Civil Debt (Procedures) Bill 2015: Second Stage (Resumed)

Question again proposed: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett is sharing time with Deputy Healy.

In many ways, this Bill is an admission of defeat and fear on the part of the Government and a tribute to the unprecedented popular rebellion and mobilisation that has taken place against water charges over the past year. We have come a long way from when the water charges were first mooted to be introduced by this Government, when there were many threats and much bullying talk, which was summed up when the former Minister, Commissioner Hogan, threatened to reduce water to a trickle for anybody who could not or would not pay the water charges. The Government's strident and confident approach to trying to introduce these regressive and unfair charges has disappeared in the face of a mass popular movement that has brought unprecedented numbers of people out on the streets and forced the Government into a series of humiliating U-turns on charges.

The threat to turn off people's water or reduce it to a trickle was disgraceful for anybody to even consider when we are talking about a basic human right and something that people need to exist. That threat was taken off the table and the amount of the charge was reduced, with a cap introduced for the charges in order to essentially appease the popular rebellion taking place on the streets as the Government backtracked. This Bill, along with the Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2014 that we dealt with a week ago - in essence, a new Bill shoehorned into an older Bill at the last minute - are a further admission that this Government is just terrified of the massive movement against water charges. It is so terrified that it has had to hide anything to do with those water charges inside an apparently innocuous Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2014. It meant that Bill, along with the legislation now being discussed, could be put into the last couple of weeks of the Dáil term so as to avoid creating any focus for the anti-water charges movement to mobilise on yet again.

I am absolutely sure the Government was aware that there was a plan to have demonstrations when this legislation appeared and it did its best to try to minimise the time we would have to mobilise significant numbers. Hence, the effort to smuggle some matters to do with water charges into the Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2014 at the last minute and ram this Bill through in the last couple of weeks.

The public needs to recognise its own power and the fact that the Government is quaking in its boots in the face of the sort of mobilisations we have seen over the last year or so. The fact that Irish Water will not give out the figures on how many people have paid or not paid speaks for itself. It indicates that there is an unprecedented mass action of peaceful civil disobedience going on across the country. Regardless of the attempts by this Government to manipulate the Dáil timetable, to play fast and loose with the whole legislative process, and to spin and propagandise about the power it has or intends to give itself to deal with that boycott, the reality is that, just as the people of Greece had the courage to say "No" when faced with the bullying and threats of the troika and Angela Merkel, hundreds of thousands have the courage to say "No" to this Government's attempt to impose a totally regressive and unfair austerity tax, and they are clearly doing so in droves by refusing to pay these water bills.

Against that background, what we have in this legislation is an attempt to make people think the Government has powers that it does not have to undermine that boycott. That is what this legislation is all about. Again, it is smuggled in in an apparently progressive move. One aspect of this is progressive, namely, the removal of the threat of imprisonment for people who are unable to pay small debts. That is a progressive measure, although the add-on of attachment orders, under which employers would be asked to make deductions from people's earnings, is an absolute disgrace. Employers would effectively be given a political profile of their employees. If they are, as hundreds of thousands are, engaged in an act of political protest by refusing to pay water charges, their employers will be given that information by the courts, with all the potential ramifications that could have for individuals. It also applies in the case of bills that people might simply have been unable to pay because they are poor, because they are low-paid, because they are on zero-hour or low-hour contracts, or for whatever reason. The Government is proposing to give people's employers the information that they have been unable to pay debts and have had court orders made against them to the effect that their employers are to deduct those unpaid debts. That is a pretty disgraceful move.

This is another in a very long litany of utterly treacherous things for the Labour Party to do. For the Labour Party to give an employer that kind of information, detail and power over an employee is nauseating. However, we should not be surprised by a further betrayal by the Labour Party, which has given up even any slight pretence of being a progressive, left-wing party with the things it has done and the betrayals it has perpetrated over the last few years.

