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Dublin: 8 °C Thursday 12 December, 2019
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Oireachtas agenda: Dáil boundaries, foot and mouth, and a British EU exit

The Dáil will today hold a final vote on whether to reduce its membership to 158 at the next election.

The consequences of a British exit from the EU will be among the matters discussed by journalists at the EU Affairs committee today.
The consequences of a British exit from the EU will be among the matters discussed by journalists at the EU Affairs committee today.
Image: Tim Ireland/PA Archive

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.

DÁIL

Eamon Gilmore takes the morning’s Leaders’ Questions at 10:30am, before TDs agree to the day’s agenda at 10:51am.

The legislative agenda will see TDs finalise their consideration of two Bills:

  • The Public Health (Tobacco) (Amendment) Bill 2013, which gives the Minister for Health new powers to limit the sale and marketing of tobacco; and
  • The Electoral (Amendment) (Dail Constituencies) Bill 2012, which gives legal effect to the proposed changes to Dáil boundaries.

If there’s time after those two Bills are disposed of – and if they weren’t already finished up yesterday – there’ll be more discussion on legislation to rationalise the number of VECs, and on abolishing FÁS.

Four topical issues will be discussed at 3:42pm, before Michael Noonan ends the day with Questions to the Minister for Finance at 4:30pm.

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

SEANAD

The Seanad’s day is a pretty short one: there’s 75  minutes of discussion and debate on the matters of the day in the Order of Business (10:30am), before Emer Costello MEP continues a series of speeches from MEPs to mark 40 years of Irish membership of the European Union.

Her speech deals with the quest for social inclusion in Europe, and the problem of unemployment.

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

COMMITTEES

The fairly straightforward days in either chamber are made up for by the presence of five committee meetings. Here they are, in order of when they start:

  • The Committee on Health and Children meets at 9:30am to discuss the establishment of the Child and Family Support Agency. Among the speakers are UNESCO professor Pat Dolan, and the HSE’s Gordon Jeyes. (Watch here.)
  • At 10am the Public Accounts Committee casts its eyes over the Department of Education and Skills budget for 2011, and also discusses salary overpayments to teachers in the last few years. (Watch here.)
  • Also at 10am, the Public Expenditure and Reform sub-committee discusses a procedural motion from Brendan Howlin. Irish financial law means cash authorised for spending in one year, but which isn’t actually spent that year, can’t be cleared for spending unless the Oireachtas says so. This motion would allow some of the cash assigned for spending in 2012 to be carried over and be used this year. (Watch here.)
  • At 10:30am the Agriculture committee discusses a proposal from Simon Coveney to extend special provisions which allow him to appoint special investigators for agricultural matters. The laws stem from the foot and mouth saga, but could (in theory) also apply to the horse meat scandal. (Watch here.)
  • Finally, at 2pm, the EU Affairs committee discusses the future of Ireland’s membership of the EU – and three specific topics: financial integration, democratic accountability, and the possible impact for Ireland if the UK leaves. The participants will include the Irish Times’ economics editor Dan O’Brien, the Irish Examiner’s Brussels correspondent Ann Cahill, and RTÉ’s economics editor Seán Whelan. (Watch here.)

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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