WHAT ARE OUR politicians doing in the halls of Leinster House?
TheJournal.ie lets you know with our guide to what’s coming up to the Dáil and various Oireachtas committees today.
The day begins with Leaders’ Questions at 10:30am, with the rest of the day wrapped up with dealing with three pieces of legislation (time permitting), starting at 11:25am:
- The Euro Area Loan Facility (Amendment) Bill 2013, which ratifies a cut to the interest rate on Greece’s first bailout (to which Ireland is a contributor);
- The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 2012, which extends the remit of the Private Residential Tenancies Board to include housing owned by voluntary housing associations and co-operatives. It also changes the name of the body simply to the ‘Residential Tenancies Board’; and
- The Electoral (Amendment) (Dáil Constituencies) Bill 2012 which legally changes the constituencies to which members of the next Dáil will be elected (and cuts the membership of the Dáil from 166 to 158).
These three Bills will be discussed during all free time, starting with the first one, though it’s likely that only the first will be debated.
Anyway, that’ll be interrupted at several junctures: at 2:30pm for Questions to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin; for Topical Issues at 3:45pm, and at 7:30pm for the second of two 90-minute debates on Sinn Féin’s anti-bullying bill. (There’ll be a vote on that at 9pm.)
The day’s Dáil business can all be viewed here.
Senators convene to discuss the day’s agenda at 10:30am, and debate the Taxi Regulation Bill 2012 – governing the mandatory disqualification of people convicted of certain offences – at 11:45am.
At 2:30pm, meanwhile, there’ll be two and a half hours of debate on the Water Services Bill, which is responsible for the new regime of water charges. At 5pm there’ll be a two-hour debate on a Labour motion on the quality of living, after which there’ll be three matters discussed at the adjournment.
The day’s Seanad business can all be viewed here.
Five meetings up today:
- The sub-committee on Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht meets at 10:30am to discuss legislation which means that the Oireachtas (and not individual Departments) is responsible for translating Acts into Irish. (Watch here.)
- The Finance sub-committee meets at 4pm to discuss two proposed agreements which would see Ireland share tax details with other countries in order to ensure better compliance by individuals. The two countries in question are the USA and Montserrat. (Watch here.)
- Eamon Gilmore will be at the Foreign Affairs committee at 5pm to discuss Ireland’s programme and priorities for the President of the Council of the EU. (Watch here.)
- The Justice committee is back at 2pm to continue discussing public submissions made in relation to the proposed new laws on prostitution. (Watch here.)
- The Transport committee is first out of the blocks, meeting at 9:30am with Rose Hynes, the chair of the Shannon Airport Authority, to discuss the airport’s future. After that it’ll meet Cliona Cassidy, the chairwoman designate of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board.
TheJournal.ie‘s one to watch
Fergus O’Dowd’s introduction of the Water Services Bill to the Seanad (2:30pm) may see the government indicate its progress in deciding how much it hopes to raise, and a general timetable for when the first charges could come into play.
It’ll also be the Government’s first public comment on water charges since the leak of the European Commission report outlining some fears about our progress.
Explainer: How does a Bill become a law?