It is proposed to take No. 2, Investment Funds, Companies and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2005 [Seanad] — Second Stage; No. 1, Veterinary Practice Bill 2004 [Seanad] — Second Stage (resumed); No. 24, Driver Testing and Standards Authority Bill 2004 — Second Stage (resumed); and No. 22, Disability Bill 2004 — Order for Report, Report and Final Stages, to be taken at 6 p.m., and the order to resume thereafter. Private Members’ business shall be No. 49, motion re management of public expenditure, resumed, to conclude at 8.30 p.m.
Order of Business.
When does the Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach, Deputy Kitt, expect to introduce the programme for Dáil reform? Are we likely to have a debate on the report on obesity, which the Taoiseach said should be dealt with directly? Will a programme be developed by the Government this year to tackle obesity and its consequences?
The Minister of State is almost ready to bring forward proposals. Obviously there must be agreement in the House on these matters but he has shown me his work on the issue. On the other matter, there will be a programme to build on the recommendations of the report.
Will it be necessary to introduce legislation in respect of the sale of the State's shareholding in Aer Lingus?
Legislation would be required to allow equity investment in Aer Lingus.
I support the request for a debate on the report on obesity.
That has already been dealt with.
I just wish to voice my support. The Government's support for the Nutrition and Health Foundation is in conflict with its concern about obesity. My question is about the business improvement districts Bill as a response, even though it is far from adequate, to the loss of 120 jobs in Galway. Something serious must be done. Will that legislation be fast-tracked and will more indigenous employment be created?
The Bill is listed for next year. There are 20 heads in the Bill and they have been approved. I will ask if it can be introduced in the autumn session.
When will the legislation on the EU referendum be published? Will all Stages be taken prior to the summer recess? Does the Taoiseach know when the referendum will be held? Will it be in October or November or, as was reported in a newspaper in the past two days, in 2006?
There is no need to make a statement on it, Deputy.
May I finish? I was asking a question.
No, Deputy, you were giving information that you read in a newspaper, which is not appropriate on the Order of Business.
I was asking if it was correct. Have the courtesy to let me finish.
It is hoped to have the legislation before the House shortly. It would be good to conclude proceedings on the legislation prior to the summer recess but we can discuss that.
What is the date for the referendum?
There is no date at present.
I note from the Order Paper that the An Post annual report for 2004 has been laid before the Oireachtas. Will we get an opportunity to debate it and, perhaps, comment on the fact that the pensioners of An Post, approximately 10,000 citizens, have received no cost of living increases for the past two years?
It is just the annual report of An Post.
Given that we might be on the verge of a strike by nurses and midwives, when will the Nurses (Amendment) Bill, which is long promised legislation, finally be published?
Work on the Bill is ongoing but I do not have a date for its publication.
In view of the rapidly escalating energy crisis and the likely negative impact on the industrial cost base, will the Taoiseach authorise the introduction of the Energy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill as a matter of urgency?
I will. It is expected that it will be published in this session.
I do not have a date but as soon as possible.
There are many delays with legislation originating in the Department of Health and Children. Will the Irish Medicines Board (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill be taken in this session? When will it be published?
My information is that it will be this session.
When will the consolidation legislation relating to national monuments come before the House and will it be before or after the completion of archaeological works on the proposed route of the M3 motorway?
It will be 2006.
When will the Bill to amend the child registration Act come before the Dáil?
Is it the register of persons who are considered——
It is to allow parents to register in their married name children born before marriage.
There is no such legislation listed.
It is clear from my inquiries that legislation is needed.
We can check it but it is not in the list of proposed legislation.
I wish to raise two issues. Are there plans to introduce legislation to allow Irish troops to train overseas so they can participate in the EU battle groups? The other issue is one with which the Ceann Comhairle and the Taoiseach are probably weary but after two and a half years the unsecured creditors of IFI, many of them small family businesses, are owed €20 million——
That has already been raised by way of Standing Order by Deputy Crawford.
There was no response to it.
It is out of order at this stage. The first question, Taoiseach, is on promised legislation.
There is no legislation promised.
Are there plans to bring forward any legislation?
One of the objectives in An Agreed Programme for Government was to codify criminal legislation. In view of the number of Bills emanating from the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and the amount of criminal activity here, will action be taken on consolidation legislation? There has not yet been any indication that this codification will take place. Approximately one third of the legislation brought before the House originates in the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform. If this could be brought under control, it would be most useful.
I will bring the Deputy's point to the attention of the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform. An effort is being made in a number of areas to codify legislation. The Deputy is correct that every year there are 15 to 20 Bills from the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.
Is there a prospect of amending legislation in respect of the Moriarty tribunal?
When will the hepatitis C and HIV compensation tribunal amendment Bill be dealt with to allow people who have been diagnosed with these conditions to get such things as mortgage protection and life assurance? It was scheduled for this year.
Work is still ongoing on the Bill although much of it has been completed. It is due to be published this year but presumably it will be in the autumn session.