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

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 959 No. 5

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  1 o’clock

Deputy Anne Rabbitte: Information on Anne Rabbitte Zoom on Anne Rabbitte As part of Government formation in 2016, one of the cornerstones of the programme for Government was the national rail review, which was championed by the Independent Alliance. When will that national rail review be available for the general public?

Deputy Richard Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Unfortunately, I do not have access to that information here. I will revert to the Deputy.

Deputy Martin Kenny: Information on Martin Kenny Zoom on Martin Kenny The programme for Government states there will be a commitment to providing a full and adequate health service across the whole country. Many people with brain injuries, which arise for many different reasons, for example, due to strokes, are waiting a huge length of time to be seen by consultants. In the north west, there is only one consultant covering the whole area and there is a huge problem across the country in this regard. Will the Government do something about this, have a review of the entire area and put funds into it?

Deputy Richard Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I am not aware that it is in the programme for Government but I will refer it to the Minister.

Business of Dáil

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

That, pursuant to Standing Order 27E(8), No. 10a, motion re referral of the Eighth Report of the Convention on the Constitution to the Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach, be taken immediately without debate.

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

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh It is not agreed. I think the debate should be had before the-----

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher The Deputy may make a short contribution.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Yes. I am only speaking about the motion, not the content of the report or anything else. This only appeared yesterday. There should be a debate as to whether, given the passage of time, it is appropriate for this to be debated by a committee and not the Dáil first.

It is three and a half years since the report of the Constitutional Convention on this aspect. It is questionable whether the Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform is the appropriate committee to refer it to, given a report from the Constitutional Convention recommended a constitutional provision to realise economic, social and cultural rights and greater protection for those. What we are dealing with is not necessarily a finance issue and it is probably more appropriate - similar to the report that came from the Citizens' Assembly, the successor to the Constitutional Convention - that we set up a separate committee or, at the very least, that the report be referred to committees that have the expertise, such as the housing committee. The report from the convention dealt with specific areas of rights that should be enumerated in the Constitution, and it listed those - disabilities, health care, social services, housing and language were the areas it asked us to deal with. What is being suggested here is that, rather than have us discuss which committee is, or which committees are, appropriate, we would send it to the finance committee. That is wholly inappropriate and it is also inappropriate that we are dealing with it in such a rushed manner at this stage, given it is three and a half years since that report was laid before the House.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher There is an opportunity for the Government to respond before I put the question.

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy I do not think this is a rushed matter and I do not think we need to delay it any further. The committee we propose sending this to needs to deal with the totality of issues that have been recommended in the Constitutional Convention's eighth report. That committee deals with finance, expenditure and reform issues and with the Department of the Taoiseach. Given the scope of the committee, but also the scope of the eighth report of the Constitutional Convention, we feel it is the most appropriate committee to discuss this issue.

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

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh It is not agreed.


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