I qualified it by stating I would not enter into a debate. I hope the debate gets a proper level of publicity and that its provisions are made public and understandable.
Senator O'Meara also wants a debate on child care and asked why everybody is homing in on only one provision of the report of the committee. Nobody wants to talk about the 59 other worthwhile provisions. Senator Dardis replied to Senator O'Meara as leader of his party in this House.
Senator Finucane also seeks a debate on nursing homes policy which we will have in the early new year. He also made the interesting point that local councillors who are also auctioneers should not be involved in rezoning decisions because unknown to themselves they may make decisions to their benefit. This is a fair point.
Senator Glynn seeks a debate on the Appleby report which was brought to his attention and that of Senator Henry and other members of the Joint Committee on Health and Children. The report is from London and deals with mental health. We asked the Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, Deputy Tim O'Malley, to come to the House and he is most willing to do so when we return in the new year. I will need a copy of the report.
Senator Norris is glad interesting ideas on health care for the elderly are being discussed. He has no objection to paying his share should it be necessary after he passes away. We hope that will not be for a long time. He wants an update on the motion on the Abbey Theatre which is on the Order Paper. He also raised the issue of Mordechai Vanunu, the Israeli whistleblower on the nuclear facility in Israel, and applauded him.
Senator Maurice Hayes is also concerned for the elderly. His up-to-date knowledge and opinion on Dermot Nesbitt was extremely good. I wish to point out to Senator Bannon that local government received an increase of 7.5% or 8%. I note his concern but funding of local government is generous. Senator Dooley is concerned about global warming, particularly flooding of the Shannon. It started again in Athlone where the roads which normally do not flood until February or March are already flooded. It is the old story of ESB management of the Shannon. It would be useful to have a debate on this issue.
Senator McCarthy congratulated the Minister of State at the Department of Education and Science, Deputy Haughey. He wants a debate on care for the elderly. Senator Mansergh also wants a debate on this matter. The call for debate on care for the elderly is overwhelming. Senator Mansergh also applauds Deputy Haughey. He also shared his knowledge of Dermot Nesbitt.
Senator McHugh raised the issue of the backlog of court cases in County Donegal, which is generally of three years' duration. That is a matter for the Courts Service but it would be useful to raise the matter on the Adjournment. Senator Quinn raised the issue of the flu. It was brought to my attention by Senator Dardis that when the newspapers write about the need to get the flu vaccine, people do so. However, it is not being written about at present and the take up of the flu vaccine is low.
Senator Lydon called for a debate on the Middle East and congratulated Deputy Haughey. On the day the former Minister of State at the Department of Education and Science, Deputy de Valera, was in the House all sides of the House paid extraordinarily generous tributes to her. We will combine the tributes to both Deputies and I thank the House.
Senator Coghlan raised the issue of future legislation on the financial watchdog for local authorities. I do not know about it as we did not receive prior notice of it. I will endeavour to find out about it. The Senator also spoke about how local councillors should have decent pension provisions.
Senator Browne spoke about DeputyHaughey's appointment as Minister of State and the non-operation of the NEPS scheme in several areas. He also called for a debate on nursing homes.
Senator Hanafin raised the issue of subventions on private rented accommodation. All sorts of issues are related to this because, sadly, many people renting out private property do not want to be on the list because they are then accountable for tax. This is leading to anomalies. We will endeavour to have a debate here on this issue at local government level.