Order of Business

It is proposed to take No. a12, Road Safety Authority (Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness) Bill 2012 [Seanad] - Financial Resolution; and No. 5, European Arrest Warrant (Application to Third Countries and Amendment) and Extradition (Amendment) Bill 2011 - Order for Second Stage and Second Stage.

It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that No. a12 shall be decided without debate; that the proceedings on Private Members’ business, which shall be No. 36, Regulation of Debt Management Advisors Bill 2011 - Second Stage, shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, 16 May 2012; and that the Dáil on its rising today shall adjourn until 2.30 p.m. tomorrow.

There are three proposals to be put to the House. Is the proposal for dealing with No. a12 agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with Private Members’ business agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal that the Dáil on its rising today shall adjourn until 2.30 p.m. tomorrow agreed? Agreed.

I read yesterday that the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Deputy Coveney, had spoken about the potential privatisation of Coillte. In the context of the forthcoming forestry Bill, I have extreme concerns about what is being considered. At the moment, Coillte has a land bank of just less than half a million hectares, which is significant not just financially but also in terms of its recreational and amenity potential. Coillte owns 150 recreation sites and ten forest parks and has 1,100 employees. The Minister, Deputy Coveney, seems to have indicated the NTMA is currently evaluating this.

Where is this leading?

I want to know when the forestry Bill, the key Bill in facilitating the sale of the trees and assets of Coillte, will be published. Does the Taoiseach envisage the publication of the heads of the Bill to facilitate all-party engagement on the issues and the teasing out thereof? These issues are of significant concern to communities throughout the country. I would appreciate a response to my question.

I can confirm for the Deputy that the Bill is very well advanced. It will be taken and published in this session.

That is what I am concerned about. Could we have some indication as to when-----

Tá ceist agam faoi reachtaíocht atá fógraithe, the personal insolvency Bill. The scheme was published in January and the Bill was due to be published at the end of April. It is nearly seven months since the publication of the Keane report. There are 100,000 families in mortgage distress and they face real hardship. There seems to be no sign of the publication of the Bill or of Second Stage. Could the Taoiseach outline the reasons for the delay? When does he expect the Bill to be published?

I expect the Bill to be published by the end of June. A great deal of activity has occurred in regard to it. There have been meetings between the Office of the Attorney General and the Ministry for Justice and Equality on a range of very complex and quite difficult issues that were identified. Advancements have been made on them and I expect the Bill to be published by the end of June.

Will the Taoiseach or the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Howlin, bring forward legislation promised in the programme for Government on the outrageous carry-on of rehiring retired public servants who have taken a gratuity and who have pensions? This is an outrageous development. It has been taking place for years, as we know.

What Bill are we talking about?

I am asking whether a Bill will come forward to deal with this matter.

That should not be asked on the Order of Business. It is a matter for a parliamentary question.

When will the noise nuisance Bill come before the House? The Bill is to extend and improve the powers available to enforcement authorities to prevent noise nuisance by allowing for on-the-spot fines and providing mediation between neighbours. When will the statutory central register of credit histories Bill, which is to establish a new credit register that will support more informed lending decisions and development of improved insolvency procedures, while also providing an important tool for banking supervision, come before the House?

The second Bill will be later this year. I do not have a date for the first Bill the Deputy mentioned.

When will the Protection of Employees (Temporary Agency Work) Bill 2011, which passed through the Seanad in April, be taken? I have been contacted by a number of agency workers who want clarity on when the Bill will return to the Dáil for Report and Final Stages. Has the Taoiseach a timeframe?

I understand that Bill has been passed in this House. It was actually sent to the President for signature last week. It should be finalised very shortly, as soon as the President has it signed.

Last week the Government made an announcement on the future ownership and management of Shannon Airport. It also announced the dismantling of Shannon Development as a development agency for the mid-west. The Taoiseach is well aware of the important role Shannon Development played over many decades in developing and sustaining a significant jobs base in the region. When does he intend to bring forward legislation to dismantle Shannon Development? How does he intend to support the very significant industrial base in the region, which has required the support of a development agency to move through the various phases of job creation? There is considerable concern in the region that the dismantling of the agency and the centralisation within the IDA and Enterprise Ireland of the services it provided will take from the capacity to retain the important base that exists.

This decision was made by the Government last week. Clearly, there is a great deal of optimism, confidence and hope for the future of the entire mid-west as a result of the potential that exists. The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation are working together to set up an appropriate, competent working group to progress the decision the Government made. If legislation is required to dispense parts of Shannon Development to Enterprise Ireland and the IDA, it will be brought forward in due course

When will the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004 (Amendment) Bill, listed in section C of the Government's legislation programme, come before the House? It is important the House would have an opportunity to debate the fact that senior public servants who retired on generous pensions are being rehired and given attractive packages-----

When is the Bill due?

-----given that the Taoiseach himself does not know how many senior public servants have retired-----

Deputy Troy's party was very good at it.

-----and how many have been rehired.

I ask Deputy Troy to resume his seat. When is the Bill due?

Deputy Troy's party was very good at it.

There is a Bill.

The Deputy is aware that these rehirings are all on the basis of temporary contracts.

It is scandalous.

Some are very specialist. The heads of the Bill to which the Deputy refers are being finalised and will be before the Government in due course. I cannot give the Deputy an exact date.

Could the Taoiseach give a specific timescale for the introduction of the Treaty Establishing the European Communities Act 1972 (Amendment) Bill? The Taoiseach's legislation programme states it relates to the amendment of Article 136 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union underpinning the legal standing of the treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism. Why did the Taoiseach tell me a few minutes ago that it was not necessary to have the European Stability Mechanism on a legal basis?

That is a different issue altogether. When is this legislation promised?

It has been published and will be taken after the referendum.

When will it be taken?

After the referendum.

It is necessary to have it ratified before there can be legal standing for the European Stability Mechanism.

We do not have a veto on the European Stability Mechanism. I already explained that to the Deputy.

No, the Taoiseach did not. That is the problem.

We do not have a veto on the European Stability Mechanism.

I have questions on two promised Bills, the first of which is the landlord and tenant Bill, which is to reform and consolidate the general law on landlords and tenants and which is expected in 2013. Given the degree to which debate has taken place between landlords and tenants, particularly over the past two years, it might be possible to bring the Bill forward. How much work has been done on this Bill? What is the position on the protected disclosure in the public interest Bill?

The heads of that Bill were cleared last October. Work is proceeding thereon but I expect it will be early next year before it comes in.

Is the Taoiseach referring to the first Bill to which I referred?

What about the protected disclosure in the public interest Bill?

I am informed it will be this year.