Order of Business.

The Order of Business today shall be as follows: No. 21 – Capital Acquisitions Tax Consolidation Bill 2002 – Report and Final Stages; No. 1 – National Tourism Development Authority Bill 2002 [Seanad] – Second Stage; No. 22 – Licensing of Indoor Events Bill 2001 – Order for Report and Report and Final Stages.

Private Members' Business shall be No. 35 – motion re services for people with disabilities (resumed) – to conclude at 8.30 p.m.

There are no proposals to be put to the House. I call Deputy Kenny on the Order of Business.

When is it expected that the amended Freedom of Information Bill will come before the House?

In about a fortnight. The Bill is to come to Cabinet next week but it is urgent and has to be cleared in this session.

I would like to ask the Taoiseach about the Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill. We have just recently passed the Health Insurance Bill and I cannot find out why it is that this whole matter is being revisited.

We will find out when it is coming before the House from the Taoiseach.

Will the Taoiseach indicate why we will be dealing with this Bill which, I under stand, is imminent? It would be nice to know exactly why it is being presented.

The Deputy should allow the Taoiseach to provide the information.

I understand the Bill is to amend and extend the provisions of the Health Insurance Acts 1994 and 2001. It is to be produced in this session.

I wonder if one of the items, No. 59 – the Higher Education Authority (Amendment) Bill – is actually promised legislation. It has been said that it is not possible to indicate the timetable of the legislation because of discussions with the Higher Education Authority. Would it be more honest not to have that item there and to have discussions with the HEA?

Discussions are ongoing between the Department of Education and Science and the Higher Education Authority, although I am not too sure what stage they have reached. If the Deputy tables a question to the Minister he will find that out.

Last week I received two conflicting replies – one from the Taoiseach and the other from the Tánaiste – when I asked about the personal injuries Bill. The Taoiseach said it would be introduced next year, while the Tánaiste said it would be later this year. Which year is it? If it is this year, will it be before or after the summer recess?

I think I answered this question last week. The draft heads of the Bill are in preparation in the Department and are expected as soon as possible. If the Bill was given priority and the Department was pressing it, perhaps it could be through before the end of the year. That is the intention.

Is the Taoiseach aware that the European Commission has just issued a reasoned opinion which found that the €20 planning fee, which was included in the Planning and Development Act, is illegal under European law? Will the Taoiseach now amend that legislation? Will he acknowledge that the position taken by the Labour Party in opposing this fee has now been found by the European Commission to be correct? When will amending legislation be introduced to abolish the €20 fee as required by the European Commission?

On the same matter, now that the European Commission has ruled that the €20 planning fee is illegal, will the Minister for the Environment and Local Government be refunding those who paid the fee? Will he introduce regulations to ensure that members of the public will not have to pay this draconian fee in order to participate in the planning process?

I understand that the European Commission has given a reasoned opinion but I do not think it has made any statement about the legality of the situation. Obviously, the Minister will now have to examine the judgment.

The European Commission has given the Government only two months to put this matter right.

I am calling Deputy Durkan. Deputy Gilmore will have to find another way of raising this matter. It is not appropriate to the Order of Business.

Do not worry, it will be all right.

The Minister has it wrong again.

When will the local government Bill, which provides for the ending of the dual mandate, come before the House? I also wish to ask about the housing (private rented sector) Bill.

The local government Bill will, hopefully, be published in a fortnight and will be taken immediately, if that is possible. The second Bill to which the Deputy referred will be taken in this session.

Given the ongoing concern about the impending cases at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, and other maternity concerns, at what stage are the preparations for the maternity protection (amendment) Bill?

The Bill is to give effect to the recommendations of the working group and to review the improvement of the maternity protection legislation. The Parliamentary Counsel is currently drafting the Bill and it is hoped to have it before the House in this session. The heads have been approved and I understand that a large amount of the drafting has already been done, so it should be taken in this session.

Is the education for persons with disabilities Bill still on schedule to be published this year? More important, will resources be allocated in order to back up the Bill?

The first question is in order. I call the Taoiseach to state when the Bill will come before the House.

From what we heard last night there seem to be no resources at all for people with disabilities.

The Deputy should allow the Taoiseach to answer her question.

Hopefully, the Bill will be published during this session. That is still the intention.

Is the Taoiseach aware of the loss of a further 75 jobs in the Finn Valley area of Donegal yesterday, which makes it one of the worst unemployment blackspots in the country?

That is not appropriate to the Order of Business, Deputy.

I believe it is appropriate in view of what happened yesterday.

To what legislation is the Deputy referring?

The redundancy (amendment) Bill.

I call the Taoiseach on the redundancy (amendment) Bill.

In the interests of those who have lost their jobs, what is the exact status of that Bill?

The Government approved the drafting of the heads of the Bill last October and the legislation is being drafted.

The Bill which allows county managers to put incinerators where they will, to charge any level of bin tax they wish and to bully householders who might fight it—

What is the name of the Bill?

Rather incongruously, it is called the Protection of the Environment Bill 2003.

That is exactly what it is.

The Deputy should ask the Taoiseach when it will come before the House.

How does the Taoiseach intend that the Dáil will deal with it?

The Deputy should allow the Taoiseach to answer the time question now.

The Bill is in the Seanad and as soon as it is finished there it will come before the House.

Last week I asked the Tánaiste if she had any intention of intervening in the ongoing difficulties of the IFI workers. This is a question under promised legislation. Perhaps the Taoiseach will give a clearer—

Which Bill, Deputy?

It is the Redundancy Amendment Bill.

That Bill has already been raised by Deputy McGinley so we cannot have it again.

Yes, it has, and the difficulty is that the IFI workers were promised—

The Deputy will have to find another way to raise the difficulties. I must move on to the next business if you do not resume your seat, Deputy Lynch. I call Deputy Hayes.

In view of the huge disappointment among the student population, will the Taoiseach say if it is proposed to bring forward a Supplementary Estimate in relation to the loss of the summer jobs scheme? Many students availed of this scheme and many communities found it an invaluable resource.

Are Supplementary Estimates promised, Taoiseach? There are no Supplementary Estimates promised.

I am very disappointed.

Given yesterday's admission of disappearing legislation, will the same fate befall the Proceeds of Corruption Bill?

The Proceeds of Corruption Bill will be taken in this session.

In view of the fact that a report by the OECD places Ireland second in a league table of people under 25 who take their own lives, when will the Misuse of Drugs Bill be introduced?

This will be dealt with by secondary legislation and not by way of a Bill. It will not require a new Act. I do not have a date for the secondary legislation.

From 1 March, the Minister for Agriculture and Food will withdraw support for the disposal of meat and bonemeal. What steps will be taken to support farmers who will suffer grievous losses?

I suggest the Deputy submits a question to the Minister for Agriculture and Food on the matter.

Will the Animal Health Bill be taken—

It is anticipated that the Bill will be submitted to Government in the spring and the heads are expected in late summer.