Consumer Protection Bill 2007: Report and Final Stages.

Bill, as amended, received for final consideration.
Question proposed: "That the Bill do now pass."

I thank the Minister for his acceptance of, if not the exact wording, the spirit of so much of what was contained in my amendments. A number of my amendments were not discussed because they were ruled out of order on the grounds that they involve a potential charge on the Revenue. I accept the points made by the Minister with regard to my other amendments.

As this is a Seanad Bill and it will come back to this House I am prepared to allow the battle go to the other place and let its Members table the few amendments I had in mind. I thank the Minister and his officials for acceptance of so many of the points which were spelled out on Committee Stage.

I congratulate the Minister, Deputy Martin, on bringing this Bill to the House and having it pass all Stages today very efficiently. I express my thanks to the Opposition spokesman, Senator Coghlan, who is very co-operative when it comes to issues of consumer protection raised in this House——

It is a reputation I must not hold up.

He has always been ready to ensure that legislation goes through in a speedy fashion. I commend the senior officials from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment who have put a lot of work into this Bill. This is a very complex area and Members may not realise that our senior civil servants are extremely competent and capable. It was my experience when I was in the Department that they knew all about consumer affairs. In the complex world of the European Union and international trading it is very important that we have enforceable legislation.

I wish the Bill well in the other House. The Minister is anxious to have it passed before the Easter recess. When it returns to this House, Senator Coghlan will give it his immediate attention and approval as will the Leader of the House. We are conscious that the Bill is vital for consumer protection. The agency has been set up but it is toothless without this legislation.

I thank the Leas-Chathaoirleach and the other spokespersons for their co-operation and assistance.

I thank the Leas-Chathaoirleach and Seanad Éireann for their co-operation and for the expeditious passage of the Bill. I assure Senators Coghlan, Leyden and Cox that the Department will advise the other House that amendments will be tabled as a consequence of amendments proposed in this House. The manner in which the Seanad has organised its business leaves time to have suitable amendments ready for the other House. Given that amendments made in the Dáil must be endorsed in this House, Senators will have an opportunity to revisitthose amendments I indicated I was willing to consider.

This is comprehensive legislation in which my officials and the consumer strategy group have invested significant work. The Bill establishes a modern edifice under which consumers may genuinely feel protected. I appreciate Senators' contributions to the debate and the co-operation I have received from the House.

Question put and agreed to.
Sitting suspended at 4.12 p.m. and resumed at 5 p.m.