An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

The House has agreed that, for the duration of the Covid emergency, the rapporteur's report will be taken as read. It has been agreed by the Committee on Standing Orders and Dáil Reform that, for a trial period of three weeks from today, a single question shall be put on the business arrangements for the week. Where a member of a party or group objects to the Order of Business, no further contribution may be made by any member of that party or group on the Order of Business. Any objection shall not exceed one minute. The Government shall make a single response to the objections and that response shall not exceed three minutes. Are those arrangements acceptable for the trial period? I take it they are.

Are the proposed arrangements for this week agreed?

Not agreed. I acknowledge that the Government has arranged for a discussion on the Stobart Air situation on Thursday. In doing that, however, it has cut the debate on fishing. I want that to be addressed because-----

That is okay. I thank the Minister of State.

I wish to object on the basis that we will have such a limited debate on reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, CAP. Our group will have six minutes, which will be inadequate for such a serious issue. The debate on fishing has also been pruned, although I know that is being done to allow for other important matters. Both of these industries are under the aegis of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. We need a proper, meaningful and thorough debate on CAP and its implications for Ireland and Irish farmers. We want more time. Groups like ours, the Rural Independent Group, have just six minutes each. The fishing industry has been wiped out. Fishers will come to Dublin next week to protest, and rightly so.

Will the Taoiseach consider asking the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth to attend the House to discuss the mother and baby homes commission? The State is defending in the High Court the commission's report. At the same time, the Minister is saying that he believes survivors and that an independent review should be done. We need to know which is the position. The Government is talking out of both sides of its mouth on this matter. Time must be set aside for the Minister to answer questions because survivors need clarity about what is happening.

The time given for the climate Bill and the guillotine on the Bill are inappropriate. The rush to get this Bill through is undemocratic. We had 230 amendments last week, none of which was taken. There has been an inordinate rush to get this legislation through. While I understand its importance, we need to have a discussion on it and people's voices need to be heard. I ask that more time be given for the Bill.

I also raise concerns regarding the rushing of Report Stage of the climate Bill. Legitimate questions on the impact of this legislation have been raised in the House but not answered. On the financial impacts alone, we are not getting basic answers. On 19 May, I asked the Taoiseach to ensure the McKinsey report on the cost of decarbonisation up to 2050 is published before we pass this law. Since then, the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council has highlighted the lack of detail on the costs and challenges in achieving Ireland's climate goals. On Thursday, the day after we pass this legislation through all Stages, the Committee on Budgetary Oversight will commence hearings on the cost of climate change. We accept we need the new legal tools. None of us disagrees with that. However, we are rushing this legislation through without legitimate answers to legitimate questions.

The climate Bill debate should not be guillotined. Amendments should not be ruled out in the way they have been. I say that despite the fact many of the amendments are from right-wing opponents of climate progress. More time should be allowed for a debate on this key issue.

Time should also be provided for brief statements alongside the moving of the writ for the Dublin Bay South by-election. Important issues are at stake. It is the first opportunity since the general election for part of the electorate to have its say on the housing crisis. If the by-election is lost by the Government, it will have profound impacts on it. There should be a debate on it.

I welcome the fact we are having a debate on fisheries. In fairness, Deputy Christy O'Sullivan has been pushing this for some time. It is good we have 200 minutes allocated for the debate, which others have also sought, and we should have it.

On the Common Agricultural Policy, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, is in talks on that today and on an ongoing basis. We will be able to facilitate a debate, perhaps not this week but certainly-----

(Interruptions).

A debate is scheduled this week and we will come back to it again. In other words, this will continue for a bit in terms of the Common Agricultural Policy.

On the fisheries issue, I have beefed up the social dialogue process within my Department because of the significant issues arising for the fishing industry, not just in the context of the control plan but also in the context of Brexit and other issues, such as next year's review of quota and so on. I am having a social dialogue sectoral meeting with a representative group of the fishing industry.

It is slightly late.

No, it is not. We had similar structured dialogue prior to Brexit. We need a structured approach with the fishing industry to deal with the issues in a frank and realistic way and to deal with how we can best help the industry to deal with the significant challenges before it. Unfortunately, distortions that we were against having a debate on the fishing industry were put about the place. A screen-grab of a vote on the Order of Business was used to distort. Someone voting to have an Order of Business was somehow transformed into someone being against the fishing industry. It is disreputable behaviour that that kind of stuff goes on in modern politics. The Deputies should be a bit more mature than that.

The Taoiseach has abandoned them.

The Order of Business is agreed by the Business Committee and sometimes people vote for the Business Committee's Order of Business. It does not mean they are against holding a debate on something else. It is unfair to cast that aspersion on Members. When Members vote for an Order of Business that has been agreed by the Business Committee, that suddenly gets translated as these Deputies being against the sector on which another Deputy sought a debate. That is too cynical by half and it goes on far too often in the House.

On Deputy Whitmore's question, the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth is reflecting on that situation and will be coming to Government next week on it. I do not think he has any issue with coming before the committee.

He has indicated to me and to the Government that he wants to come before the committee and the House more generally.

Is the Taoiseach referring to the Dáil?

Yes. On the guillotine, as it has been described, of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021, we are on Report Stage of this comprehensive, groundbreaking legislation. As a former Minister responsible for climate action, Deputy Naughten knows better than most the enormous challenges facing society in meeting our climate targets. Four hours have been allowed for Report Stage. We need to get moving and get on with it.

We have to get on with it here as well because the time is up.

We have a huge agenda ahead of us and that is the basis upon which we are trying to impose time limits.

Are the arrangements for the week's business agreed to?

Question put: "That the proposal for dealing with this week's business be agreed to."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 24; Níl, 19; Staon, 0.

  • Berry, Cathal.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Costello, Patrick.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Crowe, Cathal.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Flaherty, Joe.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Hourigan, Neasa.
  • Lawless, James.
  • Martin, Micheál.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Noonan, Malcolm.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Richmond, Neale.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Shanahan, Matt.
  • Smith, Brendan.

Níl

  • Barry, Mick.
  • Clarke, Sorca.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Gannon, Gary.
  • Harkin, Marian.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Rourke, Darren.
  • Ó Murchú, Ruairí.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Tully, Pauline.
  • Whitmore, Jennifer.
  • Wynne, Violet-Anne.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Brendan Griffin and Jack Chambers; Níl, Deputies Mattie McGrath and Michael Collins.
Question declared carried.