Order of Business

It is proposed to take No. 10a, motion re membership of committee; No. 17, Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Bill 2013 - Report Stage (resumed) and Final Stage; No. 18, Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Bill 2013 - Order for Report, Report and Final Stages; No. 19, Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Bill 2012 - Order for Report, Report and Final Stages; and No. 20, Taxi Regulation Bill 2012 [Seanad] - Second Stage (resumed).

It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that the Dáil shall sit later than 9 p.m. tonight and shall adjourn not later than 10 p.m.; No. 10a shall be decided without debate; the resumed Report and Final Stages of No. 17 shall be taken today and the proceedings thereon shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 1.30 p.m. today 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 Public Expenditure and Reform; the Report and Final Stages of No. 18 shall be taken today and the proceedings thereon shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 6.30 p.m. today 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 Justice and Equality; the Report and Final Stages of No. 19 shall be taken today and the proceedings thereon shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 10 p.m. tonight 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 Public Expenditure and Reform; in the event a division is in progress at the time fixed for taking Private Members' business, which shall be No. 42, Equal Status (Amendment) Bill 2013 – Second Stage (resumed), Standing Order 121(3) shall not apply and Private Members' business shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion after 90 minutes.

There are six proposals to put to the House. Is the proposal that the Dáil shall sit later than 9 p.m. and adjourn not later than 10 p.m. Agreed? Agreed.

Is the proposal for dealing with No. 10a agreed?

Perhaps the Minister would outline the purpose of the motion.

The Deputy knows well what it is about.

Will the Minister outline what is involved?

The Deputy changed membership of a fair few committees in his time.

(Interruptions).

Is the proposal for dealing with No. 10a agreed?

I would like the Minister to set out what committees will be affected.

They are listed on the Order Paper.

Name the committees.

The motion relates to the change of membership on a number of committees.

Will the Minister name the committees involved?

Is the proposal agreed?

(Interruptions).

Order, please. The motion is on the Order Paper. Does the Minister have anything else to say on this matter?

As in the case of all other motions, the motion is on the Order Paper, which the Deputy, like everyone else, can read.

What does it say?

This is a procedural matter.

In terms of the procedures of the House, it is ridiculous that the Minister is not willing to stand up and announce the changes.

(Interruptions).

Is the proposal agreed?

If the Deputy does not agree he should call a vote.

The politburo is back in town.

Is the proposal for dealing with No. 10a agreed? Agreed.

Is the proposal for dealing with No. 17 agreed?

No. This is a lengthy Order of Business. We may not have enough time to get through all that has been proposed.

Before dealing with this specific issue, I wish to congratulate our Ombudsman and Information Commissioner, Ms Emily O'Reilly, on her election as European Ombudsman.

It is an extraordinary tribute to her ability and illustrates the heights to which Irish journalists can go in Europe and globally. I wish her every success in her future career. This reflects well on our own office. I am delighted Ms O'Reilly has been successful in achieving a high honour.

In terms of the motion before us, Fianna Fáil's spokesperson on public expenditure and reform, Deputy Seán Fleming, was allocated only six minutes yesterday to speak on important amendments which have been tabled to the Bill which, if accepted, would strengthen the legislation and broaden the capacity to hold non-officeholders and others to account.

However, he was given precious little time to debate his amendments. The Minister appears to agree. It is now proposed to guillotine the Report and Final Stages of the Bill.

Two hours have been provided for today's debate.

The purpose of today's Order Paper is almost exclusively to guillotine debates.

During Questions yesterday, the House was treated to a presentation by the Taoiseach in which he stated he wanted to have a chat with me, Deputy Adams and others about Dáil reform.

Deputy Martin's party in government did not generate much Dáil reform.

We have been hearing this message every week for the past year and a half. I have never had a discussion with the Taoiseach about Dáil reform because since taking office he has not volunteered to have one. The guillotine is increasingly being used to ram legislation through the House without proper debate.

That is not true.

This practice is totally contrary to the specific commitment made by both parties in the programme for Government in which they signed up to ensuring that non-emergency legislation would not be guillotined. The social welfare Bill, legislation on the property tax and other Bills were guillotined before and after Christmas and the practice is being continued in the case of the Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Bill 2013 and the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Bill 2013, which is the legislation that will make it easier for banks to repossess family homes. These Bills are being rammed through the House, as is the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Bill 2012. This proposal relates to the Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Bill 2013, on which Deputy Sean Fleming has done a great deal of work and to which he has tabled many amendments. It is not good enough that he has not been given the time or space to discuss his amendments.

This proposal is characteristic of the way in which the Government is doing its business. The guillotine has been used in more than 50% of Bills before the House and it is proposed to use it today with three other Bills. The Government must show some respect for the process of debate and the right of Opposition and other Deputies to table amendments.

I join Deputies in extending congratulations to the Ombudsman, Ms Emily O'Reilly, on her election to the post of European Ombudsman. I remind the Minister that the Ombudsman has made a number of proposals which the Government has not yet implemented. I hope it will keep faith with the proposals she has made, one of which dates back to the time of the previous Fianna Fáil-led Government, namely, the recommendation that the families of those who have been lost at sea be compensated. I refer specifically to the Byrne family. No action has been taken on foot of this recommendation. There is no point in commending and congratulating the Ombudsman if her recommendations are not taken seriously.

I join Deputies in congratulating the Ombudsman, Ms Emily O'Reilly, on her achievement, which shows the quality of her work. I am sure she will bring the same diligence and quality of work to the new responsibilities she is assuming.

In respect of the proposal, as Deputies will be aware, we had a long Second Stage debate and open-ended Committee Stage debate on the Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Bill 2013. We are now moving to Report Stage where the net points of the committee's deliberations will be debated in the Chamber. It is conventional to have a short debate on Report Stage. The two hours provided for the debate will be sufficient to allow Deputies to address the relevant issues. This legislation is urgent. Everyone recognises that the Oireachtas requires powers of inquiry to enable it to hold inquiries into issues such as banking. This is the reason for the genuine concern on the part of the Government to have the legislation passed before the summer recess.

The other Bills before the Houses for the final Stages of consideration are also subject to time constraints arising from finance commitments in respect of membership of the European Union and so forth.

Question put: "That the proposal for dealing with No. 17 be agreed to."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 86; Níl, 43.

  • Bannon, James.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Butler, Ray.
  • Buttimer, Jerry.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Byrne, Eric.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Coffey, Paudie.
  • Collins, Áine.
  • Conaghan, Michael.
  • Conlan, Seán.
  • Connaughton, Paul J.
  • Conway, Ciara.
  • Coonan, Noel.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Creighton, Lucinda.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deenihan, Jimmy.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Doyle, Andrew.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Feighan, Frank.
  • Ferris, Anne.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Hannigan, Dominic.
  • Harrington, Noel.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Hayes, Brian.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Humphreys, Kevin.
  • Keating, Derek.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Seán.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lawlor, Anthony.
  • Lynch, Ciarán.
  • Lynch, Kathleen.
  • Lyons, John.
  • McCarthy, Michael.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGinley, Dinny.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • McNamara, Michael.
  • Maloney, Eamonn.
  • Mitchell, Olivia.
  • Mulherin, Michelle.
  • Murphy, Dara.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Nash, Gerald.
  • Neville, Dan.
  • Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán.
  • O'Donnell, Kieran.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Mahony, John.
  • O'Reilly, Joe.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • Penrose, Willie.
  • Perry, John.
  • Phelan, Ann.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Quinn, Ruairí.
  • Rabbitte, Pat.
  • Reilly, James.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Shatter, Alan.
  • Spring, Arthur.
  • Stagg, Emmet.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Tuffy, Joanna.
  • Walsh, Brian.
  • White, Alex.

