I thank Members for their contributions. I regret I cannot accept Senator Leyden's amendment to the Order of Business and, on behalf of the Government, I will oppose the taking of all Stages of the Bill. This is for one reason and one reason only, namely, it is contentious. There is agreement on other Bills to take all Stages by the group leaders. Ordinarily, if there is disagreement, we do not take all Stages, and there is not agreement on this from Government. I, therefore, regrettably, do not accept the Senator's amendment to the Order of Business.
I join the Senator in paying tribute to, and remembering, the late Liam Gilmartin, who has passed away and who was a member of the famous Rossies team that won the All-Ireland. I thank the Senator for bringing his death, his memory and his legacy to our attention. I hope a new generation of Roscommon footballers and supporters will be able to win the All-Ireland and have the Sam Maguire in Roscommon.
Several Members raised the issue of the Rebuilding Ireland home loan scheme, including Senators Boyhan and Gallagher, while Senator Humphreys also raised the issue of housing. Let me make it quite clear. I am amused by Senator Gallagher, who very much suffers from amnesia. When his party left government, there was no construction sector or banking sector - there was nothing left in our country. If he wants to come in here and lecture, that is fine and I have no problem with that; that is his entitlement. However, let us deal with the facts.
First, as I said yesterday and will repeat today, 575 people availed of the scheme. The Government is committed to ensuring that people who cannot avail of a loan or a mortgage from the banking fraternity will have access and a pathway to buying their own home. Some 575 people availed of it and 1,000 further approvals were given but not yet drawn down, and €200 million was set aside and put into the scheme. However, because the scheme was successful, the €200 million has been drawn down. As to what the Government is doing now, again, let us deal in the facts and listen to what the Minister, Deputy Eoghan Murphy, said this morning in the House and in committee, and in the Dáil yesterday, and listen to the Taoiseach. Let us base our argument on fact and articulate accordingly. The Government is now consulting the Central Bank as to whether it is comfortable with the Government offering more loans. Second, the Minister is negotiating with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in regard to increasing the cap above €200 million so we can ensure the 1,575 people who have availed of the scheme or applied for it can have access to the scheme. Let me make it clear on my behalf and on behalf of Government: we are committed to ensuring that home ownership rises in our country. It is an affordable scheme for people who need to be able to access the funding from a Rebuilding Ireland home loan. I want to make it clear the scheme has not been abandoned.
Senator Boyhan raised the issue of the Residential Tenancies (Amendment)(No. 2) Bill 2018 but I do not have an answer to the question raised.
Senators Boyhan, Bacik, Horkan and Wilson raised the matter of the Judicial Council Bill. As Members will know, legislation is a matter for Departments and they will advise accordingly. We will have the Bill back before the House when the Department responsible is in a position to bring it back.
Regarding the Parental Leave (Amendment) Bill raised by Senators Bacik and Horkan, consideration as to how best to implement the phasing-in of the extra leave, as outlined by the Minister of State, Deputy Stanton, on Committee Stage, is ongoing. There was consultation with Departments on that matter. I hope the Minister of State will be able to bring the Bill back before the House at an early and opportune stage. As Senator Horkan rightly said, it is important legislation and, as alluded to by Senator Bacik, it will benefit thousands of families across the country.