Today in Leinster House: October 25, 2012

AFTER A PRETTY CRAMMED week it’s back to a relatively slim agenda for today, as the Seanad discusses last week’s event in Brussels and the Dáil discusses the state of the Irish economy.

9:30am – Committee on Health and Children – We start in Room 2, where all four (did you know there were four?) health insurers will be present, as well as the Health Insurance Authority. The latter will be in to discuss the general state of the health insurance sector in Ireland, before the former talk about plans for universal healthcare and the impact of risk equalisation. The four insurers, by the way, are VHI, Aviva, Laya, and Glo Health.

10:00am – Public Accounts Committee – Over in Room 1 there’s the more usual Thursday morning fare of the PAC; it continues its examination of public allowances by reviewing those paid to employees of the Department of Justice and Equality.

10:00am – Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine – Simon Coveney’s in Room 4 at the same time, briefing members on how much his Department is going to have to spend in 2013.

10:30am – Leaders’ Questions – Thursday morning means it’s Eamon Gilmore taking Leaders’ Questions from the usual figures on the other Dáil benches. Expect plenty of inquiry about Gilmore’s supposed side review into the National Chlidren’s Hospital.

10:30am – Order of Business – The Seanad has its usual 75 minutes to debate its agenda, despite there only being one item on the agenda…

10:51am – Order of Business – …while the Dáil’s only-slightly-longer agenda merely offers 20 minutes for members to discuss their own affairs.

11:11am – Statements on the economy (resumed) – The Dáil will continue its two-day debate on the affairs of the Irish economy for most of the day; that chat will continue until 4:30pm.

11:45am – Statements on the European Council meeting – The only item on the Seanad’s agenda is the visit of EU Affairs minister Lucinda Creighton – now also a vice-president of the European People’s Party – who will brief members on the outcomes of last week’s summit in Brussels.

2:00pm – Matters on the Adjournment – Whenever members have exhausted their interest in Minister Creighton, three newsworthy matters will be aired before the Seanad shuts down for the weekend.

4:30pm – Topical Issues – Four burning issues get 12 minutes’ airing in the Dáil…

5:18pm – Questions (Minister for Children and Youth Affairs) – …before France Fitzgerald brings an end to the Dáil week by answering pre-submitted questions on the resources she’ll need to make children’s rights a reality; the action she’s taking on school bullying; her plans for adoption legislation, and the number of retailers who’ve signed up to guidelines on the appropriateness of chlidren’s wear.

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