Gnó an tSeanaid - Business of Seanad

I have received notice from Senator Keith Swanick that, on the motion for the Commencement of the House today, he proposes to raise the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Health to make a statement on the current state of negotiations with general practitioners regarding a new contract; to outline a timetable for the reversal of cuts under financial emergency measures in the public interest, FEMPI, legislation for general practitioners; and to outline the contingencies in place to secure the retention and recruitment of GPs, especially in rural practices.

I have also received notice from Senator Paul Gavan of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Health to make a statement on the delays by the HSE to implement the Public Service Stability Agreement pay increases, as awarded under the job evaluation scheme.

I have also received notice from Senator Maura Hopkins of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Health to provide an update on the progress of capital projects at the Portiuncula University Hospital in Ballinasloe, County Galway.

I have also received notice from Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment to provide an overview of current Government policy in relation to the post office network.

I have also received notice from Senator Colm Burke of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Education and Skills to allow the board of management at Scoil An Athar Tadhg, Carraig Na Bhfear, County Cork to proceed with its planning application for a new school.

I have also received notice from Senator Paul Daly of the following matter:

To ask the Minister of State at the Department of Health to make a statement on the proposed changes to the treatment of farms and businesses under the fair deal nursing home support scheme.

I have also received notice from Senator Victor Boyhan of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government to confirm the reserved functions of local authority elected members in relation to their three-year capital budget; and to outline their powers to accept, amend or reject the draft capital budget at a plenary meeting of the full city or county council.

I have also received notice from Senator Máire Devine of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Health to provide an update on the employment starting date of a sarcoma specialist for St. Vincent’s Hospital.

I have also received notice from Senator Tim Lombard of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government to outline if the Referendum Commission will be charged with informing the public about their options pertaining to the plebiscites on directly elected mayors in Cork city, Limerick city and county, Waterford city and county, and Galway city and county.

I have also received notice from Senator Catherine Noone of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Finance to make a statement on the introduction of the full 23% VAT rate on food supplements and vitamins.

Of the matters raised by the Senators suitable for discussion, I have selected Senators Swanick, Gavan, Hopkins and Ó Domhnaill and they will be taken now.

I regret that I had to rule out of order the matter raised by Senator Lombard on the ground that it is a repeat of the statements on directly elected mayors held in the Seanad on 29 January 2019. I also regret that I had to rule out of order the matter raised by Senator Noone on the ground that it is a repeat of a Commencement matter raised on 30 January 2019.

The other Senators may give notice on another day of the matters they wish to raise.