Order of Business

It is proposed to take No. 79, motion re disability funding and services (resumed); and No. 19, Budget Statement and the financial motions by the Minister for Finance, which shall be taken today at 2.30 p.m.

It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that the Dáil shall sit later than 9 p.m. tonight and the motion for the General Financial Resolution shall be moved not later than 12 midnight, whereupon the Dáil shall adjourn forthwith; the sitting shall be suspended on the conclusion of Private Members’ business until 2.30 p.m.; following the statements of the Minister for Finance and of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, which shall not exceed 45 minutes in each case, the following arrangements shall apply in relation to the proceedings on No. 19: the statements of the main spokespersons for finance and public expenditure and reform for Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and the Technical Group, who shall be called upon in that order, shall not exceed an aggregate of 60 minutes in each case, and such Members may share their time; following the statements the sitting shall be suspended for 30 minutes; and all divisions demanded on No. 19 shall be taken manually.

There are four proposals to be put to the House. Is the proposal that the Dáil shall sit later than 9 p.m. and the motion for the General Financial Resolution be moved not later than 12 midnight agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with the suspension of sitting agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with the Budget Statement and financial motions agreed? Agreed.

It seems a long time.

Is the proposal that all divisions demanded on No. 19 be taken manually agreed? Agreed.

I read a headline this morning that may cause some reflection. It indicated that a delay in enacting legislation is destroying lives. This relates to the Personal Insolvency Bill. I remember predicting in July that the framework would not be put in place until 2013. The legislation has passed through the House so the question relates to the regulations that must be commenced to ensure that the measures in the Bill are operable and can be brought into play to assist people with personal indebtedness. We are not entirely satisfied with the Bill as it gives a veto to the banks on a continuous basis and thousands of people are in mortgage arrears.

The Bill is in the Seanad.

Will the Taoiseach provide an update? Will it be operable before the new year?

It will be finished before the Houses rise for Christmas.

Will the regulations be in operation?

There are details in setting up the new agency. The director has been appointed and the date has been fixed for it to commence operations. For that to happen, the Bill must go through the system here. It will be completed.

That sounds like it will be the new year.

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the right to join trade unions includes a right to bargain collectively, and the Government has committed to reform legislation on workers' rights to allow that. The Taoiseach knows that now more than at any other time workers must have their rights to collective bargaining enshrined in law and protected. Does the Government remain committed to introducing this legislation, when will it be published and when will it come before the Dáil?

I cannot give the Deputy an answer. He raised the question yesterday and I put a query into the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. I will give the Deputy the details of the current position when I have it.

I will speak to an issue relating to Central Bank legislation. The code of practice agreed by the Central Bank for lending companies is not being adhered to. Militia groups are acting as agents of the banks. Such groups were in the constituency of the Minister of State, Deputy Kehoe, last week, as he is aware.

What legislation are we discussing?

It relates to Central Bank legislation.

The Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Bill 2011 is on Committee Stage. I answered the question for Deputy McGrath yesterday.

I was unable to be here.

A Deputy made apologies for you.

We have lines of communication. The issue must be dealt with or the legislation must be changed-----

It is in train at the moment.

-----to stop marauding thugs. I have horrific photographic evidence of what happened in County Wexford.

The Deputy should put down a question.

I know the Minister of State, Deputy Kehoe, is trying to deal with this as well. I have asked for the matter to be taken as a topical issue but it has not been granted.

Is it true that people paying the second home charge will be hit with double taxation by having to pay the property tax?

A parliamentary question would suffice for that.

Last Monday, I attended a meeting with Deputies Maureen O'Sullivan and Ó Snodaigh relating to problems in the city where many worthy charities are collecting money. Nevertheless, a significant minority of so-called chuggers are causing severe problems through the aggressive collection of money on the streets. The Charities Act 2009 was to introduce measures to control the activity but they have not been put in operation through a code of practice. When will that code come into operation?

The Deputy has raised an important issue. I will ask the Whip to raise the matter and see what the current position is of the code of conduct. The issue has been reported to me from the streets recently.

What is the current position of the control of alcohol Bill, particularly with regard to the ongoing debate on abuse of alcohol and the need to in some way address that issue? At what stage is the courts (consolidation and reform) Bill, which purports to provide for the implementation of the recommendations of the Law Reform Commission?

There is no date fixed for the publication of the courts (consolidation and reform) Bill. The control of alcohol Bill is being dealt with by the Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Shatter, and a Minister of State, Deputy White. I expect it to be brought forward early in the new year.

There was a recent announcement by Bord Iascaigh Mhara of an intention to locate a fish farm with a capacity of 15,000 tonnes annually off the west of Ireland.

This will have a serious effect on local natural stocks of sea trout and wild salmon. When does the Taoiseach expect the inland fisheries (modernisation and consolidation) Bill to come before the Dáil? I hope the legislation will address the serious concerns among local anglers and fishermen about the proposed fish farm.

We should have a discussion about this matter. I understand the site in question was chosen on the basis of information on tides and sea lanes provided by the Marine Institute. As the Deputy is aware, the location is a considerable distance from shore. I was surprised to see one public body, Inland Fisheries Ireland, objecting to a proposal from another body. Be that as it may, I do not have a date for the publication of the Bill in question but I will ensure the Deputy is informed of the current position regarding its preparation.