Government plans to publish 30 Bills before end of year

THE GOVERNMENT plans to publish 30 Bills during the current Dáil session with a number of them arising from the EU-IMF programme…

THE GOVERNMENT plans to publish 30 Bills during the current Dáil session with a number of them arising from the EU-IMF programme.

The session began yesterday with a debate on the Referendum Bill dealing with judges’ pay and today the House will discuss the Referendum Bill designed to give Oireachtas committees the power to make findings of fact.

Government Chief Whip Paul Kehoe said job creation and economic recovery were at the heart of the Government’s priorities and that was reflected in the legislative programme.

He added the Government had also prioritised legislation on the protection of children, the establishment of a human rights and equality commission, updating animal welfare legislation, introducing electoral reform and improving road safety.


“The legislative programme is a balance of economic necessities, programme for government pledges and EU-IMF commitments. While the Government’s main focus must be on economic recovery and job creation progress on vital non-economic issues such as child protection are also being addressed,” he said.

Among the important Bills to be published are two from the Department of the Environment. The Local Government (Charges) Bill will impose an annual household charge on owners of residential properties while the Water Services (Amendment) Bill will establish a system for inspecting and monitoring performance of septic tanks and other on-site waste water treatment systems.

The Department of Finance will publish five Bills in the coming months. The Central Bank (Regulation of Credit Unions) Bill will provide for a strengthened regulatory framework for credit unions including effective governance and stabilisation requirements.

The European Financial Stability Facility (Amendment) Bill and Euro Area Loan Facility (Amendment) Bill will enable Ireland to ratify agreed amendments to the EFSF framework agreement and the Greek loan facility agreement.

The Fiscal Responsibility Bill will provide a statutory basis for a range of fiscal policy and expenditure management reform while another Bill will enable Ireland to ratify the treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism Bill.

The Department of Health will publish the Health (Provision of General Practitioner Services) Bill to eliminate restrictions on GPs wishing to obtain GMS contracts and empower the Minister to set entry terms based on public health and public interest considerations.

The Department of Transport will publish the Road Traffic (No. 2) Bill, which will give effect to the lowering of the drink driving limit.

The Department of Enterprise and Jobs will sponsor a Bill to strengthen the effective enforcement of competition law.

Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins is a columnist with and former political editor of The Irish Times