That is a disgraceful element of this legislation, but the key characteristic of the legislation is that the Government is trying to kick the whole thing down the road. It is trying to shoehorn this Bill into a short period of time, misrepresent what is actually in it, and then kick the substantial issue of how to deal with a mass boycott down the line until after a general election. This is an act of political cowardice of the highest order. What I want to say to the many people who are opposed to water charges and who have been on the protests is that it proves how powerful this movement is. People need to understand that this sort of power, which can make the Government run, hide, kick cans down the road, manipulate, spin and mess around with the legislative process, shows that people are winning and that if they maintain the boycott and the massive mobilisations on the streets over the coming months, these water charges can be defeated and the Government that introduced them can be swept out of office.

I welcome the opportunity to speak on the Civil Debt Bill 2015, which I will be opposing. The Government has argued that the Bill is commendable and came about as a result of recommendations from the Law Reform Commission. At least one section of the Bill is to be welcomed by all Members of the House - namely, the abolition of imprisonment for non-payment of debt. This puts an end to the shameful situation whereby a person could be taken to court and then imprisoned for not paying for a television licence. Maybe, with an election coming up, the Government has grown a conscience. Maybe it has simply woken up to the sad fact that the prison services cannot cope with the number of people imprisoned for non-payment of fines.

This Bill is not about civil debt at all. It is about Irish Water. Faced with massive non-payment and non-registration for Irish Water, the Government is running scared. The people are winning. In response, the Government is scaremongering by suggesting people will be taken to court for non-payment of water charges. It is trying to bully and scare people into paying for water, which they already do in the form of general taxation. People will not be fooled into paying for their water twice.

The Minister will say this Bill is not about Irish Water, but that is exactly what it is about. The Government is trying to punish those people who cannot afford to pay another bill. It is not interested in giving people options. It wants to leave people with no choice but to capitulate. Yet again, the Government seriously underestimates the will of the Irish people and the strength of the non-payment campaign. Irish Water is in fact already dead in the water and this Bill is just another desperate attempt by the Government to buoy it up by ramming this legislation through before the summer recess. It is initiating debates on non-regular sitting days, changing the names of Bills, changing sections at the last minute, and guillotining real and frank debate on these issues. One of the major reforms we were to see when this Government came to power was that the guillotine would not be used or would only be used very sparingly. In fact, it has been used more often during this Dáil than during the previous one. That shows the Government's disregard for the democratic process and its arrogance in the face of large-scale opposition to water charges. It can be seen in this Bill.

Rather than go after the real architects of the recession in our country, it is going after the little people - the soft targets - and it is going after them for the shirt off their backs. The big debtors to the Irish economy were given write-downs and debt forgiveness worth billions, while ordinary people can now be taken to court for a debt of as little as €500.

With the Civil Debt Bill 2015, the Government has once again pinned its colours to the mast and sided with huge utility companies and multinational corporations rather than with the ordinary people. They have chosen to enact this legislation to help creditors rather than debtors. The hypocrisy of this Government has to be seen to be believed.

As has been the case with nearly everything else the Government has done, this Bill will have an impact on those who are already vulnerable, such as women, those on low incomes and those in receipt of social welfare. This, of course, should come as no surprise, considering the Government's track record in this regard, which seemed particularly evident last week with the cruel and regressive cuts to the lone parent allowance and the utter disdain for those on low incomes voiced by one of the Government Deputies last week, which was so base that I will not attempt to repeat it.

Those people who struggle to survive on a daily basis are the most vulnerable to falling into debt. A cycle of constant indebtedness is a real possibility when, in paying off one debt, a person falls into another, thereby perpetuating the cycle of poverty that represses ordinary people in this country. In case the Government needs any reminder in this regard, this week the Living Wage Technical Group published the findings of its research, which showed that people in Ireland need to earn €450 a week to be able to afford an acceptable standard of living. This equates to an hourly rate of €11.50, which means a living wage is one third higher than the minimum wage, which is set at €8.65 an hour for an adult. There are many thousands of Irish citizens who do not earn a living wage and are living on well below €450 a week. They are the ones who are being targeted by the Government while the bankers and their friends get off scot free.

