Order of Business

My God, we will miss them. They left very fast.

We have not gone away, you know.

They actually have. They went out the door. They have gone away.

Many of the Tánaiste's party have left as well.

They have gone. Deputy McGrath should go to Specsavers.

They left.

It is proposed to take No. 44, Civil Debt (Procedures) Bill 2015 - Report and Final Stages (resumed); No. 1a, Industrial Relations (Amendment) Bill 2015 - Amendments from the Seanad; No. 1b, Teaching Council (Amendment) Bill 2015 - Amendments from the Seanad; No. 16, motion re Appointment of a Member of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (back from committee); No. 7, Harbours Bill 2015 - Order for Second Stage and Second Stage, to adjourn at 5.50 p.m. today, if not previously concluded.

It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that the Dáil shall sit later than 5.30 p.m. tonight and shall adjourn on the conclusion of Topical Issues, which shall take place not later than 5.50 p.m.; the resumed Report and Final Stages of No. 44 shall be taken today and the proceedings thereon shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 1.30 p.m. by one question which shall be put from the Chair and which shall, in regard to amendments, include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for Justice and Equality; the proceedings on No. 1a shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 2.30 p.m. and any amendments from the Seanad not disposed of shall be decided by one question, which shall be put from the Chair and which shall, in relation to amendments to the Seanad amendments, include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation; the proceedings on No. 1b shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 4.30 p.m. and any amendments from the Seanad not disposed of shall be decided by one question, which shall be put from the Chair and which shall, in relation to amendments to the Seanad amendments, include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for Education and Skills; the proceedings in relation to No. 16 shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion after 20 minutes and the following arrangements shall apply: the speech of a Minister or Minister of State and of the main spokespersons for Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and the Technical Group, who shall be called upon in that order, shall not exceed five minutes in each case; and the Dáil on its rising today shall adjourn until Tuesday, 22 September 2015 at 2 p.m.

There are six proposals to be put to the House today. Is the proposal for dealing with the late sitting agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 44, Report and Final Stages of the Civil Debt (Procedures) Bill 2015, agreed to?

It is not agreed. When the Government came to power, it promised a democratic revolution. We have just sat through 50 minutes of what could only be described as verbal diarrhoea in which the Tánaiste refused to answer very basic questions.

The Deputy should be ashamed of himself.

(Interruptions).

Deputy Durkan is now going to add to that.

The Deputy has a lot to learn.

Deputy Troy has the floor.

Once again, we have heard another broken promise.

The Government was going to abolish the guillotining of legislation, yet a very important Bill, which was debated this morning and on which there were numerous divisions called, is to be guillotined. The only way the Government feels it can get it through is by introducing a guillotine. It is wrong that the Government has broken a promise it made. For that reason, we oppose the guillotining of this Bill.

We oppose the guillotining of important legislation but there is something especially cynical about guillotining this Bill, which has been rushed from start to finish. In its haste to get these matters through, the Government got the justice committee to sit last Friday, which was most unusual. It has allowed an hour or an hour and a half to scrutinise legislation that proposes attachment orders, court proceedings and the facility for the State to pickpocket people's wages, social welfare and pensions in respect of utility bills, but particularly in respect of water charges. That is what this is all about and everybody knows it. It is part of the last-ditch attempt to enforce a tax and a charge that has been comprehensively discredited and rejected. The Government's move today, as with last week, to ram it through is despicable and cynical. It is yet another attempt to frighten into paying what is an unjust and unfair tax those who struggle and for whom the Tánaiste once cared, or so she said. The cynicism of this, quite apart from the verbal diarrhoea or verbal constipation - one can take one's pick on that score - is stunning. It is sneaky and bad parliamentary practice, but it is much more than that. It is recognised outside this Chamber for exactly what it is: yet another episode in the Government's attempt to strong-arm people into coughing up a tax that is unfair, unjust and, for many families, unpayable.

On behalf of the Anti-Austerity Alliance and Socialist Party, I object to the guillotining of vital Bills, particularly the Civil Debt (Procedures) Bill. Yesterday, the deputy leader of the Labour Party told the nation on Sean O'Rourke's radio programme that he was beyond satisfied with the payment levels and that there were enforcement mechanisms being considered in the Dáil that would sort it all out. Now we have found out that after this discussion ends, we will have approximately 20 minutes in which to discuss the legislation. This is incredible. In this Dáil session, the pattern has been one of democracy being completely upended and of the Government failing even to bother taking any note of the institutions it set up itself. Last night, for example, the Seanad overturned the Tánaiste's proposal to the cut lone parents' benefits. What has she to say about that? She has not opened her mouth about it. I voted to abolish the Seanad because I believe it is a waste of space and its Members are unelected, but the people spoke. I have not heard a peep out of the Tánaiste about what happened in the Seanad last night. We are to finish today at 6.30 p.m. although this issue has not even been addressed. When are we going to discuss it and the Civil Debt (Procedures) Bill?

