Order of Business

It is proposed to take No. 15a, Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Bill 2011 — motion to instruct the committee; and No. 19, Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Bill 2011 — Committee and Remaining Stages. It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that the Dáil shall sit later than 4.45 p.m. and business shall be interrupted on the conclusion of Question Time, which shall be taken for 75 minutes on the conclusion of No. 19, and in the event of a private notice question being allowed, it shall be taken after 45 minutes and the order shall not resume thereafter; No. 15a shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion after 65 minutes, with speeches being confined to the Minister or Minister of State and the main spokespersons for Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and the Technical Group, who shall be called upon in that order, who may share their time and whose speeches shall not exceed 15 minutes in each case, and the Minister or Minister of State being called upon to make a speech in reply which shall not exceed five minutes; and the Committee and Remaining Stages of No. 19 shall be taken today and the proceedings thereon shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 5 p.m. by one question which shall be put from the Chair and which shall, in relation to amendments, include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for Finance.

There are three proposals to be put to the House. Is the proposal that the Dáil shall sit later than 4.45 p.m. today agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 15a agreed?

It is not agreed. The Government had plenty of time to prepare the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Bill 2011. The idea that amendments which require a Second Stage debate have to be introduced at this stage is objectionable. I object in principle to what is going on here. If we call a vote, I do not doubt that the Government will steamroll its way through. We would use valuable time that the Opposition needs to tease out this Bill with the Government on the floor of the House. While I object to this legislation being taken in this way, I will not call a vote on the matter because I do not want to waste valuable time that could be used to debate the Bill. The Government is steamrolling everything through, despite its promises of Dáil reform.

The Minister with responsibility for public expenditure and reform has briefed the Opposition spokespersons on these amendments. The two amendments relate to matters that were outside the terms of the original Bill. One of the amendments relates to how some NTMA staff in the Department of Finance are affected by the splitting of the Department. The other amendment clarifies the functions of the Revenue Commissioners and gives them more independence in certain areas. I do not think there is any major issue in relation to those matters.

Question, "That the proposal for dealing with No. 15a be agreed to”, put and declared carried.

Is the proposal for dealing with No. 19 agreed?

No. I have the same objection in this case. It is the same problem. We were told there would be no guillotines. We were told extra sitting days would be provided for in order that matters could be teased out.

Where were the Deputy and his colleagues yesterday?

I do not need Deputy Buttimer's help. Every morning it is the same.

If there is no guillotine——

I do not need it.

Where were they yesterday?

We were bored listening to the Deputy.

It is in principle objectionable——

They were missing in action.

——that the Opposition will not have time between the Committee and Report Stage debates on this Bill. I believe Report Stage should be taken next week. Will the Tánaiste agree to Committee Stage being taken today and a gap being provided for before Report Stage is taken next week? Having waited more than 100 days to get this far, I cannot understand why another four or five days would make a material difference. Why can we not provide for full and open debates and appropriate gaps between the various legislative stages, which is what the Government said it would do when it was in Opposition?

We oppose the imposition of a guillotine on this Bill, just as we have done previously. Yesterday, we opposed in principle the proposal to impose a guillotine on the Finance (No. 3) Bill 2011. We saw what happened at the end of that debate.

There was no one there.

When legislation is supported by the House, there is no need for Deputies to continue to waffle about it. There was no need to provide for a guillotine on yesterday's Order of Business. Similarly, we oppose in principle the imposition of a guillotine on this significant Bill. The Department and the Minister do not know the full outworking of the separation of the various Departments. We will not be able to have a proper discussion on the Committee Stage amendments that have been tabled. The debate is being stifled. It is not a good principle. The Government gave a commitment not to impose guillotines. Sinn Féin opposes the imposition of guillotines. This is happening far too often. The Government is introducing guillotine after guillotine on debates. In some cases, no guillotine is required. It is wrong to ask us to conclude our debate on this legislation at 5 p.m. There is no reason we cannot stay here later, if required, to deal with the Committee Stage amendments that have been tabled. We should take Report Stage at a later date. That would give us time for the necessary consideration of the information the Minister will provide in response to our queries later today.

Deputy Doherty will be in Aughnacloy by then.

One of the issues raised most frequently by the Opposition with the Government on legislation was when the Department of public expenditure and reform would be formally established and the legislation introduced. Several Deputies on the Opposition benches have been asking us for some time to have this Department formally established and the legislation passed so that they could put questions to the Minister for public expenditure and reform and have the normal accountability for it.

This morning we have the legislation before the House and the Opposition asks us to delay it. Deputy Ó Cuív does not want it concluded until next week. This is legislation that we were told he wanted to do quickly.

We waited long enough and we are prepared to wait another day or two to get it right.

There is plenty of time for this Bill to be fully debated between now and 5 o'clock this evening.

If there is plenty of time, why the need for a guillotine? If there is plenty of time, one does not ask for a guillotine.

The period being allocated for debate of this one Department is far in excess of the period devoted to the establishment of the Government as a whole.

That speaks volumes.

I am now putting the question.

A Cheann Comhairle——

Sorry, there is no reply. Please resume your seat. You are not entitled to.

——the idea of a Committee and the Fourth Stage of a Bill is to allow for reflection between the two Stages of a Bill.

Please resume your seat. You know quite well there is no entitlement to a reply. You had your go, now we put the question.

Question put: "That the proposal for dealing with No. 19, Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Bill 2011 — Committee and Remaining Stages, be agreed to."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 81; Níl, 39.

  • Bannon, James.
  • Barry, Tom.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Buttimer, Jerry.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Coffey, Paudie.
  • Conaghan, Michael.
  • Connaughton, Paul J.
  • Conway, Ciara.
  • Coonan, Noel.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Costello, Joe.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Dowds, Robert.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Feighan, Frank.
  • Ferris, Anne.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Flanagan, Terence.
  • Gilmore, Eamon.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Hannigan, Dominic.
  • Harrington, Noel.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Hayes, Brian.
  • Hayes, Tom.
  • Hogan, Phil.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Humphreys, Kevin.
  • Keating, Derek.
  • Keaveney, Colm.
  • Kenny, Seán.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lawlor, Anthony.
  • Lynch, Ciarán.
  • Lyons, John.
  • McCarthy, Michael.
  • McFadden, Nicky.
  • McGinley, Dinny.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Maloney, Eamonn.
  • Mathews, Peter.
  • Mitchell, Olivia.
  • Mulherin, Michelle.
  • Murphy, Dara.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Nash, Gerald.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Neville, Dan.
  • O’Donnell, Kieran.
  • O’Dowd, Fergus.
  • O’Mahony, John.
  • Perry, John.
  • Phelan, Ann.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Quinn, Ruairí.
  • Rabbitte, Pat.
  • Reilly, James.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Shatter, Alan.
  • Spring, Arthur.
  • Stagg, Emmet.
  • Timmins, Billy.
  • Tuffy, Joanna.
  • Varadkar, Leo.
  • Wall, Jack.
  • White, Alex.

Níl

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Browne, John.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Colreavy, Michael.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Flanagan, Luke ‘Ming’.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Fleming, Tom.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Kirk, Seamus.
  • Kitt, Michael P.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McDonald, Mary Lou.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • McLellan, Sandra.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Ó Fearghaíl, Seán.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • O’Brien, Jonathan.
  • O’Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Wallace, Mick.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Emmet Stagg and Joe Carey; Níl, Deputies Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Seán Ó Fearghaíl.
Question declared carried.