Today in Leinster House: December 6, 2011

So, today’s the day – the day when the Dáil gets by far its biggest audience of the year, as Michael Noonan stands up to tell the country exactly how their money will be spent for the next twelve months.

There’s other stuff going on too, you know…

12:30pm – Order of Business – In what has now become a Tuesday tradition (and a sensible one, given how the Dáil doesn’t start for a few hours afterward), the Seanad gets things going with the Order of Business. Today’s open forum is only 30 minutes long, however, as the upper house takes a couple of hours’ sejour in the afternoon to watch the Budget announcement.

1:00pm – Local Government (Household Charge) Bill 2011 [Seanad] (second stage) – In the day’s only legislative business, the Seanad gets the first look at the slightly-delayed legislation – originally intended to be put through the Dáil last Thursday – which itself forms part of the Budget. The legislation paves the way for the government to levy a flat-rate fee on individual households; for the coming year, it’ll be €100.

2:00pm – Leaders’ Questions – Enda Kenny opens Dáil business with his only role of the day; fending off pre-Budget barbs from Messrs Martin, Adams and McGrath/Ross/Higgins.

2:15pm – Environment, Transport, Culture and the Gaeltacht – Room 4 hosts the only committee meeting of the day; Prof Frank Convery from University College Dublin, and representatives of the National Consumer Agency, brief members on the cost to consumers of supplying and disposing of water.

2:21pm – Order of Business – Tuesday’s Order of Business ought not to be terribly complicated, given how chunky the rest of the day’s business is; what may be of more interest are the eight procedural motions being sent through committee, six of them relating to taxation agreements. Once all of those are sorted, the Dáíl breaks until the main event at 3:45pm.

3:45pm – Budget Statements 2012 – The main event. Enda Kenny steps to one side as Michael Noonan takes the main spot in the house; he will likely spend between 25 and 30 minutes making his full address, outlining his plans for taking €3.8bn off the Budget deficit with the finance spokespersons of the other parties spending similar amounts of time in rebuttal. Once they’re done, there’s a 30-minute break before TDs reconvene.

6:00pm – Budget Financial Resolutions – After that 30-minute break, TDs get back to the chamber to kick off the real business of the day: the voting. The Budget measures will require some immediate changes (the midnight hike in fuel prices, etc) so TDs will be in until midnight voting on those measures. If any backbenchers are going to follow Tommy Broughan and head overboard, this will be their chance to do so.

6:00pm – Statements on the Budget – The Dáil is spending basically the entire week debating the Budget; the Seanad gets two hours, and these are they.

8:00pm – Matters on the Adjournment – While debates and votes on the Budget measures continue downstairs until midnight, the Seanad wraps up its day at 8pm with discussion of a smattering of topical issues.

All of the day’s business can be viewed on our streams: