Today in Leinster House: November 3, 2011

As outlined yesterday, today’s Dáil schedule is pretty empty, with the main item being the Fianna Fáil private members’ time. Again, there are two committee meetings, but one is private.

So, without further ado, Thursday’s schedule:

10:30am – Leaders’ Questions – The days kicks off with Eamon Gilmore standing up to fend off opposition barbs on whatever topics they deem appropriate.

10:51am – Order of Business – TDs resume their queries on the status of promised legislation, while also trying to bend the rules and make political statements – to the unwavering chagrin of the Ceann Comhairle, Seán Barrett.

11am – Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform – In the second of two meetings this week, members head to Room 4 to hear the thoughts of Civil Society groups on where Budget 2012 should seek to save public money. Today’s hearing will include reps from the National Women’s Council of Ireland, Barnardos, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

11:11am – Private Members’ Business [Fianna Fáil] – Motion re Social Welfare - TDs resume discussion on the Fianna Fáil motion calling on the government to safeguard social welfare rates. If there is a government amendment, it could be a sign that the administration doesn’t want to be tied into a commitment to leave Widow’s Pension and disability allowances untouched. A vote on that amendment (if there is one) will be called at 12:41pm, with the whole business of the motion wrapped up by 12:55pm at the latest.

12:41pm – Topical Issues – Four of the week’s topical matters will be discussed in the company of the appropriate ministers for 12 minutes each.

1:29pm – Questions (Minister for Children and Youth Affairs) – Frances Fitzgerald is up for only her second batch of parliamentary questions, where matters like the Children’s Rights Referendum and the status of the 116000 Missing Children’s Hotline will be. The questions she’ll face can be found on this PDF.

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