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Fleming, Sean

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 Nbr. 3

Regulation of Debt Management Advisors Bill 2011: Second Stage

I move: “That the Bill be now read a Second Time.”More Button

With the agreement of the House, I wish to share time with Deputies Calleary, Cowen, Browne and Dooley.More Button

I welcome the opportunity to introduce this Bill on behalf of the Fianna Fáil Party. My party colleague, Deputy Michael McGrath, was due to introduce it but he is attending a public meeting...More Button

I wish to pay special tribute to my friend and colleague, Senator Thomas Byrne, who did most of the work in terms of drafting the legislation. The Senator put a great deal of effort into putting t...More Button

I take this opportunity to acknowledge what I believe to be the Government’s general acceptance of the Bill. I understand the Government will allow it to proceed to Committee Stage for a det...More Button

The Title to the legislation states this is a “Bill entitled an Act to make provision in relation to debt management advisors and for the authorisation and supervision of debt management advisors b...More Button

The latter is an important aspect because MABS provides advice to people but does not manage their cash. MABS provides an excellent service and there has been an increasing level of demand for thi...More Button

Under the Bill, debt management advisers would be prohibited from handling clients’ moneys. MABS would, however, be excluded from this prohibition. The Bill stipulates that the Central Bank...More Button

A great deal of comprehensive analysis, discussion and consultation took place during the drafting process relating to the Bill. Fianna Fáil has brought this legislation forward in order to...More Button

We are not seeking to outlaw the debt advice industry or to make it impossible for those within it to operate. There are, however, growing levels of concern with regard to these companies, particu...More Button

There have been a number of high profile cases in this area, such as that relating to the collapse of Home Payments Limited in August 2011. Many people will remember the latter being the subject o...More Button

At present, people who offer advice on debt are considered to be offering a customer rather than a financial service. This means that they are not subject to regulation by the Central Bank and the...More Button

It is difficult to ascertain the prevalence of these companies although an Internet search shows dozens of providers purporting to offer debt advice. One industry source suggested individuals who ...More Button

While there is general agreement at political level for the need to introduce this legislation, it has also been raised in other arenas. The Law Reform Commission published a consultation paper on...More Button

The Free Legal Advice Centres also commented on commercial debt advice companies:More Button

In the Dáil recently, the Minister for Finance noted “consumers can confirm whether or not a financial service provider is authorised by checking the register of financial service providers ...More Button

There are legitimate providers in the industry and there is a role for debt advice. We are not seeking to outlaw the industry but want it regulated. The Debt Management Association of Ireland sta...More Button

The segregation of clients’ money from commission fees is another important issue. We examined bonding these debt management companies to ensure customers would be protected. However, havin...More Button

There has been a positive response from the industry to our proposals. A broad consensus exists that this sector needs to be regulated. The Central Bank, the National Consumer Agency, Free Legal ...More Button

Written Answers - Inter-Country Adoptions

Asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs: the steps she has taken to facilitate the inter-country adoption process between Ireland and Hague-compliant countries since taking office; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Citizenship Applications

Asked the Minister for Justice and Equality: the number of applications for citizenship that are waiting for over two years to be completed in view of the fact that he has sought to address this issue and will priority be given to completing ...More Button

Written Answers - Animal Welfare Legislation

Asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine: when the Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 is expected to be completed through the Oireachtas; the planned commencement dates for the implementation of this new legislation; if it will it be able...More Button

Asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine: if the proposed new Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 will impose new responsibilities on the [455]Turf Club and Horse Racing Ireland regarding the welfare of horses w...More Button

Written Answers - Animal Welfare Issues

Asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine: if he is satisfied with the views of Horse Racing Ireland and the Turf Club that current legislation is silent in relation to the issue of welfare of horses while in training; and if he will make a...More Button

Asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine: his responsibility in relation to the welfare of horses in Ireland especially those involved in the [456]horse-racing industry and if he has any role in enforcing standa...More Button

Written Answers - Hospital Waiting Lists

Asked the Minister for Health: when an operation will be carried out in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Laois; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button