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Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions (Continued)

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 1002 No. 7

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(Speaker Continuing)

[The Tánaiste: Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar] It was suggested early on in this dispute that the Debenhams dispute was analogous to the issue with Clerys. We know that it was not. Clerys had a highly valuable asset in the form of a building. This was a different dispute. The report from the chairman of the Labour Court, Kevin Foley, is instructive for anybody who wants to understand what was or was not true with regard to this dispute. There are not any plans to establish a State agency to handle liquidation, and I would not assume that a State agency would do it any less expensively. It might but I would not make the assumption.

Deputy Róisín Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall A few minutes ago, the Tánaiste reminded people of the public health advice. It would be a good idea if he included ventilation in that, given that people will be coming together in enclosed circumstances for long periods and ventilation is critical to assist that effort.

On promised legislation, we are all waiting with bated breath to get the detail on the vaccination strategy and there are many unanswered questions. A key question relates to the IT system to underpin the database that will be developed for when people register and when information is gathered about who has had the vaccine and who is due to have the second one. We do not know what data will be collected about people. We do not know what the identifying aspects of that will be but it needs to happen quickly. Can the Tánaiste say whether legislation will be required for the legal basis of that new IT system?

The Tánaiste: Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The Deputy is right about ventilation, particularly if people are going to spend a few hours together in the same room.

This is a new vaccine but it is by no means the first vaccine. We anticipate that the data which will be collected on the vaccine and on patients will be much the same as they would be for any other vaccine and that it will be possible to use existing legislation. If legislation is required, we will bring it forward.

Deputy Carol Nolan: Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan The programme for Government commits to legislative changes to the fair deal scheme. The Tánaiste committed to these changes this month. It did not happen. Farmers have been led up the garden path. It was promised two years ago and did not happen then. Has a date now been set for these legislative changes? Farming families that are contacting me are under significant financial strain. We need to be fair and honest with these families. If the Tánaiste commits to legislative changes, it has to be done. It cannot be dragged out any further. It is unfair.

The Tánaiste: Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar A change to this legislation is long overdue. The fair deal is unfair to farmers and small business people because of the way their assets are calculated. We have been working on this legislation for a long time. I am advised that it will be published in January. I fully accept that the Deputy will not believe that until she sees it, and nor will I, because it has been imminent for a long time. We are committed to getting it done.

  Sitting suspended at 1.13 p.m. and resumed at 1.35 p.m.

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