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Oireachtas agenda: Budget aftermath, expert group and same-sex partnerships

The Dáil debates the Budget and the Expert Group report, while the Seanad allows secular bodies to perform civil ceremonies.

The right of humanist and secular bodies to perform civil partnerships will be cleared by the Seanad today.
The right of humanist and secular bodies to perform civil partnerships will be cleared by the Seanad today.
Image: Nikita Starichenko via Shutterstock

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, the Seanad and in the various Oireachtas committees today.

DÁIL

The day kicks off at 10:30am with Leaders’ Questions – but with Eamon Gilmore away, it’ll fall to another Labour minister to field the questions. After some procedural business it’s back to discussing the Budget - which will be debated from about 11:20am to 3pm, and again between 3:30 and 4:30.

After that there’ll be almost five hours of discussion on the Expert Group on the A, B and C ruling, until 9:15pm when four topical issues are discussed to round off the day.

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

SEANAD

There’s three items on today’s agenda: tributes to former TCD senator Trevor West, who died in October (11:45am); the final approval of legislation allowing humanists and secular organisations to carry out civil partnership ceremonies (12:30pm); and statements on the Expert Group report (2pm).

Seanad proceedings can be watched here.

COMMITTEES

The third day of a four-day week brings with it four committee meetings:

  • The Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine meets at 9:30am to discuss next week’s meeting of EU agriculture ministers, and an assessment of the sustainability of sea fishing. Simon Coveney will be on hand to brief members. (Watch here.)
  • The Committee on Health and Children will discuss issues and challenges relating to fibromyalgia, spina bifida and hydrocephalus. The meeting kicks off at 9:30am. (Watch here.)
  • The Public Accounts Committee will cast its eye over central government funding for local councils, and the state’s financial commitment to various public-private partnerships. Business begins at 10am. (Watch here.)
  • Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly will be at the Committee on Public Service Oversight and Petitions, which meets at noon to consider her reports into the illegal refusal of mobility allowance applications by the Department of Health. Members will also divvy up the latest public petitions. (Watch here.)

TheJournal.ie‘s one to watch

Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil will be a fraught occasion. It’s always a tough gig immediately after the Budget, but Eamon Gilmore’s absence (he’s due in Ballsbridge) means it could fall to Ruairí Quinn or Joan Burton to defend the opposition charges. Given the hits to student grants, college registration fees, child benefit and more, it’ll be a difficult job for either of them.

In full: TheJournal.ie‘s coverage of Budget 2013

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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