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Total of 30 new bills to be prioritised in Dáil this autumn
Government Chief Whip Jack Chambers Pic: RollingNews.ie

17 Sep 2020 / legislation Print

Total of 30 bills prioritised by Dáil this autumn

Government Chief Whip Jack Chambers has published the legislative programme for the autumn Oireachtas session.

It contains 30 bills for publication and was approved by Cabinet yesterday (16 September), following extensive engagement in recent weeks with Government departments, officials and the Attorney General.

Chief Whip Jack Chambers said: “The programme is an exciting and ambitious legislative agenda which will deliver on many of the commitments outlined in the Programme for Government.

“There are a number of immediate challenges the Government is working hard to address including the COVID-19 pandemic, enhancing our climate ambition, housing delivery and Brexit preparations.

“Bills such as the Affordable Housing Bill, which will see a new affordable housing scheme put in place, the Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill, and new Climate Action Bill, will help us to rebuild our economy and regenerate our society,” he said.

The Legislation Programme is broken down into:

  • Priority legislation for publication this session (30),
  • Bills that are expected to undergo pre-legislative scrutiny (PLS) this session (50),
  • All other legislation (87),
  • Bills currently on the Dáil and Seanad order paper (14),
  • Bills which were published since Government came to office on 27 June, (11),
  • Bills which were enacted since Government came to office on 27June, (12) 

Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Agriculture Appeals (Amendment) Bill to align the forestry licensing and appeals processes with similar processes elsewhere.

The heads were approved on 27 July.

Business, Enterprise & Innovation

Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill to establish the ODCE as an agency, to be known as the Corporate Enforcement Authority, and to give effect to some recommendations of the Company Law Review Group in the areas of corporate governance shares and share capital.

The heads were approved on 4 December, 2018, and PLS is underway.

Sale of Tickets (Cultural, Entertainment, Recreational and Sporting Events) Bill to prohibit the resale of tickets for events in designated venues for a price exceeding their original sale price. The heads are in preparation.

Children and Youth Affairs

Preservation and Transfer of Specified Records of Commission (Mother and Baby Homes) and Certain Related Matters Bill to protect and preserve data in a specific database and its related source records for the purposes of current information and tracing services and pending the future establishment of a comprehensive legal framework for access to such records by relevant parties.

A related purpose of the legislation is to provide for the preservation of all records of the Commission which are transferred to the Minister as part of its archive. The heads were approved on 15 September and PLS is still to be determined.

Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Climate Action (Amendment) Bill to amend the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015in line with governance proposals in the Climate Action Plan 2019 and legislative commitments in the Programme for Government.        Heads were approved on 17 December 2019 and PLS to be determined.

Employment Affairs & Social Protection

Social Welfare Bill to implement provisions to be announced in Budget 2021.


Credit Union (COVID-19) (Amendment) Bill to allow credit unions, for a time-bound period, to conduct virtual annual general meetings/special general meetings which provide access for remote attendees and the option of electronic voting, and to provide credit unions with the option of availing of proxy voting on a permanent basis.Heads are in preparation.

Finance Bill to give statutory effect to Budget day decisions and to make other changes to tax law.              

Investment Limited Partnership (Amendment) Bill  to align the anti-money laundering standards across all Irish funds vehicles, modernise the investment limited partnership structure and to make amendments to the Irish Collective Asset-management Vehicle Act to improve its functioning. Heads have been approved, and committee agreed to waive PLS.

Taxation and Certain Other Matters (International Mutual Assistance) Bill to transpose elements of the OECD Mutual Convention on Administrative Assistance and the EU/Switzerland Anti-Fraud Agreement. Heads have been approved.

Foreign Affairs and Trade

Maritime Jurisdiction Bill  to consolidate and update the State's maritime jurisdiction legislation.Heads were approved on 27 May 2019, PLS is still to be determined.

Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Bill to provide for the legislative needs that will arise at the end of the Brexit transition period. Work is still underway.


Central Mental Hospital (Relocation) Bill to provide a lawful basis for the relocation of the Central Mental Hospital from Dundrum to Portrane in Co Dublin. Heads were approved on 15 May and PLS still to be determined.

Health Act 1947 (Amendment) Bill to amend the Health Act 1947 to provide for a more tiered set of penalties than currently provided for under Section 31A of that Act for COVID-19.  Heads are in preparation.

Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill to provide for revised risk equalisation credits and corresponding stamp duty levies to apply to health insurance policies and some technical amendments to the Health Insurance Acts 1994 – 2019 Heads are in preparation, PLS still to be determined.

Nursing Home Support Scheme (Amendment) Bill  to give effect to the recommendation of the Fair Deal Review and deliver on the Programme for Government commitment to help ensure the continued viability of family-run farms and businesses, especially for those for whom early succession planning has not been possible and by introducing further safeguards in the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Heads approved on 11 June 2019, PLS has taken place.

Housing, Planning and Local Government

Affordable Housing Bill to give legislative effect to the Government's affordable housing policy.   

Heads are in preparation.

Heritage Bill to amend the Planning and Development and Wildlife Acts to deal with Mulcreevy and other issues arising as a result of the transfer of Heritage functions to this Department.  

Heads are in preparation.

Land Development Agency Bill   to establish the Land Development Agency on a primary legislative footing.   

Revised heads are in preparation, PLS has taken place.

Marine Planning and Development Management Bill to establish a new marine planning system, underpinned by a statutory Marine Planning Policy Statement, guided by the National Marine Planning Framework, providing a development management regime for Ireland's maritime area.   

Heads approved on 17 July and 17 December 2019, PLS still to be determined.

Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill to introduce 'use it or lose it' provisions to facilitate speedier activation of planning permissions and delivery of housing supply and to provide further emergency powers to protect the integrity of the planning system. Heads are in preparation.

Justice and Equality

Criminal Justice (Counterfeiting) Bill  to transpose outstanding elements of Directive 2014/62/EU on the protection of the euro and other currencies against counterfeiting by criminal law.

Criminal Justice (Repeal of certain provisions of the Firearms and Misuse of Drugs Acts) Bill to provide for the repeal of the mandatory minimum sentences for second or subsequent firearms/misuse of drugs offences.

Criminal Procedure Bill to provide for measures to reduce delay and improve efficiency in procedural aspects of criminal trials, including by introducing preliminary trial hearings.

Personal Insolvency (Amendment) (No. 1) Bill to make a small number of key COVID-related amendments.

Public Expenditure and Reform

Appropriation Bill – to give statutory effect to individual estimates as passed by the Dail.

Transport, Tourism and Sport

Air Navigation and Transport Bill to facilitate reform of safety and economic regulatory oversight of the aviation sector in Ireland by merging the safety regulation side of the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) with the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) to create a standalone aviation regulator.

The for-profit air navigation side of the IAA will become a separate commercial agency. It will also amend the regulation of airport charges in Ireland, strengthening regulation, governance and enforcement.

Merchant Shipping (Investigation of Marine Casualties) (Amendment) Bill to address issues relating to the Marine Casualty Investigation Board.

Railway Safety (Amendment) Bill to provide necessary statutory powers for the Railway Accident Investigation Unit (RAIU).

Road Traffic (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill To provide for a variety of road safety-related matters including the Motor Third Party Liability Database, Master Licence Record, traffic management on the M50 and others.

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