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Confirmed – Finance Bill will not cover Civil Partnership issues

January 25th, 2011 · 7 Comments · Elections, General Election 2011, Irish Politics, Same Sex Partnerships

It was confirmed last night that the sections to be included in the Finance Bill to provide for the rights accorded to Civil Partners would not be ready for debate for another month.  As I mentioned yesterday it was the intention of the Minister for Finance to include the section at committee stage.

In the negotiations yesterday to bring forward the General Election and pass the key sections of the Finance Bill before the dissolution of the Dáil the section on Civil Partnership and the section on taxing bankers bonuses will not be included.

Given that the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights of Cohabitants Act became law in July and the then Minister for Justice and Law Reform said that various departments would be working on the necessary legislation, one has to ask why it took six months and the necessary sections were not ready to go when the bill was published last week.

Was this a delaying tactic by the Government? Incompetence? It’s really incredible that this was not done.

When the Minister and the party spokespersons (except for Sinn Féin who staged a strop after saying on Saturday that they would support it) agreed the stages of the bill would be debated nobody mentioned in the doorstepping outside that the Civil Partnership section would be missing.  Joan Burton took to her facebook page to explain the situation.

Minister said it would have been end of Feb at earliest that the amendments would be available. Dept of Finance will work on these amendments during election period so they are ready for new Govt to enact as a priority

Glen said that they were

disappointed that the provisions for Civil Partnership are not included. The first Civil Partnerships have already been recognised by the State and a significant number of Civil Partnership ceremonies will take place in Ireland from early April.

I have asked for reaction from Fine Gael and their comment on a committment towards early passage of the legislation in the next Dáil.  Senators Paschal Donohue and Jerry Buttimer both informed me that they would expect that the party would continue their support for the Civil Partnership legislation by supporting the introduction of legislation in the next Dáil to bring in the tax codes.  The Irish Times reports that the meeting of spokespersons agreed ‘that a second Finance Bill would be brought before the next Dáil to deal with these issues.’


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