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VIDEO: Dáil suspended for nearly 30 minutes in property tax timing row

Business was twice suspended as Richard Boyd Barrett complained about the time provided to debate property tax changes.

THE DÁIL was adjourned for almost 30 minutes this evening following disputes between the Taoiseach, Ceann Comhairle and Richard Boyd Barrett.

The disputes centred over the time allotted to debate amendments to the Property Tax Amendment Bill, on which a final vote is scheduled to be held tonight at 10pm.

Boyd Barrett said the time allotted to the Bill was not sufficient to deal with proposals that would have such a major impact on the public, and said the timetabling was an example of a “cynical policy” where the government allowed lengthy debates on less contentious Bills but curtailed them for more divisive laws.

Opposition parties have tabled 67 proposed amendments to the legislation, with roughly two minutes allotted for each. Amendments ordinarily take at least 15 minutes each to consider, if a vote is called.

Kenny dismissed his claims as “ranting”, and said the government had offered to extend last Friday’s general debate on the Bill by two hours – but that the opposition parties had turned down the request to extend Friday’s Dáil sitting to 5:30pm as a result.

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Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett attempted to proceed with business, but Boyd Barrett’s refusal to allow Kenny’s comments go unchallenged meant business had to be suspended for almost ten minutes. When it resumed, the feistiness continued prompting a further suspension of nearly 20 minutes.

Boyd Barrett could be heard speaking off-mic as business continued afterwards, loudly criticising the behaviour of the Taoiseach and trying to attract the attention of the Ceann Comhairle.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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