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 Header Item Questions on Promised Legislation (Continued)
 Header Item Business of Dáil
 Header Item Rural Equality Bill 2017: First Stage

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 940 No. 2

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(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Leo Varadkar: Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar] They are having difficulty because the number of schemes and services has almost quadrupled, while the number of people unemployed has reduced by half. I will deal with that by broadening the pool of people who can qualify for CE and Tús schemes. I will be making an announcement on that in the coming weeks.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher I call Deputies Lawless and Durkan for two short, snappy questions; no debate.

Deputy James Lawless: Information on James Lawless Zoom on James Lawless The programme for research in third level institutions, PRTLI, is a critical plank for funding in universities. The sixth phase of the programme is to be announced this year. It was due to be announced last year, but we are still awaiting clarification on that. At a time of such competition for talent in the country in the wake of international events, this is a critical part of our attraction. It seems to fall between two stools in the Departments of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, and Education and Skills. Clarity on when the sixth phase will be announced and available to research institutions would be very welcome.

Deputy Richard Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton That programme is developed under the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. I understand it is developing programmes. It will obviously be in the context of the capital review and the envelope of capital money available. I will seek to get the information for the Deputy.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan The Mediation Bill is awaited in many circles throughout the country. When is it likely to be debated by the Houses?

The Tánaiste: Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald Second Stage of that Bill is being taken next week. I know the Deputy has a very keen interest in it. It is a very important Bill to encourage mediation rather than get involved in adversarial court cases.

Business of Dáil

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Before calling Deputy Martin Kenny on No. 8c, I think clarification is required regarding a promise for a debate on Tesco. Has there been some agreement today about debating it next week?

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger May I ask a question?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher A very short question please, not a debate.

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger I also want to register that the Leas-Cheann Comhairle did not call anyone from our group on the previous business.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Neither did anyone indicate. Let us be clear about it.

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger Sorry, we indicated-----

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher I looked at the Member who raised the question.

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger No.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Hold on.

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger We indicated as soon as the debate started -----

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Hold on. No.

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger ----- but the Leas-Cheann Comhairle had 15 names already, so-----

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher The one thing of which I cannot be accused is not being impartial in the Chair.

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger I am not saying that the Leas-Cheann Comhairle is not impartial.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Nobody indicated.

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger I am just saying-----

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher I ask the Deputy to proceed with the question-----

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger ----- in the interest of balance-----

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher ----- and for it to be a short one.

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger On Tuesday's Order of Business, the House agreed to my proposal that the Business Committee would meet on Tuesday to table a debate on Tesco this week. Not only has there been no report back from the Business Committee to the House, there is clearly no debate on Tesco this week.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher I thank the Deputy.

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger I understand what emerged from the Business Committee meeting is that there would be 48 minutes of Topical Issue debate time given over to Tesco next week, which is not really what was indicated. Tesco is the largest private-sector employer in the country.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher I thank the Deputy.

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger People are being intimidated.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher We will get an answer from the Whip.

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger There is a bit of urgency as well, though.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher I know.

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger Putting this off until next week when it was agreed to have it this week is not acceptable.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher The Business Committee met and the Whip will give a response, after which we will move on to the next business.

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Regina Doherty): Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty The House agreed the other day that we would convene a Business Committee meeting to discuss it. The Deputy is correct in that regard. We held a meeting on Tuesday and another this morning. It was agreed that we would give over the entire Topical Issue debate next Tuesday to the various Members of the House who want to discuss or make statements on the situation relating to Tesco. It was also noted this morning that the AAA-PBP member who was at the meeting was in dissent on that particular issue. However, the majority of the people at the Business Committee meeting this morning made a decision and that was-----

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher We now move to-----

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger May I make one point?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher There will be no debate. We move to No. 8c.

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger There is an issue here that people agreeing things -----

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Sorry, Deputy-----

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger May I just say one sentence?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher I gave the Deputy the opportunity to raise the matter. I call Deputy Martin Kenny.

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger People agreeing things in the House and then going behind closed doors and "unagreeing" them is not acceptable.

Deputy Regina Doherty: Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty A Leas-Cheann Comhairle-----

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger The Whip is not willing to allow a debate on Tesco this week when people are being intimidated by the employer.

Deputy Regina Doherty: Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty First, nothing was agreed in the House other than to hold the meeting. The problem with the Deputy is that she does not like the mandate of those who sit around the table. We agreed this morning what we would do next week. Only one member dissented and it was the AAA-PBP representative.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher That concludes the matter. I call Deputy Martin Kenny.

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger However, it was agreed in the House that there would be a debate. It is not for the Whip to "unagree" things behind closed doors.

Rural Equality Bill 2017: First Stage

Deputy Martin Kenny: Information on Martin Kenny Zoom on Martin Kenny I move:

That leave be granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to provide that regard be had by public bodies to the desirability of reducing socio-economic and other inequalities suffered by those in rural Ireland, to provide for the carrying out of rural impact assessments in respect of measures that are likely to have a significant socio-economic impact or effect on rural Ireland and to provide for related matters.

The Bill proposes to look at the impact of all legislation that comes before the House in respect of the social and economic status of people in rural areas. As we know, there are huge inequalities between people living in rural and urban areas.


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