A seemingly welcome aspect of the Bill is that it makes it clear that water charges cannot be deducted at source; they cannot be taken directly from people's incomes and social welfare. Instead, the Bill provides that each case must be heard in court before an attachment order can be granted. That means that each and every case involving a person who is taking part in the massive campaign to boycott water charges must be heard in court, something that simply cannot be done. All of their finances must be looked at and they can appeal the ruling. Of course, they cannot be taken to court for at least two years on the basis of the €500. Those who are indebted to the tune of only €500 are hardly likely to be able to pay for legal representation. How are the vulnerable to be represented in the courts? Will they be dependent on free legal aid and will they get it? This Bill, if enacted, will be completely unworkable.

The Bill allows creditors, including Irish Water, to apply to the court for an order enabling an attachment of earnings or deductions from social welfare payments for the purpose of the enforcement of debt of as little as €500. This will disproportionately target those on low pay and persons in receipt of social welfare payments. There is no requirement in the legislation that a creditor must first exhaust other avenues before resorting to taking a person to court. In this regard, I echo the sentiments of my colleague, Deputy Pringle, when he stated last Friday:

People must be afforded an opportunity to enter into a payment plan to allow them to reduce their debt without having to go before the courts.

On attachment orders for people in receipt of social welfare payments, the Bill is unclear about the level at which attachment orders may be made against social welfare payments. ... Without ... a threshold, the courts may place people in even greater financial difficulty by allowing attachment orders to be made which would reduce a social welfare payment to an amount below the level required to survive.

Any reasonable and responsible creditor will help a person pay his or her debt by way of delaying the repayment, freezing interest rates or accepting payment by instalments. The legislation before the House today does not impose on creditors any obligation to offer debtors a payment plan or require them to enter into payment with a debtor before seeking to secure a payment order for the debt in court. The creditor can immediately opt to take a person to court. This, of course, is reckless. The Bill completely ignores this.

I believe this Bill is unworkable, will not be successful if it is implemented, and will ensure that there is increased opposition to these unjust and unfair water charges, which represent more austerity for ordinary people.

I welcome the opportunity to speak on the Civil Debt (Procedures) Bill 2015.

Sometimes one has to stand back to see the wood for the trees. One has to cut through a lot of the hyperbole, the rhetoric, the inflammatory language and the images that are put before the House, such as what I have heard in the past ten or fifteen minutes, and look at the reality behind the introduction of this Bill. It appeared as a recommendation from the Free Legal Advice Centres, as far back as 2009, in its report entitled To No One's Credit. It was recommended by the Law Reform Commission in 2010. It appeared in my party's manifesto before the 2011 general election, at which we were elected as the largest party. It subsequently appeared in the programme for Government in 2011. If there is a criticism, it should be that it has taken this long to bring it before the House in 2015. As a matter of fact, a predecessor of mine from Cork South-West, the former Deputy Jim O'Keeffe, when spokesperson for justice, introduced a Private Members' Bill advocating more or less exactly what is in the Civil Debt (Procedures) Bill. Therefore, it has been knocking around for some time on the recommendation of some very respected bodies. It will be opposed, despite the fact that last year alone we committed almost 9,000 people to prison for non-payment of fines or civil debts.

We can continue to imprison people. We can continue to incarcerate them and take away their liberty for something as trivial as non-payment of a fine or, in the case of part of this Bill, non-payment of a debt, but there is something fundamentally wrong with this. There is something fundamentally unfair about denying people their liberty, in many cases giving them terms of several months in prison despite the fact that that is not what they will serve. In almost all cases, they will be out within hours or, in worse cases, days. The fact that they have been imprisoned remains, and goes against their name and on their records. It works against them in their communities. The option of an attachment order on earnings - or, indeed, where possible, on social welfare payments, although this would be minimal - has been proposed by many different agencies and organisations for a number of years.