Níl

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Browne, John.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Colreavy, Michael.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Daly, Clare.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Flanagan, Luke 'Ming'.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Fleming, Tom.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Keaveney, Colm.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McDonald, Mary Lou.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McLellan, Sandra.
  • Martin, Micheál.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Ó Fearghaíl, Seán.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Wallace, Mick.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Emmet Stagg and Paul Kehoe; Níl, Deputies Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Seán Ó Fearghaíl.
Question declared carried.

Is the proposal for dealing with No. 18, Order for Report, Report and Final Stages of the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Bill 2013, agreed to?

Deputies

No.

This is very important legislation that essentially gives carte blanche to the banks to repossess family homes without any conditionality attached. When this is combined with a dilution of the protections of the code of conduct to unravel the protections that existed for people in mortgage arrears, we have a new landscape. People in mortgage arrears are now much more vulnerable as a result of this legislation and are losing rights and protections. A substantial number of amendments remain to be discussed. On Committee Stage, Members did not have sufficient time to deal with all those amendments. This is the second Bill on the Order Paper to be rammed through the House by guillotine, notwithstanding the Government's commitment in the programme for Government that it would not do this.

Further, it is in the context of a proposal to come before the people in the autumn to abolish the Seanad. What we are witnessing, bit by bit, is an incremental reduction of the democratic process, a dilution of the democratic process and a reduction of scrutiny of all measures. One can imagine a unicameral system with one House where the Government has a majority and it can ram Bills of all consequence through without debate. It says it in the document. Only one question can be voted on now. There is no facility to vote on particular amendments because of the guillotine.

We already know that the Government has clocked up a record in terms of the number of guillotines it has introduced since this Dáil commenced on very serious Bills such as those relating to the property tax, cuts to child benefit and the respite care grant. All of those Bills were rammed through in 24 hours with no room for debate.

I am entitled to speak. Deputy Stagg is not the Chair.

(Interruptions).

Stop acting with the bully-boy tactics.

Trotsky is back.

Deputy Stagg is not the Chair. There is enough of a power grab going on now. He wants to run the whole show.

(Interruptions).

The politburo is back in town.

I want order, please.

This is the standing, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle.

Sorry. I want to ask the leaders for a brief contribution on this.

I am entitled to speak. This is a very important Bill. We all have people coming to us who are in mortgage arrears and who are worried about the power of the banks and the attitude of the banks to them.

They are Fianna Fáil's victims.

David Hall has said that up to 50 new repossession cases are coming before the courts every month.

That is Fianna Fáil's legacy.

What is Deputy Stagg's legacy?

He has said there is an increased frequency in the level of approaches of that kind to people in mortgage arrears. No conditionality is being attached-----

How many bankers has the Minister for Justice and Equality locked up today?

(Interruptions).

There is no independent------

(Interruptions).

Please. Standing Orders calls for brief contributions. I ask Deputy Martin to conclude and then we will have Deputy Adams.

I am endeavouring to make my contribution but, in line with the authoritarian streak evident in this Government, all we get is Deputies of the Government parties trying to shout down members of the Opposition when they raise legitimate questions on the Order of Business about the guillotining of Bills, unnecessarily.

Okay. Thank you, Deputy.

There is no necessity to guillotine this Bill. The spokespeople should be allowed proper time and space to table amendments and to discuss and vote on them. There was no need to guillotine the last measure either.

Thank you, Deputy. We are on this issue now.

I know that and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Howlin, knows that as well. However, it is being done for the convenience of Government and for the convenience of the Government backbenchers.

I call Deputy Gerry Adams.

It is a disgrace. It is treating the House with contempt and treating the programme for Government with contempt as well.

(Interruptions).

I will not take as long as the leader of Fianna Fáil, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle, but I want to make a point. I was watching the faces of some of the newly arrived Deputies during that whole brouhaha-----

Deputy Adams is one himself.

-----including me.

(Interruptions).

Deputy Adams has the floor.

The fact is that this shows the character of this Government. The guillotine has been used over 50% of the time in the House. This is particular legislation which is about facilitating the banks to repossess homes.

It is eviction legislation.

Let us consider the Government's attitude on this and then, for example, let us consider the failure of the Government to sign up for the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence.

