While waiting for the publication of the report of the Review Group into Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant (5,000 people with disabilities are going to lose up to 20% of their income at the end of this month and few seem to care) thoughts also are not far away from very important legislation for people with disabilities which has been delayed since 2008. The Assisted Decision Making Bill has been promised annually and Ireland cannot ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities until it is made law.
Yesterday the Government announced it’s intention to seek a referendum on abolishing the Seanad and the legislation was published for such a referendum (estimated cost €19m) to take place.
This bill was not listed on the ‘A’ list which is the list of forthcoming legislation due to be published this session.
Knowing that there is a lot of other very important legislation which has yet to be published I thought I would check the ‘A’ list and see what has been published so far this session. I am looking for full publication rather than Heads of Bill which may be before committee. (Publishing legislation doesn’t mean it will be passed this session or even this calendar year – some of the legislation which has been published so far this session is in Second or Committee stage).
|Agriculture Food and the Marine|
|1||Forestry Bill||Published 24/4/13|
|Children and Youth Affairs|
|2||Child and Family Support Agency Bill||Not Published|
|3||Children First Bill||Not Published|
|Communications Energy and Natural Resources|
|4||Minerals Development Bill||Published 16/5/13|
|Environment Community and Local Government|
|5||Electoral (Amendment) Bill||Not Published|
|6||Housing (Amendment) Bill||Published 25/4/13|
|7||Local Government Bill||Not Published|
|8||Betting (Amendment) Bill||Not Published|
|9||Health (Amendment) Bill||Not Published|
|10||Medical Practitioners Act 2007 (Amendment) (Medical Indemnity Insurance) Bill||Not Published|
|11||Protection of Maternal Life Bill||Heads Published|
|Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation|
|12||Consumer and Competition Bill||Not Published|
|13||County Enterprise Boards (Dissolution) Bill||Not Published|
|14||Employment Permits Bill||Published 5/6/2013|
|15||Friendly Societies and Industrial and Provident Societies (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill||Not Published|
|16||Workplace Relations Bill||Not Published|
|Justice and Equality|
|17||Assisted Decision-making (Capacity) Bill||Not Published|
|18||Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence and DNA Database System) Bill||Not Published|
|19||Fines (Amendment) Bill||Not Published|
|20||Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Bill||Not Published|
|Public Expenditure and Reform|
|21||Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill||Not Published|
|22||Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privilege and Procedures) Bill||Published 15/5/13|
|23||Protected Disclosure in the Public Interest Bill||Not Published|
|24||Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004 (Amendment) Bill||Published 29/5/13|
|25||Social Welfare and Pensions Bill||Published 22/5/13|
|Transport Tourism and Sport|
|26||Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships) Bill||Not Published|
|27||Road Traffic Bill||Not Published|
It is not the presence of the Seanad or having too many politicians which is delaying the passage of legislation in Ireland. Indeed one might note that the Seanad has not enough work to do because of the scarcity of legislation. Bills could be brought to the Seanad to commence their legislative journey and speed up the process.
Government ministers and their departments simply are not performing and publishing and leading legislation through the Oireachtas. It’s not the troika’s fault either.
There are 7 weeks left before the end of the summer session – how many of these bills will see the light of sun?