Order of Business

It is proposed to take No. 37, Public Health (Tobacco) (Amendment) Bill 2013 - Order for Report, Report and Final Stages; No. 38 - Electoral (Amendment) (Dáil Constituencies) Bill 2012 - Order for Report, Report and Final Stages; and No. 6 - Further Education and Training Bill 2013 - Second Stage (resumed).

It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that the Dáil shall sit tomorrow at 10.30 a.m. and shall adjourn not later than 3.30 p.m., there shall be no Order of Business within the meaning of Standing Order 26 and, accordingly, the business to be transacted shall be as follows: No. 7, Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2013 - Second Stage; and the proceedings thereon shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 3.30 p.m. on that day and any division demanded shall be postponed until immediately after the Order of Business on Tuesday, 5 March 2013.

There is one proposal to put to the House. Is the proposal for the sitting and business of the Dáil tomorrow agreed to?

It is not agreed.

The proposal for tomorrow involves legislation on the property tax. In order to allow Government Deputies to go home for the weekend it is proposed that we vote on it next Tuesday. Either we have a proper Friday sitting or we do not.

Will the Deputy take a special train from Connolly?

Let us cut out the messing. We will not have an Order of Business tomorrow, we will be having a debate on a Bill that will cost families a lot of money and we will then try to vote on it next Tuesday. We are either serious about Dáil reform or we are not. This charade of sitting tomorrow undermines any intent towards Dáil reform and the seriousness of this House.

Prior to Christmas the Government rushed through the original legislation for this tax on the family home. It guillotined that debate because it was in a dreadful hurry to get it through the Dáil. We will have a repeat performance of that tomorrow. Although I fear the Tánaiste does not grasp the seriousness of the new tax that he is hell-bent on introducing or the hardship it will bring, at a minimum he should not be guillotining the debate on it. He should allow this Dáil full scope to contribute to the debate. He might hear something that demonstrates to him the error of his ways, although I will not hold my breath.

It is bad enough that the Government plans to impose a tax on homes which will put an intolerable burden on hundreds of thousands of families already blighted with unemployment, mortgage distress and income cuts but it is nothing short of sabotage and manipulation of the democratic process that it will guillotine the most important Bill to come before the House this year. There is a clearly established pattern with this Government by which a Bill that is not controversial is allowed to run for days whereas a controversial one is rammed through with a guillotine. That is undermining the democratic basis of this House in an attempt to protect the Government from public scrutiny and anger. I ask the Tánaiste, if the promise of a democratic revolution means anything, to lift this guillotine and allow full scrutiny of this Bill.

Last week when this issue was raised the original proposal was that all Stages would be taken tomorrow. In light of the issues that have been raised and indications from Opposition Deputies that they wanted more time to debate the Bill, the Government agreed to take Second Stage tomorrow and the remaining Stages next week. That is reflected in this proposal. If the Opposition desires more time to set out their points of view on the Bill, I am prepared to offer it tomorrow. If Opposition Deputies are prepared to accept my offer, I propose to extend the debate until 5.30 p.m. tomorrow.

Will we vote tomorrow?

That would give us an additional two hours.

Does that include a vote?

Do the Deputies opposite want an additional two hours tomorrow?

Is the Tánaiste offering a vote at 5.30 p.m.?

The three Opposition spokespersons made a case for more time. Deputy McDonald suggested that the Government might want to hear certain contributions and new opinions. I am offering two additional hours tomorrow. Do the Deputies accept them?

We want a vote as well.

They wanted extra time. I have put an offer before them of two extra hours.

Can I take it that the order is being amended?

The Opposition parties want the extra time. If they want to amend the order to extend the debate to 5.30 p.m., I will accept that amendment.

We do not want a guillotine at 5.30 p.m.

Will Second Stage and the associated vote be concluded at 5.30 p.m.?

No, the vote will be taken on Tuesday.

Do I take it that the proposal is not agreed to?

It is not agreed.

There is no vote.

Time after time Opposition Deputies come into the Chamber to argue for extra time but when the Government provides extra time in most cases they are not in a position to schedule speakers to use it up. Cut out the claptrap. They have been offered two additional hours. They called for more time.

We want to vote.

We already agreed to take Second Stage of the Bill tomorrow and Committee and Remaining Stages next week.

We will be here tomorrow but you will not.

They now want extra time for Second Stage. They can have extra time if they want. It is clear this has nothing to do with the content of the Bill or putting in extra speakers.

What is the Tánaiste opening tomorrow?

It is simply politics. I have offered an extra two hours if they want it.

They chickened out. They do not want extra time.

An all-day sitting for the media.

Remove the guillotine and we will stay until 9.30 p.m.

As no amendment is being proposed I am obliged to put the original question. The question is, "That the proposal for the sitting and business of the Dáil tomorrow be agreed to".

Question put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 82; Níl, 38.

  • Bannon, James.
  • Barry, Tom.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Butler, Ray.
  • Buttimer, Jerry.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Byrne, Eric.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Coffey, Paudie.
  • Collins, Áine.
  • Conaghan, Michael.
  • Connaughton, Paul J.
  • Coonan, Noel.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Costello, Joe.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Creighton, Lucinda.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deenihan, Jimmy.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Dowds, Robert.
  • Doyle, Andrew.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Flanagan, Terence.
  • Harrington, Noel.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Hayes, Brian.
  • Hayes, Tom.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Hogan, Phil.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Humphreys, Kevin.
  • Keating, Derek.
  • Keaveney, Colm.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Seán.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lawlor, Anthony.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • Lynch, Ciarán.
  • Lynch, Kathleen.
  • McCarthy, Michael.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • McNamara, Michael.
  • Maloney, Eamonn.
  • Mathews, Peter.
  • Mitchell, Olivia.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Mulherin, Michelle.
  • Murphy, Dara.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Nash, Gerald.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Neville, Dan.
  • Nolan, Derek.
  • Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán.
  • O'Donnell, Kieran.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Mahony, John.
  • O'Reilly, Joe.
  • Penrose, Willie.
  • Perry, John.
  • Phelan, Ann.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Quinn, Ruairí.
  • Reilly, James.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Stagg, Emmet.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Timmins, Billy.
  • Tuffy, Joanna.
  • Wall, Jack.
  • Walsh, Brian.

Níl

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Browne, John.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Colreavy, Michael.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Daly, Clare.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Fleming, Tom.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Higgins, Joe.
  • Kitt, Michael P.
  • McDonald, Mary Lou.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McLellan, Sandra.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Fearghaíl, Seán.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Wallace, Mick.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Paul Kehoe and Emmet Stagg; Níl, Deputies Seán Ó Fearghaíl and Peadar Tóibín.
Question declared carried.

I am afraid the time allotted for the Order of Business has expired. We must move on.

A Cheann Comhairle, that is completely out of order.

On a point of order-----

It is the Deputy's own fault.

What is the point of order?

The Government forced a vote and thereby used up the little time available to us for the Order of Business.

I am sorry, but that is not a point of order.

The Tánaiste has scarpered and we have been denied an opportunity to ask about legislation.

Standing Orders of the House provide for a period of 30 minutes for the Order of Business on a Tuesday and Wednesday and 20 minutes on a Thursday. If the time has been used, I cannot do anything about it.

There should be some injury time after a vote is called.

I am in order and I am afraid the Deputy is out of order.