I move amendment No. 1:
In page 4, before section 2, to insert the following new section:
"2.—A draft of every regulation proposed to be made under this Act shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas and the regulation shall not be made until a resolution approving of the draft has been passed by each such House.".
This amendment is intended to ensure that any regulations brought in or made by the Minister under this Bill would be made by way of a positive motion before the House. It is quite common for legislation to enable the Minister to implement legislation by way of regulation, setting down certain conditions that must be complied with, etc. Generally, the motions introducing these regulations are made by way of a negative motion, that is, a motion that the regulations will stand, unless a motion is carried by the Dáil annulling the regulations. But, because of the nature of Standing Orders, it is virtually impossible in practical terms for such a motion to be brought before the House.
The Government will not allow Government time for any such motion, and in the nature of things those parties which have access to Private Members' Time are loth to use that time for the purpose of annulling regulations. If you look through the records of the House you have to go back to 1963 or thereabouts before you find a motion to annul regulations being debated in this House.
Many of the regulations the Minister will be making will be very important in regard to how the sections of this Bill will be implemented, the variety of obligations that will be placed on various local authorities. It is important that those regulations be brought before the House by way of a positive motion and that they must be agreed by the House before becoming the law of the land. That is the reason I am proposing this amendment.
The Workers' Party have generally adopted the position where we prefer positive amendments. In many cases where we have brought forward these amendments the Minister concerned has accepted them. Now we are faced with this legislation which covers more than just the question of the homeless, but at the same time we feel it is sufficiently important to ensure that any regulations made by the Minister under the Bill will require the positive approval of the House before it becomes law.