Order of Business

It is proposed to take No. 41, Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Bill 2013 - Report Stage (resumed) and Final Stage; No. 7, Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Bill 2015 - Second Stage (resumed); and No. 8, Electoral (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2015 - Order for Second Stage and Second Stage.

It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that in the event a division is in progress at the time fixed for taking Private Members’ business, the Dáil shall sit later than 9 p.m. and shall adjourn on the conclusion of Private Members’ business, which shall be No. 210, motion re sale of Project Eagle (resumed), and shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion after 90 minutes.

Tomorrow’s business after Oral Questions shall be No. 9, Finance (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2015 - Order for Second Stage and Second Stage; No. 7, Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Bill 2015 - Second Stage (resumed); No. 8, Electoral (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2015 - Second Stage; and No. 42, Criminal Justice (Burglary of Dwellings) Bill 2015 - Second Stage (resumed).

There is one proposal to be put to the House. Is the proposal for dealing with the late sitting agreed to? Agreed.

The Dáil sat for only five days in September and is due to sit for ten days in October. On yesterday's Order of Business, the Taoiseach listed a raft of legislation that is required. Maybe he was contemplating a run to the country in November, and hence the diary might have been cleared.

Somebody on the Deputy's side might have been contemplating it.

A large number of Deputies want to speak. Would you please put your point on promised legislation?

Of course. This relates to the order of the House. Will the Taoiseach allow time for a debate on the report on paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland? I accept the report of the PSNI and MI5. I am not clear whether Sinn Féin has accepted it or whether there is complete denial.

Does the Deputy accept everything MI5 says? That is his problem.

The Deputy's organisation would know much more about MI5 than I would. Many of his party members had a lot of collusion with them. I will take none of that nonsense.

Nearly three minutes are gone and it is very unfair to other Deputies who want to ask a question on the Order of Business.

It is important to have a debate to allow all political parties to put on the record their position on the report and the report of the Garda Commissioner.

Within days of the budget, the Minister, Deputy Reilly, clarified that not all children will receive a second year of free preschool education as a result of budget 2016. Deputies will recall that the Minister, Deputy Howlin, had said he would provide a second year of free preschool education, in effect. All that is being provided is an additional 23 weeks, on average. The budget increase is just €40 million, or 24% of the current provision.

We are not talking about the budget. I ask the Deputy to recognise the other Members here.

I want to know when the child care (amendment) Bill will be brought before the House. It seems that we have to decode the budget statements of the Minister, Deputy Howlin, in order to get any clarity.

My third point relates to the care of older people in community care. Five years ago, the programme for Government contained a clear commitment that "additional funding will be provided each year for the care of older people". When one examines this Government's budgets, one finds that it has not fulfilled that promise. Funding for older people's services was reduced in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

The Deputy has spoken for four minutes without asking about legislation.

I have asked about legislation. There were social care plan reductions in 2014. Contrary to the commitment made in the programme for Government, additional funding has not been provided each year for older people's services. In fact, there have been reductions. When will the programme for Government be implemented?

The answer to the Deputy's first question is "Yes". I have already given an instruction to the Whip. We will have a debate on both reports the week after next when the Dáil comes back. The child care Bill mentioned by the Deputy was published yesterday as a Seanad Bill. The Minister will be in the Seanad today or tomorrow to deal with that. Obviously, a range of opportunities in respect of older people was referred to in the budget. I will come back to Deputy Martin on the specific question he raised.

Can I ask the Taoiseach about two Bills that are proposed? I am aware that the heads of a Bill that would require the publication on menus of details of calories were agreed last February. Obviously, this legislation will have profound effects on health and on obesity. When will it be published? We have consistently raised the second Bill, which will reform and consolidate our domestic violence legislation. As the Taoiseach is aware, some 39 states have signed up to the Istanbul Convention to date. We have to pass legislation so that Ireland can sign up to it. There has been an ongoing delay in bringing that Bill before the House. Can the Taoiseach give us a timeframe for when we might get it?

