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Friday 29 September 2023 Dublin: 14°C
Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland The controversial Frontline presidential debate will be discussed by the Oireachtas Communications committee this morning.
# Leinster House
Oireachtas agenda: Shannon airport, welfare votes and no confidence
TDs vote this afternoon and this evening on approving individual Budget measures – like PRSI increases and respite grant cuts.

WHAT ARE OUR politicians doing in the halls of Leinster House? lets you know with our guide to what’s coming up to the Dáil, the Seanad and in the various Oireachtas committees today.


The day hegins with Leaders’ Questions at 10:30am, and continues with statements on tomorrow’s summit of EU leaders just after 11:20am.

When they’re done, it’s back to debating the Social Welfare Bill 2012, which gives legal effect to the Budget’s measures on PRSI and social welfare. This could theoretically continue until night-time, but amendments also need to be taken so a vote on its ‘second stage’ (generally allowing it to proceed) is likely by mid-afternoon.

Alan Shatter takes his second batch of ministerial questions in two days – this time to the Minister for Defence – at 2:30pm, with Topical Issues at 3:45pm and then more debate on the Social Welfare Bill (or its individual bits) continuing for the rest of the day until the guillotine falls at 10pm.

There’s one interruption in this: at 7:30pm debate returns to Sinn Féín’s motion of no confidence in the government. A vote on this – or, more specifically, a vote on the government’s ‘everything is fine’ counter-motion – will be taken at 9pm.

The day’s Dáil business can all be viewed here.


Unlikely to wake up with much of a birthday hangover (yesterday was the Seanad’s 90th birthday), the Seanad finalises its consideration of the National Vetting Bureau Bill - which will set up a new agency to take over responsibility for ‘vetting’ people who work with children and the vulnerable – at 11:45am.

At 2:30pm Senators will debate a motion to confirm Shannon Airport’s separation from the DAA; at 3:30pm they’ll consider amendments to new legislation underpinning credit union regulation, and at 5:30pm they’ll spend two hours discussing a motion acknowledging the role of youth work.

Seanad proceedings can be watched here.


Another four committee meetings to tell you about today:

  • The Education and Social Protection committee meets at 1pm to discuss possible reforms of third-level education. Representatives from the Irish Universities Association and the Institutes of Technology will attend, as will the Migrant Rights Centre. (Watch here.)
  • The Finance Sub-Committee will consider double-taxation agreements with Uzbekistan, Qatar and Egypt, before getting its teeth into a proposal to suspend Exchequer contributions to the National Pension Reserve Fund. The meeting begins at 1:45pm. (Watch here.)
  • The Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality is meeting twice today. The first meeting, at noon, will debate amendments to legislation which will abolish the Civil Defence Board; the second, at 2pm, will hear from up to nine NGOs on proposals to reform Ireland’s prostitution laws. There’ll also be debate on a European directive to improve the gender balance on the boards of directors of public companies. (Watch here.)
  • The Transport and Communications Committee meets at 9:30am to discuss the report of the Editorial Review into RTÉ’s Frontline presidential debate. Noel Curran, RTÉ DG, will be present. (Watch here.)‘s one to watch

Sinn Féin’s motion of no confidence is likely to have the curious effect of forcing back-benchers to close ranks – meaning that the Dáil debate on individual amendments to the Social Welfare Bill (from mid-afternoon to 10pm) is worth watching.

TDs will be forced to vote on the inclusion of each individual section of the Bill – meaning individual votes on respite care grants, PRSI increases and reducing the time for paying jobseeker’s benefit.

Read: Irish Free State came into being 90 years ago this week

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