That has nothing to do with it.

Why does the Government refuse to do that? It is because the Minister for Justice and Equality says it would interfere with a person's property rights.

Please, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle.

Please, Minister, give me a chance. I cannot hear what is going on.

They are two examples. A battered woman is put out of her own home because the Government has said that to take action would interfere with the abuser's property rights, yet here it is rushing through legislation to facilitate the banks to repossess homes without any care at all for the property rights of the mortgage holder.

As I stated earlier, these are tranches of legislation that are essentially legacies from the situation that we have inherited in this area. We have to deal with the issues. The issues that we are seeking to bring to a conclusion today are powers in respect of an inquiry.

(Interruptions).

No shouting down, remember.

They relate to powers to deal with flaws that were in the original Bill in 2009 which were recognised at the time the Bill was being presented and whose consequences were not intended to apply. We are dealing with an issue that had not been dealt with properly in 2009. We are also building into this legislation provision for the new personal insolvency legislation which gives protection to people who are under threat of repossession. We need this legislation.

The legislation we will deal with later is in respect of a commitment made. This is an area where we have made commitments to deliver this legislation in line with agreements with the troika. These are time-limited because of the extraordinary situation we are trying to deal with. We have made commitments and that is why at the end of this process we must get these agreed before the summer recess in accordance with the schedule. That is the background.

Question put: "That the proposal for dealing with No. 18 be agreed to."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 84; Níl, 42.

  • Bannon, James.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Butler, Ray.
  • Buttimer, Jerry.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Byrne, Eric.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Coffey, Paudie.
  • Collins, Áine.
  • Conaghan, Michael.
  • Conlan, Seán.
  • Connaughton, Paul J.
  • Conway, Ciara.
  • Coonan, Noel.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Creighton, Lucinda.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deenihan, Jimmy.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Doyle, Andrew.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Feighan, Frank.
  • Ferris, Anne.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Hannigan, Dominic.
  • Harrington, Noel.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Hayes, Brian.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Humphreys, Kevin.
  • Keating, Derek.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Seán.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lawlor, Anthony.
  • Lynch, Ciarán.
  • Lynch, Kathleen.
  • Lyons, John.
  • McCarthy, Michael.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGinley, Dinny.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • McNamara, Michael.
  • Maloney, Eamonn.
  • Mitchell, Olivia.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Mulherin, Michelle.
  • Murphy, Dara.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Nash, Gerald.
  • Neville, Dan.
  • Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán.
  • O'Donnell, Kieran.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Mahony, John.
  • O'Reilly, Joe.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • Perry, John.
  • Phelan, Ann.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Quinn, Ruairí.
  • Rabbitte, Pat.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Shatter, Alan.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Spring, Arthur.
  • Stagg, Emmet.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Tuffy, Joanna.
  • Walsh, Brian.
  • White, Alex.

Níl

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Browne, John.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Colreavy, Michael.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Daly, Clare.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Flanagan, Luke 'Ming'.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Fleming, Tom.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Keaveney, Colm.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McDonald, Mary Lou.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McLellan, Sandra.
  • Martin, Micheál.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Ó Fearghaíl, Seán.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Wallace, Mick.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Paul Kehoe and Emmet Stagg; Níl, Deputies Seán Ó Fearghaíl and Aengus Ó Snodaigh.
Question declared carried.

Is the proposal for dealing with No. 19, Order for Report, Report and Final Stages of the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Bill agreed to?

Could we have some order please?

Again, I object to the guillotining of this Bill. Twenty-seven amendments have been tabled to that particular legislation and approximately one hour and 20 minutes has been allocated to go through them. This is the third item of legislation this morning the Government is insisting be guillotined through this House.

Again, this is the Government running the House, deciding what gets debated and for how long, as well as how much time is given for individual amendments. This is jackboot politics and jackboot parliamentarianism.

Members opposite were there for long enough.

