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Dublin: 22 °C Thursday 24 July, 2014

Cabinet resumes after summer break with heavy workload ahead

There’s two referenda to prepare, as well as a hefty backlog of legislative work left over from the first term.

Enda Kenny will take command of the first cabinet meeting of the new term today - its first meeting in five weeks.
Enda Kenny will take command of the first cabinet meeting of the new term today - its first meeting in five weeks.
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

THE CABINET is returning to work this morning after its summer break, holding its first meeting of the new legislative term today, a fortnight ahead of the resumption of Dáil activity.

The meeting, which ends the cabinet’s theoretical five-week break, will be held at Government Buildings later this morning and will see ministers prepare their legislative agenda for the coming months.

Among the items ministers will discuss will be the arrangements for at least two, and possibly three, referenda being put to the public in October alongside the presidential election.

The cabinet has already agreed on the wording for the referendum on allowing judges’ pay to be cut, but has not done likewise on the Constitutional amendment allowing Oireachtas powers to make findings of fact.

Polling day for those referenda, and for the election, is on October 27 – 58 days from today.

Ministers will also discuss other issues that have arisen since their last meeting, such as the ongoing developments in the Eurozone debt crisis and the calls from economists for a system of mortgage forgiveness.

The members will also make the first steps in putting together their legislative agenda for the period up to Christmas and beyond – though they will also have to allow for the legislation intended for the summer session.

Among the bills which hadn’t been published in the summer term is a Fiscal Responsibility Bill, which finance minister Michael Noonan has said will cater towards some of the calls from Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel for a legal limit to a budget deficit.

Other points up for discussion will be suggestions on how the government can find around €3.7bn in adjustments in December’s budget, which is required to bring Ireland’s government deficit to around 8.6 per cent of the total size of the economy.

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