Last week there was a threat to put the Department of Health and Children into receivership because of the non-payment of a court order in the case of the hepatitis C tribunal. When does the Minister intend to bring forward the hepatitis C compensation tribunal (amendment) Bill? Will that Bill clarify the issues addressed by the court last Friday in view of the threat to put the Department of Health and Children into receivership?
Order of Business (Resumed).
The legislation will be forthcoming, but I do not think there was a threat to the Department regarding the matter decided last Friday. The Government decided today not to appeal the decision of the court regarding the two cases.
When will the Government implement existing legislation which entitles elderly people to free nursing home care?
This issue does not arise on the Order of Business.
This is an important matter and there is much anger and frustration among the public.
Of course it is important. A number of Deputies are offering. I remind them that we are well over an hour on the Order of Business and we still have another vote on the Finance Bill.
This is an important matter and perhaps the Tánaiste would like to address it.
I ask Deputies to be brief and relevant to the Order of Business.
Perhaps the Tánaiste would like to address this matter.
The Tánaiste has considerable interest in the Dublin transport authority Bill. Following a White Paper, the Government signalled that the Bill would be published in July 2001. We are now approaching—
I ask the Deputy to refer only to the legislation. I have to move on and a number of Deputies are offering.
Let me ask the question.
The Deputy should ask a question on the Bill.
All Deputies are entitled to equal attention from the Chair. Is the Tánaiste aware that the Bill provides for bus competition which she recently said she was keen to see developed?
The contents of the Bill do not arise on the Order of Business. I call the Tánaiste on the Bill.
Why has the Bill not been presented to the House? Why has the Government failed to meet all the schedules regarding the legislation? The Government has shunted the Bill into a siding where it is bogged down in endless consultations.
The Bill is scheduled for later this year.
The Tánaiste has been advocating this Bill as if she was in Opposition.
The Deputy continues to be disorderly. I am moving on to the next issue.
There has been a large number of violent incidents on our streets and in night-clubs in the past number of months and years. When will Second Stage of the private security industry Bill be taken in the House? The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform promised zero tolerance, but no one is safe on the streets. What has happened to the Bill which has been on the Statute Book for 12 months?
A public order Bill might be more relevant to incidents on the streets. It is hoped to take the private security industry Bill this session.
On Friday night, the former Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, stated that the drafting of the text of Bille na Gaeilge – the language equality Bill – had been contracted out. Will the text be available in the lifetime of the Government?
I understand the Bill is due for the middle of this year.
The Tánaiste states that the Bill is due for the middle of the year. Does she expect to prolong her lifetime, and that of the Government?
I expect my life to be renewed.
I wish the Tánaiste well, but will the Bill be published in the lifetime of the Government?
The middle of the year.
(Mayo): Yesterday evening a DART train full of passengers travelled from Tara Street Station to Pearse Street Station with the doors open which could have caused carnage. When will the rail safety Bill be introduced? Will the Bill be front-loaded as it is long overdue?
It is intended to bring the Bill before the House this session.
Two weeks ago in the wake of the AIB fraud debacle, a spokeswoman for the Tánaiste was quoted as saying the legislation to give effect to the single financial regulator would be given urgency and that the Bill would be introduced before Easter. How will this happen given that the Government intends the House to sit for only six days in March?
The Tánaiste on promised legislation.
How will all this legislation be processed?
I will allow a question on the same subject from Deputy McDowell.
Can the Tánaiste confirm what the Minister for Finance appeared to tell the House this afternoon, namely, that the Bill would be published, but not taken, before the dissolution?
I have to be honest and say it is unlikely that the debate will be concluded by the time we receive a renewed mandate from the people in the summer. What happened to AIB in the US has no bearing on the legislation and vice versa. The problem was not caused by a regulatory matter concerning the Irish authorities.
Is the Tánaiste aware of a statement issued by the Minister for Public Enterprise, Deputy O'Rourke, which is covered in today's newspapers, in which she states she expects the Communications (Regulation) Bill to be taken and passed before Easter? The Bill is not even on the "also ran" list of the Government's proposed legislation. Will the Tánaiste confirm to the industry to which the Bill is important that there is not a snowball's chance in hell of taking the Bill before the recess?
This is an important Bill which was cleared by the Cabinet today.
So we will not see it.
The Deputy will see the Bill.