The heads of the domestic violence Bill were cleared in July. It is scheduled for publication in early 2016. Work is ongoing on the Bill in respect of calorie quantities on menus. I will advise Deputy O'Brien of the progress that is being made in that regard. It is not due for publication in this session.

People who are out on bail are committing 33 burglaries a week. In 2006, the current Taoiseach called for the electronic tagging of people who are on bail and this was provided for in section 11 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007. There are 50 electronic tags gathering dust in a cardboard box at the moment.

That is grand, but the Deputy should ask a question.

This is costing the taxpayer €140,000 a year. A ministerial order from the Minister for Justice and Equality is required to bring section 11 of the 2007 Act into force. When will that be forthcoming? When will we start to tag criminals who are out on bail to prevent them from trying to burglarise and terrorise the country?

The Criminal Justice (Burglary of Dwellings) Bill 2015 is due to be debated on Second Stage tomorrow. The Minister has referred to this on a number of occasions. There are conditions and circumstances that apply in respect of electronic tagging, as the Deputy is well aware. He will have an opportunity to articulate what he has just said when the Bill is introduced by the Minister tomorrow. It is more than likely that the Minister will deal with the question of section 11 when she responds to the debate.

I asked about the 2007 Act.

Can we expect a decision on rent certainty, which has been the subject of long-standing discussions, to be made as a matter of urgency? Will legislation be introduced? When will an announcement be made? Is the Taoiseach aware that the vast bulk of the 79 families who became homeless the month before last were evicted by landlords after massive rent increases were imposed? Can we expect urgent action and legislation on rent certainty in the coming days?

I dealt at length with the question of rent yesterday and the day before. We do not want to do something that is going to make the situation worse.

Eighty families have been evicted.

I can confirm that the Ministers for the Environment, Community and Local Government and Finance, and their respective Departments, are working on a package of measures that we hope will deal with a number of these problems. The shortage of supply of houses in the first place is central to the problems in question.

There was a very historic occasion last night when the Marriage Bill 2015 was passed by the Seanad. The Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2013 has passed all Stages in the Seanad. When will it be taken in the Dáil? Section 37 of the Employment Equality Act 1998 needs to be amended as soon as possible because it is having major implications for teachers and nurses, in particular.

As the Deputy has pointed out, it has gone through the Seanad and is awaiting Second Stage here in the Dáil. It is a matter for the Whips to agree on the schedule of business. There is no objection to it being taken, obviously.

Following the recent tragic deaths in Carrickmines and the subsequent reaction of residents in blocking the resettlement of displaced families, could the Taoiseach organise a debate on discrimination against the Traveller community so that we can speak about the rights and ethnicity of that community and the blatant bigotry that exists in our society?

It might be a matter for a Whips' meeting.

When Deputy Adams raised this matter the other day, I made the point that arrangements have already been made for the responsible Ministers to meet and discuss this matter as an agenda item at a future meeting of the joint North-South ministerial bodies. On the specific question raised by Deputy Ellis, clearly there is a question of trust here between the residents and the council. Trust needs to be demonstrated and achieved inside a specific timeframe. It is a case of discussion and negotiation so that trust can be built between both communities.

We need to educate our citizens if we are to combat obesity, which is a serious problem in our country.

I ask the Deputy to cut out the speeches and get to the legislation.

We could provide some assistance in this regard by providing for mandatory calorie labelling in restaurants, takeaways and premises selling foods that are not pre-packaged. When can we expect the health and well-being (workplace well-being) Bill to be published?

Deputy O'Brien has raised this question already. The Bill in question is being worked on. I will give Deputy Fitzpatrick an update on the work that is under way to determine when the number of calories will be mentioned on menus so that those who have an opportunity to go into such facilities can know all about it.

People are waiting three years for cataract operations and two to three years for hip operations. People are afraid to go into accident and emergency departments because of the dreadful length of time they have to wait.

