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, Seanad and various Oireachtas committees today.
The day kicks off at 2pm with Joan Burton taking Dáil Questions to the Minister for Social Protection. Enda Kenny will take the high-octane Leaders’ Questions at 3:15pm and the slightly more sedate Questions to the Taoiseach afterward. Four Topical Issues are discussed shortly after 5pm.
The rest of the evening, between 6pm and 10pm, is divided into three chunks – with the first and third devoted to finalising the Property Tax Amendment Bill, which irons out details of how the tax will be collected, and who might be entitled to defer their payments.
They’re interrupted at 7:30pm by 90 minutes of debate on Fianna Fáil’s motion about health insurance, which calls on the government to use its VHI shareholding to cut down on fees paid to consultants.
The day’s Dáil business can all be viewed here.
The Seanad’s daily Order of Business (2:30pm) is restored to its full 75 minutes, after being cut short last week, and is followed at 3:45pm with debate on the proposed changes to Dáil constituencies for the next general election.
The day’s Seanad business can all be viewed here.
There are four committee meetings holding public sittings today:
- At 2pm, the committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine discussed a proposed code of conduct for grocery sellers, including a code for pricing, supporting local produce, and – key in the current equine environment – labelling. Representatives from Retail Ireland will attend. (Watch here.)
- Elsewhere at 2pm, the committee on Health and Children discusses the working conditions of non-consultant ‘junior’ doctors in Irish hospitals. (See ‘One to watch’ below.) (Watch here.)
- Slightly later, at 2:15pm, the Environment committee will get into the mood of Seachtain na Gaeilge by having students from three Dublin schools in to speak about three topical issues trí meáin na Gaeilge. The three topics are: ‘A bhfuil roimh Éirinn san Aontas Eorpach’, ‘An tionchar atá ag na meáin shóisíalta ar an saol in Éirinn’, and ‘An tábhacht atá le pobail áitiúla a fhorbairt’. (If you’re lost, that’s ‘Ireland’s future in the EU’, ‘The impact of social media on Irish life’, and ‘the importance of developing local communities’.) (Watch here.)
- The EU Affairs committee meets Eamon Gilmore at 3:30pm to discuss the agenda for next week’s meeting of the European General Affairs Council, which he’ll be chairing in Brussels. (Watch here.)
TheJournal.ie‘s One to Watch
The Health committee’s discussion on the working hours of junior doctors could be a watershed moment in the campaigns to bring some order to the working hours of non-consultants.
Recently James Reilly affirmed that Ireland would be in line with the EU directive on working time – which limits a week to 48 hours – by next year, but why next year when the directive has been in place since 2000?
Reilly also affirmed that the reduced hours could not affect the overall health pay bill – suggesting that staff would need to work for less pay if room was to be found to hire more staff and cover the labour shortfalls.
The input of the IMO and the HSE – both of whom are due at the committee today – will be interesting.
Explainer: How does a Bill become a law?