Seanad relevance questioned with lack of Government legislation

There is an extraordinary absence of Government legislation in the Houses of the Oireachtas. We have debates on efficiency and relevance in respect of the public service and apparently the debate is bubbling away. Members have asked whether we should spend time considering efficiency in the public service but it may not be long before eyes start looking at this wing of the public service and deciding whether it is up to scratch in terms of its contribution. It is really extraordinary that, week in, week out, not a single Bill is brought forward. This draws attention to the debate on the efficiency and relevance of this House. We are to have statements on a number of issues this week but we do not have any opportunity to debate the issues that Members on this side of the House have been raising and on which they have been asking for a debate.

The Leader, Senator Donie Cassidy, told us we were to have a rolling debate on the economy. When will it start rolling? It has not happened yet. There is a very considerable debate taking place outside the Houses on whether the banks require capitalisation. It is taking place everywhere except in the Parliament of the people. Why can we not have scrutiny in the House and debate the various arguments for and against capitalisation? It seems the banking policy rests entirely on the guarantee that was given. The remainder of the policy is a matter of keeping one’s head down and hoping for the best. This is a fair definition of our national policy on the crisis that everybody else in the world recognises. We appear to believe it does not exist.

More :: Click here to see this week’s schedule in the Oireachtas