The Consumer Protection (Gift Vouchers) Bill 2018 was initiated in Seanad Éireann on 19 December 2018 and completed Second Stage in the Seanad on 23 January 2019 and Committee and remaining stages on 31 January 2019. The Bill completed Second Stage in Dáil Éireann on 14 February 2019 and was referred to the Select Committee on Business, Enterprise and Innovation. Officials from my Department have been working with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel on the preparation of amendments to the Bill. While I had hoped that the necessary amendments would be finalised in time for the Bill to be enacted before the summer recess, this did not prove possible due to a need to obtain legal advice on a number of issues relating to the Bill. I am determined to ensure that the Bill’s Committee Stage will be taken early in the autumn session and that it will be enacted promptly after Committee Stage.
Second Stage of the Prohibition of Above-cost Ticket Touting Private Members' Bill which the Government has agreed to support was completed in Dáil Éireann on 21 February 2019 in Government time. My Department has been working on the necessary amendments to the Bill with the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel. While good progress has been made in drafting the amendments, they have not been finalised as yet due, among other things, to the need to obtain legal advice on a number of issues relating to the Bill, including issues raised in two legal opinions submitted by secondary ticket businesses. When the amendments are finalised, the amended Bill will have to be submitted to the European Commission for consideration and it cannot be adopted for a period of three months from the date of its submission to the Commission. While I do not anticipate that the submission of the Bill to the European Commission will give rise to any problems, there would be no advantage in tabling Committee Stage amendments in advance of their consideration by the Commission. Once the period for the consideration of the Bill by the Commission has ended, I aim to ensure that its remaining Stages are taken as quickly as possible in both Houses.