Civil Debt (Procedures) Bill 2015: Report Stage

Amendment No. 1 has been ruled out of order.

Amendment No. 1 not moved.

Before I came in here, I was informed that our amendments have been ruled out of order. I have no explanation as to why this is the case and I am seeking clarification because I was in attendance on Committee Stage last Friday.

Therefore, we had clearly indicated that these amendments would be submitted on Report Stage. I do not understand, therefore, why they are being ruled out of order.

I will read the notice for the information of the Chair on amendments which have been ruled out of order. Amendments Nos. 1, 3, 13, 15 to 18, inclusive, 23, 27, 58, 62, 64, 69 and 71 in the name of Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn; amendments Nos. 28, 29, 34, 36, 38, 41, 42, 52 and 54 in the names of Deputies Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, Ruth Coppinger, Paul Murphy and Joe Higgins; amendments Nos. 44, 49 and 51 in the names of Deputies Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, Ruth Coppinger, Paul Murphy, Joe Higgins, Clare Daly and Mick Wallace propose to delete all sections from the Bill, apart from section 26 which amends the Debtor Act (Ireland)1872, to remove references to the imprisonment of debtors for non-payment of debt and to amend the Long Title, accordingly. The amendments form a composite proposal which negates two of the central planks of the Bill and must, therefore, be ruled out of order on the basis that they are in conflict with the principle of the Bill as read a Second Time, in accordance with Standing Order 131.

Each individual amendment seeks to delete a particular part of the Bill. The amendments stand independently; they do not form a composite proposal. The Bill would still stand with its main purposes in accepting any one of the amendments. That all Sinn Féin and Anti-Austerity Alliance amendments have been ruled out of order is a little incredible in dealing with a matter that is the subject of significant debate.

That is the information given to the Chair and I must rule accordingly.

As I have only been a Member of the House for four years, I will defer to the Acting Chairman's greater service. However, I find this to be an extraordinary decision by the Bills Office. To be made aware five minutes before we take Report Stage after we have prepared for the debate that the amendments have been ruled out of order is incredible. I will seek further clarification other than the information that has been given. It seems to be an arbitrary decision.

We can provide that information for the Deputy. We will proceed the debate. As amendment No. 2 is consequential on amendment No. 70, they will be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 2:

In page 5, line 8, after “1872” to insert “and section 6 of the Enforcement of Court Orders Act 1940”.

Amendment agreed to.
Amendment No. 3 not moved.

Amendments Nos. 4, 5, 7, 8, 14, 39, 43, 47 and 55 are technical and will be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 4:

In page 5, between lines 24 and 25, to insert the following:

“ “credit” has the meaning it has in section 2(1) of the Consumer Credit Act 1995;”.

The amendments are required to improve the final draft of the Bill. The main amendment is the refinement of the definition of "debt" and the new definition of "credit". It is important that the meaning of these terms is made clear in the Bill. They give effect to the decision to exclude from the scope of the Bill consumer debts owed to financial institutions or licensed moneylenders and arising from loans. All of these debts are excluded from the scope of the Bill. The reason for the exclusion is that these debts are different in nature from other civil debts. There are other mechanisms available to deal with them.

The other amendments are required to further improve the drafting of the Bill. Like most Bills, it is part of the drafting process, from which quite a few technical amendments follow on.

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 56; Níl, 30.

  • Bannon, James.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Butler, Ray.
  • Buttimer, Jerry.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Byrne, Eric.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Coffey, Paudie.
  • Conaghan, Michael.
  • Connaughton, Paul J.
  • Coonan, Noel.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deenihan, Jimmy.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Dowds, Robert.
  • Doyle, Andrew.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Feighan, Frank.
  • Ferris, Anne.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Gilmore, Eamon.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harrington, Noel.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Seán.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lynch, Kathleen.
  • McCarthy, Michael.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McFadden, Gabrielle.
  • McGinley, Dinny.
  • McNamara, Michael.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Mulherin, Michelle.
  • Murphy, Dara.
  • Neville, Dan.
  • Nolan, Derek.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Mahony, John.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • Phelan, Ann.
  • Quinn, Ruairí.
  • Rabbitte, Pat.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Spring, Arthur.
  • Stagg, Emmet.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Tuffy, Joanna.
  • Twomey, Liam.
  • Wall, Jack.
  • Walsh, Brian.
  • White, Alex.

Níl

  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Colreavy, Michael.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Creighton, Lucinda.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Flanagan, Terence.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Kitt, Michael P.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McDonald, Mary Lou.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McLellan, Sandra.
  • Martin, Micheál.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Timmins, Billy.
  • Wallace, Mick.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Emmet Stagg and Joe Carey; Níl, Deputies Niall Collins and Pádraig Mac Lochlainn.
Amendment declared carried.
Debate adjourned.