Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (158)

Carol Nolan

Question:

158. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the details of all applications made by his Department to the Oireachtas Business Committee to waive pre-legislative scrutiny of primary and secondary legislation sponsored or initiated by his Department from 1 January 2017 to date; the outcomes of such applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37892/20]

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Written answers (Question to Enterprise)

In October 2018, an application to waive pre-legislative scrutiny relating to the European Investment Fund Mandate Agreement Bill 2018 was granted by the Standing Business Committee. This Bill provided the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine with the necessary powers to enter into a Mandate agreement with the European Investment Fund for a 64% counter-guarantee as part of the Future Growth Loan Scheme, which is a significant part of the Government’s Brexit mitigation measures. This application was made given the need for the Bill to be enacted by the end of 2018 so that a longer term investment scheme could be put in place as soon as possible to support Brexit impacted businesses.

A similar application to waive pre-legislative scrutiny relating to an amendment to this Bill in May of 2020 was also granted by the Committee. The amendment was to allow for an increase in the limit of the aggregate liability in respect of contributions committed by the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine. This application was made given the need for the Bill to be enacted immediately so as to allow for a €500 million expansion of the Future Growth Loan Scheme as a response to supporting businesses impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19 in Ireland.

On 29th June 2020, the Standing Business Committee agreed to a request to waive the requirement in relation to pre-legislative scrutiny on the general scheme/draft heads of the Credit Guarantee Scheme (Amendment) Bill 2020, as amendment to the legislation was urgently required to support businesses to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

An application for a waiver of pre-legislative scrutiny on the Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Covid-19) Act 2020 was granted by the Committee on 17th July 2020. This application was sought due to the fact that legislation was urgently required to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the operation of business. The General Scheme had been thoroughly examined by the Company Law Review Group which is representative of company law stakeholders.