Order of Business

It is proposed to take No.10, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of An Bord Bia Act 1994 (Levy on Slaughtered or Exported Livestock) Order 2013; and No. 3, Health (Alteration of Criteria for Eligibility) Bill 2013 - Order for Second Stage and Second Stage.

It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that No. 10 shall be decided without debate and that Private Members’ business, which shall be No. 98, motion re disability supports, shall also take place immediately after the Order of Business tomorrow and shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion after 90 minutes on that day.

There are two proposals to put to the House. Is the proposal that No. 10 shall be decided without debate agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with Private Member's business agreed? Agreed.

I wish to raise a number of items of legislation with the Minister. The first is the social welfare and pensions Bill, which among other measures will propose changes to the distribution of assets on the winding up of defined benefit pension schemes, which is an issue of growing concern. I ask the Minister to indicate when he expects that Bill to be taken in this House. Second, when does the Minister expect the national economic and social development office (amendment) Bill to be brought forward?

The national economic and social development office (amendment) Bill can be expected later this year. We expect the heads of the social welfare and pensions Bill to be published in April.

I wish to ask about legislation that may emanate from the publication last week of the Mercer report. We have the revelation that Mr. Richie Boucher is on a salary of €843,000 and I wish to point out to the Minister that four years ago, his party had a right go at the former Minister for Finance, the late Mr. Brian Lenihan. Indeed, Deputy Richard Bruton-----

The Deputy is supposed to be asking about promised legislation. We are not going to go back over the issue of Mr. Boucher again.

Deputy Bruton accused the then Minister for Finance of "bottling it" when he said that a cap of €500,000 on bankers' pay was adequate. Fine Gael, Sinn Féin and others all voted to reduce bankers' pay. The only people who did not vote to reduce it were Members of the Fianna Fáil Party. The Government has no problem with threatening public sector workers with legislation to reduce their pay, effectively tearing up the contracts of employment for front line workers, including gardaí, nurses-----

What specific legislation is the Deputy speaking about?

When will we see legislation to reduce bankers' pay or is the Government bottling it, just as it accused the previous Government?

Is there promised legislation in this area?

No. That is my understanding.

Does that answer apply to both parts of the question?

This Government is bottling it, just like the previous Government.

Deputy Doherty should stop grandstanding.

Deputies, please. We can not have conversations across the Chamber.

The legislation being referred to by the Deputy is the Credit Institutions Stabilisation Act 2012. When that Act was passed, it put in place public interest directors in each of the banks that were recapitalised. I suspect that Deputy Doherty was not aware that this legislation actually deals with the matter.

We are lucky to have Deputy Lynch here to explain matters.

One of the public interest directors who was appointed to the banks actually-----

I cannot believe the Deputy is referring to the public interest directors. That has nothing to do with this. That is a separate issue but a nice try.

-----sits on the remuneration committee of Bank of Ireland and was the director who actually-----

That is a separate issue. We cannot deal with this on the Order of Business.

Perhaps the Deputy could also raise the separate issue of upward only rent reviews, which he championed in opposition.

-----passed the pay increase for Mr. Boucher. The question I put to the Minister is whether it is time for the Government to consider amending the Credit Institutions Stabilisation Act-----

That is a matter for another day.

-----to ensure that when the public interest directors are making such decisions, they get sanction from Government.

That is not related to promised legislation, Deputy Lynch. Deputy Boyd Barrett please. I remind Deputies that we are dealing with promised legislation.

I have put my question very simply and would like an answer.

We are supposed to be dealing with promised legislation. We cannot have debates on whether Acts will be amended. If a Bill is on the list, we talk about it.

With respect, a Cheann Comhairle-----

The Deputy should raise it at his parliamentary party meeting.

I am abiding by the Standing Orders of the House. Deputy Lynch is the Chairman of an Oireachtas committee and he knows all about Standing Orders. I ask the Deputy to resume his seat.

(Interruptions).

This has nothing to do with Standing Orders. I am simply asking the Minister, with regard to the Credit Institutions Stabilisation Act 2012, which put in place public interest directors-----

I know all of that.

Is the Government giving consideration to amending this legislation?

We do not ask about things that are under consideration. We ask about promised legislation.

Yes, but two minutes ago, during Leaders' Questions-----

That is a different issue.

(Interruptions).

That is a different issue.

I ask Deputies to be quiet and listen. They might learn something.

This is the Order of Business.

I ask the Ceann Comhairle to hear me out and give me a bit of latitude.

Is Deputy Lynch going to deal with upward only rent reviews too?

Under Leaders' Questions a few moments ago, the Minister, Deputy Coveney, said an examination is taking place within the banks with regard to payments. If the banks do not take the issue of payments in hand, the Government will examine the matter further. I would imagine, if the Government is doing that, it will look to the aforementioned Act and-----

-----the role of the public interest directors.

I will reply if the Deputy resumes his seat. We are on the Order of Business, which deals with promised legislation, that is, legislation that has been promised by the Government. Deputies can ask about when such legislation is likely to be introduced. Standing up and asking if the Government proposes to amend legislation that is not on the list is not in order under the Order of Business. I suggest the Deputy tables a parliamentary question and if he gets a reply to the effect that the Government is proposing to introduce new legislation, then he will be entirely in order on the Order of Business to raise it. Does Deputy Lynch understand that?

(Interruptions).

This is getting out of hand. I ask Deputy Lynch to resume his seat. I am quite clear about this and it applies to everybody in the Chamber. I have made a ruling and am moving on to Deputy Kelleher.

I am sorry, Deputy Boyd Barrett.

As we know, the protests of the Cypriot people have led to their Government rejecting the troika plan to raid their savings.

We know all that, Deputy. What legislation does the Deputy wish to ask about? We are not having another speech.

This arises under the Order of Business.

Under what heading?

If events, such as those mentioned this morning-----

Deputy Boyd Barrett, please resume your seat and do not try to cod me. Sit down please.

I wish to ask about the possibility-----

Please resume your seat.

-----that Cyprus might pull out-----

I ask that the Deputy's microphone be switched off. Resume your seat, Deputy.

I am not dealing with the Cypriot matter now. We have already dealt with it and it has nothing to do with promised legislation.

Is the Government going to allow time for a discussion-----

Not on the Order of Business.

-----of this major issue in the next few days?

The Deputy should have asked Deputy Halligan to raise the matter on his behalf during Leaders' Questions.

The matter could be raised through the Whips.

I do not wish to be out of order but-----

I hope not. I am getting a bit tired of it.

I accept that. In the context of Dáil reform, today there were 85 questions-----

Dáil reform does not come into it. The Deputy should refer to his Whip.

The Deputy should do better than that. What does it have to do with legislation?

The Deputy was going great. Has he something else to speak about?

I need clarity on the issue. There was a shameful exercise today in the Dáil.

I heard the Deputy on the monitor and the Dáil had to be suspended as a result of his behaviour.

No, it was a result of the Government's behaviour.

Resume your seat.

I just want clarity.

The Deputy's party never did anything like it.

You did not listen to the Leas-Cheann Comhairle. Resume your seat.

I want to know, in the context of promised legislation-----

No. What promised legislation?

-----and Dáil reform-----

It has nothing to do with Dáil reform. I call Deputy Ó Snodaigh.

Dáil reform requires legislation-----

Resume your seat.

-----and it must address the number of questions being tabled by the Fine Gael press office.

I call Deputy Ó Snodaigh.

Everybody knows it was shameful. There were 85 questions written-----

He is critical because we are working too hard.

The Deputy was well able to ask questions about County Leitrim.

-----by the Fine Gael press office.

Deputies on the Government side should stay quiet.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh, I ask that at least one Deputy be in order.

I will try to be, although sometimes it is difficult.

Thank you. It would be a breath of fresh air to hear somebody ask about promised legislation.

We have reached a new point.

I cannot live up to that.

Promises were made before the last election and in the programme for Government to address an area requiring legislation that would protect jobs. Accessorize and Monsoon will close ten of 18 stores-----

There is a reason behind this.

That may be so but to what legislation is the Deputy speaking?

There are 269 jobs at risk.

The Deputy should resume his seat.

I will refer to two pieces of legislation.

Please switch off the Deputy's microphone.

I will outline the two pieces of legislation, if the Ceann Comhairle bears with me.

Just one question, a Cheann Comhairle.

I allowed the Deputy to raise a Topical Issue matter today and he could have used the time to raise this matter. He is not having two bites of the cherry.

This is not a case of having two bites of the cherry. The landlord and tenant Bill is one promised piece of legislation, with the other being the land conveyancing Bill.

When will we have the landlord and tenant Bill?

Does the Government intend to have a referendum to deal with upward only rent reviews? We will have referendums in the autumn, which would be an ideal time to have a referendum to deal with the issue. The advice of the Attorney General to the Government has not been published so nobody can understand why the Government-----

Resume your seat. When will the Bill be before the House?

-----does not want to comply with the programme for Government.

The landlord and tenant Bill will be published before the end of the year. The land and conveyancing Bill was approved last week.

Last week, I asked the Taoiseach if the Minister for Health had received the report on the death of Ms Savita Halappanavar and it was indicated that he had not. Why is that so? The draft report was initially leaked-----

What is the question?

------and we were told we would have it in two weeks. Why have we not received it?

We do not deal with "why" on the Order of Business. Is there any information on the publication of the report?

My understanding is that the Minister concerned does not yet have the report. When he does, he will give a copy to the family first before bringing it to the Cabinet. He does not have a finalised copy of the report.

It is eight weeks on.

The Ceann Comhairle will be delighted to know that I will be in order.

Thanks be to God.

It is very disappointing to see members of the Garda Representative Association, which represents rank and file gardaí throughout the country, protesting outside the Dáil today.

What piece of legislation is the Deputy speaking about?

The question relates to the Croke Park II agreement or promised legislation that the Government is threatening to introduce if there is no agreement. I want confirmation-----

About a threat, apparently.

There is promised legislation.

The Deputy will get no confirmation if there is no promised legislation.

It is threatened.

The Government has indicated it will introduce legislation.

There is no name on it yet, but it is promised.

It is the "intimidation of public sector workers Bill".

I do not need any help from Deputy Kelleher.

The Deputy's party never did anything like that.

Deputy Kelleher is taking on a major role as rabble rouser in this Dáil.

The Government has said that if there is no agreement, it will legislate.

Is there promised legislation?

It is disappointing to see gardaí having to protest outside Leinster House.

They could be brought in with a family pass.

If legislation is required following the-----

-----introduction of the Croke Park II agreement, we will update the House when it happens.

It will be required either way.

I have a question on legislation to prevent repeat offending in the criminal world. The bail Bill has been on the books for a long time and was promised during the time of the previous Government. When is it likely to come before the House and have the heads been fully approved and discussed by the Cabinet? A housing crisis exists in the country so will it be possible to indicate when the housing Bill will come before the House?

As a result of the size of the housing legislation, it will be split into three Bills. The first will be introduced in the next session and we hope the other two will come before the end of the year. There is no date for the bail Bill as the heads of the legislation have not yet come to the Cabinet.

The Minister is aware of the concerns of many citizens living in newly built estates that have yet to be taken in charge by local authorities. Some of these estates require a relatively small amount of work to be completed to allow them to be taken in charge by the authorities. There seems to be a log-jam at local authority level-----

This concerns the taking in charge of these estates.

What legislation are we talking about?

It is the housing Bill. When is it intended to bring that forward as many people are affected by lights and sewerage services being turned off?

There is no need for extra legislation in that respect.

Many of these questions can be dealt with by way of a parliamentary question. This is the Order of Business.

With respect, they filibustered the questions process today, as Deputy Kelleher attempted to deal with.

Please resume your seat.

The Deputy's party never did that.

I am trying to be helpful.

The Deputy is one to speak about filibustering. I just answered the question on the housing Bill. The answer would be the same.

He probably was not listening. When is it due?

The housing legislation will be split into three parts, with the first of those to be introduced in the next session. We hope the other two Bills will be introduced before the end of the year.

The CAP agreement was raised during the Topical Issue debate, although I was not around at the time. Will the Minister advise if there will be statements in the House?

We had a Topical Issue debate on the matter today with Deputy Ó Cuív.

The red carpet was rolled out all day.

We began statements on the CAP last week and the debate is open-ended. That is a deliberate process, and we had approximately 90 minutes of debate before the CAP negotiations last night. I hope to continue the debate for as long as people wish, as it is a significant policy issue and the House must contribute to it.