This is what goes on in here, day in and day out. It flies in the face of what the Government stated it would do in the programme for Government. The Government should tear up the programme for Government and at least be consistent and honest in its approach to the Dáil and Dáil reform.

Deputy Martin's party tore up its programme.

Please, allow the Deputy.

While the truth hurts, recent research has demonstrated the degree to which the Government has flouted its own commitments in the programme for Government in respect of Dáil reform. I refer, for example, to the non-attendance last week by the Minister during large parts of the Private Members' Bill on education. Moreover, the number of times Ministers do not turn up for Topical Issue debates is far in excess of what they committed to and promised. In fairness to the Chief Whip himself, he stated the behaviour of Ministers was deplorable in respect of Dáil reform.

Deputies

Hear, hear.

(Interruptions).

That is what he said on the front page of The Irish Times.

The newspaper of record.

I agree with the Chief Whip-----

Imagine what I said about the Deputy.

(Interruptions).

I agree with him that the performance of the Government in respect of Dáil reform has been truly deplorable.

Does Deputy Martin agree with his own chief Whip?

Will the Minister give a commitment to Members that this is the last of this kind of series of measures that would be put before the House before the summer recess?

Can the Deputy whip his own Chief Whip?

The Government should have some respect for the House. The Government intends to get rid of the other House and wants to get rid of urban councils.

The Deputy's days are numbered.

Moreover, it is giving people in the Gaeltacht no vote on who represents them on Údarás na Gaeltachta.

They are very well represented.

Thank you, Deputy.

All that will be left is this House, and as far as the Government is concerned, that suits it fine.

(Interruptions).

With a majority, it is happy to suppress debate and dissent, as Deputy Mathews knows only too well this morning. Despite his financial acumen and his ability, he was summarily dismissed.

Thank you, Deputy.

There is an authoritarian streak at the heart of the present Government and it is evident every day.

(Interruptions).

Thank you, Deputy. I call Deputy Adams. Order, please.

The Deputy is trying to save his own skin.

I have made my point. I had intended to bring attention to the Chief Whip's deploring of the Government's lack of good record on Dáil reform.

It seems as though he can get something right.

He is the Minister of State who has the responsibility to bring together the committee that is charged with that responsibility. Consequently, I simply register a protest here on behalf of Sinn Féin.

First, it is a bit rich listening to Deputy Martin lecturing on Dáil reform. One should not forget that under the previous regime, the Topical Issue debates of which he complains were closeted away at the very end of business when everyone had gone home.

Ministers do not even turn up. What Chief Whip said that?

They now are taken in prime time. One also should not forget that for the first time, as exemplified on this Order Paper in respect of the banking inquiries, the Government brought this issue to the committee-----

The Government destroyed that last week.

-----before the heads of Bill were prepared to give the committee an opportunity to make an input. This constitutes opening up legislation to the input of experts, as well as a mature reflection by Deputies of what goes into the Bill. However, Members opposite are complaining that at the end of the procedure, when it is known there is a deadline to get this legislation passed-----

They are grandstanding.

It is a false deadline.

Despite having had enormous time on Second and Committee Stages, they are refusing to allow a conclusion to be brought.

No, we seek a debate.

This is about bringing a conclusion to these Bills. Moreover, when Fianna Fáil was in government, it would not even answer questions on a Thursday. No leaders appeared in the Chamber to answer questions on Thursday.

A Deputy

They still do not.

Consequently, progress is being made by the Government on Dáil reform. While there is more to be done-----

Is the Minister, Deputy Bruton, the leader?

(Interruptions).

Please allow the Minister to respond.

A leader comes in for questions from the party leaders on Thursday. Fianna Fáil consistently refused to allow that. Members opposite are not willing to recognise that reform is occurring. While of course a lot more must be done and it is the responsibility of the House to bring in additional reform, Members opposite should have the decency to recognise that significant progress has been made.

Question, "That the proposal for dealing with No. 19, Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Bill 2012 - Order for Report and Report and Final Stages, be agreed to", put and declared carried.

Is the proposal for dealing with Private Members' business agreed to? Agreed.