I also welcomed the previous legislation that we enacted. I believe it will have a chilling effect on those who deliberately decide to avail of a service or deal in goods from a business or agency and not pay for it, despite the fact that it is clearly illegal and a breach of contract. It is fine if people want to oppose the Bill and say they support that, but we as public representatives have a strong responsibility to say we uphold the law that is passed in this Chamber, particularly when that law has been put before the people as part of a manifesto and included in a programme for Government.

We cannot call ourselves democrats only to be à la carte democrats and say that this is the part of democracy we like but that is the part we can do without because it does not support our agenda, or that we can shoehorn it into a different forum. One can call it street protest or whatever one likes, but advocating it is irresponsible and does no justice to anyone elected to the House who claims to be democratic. It does not matter whether people believe in democratic objectives for Ireland, or any other country to which they travel advocating for democracy, justice and civil rights and claiming to have a mandate. We have a mandate for this. We agreed it, but, lo and behold, when we have before us a very sensible and pragmatic proposal to allow for the smooth running of business the length and breadth of the country, those who advocate most in this House for democratic principles, justice, equality and fairness oppose the Bill and talk about hypocrisy in the same breath. They need to reflect on what they have said, what we have proposed and what we said before the general election, and then consider what "hypocrisy" really means.

Do we want to bring people from all over the country to Mountjoy to be incarcerated for a couple of hours before giving them their fares back to wherever they come from, be it west Cork, Donegal or any other community, when we can instead tell them that if they do not live up to their contractual obligations, the matter will be brought before a judge, who will make an order that they be penalised financially? People have been calling for this for years.

I call Deputy Mac Lochlainn, who is sharing time with Deputy Adams.

Through their contributions last Friday and today, Government Deputies have tried their hardest to steer the debate away from the real reason for this Bill. It is obvious that this is a desperate attempt to follow on from the undemocratic process with which the Government rammed through the Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill last week, all in the hope that outstanding issues relating to the water charges disaster would be tied up before the summer recess and would not need to be debated in the autumn before a possible election. People can see right through this. They see what the Government is trying to do and will remember this come election time. The fight against the Government's unjust water taxes is far from over. Those in the Government will not sweep the matter under the carpet, because the people, and those of us in the House who stand up for them, will not let them.

Claims to the effect that the Bill has come from the Law Reform Commission, that it does not apply to debts to moneylenders, that it is a necessary step to solve a civil debt problem, that the courts have safeguards in place to afford protection, and the great line that it differentiates between those who cannot pay and those who will not, are spin to avoid admitting the Bill's real purpose. I have yet to see how the Bill differentiates in any meaningful way between those who cannot pay and those who will not. The Government's spin does not address any of the real concerns.

I draw the Minister of State's attention to quotes from the speech of the Minister for Justice and Equality at the launch of the report of the Free Legal Advice Centres, FLAC, yesterday. She stated:

Many, many people obviously want to pay their debts, and those who can pay them will pay them. No reasonable person will resent seeing someone who has fallen on hard times benefit from proportionate debt forgiveness.

The hypocrisy is unbelievable. The Government is in favour of debt forgiveness by legislating for a mechanism to take unpaid debt directly from a person's wages or social welfare. How does this work? The Bill is an obvious attempt to target those on low pay or social welfare. We are discussing sums that are relatively small for those in the higher echelons of society. For ordinary people, though, debts of this level have a serious impact on their lives. These are the people who will be targeted disproportionately.

The Government is afraid that its Irish Water plans are coming apart at the seams. The truth is that they are. The Bill is intimidation on the Government's part. It is an underhanded attempt to transform the Government's fear about Irish Water into the people's fear that they may be dragged before the courts for their accumulated debts. People are not naive; they can see through this.

