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 Header Item Leaders' Questions (Resumed) (Continued)
 Header Item Business of Dáil
 Header Item Questions on Promised Legislation

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 947 No. 1

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The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny We support also the introduction of the roll-out by An Post of the e-payment accounts system, which will help businesses in post offices. We will also advance the model of community banking that has been so successful in other countries.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher That concludes Leaders' Questions.

Business of Dáil

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher I now call on the Minister of State, Deputy Regina Doherty, who has a proposal to make to the House.

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Regina Doherty): Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty I propose, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders or the Order of the Dáil yesterday, that the Dáil sit later than 10.15 p.m. tonight and shall adjourn on the conclusion of the motion re report of the Joint Committee on the Future Funding of Domestic Water Services. The further revised arrangements in respect of the motion shall be as follows: the motion, if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion after two hours and 40 minutes and there shall be two speaking rounds only, with the second round confined to the members of the committee, or a Member nominated in their stead, whose speech shall not exceed five minutes in each case.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Is the proposal agreed? Agreed.

Questions on Promised Legislation

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher We move on now to questions on promised legislation. I have taken a list of names so there is no ambiguity. I will call Deputies MacSharry, Cassells, Nolan, O'Loughlin, Brady, Michael Healy-Rae, Danny Healy-Rae, Martin Kenny, Munster, McLoughlin, Pearse Doherty, Durkan and Eugene Murphy.

Deputy Bríd Smith: Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith When did you take the list, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher I took it according as Members indicated after I came into the Chamber. Is Deputy Smith indicating now?

Deputy Bríd Smith: Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith I did not know I could indicate earlier. Is that a new practice?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher No, it is a long-standing practice. When I was here many years ago it was the same.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin I wish to make an observation. It is my understanding that since last July nobody has got any water bills. Is that correct? I do not think they will get any in the future either. That is just a little observation when all the outrage and rhetoric is made. There was a reason for that.

The programme for Government said funding would be increased for home care packages and home help every year. A research project was carried out, I think by the Health Research Board, HRB, on the overall situation pertaining to resources for home care packages, home help and nursing homes. There was some suggestion that a means test would be introduced for home care. Will the Government fulfil the commitment in the programme for Government to introduce a uniform home care service in order that all recipients can receive quality support seven days a week, where possible? That is in the programme for Government. Is that a real commitment? Could the Minister indicate the follow-up in terms of the HRB report? One of the biggest challenges facing us, thankfully, is that people are living longer in Ireland than did any previous generation but that will require far greater end-stage-of-life interventions, in particular in the form of home care packages, home help and nursing homes. The fiscal side of the House has never quite come to terms with that demographic reality and there is a need for some intervention in that regard to try to marry the two.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny I will ask the Minister for Health to respond to Deputy Martin's question on home care packages.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher He should confine his response to a minute.

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Deputy Micheál Martin made a fair point. We have a commitment in the programme for Government to increase funding for home care packages and home help hours this year and it is our intention to continue that in future budgets. The Deputy is correct that there is a need for a statutory scheme for the delivery of home care. Deputy O'Dea tabled a Bill on the issue a number of months ago. We now have a process in place. The HRB report published yesterday is the first step in that process, whereby we look at what other countries are doing in terms of putting such a scheme on a statutory basis. That will be followed by a consultation scheme, which will be launched in May by my colleague the Minister of State, Deputy McEntee. One would hope that the HRB report and the consultation scheme will pave the way for the introduction of such a scheme.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin Will the Minister accept Deputy O'Dea's Bill?

Deputy Simon Harris: Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris We will work with Deputy O'Dea on it. Some issues genuinely arise. One cannot just lift the fair deal scheme for nursing homes and apply it to somebody's home but we are very willing to work to try and find common ground.

Deputy Mary Lou McDonald: Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald I congratulate everybody who campaigned for it and I commend the Minister on the decision to make Orkambi available to cystic fibrosis patients.

Deputy Bríd Smith: Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith Deputy McDonald's microphone is not switched on.


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