When the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act was passed earlier this year it was known that further legislation would be needed before the bill was enacted.
The Social Welfare Misc. Provisions Bill 2010 was published last month but amendments to the bill pertaining to Civil Partnerships and recognising same sex co-habitants were only published and debated yesterday evening during the report stage of the bill. 27 pages of amendments published without the fine or indepth scrutiny of politicians who are thinking about elections and christmas holidays. Bus passes for all entitled to them to follow shortly presumably? And couples who don’t want to be financially assessed as couples to face questioning of social protection officials too?
The rapid guillotining of legislation during the last two weeks means that little time could be given to debate and also that those affected could not observe the legislation and examine the changes involved. No reporting in the Irish Times today on the bill or any debate either. The only statement published being that of the Green Party Minister for State with responsibility for Equality, Mary White TD.
I will include links to the debate when published on Oireachtas.ie.
The bill has now passed all stages of the Dáil and will go to the Seanad tomorrow and Friday. The Amendments can be read here.
Last week some taxation matters were dealt with during the budget debate when the Financial Resolutions were passed which amended various taxation acts and procedures and made numerous amendments to include civil partners for tax purposes. Further changes will be made to the Tax Codes after the Finance Bill is debated in January.
The final hurdles are therefore being sorted so it won’t be long now till departing Dermot Ahern announces a date for enactment? Publicity and information campaigns for all involved to follow?