elderly patients? Patients will now be forced to collect prescriptions on a weekly, as opposed to a monthly, basis. What is the rationale for the decision? Will the Minister give a commitment to review this matter?

Deputy Richard Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I regret I do not have the details the Deputy is seeking. I will endeavour to get it to her. No doubt it will be the subject of a parliamentary question to the Minister in due course.

Deputy Eoin Ó Broin: Information on Eoin Ó Broin Zoom on Eoin Ó Broin Today, Focus Ireland published a report highlighting the fact that one in three renters is struggling to pay their rent. In December, the House passed the rent pressure zone legislation which currently covers 12 areas. Many struggling renters are not covered by the legislation and are at risk of losing their homes. Will the Government reconsider changing the criteria in the legislation to make it available to all struggling renters? More importantly, will it reconsider its opposition to real rent certainty to deal with the crisis in the rental sector?

Deputy Richard Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton As I outlined earlier, the Minister has introduced a framework to provide greater rental certainty and put a cap on increases. He is also rolling out the HAP programme which will only come into effect next month in Dublin. A pilot HAP programme is operating in Dublin, whereby people at risk of homelessness can get access to an uplift on the amount paid to them. Initiatives are in place. The Minister continues to review the operation of all of those initiatives to try to make sure that, where possible, they can be improved. As I mentioned to Deputy Howlin, the focus is on supply which, as everyone recognises, is the long-term solution to the pressure in the rental sector.

Business of Dáil

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that the proceedings on No. 10b, motion re tribunal of inquiry shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion after 80 minutes and the following arrangements shall apply: the speech of a Minister or Minister of State and the main spokespersons for parties or groups or a Member nominated in their stead shall not exceed ten minutes each; Members may share time; and in the event a division is demanded it shall be taken immediately. The motion shall be followed by Second Stage of the National Famine Commemoration Day Bill 2017, to be taken in accordance with the arrangements agreed on the Order of Business on Tuesday.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Is that agreed? Agreed

Message from Seanad

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl The Seanad has passed the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015, without amendment.

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