What the Bill deals with is legislatively unnecessary and avoidable, or at least, it was until the Government needed such a mechanism in order to prop up the power of its own creditor, Irish Water. Let me be clear: Irish Water must be abolished, and there should be no need for recovery of unpaid charges at all.

Regarding other creditors, Sinn Féin opposes the Bill because it does not require creditors to consider whether there is a more appropriate way to deal with disputes before rushing to the courts, further clogging the system, to get legal orders against persons in debt. Civil debt is a serious strain on anyone. The Bill seeks to punish those who fall into this trap, mostly those on low wages or social welfare who are already living on the poverty line, by giving creditors the option to drag them before a judge without any need to try to solve the dispute through a less adversarial method.

Sinn Féin has submitted amendments to the Bill for consideration on Committee Stage. They are simple. Of the 27 sections, only one is of merit. Section 26 repeals Parts I and IV of the Debtors Act (Ireland) 1872. It is the only section that we support.

I wish to address some of the bizarre comments made by Deputy Catherine Byrne on Friday. She must have seen some of the media coverage over the weekend and realised the stupidity of her comments and just how far removed she is from the majority of citizens in the State. It must be difficult for her stretching her budget in such a way. After all, one could hardly fill a shopping basket on a basic salary of €87,000 per year. Deputy Catherine Byrne, in referencing this Bill, stated that people had a civic responsibility to pay debts, including debts relating to water charges. I am happy that she acknowledged this, but how does an increase in the pensions of former Taoisigh and Ministers contribute to their civic responsibility? How does a ministerial pay increase contribute? I am sure the Deputy will be delighted that she, too, can now afford a little luxury by way of a bottle of wine at the weekend, with a salary increase on the cards for Deputies as well. It is insulting to suggest that the low-paid and those on welfare, whom this Bill targets, have not paid their way. Do Government Deputies even bother to read their e-mails or talk to people in their constituencies?

In case Deputy Catherine Byrne is oblivious to how her voting record in this Dáil has forced those on low pay or welfare to contribute to their civic responsibility more than any other sector of society, here are some statistics to help her understand. They were compiled by Dr. Rory Hearne and published at the weekend. The eight austerity budgets between 2008 and 2014 involved €18.5 billion in cuts to public spending. Public service staff numbers have been reduced by 37,500, or 10%. The health budget has seen a 27% cut, with an 81% increase in the number of patients on trolleys in hospital waiting rooms. Funding for local authority housing was cut from €1.3 billion in 2007 to just €83 million in 2013. There were cuts to lone parent payments, which happened last week, as well as to child benefit and fuel allowance, the back-to-school clothing and footwear allowance, rent supplement, and disability and carer's allowances. There have been extra charges for households, including water, property, school transport, prescription and third level fees, on top of an increase in living costs.

There has been a 50% cut to community, youth and rural development schemes. The obvious result has been hundreds of thousands of families pushed into poverty. Food poverty in Ireland affects 600,000 people. Are these the people that Deputy Byrne believes are filling their trolleys with drink? I hope the Deputy realises how much hurt her comments have caused to hundreds of thousands of struggling people who have more than paid off their civic responsibility. This Bill aims to bleed such people dry for the benefit of Irish Water in cases where there may be some unpaid debt. The points raised by Deputy Byrne raise serious questions about the mindset of this Government. I suggest that her insulting remarks expose a deeper problem, which is the Government's belief that it has the power to dictate to people in this State how they should live their lives and what they can and cannot afford. This is indicative of the Government's mindset on the very purpose of this Bill. The Government appears to believe it is acceptable to draft legislation to dictate to people how much money should be deducted from their hard-earned wages and how that money should be spent. This is not how democracy works. It is certainly not the right way for the Government to deal with its water charge failures.

