An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

I ask Deputies to control themselves. I call Deputy Mattie McGrath to announce the Order of Business for the week ahead.

Today's Government business shall be No. 17, motion re title of physical therapists, back from committee; No. 18, motion re EU agreement with Kazakhstan, back from committee; No. 1, Data Sharing and Governance Bill 2018 [Seanad] - Second Stage; and No. 33, Public Service Superannuation (Age of Retirement) Bill 2018 [Seanad] - Second Stage (resumed). Private Members' business shall be No. 207, motion re water services, selected by the Rural Independent Group.

Wednesday's Government business shall be No. 34, Home Building Finance Ireland Bill 2018 - Report Stage (resumed) and Final Stage; No. 2, Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2018, amendments from the Seanad; No. 35, Children’s Health Bill 2018 [Seanad] - Order for Report, and Report and Final Stages; No. 1, Data Sharing and Governance Bill 2018 [Seanad] - Second Stage (resumed); and No. 33, Public Service Superannuation (Age of Retirement) Bill 2018 [Seanad] - Second Stage (resumed). Private Members' business shall be No. 208, motion re apprenticeships, selected by Fianna Fáil.

Thursday's Government business shall be No. 1, Data Sharing and Governance Bill 2018 [Seanad] - Second Stage (resumed); No. 33, Public Service Superannuation (Age of Retirement) Bill 2018 [Seanad] - Second Stage (resumed); and No. 19, Personal Injuries Assessment Board (Amendment) Bill 2018 - Order for Second Stage and Second Stage. Private Members' business shall be No. 19, motion re the report of the Joint Committee on Education and Skills, entitled Report on Positive Mental Health in Schools.

I refer Members to the second revised report of the Business Committee, dated 5 November 2018.

In relation to today's business, it is proposed that:

(1) No. 17 shall be taken without debate;

(2) No. 18 shall be brought to a conclusion after 45 minutes if not previously concluded. Speeches shall be confined to single round by a Minister or Minister of State and the main spokespersons for parties and groups, or a Member nominated in their stead, for a period not exceeding five minutes each, with a five-minute response from a Minister or Minister of State. All Members may share time.

In relation to Wednesday's business, it is proposed that there shall be no questions to the Taoiseach and the sos, in accordance with Standing Order 25(1), shall be taken at conclusion of Questions on Promised Legislation.

I thank Deputy McGrath. There are just two proposals to be put to the House today. Is the proposal for dealing with today's business agreed?

I propose that the Business Committee should be asked to reconvene sometime today or tomorrow to place on the agenda of this Dáil the scandal relating to schools and Western Building Systems, WBS. In my area there are still 1,200 children who are not in school today. They have missed a whole week apart from the mid-term break. We have a scandal that has not been answered in this Dáil. Yes, there is a committee hearing later today, but that is not a full Dáil discussion and this issue merits one, given that it concerns 42 schools, that Western Building Systems is now building hospitals and that the same company apparently has a tender for modular housing.

The question the Minister needs to answer is this. Why did he say he had no issues with the work on which he signed off with Western Building Systems on the 42 schools in question when no oversight was done by the Department?

We cannot have a debate on the issue.

All parties need a chance to get answers from the Minister and in respect of previous Governments.

Deputy Coppinger has made her point.

We debated the issue last week.

I call Deputy Kelleher on the Order of Business.

Deputy Farrell said we debated the issue last week. Given that the schools are still not open, this is an ongoing issue.

Deputy, please.

We debated it.

It may not be important to Deputy Farrell but the fact that children were put in danger because of private profit is important.

Deputy Coppinger was not here.

Private profits endanger children's lives. Deputy Farrell should stay quiet.

Deputy Coppinger was not here.

Deputy Farrell was on the council as well. What does he have to say?

I ask the Deputies to desist, please.

I also object to the proposals in view of the fact that the House has been informed that there will not be an opportunity for all Deputies to contribute to the budgetary debate. The budget was announced on 9 October and we are in the first week of November. We have the Finance Bill, yet not all Deputies have had an opportunity to contribute on the budget. Historically and traditionally, every Deputy is given an opportunity to contribute to the budgetary debate. The debate has now been shelved. If we keep going like this, it is likely we will be speaking about the budget next year.

Would that not be great?

I consider that to be an attack on the entitlement of Deputies to at least raise the importance of the budget in the Dáil. From that perspective, I cannot accept the proposal.

Deputy Kelleher's party Whip raised that matter at the Business Committee meeting and asked for a debate on the budget. That was not possible in the current week because of the business set out before us. However, it is my understanding that it is intended to return to the debate on the budget as soon as time allows.

Deputy Kelleher wants the debate this week.

It is not that I want a debate this week. I wanted it in the last couple of weeks.

We cannot turn the clock back now.

We need the budget debated in a timely manner. We could still be debating the budget when the Finance Bill has passed.

Deputies Coppinger and Kelleher were both represented at the Business Committee meeting. If I remember correctly, the budget debate collapsed because of a lack of speakers.

That is not true.

The debate ended.

The Deputy's recollection is poor.

The debate on the Finance Bill fell.

Given the strength of feeling on these matters, we will convene a meeting of the Business Committee this afternoon at which we will seek to arrange for additional time to discuss the budget and the issue of schools.

Perhaps that will be on Friday.

I hope and trust that Members will co-operate when we arrange times.

I thank the Ceann Comhairle for accommodating us in this matter.

Is the business for today agreed to? Agreed. Is the business for Wednesday, as proposed, agreed to? Agreed.