People are not afraid to go into accident and emergency departments.

CAT scans are taking between six and 12 months.

The Deputy should hang on a second.

I am asking about the health reform Bill. I wish to inform the Taoiseach that his new Minister for Health is failing dismally in his role.

What is the question?

When is the health reform Bill due?

I do not have a date for that. I will advise the Deputy on the stage of progress being made with it.

The Irish tyre wholesalers and retailers have to attend the Dáil today to brief Members of the Oireachtas-----

That is very interesting. Maybe the Deputy can have a chat with them afterwards.

-----because the Minister, Deputy Kelly, is setting up another quango - a monopoly - at a cost of €75 million.

The Deputy does not seem to have heard me. This is about promised legislation.

The Ceann Comhairle will know about this when he goes to get his tyres changed.

The Deputy does not need to worry about my tyres

When he goes in for a set of tyres, it will add at least €14 to the cost.

Will the Deputy stop messing or I will not call him again?

I am not messing.

Many other Deputies are waiting to speak.

Deputy Mattie McGrath should be fair.

I am saying that the Taoiseach should stand up to the Minister, Deputy Kelly, regarding this quango.

I ask the Deputy to sit down.

The Minister, Deputy Noonan, has stood up to him already. Maybe the Taoiseach should do likewise.

Deputy Mattie McGrath ran away when he was in government.

I did not run away.

I call Deputy Mathews.

Can I get an answer?

No. I suggest the Deputy should put down a parliamentary question. This is about promised legislation.

Deputy Mattie McGrath could not take the heat at all.

Deputy Buttimer is wrong.

When the Minister for Justice and Equality replied to a question asked by Senator Bacik in March of this year, she said she would have the Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Bill 2012 enacted before the summer of 2015. It has been on Committee Stage since March 2013. When can we expect Report and Final Stages to be taken?

That is expected very shortly. I will advise the Deputy on the matter.

Last week, I asked the Taoiseach about a new statutory instrument that has to be introduced by the Department of Justice and Equality to enable local authorities to deal with tenants who engage in anti-social behaviour. I was to be advised of when this statutory instrument might be introduced. I would also like to ask about the legislation that has been mooted or promised to reduce the bankruptcy term from three years to one year.

Will that legislation be published before the Taoiseach takes a trip to the park?

Deputy Troy raised this issue on a previous occasion and we have communicated with the Department of Justice and Equality but have not received a definite reply regarding the date for the statutory instrument. However, I will follow the matter up for the Deputy. I believe the legislation relating to a reduction of the insolvency period from three years to one year is due very soon, but I will advise Deputy Troy on it.

In light of the previous debate on the publication of the Garda and PSNI and MI5 reports, which have profound implications for the rule of law and for democracy, I ask the Taoiseach to make substantial time available for a debate in this House on these matters.

Yes. I have already answered this question. The debate will take place on Tuesday, 3 November.

Just over a year ago, a very important Bill, the Competition and Consumer Protection Bill, passed all Stages in the Houses. We have been waiting for quite a while for the relevant regulations to be introduced. Can the Taoiseach indicate when we can expect those regulations?

I cannot advise Deputy Deering of the current state of play on that, but I will revert to him on it.

Deputy Penrose introduced a Bill relating to bankruptcy, which proposes to reduce the term from three years to 12 months. There are families all over the country who are currently negotiating with banks, as well as many individuals and small businesses who are trying to deal with creditors and banks. I urge the Taoiseach to ensure that this Bill comes before the House before Christmas if at all possible. We need to have a debate in the House on the Bill and to make amendments to it to improve it for everyone concerned. I ask the Taoiseach to indicate when we can expect to deal with this legislation.

It is an important consideration for some people, but not for everyone. We must enact the FEMPI legislation, the Finance Bill and the Social Welfare Bill. We also want to deal with the Garda Síochána (Policing Authority and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, the Legal Services Regulation Bill and other Bills that have been mentioned, which are working their way through the system. There is a finite amount of time available before the House rises for the Christmas recess, but I will see if we can fit that legislation into the schedule too.