The Tánaiste advertised on social media using the phrase "Ask Joan". However, when anyone ever asks her anything in here, she waffles on and ignores it. "Ask Joan" is right. She never answers any questions and makes no time for the key issues. This will increase the cynicism of people about politics. The Tánaiste is ignoring the fact that she has no mandate on water charges. She got her answer yesterday and I predict the rate of non-payment will increase now as others gain confidence.

On the issue of lone parents, there is lasting bitterness for which the Tánaiste will pay the price.

We are on the proposal on the Civil Debt (Procedures) Bill.

The Tánaiste has turned a deaf ear throughout this session to the escalating housing crisis, particularly in her constituency, which has the youngest population and the highest number of renters. She is not doing anything about it.

That is a different issue. I call the Tánaiste on the proposal on the Civil Debt (Procedures) Bill.

It sounds from the contributions of some people that they probably need a little bit of a rest from this House.

A lot of Members on the other side will get a permanent rest when they go to the country.

We certainly do.

However, if anybody should want to stay here throughout August, I will be happy to have the Fianna Fáil Members come in and we will sit here, if necessary. I presume that is what Fianna Fáil might support. I am happy to stay here right through the summer period. However, I will be working next week and the week after to get people in my constituency and every other constituency back to work-----

It is a race against time.

-----and get young people into apprenticeships and put more money into people's pockets.

What about JobBridge?

This legislation is about taking money out of their pockets.

We are reforming and reducing the universal social charge and other taxes so people can have a higher standard of living. It seems that the Deputies opposite do not want people to do better or to go back to work. We do, however. Our mandate is to put more money into people's pockets and increase their standard of living.

That is why we are saying they should not pay the water charges-----

An aspect of achieving a better standard of living involves improving water supplies and sewerage infrastructure.

This legislation implements the report of the Law Reform Commission and, among other things, ends the practice of imprisoning people for ordinary debt, a practice that dates from Dickensian times. I am happy that in a reforming Dáil like this, we are bringing such a practice to an end.

Pick a pocket or two.

For that reason, I commend the reform-----

Twenty minutes left.

-----and all the other reforms that the Government has made in this session of the Dáil.

1 o'clock
Question put: "That the proposal for dealing with No. 44 be agreed to."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 65; Níl, 35.

  • Bannon, James.
  • Barry, Tom.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Butler, Ray.
  • Buttimer, Jerry.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Byrne, Eric.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Coffey, Paudie.
  • Conaghan, Michael.
  • Connaughton, Paul J.
  • Coonan, Noel.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Costello, Joe.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deenihan, Jimmy.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Dowds, Robert.
  • Doyle, Andrew.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Feighan, Frank.
  • Ferris, Anne.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Gilmore, Eamon.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harrington, Noel.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Humphreys, Kevin.
  • Keating, Derek.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kenny, Seán.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lawlor, Anthony.
  • Lynch, Kathleen.
  • Lyons, John.
  • McFadden, Gabrielle.
  • McGinley, Dinny.
  • McNamara, Michael.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Mulherin, Michelle.
  • Murphy, Dara.
  • Neville, Dan.
  • Nolan, Derek.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Mahony, John.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • Penrose, Willie.
  • Perry, John.
  • Quinn, Ruairí.
  • Rabbitte, Pat.
  • Reilly, James.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Stagg, Emmet.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Tuffy, Joanna.
  • Twomey, Liam.
  • Varadkar, Leo.
  • Wall, Jack.
  • White, Alex.

Níl

  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Colreavy, Michael.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Creighton, Lucinda.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Flanagan, Terence.
  • Fleming, Tom.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McDonald, Mary Lou.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McLellan, Sandra.
  • Martin, Micheál.
  • Mathews, Peter.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Fearghaíl, Seán.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Troy, Robert.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Joe Carey and Emmet Stagg; Níl, Deputies Mary Lou McDonald and Pádraig Mac Lochlainn.
Question declared carried.

Is the proposal for dealing with No. 1a, Industrial Relations (Amendment) Bill - Amendments from the Seanad, agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 1b, Teaching Council (Amendment) Bill 2015 - Amendments from the Seanad, agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 16, motion re appointment of a member of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal that the Dáil, on its rising today, shall adjourn until 2 p.m. on Tuesday, 22 September 2015, agreed to? Agreed.

Members who wish to have conversations should conduct them outside the Chamber.