Today in Leinster House: October 19, 2011

Continuing the theme from yesterday, the Dáil is largely eaten up with legislation meaning the more interesting items of the day could well be popping up elsewhere.

Here’s what the day has in store:

9:30am – Jobs, Social Protection and Education – The weekly meeting sees the committee put on its Jobs hat, as innovation minister Sean Sherlock, and reps from Enterprise Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland, join discussions on helping to support indigenous enterprises. Room 3.

9:30am – Justice, Equality and Defence – In its first meeting of the day – there’s another one at 2:30pm – TDs and Senators head for Room 2 to discuss European proposals on allowing the cross-border pursuit of debts in both civil and commercial matters.

10:30am – Leaders’ Questions – The Dáil’s marquee event sees Enda Kenny respond to barbs from Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and the rostered leader from the Technical Group.

10:30am – Order of Business – Upstairs in the Seanad, meanwhile, members will begin their daily chatter on whatever items they deem worthy of parliamentary attention.

10:51am – Order of Business – The oft-delayed Order of Business – which probably won’t kick off until 11am – will see TDs get another chance to query the government’s legislative intentions in certain fields.

11:21am – Road Traffic (No 2) Bill 2011 [Seanad] (to conclude); Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme) and Remuneration Bill 2011 (second stage); Energy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2011 (second stage) - The Dáil’s programme for the day is largely the initiation of new legislation and the wrapping up of old stuff. It begins by wrapping up the new laws on drink-driving limits – though that will need the Seanad’s once-over again – before getting to the bill sorting out public pensions, and a similar bill which is intended to safeguard the pension entitlements of staff who are asked to move between Bord Gais, ESB and Eirgrid.

11:45am – Central Bank and Credit Institutions (Resolution) (No.2) Bill 2011 (remaining stages) - Having only gotten its first look yesterday, the Seanad is asked to speedily conclude its examination of the bill giving the Minister for Finance new powers in relation to financial institutions.

1:00pm – Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform – After TDs at large got a chance to have their tuppenceworth yesterday, the committee meets to discuss the Review of the Report of the Inter-Departmental Working Group on Mortgage Arrears – the one which ruled out any blanket debt forgiveness. Room 4.

2:30pm – Justice, Equality and Defence - Back in Room 2 for their second meeting of the day, members discuss a two-year-old bill which proposes the creation of a Property Services Regulatory Authority, which is intended to supervise the provision of property management services. The bill was originally proposed by Dermot Ahern back when he was minister, so its reconsideration should merit all-party support.

2:30pm – Questions (Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources) – The last time Pat Rabbitte took ministerial questions, he announced the part-sale of the ESB. This time, he’ll be asked to field questions on the REFIT scheme, electricity generation from wind and wave, and the big question: whether he considers any of the energy networks as not being ‘strategic’ – and whether, therefore, it could be sold.

3:45pm – Topical Issues – Four issues, 12 minutes, and one minister for each, bring the Dáil up to 4:33pm.

4:33pm – as 11:21am – The Dáil gets back to its legislative business as outlined earlier.

5pm – Private Members’ Business [Fianna Fáil] – It’s a rare week when one party comes up in the rota for Private Members’ Business in both the Dáil and Seanad. Having seen a similar motion beaten in the Dáil, the FF senators this week condemn the possibly-planned closure of rural army barracks.

7pm – Matters on the Adjournment – Three daily topical issues are discussed before the Seanad calls it a night.

7:30pm – Private Members’ Business [Fianna Fáil] – Discussion resumes on Fianna Fáil’s bill which tries to offer an official non-judicial debt adjudication process. If the government opposes it, a vote will be called at 9pm.

As always, all of the day’s business can be viewed on the streams: