Today in Leinster House: October 11, 2012

THE LAST DAY of the week is another one with busy committee meetings which deserve more attention than the plenary business…

9:30am – Committee on Health and Children – Events kick off in Room 2, where members meet IBEC representatives, the Irish Heart Foundation, and the Special Action Group on Obesity to discuss the growing number of obese Irish children.

10:00am – Public Accounts Committee – The Dáil’s spending overseers have a big one in Room 1: Brendan Howlin is in to discuss the reform of the public service, while P.J. Fitzpatrick – the chairman of the Croke Park Agreement implementation body – will be in to discuss how the implementation of the current deal is going.

10:30am – Leaders’ Questions – Thursday morning means Eamon Gilmore will take Leaders’ Questions from the deputies of Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and the technical group.

10:30am – Order of Business – The Seanad day begins with infinite contributions from senators in a 75-minute introductory session…

10:51am – Order of Business – …but the Dáil only gets 20 minutes to discuss their own.

11:11am – Fiscal Responsibility Bill 2012 (second stage resumed); Statements re Philanthropy and the Arts (resumed) – The last two-and-a-bit hours of discussion on legislation to limit Ireland’s budget deficits will fill up the morning in the Dáil; if it’s done before 1:30pm, there’ll be a discussion resuming from last week about the role of private and corporate generosity in keeping the arts sector moving.

11:45am – Valuation (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 2012 (second stage) – A relatively innocuous bill in the Seanad would ensure that certain commercial occupiers could self-appraise the value of their properties when it comes to commercial rates and the likes.

1:30pm – Statements on the Framework for Sustainable Development in Ireland – Does exactly what it says on the tin: TDs discuss the Department of the Environment strategy for making Ireland a leader in environmentally-friendly business expansion.

1:45pm – Matters on the Adjournment – Three newsworthy matters are aired in the Seanad before it winds down for the weekend.

2:30pm – Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade – Eamon Gilmore’s in Room 1 to seek small bits of extra funding for his Department and for Irish Aid, as well as briefing members on how those agencies will be impacted by the new multi-year budgeting strategy.

3:42pm – Topical Issues – Four burning issues get 12 minutes’ airing in the Dáil…

4:30pm – Questions (Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources) – …before Pat Rabbitte brings a close to the week with questions on the increase in gas prices, a public consultation on fracking, the payoff to the State from the bounty of natural resources in its waters, the digital switchover, and the possibility of licence fee funding for independent local radio stations.

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