Deputy Conway raised the issue of section 37 of the Employment Equality Act, and it is important that we set a date for dealing with that matter. This House has already passed the Marriage Equality Bill following a vote of the people, as well as the Gender Recognition Bill. However, one of the pieces that is still missing is amending the Employment Equality Act to give certainty to people who are employed in the public service, particularly in education. Before the Taoiseach dissolves this Dáil, we should deal with this legislation.

It is for the Whips to agree on when this can be dealt with in the House. The legislation is awaiting Second Stage.

There has been much discussion recently on the issue of criminality and how to deal with it. I note that there is a growing reliance on the tagging of criminals while they are on bail, but the best way to deal with such criminals is not to grant them bail in the first place. There would be no need to tag them if they were not out on bail. I ask the Taoiseach to bear this in mind in the preparation of legislation in the remaining six months of the life of this Dáil. This should be a priority and I would strongly urge that it be taken on board.

What is the current position of both the mediation Bill and the apprenticeship Bill, and what is the likelihood of their emerging in the shortest possible time and coming before the House before the end of this Dáil?

The mediation Bill is due early next year. Discussions are ongoing about certain elements of the apprenticeship Bill and have not yet concluded. As I have said already, the Second Stage debate on the Criminal Justice (Burglary of Dwellings) Bill is scheduled to begin tomorrow. Work is well under way on the broader issue of bail, but Deputy Durkan is free to make the point he has just made in his own articulate way when he gets a chance to speak during the debate tomorrow.

What is the position regarding the disability/equality (miscellaneous provisions) Bill?

That is due next year.

I ask the Taoiseach to advise whether the details of the promised tenant purchase scheme have been published or agreed yet.

That is due at the end of this month. I will advise the Deputy more accurately in due course.

In 2014, the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government engaged in public consultation on draft revisions to the wind energy development guidelines, to which there were a large number of submissions from the public. We have been given to believe in recent times that there is a dispute between the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Deputy Kelly, and the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Deputy White, about the finalisation of those guidelines. Their finalisation is eagerly awaited in many communities, particularly those where there are current planning applications for the development of wind farms. When will the issue between the two Ministers be resolved, and can communities look forward to the Government coming out on their side in terms of the guidelines that will be published?

I can confirm that there is no dispute, merely a bit of energy in the conversation. The guidelines are not concluded yet. I know this is a matter of serious interest to companies and ordinary people in particular areas of the country. The process is not yet concluded.

When can we expect the landlord and tenant law reform Bill, given the need to reform and consolidate the laws governing the relationships between landlords and tenants? Will it be possible to make some improvements to the Private Residential Tenancies Board, PRTB, as part of that legislation? It is not working as effectively as it could.

Do we have a date for the start of the Horse Racing Ireland (Amendment) Bill, which proposes to change the structures of Horse Racing Ireland and its board, as well as some other much-needed changes?

Second Stage of the Horse Racing Ireland (Amendment) Bill will be taken in the next couple of weeks. The landlord and tenant law reform Bill will be taken early next year.

It is agreed that there is a need for a family court structure around the country. In that context, when is the family court Bill due before the House?

That will be dealt with next year.

When will the gambling control Bill be published? Concern is growing about the need to reform the existing legislation to address the proliferation of opportunities for online gambling.

I do not have any great news on that legislation other than that it is due next year. It is complicated.

I am sorry for the delay-----

The Deputy must get to his feet.

I am sorry. I am also sorry for the mistiming of this question, but I wish to underscore the questions posed by Deputies Spring and Troy earlier. I received a letter from a firm of solicitors-----

Hold on a second. We are not going down that road. We are discussing promised legislation now.

Indeed, on the one-year bankruptcy issue, a suicide could have been avoided if that had been in place. I am just letting the Taoiseach know that I received a letter to that effect from a firm of solicitors in Westport, which is not even in my constituency.