Chief Whip Jack Chambers (pictured) has said that the Government will prioritise legislation to help people to cope with higher inflation – particularly rising energy costs – in the forthcoming autumn session of the Oireachtas.
The legislative programme for the session, published yesterday (15 September) lists 38 bills for publication and priority by ministers.
The list includes six bills from the Department of Justice – including legislation to set up a separate family-court division within the courts system.
Housing and health
The Finance Bill and the Social Welfare Bill will give effect to the changes delivered in Budget 2023.
“In housing, we will prioritise the Planning & Development Bill and the Land Value Sharing and Urban Development Zones Bill to ensure the continued delivery of house-building,” said the minister.
He added that the Human Tissue Bill to update organ-donation and transplantation procedures would be published “very shortly”.
Other health bills to be prioritised include the Public Health (Tobacco and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill and the Health (Termination of Services Safe Access Zones) Bill.
Under justice, the list includes the Criminal Justice (Incitement to hatred or Violence and Hate Crime) Bill, which provides for new, aggravated forms of certain criminal offences where they are motivated by hatred.
Bill to set up gambling watchdog
The Criminal Justice (Sexual Offences and Human Trafficking) Bill amends sexual-offences legislation after recommendations made by the O'Malley review and the Law Reform Commission. It also puts the proposed new National Referral Mechanism for human trafficking on a statutory footing.
The Family Court Bill sets up a family court as a separate division within the existing courts structures, while the Gambling Regulation Bill modernises the licensing system for gambling, and establishes a regulator for the sector.
The priority list also includes the Policing, Security and Community Safety Bill, which aims to provide a governance and oversight framework for policing, and to strengthen oversight of security legislation.
The Sale of Alcohol Bill will codify the law on the sale and consumption of alcohol. Revised heads of this bill are being prepared, according to the Government list.