Oireachtas agenda Medical cards social media and transparency laws

first_imgWHAT ARE OUR politicians doing in the halls of Leinster House?TheJournal.ie lets you know with our guide to what’s coming up to the Dáil, Seanad and various Oireachtas committees today.DÁILBecause of the long weekend for the bank holiday – and the limited availability of most of the cabinet ministers – it’s James Reilly (fresh from trips to London and Birmingham) who starts the week with Questions to the Minister for Health at 2:30pm.Four Topical Issues are discussed at 3:45pm before Enda Kenny is back in the chamber for Leaders’ Questions at 4:33pm. A discussion on the rest of the week’s agenda will kick off at about 5pm.At roughly 5:30pm TDs will hold their first discussion on plans to change the eligibility criteria for medical cards – introducing a new regime where a person over 70 must have a weekly income under €600 a week (or €1,200 in the case of a couple) to remain eligible for a medical card. Those over the threshold would be given a GP visit card.At 7:30pm debate will turn to a motion from the Technical Group, which calls for a reversal of the abolition of the mobility allowance, and guarantee no further cuts to those who are dependant on disability supports. There’s also a call for a replacement to the outdated Lunacy Regulation (Ireland) Act, which has been earmarked for an overhaul for (at least) five years now. Debate wraps up at 9pm and will resume tomorrow.The day’s Dáil business can all be viewed here.SEANADThere’s four items on the Seanad agenda today, beginning with the daily discussion on the Order of Business at 2:30pm. At 3:45pm it’s a condensed discussion on the general merits and demerits of the Finance Bill 2013, which gives legal effect to the tax changes in the Budget.At 6:30pm the Fine Gael members get two hours to put forward a motion of their choosing – the content of which had yet to be confirmed at the time of publication – before three miscellaneous matters are briefly discussed at 8:30pm to round off the day.The day’s Seanad business can all be viewed here.COMMITTEESThe light days in the Dáil and Seanad are made up by no fewer than five public committee meetings: At 9:30pm the discussion on the use of social media (and the negative impact of its abuse) resumes at the Transport and Communications committee when representatives from Google and Digital Rights Ireland take the floor. (Watch here.)At 1pm the author of the Report on Child and Family Income Support, Ita Mangan, briefs the Committee on Education and Social Protection about her group’s findings on potential reforms for child benefit. (Watch here.)The Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform committee continues its examination of proposed new Freedom of Information laws at 2pm, when Ed Hammond from Britain’s Centre for Public Scrutiny offers his input on some of the best practice from other jurisdictions. (Watch here.)Also at 2pm, the Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine gets an update from departmental officials on updates to the Common Fisheries Policy and how the recent changes at EU level will affect Ireland and its fisheries industries. At 3:45pm this changes its hat to the Fisheries sub-committee, which will discuss a range of fish-specific issues like aquaculture, inshore fisheries and tourism. (Watch here.)Elsewhere at 2pm, the committee on Justice, Defence and Equality will discuss some of the proposed changes to the Spent Convictions Bill, which allows minor criminal convictions to be wiped from a person’s record if they don’t re-offend within a certain period. (Watch here.)Explainer: How does a Bill become a law?last_img

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