Competition (Amendment) Bill 2016 [Seanad] [Private Members']: Committee Stage

We are now in public session. We will now commence Committee Stage of the Competition (Amendment) Bill 2016.

There are no amendments. It is intended to conclude Committee Stage today. Is that agreed? Agreed.

Sections 1 to 4, inclusive, agreed to.
Schedule agreed to.
Title agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment.

As the Bill has now completed Committee Stage it is recommended that members submit Report Stage amendments to the Bills Office without delay as the Report Stage may be taken at short notice.

I specifically thank the Chairman. I thank the members of the select committee for giving me the opportunity to speak on the Private Members' Bill. This Bill was brought forward by Senator Ivana Bacik. It is a fine balance in meeting the stated objective underpinning it, while at the same time remaining consistent with competition law.

I thank the Chairman for facilitating me. This is a very important Bill for the Labour Party. As the Minister knows, the originator of this Bill was the current President. It was Michael D. Higgins who initiated the original version of this Bill. It goes back a while. The spirit of the Bill, with which we all agree, is very important for the people who are affected and the Bill allows them to collectively bargain in respect of their employment, be they musicians, actors, journalists. It does have a dramatic impact.

I thank the Minister, Deputy Mary Mitchell O'Connor for supporting this Bill and bringing it through in a speedy fashion. May I ask that she uses her influence to see if we could get this Bill to Report and Final Stages next week? If the Minister could facilitate the passage of the Bill, it would mean the Bill could be concluded. As she has seen it could go through quickly. The Labour Party Whip has had discussions with the Chief Whip who suggested that she could facilitate us if the passage of the Bill would take less than an hour. I would appreciate if the Minister could use her office to do that.

We have been in touch with the Chief Whip and I hope we will be able to take it next week. I want to thank my two officials who worked to get this Bill through and to get it done as quickly as possible.

I thank the Minister. That concludes today's select committee meeting. I thank Deputy Alan Kelly, the Minister, Deputy Mary Mitchell O'Connor and her officials for attending today's meeting. I remind members that as Report Stage may be ordered at short notice, it is recommended that Report Stage amendments, if any, be submitted to the Bills Office as soon as possible.