Sinn Féin will submit amendments to this Bill on Committee Stage. We will not support the Bill as it is. It must be amended to delete all sections which advocate a flawed approach to the recovery of debt. An adversarial approach is not the way forward. The only section of merit in the entire Bill is that providing for the abolition of the imprisonment of debtors, which is a sensible proposal. The rest of the Bill misses the bigger picture. It is unnecessary and ruthless to allow companies, including Irish Water, to use bully tactics to recover debt in this way. It is not the direction that legal resolutions are heading in. For the most part, the courts are heading down a path of mediation and dispute resolution. To allow creditors to use the courts as a first option, as this Bill does, undermines the direction the courts are taking. It is not an acceptable way for the Government to deal with the problem it will face in trying to enforce the unjust and unfair water tax that has been imposed on our people.

This Bill serves as further proof of the Government's tendency to legislate in favour of the well-off and against the interests of citizens. Under the Haddington Road agreement, the Minister, Deputy Howlin, and this Government have agreed that former Ministers and taoisigh will get significant increases in their five-figure and six-figure pensions, which are already substantial. Citizens are understandably outraged. Léargas eile is ea é seo ar an gcaoi ina bhfuil dlí amháin ann do dhaoine saibhre agus dlí eile do dhaoine eile. This Government has imposed four years of austerity. Citizens face a range of new bills for water charges, property taxes and septic tank charges. VAT bills have increased and there has been a general increase in consumption taxes. There has also been forced emigration.

This Government has deliberately planned for a low wage economy. It is responsible for the worst trolley figures in our hospitals for more than 12 years, with 333 citizens on trolleys across the State today, including 35 at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, which is in my constituency. There has been a general rundown in public services. The number of children living in poverty has doubled. It is estimated that 12,000 lone parent families, including many in my constituency, are facing significant cuts of up to €86 per week as a result of a decision taken by Labour Party and Fine Gael Deputies last week. We learned yesterday that Dublin City Council is facing an €18.5 million shortfall as it seeks to tackle the growing homeless problem in the city and will run out of money in October. Some 67 families were made homeless in Dublin in May. A further 65 families were made homeless in June. Ciallaíonn na staitisticí seo go bhfuil breis is 1,000 páiste gan dídean.

The Government is adding to its litany of bad decisions and misery today by guillotining the debate on the Civil Debt (Procedures) Bill 2015 in this House. This regressive legislation targets the low-paid by enabling applications to be made for attachment orders that will allow money to be taken out of wages, welfare payments and pensions to pay for water charges, credit debts and other utility bills. When the Minister of State, Deputy Ó Ríordáin, joined the Labour Party in his first flush of idealism, thereby signing up to the great historic party of James Connolly, I wonder whether he thought he would be sitting in this Chamber to shepherd through such a Bill. This is a reactionary Government's reactionary response to the popular outrage at the imposition of water charges. No similar legislation has been introduced in response to corruption, white-collar crime or the despicable behaviour of the insiders in the golden circle, about which we hear every day.

As a result of this Bill, families struggling to make ends meet will have their incomes reduced further. This law and the stigma attached to it will become another hurdle for people who are seeking work. It is a bad Bill for businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, which will be tasked with implementing it. In effect, the Government is forcing employers to become debt collectors and debt payees for the State, just as it did with landlords. It is also forcing them to become involved with the courts. This legislation will empower the courts to make an order directing an employer to deduct certain specified amounts from the debtor's earnings and to pay the sums deducted in the manner specified to the creditor. Some 70% of workers outside the public sector are employed by small and medium-sized enterprises, which are now facing an additional bureaucratic and expensive administrative burden.

