Decisions on Public Petitions Received

Good afternoon. We are now in public session. On Petition No. 00021/19, the decision of the committee is to forward a copy of the response from the Joint Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment to the petitioner and close the petition. Is that agreed? Agreed. On Petition No. 00033/19, it is proposed that we forward a copy of the response from the Joint Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment to the petitioner and close the petition. Is that agreed? Agreed.

It is an interesting petition in the context of everything that we are discussing. We are talking about the elimination of paper receipts, specifically on debit and credit card transactions.

It goes on to talk about the impact in terms of the felling of trees, litter fines, comparable examples in America and so forth. It is worthy of discussion. I am old-school and I still prefer to receive paper receipts for transactions and I would keep a month's worth of those. I am old-school from that point of view but it is worthy of discussion.

In terms of the recommendation on Ireland's fines and failure to adhere to CO2 levels and so forth, we had a discussion in this committee room last night in which people from the Economic and Social Research Institute, ESRI, came in and discussed the impact of the particular levies already collected, the impact on poorer families and their non-application in due process. There is a broader discussion to be had and this is a very small part of it. It is a very interesting petition and worthy of discussion.

I agree with Deputy Cassells. The two issues that are before us are absolutely worthy of discussion. One's instinct is of course to seek to keep the matters on which they are based alive, but for the purposes of the Standing Orders of the committee and so on, we are constrained to a certain extent in terms of seeking to further the issues. There are plenty of other line committees through which the broader issues that Deputy Cassells referred to can be addressed, such as the committee which addressed it last night.

This particular one comes down to other issues but also to the production of paper, which is a hugely intensive process. The number of trees felled just to produce paper is amazing. Unfortunately, it is probably a dying commodity in one respect by virtue of the fact everything is electronic. Again, being old-school, that is something that I would mourn to some extent.

However, this is a worthy petition. As the Chairman said, he has, under Standing Orders, to close it but it was an interesting petition nonetheless and I just wanted to put that on the record.

I thank Deputy Cassells. We have agreed to forward a copy of Petition No. 00033/19 and close it. On Petition No. 00038/19, I am seeking the committee's agreement that we would forward a copy of the response from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation to the petitioner and close the petition. Is that agreed? Agreed. On Petition No. 00039/19, it is proposed that we would forward a copy of the response from the Department of Justice and Equality to the petitioner and close the petition. Is that agreed? Agreed.

I thank you for your attendance at the meeting today and I propose that we adjourn until 1.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 20 November. Is that agreed? Agreed.

The joint committee adjourned at 1.43 p.m. until 1.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 20 November 2019.