The priority legislative agenda for the upcoming Dáil term has been published with the upcoming Budget, Irish language, climate action, housing and planning, healthcare, road safety, citizenship and family supports such as parental leave on top of the list.
The list comprises 32 bills from 13 government departments along with 27 other bills at various stages in the legislative process at the Dáil and Seanad.
- The Finance Bill and the Social Welfare Bill will give effect to measures announced in the Budget,
- New legislation will introduce mandatory open disclosure, extend free GP care and ensure equality of pricing regarding health insurance,
- The Official Languages Bill will overhaul the provision of services in Irish,
- Legislation to finance climate action measures from surplus oil levy funds and reform marine planning for sustainable development and renewable energy,
- The Land Development Agency will be placed on a statutory footing,
- Paid parental leave will be introduced through legislation for the first time
- Legislation will provide for graduated speeding penalties and other road traffic matters.
Chief Whip, Séan Kyne (pictured) said: “Several bills on the priority list are important for our preparations for Brexit including the Family Law (Divorce) Bill and the Health and Childcare Support Bill which will enable healthcare and childcare benefits to continue on a cross-border basis.”
Other bills relate to areas such as extending social welfare supports to the self-employed, increasing the supply of housing, protecting the environment, such as the Microbeads Prohibition Bill, supporting local journalism, supporting children and young people in care, and supporting persons with a disability.
The Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction (Amendment) Bill provides for fishery infringements and resolves typographical errors in the 2006 Act.
The Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement will be established as a stand-alone agency with a commission structure, and will be called the Corporate Enforcement Authority.
The Official Languages (Amendment) Bill will introduce a statutory plan for services provision in the Irish language and recruitment of Irish speakers.
It also replaces the existing language scheme regime with new sectoral language standards.
The Payment of Wages Act (Amendment) Bill will clarify that tips cannot be used to make up or satisfy contractual rates of pay.
Tips and gratuities
Tips will also be distinguished from service charges. Employers will also be required to clearly display their policy on how tips, gratuities and service charges are distributed.
The Criminal Justice (Counterfeiting) Bill will transpose outstanding elements of Directive 2014/62/EU on the protection of the euro and other currencies against counterfeiting by criminal law, and replaces Council Framework Decision 2000/383/JHA.