The Minister, Deputy Fitzgerald, said on Friday that the Bill "will not be directed at those who cannot pay but rather at those who can pay but choose not to", but she knows it will be used against people in debt who cannot pay. Everybody knows that. If one owes money for gas, electricity, Christmas presents, a communion dress, a washing machine or beds or other furniture, all of one's creditors will be able to take one to court and seek to have money taken from one's welfare, pensions or wages. Deputy Catherine Byrne has argued that this is an entirely appropriate way to deal with people who spend all their money on drink and cigarettes. The Civil Debt (Procedures) Bill 2015 is essentially another bill for desperate families and citizens to pay. I thought of concluding by saying the Labour Party should be ashamed of endorsing this Bill, but that would be a waste of time. Last week, it voted to take money from the pockets and purses of thousands of lone parents.

As I said at the outset, former Ministers and taoisigh will gain more than the low-paid under the Haddington Road agreement. This means that Ministers, including those who are bringing through this Bill, will get more out of the Haddington Road agreement than low-paid workers who will have this legislation used against them. Tá siad agus an Rialtas gan náire. Iarraim ar Theachtaí Dála gan tacaíocht a thabhairt don Bhille seo.

The Minister of State, Deputy Ó Ríordáin, has approximately one and a half minutes. I do not have any choice because the Dáil has ordered that this debate must conclude at 6.30 p.m.

I appreciate that, a Cheann Comhairle. On behalf of the Minister for Justice and Equality, I thank Deputies for their contributions to the debate on this legislation. I might use the time available to me to remind the House of the main features of the Bill. It will abolish imprisonment for non-payment of debt and provide for two new District Court measures for the recovery of modest debts. These fair and balanced measures will ensure the ability of debtor to pay the debt is considered as a key element of the court process. The Bill will ensure that debtors are not subject to attachment or deduction orders which will bring their income levels below a reasonable standard.

It is interesting that the contributions of many Opposition Deputies concentrated on matters which are not related to the Bill itself. Some Deputies made comments that suggest they would prefer if people broke the law rather than meeting their commitments. I remind the House that this Bill applies to a wide range of creditors and not just to Irish Water. I would need more than another minute to do justice to the script that has been prepared for me.

It is a basic part of democracy to support citizens who pay their way and to make legislative options available for citizens who are owed money by giving them the legislative supports for its recovery. The Civil Debt (Procedures) Bill is a balanced measure which provides creditors with improved enforcement mechanisms in respect of modest debts, but also provides strong safeguards for debtors.

Question put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 70; Níl, 43.

  • Bannon, James.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Butler, Ray.
  • Buttimer, Jerry.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Coffey, Paudie.
  • Conaghan, Michael.
  • Connaughton, Paul J.
  • Conway, Ciara.
  • Coonan, Noel.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Costello, Joe.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deenihan, Jimmy.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Dowds, Robert.
  • Doyle, Andrew.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Feighan, Frank.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Gilmore, Eamon.
  • Hannigan, Dominic.
  • Harrington, Noel.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Hayes, Tom.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Humphreys, Kevin.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kenny, Seán.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lawlor, Anthony.
  • Lynch, Ciarán.
  • McCarthy, Michael.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McFadden, Gabrielle.
  • McGinley, Dinny.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • McNamara, Michael.
  • Mitchell, Olivia.
  • Mulherin, Michelle.
  • Murphy, Dara.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Nash, Gerald.
  • Neville, Dan.
  • Nolan, Derek.
  • Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán.
  • O'Donnell, Kieran.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Mahony, John.
  • O'Reilly, Joe.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • Perry, John.
  • Phelan, Ann.
  • Reilly, James.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Shatter, Alan.
  • Stagg, Emmet.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Tuffy, Joanna.
  • Varadkar, Leo.
  • Wall, Jack.
  • White, Alex.


  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Browne, John.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Colreavy, Michael.
  • Daly, Clare.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Fleming, Tom.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Kirk, Seamus.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McDonald, Mary Lou.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McLellan, Sandra.
  • Martin, Micheál.
  • Mathews, Peter.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Ó Fearghaíl, Seán.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Wallace, Mick.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Emmet Stagg and Paul Kehoe; Níl, Deputies Pádraig Mac Lochlainn and Seán Ó Fearghaíl.
Question declared carried.